11 domestic destinations that are gorgeous right now

As summer recedes and clouds gather raindrops, more states are relaxing travel restrictions. Here are a few domestic destinations that you can start marking on the map for a holiday.

Check the state’s entry guidelines before booking.

1. Gangtok (Sikkim)

Gangtok Sikkim hari-shrestha-E1acVnP4aC8-unsplashFlight: Nearest airport is Bagdogra (124 kms). Take private/shared cab to Gangtok. Sikkim Tourism Development Corporation offers daily helicopter services from Bagdogra to Gangtok.

Train: Nearest railhead is New Jalpaiguri (117 kms)

Accommodation: Average rate of accommodation (per night for two, includes breakfast): 3-star, Rs 4,000; 4-star, Rs 8,000; 5-star, Rs 10,500. The Temi Bungalow Eco Adventure Resorts located on Temi Tea Estate (47 kms from Gangtok): 5-night packages include Bungalow Luxury Double (Rs 45,000);  Cottage (Rs 34,000); Executive Cottage (Rs 39,000).

Taxi: Small car, Rs 3,500 per day; 4-wheel drive, Rs 4,500 a day.

Note: According to an order dated July 4, 2021, entry is permitted for those fully vaccinated against Covid-19 (RT-PCR negative report not required). Entry is from Melli and Rangpo check post. Valid vaccination documents are mandatory.

Sikkim Tourism has a list of approved travel agents listed on https://www.sikkimtourism.gov.in/Public/TravellerEssentials/travelagents.

2. Goa

GoaFlight: Goa is well connected by air with all major cities.

Train: Main railway stations are Madgaon and Vasco-da-Gama; very well connected with all major railheads.

Plan your trip: Visit https://www.goatourism.gov.in/

Note: Fully-vaccinated travellers can enter Goa; others require RT-PCR negative report.

Check https://goaonline.gov.in/entryterms for entry permissions and Covid-related guidelines.

3. Ladakh (Jammu & Kashmir)


Flight: Nearest airport is Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport located in Leh.

Train/Road: Nearest railway station is Tawi (700 kms). Government and private buses are easily available from Srinagar and Manali. For bus entry, the Srinagar path is open from June to October and the Manali route from June to September.

Plan your trip: Visit https://leh.nic.in/tourism/tourist-info/

Inner line permits (ILP) can be obtained online from https://www.lahdclehpermit.in

Note: Passengers arriving in Ladakh, both by air and road, must have a negative RT-PCR report not older than 96 hours. Otherwise, they will have to undergo mandatory Covid-19 test on arrival. All passengers must download Aarogya Setu App.

4. Kurseong (West Bengal)

KurseongFlight: Nearest airport is Bagdogra (60-90 minute drive to Kurseong).

Train: Nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri (53 kms).

Plan Your Trip: Visit https://wbtourism.gov.in/destination/place/kurseong

Accommodation: Per night for at Cochrane Place, Rs 5,000+, includes breakfast (www.imperialchai.com)

Note: RT-PCR negative report/Fully vaccinated certificate mandatory.

5-6. Corbett & Valley of Flowers (Uttarakhand)

Valley of Flowers

Flight: Nearest airport is Pantnagar (90-minute drive from Corbett).

Train: Nearest railway station is Ramnagar (12 kms).

Valley of Flowers is 269 kms from Corbett National Park.

Accommodation: Room tariff in Ginger Grass Hotel in Corbett is around Rs 4,000 a night (www.ayuhotels.com)

Note: All tourists wishing to visit the valley will have to submit a negative RT-PCR report and abide by all the COVID-19 protocols put in place across the state.

7-8. Dharamshala & Chail (Himachal Pradesh)

Dharamshala vaibhav-bhalekar-VRF40DxyaaE-unsplash

For Dharmshala

Flight: Nearest airport is in Gaggal (12 kms)

Train: Nearest railway station is Pathankot (86 kms)

Chail is 45 kms from Shimla (nearest airport to Shimla is 22 kms away; Kalka is the nearest railway station, about 66 kms away)

Accommodation: Karuna Mansion, The Sky Bhagsu, Dharamshala, Rs 4,000 per night (www.ayuhotels.com); https://www.vistarooms.com/villa/sunshine-estate

Plan your trip: https://himachaltourism.gov.in/

Note: Anyone can enter Himachal Pradesh now. RT-PCR negative report, vaccine certificate not mandatory.

9-10. Shillong & Cherrapunji (Meghalaya)

Shillong Whitewater Village Kyrdem Kulai neil-dsouza-o-uNmKh_5gU-unsplash

Flight: Nearest airport is Umroi (40 kms).

Train/Road: Nearest railway station is Guwahati (105 kms). Taxis/buses to Shillong are easily available from the airport. Avoid night-time road trip. Cherrapunji is 55 kms from Shillong.

Plan your trip: https://www.meghalayatourism.in/plan-your-trip/ has details about accommodation options, itineraries, tour operators and packages.

Note: It is mandatory for all people entering Meghalaya to register themselves prior to their travel at: http://meghalayaonline.gov. in/covid/testing.htm, and to download the Arogya Setu App and the Behavioural Change Management App of Meghalaya.

RT-PCR testing at entry points is mandatory. Persons with a valid final certificate of vaccination shall be exempted from testing.

For details, visit: https://www.meghalayatourism.in/revised-protocols-for-entry-points/

11. Puducherry

Pondicherry AurovilleFlight: Puducherry’s domestic airport is connected to Bengaluru via daily flights (except Wednesdays).

Train: Daily connectivity to Villupuram, Chennai and Tirupathy. Tri-weekly trains connect Puducherry to Bangalore and Mumbai. Other cities like Kolkata, Bhubaneswar, New Delhi, Mangalore and Kanyakumari are connected by a weekly train.

Road: Drive from Chennai (151 kms) or Trichy (203 kms).

Plan your trip: Visit http://www.pondytourism.in/

Note: If you are flying in, you’ll need a RT-PCR negative report. If entering via road, an e-pass is mandatory.

Option: Call Puducherry Mayile Tour at 9443085463 for accommodation, sight-seeing, taxi packages. Source

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