From a fascinating safari in Uttarakhand to a walk in the lush green valleys of Manali, here are the top 5 places in India that are perfect for a holiday with your father.
As Father’s Day draws near, one comes across numerous banners, advertisements, etc., each claiming to be the best gift for a dad. And while you cannot measure the value of a hand-written card or a small but well-thought gift, we’ve got something that you both will remember forever. A celebratory father-child trip that lets you reminisce about and bond over your fondest memories of childhood vacations. Here are the 5 best places in India to visit on a trip with the most important man in your life.
Everybody loves a good hill station holiday, however short it may be. So, if you can spare a few days, Manali with its cool mountain air and gorgeous views is perfect for some stress-free time off. Visit Buddhist monasteries, explore the nearby areas, and taste the local cuisine to learn more about the people and their culture.
Manali is also an ideal destination for Father’s Day because June is a pleasant time to visit the region. The place is known as a paradise for adventure lovers, so if your father loves the outdoors, treat him to some paragliding, mountaineering, trekking, river rafting, and more. If you are up for it, you could even plan a biking trip from Manali to places like Leh-Ladakh.
Manali Fact File
Location: In the state of Himachal Pradesh, about 544 km from Delhi
How to Reach: Bhuntar Airport, about 50 km away, is the closest to Manali and has regular flights from Delhi and Chandigarh; the closest railhead is Joginder Nagar, approximately 175 km away. Manali is also well connected by road, with buses and cards from Chandigarh, Delhi, Shimla, etc.
Official Language: Hindi
Time Zone: UTC+05:30
Climate: Moderate summers and cold winters. Snowfall occurs between December and March.
Food & Drink: Dham, a platter consisting of rice, curry, pulses, raita, and sweetened rice, is a must-try is Manali. Milk-based beverages like tea and lassi are also popular. Locally made alcoholic drinks include Chakti and Lugri wines, made from red rice and barley.
Tranquil yet vibrant enough to be interesting, Pondicherry is a delight for anyone who wants to get away from the city, without having to travel to remote areas. Its proximity to Chennai makes it perfect for a weekend break, and the city has enough attractions and activities to keep you busy for a couple of days. Take a nice road trip, and stop at Mahabalipuram on the way from Chennai to Pondicherry to marvel at Krishna’s Butter Ball and the impressive historic monuments.
Once in the city, you must visit Auroville. You can also treat your father to a nice meal at one of the many eateries in the French Quarter. On the morning of Father’s Day, join a cycle tour to explore the city with interesting information provided by the friendly guide. Before you head back home, make sure you spend some time by the sea on the beautiful promenade. Better yet, plan a trip to one of the beaches and talk about all those beach vacations when you were a kid.
Pondicherry Fact File
Location: In the southern part of India, about 170 km from Chennai.
How to Reach: The domestic airport in Pondicherry has regular small aircraft flying in from Bengaluru and Hyderabad; Chennai airport is another option. Villupuram is the closest railhead and connected to major Indian cities. Taxis and buses are available to travel by road from Chennai and Bengaluru.
Official Language: Tamil, English, French
Time Zone: UTC+05:30
Climate: Tropical wet and dry
Food & Drink: The cuisine has both Tamil and French influences; coconut curry, croissants, baguettes and kadugu yerra (prawns curry) are some must-try dishes. Palpayasam (sweet milk) is a popular sweet dish.
With its bouquet of hill stations, national parks, activities, and ravishing natural beauty, Uttarakhand will please even the most discerning traveller. If you want to take a spiritual retreat, head to Rishikesh. Looking for a wild time, take a safari in Jim Corbett National Park and grab the chance to view majestic Bengal tigers and other wildlife in their natural habitat. This is also an excellent idea if your dad loves getting behind the lens.
If you have nothing but a lazy getaway on your mind, there is nothing better than heading to the charming hill stations of Nainital or Mussoorie. Soothing views, crisp mountain air, and plenty of places for a scrumptious meal are guaranteed here. Don’t miss out on evening strolls, with stops to tuck into steamy instant noodles and tea at road-side food stalls along the way.
Uttarakhand Fact File
Location: In northern India, bordering Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Tibet, and Nepal.
How to Reach: The closest airports are Dehradun’s Jolly Grant Airport and the Pantnagar Airport near Nainital. Uttarakhand is also well connected by rail to other cities in India, while the major state highways link different cities like Rishikesh and Haridwar to important Indian cities.
Official Language: Hindi, Sanskrit
Time Zone: UTC+05:30
Climate: Pleasant to hot summers, depending on the destination, while winters are typically chilly.
Food & Drink: Mostly cooked over wood or charcoal, Uttarakhand’s popular dishes include chapatis, kafuli, dubuk, and Garhwal ka fannah. Jhangor ki kheer is the dessert to try here.
For a truly special time with your old man, look beyond the usual tourist hot-spots and head towards India’s north-eastern regions. Sikkim is an excellent destination, when you don’t have time to visit all eight states. While it may be one of the smaller states of the country, this Himalayan state is home to wonderful sights and exotic experiences that make for great Father’s Day adventures. Trek the super-clean, lush green pathways, soak in gorgeous Himalayan views, and stop for some thukpa and sinful pastries at one of the many quaint little bakeries along the way. Do not miss a trip to the famed Tsongmo Lake, where you can go on a yak ride.
Sikkim is also known for the availability of cheap alcohol, which is a boon if you love sharing a drink with your dad after a long day. Watch your father smile as he regales you with crazy stories from your early years to know why travelling with your dad is always a great idea.
Sikkim Fact File
Location: Part of the north-east Indian states, located near the Siliguri Corridor.
How to Reach: Bagdogra Airport in West Bengal is the closest, with railheads at Siliguri and New Jalpaiguri. Buses, taxis, etc., are available regularly from Darjeeling and Siliguri.
Official Language: Nepali
Time Zone: UTC+05:30
Climate: Mostly temperate
Food & Drink: Momos, thukpa (a noodle-based soup), and phagshapa (a pork preparation) are popular Sikkimese dishes. Tongba is a common alcoholic beverage you should try here.
This year, consider breaking the friends-chilling-in-Goa routine and instead plan a fun trip with your dad for his special day. If he loves the sun and sea, and wants a chance to unwind, with his feet in the sand and a beer in his hand, Goa is your best bet. Make sure you pack his favourite book and music to help him de-stress and treat him to the pampering he so deserves.
When not lazing around at one of the beach shacks or playing in the water, try some water sports at Calangute or Baga Beach. Visit the spice plantations, hire a bike to visit famous attractions like the Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Dona Paula, and Fort Aguada, and tuck away into some fresh seafood. Savour a fresh meal and a cool drink with the gorgeous view of the sun setting over the water.
Goa Fact File
Location: About 600 km from Mumbai.
How to Reach: The Dabolim airport has regular flights to many Indian cities. Major railway stations in Goa are Vasco-da-Gama, Thivim, and Madgaon. The state is well connected by road with taxis and buses from other cities.
Official Language: Konkani
Time Zone: UTC+05:30
Climate: Tropical monsoon
Food & Drink: Seafood and pork dishes. Feni is a popular local drink to try here.
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