The year 2012 will be a good time for visiting India as one will get the chance to experience the T20 IPL 5 tournament. While in India, the must visit destinations include Kerala, Goa, the golden triangle tour, and the hill state of Uttarakhand.

India is one of those places that are synonymous with exotic long haul cheap vacations. This colourful destination is a perfect example of unity in diversity, which finds reflection in almost every aspect of life. Being a cultural melting pot of numerous ethnicities and races, the country is like a treasure trove of delightful rich experiences. Visiting during the different festivals is amongst the best ways to capture the essence of India. For instance, if the spirit of the state of Punjab is best felt during Baisakhi, one should visit Kolkata or the cultural capital of India during Durga Pooja, a multi hued Indian festival. The year 2012, will prove to be a lovely time for one’s India travel as the country would be co-hosting IPL Tournament 2012. With cricket being somewhat of a religion in India, the time would be ripe for blending travel and some local cricket fever which is on throughout the year. Here are the places that are an absolutely not to be missed while travelling in India.

Award Wining Kerala

This sun-drenched state lives up to its reputation as ‘god’s own country’ and is considered to be one of the best travel destinations in Asia. In fact, Kerala was voted as the best Asian holiday destination in the ‘Best in Travel poll 2010’ held by the independent online travel magazine, Smart Travel Asia. The famed meandering backwaters across the state, the mesmerising cliffs of Varkala, the serene palm fringed beaches of Kovalam, and acres and acres of coconut groves and rice paddies all blend in perfect harmony. To experience Onam, one of the biggest festivals in Kerala, one needs to make reservations for flights to India with the months of August and September in mind. This is the monsoon season and not a very popular time to travel, but there are greater chances of netting cheap flights to India and experience the heady Onam celebrations.

Goa – Premiere Indian Beach Destination

Popular as the ‘pearl of the east’, Goa is perhaps India’s hottest travel destination. Known for its legendary sun, sand, and surf entertainment, Goa is also very likely the party capital of India and possibly the most westernised place in the country as well. A pleasing ambience of over three centuries of Portuguese colonial rule hangs thick and is perhaps best expressed by the permissive outlook of the destination’s friendly denizens. While cascading waterfalls, dazzling blue seas, and pleasing wildlife sanctuaries all make for tremendous natural beauty, delectable cuisines, especially sea food and cheap booze spell paradise for gourmets. Travellers planning to visit Goa in the near future would do well to start their hunt for cheap tickets right away as Goa will become a sizzling hot destination in February, when the Goa Carnival will be celebrated.

The Heritage ‘Golden Triangle’ Tour –

Going on the Golden Triangle Tour of Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur is the perfect way to kill three birds with one stone. Delhi alone floors visitors with its lip smacking cuisines, addictive shopping, and unforgettable sightseeing. Bukhara in Maurya Sheraton and Kareem’s in the Old Delhi area are just two of the numerous eating joints dishing out manna like fare. Similarly, in terms of architecture, Lutyens’s Delhi or New Delhi dazzles with majestic colonial structures like Rashtrapati Bhawan, Parliament House, and India Gate, while Mughal era jewels like Jama Masjid and Red Fort adorn Old Delhi. As far as Agra is concerned, the city is no stranger to the world with its stunning Taj Mahal and the Agra Fort. Similarly, Jaipur in the desert state of Rajasthan proves to be one of the best places in the country to experience India’s bygone royal era. Some of the most potent crowd magnets of Jaipur are Amber Fort and Palace, Dera Amer Elephant Safari, Abhaneri Step Well, Hawa Mahal, and Sheesh Mahal. A truly royal way of taking the golden triangle tour is by buying tickets for the ‘Palace on Wheels’.

The Hill State of Uttarakhand

This hill state offers countless indescribably alluring spots for embarking on some colourful flights of fancy. Popular hill stations like Mussourie and Nainital make for the perfect summer escapades and emerge as a feast to the eye with their tremendous natural beauty. Similarly, in the upper reaches, butterflies and flowers make the ‘Valley of Flowers’ a riot of colours. Not far from here is the famed Sikh pilgrimage spot of Hemkund Sahib. Those planning to indulge in some exhilarating winter sports would do well to head to Auli. Uttarakhand also makes for an unforgettable spiritual odyssey and offers one an enormous pick of choices spanning enchanting places such as the holy cities of Hardwar and Rishikesh and the Char Dham Yatra of Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath. While visiting Rishikesh, an absolutely not be missed event is the word renowned white water rafting. One of the best times to watch religious frenzy at its peak is the Kumbh Mela.

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