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Discover how to get a free stay with us on Independence Day

Discover how to get a free stay with us on Independence Day

By Akansha

13 Aug, 2022

15th August 1947 was when history changed India forever. After the most toiling imperialist rule, the country was finally free from its clutches and we could see the light outside the tunnel. Bravehearts and freedom fighters struggled endlessly and without hesitation to start the gears of the freedom we experience today. But did you know that Independence Day was originally celebrated on the 26th of January, following the oath taken for ‘Purna Swaraj’ or ‘Declaration of the Independence of India’ in 1930. It was actually way later in 1947, when the country gained full independence that 26th was converted into Republic Day.

Deviating a little from the historical topic, the word ‘independence’ brings a lot of things into mind, doesn’t it? Apart from the memory of the years of freedom struggle, it also brings to mind the sense of ease, comfort, pride, happiness and prosperity that personal independence means. And that feeling is synonymous with travel. Especially solo travel. The feeling of going on your very first backpacking trip, solo or with college friends, ushers in the maturity in all of our lives. Doing our own tickets, selecting the itinerary and location, budgeting and planning for the trip, packing and taking photos - all of it makes the trip even better.

So to help you relive those brilliant memories, bring back the sense of freedom and adventure to your trip; your friendly neighbourhood backpacker hostel is here with an unbeatable ‘Independence Day offer’. From the 11th to the 20th of August, you can now book one dorm bed and get the second absolutely for free! Yes, you read that right. Book one dorm and get the other dorm absolutely for free. Bring a friend or take a long solo trip - that's for you to decide.


To make your planning just a little easier, here are 5 of the choicest locations to travel to in August:


Monsoon clouds gathering over Bhandardara's valleys

Monsoon clouds gathering over Bhandardara's valleys (Picture - Unsplash)

Bhandardara is a beautiful hill station located in the Sahyadri mountain range of Maharashtra. It's a perfect getaway for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and immerse themselves in the tranquillity of nature. With its serene lakes, glistening waterfalls, and lush green forests, Bhandardara has a lot to offer to its visitors. Bhandardara is an ideal destination for those looking for a peaceful and rejuvenating break from their busy lives. Its serene and unspoiled natural beauty is unparalleled, making it an ideal place to unwind and reconnect with nature. The hill station has something to offer for everyone, from nature enthusiasts to adventure seekers. Whether you want to go trekking, camping, fishing, or just relaxing by the lakeside, Bhandardara has it all.

How to reach Bhandardara:

Via train - The nearest railway station is Igatpuri, which is around 45 km away from Bhandardara. From Mumbai, you can travel by Kolkata Mail, Howrah Mail or Mahanagri Express to reach Igatpuri station.

Via bus - The place is well connected from the Maharastra state road transport bus services. If you are in Igatpuri or Kasara, you could board a regular state transport bus to Bhandardara.

Via flight - The closest airports to reach Bhandardara is Nashik International Airport which isaround 90 km and Mumbai Airport which is around 180 km away from Bhandardara. From airport, you can reach Bhandardara by train or drive down.

Top 3 places to visit in Bhandardara:

Bhandardara's Cascading Umbrella Falls

Bhandardara's Cascading Umbrella Falls (Picture - TripiWiki)

Umbrella Falls - The starting point of the trek is Rajur village and the trail will lead you to the magnificent waterfall, where you can marvel at the cascading water creating a mesmerizing spectacle. The trail also provides opportunities for birdwatching, as the region is home to various species of birds.

Ratangad Fort - A historical gem that offers a perfect blend of history, architecture, and natural beauty, the fort boasts impressive architectural features, including robust walls, intricate carvings, and majestic gateways. One of the highlights of visiting Ratangad Fort is the opportunity to witness the enchanting sunset from its elevated vantage points.

Arthur Lake - The sunset at Arthur Lake is a magical experience. Find a comfortable spot along the lake, whether it's on the grassy banks or on a lakeside bench, and prepare to be captivated by the stunning display of colors in the sky.


Shoja's tranquil Lakes

Shoja's tranquil Lakes (Picture - Shutterstock)

A hidden hamlet in Seraj Valley, this hilly beauty has amazing trekking experiences lying in wait; like the famous Jalori Pass and the mystical Serolsar Lake. Along with that, it is also a haven for bird watchers and wildlife enthusiasts. Due to its soft slopes, all around conifers, friendly locals and great weather, this beautiful location is undoubtedly a must-visit for backpackers. Clean and crystal clear, the Tirthan River flowing near Shoja additionally boasts rich aquatic biodiversity as it passes through the Great Himalayan National Park which is also home to a large number of exotic wildlife.

How to reach Shoja:

Via Train - Chandigarh Railway Station is about 243 km. The rest of the journey till Shoja can be completed in a bus or using private cabs.

Via bus - There are many buses plying to Aut from Delhi and other neighbouring cities. The journey usually takes about 10-12 hours and the journey from Aut Tunnel to Shoja can be completed in a private cab or local buses (buses are unlikely.

Via flight - Closest airport is the Bhuntar Airport (Kullu Manali Airport) which is 57 km away from Shoja. You can hire local cabs from the airport or opt for prepaid taxis.

Top 3 places to visit in Shoja:

Beautiful Serolsar Lake surrounded by greenery

Beautiful Serolsar Lake surrounded by greenery (Picture - My Trip Hack)

Jibhi waterfall - Located in the middle of the forest, this waterfall falls from a height into a man-made cement pool. The structure is wide enough to sit on and take plenty of photos with your friends. This is also a short 30 min hike away from the main Jibhi square.

Jalori Pass - Unknown to many, Jalori Pass (or Jalori Jot) is actually one of the closest mountain passes to Delhi. Located at a height of 10,236 feet; it is the gateway to some picturesque Himalayan treks like to Serolsar Lake, Bajah Top and inside the Great Himalayan National Park.

Serolsar lake - A sweet 5 km trek from Jalori Pass, Serolsar Lake (also called Seroyul or Sirolsar) is a beautiful high altitude lake at 10,171 feet. The trek route starts ahead of the Jalori Pass and is approachable only on foot. It takes about 2-3 hours to reach the lakeside. The lake is actually considered to be mystical in nature and locals claim that the waters have medicinal properties.


The breathtaking panorama of Dehradun from the summit

The breathtaking panorama of Dehradun from the summit (Picture - Shutterstock)

The capital of Uttarakhand, located in the lap of Shivalik and the Himalayan mountain range, Dehradun is bestowed with unparalleled beauty and the charisma of nature. It is also popular as the 'educational hub of India' but its natural beauty, green hills and misty roads are also what make it exciting. Dehradun has its own unique lifestyle, culture and art. It is also the gateway to many other scenic locations of the state like Mussoorie, Lansdowne, Chakrata, Kanatal etc.

How to reach Dehradun:

Via train - Dehradun Railway Station is the nearest station. You can take any type of train to Dehradun from any neighbouring major cities, especially Delhi.

Via bus - There are multiple bus stands in Dehradun and local (both budget and luxury) buses ply from nearby cities every single day.

Via flight - 25 km away from the main city is the Jolly Grant Airport, where you can easily get domestic flights too.

Top 3 places to visit in Dehradun:

A Royal Bengal Tiger in Rajaji National Park's wildness

A Royal Bengal Tiger in Rajaji National Park's wildness (Picture - Rajajiwildtrail.com)

Rajaji National Park - Situated in the lap of the Himalayan range, this park is home to numerous endangered wildlife of India. A jungle safari will lead you into the world of the wild where you can spot elephants, tigers, panthers, spotted deer, sambhar deer, wild boar, barking deer and over 400 species of birds.

Robber’s Cave - Also known as Gucchu Paani, it is a natural river cave in the Himalayas. Once you enter and walk inside the cave you will find a 10 m high waterfall. Make sure you are dressed comfortably as you will be walking in the cave with a river which gets narrower as you go ahead. The whole experience of Robber's Cave is wonderful from start to end. It is a natural marvel that one must definitely check out.

Sahastradhara - This is a spot where there are numerous waterfalls with drips from limestone stalactites. Due to this, there is a considerable amount of sulphur in the springs and it is believed that it helps anyone with skin ailments or bone and muscle pains to heal by taking a dip in it. The panoramic view of Sahastradhara and its surroundings feel like something out of the world.

Fort Kochi

The iconic Chinese Fishnets off Fort Kochi's coast

The iconic Chinese Fishnets off Fort Kochi's coast (Picture - Shutterstock)

Situated in the coastal city of Kerala, Fort Kochi stands as a testament to the region's rich colonial past. This historic area boasts an eclectic blend of architectural styles, reflecting its Portuguese, Dutch, and British heritage. Its iconic Chinese fishing nets, dotting the shoreline, have become synonymous with the city's identity. Home to the revered St. Francis Church, where Vasco da Gama was once buried, and peppered with art cafes, galleries, and spice markets, Fort Kochi is both a cultural hub and a window into the city's storied history.

How to reach Fort Kochi:

By Train: The nearest railway station to Fort Kochi is Ernakulam Junction (South) or Ernakulam Town (North). From either of these stations, you can hire a taxi or take an auto-rickshaw to Fort Kochi, which is approximately 12-15 kilometers away. There are also frequent ferry services from the Ernakulam main boat jetty to Fort Kochi.

By Bus: Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and private bus operators run regular services connecting major cities in Kerala and neighboring states to Ernakulam. From Ernakulam, there are local buses that frequently ply to Fort Kochi.

By Flight:The closest airport is Cochin International Airport (COK) located in Nedumbassery, which is around 45 kilometers from Fort Kochi. The airport is well-connected with major cities in India and international destinations. Upon landing, one can hire a taxi or use airport shuttle services to reach Fort Kochi.

Top 3 places to see in Fort Kochi:

Cochin's renowned St. Francis Cathedral

Cochin's renowned St. Francis Cathedral (Picture - Shutterstock)

Chinese Fishing Nets: These iconic cantilevered fishing nets, introduced by Chinese traders in the 14th century, offer a picturesque view against the Kochi sunset. A symbol of Fort Kochi's rich heritage, they provide a glimpse into the region's traditional fishing methods.

St. Francis Church: Established in 1503, this is India's oldest European-built church. The initial burial site of explorer Vasco da Gama, it stands as a testament to Fort Kochi's colonial past, showcasing Portuguese architecture and significant historical inscriptions.

Kashi Art Gallery: A haven for art enthusiasts, this contemporary art space nestled in Fort Kochi is renowned for hosting works of emerging and established artists. The gallery, combined with its ambient cafe, offers a serene environment to appreciate the ever-evolving Indian art landscape.


Narkanda's snow-covered highlands

Narkanda's snow-covered highlands (Picture - Shutterstock)

This picturesque hill station in Himachal offers a serene escape from bustling city life, with dense forests and apple orchards surrounding it. During winters, it transforms into a snow-clad paradise, attracting skiing enthusiasts. Its strategic location on the Hindustan-Tibet Road makes it a historically significant trading route. Additionally, the Hatu Peak in Narkanda provides panoramic views of the snow-capped Himalayan range, making it a favorite among trekkers and nature lovers alike. The town also serves as a gateway to other Himachal destinations.

How to reach Narkanda:

By train: Narkanda doesn't have its own railway station. The Shimla Railway Station is the nearest railway station, located about 76km from Narkanda. After halting at the Kalka station, which is about 125 km, travelers can take a cab to reach their destination.

By bus: Buses are the most popular mode of transportation. They are easily accessible in Narkanda. The town of Narkanda is well linked by bus to nearby major cities such as New Delhi and Shimla. Delhi to Narkanda Distance is about 445 km by bus. Shimla is approximately 60 kilometers from Narkanda and can be reached in about an hour by bus.

By flight: The nearest airport to Narkarand is Shimal airport. Narkanda is 78 kilometres from Shimla Airport (Jubbarhatti). You can then take a bus or taxi to Narkanda. The airport has direct flights to Kullu and Delhi. Chandigarh Airport is also an option because it is better connected to cities such as Mumbai, Bengaluru, Amritsar, and Indore.

Top 3 places to see in Narkanda:

Tani Jubbar Lake, abundant in conifers

Tani Jubbar Lake, abundant in conifers (Picture - Hotel Taj View)

Hatu Mata Temple: Hatu Mata Temple is well-known for its distinctive wood architecture with Chinese-style carvings. The location is thought to be where the Pandavas cooked their food during their exile. Two hearthstones near the temple are considered Bhim Chullah, and there are fascinating mythological stories based on the Mahabharata. The location is popular among bikers looking for quick but exciting getaways.

Jau Bagh: Jau Bagh, located southeast of Hatu Temple, is an ideal camping spot. The stunning grassland of gorgeous Jau Bagh is an hour's walk from the Hatu Temple. This breathtaking location offers panoramic views of lush green deodar forests and snow-capped mountains on all sides. It's an ideal haven for those looking to break free from the monotony of city life.

Tani Jubbar Lake: Tani Jubbar Lake is an enchanting treasure decoratively located 12 kilometers from Narkanda. It's an oval-shaped, artificial lake surrounded by benevolent hills dotted with spruce and pine trees. It is also well-known for housing the Nag Devta Temple. The lake's surroundings are ideal for pitching a tent and spending a peaceful night with your loved ones.

This Independence Day, shrug off those responsibilities, take a leave on the 14th of the month and enjoy your loooooooooooooooong weekend in the midst of mountains, seasides, beaches and forests. Once again, you can use code ‘FREEDORM’ on our booking page to avail BOGO offer on all dorm stays.

Happy travels :)

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