By Jayashri Jayashankar Last Updated:
Recently, a colleague of mine announced that she was getting married this year, and almost immediately, I witnessed an outpour of congratulatory messages followed by a volley of never-ending questions. From what does the guy do, is it a love or an arranged marriage to what's the venue etc. to unanimously asking that million dollar question; where are you guys going for honeymoon?
Before this coy colleague of mine could even get close to answering this one, the overtly excited bunch began throwing options like Maldives, Australia, London, New York etc.
(Before you go ahead with the list, just in case you ardently believe in sun signs, then checkout these honeymoon destinations for newlyweds according to their sun signs.)
I was casually listening to the suggestions and suddenly I realised that not even one person suggested any honeymoon destination in India. It just amused me how conveniently everyone thought that an exotic honeymoon destination meant travelling to another country. By this time, I had lost interest in what had now turned into a cacophony and got back to work. But the curious kid inside me didn't let me.
And so, I decided to Google out honeymoon destinations in India, which were as good (read stunning and gorgeous) as foreign locations. And boy, I was amazed at the number of suggestions Google threw at me. After looking at the options, I felt proud thinking, wow, India is no less either! So, I compiled a list of gems that India has and are equally amazing as France or New York.
Jet. Set. Go.
Persian poet, Amir Khusrau once exclaimed, “If there is a paradise on earth, it is this, it is this, it is this.” And what this noble gentleman proclaimed couldn't have been any truer. From the surreal glaciers and the snow-capped mountains to the view of shikaras sailing through the serene river, everything about Kashmir is heavenly! So much so, that there's always been a Bollywood connect. From movie shootings to our celebs holidaying here, Kashmir is a hit with celebs too.
Recently, Bollywood's Rangeela girl, Urmila Matondkar who secretly tied knot with model Mohsin Akhtar Mir (Read: Urmila Matondkar Gets Married To Kashmiri Businessman Mir Mohsin Akhtar), chose Kashmir as her honeymoon destination. And if you are still contemplating, always remember veteran Yash Chopra's movie, Kabhie Kabhie shot in Kashmir. Wasn't that pure magic? What better place to spend time with your partner than in the lap of nature?
If you are in love with all things French (read wine, steak etc.), Puducherry or Pondicherry as it is more popularly known, is the place which can offer you the perfect mix. French style villas to beautiful churches and quiet beaches neatly tucked away, Pondicherry is one destination which exudes a certain vintage charm and serenity.
Having been under French rule till 1954, some people still speak French here. In fact, Pondicherry or Pondy how people love to call it, is also a favourite amongst foreigners, especially, the French folks. Pondy is pretty high on the Bohemian-chic feeling courtesy all these beautiful lifestyle shops that adorn the streets where you get everything from junk accessories to funky clothing. Plus, you will be amazed to hear the alcohol prices here, because Pondy is a Union Territory!
One of the main highlights of Pondicherry is the Sri Aurobindo Ashram called Auroville. If you love exploring nature closely, you can hire a bicycle and ride inside the Ashram or simply walk around. In case you are a Royal Enfield fan, you will not be disappointed. The Ashram also rents out Royal Enfield bikes to visitors. They also offer volunteer programs, workshops and therapies in case your in mood for some quick rejuvenation through meditation and yoga. And if you fall in love with the tranquility around, you can also avail the option of staying in Auroville.
Niagara Falls is so stunningly surreal that everyone dreams of heading there and witnessing the magnificence at least once in their lifetime, especially couples. Because, the sheer feeling of watching something so massive yet intriguing has a different meaning all together. But here's something similar that couples can witness without having to travel too far. 95 ft Chitrakoot Falls in Chattisgarh is alsmost synomous to Niagara Falls.
With a striking similarity in the shape of the falls, which in this case, is a horseshoe one, Chitrakoot Falls is also known as India's Niagara Falls. A hit among the locals as well as foreigners, Chitrakoot is no less than a spectacle.
Primarily known for its beautiful beaches, Goa is one destination which caters to all kind of honeymooners. If you are in mood for some adventure and water sports or uninterrupted beach fun, or wish to laze around the beaches and soak in some sun and sand, this place has it all covered. If you are a foodie, Goa probably has the best shacks offering the most delectable seafood delights. Even for a bagpacker kind of a couple or a party lover, Goa is a beautiful potpurri of Portugese as well as Indian culture sprinkled with an envious nightlife. No wonder, Sunburn Goa still makes it to the list of the best music festivals in India.
And if you have zeroed Goa as your place, remember these 5 things you absolutely need to pack when going for a romantic beach honeymoon.
To add to the visual treat is the beautiful colonial style architecture in Goa. Staying is always a delight here considering the number of cottages and stunning resorts Goa has to offer. Another highlight from the land of beaches is the church and the hippie markets. You get everything here, and the best part is the options are limitless.
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Andamans is so high on serenity, one would never feel the urge to head out to a foreign destination. For the adventure freaks, Andamans has lots to offer. Some of the treats for the adventure enthusiasts include snorkelling, scuba diving, Banana rides, parasailing, jet skiing, rowboat paddling and speed boat rides. Imagine, going for a swim and getting some good company in the form of lovely dolphins? Idyllic, right?
Something like this coral reef at Havelock in Andaman.
Surrounded by mangrove forests and a dozen of beaches, one can expect the most peaceful experience here in Andamans. Andamans is not just wonderful with the adventure junkies but also a haven for die hard romantics. A beach side candlelight dinner, building sand castles or an impromptu stroll along the beach with your someone special will sure be one hell of an experience!
If you both love wildlife and want to be closer to nature, Bandhavgarh National Park in Madhya Pradesh is the perfect plan. This national park is believed to have the highest densities of Bengal Tigers in India. Folklore has it that the Bandhavgarh fort which literally translates to brother's fort was a gift from Lord Rama to his brother, Lord Laxman.
Bandhavgarh National Park offers jungle safaris, camping, and an exploration of ancient caves. Charger's Place, Raj- bahera, Andheri Jhiria, Three Cave Pont and Shesh Shaiya are some of the highlights of this national park. The park is home to some of the rarest of species like four-horned atntelope, sloth bears and wild dogs or Dholes.
If you and your better half are sports enthusiast, then there is nothing better than skiing. And yes, a ski holiday in Canada is a good option but how about getting the same kick and thrill in India. Head to Gulmarg, which is primarily known as a haven for skiing enthusiasts.
For skiiers and hikers, a quaint little hill station like Gulmarg is the right answer. Other highlights include Anglican Church of St Mary’s which is curled up on a hillock and the iconic and historical, Gulmarg Golf Club and a beautiful neo-colonial style hotel, Hotel Highlands Park.
There's no way we could have concluded the list without mentioning about one of the most-talked states in India, i.e. Kerala. Can there be anything more romantic and exciting than staying in an elegant houseboat? Staying inside aesthetic houseboats in Alleppey of Kerala amidst majestic forests and glorious waters is one experience that every couple must have.
Courtesy the serene surroundings, Kerala is also known as the Venice of the East. Other cultural high points of Kerala inlcude Kathakali plays, temple festivals and snake-boat races. If you are lucky, you may also end up spotting exotixc birds and wild elephants. Talking about the food here. the foodie in you will be more than ecsttaic. And for the ultimate unwinding experience (which is pretty much needed after the heavy duty wedding rituals and preparations), Ayurvedic therapies are the icing on the cake.
Romance and flowers have been long associated even before chocolates and candlelight dinners came into picture. And if you think the charm of flowers is still too incredible and admiral to be ignored, then Nainital's floral delight might just be the answer for you and your better half!
A gush of colours amid lush green pathwalks sounds both dreamy and romantic and the flower gardens in Nainital perfectly blend it. You will be astounded to see the vibrant variety of flowers the gardens in Nainital have.
Honeymoon is a period where you get closer to each other. No matter what you do, it will always remain a special phase in your life. So why not make the most of it. Now that you have scrolled down such marvels in India, would you stil trade it for a foreign (read exotic) location for your honeymoon? We guess not! So, the next time someone talks about exotic honeymoon destinations in general, you know what to talk about, right?
For a memorable honeymoon getaway, a couple has to consider many variables before deciding on one perfect destination. Climatic conditions, travelling month, and cost of accommodations are prime areas that influence a couple’s final choice. An intelligent evaluation and smart bookings can make a huge difference to this romantic getaway. So,Read More