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Long Weekends in 2024: The Coolest Places to Visit in India Next Year

The 2024 holiday list comes with many long weekend travel opportunities. Here are the best places you can plan to visit in the new year.

Long Weekends in 2024: The Coolest Places to Visit in India Next Year

While the notion of an endless vacation might bring a smile to our faces, the harsh reality of work schedules and the incessant buzz of notifications on our phones quickly bring us back to the grind.

But what if I told you that in 2024, there’s a chance you might get to indulge in short getaways almost every other month?

How is that possible, you ask? The key lies in some strategic planning and making the most of those precious long weekends.

“The State Government has unveiled a list of 25 public holidays, complemented by three additional holidays falling on second Saturdays and Sundays,” according to The Times of India report. Nine of these holidays conveniently align with either Mondays or Fridays, presenting us with the exciting prospect of enjoying at least nine extended weekends in 2024!

If you’re worried about finding out the dates and figuring out the best places to visit, fret not because The Better India has got you covered.

January

As the new year unfolds, you’ll be welcomed by an unexpected long weekend opportunity. With 31 December, 2021, falling on a Sunday and New Year’s Day on a Monday, consider taking Tuesday off to relish a brief yet refreshing mini-vacation.

To extend the joy, January brings two more extended weekends — with Makar Sankranti on a Monday (15 January) and Republic Day on a Friday (26 January).

For those inclined towards historical exploration, make this long weekend a captivating learning experience by visiting the Golden Triangle — Agra, Delhi, and Jaipur. These cities boast more favourable temperatures during January, complemented by clear skies and the delightful winter delicacies that the season brings.

On the other hand, if your heart yearns for a getaway amidst nature’s embrace, consider venturing to Alleppey in Kerala. Here, you can immerse yourself in the tranquillity of houseboats along the backwaters, relish the pleasant weather, and witness the breathtaking bloom of the landscape.

If you enjoy wildlife, then visiting Gir National Park on one of these extended weekends can be delightful. The weather, the air and clear days are perfect for watching the majestic Asiatic lions in the national park.

March

In March 2024, there are two potential long weekends awaiting you as Holi falls on a Monday and Mahashivratri on a Friday. Why not take advantage of these two upcoming weekends and plan a small trip to Maravanthe, Karnataka?

Nestled along the Panvel-Eddapally highway, this village is a captivating 400 km drive from Bengaluru. What makes this journey truly special is the opportunity it provides to soak in the picturesque beauty of a river on one side and the vast expanse of the sea on the other.

Another place that you must add to your list is Barsana in Uttar Pradesh. Just a drive away from Mathura, Holi would be the best time to visit this small town famous for its ‘Lathmaar Holi’. Lathmaar Holi is famous for its distinctive tradition where women playfully beat men with sticks. It is believed to reenact the playful teasing between Lord Krishna and the gopis (milkmaids) of Barsana. Dipped in tradition and culture, the stay will surely be an unforgettable one.

May

If your workplace generously provides a holiday on Buddha Purnima, which happens to fall on a Thursday, why not amplify the joy by taking a leave on Friday?

As the mercury begins its ascent, a mountain getaway might be just the thing you need. Lansdowne, a serene hill station in Uttarakhand, stands out as the perfect destination for those in search of tranquillity and natural beauty. In May, this hill station experiences a delightful climate with temperatures ranging from around 15 to 30 degrees Celsius.

Don’t forget to pack light woollens, as the temperature might dip during the night or on rainy days.

June

With Bakri Eid falling on a Monday (17 June), there is another opportunity for you to convert this into an extended weekend by taking either Tuesday or Thursday off.

With almost half of 2024 gone, you might want to slow down and reflect on things. What better than a scenic hill station covered with white clouds and extraordinary landscapes? Jibhi, a scenic village in Himachal Pradesh is known for its pleasant weather and clear skies, making it an ideal destination for trekking, nature walks, and exploring nearby attractions.

August

After a hectic July, August will certainly come as a welcomed relief, offering us two potential long weekends. If your company observes a holiday on Raksha Bandhan (19 August), consider taking Friday off from the previous week and relish a four-day extended weekend.

Additionally, Janmashtami falls on a Monday (26 August), providing another opportunity for a potential long weekend.

If you wish to enjoy the monsoon, then visit Dandeli in Karnataka — a serene town with lush greenery, dense forests, and the Kali river. The river comes alive in its full glory during the monsoons and is famous for its majestic views and rafting activities.

The town also has Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary where you can spot animals like black panthers, elephants, tigers, deer, and a variety of bird species.

September

If your office observes a holiday on Onam, which falls on a Thursday in 2024, simply take leave on Friday, and voila, you have a perfect mini vacation.

Consider heading to Kerala to witness the Onam festivities. You can visit the week-long festivities — including cultural programmes, traditional dance forms like Kathakali and Mohiniyattam, and a grand procession called the Onam Parade in Thiruvananthapuram.

You can also visit Kochi to experience the famous Indira Gandhi Boat Race held during the Onam season.

November

If you haven’t had the chance to fully enjoy Diwali holidays falling on the weekend this year, don’t worry! Diwali in 2024 is set to fall on a Friday. Simply take Thursday or Monday off, and you can relish a delightful four-day festive weekend.

With the winter fast approaching, you could utilise this weekend to spend a quiet getaway with your family. Head to Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary to spot migratory birds that arrive at the beginning of winter. Also known as Keoladeo National Park, the place is a paradise for young minds and bird watchers.

While you’re in Bharatpur, you can also consider going for a short road trip to Fatehpur Sikri, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A historical city known for its well-preserved Mughal architecture, you can visit the Buland Darwaza and the Jama Masjid.

(Edited by Pranita Bhat)

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