If you’re looking for new and unique experiences to explore across the country, we’ve got you covered. From water sports to stargazing, there are several destinations across the length and breadth of India that will ensure that you make memories of a lifetime.
So, here are a few new tourism experiences from across the country:
1. Canoeing in Gurez Valley, Kashmir
A picturesque valley surrounded by serene snow-clad Himalayan mountain ranges, Gurez Valley is a spectacular destination in the Bandipora district of Jammu and Kashmir. Located at an altitude of 8000ft above sea-level, it was once the gateway to the famous Silk Road from Europe to Kashgar in China.
The beautiful and lush valley is spread across the banks of the Kishanganga river, which flows through the region. Attractions nearby include Razdan Pass, Tulail Valley, Harmukh mountain, and Habba Khatoon Peak.
In May 2022, the district administration of Bandipora, in collaboration with the tourism department, launched a campaign named Go Gurez to boost tourism in the region. As part of the campaign, a canoeing event was conducted to explore the possibility of water sports in Gurez.
“The canoeing event was the first ever water sports event conducted in Gurez and it went for 2-3 days. It was a successful trial and now we are waiting for approval from the government on launching it officially next year,” says Shahid Bashir Lone, one of the organisers of the Go Gurez campaign.
2. Keravan in Kerala
Blessed with the abundance of lush greenery and natural beauty, Kerala is undoubtedly one of the best destinations in the country. From backwaters to the mighty hill ranges of the Western Ghats, there are numerous spots across the southern state that are worth a visit.
In order to enhance the travelling experience in the state, the Kerala tourism department has launched Keravan Kerala, a caravan tourism initiative, this year.
Keravan aims to provide a safe, customised and ‘closest-to-nature’ travel experience across Kerala in a fully-equipped caravan. This sustainable tourism initiative also aims to offer exposure to less explored places in the state by setting up ‘caravan parks’ where travellers can park their vehicles and stay.
The Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) has also partnered with the initiative and offers several caravan holiday tour packages. Tourists can avail KTDC’s caravan experience at a rental charge of Rs 5,000 per person per night, with a fixed ride fare of Rs 50 per kilometre. The fare includes free breakfast, snacks and WiFi.
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3. Benital, Bhimtal and Kausani, Astro Villages of Uttarakhand
At an elevation of 2,600 metres from sea level, Benital in Uttarakhand is one of the best destinations for stargazers and astronomy enthusiasts. The Benital village, set in the Chamoli district, has low light pollution, which allows for a clear view of the night sky.
The Chamoli district administration has decided to transform Benital to an astro-village. Once this is done, Benital will be equipped with telescopes and night-vision domes for tourists who want to gaze at the night sky filled with stars.
Bhimtal and Kausani are two other destinations in Uttarakhand that offer a beautiful view of the night sky. These two villages also have dedicated observatories equipped with telescopes, where visitors can stargaze with ease.
4. Cruise in Chilika Lake, Odisha
The largest brackish water lake in the country is spread across Puri, Khurda and Ganjam districts of Odisha. Among the largest lagoons in the world, Chilka is also home to numerous migratory birds, as well as endangered flora and fauna. The lake is dotted with several islands and is noted as a prominent place for watching dolphins.
In an attempt to promote tourism in the state, the Odisha government has recently launched a luxury houseboat, Garuda. The two-floor house boat is equipped with two suite rooms, four premium rooms, a bar, and a restaurant, and can accommodate 25 people.
There are different packages available for tourists that cover the Bhitarkanika National Park and adjoining areas of Gahirmatha Wildlife Sanctuary. The tour packages also offer several activities such as sightseeing across the lake.
The cost of the premium room is Rs 18,000 for 24 hours, whereas the cost of a suite for 24 hours is Rs 25,000.
5. Parasailing in Bihar
Noted for famous ruins, monasteries, temples, museums, and more, Bihar has a rich history and old-world charm.
In an effort to rope in more tourists, in a first in the state, the West Champaran district is all set to launch adventurous water sports in the Amawaman Lake.
Located at a distance of 200 km from the capital Patna, it is spread over an area of 400 acres along NH 727 near Madhopur. Though currently used as a place for the immersion of idols of Gods, it will soon see several adventurous water sports such as parasailing, kayaking, jet skiing and so on.
“We are waiting for some other equipment and paraphernalia to arrive here from the United States, New Zealand, and Japan before the grand opening. In the meantime, parasailing trials were conducted in Amwaman, which is first of its kind activity in Bihar,” says Kundan Kumar, district magistrate (DM) of West Champaran, in conversation with The Hindustan Times.
Caravanning makes Kerala ecotourism hot spot, acknowledges Time Magazine, by Biju E Paul; published by The New Indian Express on 1 August 2022.
Odisha: Luxury houseboat for cruise on the Chilika lake, by Subhashish Mohanty; published by Telegraph India on 11 June 2022.
Uttarakhand’s Benital To Transform Into An Astro-Village Soon, by Bayar Jain, publised by Travel and Leisure India on 1 September 2021.
Go Gurez: Canoeing Event Organised, published by Kashmir Observer on 27 May 2022.
Amawaman lake set for Bihar’s first parasailing facility, by Sandeep Bhaskar; published by Hindustan Times on 23 May 2022.
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