By Siddhi Jain
New Delhi: Kochi, a city in Kerala, and the state of Madhya Pradesh are the only destinations that have made it to the travel guide brand Lonely Planets top travel destinations for 2020.
In the category of top cities to travel in the world, Kochi has been ranked seventh.
“This nicely chilled city in southern India has seen the light. Grafted onto the tropical Malabar Coast in Kerala, Kochi has become a shining example in renewable energy in recent years, launching the world’s first fully solar-powered airport, which snagged it a UN Champions of the Earth award.
“But that’s just tip-of-the-iceberg stuff. With boho cafes, intimate homestays hidden away in lazy, colonial-era backstreets, and a raft of forward-thinking galleries, this city keeps a tight grip on its heritage while wholeheartedly embracing its newfound cool. In 2020, street art comes to the fore at Kochi-Muziris Biennale, putting India firmly on the contemporary arts festival map,” the website said in his list.
Coming in first for the cities is Salzburg, Austria, followed by Washington, DC. in the US. In the third spot is Cairo.
On the other hand, Madhya Pradesh has been listed as the top third destination that gives the most value out of your buck.
“There’s wildlife spotting with a difference in this state of India. The first difference is the price – wildlife-spotting excursions come with a far lower cost than in Africa. In Madhya Pradesh’s wildlife reserves, including Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve and Pench National Park, there are lots to see beyond tigers; you might spy wild boar, spotted deer and langur monkeys.
“It’s a slightly different experience to an African safari – tiger spotting is all about the mystery; the rare flashes of famous stripes through the forest, and it’s not unusual to see nothing at all of the biggest of big cats. But your chances are getting better as numbers slowly recover. Elsewhere in the state, you’ll find celebrated sights such as Khajuraho’s temples and the historic small towns of Orchha and Mandu that attract fewer visitors than big-name destinations in neighbouring Rajasthan,” the brand said.
Other top two for best-in-value spots are East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia and Budapest, Hungary.
(Siddhi Jain can be contacted at [email protected])