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 Travel & Leisure

January 2012
Exotic Indian Getaways!
Pratyusha Sen
 
Exotic and India are synonymous at least in terms of travel. The variety of vacation options in India is mindboggling. Read on to know about five holiday options that bring you the best of cultural varieties within the country.

Leh
The largest town of Ladakh, Leh delights you with its stark natural beauty. The austere natural beauty of the place contrasts sharply with the colourful culture of the locals as is evident from the numerous Buddhist pennants hung at various locations within the city. Leh vacations are noteworthy for their excellent hiking trails. Also, do visit the breathtaking Tsos or lakes and the Buddhist Gompas.

Munnar
While much has been said about the backwaters of this state, not many know about the health tourism being developed here. Ayurveda and yoga retreats in Munnar, Kerala are ideal for a rejuvenating vacation. You may also want to try out Kalaripayattu, the local
martial art form as a keepfit option.

Tawang
Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh, is one of the late bloomers in the tourism sector. Tawang
has started catching up in the industry just recently, which means it is still preserved in its unspoilt state. Though the foggy mountains are notsuited to hiking, what Tawang lacks in
adventure, it makes up in natural splendour.

Auroville
The Auroville Township in Pondicherry is ideal for spiritual rejuvenation. Started by Mirra Alfassa, otherwise known as The Mother, the township is host to a multicultural union of people. The focus of Auroville is the Matrimandir (Temple of The Mother) which is a dome shaped, gold covered structure especially built for meditation and spiritual healing. The Matrimandir does not belong to a particular religion, providing a secular backdrop to the quest of holistic health.

 
Pushkar
Sun, sand and forts are always a big draw in Pushkar, Rajasthan. But, once a year, the sand dunes are given a miss in favour of the world’s largest camel fair held in Pushkar. The main attraction in the fair is the famed camel race, which draws in crowds from all corners of the Earth. Searching for redemption? Pushkar is also regarded as one of the holiest cities in the country. Dip into the lake and let the holy waters wash away your sins.


    
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