Independence Day and Republic Day, the two national holidays of India are extremely popular among travellers as they provide a break from the daily schedule and generally result in a holiday in the middle of the week. Most people set off to explore nearby places during this break. Also, August 15 is extra special as it breaks the constant monotony of work and the long period of no holidays which the Indian employee faces after April. August 15 for most Indians is when the festival season kicks off too, no matter it be the Independence Day.
And if you’re one of those who has made plans for August 15 and wish to escape the drudgery of life, good for you! However, before you’re a ready to set off, remember as it is the Independence Day, you might face certain impediments like roads closed for VIPs, delayed flights, shut monuments, and others. So making it easier for you, here’s some pointers and tips you need to bear in mind to ensure your trip is hassle-free:
Check Flight Timings
If you are flying out early morning on August 15, it might be wise to cross-check the timing of your flight. This is more applicable to those flying in and out of Delhi. While disruptions for practice are more common around Republic Day, there are times that tightened security and some new agenda leads to massive flight delays and causes problems. If your flights are cancelled (does happen in some cases), it might be prudent to ask your airline for the earliest alternative. Be smart and stay alert.
No matter which mode of transport you choose, this is the period of extra and tightened security. Right from airports to train stations to road blocks, you will face it all. Just be prepared for the checks and questions the authorities might ask you. Also, go mentally prepared for longer wait times and you will be less disappointed or less frustrated. It might also be wise to keep your documents handy just in case. Always be careful and do not mess with the authorities. Remember, they are simply doing their job.
You might also face massive road blocks and/or diverted traffic. Politicians and VIPs often travel around this day and the roads might be blocked or barricaded for smooth progress. Alternatively, if there are rallys in and around the area (especially if you’re visiting historic places) then you might face additional issues and longer drives. So ensure you leave or plan your travel accordingly so you’re not inconvenienced.
Many monuments are shut during this period owing to the high security. Many are shut in the first half and then open up. Some places even have special programs for Independence Day. If you’re planning on visiting national monuments like India Gate or Red Fort, they might be shut and you might be disappointed. So always make sure you do your checks well in advance and are confident of the monument being open before landing there. You don’t want an entire day to go to waste and miss a monument, do you?
Many places organise special programs around Independence Day. There might be shows or special performances. Alternatively, for foodies, there is a whole lot on offer around this time as nearly all restaurants experiment with menus and offer local cuisines with a twist. Just cross check once and make your plans accordingly. You can call your host or your hotel in advance to ask what are the special activities in the region around that time and make your plans accordingly.