August this year is more or less a constant stream of holidays. There are 9 public holidays in the month and 10 major festivals and events happening in August. This is the month that India gained independence, so it seems fitting that we get so many days of freedom. And plenty of people are already taking advantage of it. Flight fares from Delhi to popular destinations are rising, but that is just for one long weekend. With a little bit of planning and taking the right leaves from office, you can get three long weekends and, if you’d like, even a nice nine-day holiday. Here is how you do it.
Long weekend one: August 5-7, Saturday-Monday
Raksha Bandhan, the national festival that celebrates the special bond between brother and sister, will fall on a Monday this year. Club it with the previous weekend and you get a nice three-day long weekend. The festival is recognized as a public holiday nationwide, though not all private offices provide a leave on that day. If you have the opportunity, use the long weekend to explore nearby destinations. You could take a day off on Friday, August 4, to make it a four-day long affair as well.
Where to go: Munnar and Kodaikanal down south, Goa and Bikaner in the west or Shimla and Mussoorie in the north.
Long weekend two: August 12-15, Saturday-Tuesday
India celebrates its 70th Independence Day on Tuesday, August 15. The day before that is Krishna Janmashtami, which is also recognized as a holiday in most parts of India. With both days off and a weekend, you get a comfortable four-day holiday without even taking a leave. We recommend celebrating Independence Day by going off on a solo trip to a destination of your choice that is quiet and suited for some self-reflection. But you can always use this option to plan a trip with friends and family; it’s pretty rare for everyone to get so many holidays at the same time.
Where to go: Explore Jaipur in the west, Lansdowne in Uttarakhand, the coffee plantations of Coorg down south, or the ruins of Orchha in Madhya Pradesh.
Long weekend three: August 25-27, Friday-Sunday
Hills around Pushkar in the Monsoon, Photograph Courtesy: 4ocima/Creative Commons
The final weekend of August 2017 will be preceded by Ganesh Chaturthi, the grand festival dedicated to the god Ganesha, a favorite among Hindus across the country. With a nice little three-day holiday, you can opt for a getaway away from the crowd and commotion that comes with the festival. If you are in Maharashtra, there are plenty of incredible monsoon getaways to choose from for a quick and relaxing holiday.
Where to go: Pushkar and Mount Abu in Rajasthan, Gokarna and Jog Falls in Karnataka, Kutch in Gujarat and Alibaug in Maharashtra.
A nine-day holiday: August 12-20, Saturday-Sunday
Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand
This one is perfect if you prefer going on a single long holiday rather than three smaller ones in August 2017. Stitch the month’s second long weekend from August 12 to 15 with the next weekend for a nine-day long holiday. Thursday, August 17 is Parsi New Year (Jamshed Navroz), a public holiday in Maharashtra. If you have a holiday on this day, you only need to take two days off: Wednesday and Friday.
Where to go: Manali and Parvati Valley in Himachal Pradesh, Pelling and Gangtok in Sikkim via Darjeeling, Shillong and Dawki in Meghalaya or the Valley of Flowers in Uttarakhand.
A 16-day extravangza: August 5-20, Saturday-Sunday
Alright, we’d like to point out that this one may be a bit of a stretch. August has already begun and it is going to be an uphill battle to get your leaves approved, but if you can pull this off, then it is well worth the effort. Coming off the first long weekend, take the next four days off from August 8 to 11. Combine it with the two-three days off in the next week, and you get a 16-day holiday while only using up six to seven leaves. If there ever was a perfect deal for a long holiday this is it.
Where to Go: Leh, Ladakh and Lahaul–Spiti, Andaman and Nicobar, or a tour of Northeast India covering Guwahati, Shillong, Cherrapunjee, Bomdila, Tawang and Kohima.