Mountain biking in the hills of Uttarakhand, para-sailing in Goa, a therapeutic spa in a Mughal-era palace in Rajasthan and even a kite flying competition to soak in the Independence Day festivities- the tourism sector in India is going all out by offering attractive packages and discounts to lure maximum travelers for the four-day extended Aug 15 weekend. Thursday (Aug 15) is Independence Day followed by a Friday and then Saturday and Sunday. The hot favorite destinations for Delhiites continue to be Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Agra, Goa and Rajasthan as they offer a great mix of adventure and laid back holiday options without raiding the bank. The majority of travelers are opting for a domestic holiday.
Luxury holidays are emerging as a strong trend this year and these destinations offer some great deals in luxury and five-star properties along with scenic locales and a relaxing holiday. Not only do five-star properties offer great deals during the lean monsoon season, but other value-adds such as discounted spa therapy, complimentary transfers and the like make for a really top-notch holiday experience. There are ample destinations within 300 kms of Delhi. If you are into nature walks, safaris, cycling and spa, the Tree of Life resort or Samode Palace in Jaipur would be apt but if you want to get an adrenaline rush, head to Amber-Vermont estate in Mussorie for rafting in the Yamuna or mountain biking, hiking and treks in Atali, Rishikesh or solitude in the Himalayas in Ramgarh, Uttarakhand.
Interestingly, travelers are choosing to holiday in Uttarakhand, which was ravaged by torrential rains and flash floods in June that claimed hundreds of lives. Uttarakhand floods had a ripple effect on the summer business of many destinations there but the extended weekend is somewhat making up for the loss. Leading travel portals are offering discounts on air tickets, hotel bookings and packages, both domestic and international. For the travelers, they are a mixed bag of families and groups of friends and newly-married couples on their honeymoon. The average holiday budget begins at Rs. 5,000-10,000 (100$-200$) per person and goes up to Rs.40,000-60,000 (800$-1000$) depending on the destination.