PET VACATIONS:- Places To Go In India With Your Furry Friends
Travelling with pets is exciting—my pet has helped me step out of my comfort zone, made me chase after him up a high hill, agitated an elephant enough to pursue us through a forest, and given me some truly memorable dinnertime stories. Travelling with your furry babies is also important for pet parents like me who don’t like leaving kids behind when they go vagabonding. However, to be honest, planning travel with animals in tow can be a long-winded affair. You have to scout for pet-friendly places. Then you have to consider the modes of transport. If it’s your first time travelling with your pet, do a trial run at a local hotel or resort before you head out to see how your furry baby feels about being away from home in a strange, new place.
Also, flying or taking the train with your pet can be tricky. You’ll emerge frazzled from complicated processes, too much paperwork and wary authorities, not least from the lack of pet-friendly accommodation choices. Which is exactly why we’ve done some groundwork and dug up some really cool pet-friendly hotels and resorts from across the country—be it a farm in the hills of Tamil Nadu or a beachside resort in sunny Goa.
Places to go in India with your furry friends
… Because they deserve downtime and a vacation as much as us. Here are some tips, ideas and places to go to in India, when travelling with your furry babies.
1# Hulivana Resort, Karnataka
Nestled deep in the hilly rainforest of Sakleshpur in the Western Ghats, Hulivana is overlooked by Jenkalbetta, the highest peak in the region. This eco-resort can only be reached on horseback or in a 4×4. The moment we drove into the safety of the resort (wild animals still lurk around, and dogs happen to be their preferred meals!), our pet was off the leash, and so he remained for the rest of the stay. Rolling hills, a spring-fed pond, waterfalls, little streams and dense foliage made for an inviting playground for our pet. Electricity is produced with a hydro turbine and is available sparsely in the evening. One can’t complain, though, because the hillside lends itself beautifully towards small, unobtrusive campfires, and gives an opportunity for new friendships and real conversations.
Address Hulivana Rainforest Retreat, Hodchalli, Hanbal Hobli, Sakleshpur, Karnataka
How to get there Take a flight to Bengaluru or Mangalore. The nearest railway station is Sakleshpur. From there, drive down to Hulivana.
2# Destiny Farmstay, Tamil Nadu
This farm stay is in the Nilgiris, 25 km from Ooty, a little after Emerald Isle. It’s a self-sufficient eco-farm that produces its own vegetables and fruits and has horses, cows, rabbits, geese, sheep and dogs on its vast stretch. Destiny gives you the opportunity to learn horse-riding from trained stable hands, besides enjoying rappelling, golfing and good ol’ camping on the farm grounds. We kept our pet on the leash when we were amidst other guests, but otherwise, he ran free, sprawling near the lake and loping along beside us when we went riding to the nearby Sunset Point. Destiny Farmstay charges `600 over the room tariff for each pet and you have to carry your own pet food.
Address Destiny Farmstay, Near Avalanche Dam, Ooty, Tamil Nadu
Phone 0423 2244000
Website www.littlearth.in/ destiny/farm
How to get there Take a flight to Coimbatore or Chennai. The nearest well-connected railway stations are Chennai and Coimbatore. From there, drive down to Destiny.
3# Dalhousie Retreat Cottages, Himachal Pradesh
A small cottage property in gorgeous Dalhousie, this one stands out for its apple orchards, forest walks, wild daisies and its pet-friendly accommodation. The three-cottage stay can house six people and is made entirely of glass, stone and wood, maximising on the elevation and expansive views of the Dhauladhar-Pir Panjal range. This 1,500-sq-yard property is all-access for pets to run around, but the management does advise you to keep them nearby and in sight since the adjacent forests and hills abound with bears. When visiting Dalhousie Retreat Cottages, carry your walking shoes along as the property opens up to an easy, four-km trek that skirts the nearby Bakrota Hill. The Khajjiar meadow and Kalatop forest reserve are ideal places to go walking with your pet in tow. Besides, they are very close to Dalhousie and make for a fun picnic.
Address Dalhousie Retreat, Upper Bakrota, Tagore Road, Dalhousie, Himachal Pradesh
How to get there Fly to Jammu or Amritsar and take a cab to Dalhousie. You can also take a train to Pathankot, the nearest town, and then drive down.
4# Cavala Resort, Goa
We decided to lush in Goa for my birthday. Since I wanted Kratos, my pooch, to enjoy sun, sand and sea as much as everyone else, we zeroed in on the iconic Cavala, in Baga, that can be recognised by its ivy-clad, red laterite façade built in Portuguese-Goan style. They allow pets in certain rooms and mostly run full round the year so make sure you call them well in advance to secure a place. We were given a room with a balcony for Kratos to lounge in and converse with the birds. He was also allowed in public spaces, such as the restaurant, during the daytime when it wasn’t crowded and the music wasn’t discomfiting. However, when in Goa, one has to hit the beaches, and that’s what we did, and boy, did he enjoy the waves and the breeze!
Address Cavala Resort, Baga-Saunta Vaddo, Calangute, Goa
Phone 0832 2276090/7587
How to get there Take a flight to Goa Airport, or take a train to Panjim railway station, and then a cab to Baga Beach.
5# Emerald Trail, Uttarakhand
This eco-friendly homestay in Bhimtal comes highly recommended from friends who are pet parents. One of the few places which understand and addresses the limitations that pet families face while travelling, Emerald Trail is an off-the-leash property which lets your furry babies run free on its three-acre spread. They have trained and friendly staff who can babysit them if you want some me-time or want to go sightseeing. Guests visiting with pets are given well-spaced-out cottages with private gardens. Away from the bustle of Bhimtal and Naukuchiatal lake, Emerald Trail is located in a sleepy village called Jungaliagaon and lays emphasis on sustainable travel. The resort serves food that is largely produced at its farm and is run on solar energy.
Address Emerald Trail, Jungaliagaon, Bhimtal, Uttarakhand
How to get there Take a flight to Delhi and then drive down to Bhimtal, and from there head straight to Emerald Trail. You can also take a train to Kathgodam and then hire a cab to Jungaliagaon.
TIPS & TRICKS
TRAVELLING VIA AIR
- Jet Airways, SpiceJet and Air India allow you to fly with pets (certain breeds of dogs, cats, birds and rabbits). All pets must travel in cargo (with the exception of Air India which allows a pet + crate of five kg or less to travel with the owner “subject to the approval of the commander of the flight”).
- Book your tickets and get them endorsed for pet travel at the local airline office. Also, confirm the number of pets travelling on that flight, as there’s a limit.
- Pick an IATA-approved crate from a pet store a few days before the travel and get your pet used to spend time inside it. This way, there will be less anxiety during travel.
- Get your pet’s health certificates, vaccinations and immunisation records in order from a certified vet, and a fit-to-fly notice which has to be issued within 24 hours of travel.
- Reach the airport at least three to four hours in advance because there are lots of formalities to take care of. Fill in the forms at the check-in counter and attach the health certificates.
- Get the pet crate scanned at the oversize baggage area (without the pet inside, of course!). Once done, secure your pet inside the crate with cables. Airlines don’t take responsibility for the security of the cables. Only you do, so give it your all! Don’t sedate your pet for the journey. Give him or her a pet calmer instead.
- Once your pet is loaded, and you’ve settled in the cabin, inform the crew about the presence of your pet in the hold as a safety measure. Once the flight lands, rush to the reclamation counter and collect the crate.
TRAVELLING VIA RAIL
- Rail travel along with a pet (dogs, cats, birds) is less complicated than air travel. Also, trains allow you to travel with your pet in the same compartment.
- You can travel along with your pet if you book the two-bunk or four-bunk compartments entirely in First Class or First Class A/C. However, dogs must be on the leash at all times.
- You might have to move your pet to the Brake Van and keep it there in specially designed pet boxes if co-passengers complain about the animal’s presence. If this happens, maximise each stop and visit your pet and refill their food and water bowls.
- Large dogs must travel in the Brake Van.
Let’s wrap up PET VACATIONS:- Places to go in India with your furry friends article. Read also Top 10 Emerging Destinations Of India
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— Sunil Nain