Despite the behavior of a lot of aunts, uncles, policemen and politicians, India is actually a pretty romantic country. It is the home of the Taj Mahal, the ultimate symbol of undying love. India celebrates love, and there are plenty of places in this country that can trigger the warm fuzziness of love, even in the coldest heart. And these places are everywhere and cater to all kinds of couple, even the nearly-broke ones. So if you are one of the millions working hard to get by and looking to take a short and pocket-friendly break from the usual grind with the love of your life, here are some cheap holiday destinations to choose from. ALSO READ: Most romantic honeymoon destinations in India
Auli in Uttarakhand
Auli, one of the enchanting hill stations and ski resorts in Uttarakhand, India, lies around 2,000-3,000 meters above sea level. The snow-capped mountains, pine forests and hills offer a spectacular setting for some romance and adventure. Go skiing down the snowy slopes that are considered some of the best in the world, or explore the forests and meadows around you and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the region. The best time to visit Auli is from May to November, and you can find cheap flights to the nearest airport of Dehradun for most of the year. Accommodation is limited, though, so make sure you book in advance.
Lush green tea estates in Munnar
Down south in God’s own Kerala, the hill station of Munnar and its misty hills make for a perfect setting for a chill romantic getaway. The aroma of tea leaves from the expansive plantations and the cool weather of the Nilgiris catalyze the romance. The town center can be busy, but otherwise all that you see on your way to Munnar and once you get there, are endless tea plantations that cover the horizon. Explore the colonial era buildings of the region or visit the Eravikulam National Park to get up close with the wildlife. Munnar lies three hours and just a little over 100 km from Kochi airport, flights to which are cheap depending on where you are coming from.
Another Kerala beauty, the village of Kumarakom lies on Vembanad Lake, part of the extensive network of backwaters around Kerala. Unwind and relax on a houseboat slowly making its way through the still, green waters and the quiet village, with the sounds of the forest and birds giving you company. Kumarakom consists of several small islands on the lake, and it includes a wonderful bird sanctuary across 14 acres that is home to several otherwise rare migratory birds. You also have fishing and boating facilities at certain resorts, and resorts on stilts from which you can relax and enjoy some quality private time with your loved one.
The small and serene town of Pondicherry is where you should go if you want to experience a little bit of France right here in India. It is also where you should go to escape the hustle of your usual life and just relax by the beach. The French avenues with their bright buildings give away Pondy’s history and cultural roots as a French colony, as do the bilingual street signs and the cuisine. Pondicherry also offers a rich spiritual culture, with the Sri Aurobindo Ashram on Rue de la Marine at its center. You also have cafes, bakeries and restaurants offering a wonderful mix of French, Tamil and other European food.
Goa is an evergreen, versatile holiday destination that seems perfect for just about anything. Solo travelers have hostels to stay in for cheap and several pubs to party at. Families can enjoy the sights and activities at several crowd-friendly beaches in Goa, like the popular Baga Beach. And couples can choose to spend their time here relaxing and soaking in the sun at Goa’s beaches or going partying and enjoy the food and drinks on offer. You can also spend your time here exploring the less popular parts of Goa, from its inner towns and churches to the hills around it; Goa has something to offer for everyone, and at all kinds of prices.
The hill station of Lonavala is a popular weekend haunt for Mumbaikars and Puneites. The high mountains offer a respite from the hot and humid plains, with pleasant weather throughout the year, especially during the monsoons and winters. Despite the fact that it draws massive crowds in the weekends, Lonavala makes for a good destination. For some quiet time, visit this small hill station during the weekdays, when crowds are fewer. Spend some time at one of the resorts nearby and enjoy the weather and sights around you with your better half. And if you visit this place in the monsoons, explore the nearby waterfalls and take a dip. ALSO READ: 5 snowy places for a picture perfect romantic vacation!
Daman and Diu
For those who want a quieter alternative to Goa, there is always Daman. With plenty of low-cost rooms and cheap food and drinks, Daman offers all the perks of Goa minus the crowd. Spend your evenings at a local shack by the beach, munching on some tasty and fresh seafood and a cool beer, or go for the few water sports and activities along the beach. Daman and Diu are peaceful little coastal towns that are ideal for a refreshing little getaway. Explore the beaches or the few heritage sites around town that show you glimpse of this place’s history and culture. Or simply relax and enjoy some quiet and private romantic moments with your love.
Lying around 115 km or three hours away from Guwahati airport, the hill station of Shillong is known for its beautiful landscape and tranquility. The place, which lies around 1,496 meters above sea level, is often called the Scotland of the Northeast for its rich green grasslands and high mountains. Best visited during the monsoons or just afterwards, Shillong is rich in natural beauty, with plenty of hills to climb and waterfalls to see. And you get some delicious local cuisine too. Flights to Guwahati are typically priced low, especially from nearby metros like Kolkata and Delhi.
The town and hill station of Chikmagalur lies on the foothills of the Mullayanagiri range and is a popular romantic haunt for the people of Karnataka. For the adventurous couple, the clear attraction here would be highest peak in the state, Mullayanagiri. The all-year-round pleasant climate and the sight and aroma of the numerous coffee plantations are other big draws here. You have, in fact, several other trekking trails nearby, including the trek to Bababudangiri and Kemmangundi. For a more relaxed stay, you could simply relax at one of the resorts and visit the coffee plantations and waterfalls, like Kalhatti Falls and Hebbe Falls.
Kasol , Photograph Courtesy: Dilip Merala
And finally, we have the more off-beat getaway of Kasol, which lies a little south of the more popular Manali in Himachal Pradesh. Accessible via bus from Delhi or Chandigarh or by flights to the Kullu-Manali airport in nearby Bhuntar, Kasol is a destination for those who prefer to just relax in the lap of nature and enjoy the weather and scenery. You can sit by Parvati River and watch the river flow with your love by your side, or you can opt for a more adventurous experience, taking the Kheerganga trek and relaxing at the hot water springs on top. NOW READ: 5 most romantic resorts in India!
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