Brace yourself for 2018. There are 15 long weekends in 2018 with November bringing 11 consecutive days off with some extra planning. The year is surely going to be full of travel and adventure. To help you plan your vacations well in advance, we have compiled a list of long weekends and places to visit in each long weekend. While during some weekend all you need to do is to manage for leaves or fall sick and get yourself an extended holiday. We are not condoning this though, you make the call! Enough said. 2018 has 16 long weekends, waste no time, start planning, pack your bags and leave.
January 20-22: Basant Panchami (Saturday – Monday)
It is the best time of the year to visit Tamil Nadu. With January being the month of Pongal, the state exhibits a myriad of colours and celebration. The state is home to over 30,000 temples of which several are designated World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. It is also the time for Mamallapuram Dance festival, an absolute treat for culture lovers, and Float Festival, with processions, carried out from Meenakshi temple.
January 26-28: Republic Day (Friday – Sunday)
Spend the Republic Day weekend in the National Capital with beautiful people, vibrant festival, Mughlai delicacies of Old Delhi and fine ancient architecture of the medieval era. The best way to celebrate the weekend is by witnessing the largest and picturesque parade that marks the Republic Day celebration at Rajpath, New Delhi. The parade charms everyone with its sheer excellence and fine execution. And the winter in Delhi is to die for.
We also have a plan B for the weekend which is the Jaipur Literature Festival happening at Diggi Palace in Jaipur happening from January 25 to 29. The festival features a spectacular line-up of speakers and authors and is a treat for literature enthusiasts and book snobs.
February 10-13: Maha Shivratri (Saturday – Tuesday)
With February being the month of love what better than celebrating it in Agra – the epitome of love. Spend the weekend with your loved ones by admiring Taj Mahal, the embodiment of eternal love. When here visit the ancient forts, palaces, luxury resorts and Mughal history.
You need to take a leave on Monday.
March 1-4: Holi (Thursday – Sunday)
March to Jaipur for the epic event called the ‘Jaipur Elephant Festival’, which falls on March 2 this year. The pink city turns colourful for the unique carnival where you will find elephants glittering in gold and colourful jewellery walking before an enthralled audience followed by an elephant beauty contest, elephant polo, tug-of-war between elephants and many more. Visitors are also delighted to watch performances of camels, horses, and other artists. It is suggested to check with the organisers before visiting the carnival.
March 29-April 1: Mahavir Jayanti, Good Friday (Thursday – Sunday)
The onset of summer makes the forest barest and tiger spotting easiest, hence March is the perfect time to visit Ranthambore National Park and the Ranthambore Fort. The park has now become the most populated tiger reserve in the country and is also home to most elusive leopards and the fishing cat. The fort is located inside the national park and is part of World Heritage Sites in Rajasthan.
April 28-May 1: Buddha Purnima, Maharashtra Day (Saturday – Tuesday)
Pachmarhi -the only hill-station in Madhya Pradesh is one of the top picks for Summer. The hill station is surrounded by majestic Satpura range and dotted with dense forests, cave shelters, and bamboo thickets. When here one can also visit the Satpura Tiger Reserve.
June 15-17: Eid-ul-Fitr (Friday – Sunday)
June is the end of Summers and beginnings of monsoons making it the perfect time to visit Ooty. It is one of the beautiful hill stations in India and if it has been on your wish list since forever it is the perfect time you visit the place. The place gives you a complete package which includes a toy train ride amidst the charming hill station, evergreen hills, plush botanical gardens, flower gardens, tea plantation, Ooty Lake, Dodabetta peak and lots of other interesting places.
August 15-19: Independence Day, Parsi New Year (Wednesday – Sunday)
Popular for its coffee plantations, rich flora and fauna, lush forests and breathtaking views, Coorg is one of the most popular hill-stations down South. The place is often referred as ‘Scotland of India’. August is the perfect time to visit Coorg as during monsoon the valley looks fresh and enchanting.
Take a leave on 16, Thursday.
August 22-26: Eid-ul-Adha, Onam, Raksha Bandhan (Wednesday – Sunday)
If you are looking for a ‘me-time’ then head to ‘Lahaul-Spiti Valley’ in Himachal that lie on the Indo-Tibet border. The place is known for its high altitude trek trails and a rich Tibetan influenced culture. Lahaul-Spiti Valley is home to a huge list of monasteries, flora, fauna and high mountain passes and rivers. When here do visit the Chandra Tal Lake, Suraj Tal Lake, and Dashir Lake.
September 1-3: Janmashatami (Saturday – Monday)
Located in Satara, Panchgani offers a mountain retreat with a soothing ambiance and abundant natural beauty. The name Panchgani literally translates into five hills. In September, as the rain withdraws the lush greenery is left behind with cool temperatures.
September 13-16: Ganesh Chaturthi (Thursday – Sunday)
This weekend is incomplete without the virtual darshan of Swayambhu Ganpati at Ganpatipule in Ratnagiri. Availability of clean beach, water sports activities, good food, and resorts, makes the place an ideal getaway for pilgrims, peace seekers and beach lovers alike.
Take a leave on 14, Friday.
September 29-October 2: Gandhi Jayanti
Located in Satara, Kaas Plateau comes alive by mid-September and October. Spread across 1,000 hectares, the place is home to a variety of species of plants, shrubs, insects, reptiles, mammals, and reptiles. The plateau is surrounded by forests and the heavenly bed of flowers transports you to another world. The biodiversity site is declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Take a leave on 1, Monday.
October 18-21: Ram Navami, Dussera (Thursday – Sunday)
Breathe in, breathe out and dive into the frenzy Bir Billing in Himachal. The place allows you to explore treasures lying deep down in this quaint village. When here go on treks, stroll the seminomadic villages and relish the awesomeness.
November 3-11: Diwali
Here’s an eleven-day long weekend! Why not spend the royal weekend at the ‘Queen of the hills’? October is the best season to visit Darjeeling as the month brings whispers of winter to the place. With National parks, valleys, mountains, Buddhist monasteries, colonial architecture, joy ride in the toy train, Himalayan flora and fauna, tea gardens and estates, the place is a complete package of holiday destination. When here don’t miss the beautiful sunrise over Mount Kanchenjunga.
Take a leave on 6, Tuesday.
December 22-25: Christmas (Saturday – Tuesday)
Spend your Christmas weekend at Auli in Uttarakhand, the skiing capital of India. The snow-clad peaks give a gorgeous view of the hills. The slopes and meadows are flanked by dense vegetation of oak and coniferous. If you always wanted to ski Auli is the best place to learn the thrilling adventure sport.
Take a leave on 24, Monday.