New Delhi: While most of us have stayed at home for an extended period of time, people throughout India have kept themselves busy by picking up new skills, or immersing into newfound or long lost hobbies. From learning new recipes to rediscovering their creative flair, as travel restrictions are slowly easing across the country, travellers can now look forward to giving their hobbies new life.
Booking.com, one of the leading digital travel brands delved into its endorsement data from previous Indian traveller insights to reveal the top endorsed domestic destinations for food, walking, yoga, art and photography. The endorsement data from travellers reveal recommendations on destinations based on popular activities to curate the top local destinations to visit, to bring your favourite hobby recently perfected to life when it's safe to do so again.
Top endorsed destinations by Indian travellers travelling within India:
Glorious food in Bengaluru, Karnataka
Cooking and baking have been a fine form of escapism while socially distancing; from learning new recipes to expanding our culinary repertoire or just making delicious home comforts to pass the time, food has kept many of us entertained and our tummies satisfied. For anyone looking for a culinary adventure, Bengaluru is making its mark on the Indian foodie map, offering a range of delicacies including dosas, Bisi Bele Bhath and Mysore Pak.
Besides Bengaluru, the most endorsed destinations for food within India by Indian travellers include New Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Amristsar. If you are looking for local food, the most endorsed destinations for local food in India by Indian travellers include New Delhi, Amritsar, Mumbai, Jaipur and Chennai.
Walk around to embrace the French colonized trails of Puducherry, Tamil Nadu
For those looking to stretch their legs on their domestic getaway, the sophisticated coastal town of Puducherry is the ideal escape. Home to many pristine beaches, it is perfect for those looking to take advantage of fresh air to exercise and explore. Puducherry is one of the top endorsed destinations on Booking.com by travellers who love walking and those looking for a relaxing trip.
The town entails the French legacy preserved in its French Quarter, with tree-lined streets, mustard-coloured colonial villas and chic boutiques. A seaside trail runs along the Bay of Bengal and passes several statues, including a 4 m-high Gandhi Memorial. Apart from exploring the trails, one can also embrace spirituality at Sri Aurobindo Ashram, enjoy South Indian and French cuisine and learn scuba diving, when it is safe to do so.
After Puducherry, Shimla, Rishikesh, Kodaikanal and Varanasi were ranked as top destination endorsed by Indian travellers for walking in India Munnar, Madikeri, Ooty, Kodaikanal, and Manali were endorsed by Indian travellers for nature walks in India
A brush with creativity in Jaipur, Rajasthan
Many have used this time spent at home to reconnect with their inner creativity, so what better than a trip to a destination that's called the 'Pink City' of India, for when it's safe to do so. Jaipur, recognised as one of the top three most recommended destinations on Booking.com for Art, is a must-see for artsy travellers. Home to a hundred art galleries, ancient forts, sculptors and famous independent designers, Jaipur is the place calling you to help you find inspiration in the arts.
Must-sees include the famous Hawa Mahal, Amer Fort, Albert Hall Museum, and Amber Fort. This paradise city will leave you feeling colourful to bits as you engage in creating art through traditional art like bandhani, block-printing, stone carving or pottery making. After Jaipur, Udaipur, Kochi, Kolkata, and New Delhi are the top most endorsed destinations in India for art by travellers from India.
Detox with Yoga at the tranquillity of Rishikesh, Uttarakhand
The lockdown has given a lot of perspective to many people, giving them the opportunity to introspect their sanity amid the chaos and meditate, and yoga has been one of the many ways people are detoxing. As people also look to build their health and immunity during the testing times, people also dream of practicing the form at peaceful and serene destinations such as Rishikesh. Home to the many yoga ashrams and known as the birthplace of yoga, Rishikesh attracts many travellers who come in search of detoxification and peace.
Coupled with the views of the mighty hills surrounding the destination, Rishikesh is the home of Hatha Yoga, Shivananda Yoga, and Vinyasa Yoga and rich with Vedic spiritual history and yogic ashram culture.
Rishikesh, followed by Varkala, Goa, Varanasi, and Kovalam are some of the other top destinations endorsed by Indian travellers to experience and practice yoga.
Hike with a panoramic view in Himachal Pradesh
Travellers who have spent their lockdown doing fitness training and workouts, can look forward to putting that training to great use in the Himalayas. Kasol, recognised as one of the most recommended destinations on Booking.com for hiking, is a must-visit for travellers who have missed being in the mountains. Amidst the Parvati Valley, Kasol is the base point for popular treks like the Kheerganga Trek, the Sar Pass Trek, Malana, Tosh and Rasol. When it's safe to travel again, this beautiful city of Himachal Pradesh will leave you breathless and definitely test your stamina!
Kasol, followed by Manali, Munnar, Rishikesh and McLeod Ganj are some of the other top destinations endorsed by travellers for hiking Ooty, Rishikesh, Lonanavala, Munnar and Leh were endorsed by travellers for mountaineering.
Reconnect with photography with the colourful yet pink city of India-Jaipur, Rajasthan
Every shot is breathtaking when the location is rich with colours depicting culture, majestic forts and heritage sites. Home to colourful culture with artistic elements through bandhani, block-printing, and stone carving, Jaipur is a photographer's paradise as it offers them more than scenic views. Once it is safe to travel, pick your camera up and head to Jaipur to capture that perfect shot while you enjoy the vibe and the culture of the city.
Jaipur followed by Ooty, Varanasi, Munnar and Udaipur are the top destinations in India endorsed by Indian travellers for photography.
Ritu Mehrotra, Country Manager, India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives at Booking.com said: "This lockdown has inspired many of us to look inward and gave us the opportunity to try new hobbies or rediscover some old ones. With India being such a diverse country and restrictions slowly easing in places, travellers will eventually be able to live and explore these hobbies through their travel stories. And as always, Booking.com will be committed to making it easier for everyone to experience the world and turn these hobbies and personal passions into reality, as and when it's safe to do so."