|That perfect sunday. Shivpuri|
Travel quickie is not dependent on a long weekend, leave application or large planning. Overnight buses. Or around 6 hours drive will get you there. You will get to spend one night and two whole days to explore or chill. And if you do want to get out of the concrete, then might as well leave all forms of large structures behind, to get the most out of the short time. And that is what this list is about. Get out of Delhi, and get straight into another world. The tented world.
|Camping at Shivpuri|
This is by far the most popular tented destination from Delhi. Winding upwards on the road from Rishikesh is the beginning of the white sandy beaches alongside this clean and gurgling avatar of the river Ganga. And all along the beach one can see little dotted lines of colorful tents. Many a camp offer stay, rafting and a weekend of great food and lounging around. A perfect place for friends to do nothing or that little something that city malls will just not provide. I have gone there more than a dozen times and stayed in across many camps. Whichever camp you choose, the crispy air, the free spirited ganges, the nurturing sun and fresh delicious camp food would be on everyone’s menu. I will suggest choose one which has a large sandy beach and not too many tents.
Rajaji National Park
The sad part is that most people pass this by in a hurry to get to Musoorie, Rishikesh, and the other prime attractions in that part of the country. The good part is that it is uncrowded, green and a perfect hideout for the loner, a family, or a large group of friends wanting to do their own thing. Rajaji National park is bang opposite Haridwar. You cross the bridge and almost immediately reach one of the gates. This place boasts of around 500 elephants, 12 tigers and around 250 panthers. along with 400 species of birds. And there are plenty of delightful water bodies around, for a picnic. There are not too many options to stay around here. Try Camp King Elephant or the Wild Brook retreat for a memorable weekend.http://www.rajajinationalpark.co.in/6.%20Stay%20in%20Rajaji.htm
Around 345 kms from Delhi, this place might just take a little above 6 hours, depending on traffic. One could also take the night train to Kalka, or the early morning Shatabdi, and then cab it up. Around 13 km before Shimla is this tiny little Hamlet called Shoghi. And while here, if you do not want to run away to the usual Shimla and the mall road, you will find plenty of time to connect back with yourself. A nice easy trek to a water stream, or a campfire at night is just what the shrink would prescribe, for a power recharge.
In case you cannot grab the train to Ajmer, this is an overnight bus away from Delhi. You get volvos, sleeper bus and just about any type at midnight. They promise to get you in by 7 in the morning, and normally make it by 8.30 or so. There will be many budget and kitsch places to pick from in this colorful town dedicated to Lord Brahma. But for an off centre experience, there are also many tented options that spring up at the end of the year starting with the famous Pushkar fair. Right out of the main town centre but just a short walk or camel ride away from the fair grounds, they might be on the steeper side for the budget traveller, but quite the experience. For a reasonable rate try the Foothills camps and resort.
So pick a friday night and get out. Sunday night/early monday morning, get back in. You might walk in a little tired. But you will also walk in with that big quickie smile.
|Sanawar Nature Camp|
Coming soon: ‘One night in Pushkar’. To help you make the most out of this time of the year and the grand Pushkar mela