The best possible way to test the strength of friendship is a spontaneous road-trip, armed with the bare essentials, a bunch of willing buddies, and adventure in your heart.
But talk about a trip with friends and Goa is the first place that comes to mind. So we decided to buck the trend and tell you about some other destinations that will make for an awesome experience.
McLeodganj Tucked away in the Himalayas, a few kilometers north of Dharamshala, McLeodganj is a fascinating mélange of the old and the new. Besides being the humble abode of the Dalai Lama, this little hideaway throbs with activity all day (and all night) long, with a vibrant mix of hitchhikers, maroon-clad monks and nuns, volunteers, spiritual foreigners and of course, the quintessential Indian tourists. Walk into one of the many cafés here for some quality conversation and coffee; roam around the busy streets for that perfect Tibetan souvenir, or simply invigorate yourselves at any of the cool OYOs McLeodganj offers. The Indo-Italo-Israeli-Tibetan food is the icing on the cake.
Rishikesh This one’s for all the adventure lovers out there! Brave the fierce, frothing rapids of the mighty Ganges with nothing but a tiny raft, a crew of screeching friends and a smirking instructor on your side. Once you emerge from the freezing waters, craving for more, try your hand at the wide range of adventure sports, such as flying fox, kayaking, valley crossing, and the wildest of them all — cliff jumping! Huddle around the roaring campfire at night, gazing at the constellations above and you’ll realize just how beautiful life and friendship are.
Pondicherry Formerly a French colony, this place will warm your hearts with its joie de vivre and serene beauty. Set off on a long walk to the beaches with your best friend, admiring the lovely French architecture, the Aurobindo Ashram, and the unusual mix of Frenchmen and locals on the way. Indulge in multiple cuisines at the plethora of food joints scattered across town and note down all the best recipes for later. And did I mention that Pondicherry is also known as the Shopping Paradise?
Gangtok This honeymooners’ heaven is also the perfect place to let your wild side loose with your mad gang. Whether you go trekking, eating, or clubbing, Gangtok will ensure that there’s a twist in the tale. The Tsangmo lake about 40 km from the city will redefine ‘heaven’ for you. The duty-free goods are just an added bonus. Don’t forget to make friends with a yak as you take a bumpy ride on its back through this amazing hill-station!
Leh-Ladakh Start working out right away, because a bike trip to Leh-Ladakh is going to need some serious muscle. Put your friendship and stamina to the ultimate test as you hike through glacial melts, freezing streams and the roaring Himalayan winds. Take a break at the surreal Pangong lake and revel in the glorious view. You finally have a chance to put those dusty DSLRs to use!
Jaipur If your friend circle is more into art and culture, the mystical sands of Jaipur are tailor-made for you. Seeped in royalty, this city is a delight for all the senses with its majestic palaces, intricate gardens and the striking local cuisine. The Jaipur Literary Fest is the perfect haven for all you wordsmiths out there! While you’re there, do drop by at the Chokhi Dhani to immerse yourself in the Rajasthani folk flavour.
Coorg Tired of slogging through another tough semester? Book tickets to Coorg and let the stress out! Brew yourselves some refreshing local tea, grab the wooden chairs, and talk about nothing and everything with the people who know you the best. Engulfed by the green forests and the blue skies, your soul will rejuvenate itself without you even realizing.
So call a squad meeting, plan a wonderful trip, book an OYO for your stay, pack your bags and hit the road, because time, tide and wanderlust wait for none.