Far from the big city hustle.
By K. V. Venugopal
Summer is round the corner and people are chalking out their plans to visit various destinations this year too. A large number of tourists has decided to tour various places within India.
Sengottai, a forest, near Tenkasi in Tirunelveli district in Tamil Nadu has attracted many tourists. It is a place known for its natural beauty surrounded by the adjoining resorts and lake. The elephants that gather around every evening carrying materials is another attraction in this lovely destination. Moreover, it is only five miles from Kuttralam waterfalls, known for its medicinal value.
Palakkad, situated in Kerala, is known for its natural surroundings with an array of trees enmeshing the beautiful town. The aura can be experienced if one gets an opportunity to travel from Palakkad to Trishur, where the famous Guruvayur temple is situated. The journey from Palakkad to Alaphuzha will be fascinating for the tourists. The laidback town Alapuhzua is famous for backwaters.
Muttukadu on the outskirts of Chennai, is the talking point for many tourists. The resort, situated between the big river and the picturesque beauty of the surroundings, makes the people in general stay there for a few minutes before proceeding to Mammalapuram. The place provides a unique atmosphere and is a welcome relief to the people who are used to the hustle-bustle of a city lifestyle and day-to-day hectic traffic jam, paralysing their activities.
Diga, a tiny little beach situated on the outskirts of Kolkata, offers the tourists a refreshing change with its tidal bore and natural beauty. Tourists come from far-off places to have a glimpse of this beach with a plethora of colourful surroundings. Moreover, it offers a comprehensive package and is also economically viable for people who are concerned about expensive packages.
Bandini, a resort in Mysura, has attracted many tourists. The place is known for its wild-life sanctuary, and also famous for a national park. The tiger reserve is an added attraction for the tourists. Importantly, it is affordable to the travellers with shoe-string budgets. The resort enables people to forget their day-to-day problems in a calm and quiet atmosphere. The ambience has attracted tourists from various parts of the country.
Bokreshwar, a hot spring situated on the Bengal-Bihar border, has been in the news for some time. Many tourists visit the spot to have their baths in the river, as its historical importance and relevance has not been lost. There is an age-old belief that the hot spring cures even the worst diseases. People rush up to Bokreshwar after visiting Bolpur in Shantiniketan to pay their respects to Rabindranath Tagore in his ancestral town.
Manipur explores the oval-shaped valley bordered by blue-green hills. Called the Switzerland of the East, its richness of art and tradition is worth mentioning. The cascading rapids, varieties of flowers, lakes, exotic blooms, and rippling rivers also make Manipur a must-visit destination. The attractions of nearby Aizwal, Champhai and Vantawng are also worth visiting.
It is quite unfortunate that many people are still unaware of the beautiful spots in Nagaland. The picturesque land is bounded by Myanmar in the east and Assam in the west that features an incomparable cultural heritage. For instance, Saramati is the highest peak located at the height of 12,600 ft. The place is also surrounded by main water sources of the region like Doyang, Dhansiri, Dikhu and Jhanji. If Tiger Hills is the centre of attraction in Darjeeling, Dzukou Valley has carved out a niche for itself in Nagaland.
There are several tourist attractions in Kohima like Catholic Cathedral in Aradurah Hill, which is the largest cathedral in the entire northeast. Other major tourist attractions are The World War II memorial to the brave Naga soldiers and the War Cemetery, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens. Tourists also take excursions to Khonoma village to get beautiful scenic views. They also do not fail to see the bamboo pipelines that carry water for irrigation purposes to long distances.
The major tourist attraction in Dimapur is the ruins of the Kacheri monuments. Located at a distance of 37 km from Dimapur is the Intanki Wildlife Sanctuary which is the habitat of elephants, tigers, wild dogs, hoolocks, gibbons, mithuns, sambhars and sloth bears.
Mokokchung town is the third busiest urban hub in Nagaland. This is the native place of the Ao Nagas, which hold their celebratory Moatsu Festival during the first week of May each year and is also known for their headhunting and attractive red-and-black shawls.
Chuchuyimlang village, an hour and a half drive from Mokokchung town is another major tourist attraction as each house in the village looks out onto an unending lush chain of hills, which change colour with the rising sun.
Mopungchuket, positioned closer to Mokokchung town on good roads, is perhaps the best-kept village in Nagaland and here you can interact with locals and peek into Naga life.
Tawang situated at a height of 10,000 feet in Arunachal Pradesh is known for India’s largest and world-renowned 400-year-old monastery. It was founded by Mira Lama, contemporary of the fifth Dalai Lama and is the birthplace of the sixth Dalai Lama. The monastery is also known as the ‘Galden Namgyal Lhatse’ and has a collection of thangkas, the Tibetan paintings on cloth and a large gilded statue of Sakyamuni, the historical Buddha, in the prayer hall.
Tripura finds itself sandwiched between lush hills, valleys and water streams. This culturally rich state is one of the most popular travel destinations for those travellers who have an interest in exploring the ancient culture of India along with observing lifestyles of the tribal people.
For example, a place called Matabari is located at a distance of around 50 km from Agartala. It is popular for being a prime temple town of Tripura. The renowned temple Sundari Mandir is considered as one of the 51 shaktipithas, according to the Puranas of the Hindus. A section of people called Gadibureau had migrated to Agartalla from South India decades ago, after a call from the Tripura maharaja. They also teamed up with the chief minister Manik Sirkar to ensure that the tourist spots are nurtured properly.
The capital of Agartala is located near Bangladesh and lies on the banks of the River Haora. One of the most prominent attractions of this place is the Ujjayanta Palace, which is the royal house of Tripura. The Kunjaban Palace in Agartala is partly converted into a museum. Several temples and shrines are located close to this popular town. The best time to visit Agartala is between October and April.
For the tourists who are inclined to observe their experiences in forests, a place called Villageways in Madhya Pradesh provides immense satisfaction. It is located in such a way that the people can stay in village-owned accommodation in the forest, amidst wildlife walks and venturing for safaris into the Pench Tiger Reserve. A five-night trip costs only a meagre amount to the people who are ready to experience a different kind of life during their vacation.
A place called Simmachalam, situated adjacent to the port city Visakhapatnam, is offering a congenial atmosphere to the tourists. Known as the town surrounded by temples and historical centres, the people who are used to the hustle-and-bustle life-style in cities are finding it a welcome change. The place that extends up to 100 miles has its significance in its age-old tradition. The picnic spot in Vizag and the adjacent Vijayanagarm, known for preserving the age-old tradition of Andhra Pradesh, enthralls the tourists.