September 2017 has been packed with festivals like Navratri, Durga Puja and Dussehra, and a lot of you might be looking for a few days away from all the celebrations. Thankfully, October 2017 is starting with a chance for three days of some peace, rest and relaxation. Gandhi Jayanti is falling on a Monday this year, which means that we’ll be ending September and beginning the next month with a long weekend. With the monsoon rains behind us and pleasant, sunny weather, here’s a look at some nice places to head to in India on the Gandhi Jayanti 2017 long weekend. ALSO READ: Historic Places Visited by Mahatma Gandhi in Bihar

Gokarna, Karnataka

Gokarna

Gokarna

Folks in Karnataka and Maharashtra can skip Goa and head to Gokarna instead for a few days at the beach. You’ll be welcomed by pristine white sands, swaying palm trees and a relatively less crowded temple town for some nice rest and relaxation. Slow down and enjoy the beaches and the Arabian Sea, as well as the delicious local cuisine.

Chopta, Uttarakhand

Chopta Valley

Chopta Valley

For those in and around Delhi and Chandigarh, the Gandhi Jayanti 2017 long weekend is also a good time to escape to the mountains up north. The town of Chopta along the Ukhimath-Chamoli road connecting Badrinath and Kedarnath is a good spot for some rest away from the festivities. There’s not much to do here other than just relax and soak in the Himalayan view around you, or explore the meadows nearby.

Nubra Valley, Jammu & Kashmir

Camels in Nubra

Fancy going further north? This is a good time to venture to Nubra Valley in Jammu and Kashmir, around 140 km from the more popular and touristy town of Leh. Located by the Nubra and Shyok rivers, Nubra Valley is also a popular spot, but its vastness offers plenty of opportunities to just sit down and do some soul-searching. The view of the cold desert and towering mountains only add to the ambiance. CHECK OUT: Gandhi Jayanti: 7 historic places that the Mahatma immortalised

Halebidu, Karnataka

Halebidu

Halebidu

If you’re looking for a spiritual escape or explore a bit of forgotten history, head to the city of Halebidu or Halebid in Karnataka. The city is home to several shrines like the Shantaleswara, Belur, Kedareswara and Hoysaleswara temples, a spiritual oasis for pilgrims. The architecture of these temples are also fascinating for those interested in the subject, as are the remnants of the Hoysala Empire scattered through the city.

Zanskar, Jammu and Kashmir

Phugtal monastery, Zanskar, Photograph courtesy: Wikimedia commons

Just before Leh lies Zanskar, another spot that offers a well-needed break from the commotion of the city and more popular tourist spots. Explore the region and head to the Phugtal Gompa at the edge of the mountain overlooking a gorge. From here, you’ll see the tributary rushing to meet the Tsarap or Lingti River. The monastery, located in a cave, has a fascinating history in itself, with an ancient chapel that still features frescoes from centuries ago.

Velneshwar Beach, Maharashtra

Velneshwar beach, Photograph Courtesy: Ankur P/Creative Commons

Velneshwar beach, Photograph Courtesy: Ankur P/Creative Commons

For those looking for a break from the festivities in Mumbai and Pune, there is Velneshwar Beach on the way to Ganpatipule. The beach is somewhat famous for its Shiva Temple, but is otherwise pretty empty and makes for a great place to stop over. From here, you can take a ferry through the backwaters or sit for a few hours on the beach, several hours away from the sights and sounds of the city. NOW READ: Best Places to Visit near Mumbai on Gandhi Jayanti 2017 Long Weekend

Champaner, Gujarat

Jama Masjid, Champaner

Jama Masjid, Champaner

Finally, for all those looking for an escape from the Dandiya nights, there’s the historic city of Champaner in Gujarat, home of the Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park. The park itself is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but the city in general is a historical marvel. Surrounded by the Pavagadh hills said to have been carried by Hanuman from the Himalayas, the town’s slow pace is a welcome change from the hectic festivities going on in other Gujarati cities.