From trekking in the Himalayas to dirt biking on the beach, we give boys a chance to relive The Hangover
Ditch the usual hotspots like Las Vegas, Ibiza and Koh Samui and take a trip through the Indian subcontinent. “It is completely different to be in the great outdoors,” says Ajit Sigamani, founder of Wolf Pack Active Weekends, a closed group of like-minded people who get away for a few days every month. “Partying three days a week and then getting bored from nothing to do is what started this,” says the Chennai-based entrepreneur. So, be it lazing under the stars in the Rajasthani desert or scuba diving amidst exotic sea life in the Andaman Islands, go footloose and fancy-free on a gentlemen-only holiday.
The successor of jet skiing and binge drinking, deep sea diving is high on the list of adrenaline junkies. Whether you are a novice or a pro, there’s always something in the Andaman Islands to make sure the trip is a unique experience. Not only can the lads soak up some sun and sand, but the myriad colours under the surface is truly something to marvel at. Also, relive the boyhood hope of finding pirate gold in mysterious dives to ship wrecks while weaving through the richest coral reef ecosystem in the world.
Peak season is December to April. Rs 5,000 upwards per person. Diving fees extra. Details: coxandkings.com
The 21-day Annapurna Circuit Trek includes trudging through hills in the Tibet region before hitting the hard-core mountains in Nepal, beginning at the lake town of Pokhara. If that isn’t enough, maybe a mountain flight, bungee jumping, white water rafting or even paragliding might do the trick. Madhav C, a software engineer, says adventure is something that will always appeal to boys. “The thrill of being at high altitudes, the prospect of losing your way and the fact that it is quite mysterious is exciting,” says Madhav who makes it a point to head out for at least a week of boys-only fun each year.
The trekking package costs Rs 81,000 on twin sharing basis,including a one-way flight from Pokhara. Return fare to Kathmandu starts at Rs 20,000. Details: absolutetrekking.com
The Muzhappilangad beach in Kannur, Kerala, is ideal for groups of riding enthusiasts. The four-kilometre long drive-in beach, Asia’s largest, is parallel to National Highway 66 and is perfect for a short pit stop. The unexplored beach is protected from deep currents by scattered black rocks, which form a shallow pool, making it a great spot for swimmers, too. The palm-fringed stretch is a regular witness to stunts like wheelies and drifts by its young visitors looking for an adrenaline rush.
Paris Presidency, Thall-assery (15km away), is a budget option with rooms starting at Rs 600 a night. Bus fares start at Rs 500 and flights to Kozhikode start at Rs 5,000.Details: makemytrip.com
Lal Niwas at Phalodi is a highly acclaimed desert campsite in Rajasthan. Amidst the towering sand dunes of the Thar Desert, you can opt to take part in a number of activities—from watching the rare Demoiselle Cranes that are exclusive to the region to jeep and camel safaris through the glistening sands. (Rs 2,750 per night upwards). From the quiet luxury of Lal Niwas, you could move to fun and frolic that epitomises the Jaisalmer Desert Festival.
For typical culture and hospitality, we recommend the Fort Rajwada (Rs 5,500 per night upwards). Return fares to Jodhpur start at Rs 12,000. Details: Lal Niwas-02925 223813, Fort Rajwada-02992 253233
“For a proper boys holiday, all you need is a swimming pool, an endless bar and the adventurous jungle to be a bit macho,” says intrepid traveller and Bangalore-based entrepreneur, Dhiraj Rana, whose job entails travelling three days a week. And the reason he picks a jungle holiday is because a forest retreat means “equal balance of relaxation, indulgence and adventure”.
The Taj Safari Lodge, Mahua Kothi, in Bandhavgarh, takes it to a new level with world-class amenities provided within luxury sprawling tents (Rs 36,000 per night upwards). So when you’re not busy spotting the striped beast, or hitting the jungles on elephant back, you can lounge by the pool side or get a massage.
Rs 16,000 upwards per room. Flights to Khajurao start at Rs 15,000. Details: tajhotels.com
— Aakanksha Singh Devi with inputs from Rashmi Rajagopal