As with every passing year, 2014 too went past us in the blink of an eye, or so it seems. The year would have brought a mixed bag of emotions and experiences for all of us. The NativePlanet team hopes it brought all of you some exciting travel experiences as well. After all, don't all of us have travel on our bucket and resolution lists for the new year!? As we bid goodbye to 2014, here is a look at the popular travel destinations we hope you were able to visit in the year 2014. If not, don't fret, India is truly a land of wonders and try as we might, covering all of them in our lifetime might well be impossible. But, do make time for at least one travel to these wonderful destinations in the near future.
While major cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad manage to get high tourist crowds throughout the year, there are many other travel destinations that allow you to explore the vivid face of India. Vibrant cultures, unique traditions, amazing sights, man-made wonders, historical treats, mouth-watering foods and so much more was what these popular destinations of India for the year 2014 offered. Take a look!
The 'Pink City', Jaipur in Rajasthan is one of the most popular travel destinations in India. The place provides a fascinating mix of amusement ranging from cultural experiences that are starkly in contrast with the rest of India, heritage tourism and desert experience. It also has some excellent heritage hotels. So what are you waiting for!? Make a plan to visit Jaipur soon.
Photo Courtesy: Rod Waddington
The 'City of Lakes', Udaipur in Rajasthan is a feast for the senses, man-made lakes dot the region and are popular icons that have been featured in many movies as well. A recent popular picturisation set in Udaipur is the Hindi movie 'Ram Leela'. The city with its many lakes, palaces and opulent hotels is a great place for travel in western India.
Photo Courtesy: Claude Chauvin
Goa, one place that is the undisputed winner in regard to both domestic and international tourism. The young at heart of India as well as the world over prefer Goa as a great beach destination. Though tourist crowds tend to peak in the season, crowds can be seen trickling in, even to witness monsoons in the region. With its many lovely beaches, churches, party destinations and food joints, Goa is a great place to visit, many times over!
Photo Courtesy: Thangaraj Kumaravel
A great hill station to head to in India during the summer months and a magical winter destination covered in snow during the winter season; Manali is a great place to visit. There is bountiful natural beauty to keep you mesmerised, regardless of the season you travel in. Get ready to be charmed by the mountains, the streams, quaint bridges and streets. They look all the more lovely during the winters. Head here for your first snowfall experience!
Photo Courtesy: Nishanth Jois
Located in close proximity to the Indian capital city Delhi, Agra is an ideal place to travel. You don't need too many reasons to visit this city, it is home to the famous symbol of architecture and love, the Taj Mahal. Need more? The city is also home to many stunning monuments such as the Agra Fort. Red sandstone structures contrasting against clear blue skies, crisp cotton-candy clouds and green parrots that have made it their home is a sight few cities can rival. Take a look for yourself.
Photo Courtesy: Koshy Koshy
There is a certain undeniable warmth that Cochin or Kochi exudes the minute you land at the airport or railway station and it has nothing to do with the climate. It simply is a happy place, right down to the auto-driver, who unlike in many other states of India are known to treat travellers very well! Visit many places including the shipyard, the Santa Cruz Baslica and Fort Cochin's Jew Street. Take the ferry, enjoy the sight of Chinese fishing nets, shop to your hearts content, explore art and culture and of cource delicious Kerala cuisine at restaurants such as the Hotel Grand on MG Road, delicious seafood!
Photo Courtesy: Binoop Vasudevan
Popular as a honeymoon destination in India, Shimla is definitely a place to visit. One of the popular hill stations, Shimla is a great winter destination for snow-based activities in the country. Enjoy the colonial architecture that has influences of the Tudor and Gothic styles. The various official buildings, churches and libraries of Shimla are a delight to observe. The region also has many famous temples. For the adventure enthusiasts, head to Shimla for sports such as biking and skiing.
Photo Courtesy: ShashankSharma2511
Just about everything seems to glow a bright golden in the stunning city of Jaisalmer in Rajasthan. Not much wonder that it is in fact called the 'Golden City'. Situated in the heart of the Thar Desert, and on a foundation of yellow sandstone, the city is vibrant and exciting from the minute you set foot in it. Explore famous sights such as the Jaisalmer Fort, the many grand Havelis, the deserted village of Kuldhara, the royal cenotaphs that are stunning in sunrise and sunset, the many Jain temples and so much more. The start of the year (January-February) also sees Jaisalmer host the annual Desert Festival.
Photo Courtesy: Rajkumar1220
Popular in the country as a religious and spiritual destination, Rishikesh has many more rather hidden sides to it. Rishikesh also happens to be the adventure capital of the country, sports such as white water rafting, trekking, camping and bungee jumping is available here. Considered the 'Gateway to the Himalayas' the place is dotted with many popular temples. Enjoy the sights of the magnificent Ganges and feel renewed in the holy abode of Rishikesh.
Photo Courtesy: Rishabh Mathur
The mesmerising blue waters of the Arabian sea, lapping the pristine shores lined with stunning cliff formations and of course the mainstay of Kerala; swaying coconut palms makes Varkala a popular travel destination. The coastal town in Kerala's district of Trivandrum is much-sought after for relaxing holidays by the beach. It is also known for its 2,000 year old Janardana Swami Temple. Enjoy the beach and make short trips to places such as the backwaters of Paravur. You can also explore activities on the beach such as parasailing. In recent times Varkala has gained prominence as a spa and Ayurvedic relaxation destination with many new resorts cropping up in the region.
Photo Courtesy: Prashant Ram