After a long hiatus in tourism, almost all the famous tourist places in India started again welcoming tourists. Right from Himachal to Andamans, Goa to Sikkim, Madhya Pradesh to Kerala, nearly all major tourist destinations have launched enticing offers to woe the domestic travellers. Camping and lodging, jungle safaris and rafting, hotels and homestays are all back in business. While strict health protocols are mandatory to be followed; e-passes, COVID-19 RT-PCR Test, and compulsory quarantine are nearly gone. Domestic flight operations in the country will touch 75 per cent of the pre-Covid level this month itself.
Here’s a quick round-up about which famous tourist places in India state wise are open for tourism, and the safest places Travel See Write recommends to visit for your next holiday.
Where to go in 2021: famous tourist places in India state wise
Indian states that are already open
Ever since the tourism-dependent states of Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Uttarakhand started unlocking, they have been dropping travel restrictions month-on-month basis to get tourists back. Uttarakhand is even paying you to visit the state. Historical monuments such as Taj Mahal in Agra, Sun Temple in Konark, Amber Fort in Jaipur, Qutub Minar in Delhi, Hampi in Karnataka, Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh are all open for tourists. Although a cap has been put on the number of daily visitors, online booking is made simpler and strict health protocols are followed.
The state I am most excited to visit next is – Madhya Pradesh – as the National Parks and Tiger Reserves have opened up from 1st October, and some great Workcation Packages have been launched for work-from-home fatigued people like me. In fact, my next trip is to the three most famous National Parks of Central India – Bandhavgarh, Kanha and Pench.
While Maharashtra and West Bengal might not be as adventurous as Madhya Pradesh in their unlocking approach, their popular tourist destinations such as Lonavala and Darjeeling have started getting a surge of travellers. In fact, following Madhya Pradesh’s footsteps, West Bengal has opened Sundarbans, Joypur Jungle, Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary, Dooars and other forests for tourists. And, Maharashtra isn’t slacking behind to attract wildlife lovers to its Tadoba Andhari, Pench and Melghat Tiger Reserves with a new set of rules.
While Tamil Nadu has an official lockdown until 31st October, its hill stations such as Ooty, Yercaud, Kodaikanal, and Nilgiris are open, with an E-pass. The Union Territories of Puducherry and Ladakh are also open. Even the Andaman & Nicobar islands have resumed some tourist activities.
After six months of Lockdown, Kerala has decided to welcome guests again. Though major tourist hotspots will be open for visitors, beaches will remain shut till 1st November. If you are thinking to visit Kerala, do not forget to register yourself on www.covid19jagratha.kerala.nic.in. If you are planning to stay for over 7 days, you are required to either carry a COVID-19 negative certificate or undergo a COVID-19 test post entering the state.
Indian States that are opening from October
Most of India’s eastern states such as Odisha, Sikkim, and Tripura are slowly and steadily starting to welcome tourists in October. People can visit the beaches of Puri or the temples of Konark in Odhisa. The state government has launched the ‘Odisha by Road’ campaign to urge travellers to explore the state’s tourist circuit by road.
Sikkim has opened its borders with West Bengal from 1st October and bookings for hotels, homestays and other tourism-related services have resumed from 27th September. Here’s a detailed guide on what places to visit in Sikkim.
Tripura has also reopened all tourist spots in the state from 1st October and is building infrastructure to promote tourism. A helipad near the famous Dumbur Lake in the Chabimura region is being constructed and new activities are added such as water scooters, floating jetty and speed boat services at Dumbur Lake.
In short, while most of India is now open for tourists but remember what PM Modi said, “Jab tak dawai nahi, tab tak dhilai nahi. Do gaj ki doori, mask hai jaroori (No carelessness till a medicine is found. Face mask and maintaining a distance of two yards is necessary). Before venturing out anywhere remember, there are strict rules in place for our own safety. Masks are mandatory wherever you go; physical distancing is obligatory, and the need to respect local sensitivities and concerns is now more important than ever.
Travel See Write Recommends Safe Places to visit in India
While almost the whole of India is open for tourism, here are the Safe Places that I would recommend visiting in India post lockdown because of their unscathed natural surrounding and less population density that makes them ideal for maintaining social distancing.
Lahaul, Himachal Pradesh
Go for: Lush nature walks in untouched Lahaul Valley and admiring the latest engineering marvel of BRO – Atal Tunnel.
If there’s a part of Himachal that had managed to maintain its serenity, calmness and can still be termed as offbeat, it would be Lahaul Valley. Until this year, it was just a pit stop for Manali-Leh travellers. Hardly anyone explored it beyond a night halt. But after the opening of Atal Tunnel, things might change now.
How to go: Drive/fly from Delhi to Manali and then take a taxi or drive to Lahaul via Atal Tunnel. Takes around 16 hours by road (14 hours bus ride from Delhi to Manali and approx. 2 hours taxi ride from Manali to Keylong)
Where to stay: Government-approved homestays and hotels.
Price starts as low as 500 INR per night.
Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh
Go for: Working from wilderness, a taste of village life, and learning the lessons in wildlife conservation that goes beyond greenwashing.
The advantage Madhya Pradesh has over other states is its low density of population, especially around the National Parks. Moreover, Jungle Lodges are among the safest holiday places equipped with good Wi-Fi and high sanitisation measures as prescribed by MHA. By their very nature, jungle lodges have a limited number of cottages that too spread out in the wilderness with no lifts or elevators. Most of the action takes place outdoors, whether it is dining or activities. So, city folks can work out of the wild without worrying about the virus. One can either drive to any of the big six national parks in M.P. or fly to Nagpur, Raipur and Jabalpur.
Last but not least, Work from Wilderness can be the much-needed ecotourism push that can bring a positive change in the lives of locals who are the direct beneficiaries of responsible wildlife tourism.
How to go: Fly into Jabalpur, and from there it takes a 4-hour drive to reach Bandhavgarh
Where to stay: Pugdundee Safari’s Treehouse Hideaway
How much does it cost: Price includes all meals, tea/coffee and current taxes:
07-12 nights – INR 9000 per room per night
13-21 nights – INR 8000 per room per night
22+ nights – INR 7500 per room per night
Go for: mountain vibes of the vibrant state of Gujarat
Saputara lies very close to the border of Maharashtra and is very easy to get here. Despite being the only hill station in Gujarat it doesn’t get overly crowded. You can enjoy a safe and quaint holiday with your partner, family or friends. You can go trekking in the hills or go for other adventure activities like nature walks or boating.
How to go: A 5-hour drive (247.5 km) from Mumbai via NH160 and Saputara – Nasik Rd
Where to stay: Sunotel Resort or Club Mahendra Hatgad
Price starts at INR 5500 per room per night (prices change with availability and holidays)
Go for: rafting in the Ganges and quaint village life
Rishikesh has always been a favourite of weekend travellers, adventure enthusiasts, spiritual seekers and. Therefore, as soon as the travel restrictions were lifted, the sleepy town on the Ganges started seeing the influx of tourists. Besides the state has announced a ‘Tourists Incentive Coupons’ scheme to reboot travel under which tourists would get either INR1,000 or 25% discount – whichever is lower – on per day accommodation charges for up to three days.
How to go: A 5-hour drive or bus or train from Delhi. You can also take an overnight train to Haridwar.
Where to stay: Glass House on the Ganges or Atali Ganga
Price starts at INR 5500 per room per night including one raft trip and three meals at Atali Ganga
Gangtok and Yumthang Valley, Sikkim
Go for: nature and wildlife. The state is a paradise for mountain lovers.
Often termed as the Himalayan Shangri-La, Sikkim has just reopened its gates for tourists and has a plethora of top-notch travel experiences to offer, despite its small size. Read more about the state here: Visit Sikkim – The Himalayan Shangri La
How to go: Fly from Delhi or any other city to Bagdogra and then take a taxi to Gangtok or whichever place you want to visit.
Where to stay: WelcomHeritage Denzong Regency
Price starts at INR 7,150 per person per night
If you want to reconnect with nature after spending months at home, Coorg is a great option. Located in a coffee-growing region, it is a place where you can go on rejuvenating treks, aromatic plantation trails or simply enjoy a private campfire. Coorg is blessed with lush greenery, plantations of the most aromatic coffee and spices, gurgling streams, and gushing waterfalls.
Like other parts of India, homestays and resorts in Coorg have also started Workcation packages, especially for the people of Bengaluru.
How to go: Approximately 4-hour drive from Bengaluru or a 6-hour bus ride.
Where to stay: Tamara Coorg
Price starts at Special Package – Breakfast only from INR 16,520/- per night.
So these were my suggestions on visiting the famous tourist places in India state wise. Have you ventured out anywhere lately? If yes, how was your experience?
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