Smoking is regrettably a common habit that many have adapted to. And if you're living in a city, you not only have to bear with people's smoking habits, but also the air pollution created by industries and vehicles that you are surrounded with.
Sometimes all you would want to do is go on a vacation to a place while breathing in clear and fresh air while just relaxing. In that case, look no further because here are the places that have been officially declared as the smoke-free places of India!
Chandigarh was the first place in India that was declared as a smoke-free city, back in 2007. It is the capital of both Haryana and Punjab but is controlled by the Union Government since it is a union territory.
This beautiful city is filled with places that must be visited. Some of them are Sukhna Lake, Rock Garden, Parrot Bird Sanctuary and a number of beautiful gardens such as Rose Garden, Bougainvillea Garden, etc.
Sukhna Lake is an artificial lake found on the foothills of Shivalik Hills and Rock Garden lies right next to the Sukhna Lake. It has wonderful sculptures made of discarded materials like metal wires, auto parts, porcelain, etc.
PC: Giridhar Appaji Nag Y
Following Chandigarh, Kottayam of Kerala became the second smoke-free city of India in the same year, 2007. This city of the God's Own Country is a spectacular and a relatively off-beat tourist location.
Kottayam boasts of various achievements such as being the first fully literate city of India and the nation's first mural city with striking murals adorning the many walls of its buildings, apart from being a smoke-free city.
While Chandigarh and Kottayam are cities, Sikkim was the first Indian State to be declared as a smoke-free region in the year 2010. It is also the cleanest state of India and has the most friendly people, giving us enough reasons to visit this fantastic state!
Sikkim is surrounded with magnificent mountains, tranquil greenery and many refreshing waterfalls making it the perfect destination for nature lovers. The state is filled with beautiful monasteries such as Rumtek Monastery, Pemayangtse Monastery, Enchey Monastery, etc.
Shimla was declared as a smoke-free city in 2010. This capital of Himachal Pradesh is the most famous tourist destination in India. With Mandi, Kullu, Kinnaur and Uttarakhand surrounding the city, Shimla is packed with many places to visit for tourists.
Skiing and visiting many viewpoints in Kufri during winter, Toy Train ride to Kalka, hiking up the hills of Chail are some of the many things to do on a visit to the enthralling Shimla city.
PC: Ashwin Iyer
Himachal Pradeshand its abundance of natural beauty, the majestic Himalayas and the glorious rivers should be a reason enough to visit this awe-inspiring state. However, following Shimla, Himachal Pradesh became the second state of India to be officially announced as a smoke-free place.
The state is famous for its tourism and therefore, has many places to visit such as Shimla, Kullu, Manali, Dharmasala, Dalhousie, Chamba, Kangra, Kasauli and the list goes on!
PC: Michael Scalet
Finally, the recent addition to the list of smoke-free cities is Kohima. Nagaland, formerly being a state of one of the highest smokers has achieved a smoke-free zone for the state capital, Kohima. It is a blissful hill station present in the laps of mother nature.
Mostly dominated by the Angamani Naga tribe, Kohima was previously known as Kewhira which means "the land of kewhi flowers", which is what the locals still prefer calling.
On a hot weather, rush to Kohima for a vacation since the weather is pleasant even during summer. Some of the places to visit in Kohima are the Kohima Museum, Kohima Zoo, Dzuko Valley and Japfu Peak to name a few.
PC: Mike Prince