Holiday season beckons, so where are you getting your March mojo?

Ganga ghat in the evening. Photograph: Srikant Nair
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Spring break’s round the corner and it’s time to pin your holiday destination. Seasoned globe trotters have already booked packaged trips to splashy Hong Kong or romantic Italy to enjoy the warmth before the clamminess sets in. A few may venture further to explore the mystic Northern Lights, while some may finally strike the famed Galápagos off their bucket list.

For those who still haven’t decided on their March mojo destination due to exams, family weddings or personal and professional commitments, India has a host of interesting travel options to offer for last-minute reservations. Perfect getaways to calm the city-weary soul in the lap of nature and beaches and good food.

IT professional T Srini (45), swears by Coorg down south, which has been his “favourite March mojo destination for the past 10 years. “The sheer greenery and the perfect temperature are a huge draw, if only to get away from the noise and grime of metropolitan living every once in a while.” His only advise to those considering Coorg as their go-to holiday spot this March: “please plan in advance to enjoy the best of what this nature haven has to offer like its enchanting falls, wildlife sanctuaries and coffee plantations.”

Continuing our journey South, the temple town of Rameshwaram is another big draw for its serene beaches and picture perfect tranquility. The island town offers tourist interesting options to explore like the Ramanathaswamy Temple and Adam’s Bridge or Rama Setu.

The shores of Kochi with their picturesque fishing nets in the backdrop of British ruins and Portuguese architecture have been the subject of many coffee table travelogues. It’s home-stays and heritage lodges are very popular among tourists who flock here in droves to get a flavour of the traditional art forms of Kathakali and Kalarippayat.

Moving slightly north, Goa is an evergreen favourite. “The place is always buzzing with cultural festivals, beach trails and flea markets, especially at Mapusa and Anjuna,” points our boutique owner Manu (36), who prefers to try out home-stays during her annual Goa pilgrimage. “The climate in March is awesome and the food is divine.” Manu is off “right after the board exams get over. It’ll be the best stress buster this year,” she grins.

Biker Megh Pant took a religious detour to the holy city of Varanasi this March, riding his Bullet all the way from Mumbai with his biker pal Srikant Nair from Goa. “It is one of the world’s oldest “inhabited” cities and every time I go there I end up meeting very fascinating people, among them holy men from the Himalayas and quaint Ayurveda practitioners who will tell you very interesting tales of strange jadi-bootis they work with. Also people who come here from different parts of the country daily to feed the poor.” Besides the typically north-Indian food, Megh also enjoys sitting at the ghats just “watching life go by at its leisurely pace as the orange sun sets beyond the sacred Ganga to the sounds of the maha aarti.”

On the Eastern front, the gorgeous Tawang Valley weaves a special magic for adventure seekers. It’s natural medley of mountainous treks and village life, interspersed with Buddhist monasteries mark it out as a must-see March detour.

Sikkim, of course, is the other gem here, and 20-year old Harleen, who is going on an all-girls’ trip to a tea estate there is super excited. “It looks like the perfect place to be before I begin my summer internship at a Delhi-based publishing house. I have heard so much about its orchids and lakes and coloful artifacts,” she squeals.

Not surprisingly, the one West destination that stands out from the rest as temperatures begin to soar, remember Holi came very early this year, is of course Mount Abu in Rajasthan. For Jaipur resident 25-year-old engineer Mahar, “this cool spot in the desert is the best family vacation option right now. Besides visiting its beautiful temples we plan to just chill for a few days in the pleasant weather.”

So where are you getting your March mojo?

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