Forty five-year-old Ravishankar of Madipakkam is excited about his family trip in summer to Chandigarh and Punjab. A trip to Kullu-Manali in Himachal Pradesh is also on the itinerary. “This is the apt time to make trips, thanks to summer holidays for my children,” said the consultant in the insurance sector.
Like him, thousands of Chennaities are preparing to explore tourist destinations across the country with Neil Island in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, pristine Nelliyampathy at Kerala and picturescue Nainital in Uttarakhand (in pic, right) are among the popular tourist attractions apart from the usual summer retreats in Jammu and Kashmir to beat the heat.
According to officials with various State tourism offices, they are getting queries about various hill stations. “We are receiving several queries on Nelliyampathy, an adventurous tourist attraction in Palakkad district and leisure hill station of Vagamon at Idukki district. These two destinations have caught the interest of people in Chennai this year,” Anil V S, Information Officer, Department of Tourism, Kerala government, said.
Neil Island, about 37 km south of Andaman Islands with unexplored coral reefs, and white sand beaches is yet another tourist attraction that Chennaities are looking at. “This is a new destination that is catching up. Visitors are curious to know what the island offers,” a source with the Andaman Tourist Information Centre here said.
Havelock, that offers beach-combing, surfing, swimming and sailing, scuba diving and Baratang Islands are other holiday destinations in Andaman.
The hill State of Uttarakhand is also on the holiday radar. Anand, PRO of Uttarakhand Tourism in Chennai says that there are increasing enquiries for Nainital, Ranikhet and and Munsyari. “People who have already visited other hill stations in northern States prefer destinations in Uttarakhand as one can witness different peaks in the State unique to Uttarakhand,” he notes.