In the immortal words of W.H. Davies – “What is this life if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare.”
The breakneck speed of urban life has us pining for the simplicity and peace of rural life. The chirping of birds, the gushing of streams, the rustling of leaves, clear skies during the day and star-filled panoramas at night – these are sights and sounds alien to us in the jungle of concrete we call home.
A lot of India’s most beautiful vacation destinations have unfortunately become prey to the ills of the tourism industry. Luckily for us, India boasts of plenty of hidden gems which have yet to face the ire of commercialization. Jaadooghar has intentionally kept away from tourist hotspots and established homes in these off-beat destinations, away from the maddening crowd of tourists. Here we bring forth, our top picks for off-beat vacation destinations in India for you to maximize your travel experience minus the hustle and bustle that comes with visiting conventional touristy locations:
1. Bir, Himachal Pradesh
Known as the “Paragliding Capital of India”, Bir village is the landing location while Billing is the launch location for paragliding activities; together the two locations are referred to as “Bir Billing”.
Bir is inhabited by native Himachali & Buddhist artists who have sought solace in its lush slopes, and adventure seekers lured by its wild, rustic beauty. However, Bir has far more to offer than just adventure sports. Majestic panoramas of the upper Himalayas, Buddhist chants ringing out from gorgeous monasteries and the familiar sight of prayer flags indigenous to Tibetan communities dangle from hillside to hillside – all blended together in a fascinating potpourri of culture. This hip mountain village is also home to a coterie of stylish cafés and lush vistas that makes it a traveler-magnet. Glide over the mountains and then enjoy a sumptuous meal in one of the many gorgeous cafes of Bir overlooking a beautiful sunset – that would be a day well-spent in Bir.The adrenaline of adventure combined with the serenity of the mountains makes for a bucket list travel destination.
Bir is best explored by wandering through its tiny alleyways and taking in the natural scenery. Like several of Himachal’s villages, Bir possesses an old-world charm which can be best described by experiencing it. If you decide to book a homestay with Jaadooghar here, you can partake in our guided treks into completely unexplored corners of Bir.
2. Coorg, Karnataka
Colloquially known as the Scotland of India, Coorg has more coffee plantations than people. A charming hill town in Karnataka graced with mesmerizing natural beauty. Coorg is located in the centre of the country of Kodavas, concealed in the most bountiful area of the Western Ghats. Sweet-smelling mist, majestic mountains, bubbling waterfalls, deep woods, stunning coffee plantations, scented spice farm and the most magnificent collection of fauna – Coorg is straight out of a Ruskin Bond novel. Apart from the wonderful sights it has to offer, Coorg’s local cuisine is to die for.
Bonus: Unlike other travel destinations, Coorg’s weather conditions allow for year-round travel. At Jaadooghar Coorg, we offer coffee and pepper estate exploration and a sneak peek into the coffee plantation lifestyle.
Pro tip: Coorg is one of the most Instagram-worthy locations in all India. So rest assured, Coorg will satisfy all your social media cravings!
3. Chikmagalur, Karnataka
Chikmagalaur literally translates to ‘Young Daughter’s Town’. The etymology of this name can be traced as far back as the 15th century. Local legend says that back in the 1670s, Chikmagalur was given away as dowry for Rukmangada, the younger daughter of the Chief of Sakrepatna.
This quaint town is located at an elevation of 3,400 feet and is surrounded by tea and coffee estates, making it a significant business hub for farmers and manufacturers alike. Coffee produced from Chikmagalur is shipped across the world. It also doubles as a tourist attraction as the coffee farms are home to various species of flora and other fauna. Jaadooghar Chikmagalur not only boasts of an in-house coffee estate, but is also located deep into the woods, inside the vaunted Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary & Tiger Reserve, home to many big cats and a stunning bevy of rare bird and animal species.
Apart from the verdant beauty of the property, your hosts at Jaadooghar Chikmagalur will also give you a sneak peek into how a coffee plantation estate functions – right from planting of the crop, harvesting to roasting of coffee beans and producing brews for commercial consumption.
4. Mallandur, Karnataka
Although a small village in district Chikmagalur, Mallandur has its own charm – big vintage farmhouses, hilly roads, coffee and herb plantations and untouched vistas that will take your breath away! The local delicacies, breathtaking views and the alluring weather make it a perfect travel destination for all nature lovers.
To make your experience more enriching, book a homestay with Jaadooghar and find yourself in a glamping dome or a unique Scandinavian-style mountain home. Additionally, we also have an inflatable jacuzzi on the property for your relaxation. All of this only a short and extremely picturesque drive away from Bangalore!
We, at Jaadooghar cater to true lovers of travel. As any real traveler will tell you, there is more to traveling than just sight-seeing. Real travel entails an exploration and a desire to experience and try something new. Make your next vacation memorable. Take the off-beaten path and discover a whole new you.