5 Off The Beaten Track Ideas For The Summer Holidays

We are all starting to feel the itch of the travel bug again. But where should you go this summer? We've got the answers.

The pristine landscape of Netarhat

Netarhat: Fondly nicknamed ‘the Queen of Chotanagpur’, Netarhat has probably spawned dozens of poets

Drenched in an old-world colonial charm, Netarhat is lined with narrow roads and forests, offers rejuvenating walks and is known for its beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Walk up to the light-orange hue at dawn at Sunrise Point or cherish the sunset at Magnolia Point—named after a young British girl who had fallen for a tribal shepherd boy. Also worth visiting are Netarhat Dam, Koel Viewpoint, Upper Ghagri Falls and Lower Ghagri Falls. 

Pro tip: Visit the nearby Taher village, home to the Birjia tribe and observe and interact with the tribal communities up and close 

Haflong: Assam’s only hill station is more than just sprawling vistas

Haflong is also known as the ‘mini Switzerland of the northeast’ Shutterstock

Located in the Dima Haso district of Assam, Haflong is where you could possibly touch the clouds. Being the only hill station in Assam, Haflong enjoys a surreal mist and comfortable weather all year round. The untapped beauty of the hills beckons the intrepid and slow traveller alike, as they can engage in camping and trekking, or soak in the naturescapes. The town also offers multiple short drive routes, each more promising than the other. Food lovers and architecture geeks are in for a treat as you can sample local horticulture produce and catch a glimpse of the British colonial past. 

Pro tip: Visit the waterfalls in the area by undertaking easy-moderate treks that take upto 4-5 hours 

Khimsar: Located at the edge of the great Thar Desert, this little hamlet is straight out of the Arabian nights 

If a luxurious mud-thatched cottage right in the middle of the desert, surrounded by a beautiful oasis and little shrubs on a full moon night is your idea of spending your winters, look no further than Khimsar. An erstwhile fiefdom, Khimsar paid allegiance to the kingdom of Marwar in the bygone era. Today, it serves as a rewarding getaway with the Khimsar Fort being run as a heritage hotel. Blessed with a charming ambience, the property has opulence written all over it. When done soaking in the winter sun at Khimsar, visit nearby Nagaur, known for its forts and red chillies. 

Pro tip: It lies on the Jodhpur-Nagaur-Bikaner highway and is easily accessible 

Maravanthe: A scenic getaway from the urban chaos, this beach town dons the guise of a wonderland 

Plan a visit to the fascinating villages nearby including Trasi, Padukone and Bijadi Shutterstock

Considered one of the most beautiful beach towns of Karnataka, Maravanthe is a picturesque locale on the Konkan coast. Set against the backdrop of the Kodachadri Hills and flanked by the Souparnika River on one side and the Arabian Sea on the other, drive along NH 66 to catch a glimpse of the river and sea together. Being a coastal town, it offers a wide variety of watersports including swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving. The nearby Kodachadri Hills offer a number of trekking trails, best suited for professionals and experienced trekkers. 

Pro tip: Best time to visit is between September and March

Palakkad: Represents the laidback best of Kerala and plenty of green havens 

Palakkad's interesting confluence of several cultures is a strong reason to visit Shutterstock

Mannarkkad is where the Silent Valley National Park—believed by the British to lack the cicada, hence the silence—thrives. The Neliyampathy Hills are a two-hour drive away. The Palakkad Gap, a low-lying pass in the Western Ghats, is a gateway into Kerala. The name itself means forest of the ‘pala’ tree and its interesting confluence of several cultures is a strong reason to visit. Sightseeing spots include the 18th-century Palakkad Fort, the Malampuzha Dam, and the Parambikulam Tiger Reserve. Oh, and the food is to die for—savour pazham porimutta bhajji and porottas in between breaks as you shop in the busy wholesale markets. 

Pro tip: Noorjehan, MHR biriyani House and Menma are three of the best places to eat at here