For both locals and international travelers alike, it is often all-too-easy to forget the stunning diversity of sights and experiences India has to offer. While the vacation hotspots of Mumbai, Udaipur, and New Delhi are worthwhile global destinations in their own right, some travelers may feel that a more rewarding travel experience can be found off-the-radar.
India is a continent, one that has one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet, where a kaleidoscope of culture, food, partying, nature, and relaxation can be accessed without ever having to step outside its borders. If you’re looking for an Indian staycation that promises something truly new, read on to find out about the overlooked destinations you need to be visiting in 2020.
If your idea of a worthwhile travel experience consists of seeing jaw-dropping natural sights, then consider the desert region of Khuri, in Rajasthan. Located close to Jaisalmer, the Khuri Sand Dunes are a sprawling ecological marvel that many globetrotters have described as resembling the surface of Mars.
The Sand Dunes are equipped with several award-winning eco-lodges, most notably the futuristic Sand Dunes Resort, where travelers can spend the evening in order to catch a glimpse of the Milky Way, which is said to be more visible at night here than almost anywhere else on Earth.
While some seasoned Indian travelers may argue that Goa is a path too well-trodden, there is more to this vast territory than neon-splattered beach raves and trance music. Goa has been undergoing a self-transformation in recent years, pivoting away from its previous market of partying backpackers towards a more refined demographic.
Thanks, in part, to liberalized gambling legislation that has allowed certain five-star resorts in Goa to provide casino access to paying guests, the state is emerging as one of Asia’s premier gambling hotspots.
There are a number of reasons for this recent transformation of Goa into a potential Las Vegas of India. One of these is the explosive popularity in online gambling in recent years, with real money casino reviewers like Vegas Slots Online helping to globalize the idea of the Las Vegas casino, and drive up the appetite for similar gambling destinations.
While a visitor to Goa has several options for high-roller gambling, one of the best staycation spots right now is the opulent Zuri White Sands Resort & Casino, which offers Las Vegas-style decadence with a distinctly Indian twist.
History buffs and culture vultures could skip the Red Fort this year and instead head to the ancient city of Champaner in Gujarat, a former royal capital during the Sultanate of Gujarat. Easily reachable from Vadodara, this vast expanse of ruins and restored buildings, located at the top of a hill, has more than enough to keep even the most ravenous culture vulture contented. There are dozens of temples, palaces, and shrines to explore, with each one telling a unique and forgotten story about the various dynasties and factions that fought over this settlement in centuries past.
The walled city of Ahmedabad was founded on the banks of the Sabarmati River in 1411 A.D., with the intention of providing security and refuge to travelers, pilgrims, and traders from across the Subcontinent. Today, the fort city is a thriving cosmopolis that continues to live by its founding ideals.
Within this beautiful city, consisting largely of the original 15th Century architecture, you’ll find Hindu Temples, Muslim Mosques, Sikh temples, and Christian Churches, as well as delicious cuisine from every corner of India and beyond. As well as gorgeous scenery and unmissable food, Ahmedabad offers some additional cultural capital since it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2018.
Located in the rural depths of Karnataka, the treehouse resort and eco-lodge of Bheemeshwari offers something that truly cannot be found anywhere else in the country.
The Bheemeshwari Jungle Lodge offers a safari-like experience only two hours from the center of Bangalore, including animal spotting, ziplining, bird watching, wild swimming, and extreme sports. Eco-conscious travelers will find comfort in the fact that this is a zero-waste resort that takes its responsibility to the surrounding environment very seriously.
These are the unmissable and underrated Indian staycation destinations of 2020. Make sure to book now before the rest of the world discovers them!