Travel is an existential need for many people. It’s when you break free from the hum-drum of your daily lives and set out to experience new places, cuisines, and cultures. Friends are an important part of this experience, but have you ever tried backpacking solo?
It is the most liberating experience, where the focus is not on the people you are with, where the only friend you have is the road and that euphoric feeling of experiencing a new destination.
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Here is a list of 5 great destinations; you must backpack to at the next opportunity you get.
Located not far from Bangalore, this coffee capital of Karnataka is set amidst lush green coffee estates and wooing weather that is cool and misty throughout the year. Your best stay option is a homestay to witness the local culture and cuisine first hand. The small towns namely Madikeri, Virajpet, Kushalnagar, Gonikoppal, Pollibetta, and Somwarpet have several attractions besides great weather, spice, and the luscious coffee plantations. Friendly folk and a tantalizing landscape promise to make your trip memorable.
Just beyond Coorg at the Karnataka – Kerala border lays the verdant vistas of Wayanad, still unspoilt by the commercial corridors of the city. Wildlife, tea-plantations and spice trails greet you here. There are fancy resorts too here along with many budget options and home- stays. Several homes offer delicious home-cooked meals at really reasonable rates, an option you might want to explore instead of expensive restaurants. When you want to take a break from the enveloping tranquillity, you can try out the many enthralling adventure sports activities or trek to the summit of the Chembra Peak. A backpacker’s delight, you can truly be one with nature out here.
Chikmagalur is a hill station in Karnataka, with Baba Budangiri to its North, a mountain range in the Western Ghats, with 3 large caves said to be holy. Don’t miss the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary on the way here, which is home to elephants, tigers, and leopards. Chikmaglur, may not be as picturesque as other hill stations but has quite a many tourist attractions to offer. You can trek the many trails through forests and grasslands that lead up to Mullayanagiri Peak or head to the cascading Hebbe Falls, a must-visit when in Chikmaglur. There are several accommodation options in the city, but if you can manage to stay amidst a coffee estate, it will make the whole experience almost surreal.
The first thing you notice when you board off the bus at Munnar, are green hills surrounding you, misty weather and tea plantations caressing each hill in a tight embrace. The hills provide many peaks and vantage points to take in the stunning view of the hill range. For the adventure sport lovers, try the enthralling rappelling activities at Munnar for one of the most unforgettable moments in your life. This is a paradise for those that are fond of their tea, as you have a variety of exotic blends to pick from here. Enjoy the lush green foliage and tea estates and do visit Eravikulam National Park and Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary. For shopping, head to the commercial centre for quaint memorabilia and the choicest selection of tea.
5. Nandi Hills
A popular getaway destination from Bangalore is the much-visited hill fortress Nandi Hills. This all-time favorite destination, sports pleasant weather throughout the year, is easily accessible by road and attracts trekkers, nature lovers, and Adventure Enthusiasts. Trekking at Nandi Hills is an experience that is truly one for the books. An amazing sunrise, the beautiful Bull Temple and the mysterious point Tipu’s drop await you there. It’s a great day trip but you can make a weekend out of it by staying over at the Discovery Village Resort at the foot of the hill for delectable cuisine and a wide range of activities and re-visit the hilltop next morning for the most amazing sunrise you may have experienced to date.
So next time you want to spend some me-time in enchanting backdrops, take a backpacking trip solo. It’s a priceless gift you can give yourself.