TENTING IN THE HILLY HEAVEN

A quaint, little hamlet in Uttarakhand, Kanatal grants every wandering traveller an invaluable gift – the gift of inner peace and silence

The mountains are calling and I must go.
– John Muir, Scottish-American naturalist

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While leading a boisterous, flashy life as an urbanite, you’re constantly connected. It’s become a rare thing to break away from technology and keep sometime solely for yourself, to let your thoughts take you wherever they wish to. While you may perceive this as a ‘waste of time’, it’s a way of life for people living in the mountains. The layered hills of Kanatal – a picture-perfect hill station near Dehradun, perched at an altitude of over 8,500 feet – urge you to tune out of the mental baggage, tune into nature and reconnect with your disoriented self. Yet unharmed by commercialisation, Kanatal is surrounded by dense pine, cedar, oak and rododendron forests and offers a splendid view of mammoth snow-capped Himalayas.  Ornamented by beautiful wild flowers; it looks like a landscape straight out of Keats’ poetry.

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ROMANCING BRUGES

Saunter around cobblestone streets, gaze at the milky white swans swimming in vivid canals or take a ride in a horse-drawn carriage to soak in the bucolic landscapes; just hanging around Bruges makes you want to be in love

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When you think of romantic getaways, you think of candlelit dinners, luxurious, pampering accommodations and long walks on the beach. But some destinations need none of these; just a certain je ne sais quoi about them makes them insanely enchanting. Bruges, the capital of West Flanders, is one such out-of-a-fairytale, dreamy set up. There’s just something in the air here that makes you desperate to hold hands with your partner. Even if you’re one of those least expressive couples, you’re bound to find yourself woo-ing your significant other, when in the beautifully-preserved medieval city.

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IN PICTURES: LAZIENKI PARK & PALACE, WARSAW

Anyone who still thinks Warsaw is a city of concrete and cement has clearly never been to the city’s lung, the breathtaking Lazienki Park. The residence of the last king of Poland is one of the most attractive park-and-palace complexes in Europe. It’s name comes from the bath house rebuilt into a palace. The park comprises three gardens: the Royal Garden, the Belvedere Garden and the Modernist Garden, altogether taking 76 hectares of land! Numerous sculptures embellish the park. Turquoise-green ducks, beautiful peacocks and friendly, adorable squirrels – all call it home. Today, the palace serves as a museum housing the royal collection of paintings.

Poles love to spend their summer Sundays here. Fear not though, for so big is Lazienki that it never gives the impression of being crowded, and even on the busiest of days, you will be able to find a quiet, shady corner somewhere!

Let me take you on a virtual tour:

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