If a wedding is a feast then Honeymoon just serves to be the dessert. If wedding is a cake then yes, you are right, honeymoon is the icing on the cake.Forgive our lines which we admit are slightly tacky, but you get the drift, right?
Yes we are discussing honeymoons. And honeymoon without a destination , or rather appropriate destination isn’t a honeymoon at all. It is that vital component in the crossing over from the state of being single to that of companionship. There is apprehension, there is elation. There are expectations, there are insecurities . And the best way to enter the unknown world of exciting new beginnings is by being with each other alone, away from prying neighbours, teasing friends and intrusive relatives, getting to know each other and getting to know how to know each other better.
Nowadays it is common to hear about boutique honeymoon destinations like Greece, Spain, Vietnam overseas and the Andamans, Gulmaarg ,Udaipur in India, but today we bring before you some lesser attempted destinations from our own country as our recommendations with its USP as its scenic beauty and the plus point that they are far from the madding crowds.
Thanedar in Himachal Pradesh is a small town in Himachal famous for its apple orchards , if visited during winters, gives you the feeling of being instantly transported to the magical land of Narnia, forever snowbound.
Thanedar is off the highway from Shimla to Rampur that leads all the way up to Spiti and if you are in a hurry to reach Kinnaur and Spiti you might overlook the narrow road that leads to this beautiful spot.
It is 94 km away from Shimla and a three hours drive from there. Cabs and buses are available from Shimla if you plan for a day picnic instead of halting there. But we strongly advise you to make Thanedar your first base instead of crowdy Shimla. Banjara camps provide you comfortable accomodation in their luxurious tents and spending a quiet night under the starlit sky by a bonfire sounds so romantic and out of the world.
If Banjara camps sounds too adventurous for your comfort, then you can stay anywhere near Thanedar, as in Fagu, Kufri or Narkanda. There are plenty of deluxe hotels and premium resorts in the nearby places of Kufri, Fagu, Narkanda and Chail.
Thanedar is an all season destination but it can be seen in its full splendour in the winters when the entire landscape is covered with snow.
But summers will not disappoint you either with its scenic vistas of the himalayas and the apple orchards. You will be interested to know that Samuel Stokes planted apple seeds for the first time here in Thanedar and hence be sure to sample the fruit products sold indegeniously over there.
Thanedar is a quiet and a pretty hamlet that will leave you inwardly smilingly whenever you remember those quiet moments of togetherness spent treking or enjoying a picnic by the Tani Jubber lake.
Jaisalmer , the golden city (apparently so due to the sandstone used in the buildings)or the city of forts , far west in Rajasthan, bordering the Thar desert is another beautiful place to spend your honeymoon, just under the clear skies and a full moon. Though the city of Jaisalmer and the Fort of Jaisalmer which houses the old city are in a diferent league altogether, what with its splashes of history and old world charm, but the overnight camping in the sand dunes right in the midst of the desert is a highpoint and a beautiful experience , which you will cherish throughout your life.
Camel rides, banjaras, kalbeliyas, the twirling dancers, soulful folk tunes, flickering embers as the night dies …all will remind you of Sridevi as she danced in gay abandon in the movie Lamhe as Anil Kapoor watched her spellbound.
Jaisalmer is never lacking in excitement and adventure either and you can spend a whole day and night in the desert in a camel safari, or a long aimless drive in the smooth highway . You can enjoy a threesome date with history with your beloved roaming in the Old city of Jaisalmer, the Sonar Kella or the Golden fort, the many havelis and many monuments, shoping for antiques and curios.
Jaisalmer is easily accesible by rail, road and air and accomodation is not at all a problem as both Tourism hotels and Heritage resorts are available for all budget.
Do avail the sand dunes overnight package which is an experience to remember.
Best and probably the only season to visit is the winter season, but isn’t the most popular wedding season the winters? So what do you say? Are you willing to lose yourselves in the vast expanse of the magnificient desert?
Sea, sand and a candle light dinner. The perfect setting for a romantic date but do we dare say, a bit cliched. So how about for a change a lagoon? Do you see images of The blue lagoon in your mind. Yes we suggest to you Chilika lake lagoon, in the east coast of India in Orissa, at the mouth of the Daya river. It is the largest coastal lagoon in India and the second largest in the world and to top it is a home to the famous Irrawady dolphins. Now that is different!
You will never feel so close to nature as when you find yourself among the biodeversity of the place because other than the overwhelming marine life, Nalaban islands in Chilka is also a popular flocking ground for migratory birds and the wetlands has ben Internationally designated as Wetlands of importance.
The some what Avatar-ish settings will certainly make you feel like Adam and Eve and bring you both closer in no time.
Chilika as a whole is a vast area and is well connected by road and rail from Bhubaneshwar which is 105 km away. The place has a multitude of tourist spots both of natural and religious significance like the Nalaban island which is a bird sanctuary, the Kalijai temple dedicated to a newly wed girl who perished in the sea,the Satapada islands ,the most famous of the lot for its Irrawady dolphins, Becon Island, Breakfast Island, Birds Island. But of course we specially mention for you a spot which is known as Honeymoon Island also known as the Barkuda island. In early days britishers use to go picnicking over there, the striking point over there being the crystal clear water and the colourful waterbed of algae.
The sunsets are beautiful and as the languid water reflects a beautiful orange, the life around you calls it a day while you look ahead at a calm and peaceful life with your beloved forever till eternity.
Dr. Jayati Nath
Dr. Manipadma .
Manipadma has also authored travel related articles on www.gingerchai.com
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