So here it is, brand new 2017! Where will we go this year, what will we see? Well, Outlook Traveller is here, as ever, with great travel ideas for the new year. We've got 20, in fact, and over the next few days we'll be letting you in on all the great experiences you can have this year. So read on, and start planning your trips. From all of us at Outlook Traveller, have a happy, healthy and travel-filled 2017! Read Part 1 of the series here.
WALK AMID FIREFLIES IN GUJARAT
Monsoon days are usually spent tucked away inside the house, with a warm cup of tea for company, windows barricaded with nets so as to keep the seasonal bugs out. In Gujarat’s Dang district, however, monsoon bugs are the primary attraction. After the first rain of the year, in June, millions of fireflies light up the hilly forest in Dang, near Saputara. The bio-luminescence, exclusive to males, is believed to aid mate selection, but to the human eye, it conjures up twinkling tiny fairies of cherished childhood myths. Life Away From Life organises two-day tours to Dang that include nature walks and post-dusk firefly expeditions. (â‚¹7,231 per adult including accommodation and meals; lifeawayfromlife.com).
HOLE UP IN A NUKE SHELTER
Still obsessed with words like ‘top secret’, ‘nuclear fallout’, ‘Cold War’? Not outgrown your inner little boy? Experience the thrill without the danger by checking into Nuclear Shelter 10-Z or 10-Z Bunker in Brno in the Czech Republic. Completed in 1959 to serve a serious purpose–sheltering top officials for three nights in the event of a nuclear explosion–it was fortunately never pressed into service. Instead, it is now a hostel with 18 underground rooms that feel right out of the videogame Half Life or a Cold War drama–complete with original bunk beds, telephones and tunnel-like walls. Rooms begin at $52 for two people, taxes and breakfast included. Check in at booking.com
TRACK THE AMUR FALCON IN NAGALAND
Weighing at around 150g, the Amur Falcon is a small bird of prey but it manages one of the most arduous migratory journeys. These falcons have been observed to cover over 22,000km every year–from Siberia all the way to Africa. On their long journey, they stop in the thousands at Wokha district in Nagaland and Tamenglong district of Manipur. Their congregations are so enormous that Pangti village, about 110km from Kohima, has come to be known as the ‘Amur Falcon capital of the world’. The birds arrive like clockwork every year. Plan your trip for between the second week of October and the first week of November. The main roosting site is at the banks of the Doyang reservoir. Stay in a hotel in Wokha town (1hr), or set up camp near the roosting site. Contact Steve Odyuo from Natural Nagas for more info (+91-9958813763, firstname.lastname@example.org).
THE FINAL FRONTIER
As human endeavour to travel the length and breadth of the globe grows and borders shrink, there are few places left that provide the euphoria of discovery. Chitkul is one of these. The last inhabited Indian village on the Indo-China border, Chitkul (3,450m) is in Himachal’s Kinnaur district. The facilities are meagre here but the place compensates: stunning landscapes, wheat fields, the gushing Baspa river, snow-clad mountains... The area is also reputed to produce the best potatoes in the world! Chitkul is about 570km from Delhi. Untravel organises a 5-day trip from Chandigarh to Chitkul and back, stopping at Narkanda, Sangla and Kalpa on the way (â‚¹19,690 for two, including accommodation and two meals; untravel.com).
The good old days, the tastes of childhood... Nostalgia is always powerful, usually fruitless. But sometimes not: Dilliwallahs, put on your walking shoes, take the Metro to Chandni Chowk and rediscover the good old eateries that are alive and kicking. Anubhav Sapra regularly conducts food walks here–breakfast and evening trails. The group enjoys chaats, biryanis, halwas, lassis and more. The areas usually visited are Fatehpuri, Jama Masjid, Kinari Bazaar and Sitaram Bazaar. The season decides the stops–moong dal halwa in winter, mango lassi in summer. From â‚¹1,000, including meals; enquire at email@example.com.