Source : Economic Times, New Delhi, 14 August 2014
ET-Travel suggests you enjoy an extended weekend in August. Here’s where you can head to…
FROM BANGALORE: BANNERGHATTA NATIONAL PARK
Over 22 kms away from Bangalore, the gates to lush greenery can open up nature’s surprises for you at Bannerghatta National Park. This 25,000 acre park is home to panthers, lions, tigers and a large variety of birds.
Check beforehand, if you can book your group on a Lion and Tiger safari or a Grand Safari (covering herbivorous animals and big cats) and then get set to be amazed at the wonders. Later, take a leisurely stroll at the Zoological Garden and sit by the pond. There is also a dedicated children’s corner, where kids can take some rest and then carry on with their exploration.
If you are a trekker at heart, then the natural rock formation of Uddigebande and Hajjamana Kallu and also Mirza Hill. And yes, the lure of the beautiful Suvarnamukhi stream running through the park shouldn’t be missed as it’s a good spot for photography. You can take pictures of elephant, lion, Bengal tiger, white tiger, panther, bear, bison, spotted deer, rare birds and many types of butterflies.
LOOK OUT: Do not feed the animals. Carry your picnic basket so you can enjoy a day under the skies. On Tuesdays, Bannerghatta National Park remains closed.
FROM DELHI: ASOLA BHATTI WILDLIFE SANCTUARY, NEAR TUGHLAQABAD, DELHI
Asola-Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary lies at the far southern edge of the city of Delhi, at Asola near Tughlaqabad in the Delhi National Capital Territory of India. It is documented that this protected area is home to one of the last surviving remnants of Delhi Ridge hill range and its semi arid forest habitat and its dependent wildlife.
The bio diversity seen here is thanks to the Indo-Gangetic plains merger. If you are in a mood to take it easy in a relaxed manner, go ahead to check out the main attraction of Conservation Education Centre (CEC) in the Forest Department building run in collaboration with the Bombay Natural History Society and Government of NCT, Delhi. There’s never a dull moment when you have books around, you can spend hours here.
An amazing array of information about the flora and fauna is provided here, you can also learn about ways to conserve nature. Find out details about the Nature Trail run by CEC through the scrub jungle.
Your kids will love the informative walk. There are over 193 species of birds reported from Asola along with large number of medicinal plants, more than 80 species of butterflies, hundreds of other insects, animals such as the Nilgai, Blackbuck, Black-naped Hare, Porcupine, Civets, Jackals, Jungle Cat and so on.
LOOK OUT: There can be monkeys perched on the trees, avoid feeding them as they can cause discomfort to the visitors in the protected area.
FROM MUMBAI: NASHIK VINEYARDS, MAHARASHTRA
Nashik is 180 km from Mumbai, reachable by car, bus or train. And that’s such a great bet for the long weekend ahead (Friday Aug 15 is Independence Day and Monday Aug 18 is Janmashtami or Parsi Nav Varsh).
With four days in hand, make the most of your vacay and have an amazing vineyard experience. The rains only bring out the best in a vineyard. Lush grape plantations look so inviting and watching the sunset here adds to the glory. Add to this, take a vineyard tour and understand how wine is made, processed and bottled.
Good news is that there are major vineyards including Sula, Grover Zampa and York Wineries located in Nashik. And each of them offer a comprehensive day tour of their vineyard with a wine tour. Usually a guide takes you around the vineyard to show the plantations. Put on your thinking caps and ask as many curious questions to the guide.
A basic difference between white and red wine is described. You will then be ushered into a high-ceiling room with gigantic containers where grape juice is mixed with yeast and processed. This process looks quite fascinating to everyone, just due to the sheer big size of steel containers.
Wine tasting then follows in the barrel room where professionals ask you to try varieties of wine and you will instantly understand how full-bodied the wine is. You will now yourself swirl the wine before sipping it (haven’t you seen others do it at parties?)
LOOK OUT: Many of these vineyards have a resort where you can stay overnight. Planning to do so? just go ahead and book your vineyard experience. Later, share your pictures with ET-Travel at Facebook.ETTravelIndia.
UPCOMING HOLIDAYS IN AUGUST 2014
- August 15: Independence Day (Friday) – August 18: Janmashtami (Monday) – August 29: Ganesh Chaturthi (Friday)
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