The new year is just around the corner. As always, it brings with it new possibilities, new opportunities and hopes of long weekends. With 2016 flying by quicker than you can say, ‘When’s the next long weekend?”, most Indians have been hoping that 2017 has longer weekends and more holidays than this year.
Well, we have some good news for you. Unlike 2016, where most of the festivals of India fell on weekends, 2017 has quite a number of holidays falling on Mondays – 7 of the holidays in 2017 are on Mondays, 6 are on Saturdays, 5 on Fridays and behold, only 2 on Sundays! So, if you love the delicious respite a long weekend brings to your packed calendar, this is definitely the right time to start planning the epic adventures you are going to have next year.
With 2017 around the corner, here’s a list of the potential long weekends and amazing destinations you can visit in that free time. Start planning, folks!
Thu, 26 Jan: Republic Day
Fri, 27 Jan: You need to take leave
Sat, 28 Jan
Sun, 29 Jan
Still not over your New Year’s holiday hangover? The real world rushing back too soon? Plan a relaxing getaway to Khajjiar, a breathtaking little hill station in Himachal Pradesh, whose verdant deodar forests, lush green meadows and tiny lake (right at the centre of a glade) has earned it the title of “Mini Switzerland of India”. If you love snowy dreamlands, you will love Khajjiar in winter!
February – Jaisalmer
Fri, 24 Feb: Maha Shivratri / You need to take leave
Sat, 25 Feb
Sun, 26 Feb
If you thought Bikaner’s camel festival was the ultimate in India’s desert festivals, wait till you see the Jaisalmer Desert Festival. A three-day long extravaganza of dances, music, handicraft fairs and interesting competitions – including really unusual ones like a ‘Mr Desert’ pageant, a ‘turban-tying’ contest and a ‘best moustache’ contest. A fantastic showcase of all things Rajasthani, the Jaisalmer Desert Festival (organised by Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation) is perfect for a February getaway.
March – Havelock Island
Sat, 11 Mar
Sun, 12 Mar
Mon, 13 Mar: Holi
Here’s another option if you get gazetted holidays off!
Sat, 25 Mar
Sun, 26 Mar
Mon, 27 Mar: You need to take leave
Tue, 28 Mar: Gudi Padva/ Ugadi
A sleepy little island with swaying palms, secluded beaches and quiet back roads, Havelock Island (in the Andaman Islands) is a place where the ocean sings to your heart. From exploring the serene coastline to snorkeling in the azure ocean, this island promises a once-in-a-lifetime experience for all those who seek tranquility. Perfect for a March getaway, right?
April – Kotagiri
Thu, 13 Apr: Baisakhi
Fri, 14 Apr: Dr Ambedkar Jayanti/ Good Friday
Sat, 15 Apr
Sun, 16 Apr: Easter
Here’s another option if you get gazetted holidays off!
Sat, 1 Apr
Sun, 2 Apr
Mon, 3 Apr: You need to take leave
Tue, 4 Apr: Ram Navami
Tucked away in the primeval forests of the Nilgiris, Kotagiri is a beautiful little hill station that is often overlooked by travellers heading to its more famous neighbour, Ooty. With its breathtaking views, endless trails and perennially cool climate, this quiet unassuming mountain town is perfect for a weekend getaway in the hot, humid months of April.
May – Landsdowne
Sat, 29 Apr
Sun, 30 Apr
Mon, 1 May: May Day
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One of Uttaranchal’s most unexplored and underrated hill stations, Landsdowne is set amidst breathtaking Himalayan surroundings. Its verdant forests of towering pines are lovely, dark and deep, just ideal for those long walks and summer picnics. All this make Landsdown the ideal place to relax and rejuvenate after a sultry summer.
June – Malshej Ghat
Sat, 24 Jun
Sun, 25 Jun
Mon, 26 Jun: Ramzan Eid
Experiencing monsoon at Malshej Ghat is a magical experience. Approximately 154 km north-west of Pune, the thickly forested rugged landscape of Malshej Ghat comes alive with innumerable cascading waterfalls during the monsoon. For those who love road trips, the 400 km ride from Mumbai to Malshej Ghat in July is one of the best monsoon road trip options in India.
August – Vythiri
Sat, 12 Aug
Sun, 13 Aug
Mon, 14 Aug: Janmashtami/ You need to take leave
Tue, 15 Aug: Independence Day
Here’s another one
Fri, 25 Aug: Ganesh Chaturthi
Sat, 26 Aug
Sun, 27 Aug
An August vacation to Vythiri is an incredibly heady experience. The tiny village lies sprawled across the banks of a sprightly mountain stream, gurgling its way through the verdant forests of Wayanad. Wrapped in the lush embrace of a tropical rainforest, Vythiri is a place where one dwells in perfect harmony with nature, pristine and hitherto unexplored.
September – Orchha
Sat, 30 Sep
Sun, 1 Oct
Mon, 2 Oct: Gandhi Jayanti
Orchha literally means ‘hidden place’ and it stays true to its name! Once the capital of the mighty Bundela Rajput kings, the historic town lies nestled on the boulder-strewn banks of the Betwa river. The Betwa river, has seven streams converging at Orchha making it an absolute must see. Orchha also has a Wildlife sanctuary which is home to some of the most endangered species in the world.
October – Agumbe
Sat, 14 Oct
Sun, 15 Oct
Mon, 16 Oct: Dhanteras / You need to take leave
Tue, 17 Oct: Naraka Chaturdashi / You need to take leave
Wed, 18 Oct: Diwali
One of the most scenic places on the Western Ghats in Karnataka, Agumbe is famous for its spectacular sunsets. A place which receives some of the heaviest rainfall in southern India, Agumbe in October is a lush green place where dewy mornings moisten the sunny afternoons with a refreshingly cool breeze. Interestingly, Agumbe is also where the iconic ‘Malgudi Days’ TV series was shot.
December – Diu
Fri, 1 Dec: Eid-e-Milad
Sat, 2 Dec
Sun, 3 Dec
Sat, 23 Dec
Sun, 24 Dec
Mon, 25 Dec: Christmas
Next winter, ditch Goa’s crowded Christmas parties and visit the tiny but stunning island Diu. Famed for its pristine seashores and magnificent 16th century fort, Diu hosts the annual Diu festival every year in December. Thanks to its Portuguese connection, Diu also has a charming way of celebrating Christmas – the unique corrindinho dance, the midnight mass at the beautiful St Paul’s church and more. Last year, Diu hosted India’s longest beach festival, the 77-day Festa de Diu, in December!
Can’t decide where to go? Browse through our treasure trove of travel articles! Happy hunting!