By Purnima Chowdhury
After having to be locked in our houses for quite a long time and then with all the travel restrictions in 2020, I know, you might be craving to go all out again and travel all the places that you have missed out. But to cover all the missed trips it will also need us to take a lot of days off from work which might not sound great. But again, we also have something called weekends, and if we plan it correct we might be able to work something great.
Long weekends are the cherry on the cake of life. In 2020, Coronavirus has altered our lives like never before as we all know it; changing the way we socialize and putting at break all the travel plans and vacation plans. Now that we are in 2021, and hoping all these will turn to normalcy, or taking all the necessary precautions and also some extra ones, here is the list of all the long weekends in this year. This list is not only the random long weekends but also I have tried to plan out the dates according to the best time to visit the places. So, let’s check it out.
January- 14 Makar sankranti/ Pongal
January- 15 Take a day off
January- 16 and 17 Saturday and Sunday
Gulmarg is a hill station in Jammu and Kashmir. If you are a snow lover and like to do snow activities then Gulmarg should be your go to place for all the snow activities. Gulmarg is a popular skiing destination and is considered one of the favourite spot by the tourists, also the fact being that this is in Kashmir and view is breathtaking here.
Best places to visit: Gulmarg Gondola, Alpather Lake, Saint Mary’s Church
January 23 and 24 Saturday and Sunday
January 25- Take a day off
January 26- Republic Day
This hill station in Tamil Nadu has the most number of footfalls during the year. With the misty mountains and cold breeze blowing throughout the day, Kodaikanal is a place where you want to be to enjoy your lazy weekends.
Best Places to visit: Kodaikanal Lake, Coaker’s walk, Bryant park
February 19- Take a Day off
February 20 and 21- Saturday and Sunday
Agra is famous for its monuments, forts, palaces and mausoleums, but, hidden behind these architectural wonders are the traditional shopping centres and bazaars. Agra is a city on the banks of the Yamuna river in the Agra district of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Agra is perhaps one of the best places to visit in February in India. It is in February, the city hosts the interesting Taj Mahotsav. Also it is extremely pleasant to visit this town at this time of the year when the weather is neither too hot nor freezing cold.
Best Places to visit: Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Fatehpur sikri, Akbar’s Tomb, Moti Masjid
March 11- Mahashivratri
March 12- Take a day off
March 13 and 14- Saturday and Sunday
Ooty is one of the best places to visit in March. One of the most coveted hill stations that is sought after throughout the year, but if you want to enjoy the breathtaking view of the elevated tea gardens and incredible weather spring is the best time to visit. The lush green valley, alluring lakes, botanical gardens showcasing the rare and exotic flora, along with the tea estates and spice gardens make Ooty or Udagamandalam an amazing place to travel.
Best places to visit: Avalanche Lake, Ooty Lake, Emerald Lake, Mudumalai national Park, Doddabetta Peak, Kalahatty Falls
April 1 – Take a day off
April 2 – Good Friday
April 3 and 4 – Saturday and Sunday
Andaman and Nicobar islands
Andaman & Nicobar Islands is a little slice of paradise tucked around 1,400 km away from the east coast of India. April is officially the start of summer in India but its not too hot at this time of the year. Hence, April becomes a great time to explore the Andaman and Nicobar island and relax in the blue lagoons. Havelock and Neil Island are some of the most famous islands among tourists and is known for pearly white sands, palm-lined shores and offer some of the best snorkelling and diving options in India.
Best Places to Visit: Havelock Island, Neil Island, North bay Island
May 13- Take a day off
May 14 – Eid-ul-fitr
May 15 and 16- Saturday and Sunday
Alappuzha also known as Alleppey is called the venice of the east. This charming place is the hub of Kerela’s backwaters and is home to thousands of houseboats. So if you are planning for a peaceful and calm weekend away from the chaos of city life, the Alappuzha is highly recommended.
Best Places to Visit: Marari Beach, Alappuzha Beach, Pathiramanal Island
August 19- Muharram
August 20- Take a day off
August 21 and 22- Saturday and Sunday
Spiti valley is blessed with the most scenic views in India. Lahaul valley is known to be peaceful and is an ideal place for some solitude. It also has a lot of adventure activities to offer like Skiing, Yak safari and other exciting wildlife trails. In the month of while most of the other parts of the country experiences the summer, Spiti can be cool and calm for a good getaway.
Best Places to Visit: Kaza, Tabo, Kibber
Octoeber 16 and 17- Saturday and Sunday
October 18- Take a day off
October 19- Id-e-Milad
October 20- Valmiki Jayanti
Also known as the Scotland of India, Coorg is a hill station in the state of Karnataka. Right after the heavy rainfalls in the month of July to September, the entire district of Coorg transforms into a lush green paradise. The weather becomes cool and pleasant and makes it the best time to visit in long weekends. If you have some more days to spare, you can also plan a trip to Wayanad, in Kerala.
Best Places to Visit: Dubare Elephant Camp, Nagarhole National Park, Coffee Estates.
November 18- Take a day off
November 19- Guru Nanak Jayanti
November 20 and 21- Saturday and Sunday
Officially called Puducherry, this town is the French capital of India. French styled houses draped in Bouganvellia, Old French colonies and churches, newly built French style shacks and shops which are brightly colored give Pondicherry an exotic look.
Pondicherry is such a place which will never cease to surprise you with is beauty. There are many restaurants offering authentic French cuisine and great music.
If you want to keep yourself at bay from the party and crowd then Pondicherry also has calm and peaceful places where you can experience the spiritual side of this union territory.
Best Places to Visit: Paradise Beach, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Auroville
December 24 Take a day off
December 25 Christmas
December 26 Sunday
This is the last month of the year and this ought to be good to bid a good bye to the year 2021, which would have been good to you (hopefully). This is the party season of the year and which better place than Goa can you be in to celebrate the Christmas and welcome a New Year.
Officially the party capital of the country, by this time of the year Goa’s temperature drops down to almost 20 degree when the other parts of the country is freezing. This is the time when you can enjoy the Sunburn festival, the hot air balloon ride and other fun activities.
Best Places to visit: Morjim Beach, Panjim, Arambol beach, Aguada Fort.