If you’ve been to Mahabaleshwar already then head to another scenic spot very close to it that has bagged the title ‘The Mini Kashmir’. Tapola is situated 25 kms ahead of Mahabaleshwar in the Satara district. Tapola is currently gaining recognition as a quieter holiday option.
Presenting a stunning view that the Sahyadri Hills offer of the Koyana Dam, water sports is amazing fun here and safe for the entire family. The Koyana Dam is one of the biggest in Maharashtra. Tapola Village enjoys pleasant weather throughout the year. One of the prime attractions here is the Shiv Sagar Lake, which stretches 90 km long and serves as a water reservoir to the Koyana Dam. The lake offers visitors an opportunity to go boating and enjoy water scooter rides and kayaking.
Tapola is popular with nature lovers, photographers and trekking enthusiasts who like a quiet moment by themselves or with their family.
Where to stay: If one is looking to stay overnight, there are Tapola river camps that provide accommodations in non air-conditioned tents.
From Delhi: Kedarnath, Uttarakhand
Every year, the Kedarnath yatra is eagerly awaited by Hindu pilgrims. Good news is that the doors to the Kedarnath shrine are now officially open for pilgrims and tourists. Uttarakhand receives a steady flow of tourists who wish to visit the shrine as the Kedarnath Temple is considered a sacred site by Hindus.
Incidentally, Kedarnath is considered the remotest of the four Char Dham sites as Kedarnath is located in the Himalayas about 11,755 ft above sea level near Chorabari Glacier, the head of River Mandakini. The nearest roadhead is at Gaurikund, 14 kms ahead.
Kedarnath Temple: Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Kedarnath Temple is located on the Garhwal Himalayan range. Due to extreme weather conditions, the temple is open only between the end of April (Akshaya Tritiya) to Kartik Purnima (the autumn full moon, usually in November) each year. During the winters, the vigrahas (deities) from Kedarnath Temple are brought to Ukhimath and worshipped there for six months. The temple is not directly accessible by road and has to be reached by a 14 kilometres uphill trek from Gaurikund.
The tip: Acclimatise before you set foot on the yatra.
From Bangalore: Ranganathittu bird sanctuary, Karnataka
Beat the summer humidity by taking your kids to Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary also known as Pakshi Kashi of Karnataka. This is a delightful place for the entire family in the Mandya District of Karnataka.
You can take your binoculars along and spot birds like Painted Stork, Asian Openbill Stork, Common Spoonbill, Woolly-necked Stork, Blackheaded Ibis, Lesser Whistling Duck, Indian Shag, Stork-billed Kingfisher and other common birds like egrets, cormorants, Oriental Darter, and herons breed here regularly. The Great Stone Plover, and River Tern also nest here. The park is home to a large flock of Streak-throated Swallows. During the months of January and February, more than 30 bird species are found here and the season of the sanctuary is from November to June. About 50 pelicans have made Ranganathittu as their permanent home.
Smart tips: Wear a cap and carry water bottles along with you. Do not disturb the birds and enjoy their melodious bird song.
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