Want to do
More than just sightseeing on your vacation? Say, something more fun and a wee crazy along with some adventurous exploration of nature.
Seasoned traveller, actor and VJ Gaurav Kapur, who has just finished grooming Fox History and Traveller's new show Freaky Traveller's host, tells us about five of his most favourite, wild vacation spots in the country. So, if you too are looking to unleash your inner freak, then pack your bags for these roller coaster experiences.
Here's all that you need to know before embarking on a crazy vacation in the country. Be assured, it will be a trip you'll never forget.
Ladakh is a classic adventure destination and Leh is its lush heart. Biking in Khardung La at 18,000 feet above sea level is quite an experience. The winding roads, unpredictable weather... it's like the ultimate test for any travel freak!
How to get there: There are regular flights (Jet Airways and Alliance Air ) to Leh from Delhi. The nearest airport is Leh Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport. Jammu Tawi is the closest rail head connecting to Delhi. From Jammu Tawi, taxis are available for Ladakh.
Mcleodganj, Himachal Pradesh, provides the perfect peaceful break from mundane city-life routine. The setting is made for paragliding as the serene views give you a sense of calm before the pulse-racing adventure in the air! It's like flying in the lap of nature -- closest to being a free bird.
How to get there: Flight services are available to Gaggal airport, 10km from McLeodganj, thrice a week. Kangra and Nagrota are the nearest meter gauge railway stations. Regular deluxe bus services are available from Delhi for about R1,000.
The 'land of the rising sun', Arunachal Pradesh is abound with unmatched natural beauty, such as thick bamboo forests, varied wildlife, etc. A highlight for me is the Khik Saba Festival -- a harvest thanksgiving festival during November-December. Endowed with colour, vigour and a sense of mystery, the festival is a confluence of prayer and soulful dances.
How to get there: Lilabari Airport in Assam, 67km from Arunachal Pradesh's capital, Itanagar, is the closest airport. Again the most convenient railway station is North Lakhimpur in Assam, about 60km from Itanagar.
Picturesque Karnataka has lots to offer to avid travellers. There are many glorious temples, ancient monuments and rich national parks. However, the water buffalo racing in Kambala is one freaky fun that shouldn't be missed. Slushy muddy water, adrenaline rush for the race and the rustic setup -- the excitement is almost palpable.
How to get there: To enjoy the Kambala festival, you can visit Udupi in Karnataka, where the festival is held. The nearest airport is Mangalore Bajpe airport, 60 km from Udupi. Udupi railway station lies on the Konkan Railway line, and is well connected with major cities on Konkan line.
Rajasthan is a fairy tale land of deserts and lakes. The forts and havelis here paint a wonderful picture of the opulence that once ruled the region. However, for an adrenaline rush you have to see the camel races, dune bashing or undertake the desert safari.
How to get there: For watching dune bashing or camel racing, head to Jaisalmer. The nearest airport is Jodhpur, 300km away. There are regular flights from Delhi to Jodhpur. There are direct trains from Delhi to Jaisalmer such as Palace on Wheels.