Top 10 Off-Beat Honeymoon Destinations in India - Be On The Road | Live your Travel Dream!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Top 10 Off-Beat Honeymoon Destinations in India

There was a time when the various hill stations of India such as Darjeeling, Khandala, Nainital, Srinagar, Kodaikanal, Ooty, Coorg, Mt. Abu, etc. and mainland beach destinations in Goa, Karnataka and Kerala used to be popular honeymoon choices of the people of India. But, as I keep traveling to various parts of India, I have realized the potential of other destinations that offer immense potential and value to prospective honeymooners. Based on this experience, I have put together these top 10 off-beat honeymoon destinations in India. I hope you get a chance to explore them either during your honeymoons or simply during your holiday.

Kadmat Island, Lakshadweep

White sands of Kadmat Island
I call it
: Pristine Island Paradise

This 9 km long island, located in the Lakshwadeep sea is 1 km long at its widest part and about 200m at its shortest end. Its white sandy beaches is the cleanest you will ever see in India and its sensational underwater marine life and coral reefs rank as some of the best in the world. In fact, it gives neighboring island countries of Maldives and Mauritius a run for the money. Kadmat is not as expensive as Agatti or Bangaram, the other famous islands in the Lakshadweep and this means that you can spend a longer time loafing around in your beach bungalow with your own hammocks. The ocean is your swimming pool and for entertainment, you can catch hermit crabs, go snorkeling, kayaking or scuba diving, read a book on your hammock, work on your tan and the oodles of privacy available here.

Ideal for: Beach Lovers, Underwater Enthusiasts, Isolation

Luxury Level: Medium

Best Time of the Year to Visit: All year round except for the monsoon season

Nearest Airport Location: Agatti 

Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh

Tawang and the snow capped Himalayas
I call it
: Tibet of India

If you have always been enamored by Tibet, you will instantly fall in love with Tawang. This seat of Buddhism in Western Arunachal Pradesh is nestled amongst the snow clad peaks of the Eastern Himalayas. This part of India is home to some sensational high altitude lakes, beautiful waterfalls, lots of interesting crafts and amazing people. Just walking around Tawang gives you a feel of Switzerland albeit with different architecture and religion. And this part of North East India, unlike the Western Himalayas is very sparsely populated, still uncluttered and makes you feel like you are on virgin territory.

Ideal for: Mountain Lovers, Trekkers, Bird Watchers, Nature Lovers and Buddhism Culture

Luxury Level: Medium

Best Time of the Year to Visit: October to May

Nearest Airport Location: Tezpur is closer, but Itanagar and Guwahati are the busier airports.

Jaisalmer, Rajasthan

Thar Desert, Jaisalmer

I call it
: Romance in the Desert

This desert jewel is fit for kings and queens. With palaces, colorful bazaars and rolling sand dunes, this place has it all. But, what makes it perfect for honeymooners is the option to stay in the desert, enjoying camel ride sunsets, cozying up during a romantic candle night dinner under a starry desert sky and being one with the local Rajasthani culture. It also has a fair share of forts, national parks and nomadic villages. Basically, a complete desert experience for you. And if you feel like a romantic and luxury rail holiday then you try the Maharaja Express that take you across Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Ranthambore, Udaipur and Jaipur. A rich Rajasthan experience!

Ideal for: Desert Lovers, Palaces, Isolation, Rajasthani Food and Hospitality

Luxury Level: Luxury

Best Time of the Year to Visit: August to March

Nearest Airport Location: Jodhpur

Valparai, Tamil Nadu

Tea estates of Valparai
I call it
: Wild Tea Estates

There are many tea estates and hill stations in India, but nearly all of them have lost their beauty quotient and oomph levels. Valparai has somehow managed to stay hidden. Located in the rich tropical evergreen forests of Anaimalai tiger reserve, the tea estates of Valparai co-exist with the wild of the Anaimalai tiger reserve. What this means is that, you will see elephants, leopards, hornbills, lion tailed macaques and other exotic wild animals without having to step inside a wildlife sanctuary or national park. If you are lucky, you will see some of them from the lawns of your colonial bungalow while you sip on a hot cup of locally made tea. And did I say that the Niagara of India, the Athirapally Falls in the Chalakudy area of Kerala is just a short drive away. And if you want more, there are tons of green vistas, dams, scenic locations and temples.

Ideal for: Wildlife Lovers, Nature Enthusiasts, Tea Estate Experience, Tropical Evergreen Forests, Isolation

Luxury Level: Medium to Luxury

Best Time of the Year to Visit: All year round. Even the monsoons offer lots of charm.

Nearest Airport Location: Coimbatore

Havelock Island, Andaman

Sunset at Radhanagar beach, Havelock
I call it
: Diving at India’s only Active Volcano

This island located in the Ritchie’s Archipelago of the Andaman is home to some of the top beaches in Asia. It is also India’s top scuba diving hub as the waters around this island and nearby ones are home to some stunning marine life. The Radhanagar beach (or Beach No. 7), the other beaches, the tropical forests and deep sea fishing make for interesting experiences, but the top experience of Havelock is to go on a Liveaboard diving trip to Barren Volcano, India’s only active Volcano. Before you embark on this trip, you can get your scuba diving certification on the island. And like most tropical islands, there are those romantic sunsets, candle light dinners on the beach and much more.

Ideal for: Beach Lovers, Underwater Enthusiasts, Tropical Forests, Liveaboard Scuba Diving, Deep Sea Fishing

Luxury Level: Medium to Luxury

Best Time of the Year to Visit: All year round except for the monsoon season

Nearest Airport Location: Port Blair

Leh, Jammu and Kashmir

Ladakh Himalayan Vista
I call it
: Cradle of Adventure in the Western Himalayas

Leh, Ladakh. This place is extremely popular in India and brings images of mighty Himalayan peaks and serene Buddhist culture. Well, in that case, you might be wondering why it figures in this off beat list. Well, to start with, the post summer season is the fruiting season in the apple, pear, peach, walnut and apricot orchards in and around Leh. Staying in such a fruit orchard and exploring the mountain beauty is a different experience altogether and the crowds are also much lesser around this time. And then, the Ladakh area is so vast that you can keep Leh as your base and disappear into any of the mountain ranges nearby. River rafting, mountain biking, motorcycling, trekking, Bactrian Double Humped Camel rides in the desert, high altitude mountain lakes, nomadic tribes and much more are there for the taking. You can take your pick.

Ideal for: Mountain Lovers, Himalayan Treks, Buddhist Culture, Festivals, Adventure Enthusiasts

Luxury Level: Medium to Luxury

Best Time of the Year to Visit: March to April and August to October are recommended for the spring and the orchard fruiting season. But, May to July is also a good time, though crowds will be much higher.

Nearest Airport Location: Leh

Shillong, Meghalaya

Cherrapunji's scenic waterfalls
I call it
: Gateway to the Wettest Place on Planet Earth

A beautiful city with very fashionable people, Shillong is blessed with green nature and colonial architecture. It offers great access to the wettest place of the world in the Cherrapunji district, the cleanest village of India and the unbelievable living root bridges. In between, you can see these mighty waterfalls, stunning landscapes and if you feel like hiking, you will be spoilt for choice. And the city of Shillong in itself is popular for its restaurants and nightlife. But, the highlights will be the living root bridges and the Cherrapunji district.

Ideal for: Nature Lovers, Tropical Hill Station, Tea Estates, Waterfalls, Living Root Bridges

Luxury Level: Medium to Luxury

Best Time of the Year to Visit: All year round

Nearest Airport Location: Shillong 

Binsar, Uttarakhand

Scenic Himalayan sight
I call it
: Picturesque Himalayan Hamlet

Located in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, this scenic village offers stunning sunrise views of snow covered Himalayan peaks. Its pristine ecosystem is home to some rare species of animals, birds, butterflies and flowers and make it a trekker’s paradise. The thin mountain air and a bit of nip in it make it perfect for lots of hot brews and together walks in the beautiful forests filled with oak trees and rhododendrons during the spring season. It is said that on a clear day one can also sight the holy shrines of Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath from here.

Ideal for: Mountain Lovers, Himalayan Treks, Nature Enthusiasts, Birdwatching, Isolation

Luxury Level: Medium to Luxury

Best Time of the Year to Visit: March to December. May and June can get busy.

Nearest Airport Location: Pantnagar   

Gangtok, Sikkim

Misty scene from Gangtok
I call it
: Himalayan Kingdom

Gangtok is slowly becoming a busy hill station of India, but it still offers a lot of off beat charm at its fringes. The view of the mighty Kanchendzonga, river rafting on the raging Teesta, a rich array of Buddhist monasteries, high altitude lakes, snow capped mountains and umpteen waterfalls make Gangtok a great choice. Honeymooners might like the various Sikkim honeymoon packages being offered here. All kinds of adventure lovers, nature enthusiasts and even shoppers also seem to dig this place. It is no wonder that this place is called the ‘Himalayan Kingdom’. 

Ideal for: Mountain Lovers, Buddhist Culture, Nature Lovers, Shoppers, Trekkers, Birdwatchers, Adventure Enthusiasts

Luxury Level: Medium to Luxury

Best Time of the Year to Visit: All year round except for the monsoon season

Nearest Airport Location: Bagdogra airport near Siliguri  

Spiti, Himachal Pradesh

Snow covered Spiti valley
I call it
: Untouched Himalayan Villages

The highest villages of the world exist here. Some very famous high altitude lakes call this place their home. It is also Himachal Pradesh’s rich fruit orchard region. Bordering China occupied Tibet, it is steeped in rich Buddhist culture and is home to some very lovely smiling people. The only down side is that the infrastructure is medium to basic here and does not have any luxury tones to it. If you like an adventurous mountain honeymoon holiday, you should look at this place. The famous Pin Parbat and the valley is located in Spiti and if you are lucky, you might spot the extremely rare snow leopard.

Ideal for: Mountain Lovers, Himalayan Treks, Buddhist Culture, Nature Lovers, Isolation

Luxury Level: Medium

Best Time of the Year to Visit: March to November

Nearest Airport Location: Kullu

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