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RIDING THE RAPIDS: An exciting option for a cool vacation  

SYEDA FARIDA

What is it going to be? A trip to a coffee plantation or white water rafting?

Did you know that there are fishes that only live on the ocean floor and go by the category of benthic? How about a trip to the sea this summer holidays to indulge in some snorkelling and watching oceanic life literally go by? And for those who are wildlife enthusiasts a face to face with civet cats that feed on coffee beans or the big cats leopards-- can be a breathtaking occasion. If you have been travelling to popular tourist spots hill stations that are choc-a-bloc with plastic- scattering tourists or to cities visiting parks, zoos and the rest of things on the tourist guides, a trip to lesser known destinations that are picturesque yet educative can be a refreshing change. So where can you go? Forest lodges, coffee plantations, sea resorts and other similar options.

Jungle book

Replete with elephant safaris and drives into thick jungles, forest lodges in the country offer adventure and a chance to be close to nature. Find here mountain squirrels, bison, peacocks, deer and rest of the animals in their natural settings and also a variety of birds that are unique to the jungle with their peculiar sounds. And if you wanted to know a little more about the history of tea and coffee, stay over at a plantation. Quite a few estates have opened their guesthouses for nature buffs. Here you wake up to the fresh aroma of spices and tea around the cottage. Going on long walks into the plantation and lounging by the coffee house make for a good vacation. Looking for adventure? Many Indian rivers offer white water rafting replete with all safety standards. A few hours on the river and most of the time on the rapids can be whole lot of fun and the other times when you are afloat on the tranquil parts of the river is when you can sit and admire the ecosystem. Often these destinations are packed, mostly sought after by international travellers for the serene experience these provide. So an early online search and booking should do the trick. Since these places are remotely situated the reservation should also include the pick up and drop from the nearest airport or railway station. Also pack suitable clothes, medicines, torch and books to read. Most of these places don't have television sets and mobile connectivity. All combined they provide a memorable break with your family. So get those bags packing.