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Everything you need for a fun family holiday in one place.
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East meets West in this sun-soaked state, where Indian culture intertwines with Portuguese influences left over from a 500-year occupation. The beaches have long served as a magnet for serene hedonists. To the north, the tourist-centric scene is prevalent, with an international flair that is now skewing more hip than hippie. Travel south for stretches of unspoiled sand and an escape from large resorts. Temples, mosques and wildlife sanctuaries provide diversions from the beach.
The gorgeous ivory-coloured cove of Agonda is known as "the silent beach," so of course it’s a top spot for relaxing getaways! Surrounded by abundant vegetation, the molasses-paced village redefines the passage of time, which perfectly stretches out your hide-from-the-world getaway holiday. Hole up in an adorable beach hut and let your worries simply disappear.
Also known as the ""Queen of Beaches"" , Calangute is is Goa's flagship beach. It is also the most commercialized of all beaches in Goa. Due to its extreme popularity, Calangute beach beckons tourists and backpackers from all over the world and the beach remains choc-a-block with tourists all year around. The beach is dotted with shacks and a lot of the clubs open up onto the beach. There are lots of shows held on the beach including rock, pop beat shows, open air dances, and fetes. Calangute offers all modern amenities like a post office, banks, foreign exchange offices and medical facilities. When in Calangute a must see is the Church of St. Alex, built in 1741.
Counted amongst the most popular and lively beaches in Goa, Baga(Beach) is literally an extension of Calangute. Baga is smaller than the Calangute and Colva beaches lying on either side of it. It is favored by tourist who want to sun bathe in peace during by day and enjoy the Goan nightlife by night. However, Baga can be just as exciting for the more active tourist and offers a wide range of water sports from jet skis to parasailing. Baga is known to have the best range of restaurants and the liveliest nightlife in the area. While you are there don't miss the Saturday Flea market for all kinds of odds and ends, handicrafts, jewellery and snacks
The misty hills, lush teakwood and sandalwood forests, and acres of tea and coffee plantations of Kodagu are, in a word, stunning. Also known as Coorg and dubbed "The Scotland of India," Kodagu is a postcard-perfect region of scattered villages and hamlets, which are the epitome of old-world charm. Kodagu is ideal for outdoor activities such as trekking, angling and white-water rafting, and major festivals like Keil Poldu (worship of weapons), Cauvery Shankaramana (return of the river goddess) and the Huttari (harvest) festival are a huge draw.
Lonavala is one of the twin hill stations located near to each other, the other being Khandala. These hill stations are very popular getaway spots for people from Mumbai and Pune, which are very well-linked with Lonavala by road and rail. Monsoons are the best time to visit Lonavala/Khandala.
Known as both the "Garden City" and "The Silicon Valley of India," Bangalore (officially "Bengaluru") is a techie’s paradise, boasting the highest concentration of IT companies in the country. When you’re done geeking out, there are plenty of gardens, museums, natural features, palaces and temples to fill your dance card. Visit Vidhana Soudha, Cubbon Park and the Ulsoor Lake of Bangalore, well known for its beautiful locales and boating facilities. Bangalore is also a major centre of Indian classical music and dance, and of vivid, cutting-edge nightlife.
Popularly referred to as Ooty, this gem among southern hill resorts is covered in eucalyptus and pine trees and coffee and tea plantations. On a clear day, it's possible to see as far as the Mysore plateau from Dodabetta Peak, the district's most prominent viewpoint. The Stone House, a landmark 1822 bungalow, and St. Stephen's Church are remnants of the area's first British settlement. Also noteworthy: formal botanical gardens, a children's mini-garden and a contemporary art collection.
Want a taste of being royal? Eat in Hyderabad, where culinary traditions have been passed down from the Nizam monarchy. Arabic, Turkish and Mughlai influences are easily recognisable. The city is famous for its rich, aromatic biryani made with lamb, chicken or vegetables and served with fragrant basmati rice. Satisfy your sweet tooth with double-ka-meetha, a bread pudding.
Sprawling tea plantations surround the serene hills of Munnar, which attract adventure travellers hungry for paragliding, treks to Anaimudi (South India's highest peak) and hikes originating at the confluence of three mountain streams. The stone Christ Church, built by the British in 1910, is adorned with renowned works of stained glass, and Eravikulam National Park, about 10 miles away, is home to equally colourful wildlife, including the endangered Nilgiri Tahr (ibex), ruddy mongoose and 120 bird species.
Kodaikanal has an endangered animal called the grizzled giant squirrel. To us, that alone is reason to book a trip ("grizzled giant squirrel" might be the best animal name ever). Perched on the woodsy southern crest of the Palani Hills, nearly 7,000 feet above sea level, this popular lakeside resort town is a magnet for nature lovers. Wander the peaceful slopes, keeping an eye out for birds, exotic flowers and, of course, grizzled giant squirrels.