12 Easy Weekend Getaways - Part I

12 Easy Weekend Getaways - Part I
The Kaas Plateau is made from volcanic rocks , Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Looking to hit the roads and maybe even chart out a getaway? Team OT has you covered with a round-up of quick jaunts that are an ideal indulgence, without blowing through all your time off at work

OT Staff
March 15 , 2021
05 Min Read

Home to 850 different species of seasonal shrubs and endemic butterflies, the plateau is Maharashtra’s very own valley of flowers

Let the cool winds caress your face and the smell of wet soil engulf your senses as you stand at the top relishing the picturesque landscape of Kaas. Situated at a distance of about 139 kilometers from Pune, the Kaas Plateau, also called the Kaas Pathar, is an ideal getaway for nature enthusiasts. Declared as a World Natural Heritage Site in 2012, the plateau is an abode to more than 800 varieties of wildflowers, grasses, and shrubs. The Karvy and Drosera indica are two of the many orchids that are indigenous to the land. Blessed with a perfect climate and a rich biosphere, the plateau is located amid the Sahyadri Hills near Satara. During the monsoon, it becomes difficult for travellers to take their eyes off the colourful sight that comes to life in the misty atmosphere. Located further south to the plateau are the Kaas Lake and the Koyna backwaters, where you can enjoy a picnic with your mates or go for a memorable boat ride. Kaas is a top attraction among botany enthusiasts for its collection of insectivorous plants like Venus flytrap. The ideal months to visit are from August to September.

READ: 13 Reasons Why: What to Travel for This Year

Attracting devotees and trekkers alike, the ‘coffee land of Karnataka’ has a lot in store
The ideal time for a trekking experience is during spring
Chikmagalur is well-connected to other major cities via state-owned buses

Situated in the Deccan Plateau, Chikmagalur— commonly known as the ‘coffee land’ of Karnataka, owing to its sprawling coffee plantations—is a major commercial hub. there are plenty of visual treats here ranging from Jhari waterfalls, Shankar falls, Kadambi falls, Hanuman Gundi falls, to temples like Vidyashankara, Sharadamba, Kodanda Ramaswamy and Amruteshwar, all a sight to behold. Head to the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary and the picturesque hills of Kemmanagundi for a rendezvous with nature in all its glory. 

Mount Abu
Known as an oasis in the desert, the hill station is famous for its Jain temples and wildlife escapades
The Camel Festival here is one of the largest in India

It is the only hill station situated in north-western India. A must-visit for history fanatics, Mount Abu offers a glimpse into some of the most beautiful architecture in the country. Head to the Dilwara Temples to catch a glimpse. Surrounded by lush green forests, Mount Abu is also an ideal place for explorers who would like to go on a trek to the Guru Shikhar peak, Nakki Lake, or the Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary. 

READ: Best Cycling Routes in the Sahyadris

Henry’s Island
Depart from the humdrum of the city, and trace your steps to an island burrowed into the southern tail of West Bengal

Sightings of red crabs are a common occurrence here

Henry’s Island lies in close proximity to the village of Bakkhali. About 140 kilometres from Kolkata, Henry’s Island fosters a succession of mangroves, and swaddles in its fold a multitude of animals, and an extensive congregation of plants. Characterised by a streak of crimson-coloured sunsets, a parade of fishing- boats, and a dash of rock-riddled paths, its beach adjoins the Sunderbans. While you’re here, map your steps to the watchtower for a panoramic view of the island.

The city condenses its history into a number of attractions spanning its length
Murshidabad is well-connected to Kolkata by both rail and road
The city is an epicentre of handicrafts, and sells its much-sought after brassware and bell- metalware to tourists

Set in West Bengal, Murshidabad emerges from the eastern bank of the Hooghly River and branches out into a city reminiscent of a past long forgotten. Trace your steps to the Hazarduari Palace to revel in the sight of its thousand doors and continue on to the congregation hall Nizamat Imambara stationed in close proximity to the palace. Visit Sarfaraz Khan’s brainchild, Footi Mosque and the Khosh Bhag cemetery, which spans across almost eight acres. The horseshoe-shaped Motijhil Lake here is reflective of Indian and British history while the Nasipur Palace rooted in the Sultanate period transports you back in time. Nawab Wasif Ali Mirza Khan’s residence featuring a series of marble statues, house of Jagat Seth displaying antique coins, manuscripts, muslin, and furniture, and the eight-tonne Jahan Kosha cannon, are among the other landmark structures that can be found here. 

A cluster of 14 hamlets, the tiny hill station away from the disorderly life of our cities is ideal for those seeking some solitude
The perfect time to visit is from November to February

Just 228 kilometres away from Chennai lies the scenic hill station of Yelagiri, abundant in nature and religion. An abode for nature lovers, the Swami Malai Hills are a must visit and the highest point in Yelagiri. You can indulge in an afternoon out on the boats on the Nilavoor Lake or Punganoor Lake and marvel at sunsets in the Forest Hills. Be sure to visit Fundera Park, home to 300 exotic bird species. Pray your way through Jalagandeeswarar Temple and Moksha Vimochana Temple but do not miss the Vainu Bappu Observatory. It houses a telescope through which you can observe the celestial bodies and marvel at the night skies. The observatory was once home to Asia’s largest telescope. You can reach Yelagiri by road through a 4.5- hour car journey or head to the nearest airport, Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru.

READ: 10 Heritage Homestays to Book Right Now 


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