WHERE: Pangot, Uttarakhand
WHAT: Pangot is a little slice of birding heaven, with over 250 documented bird species, including more than six varieties of the Indian tit (yes, you read that right). This sleepy little village has a constant background score of chirping, and the locals live in delightful harmony with nature and their avian friends – many houses here are built with special spaces reserved for nests. From the many trails, Khunjakorak is better for drives, and the Timla Pani route is particularly picturesque and great for walking, with young neem trees and quaint Kumaoni houses, as well as bee-eaters, bulbuls, Oriental turtle doves, plum-headed parakeets and spotted owls, The Jungle Lore Birding Lodge and the sweetly-named Nest Cottages are both great options for stay, with simple and home-cooked food.
FOR WHOM: Bird enthusiasts of all feathers!
GETTING THERE: While flight (through Pantnagar Airport) and train (Kathgodam Railway Station) options exist, your best option is the seven-hour drive from New Delhi.
WHAT: Get on a boat and go see crocodiles. No rush, plenty of room for everyone. While their bloodthirsty reputation precedes them, crocodiles are actually majestic creatures that leave you stunned and speechless. And awed.
On the Crocodile Dundee boat ride through the Cumbarjua Canal, you’ll see them hiding in the mangrove-riven banks, or gliding through the water, minding their own business. Sudden movements and noises will spook them, so the boat captains take care to get closer as quietly as possible, as well as turn off engines on spotting them. The boat ride in itself is enjoyable, with the opportunity to spot birds as well on the way.
FOR WHOM: Definitely groups of girls. Y’all need to see this.
GETTING THERE: Goa is connected by flights, trains and road. Take your pick.