After graduating from a college in Chennai, one of the main reasons I wanted to take up a job in Bengaluru was for its strategic location. I’ve been to Bengaluru multiple times and I knew how close it was to some of the places I’ve always wanted to visit since childhood.
Just like how I wanted, I got placed in a company in Bengaluru and before I knew it, I was settled in my new place. I gave myself a month to settle down in my new work and my apartment.
I set my routine and became comfortable with it. Cut to the start of month two and I was back to who I really was – a traveler. The first day of the second month had me going to the office and pulling out the calendar to have a look at all the long weekends that were coming in for the year.
Thankfully, there were three. So, in my mind, I had already fixed three destinations. I only had to take a day or two off for two more destinations. I must say that I was fortunate enough because things had turned out exactly as I wanted. If I remember correctly, I did weekend adventure trips last year and here are five of the best ones I would recommend to all of you weekend explorers out there.
A lot of people in my circle didn’t know that Dandeli was actually one of the most beautiful places in Karnataka. I read about the place back when I was in college and it has been on my list since then. Dandeli is famous for its rafting activities on River Kali.
The best part is the river also forms its own natural Jacuzzi, where you would find water just at the right temperature for you to relax. It’s also a shelter to a lot of migratory birds and indigenous species of animals. The place also boasts of activities like jungle camping (which I couldn’t do), kayaking and wildlife safari. For two days, this is a fun place to be.
If you’re filmy like me and always wanted to visit a place that looked like the backdrop of a romantic Bollywood song, this is the place to be. With a beautiful meadow and stunning views of the Western Ghats, Kodachadri is also a natural heritage site. I went for a 3-day trek and camping organized by one of my friends and adventure operator here. Be careful of leeches here and if you ask me, the best time to go would be the month of November.
If Goa is too mainstream for you, I recommend Gokarna. The reason I recommend this for adventure is that there is a private island where you could camp on the weekends. If you’re going as a group, this is a perfect weekend retreat.
Adventure operators arrange temporary tents as accommodation in the island and conduct activities like dolphin spotting, catamaran rides and more. The island lacks electricity supply and communication networks. So, if you’re looking for a social detox away from civilization, head here.
Closer to Chennai than it is to Bengaluru, I went for a catamaran ride here. It’s an adventure because they take you on a catamaran to the middle of the ocean and ask you to jump. Of course, they provide a life jacket but if you don’t know how to swim like me, panic is worth everything. I also went to Paradise Island (the secluded but beautiful island) here in Pondicherry.
Bandipur is one of the most famous wildlife reserves in South India. What was once a hunting ground for the kings of Mysore is now an attraction for weekend explorers? This place is an adventure because of the chances to spot tigers in all their mighty. Besides, you would also find Indian elephants, gaurs, antelopes along with other native species. There are also numerous tree houses in Bandipur, which you can rent for accommodation. Staying in the woods amidst the wildlife and the eerie noise of crickets, the experience is phenomenal.
The list doesn’t end here. There are other places around Karnataka perfect for weekend getaways and adventures. These places are budget-friendly and safe for groups and solo travelers.