Away from the world of guided tours, frantic hotel searches and cliche destinations is a popular outdoor activity called camping, which opens Pandora's box of experiences. While camping has been the buzzword among adrenaline-fuelled adventure seekers for years, it has grown leaps and bounds in the last few years, especially due to the pandemic. A safe, stress-free vacation, away from the din of the metropolis.
If you had assumed camping only meant drudging your tent up a hill and frenetic efforts to plant it on solid ground before rustling up some food, think again. Camping has come to comprise a plethora of activities—there is Astro-camping for the lover of stars, special camping days for those musically inclined and glamping, an acronym for “glamorous camping”, the preferred form of travelling for a growing tribe of travellers who want the best of both world. Yet there is one thing in common—the chance of experiencing Nature in all its glory. While many states offer one or more of these camping opportunities, Tamil Nadu goes a step further and provides camping enthusiasts with everything they desire.
With one of the longest coastlines in the country and varied geological features, Tamil Nadu ensures that people can enjoy a host of outdoor activities in the state—from rock climbing and paragliding to surfing and much more. And today, this state offers campers a chance to go beyond the regular and have an adventurous vacation.
Hear the jungle come alive and bask in the serenity of the quiet forests with a stay at one of the jungle camps in Tamil Nadu’s verdant forests. Visit Masinagudi to enjoy the benefits of camping in the foothills of the Nilgiris with camping resorts, some of which are situated in the buffer area of Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, and offer tents that allow you to be as close to nature as possible.
The pandemic was hard on the tourism sector at large. In order to counter the slump in visitors and maximise their potential as a destination, Tamil Nadu’s tourism department has formulated a tourism destination development scheme, under which eco camping sites will be set up at Kolli hills and Jawadhu hills.
Situated in the Namakkal district, Kolli Hills is well-loved by hikers, cyclists, trekkers and bikers. The trek to the top of the Kolli Hills opens up a world of lush forests and a ferocious waterfall called the Agaya Gangai. The diverse flora and fauna of the region make it ideal for campers to take in the locale’s scenic views. And if it’s the thrill of water sports that you seek, head to Udumalpet in Tirupur District. Nestled in the Anaimalai Hill ranges of Western Ghats, waterfront campsites here offer an array of adventure sports including kayaking, stand-up paddle, jet skiing, canoeing and boating.
At a distance of 100kms from Vellore lies Yelagiri, which was a private property during the 1950s and is now a picturesque hill station that draws in visitors from far and wide. You can pitch your tent and spend the weekend under the stars in one of the many orchards and gardens that dot the rolling hills.
Camping in tents under the stars may sound exhilarating, but it is not for everyone. To find the perfect mix of misty mornings and sweet-smelling air while enjoying all the worldly amenities, head to Kodaikanal. This cosy hill station is fringed by dense forests and a tranquil ambience and offers many glamping sites for the discerning traveller. You can choose to live in an igloo-shaped dome and enjoy the great outdoors, or spend time at your private patio, basking in the sun at a campsite that offers all the luxurious amenities right in the midst of nature.
Over the last few years, Astro tourism has picked up pace in the country and Tamil Nadu is not far behind. The hilly areas away from the city have darker skies that are conducive for stargazing, the best among them being Yelagiri, Kodanad and Jawadhu hills. Situated amidst sprawling tea estates, Kodanad has stunning skies; it is here that you can even gaze at Saturn, Jupiter and Moon craters through your celestial telescope. The caressing wind from the valley, the warmth of the campfire and millions of stars over your head make it a magical experience.
For more details: https://www.tamilnadutourism.tn.gov.in
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