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It's the season of marriages and honeymoons in India, and if you are planning one right now, here's a great list of topmost honeymoon destinations for 2017 in India. Whether you are a romantic at heart or an adrenaline junkie, India is literally full of destinations for every need. This list is obviously not exhaustive, but is meant to tickle the romantic side of your heart to look beyond the obvious and do something hatke.
Just to make it easier to digest so much information, I have broken down the list into rough categories - romantic destinations, adventurous destinations, chilling-out destinations and off-beat destinations.
1. Kashmir: The valley of Kashmir is by far my most favourite destination in the world, and most likely I will myself spend my honeymoon there. There is so much to do there that it's impossible to list out the places, but a good list would include Srinagar, Gulmarg, Sonmarg, Patnitop and many more places. Whether you stay in the cities or wander into the mountains, your honeymoon will be memorable!
2. Agra and around: Agra is pretty clichéd when it comes to romantic travels, but I would still recommend the city, especially if you have never been there. A visit to Taj Mahal early in the morning is simply an unparalleled experience and can't missed when you are with your soul mate.
3. Houseboats of Kerala: The laidback backwaters of Allepy in Kerala are serene, quite and stunningly beautiful. Also these Houseboats are private and give you lots of space to explore each other :)
4. Manali in Himanchal: Mountains are romantic. Period. The lush green mountains of Himachal, the cool and crisp air, and long walks in the forests all make for Manali a great honeymoon destination! Again do not limit yourself to just Manali, but explore the areas around as well, each excursion will be rewarding.
5. Khajuraho: The erotic carvings at the Khajuraho group of temples are a prefect inspiration to try something new and exciting! It's a world heritage site and the town also has some really nice hotels to stay in. Explore the temples, explore each other and enjoy this lovely town!
1. River rafting in Indus: River Indus have our country its name and most of us are probably descendents of the people who made up the Indus Valley Civilization. So it's really interesting to go back to our roots and explore the river like never before. Rafting in the Indus is internationally renowned and if adventure is your thing, this might probably be the best way to bond with your loved one!
2. Great lakes trek in Kashmir: This trek in Kashmir is the ultimate mix of mild adventure with a heavy dose of romance. Such is the trek that people who barely know each other fall in love, so images what this would do to the newlyweds? Magic :)
3. Scuba in Andamans: This is well known to the adventure enthusiasts in India, but maybe it's time that couples also start exploring it. Together. Plan for a week of scuba adventures and if you like, become a trained scuba couple divers with a one week course. After that all your vacations can be under water gazing at the life there, holding hands and exchanging glances.
4. Skydiving in Mysore: Though I am yet to try skydiving in India, I can vouch for the unparalleled experience of skydiving and the feeling of weightlessness. If both you and your partner are up for it, do try it out, and one such option is in Mysore. A few of my friends have done it here and loved the experience. If Mysore is a bit far for you, find something safe close home and go for it!
5. Tiger safari in Madhya Pradesh: the heart of India is also home to tigers and the state has numerous Tiger reserves which provide an excellent opportunity to bond in a forest over fear of the big beast! From Panna to Bandhavgarh (Read more: Tiger Safari in Bandhavgarh), there are some very nice and rustic resorts which provide luxury in the lap of nature.
1. Goa: Now Goa is certainly my all time favourite destination for a relaxed vacation and with your loved one it's even more magical. Take long strolls on the almost empty beaches of south Goa, take bike rides together through the villages of the state, and ride the waves into the sunset.
2. Lakshwadeep islands: It's one of the most beautiful parts of the India, people are only now waking up to these lovely islands. Which is great for honeymooning couples because it allows for lots of privacy. Many travellers come here for adventures, but it's a great place to simply relax and chill as well.
3. Coorg in Karnataka: Do you love coffee? Then how about waking up early morning in a small villa right in the center of a coffee plantation? I spent a few days in one such small house and the memories and smell of the coffee is still fresh with me.
4. Pondicherry: Pondicherry, or Puducherry as its locally known, was a French Colony which became a part of India only in 1954, and a huge French influence can be seen even today. Lanes with old colonial houses are perfect for walks and and an occasional coffee, while the long coastline is the perfect place for the morning and evening. Auroville Ashram which is a must visit, and so is staying at an old house-converted-to-homestay. A perfect place to just relax.
5. Palampur in Himachal Pradesh: One of the least known and underrated hill stations of Himachal Pradesh, Palampur in Kangra valley is just perfect for you if you want to relax and explore each other in the lap of nature. Dotted with cafes, old temples and monasteries, the town would soon explode into a popular tourism destination, so visit it before it changes completely!
1. Tawang in Arunanchal Pradesh: The small town houses the second biggest Buddhist monastery in the world and is surrounded by gorgeous pristine lakes. The lakes freeze in the winters and you can literally walk on some of them. An extremely safe town, it's perfect for long walks in the evening into the forests. Strong recommended!
2. Hampi in Karnataka: the capital of Vijaynagar empire, Humpi, now lays in ruins. However, for an exploratory couple its a perfect place as the place is not usually crowded, and there's so much to be discovered all here. Buy a book about the place and travel on foot - getting lost is perfectly fine! And if your want some adventures, do the coracle boat ride in the river.
3. Pangong Tso in Ladakh: A trip to Pangong Tso is borderline adventurous, but if you go in off-season the place is perfect for a honeymooning couple. It's rather cold so you would want to stay close all day long, and you will have the entire place to yourself all day long. Why? It's still not mainstream to spend days here! So go for it :)
4. Loktak lake and beyond in Manipur: It's the largest fresh water lake in North East India and also happens to be stunningly beautiful. Manupur as a state itself is relatively unexplored, and this can be the best reason to pack your bags and plan a romantic getaway where no one else wanders!
5. Rann of Kutch in Gujarat: when I visited Rann of Kutch for the first time now than a decade ago, it was like at first sight. The white salt desert is so unique and completely breathtaking. Visit Bhuj, Dholavira, Kala Dungar and other places which are barely known outside the state. Trust me, it would surely be a unique experience!