January 26 is Republic Day and a national holiday. This year, Republic Day falls on a Thursday and if you can take Friday off from work, you get four days to vacation away from the city. Right in the first month of the year, we have a long weekend coming up and if you haven’t planned a trip already, we have come to your rescue. Bangalore has some of the best weekend getaways that are located at a distance of a few hundred kilometres from the city and offer some respite from the hubbub. Also Read - Best Places to Celebrate New Year in India

Escape the pollution and traffic of Bangalore and rejuvenate your senses during the last week of January. Here’s where we suggest you go. There are beach getaways as well as hill stations for nature lovers. Whether you are looking for some adventure, a peaceful getaway to relax or simply to explore a new place close to your city, there are many destinations in store for you. Here’s where you can go off to for the long weekend in January. Also Read - Bengaluru is India’s Top-Ranked City in New Global Prosperity Index, Delhi and Mumbai Also Feature in the List



Gokarna

Gokarna

Photograph courtesy: Roopesh Chander/Creative Commons

The beaches of Gokarna await you promising a cool breeze and climate during this break. Gokarna has clean beaches that range from the popular Om Beach to the secluded Kudle Beach. In fact, some locals even suggest that there are nude beaches in Gokarna that require a bit of a trek to reach them but if you are a nudist at heart, you can perhaps look for them. However, remember, nudity in public is not legal in India. Gokarna is also home to a number of temples like the Mahabaleshwara Temple which draws the maximum number of pilgrims to the town. The legend behind the temple is what gives Gokarna its name too. With its growing popularity among tourists both Indians and foreigners, there are several accommodation options that have cropped up in Gokarna. These range from luxury hotels like Kudle Beach Resort & Spa to Namaste Atithya that offers dorm accommodation among others. We suggest you book before you go as many would go off during that weekend and leaving it to the last moment might call for disappointment. Gokarna is nine hours away from Karnataka by road. ALSO SEE 4 reasons why Gokarna should be on your wish list Also Read - Weekend Getaways From Bangalore in November



Coorg

Coorg

If cold climates, coffee plantations and a hill station is what you have in mind for a peaceful holiday, consider Coorg for your four-day break this Republic Day. Also called the Scotland of India, Coorg has rolling, green hills and a mesmerizing weather during this time of the year. Wake up to the smell of coffee and admire splendid views at an altitude of 3500 ft above sea level. From lofty mountains to lakes and streams, there is so much natural beauty in Coorg that you will be completely floored by it. If you are looking for some adventure, you can go for rafting in Barapole River, go for hikes and treks or even dirt biking and activities like paintball. Coorg has something for all kinds of travelers making it a must-visit destination. You will find everything from homestays to lodges, hotels and resorts in Coorg. Book one based on your budget. It will take you about five-and-a-half hours from Bangalore to Coorg by road. ALSO SEE 5 best homestays under Rs 6,000 in Coorg

Hampi

Hampi

Get a slice of history in the epic city of Hampi that has ruins from the Vijayanagar Empire. The city which was once a thriving empire is even today reminiscent of its glorious past. Walk down the path to see everything from temples to luxury baths to chambers that were once part of a flourishing empire. And if you thought Hampi was only about a history lesson, there is a lot more to do here than this. Hampi has many things to do for adventure lovers as well. There are large boulders all around and many come here to try adventure activities like climbing. You can also go for treks to the Mantanga Hill and if you have more time in hand, visit the Daroji Bear Sanctuary that is home to sloth bears. Hampi offers budget and mid-range accommodation options in the city area from where you can take an auto-rickshaw to visit sightseeing attractions nearby. It will take you approximately six-and-a-half hours to reach from Bangalore to Hampi. ALSO SEE Guesthouses and hotels in Hampi for every budget

Yelagiri

Yelagiri

Even though Yelagiri is in another state i.e. Tamil Nadu, it is not too far away from Bangalore. In fact, it will take you not more than three-and-a-half hours to get here from Bangalore. Yelagiri is a small hill station that is also called poor man’s Ooty but it has many natural wonders to offer. It is at an elevation of over 4,000 ft above sea level and has views of the valley, surrounded by lush greenery. There are also orchards and rose gardens in Yelagiri, making it popular among nature lovers. Even the route to get here is very scenic but beware as there are many hairpin bends on the way. Yelagiri is a weekend getaway that is perfect this time of the year as the weather is pleasant and you may even need a layer of warm clothing in the evening. From a lazy boat ride to treks, there are enough things you can do here. When it comes to accommodation, the options are good but limited so book in advance to avoid disappointment.

Ooty

Ooty

Photograph courtesy:
Clara & James Dunning/Creative Commons

The popular Ooty is our next destination suggestion for the long weekend. Ooty is situated at an elevation of 7347 ft above sea level and offers majestic views of the surroundings. It is called the Queen of Hill Stations for this very reason. If scenic beauty helps you calm down and relax, then this place is for you. The best part about getting to Ooty is the toy train ride experience that is fun for kids as well as adults. There are forests in Ooty that fall under the reserve category and you may need special permission to enter them. Visit the botanical gardens when here, stay in a quaint property that offers majestic views and soak in the scenic beauty of the hill station to renew your senses. Ooty is perfect for a do-nothing vacation as well. It will take you six-and-a-half hours from Bangalore to reach Ooty by road. ALSO SEE 5 budget stays in Ooty

trip-planning2

Have interesting travel photos you’d like to share with us? Send photos from your travels to travel@corp.india.com, don’t forget to mention where you’ve shot the picture and get a chance to be featured on our website! So what are you waiting for? Hurry!

Have something to add to this story? Post your comments in the discussion board below; we will be thrilled to hear from you!