Monday 22 November 2010

Honeymoon destinations

The wedding season has graciously arrived once again and people are coming together for lifelong bliss. So while romance is in the air, I offer you some common and some uncommon honeymoon destinations. I compiled this list for a very atypical bridal issue of a lifestyle supplement, where the reigning theme asked women: What kind of bride are you? We put together 4 different kinds of brides: The rock chick bride (the adventurous one), the Indian bride (traditional and conventional), the austere bride (simple, no frills) and the glamorous bride (the ultimate luxurious kind). Read on as I list the down the destinations that suite them best.

The rock chick bride
At the outset, Kenya seems like an unlikely honeymoon destination. But its rustic landscape and abundant wildlife coupled with endless white tree-lined beaches are reason enough to lure anyone. Kenyan safaris are most popular on honeymooners’ lists. There are plenty of safari lodges and camps across Kenya that include activities such as guided bush walks, balloon safaris and romantic meals prepared al fresco. You can cosy up in luxury tents at one of Kenya’s nature reserves while gaping at spectacular wildlife or take a hot air balloon ride amid the wondrous view of the snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro. 
Places to visit: Masai Mara National Reserve and Amboseli National Park.

Photo courtesy: Collin J.

Photo courtesy: Paul Mannix

For the rock chick bride nothing spells unconventional more than crazy adventure sports on a rugged terrain. With a rustic landscape and feisty mountains as a backdrop, Ladakh offers a diversity of mountain climbing, biking, paragliding, trekking and white water rafting. If you chose to give the adventure sports a miss, you can also explore the numerous monasteries and learn more about the Buddhist culture that predominantly envelops this state.
Places to visit: Leh to explore monasteries, Zanskar for river rafting and Markha valley for trekking.

The traditional Indian bride
Switzerland has eternally been a prime attraction for honeymooners; even Bollywood has laid a stamp of approval by featuring it in many a film. Snowy mountain peaks, Swiss chocolate, Swiss cheese, lake cruises and Alpine meadows combine to assure you of an unforgettable honeymoon. Mountain biking, hiking and skiing lure the more adventurous lot, whereas candle-lit dinner with expensive champagne by the fireplace in a chalet makes for an ideal romantic escapade.
Places to visit: A lake cruise in Lucerne, horse-drawn carriage rides in Zermatt and Interlaken for a glimpse at Jungfraujoch, the highest mountain in Europe.

Kerala displays a versatility as no other state in India. Whether it is calm lakes, serene backwaters, lush green tea estates, breezy hill stations or secluded beaches, Kerala truly has it all. Moreso, this resplendent state also extends a gamut of unique staying options such as houseboats, tree houses, luxury cottages, homestays and more. As a couple you can also enjoy relaxing spa therapies together as Kerala is reputed for its effective Ayurvedic treatments. Don’t forget to sample the delectable coastal cuisine that comprises a wide variety of seafood and local favourites like payasam, parboiled rice and aviyal traditionally eaten on a banana leaf.
Places to visit: Munnar, Fort Kochi, Kumarakom and Wayanad.

The glam bride
This archipelago has long been known for its clear turquoise waters and palm-fringed, soft, powdery sand beaches. Seychelles welcomes you to explore its magical marine world filled with sea turtles, reef fish and brightly hued corals. This coastal haven offers a grand gastronomic fare with its exotic seafood. You can stroll along the beaches or dive in and go snorkelling in the deep blue sea. The nightlife here is dotted with music and fanfare amid beach bands, pulsating night clubs and bustling casinos. While you’re miles away from civilisation, bask in the glorious tropical paradise of the island of Mahé set against a backdrop of towering mountains.
Places to visit: Victoria, the capital city, and Praslin and Mahé islands.

Photo courtesy: Tiare Scott

Palace on wheels
An unconventional fusion of luxury accommodation with the thrill of discovering local sights while on the move, the grand Palace on Wheels is a true royal experience. The royal seven-day train journey begins from Delhi and arrives at Jaipur on day two, moving to Jaisalmer on day three and Jodhpur on day four, and there on to Ranthambore Tiger Sanctuary and Chittaurgarh Fort. On day six, it is back in Jaipur and the final leg leads to the eternally romantic city of Agra before concluding at Delhi. The train comprises 14 fully air-conditioned saloons named after former Rajput states. Every saloon is complete with a mini pantry and lounge with elements such as music, intercom, attached toilets, shower, carpets and other amenities. The overall experience is of being in an opulent five-star hotel and pampered like royalty—a perfect honeymoon!

The Austere bride
This ‘saucer’ shaped valley, located in Madhya Pradesh, is the only hill station in Central India. Pachmarhi got its name from the five caves that—according to local beliefs—once sheltered the Pandavas during their exile. Also known as Queen of the Satpura (range) Pachmarhi is also an archaeological treasure-house. With a rare blend of religion, history and nature, Pachmarhi is embellished with tranquil forest glades, groves of wild bamboo and jamun and delicate bamboo thickets. Head to Lord Shiva’s Chauragarh temple, bathe under the beautiful Bee Falls or simply watch a romantic sunset at Dhupgarh.
Places to visit: Bison Lodge, Pandav caves, Apsara Falls.

Sri Lanka
Sun, sand and surf, it’s all here in Sri Lanka. Besides verdant landscapes and a stunning coastline, Sri Lanka also boasts of stunning underwater coral reefs, cascading waterfalls and golden sandy beaches. Snorkeling, scuba diving, surfing and floating on glass bottom boats are sure to raise your ‘fun’ quotient.  The country is replete with old forts, museums, temples, viharas (monasteries) and churches to satiate your thirst for history and culture. There also are many casinos, discos and clubs that comprise the vibrant nightlife here. But most of all, it is Sri Lanka’s abundance of sparkling gems like sapphires, rubies and other exotic gemstones that will floor your beloved.
Places to visit: Bentota, Hikkaduwa and Colombo.

Photo courtesy: Rahul d Lucca

Photo courtesy: Vincent Teeuwen

Published in iDiva, November 2009 issue. 


Prutha Raithatha said...

im going to ladhak... with or without a husband...hehe

follow if u like what u see?


Ruchika Vyas said...

Hehe, that's cool :) the place is too amazing!

Ruchika Vyas said...

Thank you all for your kind words :)

Shahid said...

All the places mention in your post are really good. for honeymoon in india