Holi is a colourful and beautiful festival but a noisy one for sure. Many people would prefer a quiet Holi-day, but it is hard to find much-required respite during this popular Hindu festival. Vacationing to a peaceful place is a better way to celebrate a pollution-free Holi. However, it is challenging to find such quiet and beautiful places to escape Holi. A tour around these scenic and less crowded destinations lets you savour the beauty of nature even more. A silent Holi amid nature is a unique experience!
QUIET WEEKEND GETAWAYS NEAR DELHI
Pangot, located about 15 km away from Nainital and a few hours' drive from Delhi, is a lesser-known hiking paradise. Pangot is far away from the urban callings, so much so that, ‘shopping' means one general store and two tea stalls! Yes, it is literally a quiet place. It is an ideal place to travel to escape the Holi madness and spend more private and quality time with your loved ones. And if it still isn't quite enough, there is a hiking trail up to Naina Peak.
Shoja, Himachal Pradesh
Overlooked, thanks to the other popular hill stations found in Himachal Pradesh, Shoja is a beautiful little scenic hamlet. An overnight bus ride from Delhi to reach this lesser-known paradise may wear you out, but the exhaustion falls away once you get here. Enriched with all the appeal of the classic Himalayan hill town and hiking trails leading off to beautiful viewpoints, Shoja is a lovely spot to sit back and relax. Jalori Pass, Serolsar Lake, and Waterfall Point are a few nearby attractions.
QUIET WEEKEND GETAWAYS FROM MUMBAI
Located at an altitude of about 720 m, Amboli boasts of pleasant climate that's a relief from the grimy plains of Maharashtra. There are several recreation and retreat spots, including those at the Sunset Point and Nangartas Falls. And this extended weekend is a good time to visit Amboli, as the waterfalls still boast of great volume to mesmerise you.
Bordi, a long stretch of seashore decked with fruit orchids is an idyllic place to escape the Holi Madness. Gather some picnic goodies and head for the reserve lakes formed by the Depchari dam and Asavali (or Asawali) dam. The onset of summer is the time to buy fresh Chikus from the local orchards.
QUIET WEEKEND GETAWAYS NEAR KOLKATA
Kurseong, North Bengal
While neighbouring Darjeeling and Kalimpong get the heavy-duty tourist traffic, Kurseong is only a pitstop. But Kurseong has the best beautiful views and mountain air that you cannot endure anywhere else. Hike up to Dow Hill, stopping on the way at the scenic hamlet called Chimney, which takes its title from an ancient brick chimney from the British era. A mere 2 km walk to Eagle's Crag will take you to an enjoyable viewpoin
This is one of those little picturesque hamlets in Jharkhand that is mostly visited by residents from Kolkata. Consisting of not much more than a whole lot of quaintness, left behind from the Raj era, McCluskieganj excludes the need for obsessively racking your brain about how to ‘enjoy' a vacation. Doing little or nothing is the main pleasure of McCluskieganj. If you must have some Instagram moments, walk around admiring British-era bungalows and churches. An interesting outing could be to Duli village, where a masjid, mandir and gurudwara stand close to each other, and to Dugadugi river, 4 km away from the town.
QUIET WEEKEND GETAWAYS NEAR CHENNAI
Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary, Tamil Nadu
A sanctuary attached to the little village of Vedanthangal is located in proximity with Chennai city; this doesn't need an overnight stay plan, but stay here you could, just to see it at leisure. Vedanthangal Lake Bird Sanctuary is also one of the oldest in the country, and locals have been actively associated in its preservation. Vedanthangal is not far from the Karikili Bird Sanctuary, so you could visit both of these over a two-day stay. A vacation to the nearby Madurantakam Lake is a delightful experience.
Pulicat, Tamil Nadu
Little known and small, Pulicat, on the Coromandel Coast, has a colonial history recording back to the 17th century, when it was a Dutch settlement. The British and the Portuguese had also established a presence here. These colonial powers are remembered through the ruins of their buildings. The Dutch cemetery, in particular, is quite striking, with its patina of age and architectural features. Pulicat lake supports a lot of birdlife and there's a nice stretch of beach, too.
QUIET WEEKEND GETAWAYS NEAR BENGALURU
Formally called Manchanabele, Manchinbelle or Manchinbele, this is an artificial lake born of the dam constructed on the Arkavathi river. It is a birding hotspot, thanks to the encircling Savandurga hills, and the lake itself has water sports activities like rappelling, kayaking, and raft building. There are hiking paths in the nearby hills.
A fort built on top of a hill and the remains of a temple lends the Skandagiri trek a heritage charm. This is a moderately easy hike, and at the end of it, the traveller can sit at peace with a picturesque vista in front. The climb itself is very invigorating, being full of greenery. A night trek is also possible here, so you could reach the top a couple of hours after midnight and sleep in a sleeping bag before waking up to see the daybreak.