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World Tourism Day: From Hobbit house to Military bootcamp… unique places in India to add to your bucket list

Post Covid, Indians are travelling with a vengeance and are on the lookout for new experiences. But if you think experiencing the unique would require a big budget and international travel, you are wrong. Ahead of World Tourism Day on September 27, we bring to you an entire list of unique experiences that you can easily add to your #travelgoals list, without breaking the bank or applying for long leaves.

Igloo café

Igloos are no longer limited to Canada or Greenland. While you can’t stay in one yet in India, you can surely dine in one. Snowglu in Gulmarg is the world’s largest igloo café and they have even applied for the Guinness World Record and it is under process. It’s 37.5 feet tall and is divided into two sections – one for seating and the other is an art space.

Military bootcamp

Always had a thing for the Forces but couldn’t fulfil your dream? At D.A.T.A. (basically Della Adventure Training Academy) Lonavla, you can get an idea of how the Forces train. The military-themed glamping resort is India’s first such resort and has a wide range of modules and training programmes that are formulated by ex faujis. Tired with all the exercise? There are 27 luxurious glamping tents where you can call it a day.

Hobbit house

Remember Bilbo Baggins? That respectable hobbit from The Lord of The Rings series? Well, hobbits stayed in underground houses. And now you can too. And no, you don’t have to travel to New Zealand for that. Just a few hours from Mumbai and Pune is SaffronStays AsanjA, Murbad, which is India’s first earth shelters home. It’s a five bedroom property which has a great view of the Sahyadri mountains. The cave houses also come with a pool and there’s even a rooftop garden. A hidden door will take you inside your very own hobbit cave.

Naga tribe homestay

The headhunting Naga tribes were once feared. But now you get to live with the Sangtam Tribes in one of their community villages spread across Kiphire and Tuensang district of Nagaland, at the Myanmar border. Reaching there is a task in itself as it is a 10-hour ride from the capital Kohima. You get to live with them in their Farmer’s Innovation Centre, made of bamboo and other sustainable resources. Not just that, you get to cook your own organic farm-to-table meals and eat with the Sangtams in their community kitchen.

Private island

Imagine staying on an island cut off from the rest of the world and its worries? There are quite a few private islands in India that offer you that sense of rejuvenation. The Cintacor Island in Goa is one of the best among them. Head to Karwar and from there take a 20-minute boat ride to reach this private island which has the Arabian Sea on all sides. Bonus? You can spot dolphins around here.

Sky dining

Once upon a time, there used to be revolving restaurants in cities like Delhi and Mumbai. Now you can literally dine ‘in the sky’ — mixing adventure with gastronomy — at a height of 35-40 metres above the ground. It’s basically a structure made of high-grade metal frame that can seat 22 people around the table. Once seated on seats which rotate 180 degrees, you are secured with safety belts. What do you eat? Food and beverages which you can select in advance from the menu provided. Bengaluru, Goa, Manali or Noida, take your pick of destination for this delicious adventure.

Hot tubbing

Picture this. You are in a small village at the heart of Palani Hills in Tamil Nadu. There are hills, waterfalls and picturesque terrace-farming landscape all around you. You are sitting inside a hot tub, with a glass of wine in hand, enjoying the view. Luxeglamp in Poombarai is where you can soak in this unique experience. This glamp-style eco-resort lets you stay in your private dome-shaped accommodation with a wide balcony and a hot tub to soak in the view in style.

Tree camping

Bid goodbye to old-style camping. What if we tell you that you can now do tree camping? And that too in the buffer zone of a tiger reserve? Well, that’s what Madhya Pradesh tourism has come up with. They are setting up tents on sturdy trees above the river or on a steep terrain in Pachmarhi in the Satpura Tiger Reserve. How high up do you want your tent? You decide.

All-weather pool

Want to swim at an elevation of 8825 ft in the Pir Panjal range of the mighty Himalayas while staring at the mountains even as snow falls outside? Book yourself a room at the Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa in Gulmarg, which lets you do just that. The pool is temperature controlled, so practice those strokes as much as you can while getting mesmerised by the view outside.

Hilton fitness challenge

What about turning your holiday into a fitness challenge? At DoubleTree by Hilton Goa, Panaji, you start your holiday fitness goals right from the moment you step in. Right at check-in, strap on a pedometer which the hotel provides and match your in-house opponent. Once your stay is over, you get to see who among you won.

Glass Villa

Imagine watching the sun rise right from your bed. At the Glass Villa in the backwaters of Goa, you can do just that. Their unique architecture has a wood and glass façade, laterite walls and sloping exposed concrete ceiling. And that’s not the only luxury element of the villa. You also have a French and a sushi chef on call here.

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