Six weekend trips with your fuel tax savings of Rs 12,000!

Paying taxes is inevitable. Perhaps, it’s the only certainty of your work life. So, while you work hard to pay multiple taxes — how about you have a little fun on the way? Here’s introducing fuel allowance — a tax-saving employee benefit that’ll help you save up to Rs 12,000 in taxes annually. Your employer is likely to offer this benefit as part of the salary structure. It covers fuel claims, vehicle maintenance, and a driver’s salary too.

According to the Income Tax guidelines, it’s a called the motor car allowance or perquisite; and it can be offered to all employees who use a company-owned or personal vehicle for official purposes. And, to ensure that you never miss a claim, simply get access to digital claims that’ll allow you upload your receipts online and receive timely settlements.

So, as your friend in tax need, how about we help you celebrate your additional income of Rs 12,000 on fuel benefits with off-beat destinations around Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi

One for the road

With the onset of monsoons, — what better way to use fuel benefits, right? So, from mountains to beaches, these weekend getaways are waiting for you to hit book now.

When near Mumbai — pick a mountain range or relax at a bird sanctuary: That’s Panchgani and Karnala

Panchgani– Panchgani though is a well-known spot, it still hasn’t caught the eye of regular tourists. So, whatever be your reason to escape — adventure, art or village trails — be ready to bask in the Panchgani glory.

Located at the foothills of Sahyadri mountain ranges, this getaway makes for a perfect sleepy hideout. Panchgani mornings often wake up to misty and a welcoming fog; while evenings are just as it should be — laidback. And, you always have River Krisha playing its peaceful charm.

A 6-hour drive from Mumbai, Panchgani weekend can be host to paragliding, Rock Dhokra art workshops at the quaint Devrai Village with the local Adivasis, or a trek up to Rajpuri caves. And, did we mention strawberry farms — it’s a must visit. Spend your mornings picking some freshly grown strawberries and end the farm tour with the best-in-town ‘Strawberries and cream’, let’s bring a little bit of Wimbledon home, shall we?

Karnala – Offering a refreshing break from the city, Karnala is a short drive from Mumbai. Located along the Mumbai-Pune highway going towards Goa, Karnala is about 60 kms from Mumbai. Nestled on the foothills of the archaic Karnala fort alongside the mountain range of the Western Ghats, this bird sanctuary is home to over 200 bird species with a mix of local bred and migrant avians.

Karnala is also home to other wildlife like wild boar, the four-horned antelope, the muntjak and the common langur and others. And, with such a rich ecological system, you are sure to find a range of butterflies. So, be ready for some visual treat with over 110 species of butterflies. The best seasons to visit Karnala is during monsoons and the winters.

When in Bangalore — go offbeat with Gandikota and Wayanad

Gandikota– Located at a distance of 280 kms from Bangalore, Gandikota is almost a 6-hour drive. Some call it the Grand Canyon of India, Gandikota is a 13th-century fort near the Penna River.

It is home to some massive boulders of red granite and offers delightful views of the Erramala Hills and river Pennar, which flows about 300 ft below.

That’s not all. Witness history through the grandeur architecture of the Ranganatha Swamy Temple, Granary, Fort Entrance and the Gandikota gorge — all this is sure to take you back in time. And, while you are indulging in some history, don’t miss the locally-prepared spicy Andhra food.

A handy tip: Make sure you have sturdy shoes for the company. There’s a climb up some boulders you don’t want to miss.

Coonoor– You won’t think twice before making Coonoor your home. Located in the mesmerising Nilgiris, Coonoor is about 7 hours drive from Bangalore. A quaint hill station, Coonoor, has everything you’d like to have on a holiday. From treks to waterfalls, to archaic adventure — there is a bit of something for everyone. You can even interact with the local tribe — Todas, visit their hamlets, learn about their art and culture. Coonoor is also home to home-grown cheese. Take a tour at the local cheese factory, and learn how things are mixed up to make a perfect slice.

Delhi: Get a slice of stillness and diversified culture

Landsowne -Located about 270 kms from Delhi, Landsowne is a hill-station that’s perfect for some me-time. Surrounded by oak and pine forests, Lansdowne offers everything from trekking to easy walk trails, boat rides, amazing viewpoints and still sunsets (a look at it, and you feel the ease in its lazy sundowners)

When in this town, walk around as much you can, meet the locals and hope to get an invitation to sample some locally prepared food. The things you must try are Kafuli, Phaanu, Thechwani, Baadi, Kulath ki dal and Aloo ke gutke.

What also sets this destination apart is the Kalagarh Tiger Reserve. It is one of the most significant tiger reserves in India, and comes close to the famed Jim Corbett Park in terms of area. In addition to tigers, you can also catch a glimpse of the barking deer, hog deer, goral, sambhar, porcupines and wildlife.

Naukuchiatal– Located about 300 kilometres from Delhi, Naukichiatal makes for a perfect monsoon getaway. Set against the Himalayan background, Naukuchiatal offers splendid views and a reason to unwind for the entire family. Naukuchital encompasses the village of nine lakes. So, be sure of nature’s gorgeousness to take you over. You can also spend your days exploring the local biodiversity and ecological splendour. It is home to many species of wild animals including red fox, barking deer, and leopard. And, for the cultural hoarders, visit some historic temples that date back to the 17th century.

So, get ready to celebrate your monsoon with the extra saving of Rs 12,000 on fuel benefits. Simply go digital, save the hassle of paper claims and ensure you receive your grants instantly and in time for some monsoon tripping.