What travel plans do the stars have lined up for you? If you’re headed to the land of plenty (of food, colours and adventures), also known as India, let your zodiac sign be your guiding force. Are you ready? Because your astral-led escapade beckons.
Fondly known as the ‘abode of clouds’, owing to the area’s lengthy monsoon period from May to September, Meghalaya is ideal for the Aries’ love of open spaces. Whether they spend their time traipsing the hills, exploring waterfalls and caves or time venturing into the city and sampling a piece of the culture, it’s bound to calm the fire in the Arian’s belly and give them ample time to plot their next great move.
Best time to visit: During the Wangala drum festival, a harvest celebration in autumn that usually takes place between September and December. Expect lots of singing, dancing and skilled drumming.
For the Taurian who relishes physical and mental challenges, Ladakh is the perfect place to hop, skip and jump to for snowy peaks, Tibetan monasteries and spectacular views across the landscape. Acclimatising to the altitude isn’t always easy, so give yourself a day of rest upon arriving, and go have some fun. You can also camp out in Leh or venture to Pangong Lake, Nubra Valley and the Hunder Sand Dunes. Don’t forget to sample authentic local food along the way, especially skyu (a wheat pasta of sorts) and thukpa (soupy noodles).
Best time to visit: May-September, when it’s not too frigid. Bear in mind that it can still get chilly, even though it’s in the middle of the Indian summer!
For the best communicator of the zodiac, we present Goa. The party capital of the country, Goa is known for its vibrant social life and apropos for the social butterflies under this sign, thanks to its abundant beaches and excellent seafood. From clubs on the peak of hills (check out Club Cabana), to quiet mornings on the northern beaches (Ashwem is a popular spot to soak up some rays), there is plenty of variety to satisfy the Gemini soul who’s always seeking balance.
Best time to visit: October-January; this is peak travel season as the weather is lovely, so the city will be buzzing with activities.
With monasteries to visit, calming lakes to idle by and Tibetology to study, Sikkim offers solitude of the best kind that no one will appreciate better than the Cancerian. The forested hills, large lakes and unparalleled views of the Himalayas (especially from a place like Pelling) will breathe new life into the wise Cancer soul. Trekking in Yumthang Velley (popularly known as valley of flowers), making a trip to the Tsomgo lake and experiencing a little R&R at the Borong and Ralong Hot Springs are just some of the activities on offer.
Best time to visit: Sikkim is a place you can visit any time of the year, but March-June is ideal so you can avoid the monsoon.
What’s big enough for the lion-hearted? India’s capital city mirrors Leo’s bright and colourful personality, offering entertainment in spades. Delhi is a buzzing land of monuments, museums, delectable eats (a defining factor) and treasure troves of clothes and handicrafts. Top attractions include the Kingdom of Dreams, the Red Fort and Old Delhi’s eateries and markets.
Best time to visit: October-March, when the weather is ideal for exploring. The city is best enjoyed under the crisp winter sun!
For the conscientious Virgo, downtime can come in the form of a trip to Pondicherry, which is often known as Little France. Boasting colourful architecture, peaceful beaches and a plethora of churches and cafes, it ticks all the right boxes – and ticking boxes is something that Virgos do so well. The culturally-rich environment that comes from a melting pot of nationalities will appeal highly to the Virgo soul who hates to miss out on the best of anything. Don’t forget to plan a trip to Auroville, the beatific home of spiritual guru Sri Aurobindo.
Best time to visit: November-March, when temperatures dip; the summer months may be too hot and humid to fully enjoy the sights.
For the charismatic Libran, the ideal destination has got to be the city with the most charm – the intellectual capital of India, or Kolkata. Ideal for feeding their artistic souls, Kolkata is a slower city than most others in the country, with grand churches such as St. Paul’s Cathedral and architectural marvels like Howrah Bridge and the Victoria Memorial to take in. It also offers plenty of Colonial-style clubs for the Librian to indulge their sociable side. Stroll about the art galleries and sample Bengali fare. The Colonial architecture makes for great photographs too.
Best time to visit: October-March is best, for pleasant weather and a host of cultural festivals. Christmas is also lovely in Kolkata.
For the feistiest sign in the zodiac, her perfect match is an equally feisty city: Mumbai. The brimming metropolis is full of excellent food, music and sights that suit the Scorpio’s larger-than-life sensibilities. While traffic can be challenging, there is much to see and do. Indulge in wining and dining at the finest establishments including The Tables, Nico and Leopold Café. Or go celebrity-spotting since Mumbai is home to Bollywood, the country’s biggest film industry. Otherwise, visit iconic monuments such as the Gateway of India or go shopping at the Colaba causeway. In short, there is never a dull moment in this city of go-getters.
Best time to visit: October-February; trust us, you want to skip the monsoon.
For the Sagittarian who loves action and adventure, Rishikesh is the place to be. Situated in the Himalayan foothills and right by the mighty river Ganga, it’s the ideal setting for various outdoor pursuits. The Sagittarian can let her energy flow freely through activities such as river rafting, bungee jumping and trekking. When in need for moments of quiet, as Sagittarians are wont to occasionally, Rishikesh also has many ashrams and yoga centres.
Best time to visit: October-June, which is river rafting season.
While the city of Cochin is always worth a visit when in God’s Own Country, the Capricorn will do well to venture to Alappuzha (formerly Alleppey). There is nothing that says ‘vacation’ like meandering lazily along the backwaters in a houseboat and for the ever-practical sign, this provides a much-needed break from the patient and persistent job of being a true Capricorn. There are also beaches to explore and plenty of photo opportunities.
Best time to visit: March-May; it will be hot during the day but the evenings are lovely, making it ideal to head out on houseboats.
Aquarius: Andaman Islands
Dive right into the waters of the Andaman Islands, Aquarius! A cluster of islands off the mainland, the Andaman is a popular tropical getaway that will suit the Bohemian and enthusiastic Aquarian just fine. Sign up for deep-sea diving, amble along the beaches or enjoy the abundant greenery. Havelock Island is absolutely stunning for diving and is home to Elephant Beach. The secluded coral reefs are a perfect escape for the Aquarian, who isn’t likely to follow the crowd.
Best time to visit: November-May is ideal as the island can get hot and/or rainy during the rest of the year.
For a trip into a whole other world, the Piscean should visit Benaras in Varanasi. Their imagination and penchant for day-dreaming will be fed well by the exuberant yet serene nature of the city. The ghats (stairwells leading to a river) and the activities that take place around them are a sight to behold. Then, the evening aarti (a prayer ceremony that involves chanting and some fervour) is worth making time for, and perfect for the empathic Piscean who can be roused by the sentiments associated with it even if she is not religious. She will also be rejuvenated by long walks around the old parts of town, boating or simply by resting along the river.
Best time to visit: October-March; the winter cool is perfect to balance the occasional frenzy!