Long Weekends in 2024-Where to travel in India

  • In 2024, which weekends are long and why? Next, is a month-wise list of places to visit across India during these long weekends.

The last time when holidays gave us long weekends was in 2017. Then wrote, Domestic tourism may well be blessed with mangal and brihaspati . A Hindustan Times article of December 2023 told us about the long weekends in 2024. I visited the Dripanchang site to check exact dates and reasons for holiday.


Air connectivity/night trains are key for short trips.  


Article format is month, holiday dates and place to visit with album link and connectivity details. Album has place related information. Check if it is a holiday in your state for e.g. Pongal might not be a state holiday in Rajasthan. I have assumed that Saturday is a holiday. At times, suggested how you can take a couple of days leave to have a bigger break. I have tried to cover places across India. Surely, there might be some places that I missed.


Benefits of planning holidays in advance are get a good deal, avoid stress of last minute booking and think through options at leisure. Read on.


Places shown under January month are good to visit anytime between November and February, some places can be visited in March too.


1. January 13-16, 26-28

Holidays–14 Saturday is Lohri, 15 Monday are Makar Sankranti and Pongal, 26 Friday is Republic Day. 


Break is for 3 days each 13-15 and 26-28. Places you shall see depends on your passion for travel and desire/ability to pack in the most. Options are -


A. Amdavad and around includes Rani-ki-vav Patan , Sun temple Modhera and Ambaji Temple , Adalaj-vav step-well 


Amdavad is well connected by air, road and train.


B. Baroda and Statue of Unity.

Albums Lakshmi Vilas Palace , Maharshi Aurobindo Ashram Baroda and Statue of Unity


Baroda is connected by air and train.


C. Bhuj, Dhordo and Salt Desert

Salt Desert, Dhordo.    

Spend one day in Bhuj and then head to Rann Utsav Dhordo (works from Nov to Feb usually). Salt Desert visit before 9 am or after 4 pm.


Albums Prag Palace Bhuj, Tent City Dhordo and Salt Desert . For shopping go to village Bhujodi, app 10 kms from Bhuj, suggest Shrujan NGO


D. Jodhpur and Bikaner

Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur.

Karni Mata Mandir near Bikaner. 

Spend 1.5 days in Jodhpur and do a day trip to Bikaner.


Jodhpur is well connected by air and train.


Albums Mehrangarh Fort , Mandore Fort , Dhurries Jodhpur , Junagarh Fort Bikaner , Gajner Palace off Bikaner , Karni Mata Mandir before Bikaner 


If you have nine-ten days cover Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Bikaner and Barmer. Read here


E. Jaisalmer and around

Keep Jaisalmer as your base. You can fly in, take a train from Delhi/Jaipur or drive in from Jodhpur as I did. Spend a night at Sand Dunes for sure.


Albums Jaisalmer Fort , Jaisalmer City , Havelis of Jaisalmer , Drive to the Border-Tanot Temple , Longewal War Memorial where movie Border was shot and Sam Dunes


F. Jaipur and around

Keep Jaipur as your base. Well connected by road and rail.


Albums Jaipur city , Amber and Jaigarh Forts , Chand Baori near Jaipur , Bhangarh Fort near Jaipur , Places to Eat and Shop in Jaipur 


G. Malwa (Indore-Omkareshwar-Maheshwar)


Indore 1 day and drive to Omkareshwar/Maheshwar. Make it four days for relaxed trip. Maheshwar is also famous for saris.


Indore is well-connected by rail and air.


Albums Rajwada Indore , Night Street Food Sarafa , Omkareshwar Jyotirling Shivji , Statue of Oneness Omkareshwar , Maheshwar Narmada Holkars , Ahilyabai Palace , Maheshwari Saris


If you have seven days then do all of Malwa including Ujjain. Read 7 day trip


H. Gwalior and around


Once the new airport starts, Gwalior should have improved connectivity. Now take Rajdhani Express from Mumbai (evening) and get off at Agra next morning-drive back to Gwalior or take morning train from Delhi to Gwalior.


Albums Gwalior Fort , Jai Vilas Palace , Rock-cut Jain . In Morena Bateshwar temples , Padawali temples and Mitawali temples


If you have two days more drive down or take a train to Khajuraho. Read about Temples


I. Bhopal and Around

Sanchi Stupa.

Keep Bhopal as your base. It has lakes and a tribal museum. Close by are Bhimbetka Rock Shelters, Sanchi Stupa, in Vidisha temples and Udaygiri Caves and Bhojpur Shiv Mandir.


Albums/articles Bhimbetka , Sanchi stupa , Bhojpur Mandir


J. Orchha near Jhansi

If you want to relax then take a train from Delhi to Jhansi (5 hours) or overnight Rajdhani from Mumbai to Jhansi from where Orchha is about 15 kms. This is Bunderlkhand, has a history of its own. Orchha on banks of Betwa river.


Albums Orchha, Bundela Paintings , Jhansi Fort and Travelogue . 70 kms away is amazing Garkundar Fort


K.  Bhubaneshwar/ Puri

Fly into Bhubaneswar, The City of Temples (keep 1 day) and drive to Puri via Sun Temple Konarak. Puri has lovely beaches too.

Albums Temples of Bhubaneswar , Mukteshwar TempleRaja Rani Temple , Sun Temple Konarak . In Puri visit Heritage Village Raghurajpur , Jagannath Temple and Totapuri Ashram. If have an extra day visit Chilika Lake


L.  Gandikota, Andhra Pradesh via Bengaluru 

Rajat flew in from Delhi to Bengaluru and drove to Gandikota, The Grand Canyon of India. Also saw enroute Devanahalli Fort, Lepakshi Temple, Belum Caves and amazing Shiv/Vishnu temples at Tadipatri.


Read Rajat travelogue here and about Lepakshi Temple here  


M. Hampi via Bengaluru 

Bengaluru to Hampi drive is about 5.5 hours. Or take flight from Bengaluru/Hyderabad to Vidyanagar airport from where Hampi is an hour drive. Good buses are available from Mumbai/Bengaluru to Hospet/Hampi.


Travelogue with albums links on Hampi


N. Belur/Halebidu Temples via Bengaluru

Scene Mahabharata. Right Chakravayu war formation. Left war between Karan & Arjun.

Bengaluru to Belur is about 4 hour drive. Keep 1 day each for Belur and Halebidu temples. In Karnataka, also visit Mysore. 


Albums Belur Temples , Halebidu Temples  , Halebidu Jain temple


O. Bandipur and Nagerhole National Parks via Bengaluru

Travelogues Bandipur Park, Nagerhole National Park   


P. Kodaikanal via Madurai

Fly into Madurai. See Meenakshi Temple and Nayak Palace and then drive to Kodaikanal, takes about 3.5 hours.


Albums Meenakshi Temple , Nayak Palace


Q.  Chettinad via Madurai

Fly into Madurai from where Chettinad is less than two hours. Chettinad is known for Chettiar Homes, awesome is the word.


Albums Palaces of Chettinad , Bangla Hotel Chettinad , Visalam Hotel


R. Trichy/Tanjore via Trichy

Srirangam Temple.

Fly into Trichy or train. See Srirangam Temple etc. From there Tanjore is app. 1 hour drive. See Brihadesvara Temple and Maratha Palace.


Albums Trichy-Srirangam Temple , Rock Fort Temple , Jambukeswarar Temple

Albums Tanjore- Brihadesvara Temple , Maratha Palace


S.  Mahabalipuram/Pondicherry/Kanchipuram via Chennai

Pondicherry has Auroville and Sri Aurobindo Samadhi not to forget beaches. Other two have temples. Depending on what you like chose two out of three places unless you have four days.


Albums Shore Temple , Five Rathas Mahabalipuram , Matri Mandir Auroville ,

Albums Kanchipuram – Kailasanathar Temple, Varadaraja Perumal Temple 


T. Tranquebar via Chennai

If you wish to relax by the sea side, it is 270 kms from Chennai.


Album Tranquebar


U. Guwahati

Well connected by air and train. City is known for its temples, Brahmaputra river and close by is Kaziranga.


Albums Temples of Guwahati, Sankara Kalashetra , Lachit Borphukan Memorial


If you want to relax go to the island town of Majuli via Jorhat. Some other trips. Fly into Patna and visit Bodh Gaya, Rajgir and Nalanda-3 days. Next, Bengaluru to Mysore-3 days. If you have more time visit Sravanbelagola and Somnathpur Temple. All albums on site.  Udaipur is another favourite for 3 or 5 days. To see all albums on Udaipur and around


2. February 17-19

Holiday-19 Monday Chhatrapati Shivaji Jayanti. Break is for 3 days. See above.


Next we cover North locations when break is for 3 days.


A. Rishikesh and Devprayag

Relax at Rishikesh. You can learn Yoga, take a dip in the Holy Ganga and a short river rafting experience.


Devprayag is the meeting point of two rivers Alakananda and Bhagirathi where they join to become the Holy Ganga.


B. Jaipur – covered above.


C. Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary

Bharatpur is about 4.5 hours from Delhi. Besides the bird sanctuary it also has a fort, palace and museum.


D. Manali

Manali Winter Carnival that is held in January on Mall road. 

You can fly to Bhuntal Airport near Kullu or take an overnight bus from Delhi or drive from Chandigarh. Do use Atal Tunnel to cross into Keylong. Source of Beas River is at Rohang Pass.

Albums Hadimba Temple, Solang Valley , close by Manikran


E. Chail in Himachal Pradesh

Chail has an old palace and relaxed place. It is about 2.5 hours drive from Chandigarh i.e. well connected by air and road.  


F. Mussoorie

It is less than an hour’s drive from Dehradun which is well connected by air, rail and road.  


G. Nainital

Naini Lake

Stay in the less crowded parts of Nainital, away from the main market to enjoy. If have time visit Almora, Binsar and Jageshwar Shiv Mandir.


Albums Nainital, Almora, Binsar , Jageshwar Temple


H. Jim Corbett National Park

It is about a six hour drive from Delhi. Better to hire a vehicle from Delhi because you will need transport there too.


Albums Tigers of Jim Corbett , Corbett beyond Tigers


I. Amritsar  

Take a night train or drive is about 7 hours. A new Expressway is being built. When ready it shall reduce driving time.


Albums Golden Temple-Hari Mandir, Durgiana Temple , Attari Wagah Border. Read Best Places to eat in Amritsar

J. Varanasi – covered in month November.


K. Gopalpur on Sea via Bhubaneswar

It is a very popular beach resort and about 3 hours drive from Bhubaneswar i.e. well connected by air and rail.  


L. Sundarbans in West Bengal

It is about a 2.5 hour drive from Kolkata.


Read Travelogue and see Album


3. March 8-11, 29-April 1

Holidays-8 Friday Shivratri, 25 Monday Holi, 29 Friday Good Friday, April 1 is Bank Holiday.


Break is 8-10, 23-25 and 29-1April so 3 breaks of 3 days each. Weather in March is usually ok. Check any of the above places.


4. April 

Holidays-9 Tuesday Gudi Padwa Ugadi, 10 or 11 Wednesday Eid and 17 Wednesday Ram Navami.


Take Monday off i.e. 8th and if Eid is on the 10th you get 6-10th April 5 days. Ram Navami is mid week. If take 15-16th off then break from 13-17th 5 days.


Two breaks of 5 days each. Travel options below.


A. Almora / Binsar in Kumaon

Take a train to Kathgodam and drive to Almora or fly to Pantnagar Airport from where Almora is about a 4 hour drive. Binsar offers a great view of the Himalayan peaks. 


Albums Almora, Binsar , Jageshwar Temple


B. Chaukori, Kumaon

If you want to relax, read a book Chaukori a small hill-station is the place. It is about 7.5 hours drive from Pantnagar Airport and 7 hours from Kathgodam.  It is famous for sunrise and sunset.


Album Chaukori


C. Darjeeling

Take a night train from Kolkata or fly to Siliguri and then 2.5 hours drive to Darjeeling.  


Album Darjeeling , Sunrise Tiger Hill  


D. Mussoorie

It is less than an hour’s drive from Dehradun which is well connected by air, rail and road.  


E. Manali

You can fly to Bhuntal Airport near Kullu or take an overnight bus from Delhi or drive from Chandigarh. Do use Atal Tunnel to cross into Keylong. Source of Beas river is at Rohang Pass.


Albums Hadimba Temple, Solang Valley , close by Manikran


F. Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu

Fly into Madurai, see Meenakshi Temple and Nayak Palace and drive to Kodaikanal about 3.5 hours.


G. Mahableshwar near Mumbai

It is about 5.5 hours drive from Mumbai. Good hotels, lots of history w.r.t Shivaji and has a Lake (boating too).


H. Sikkim

Check the weather. Read travelogue The Best of Sikkim in 5 days


I. Bhutan

Although Bhutan is a separate nation, it is close to India and good weather.


For Travelogue 7 days on Bhutan . To see 5 albums on Bhutan   

You can also visit BIHAR namely Bodh Gaya, Rajgir and Nalanda. Another good 5 day trip is Aurangabad, Ellora, Ajanta, Lonar Crater. All albums on esamskriti. Buy Paithani Saris in Aurangabad.

5. May 23-25 

Holiday-23 Thursday Buddha Purnima.  


Take Friday 24th off so 23-26 i.e. 4 days.


Head for the hills, details above.


6. June 15-18

Holiday-17 Monday is Bakri Id – 3 days i.e. 15-17. See above.


7. July

Holiday-17 Wednesday Muharram


8. August 15-18, 24-27

Holiday-15 is Thursday so take 16 as holiday, 26 Monday Janmashtami.


If take 16th off, 15-18 so break of 4 days, 24-26 is 3 days. Break of 4 and 3 days.


See travel options above. Check for heavy rain and landslides.


9. September 5-8, 14-16 

Holiday-7 Saturday Ganesh Saturday, 16 Monday Eid milad-birthday Prophet.


Break 14-16 i.e. 3 days.


See travel options above. Check for heavy rains and landslides.


10. Oct 11-13

Holiday-2 Wed Gandhi Jayanti, 11 Friday Maha Navami, 12 Saturday Dussehra. Mysore Dussehra is worth a visit and so is Bastar Dussehra at Jagdaplur in Chhatisgarh. 


If take September 30-October 1 off then 5 day break, 11-13 is a 3 day break.


Travel options for 5 and 3 day break above.


11. Nov 1-4, 15 to 17 

Holiday-1 Friday Lakshmi Pooja/Diwali, 8 Wednesday Chhath Puja and 15 Friday is Kartik Purnima, Guru Nanak Jayanti and Dev Deepavali.


Diwali is spent at home. Break 15-17 is 3 days.


On Kartik Purnima, visit Pushkar or Kashi and have a snan in the sarovar or Ganga. At Kashi, witness Dev Deepavali for sure i.e. usually on Kartik Purnima. Varanasi is well connected by road, rail and air. For Pushkar fly to Jaipur from where it is about a 2 hour drive or take train to Ajmer.


Albums Pushkar on Kartik Purnima, Dev Deepavali Kashi, People of Kashi celebrating Dev Deepavali Close by visit Sarnath and Ramnagar Fort


12. December

Holiday-25 Wednesday is Christmas.


If take Monday-Tuesday off, break is of 5 days.


Best time to travel in the plains of India is November to February, in some states also March.


You can also travel to select locations in Southeast Asia

1. Angkor Watt, Cambodia

2. Bangkok, Thailand

3. Bali

4. Prambanan Temple, Java

5. Yatra to Mount Bromo in Java

6. About My Son sanctuary, Vietnam   


Hope you found this useful.


Also read Marry in India - Why are Indians marrying abroad 

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