Indians are breathing a sigh of relief as the country’s COVID-19 caseload finally shows signs of decline. The recovery rate has crossed 90%, and after two months of strict travel restrictions, we’re hoping for a (careful) revival in tourism by the end of 2021.
Much like the end of the first wave, travel is likely to return via road trips, outdoor escapes and destinations you can reach with a direct, nonstop flight ticket. We’ve put some thought into what are the new (or lesser known) places we want to visit. Take a look at our bucket list, and see if anything matches yours?
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An artsy pitstop: Vellar Tourist Village, Kerala
Maestros at work, and a relaxing atmosphere—this is the matinee show to catch:
The Vellar Tourist Village opened in January 2021 as a charming settlement to spotlight a genuine piece of Kerala. Hosting 28 artisan studios with 50-plus kinds of handicrafts, the village has an art gallery, emporium, and food and beverage options to keep families and solo travellers busy on a day trip. Located around 30 minutes from Trivandrum Airport, Vellar is easily accessible via a flight booking.
Ensnaring the senses at Delhi’s Museum of Illusions
Nothing is what it seems at the Museum of Illusions! The global brand, known for its wacky exhibits and clever tricks, has opened its 30th location in the national capital. Once inside, visitors are in for a playful journey.
Hanging from the ceiling, walking through a vortex, swapping noses or serving your own head on a platter—the Museum’s slick exhibit rooms offer tons of photo opportunities, and are a perfect addition to a day outing. Built in Connaught Place’s Inner Circle, the site is just 20 minutes from Indira Gandhi International Airport.
A sky full of stars at Astroport Sariska, Rajasthan
If you want something as mesmerising as the Museum without the crowds of Delhi, look no further than Sariska in Rajasthan’s Alwar. The location, best known for its tiger reserve, is a stunning place for stargazing due to its distance from urbanisation.
Hosting astronomy workshops, space experience programs, camping and staycation options, the Astroport is a one-stop destination to reconnect with the universe. With no light (or noise) pollution nearby, you’ll be enjoying the night sky in its true form, filled with thousands of celestial bodies.
In terms of travel, the nearest airport to Sariska is in Jaipur, but most travellers from nearby cities prefer taking a train to Alwar instead.
The daredevils’s call at Bakthang Falls, Sikkim
After weeks of staying at home, we’re craving an adrenaline rush to jolt us awake. And here enters Sikkim’s Bakthang Falls! Located on National Highway 31A, the serene natural site has grown to become a beloved spot for adventure sports like rappelling and ziplining.
Sikkim Tourism confirms that anyone between the ages of 12 to 50 can try the zipline across the waterfall—which, by the way, is located only 15 minutes from the capital Gangtok. Rappelling, where rope is tied around one’s body as they descend against a cliff, is the choice of more athletic travellers.
Whatever you finally pick, a beautiful bird’s eye view with clouds and green valleys is guaranteed all around.
Cheetah spotting at Kuno National Park, Madhya Pradesh
The Asiatic cheetah, declared extinct in India in 1952, is set to be reintroduced at this national park in the winter of 2021. Kuno was selected as an ideal location due to its natural scrub and grassland habitats, combined with a big prey base comprising antelopes, wild boar and different kinds of deer.
According to a PTI report, 10 cheetahs (including five females) will be flown in from South Africa to renew the species in India. The animals—as well as forest officials and caretakers—will definitely take some time to adjust to this change before tourists are allowed entry. But if you ask us, the wait is worth it. With a single flight ticket to Gwalior, just 2.5 hours away, we’ll finally be able to see the world’s fastest animal in the flesh!
Are there any new tourist attractions you know of that should be on this list? Let us know!