Plan Your Summer

March 6, 2018
Summer, Travel

Come summers and everyone will be looking for a long getaway, away from the scorching high temperatures and hustle-bustle of the inland-city life. With mercury rising to unprecedented heights in India, everyone will be looking for destinations to beat the heat. From the lofty peaks in the Himalayas to the Blue Mountains and the Andaman Islands in the south, and from the Western Ghats to the eastern extents of Himalayas in the north eastern states; India has a lot of options to help you chill out.

What if summers weren’t there? What if during May, you could sit in your verandah, admiring the sunset, slowing down for a while in your life? What if you could feel a soft cool breeze making its way past you, blowing your hair, refreshing your senses? Well, sorry to burst the bubble, but while you are in your searing city, imagining this wild can be synonymous with lunacy.

A hill station in the Aravalli Range in Sirohi district of Rajasthan, Mount Abu remains to be west India’s best entry to the list of summer holiday destinations in India. Referred to as an oasis in the desert, it is home to rivers, lakes, waterfalls, and evergreen forests. From hills to lake, fort to temples – Mount Abu has a little for every kind of traveler.

Places to visit: Dilwara Jain Temples, Nakki Lake, Achalgarh Fort, Toad Rock, Guru Shikhar, Trevor’s Crocodile Park, Peace Park, and Sunset Point

Things to do: Witnessing sunset at Sunset Point, boating at Nakki Lake, and riding a pony near Nakki Lake

How to reach:

  • By Air: Udaipur Airport (185 km from Mount Abu)
  • By Rail: Abu Road Railway Station (28 km from Mount Abu)

2. Horsley Hills, Andhra Pradesh

One of the most scenic places in the state, the hills provide a good break from the town and its heat. With plenty of time and ways to be with nature, Horsley Hills are a paradise. The way to the hills is panoramic too,  with Mahogany, Jacaranda, Sandalwood, Gulmohar and Eucalyptus trees lining the road. Just when you begin to feel life has slowed down too much since you’ve come here, brace yourself for the lesser known thing about this place – adventure sports, which includes zorbing, rappelling, rock climbing and trekking.

3. Leh -Ladakh

For those who need a thrilling destination for their summer holidays in India, Ladakh is the ultimate getaway. With a myriad of interesting best places to visit in Ladakh, you can be sure of an amazing vacation. The mighty mountain peaks, the breath-taking views, the stunning lakes, and the perfect weather makes it a perfect vacation destination.

Places to visit: Zanskar Valley, Pangong Tso Lake, Khardung-La Pass, Spituk Gompa, and Hemis National Park

Things to do: Watch the Llamas perform colorful Chhams, spot a snow leopard at the Hemis National Park, ride a double-humped Bactrian camel, and ride a bike up to the Khardung-La Pass

How to reach:

  • By Air: Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport, Leh
  • By Rail: Jammu Tawi Railway Station (700 km from Ladakh); hire a cab or board a JKSRTC bus to Ladakh

4. Shillong – Cherrapunjee – Mawlynnong, Meghalaya

The beautiful mountains of this region are a joy to watch. There are coal mines that can be spotted, legal and illegal, while you travel to Cherrapunjee from Shillong. Shillong in itself, is a really beautiful town, the capital of Meghalaya as well. It is perhaps the only place in India where taxi drivers themselves sit on someone’s lap and drive. Here, even the traditional societal roles of a man and woman are reversed, with women doing most of the business. Scenic viewpoints, caves en route to Cherrapunjee, views of Bangladesh from both Cherrapunjee and Mawlynnong, Asia’s cleanest village. These are just some of the things that will make your jaw drop.

5. Srinagar – Heaven on earth

Srinagar, the summer capital, is the best among the places to visit in Kashmir. Popular for its Shikara rides, floating gardens, and serene beauty, the city has been regarded as cash-cow of J & K. The city has enjoyed importance since historic times and rulers have forever been attempting to win the paradise city for themselves. At the moment, it is one of the most loved tourist places in India in summer.

Places to visit: Dal Lake, Nishat Bagh, Shalimar Bagh, Tomb of Zin-ul-Abidin, Jama Masjid, Hazratbal Mosque, and Shankaracharya Hill

Things to do: Shikara rides in Dal Lake, bird watching at Hokersar, wildlife seeing at Dachigam National Park, and shopping from the floating markets of vegetables & flowers in Dal Lake

How to reach:

  • By Air: Srinagar Airport
  • By Rail: Udhampur Railway Station(229 km from Srinagar); Srinagar Railway Station is under construction

6.  Manali, Himachal Pradesh

Already visited by most of us, Manali never fails to make it to any list about beating the heat of May. Forever charming, this place never fails to make you go awestruck. Thick forests and cool breeze characterize the hill station. Major attractions include Hadimba Temple, Vashisth, monastries, Solang Valley, Rohtang Pass and Club House.

7. Nainital

Situated in the lap of Uttarakhand at an elevation of 1,938 m above the sea-level, Nainital is one of the prime summer holiday destinations in India. The quaint hill-station is often pictured as a forested valley amidst which lies a beautiful lake. Though the list of places to visit in Nainital is pretty long, the Naini Lake and the Naina Devi Temple attract the maximum number of tourists. Surely, you cannot think of summer vacation in India without Nainital.

Places to visit: Raj Bhavan, Naini Lake, Bhimtal, Tiffin Top, Nainital Zoo, and Naina Devi Temple

Things to do: Boating in Naini Lake, view sunrise from Tippin Top, view sunset at Hanuman Garhi, shopping at Tibetan market, and enjoy a ropeway ride

How to reach:

  • By Air: Pantnagar Airport (65 km from Nainital)
  • By Rail: Kathgodam Railway Station (34 km from Nainital)

8. Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh

Situated at a height of 10000 feet, Tawang‘s beauty reaches out to your soul. With Tibet to its northern side, Sela range of West Kameng to the east, and Bhutan to the southwest, Tawang is beautifully located. Breathtaking valleys, amazing waterfalls and misty rivers add to the charm. Tawang Monastery, Sela Pass, Shonga-tser Lake, Nuranang waterfalls and Bumla Pass are places that deserve a visit in May in India, when in Tawang.

9. Dharamshala

For those who seek to spend the summers in India among the picturesque hills, Dharamshala is another great destination. Its temples and monasteries make it stand out among the places to visit in Himachal Pradesh. The town is best known internationally as the home of Dalai Lama of Tibet. Since the introduction of ODIs and IPL T20s at the HPCA stadium, the hill station has been attracting a lot of regular sports enthusiasts from across the globe. The hill-station is also going to be the first smart-city of Himachal Pradesh.

Places to visit: Kangra Fort, Bhagsunath Temple, Bhagsu Falls, Namgyal Monastery, Dalai Lama Temple complex, HPCA Stadium, and tea plantations of Kangra valley

Things to do: Meditation & stay in Namgyal Monastery, boat ride in Dal Lake, and walks through the tea plantations

How to reach:

  • By Air: Gaggal Airport (13 km from Dharamshala)
  • By Rail: Pathankot Railway Station (85 km from Dharamshala)

10. Mussoorie

Mussoorie, an extremely popular destination to spend your summer vacations in India, becomes quite crowded in summers. The varied flora and the lush green hilly lands attract a lot of tourists to the little fairyland. From shopping on Mall Road to ropeway cable car to Gun Hill, and from Kempty Falls to the Jwalaji Temple; the summer destination has a lot to offer to its visitors.

Places to visit: Kempty Falls, Landour Clock Tower, Jwalaji Temple, Rajaji National Park, Gun Hill, Library Point, Sir George Everest House, and Cloud’s End

Things to do: Boating in Lake Mist, cable car ride to Gun Hill, roller skating in Kulri Bazaar, and paragliding around Mussoorie Lake

How to reach:

  • By Air: Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun (54 km from Mussoorie)
  • By Rail: Dehradun Railway Station (33 km from Mussoorie).

11. Pachmarhi

The only hill station in Madhya Pradesh, Pachmarhi is among the lesser known summer holiday destinations in India. In addition to sightseeing, trekking and leisure activities can be enjoyed here. The decently high hills, forest gorges, stunning waterfalls, prehistoric caves, and rock paintings at Pachmarhi attract a lot of tourists every year.

Places to visit: Apsara Vihar waterfall & pond, Pandava Caves, Jata Shankar Caves, Pachmarhi Lake, Bee Fall, Draupadi Kund, and Handi Khoh gorge

Things to do: Boating at Pachmarhi Lake, bathing in the Apsara Vihar pond, and exploring the Pandava Caves

How to reach:

  • By Air: Bhopal airstrip (195 km from Pachmarhi)
  • By Rail: Pipariya Railway Station (47 km from Pachmarhi)

12. Sarahan, Himachal Pradesh

Sarahan, a beautiful hamlet located in the Sutlej Valley, is situated at an average height of 2165 metres above sea level. It comes under the Shimla district and is famous for its apple orchards, pine forests, slate roofed houses and small streams. Bhimkali Temple Complex, Bhaba Valley and Bird Park are some of the major attractions here.

13.  Munnar

A perfect destination to spend your summer holidays in India, Munnar is famous for its salubrious climate, lush hills, and vast expanse of tea plantations. With a myriad of things to do in Munnar, the hill station from God’s Own Country – Kerala – is sure to make your vacations an ultimate peaceful and rejuvenating affair.

Places to visit: Kundala Lake, Echo Point, Elephant Lake, Anamudi Peak, Tata Tea Museum, Chithirapuram, Devikulam, and Chinnakanal

Things to do: Stay in a tree house, trekking to the echo point, mountain biking, Shikara ride in Kundala Lake, and elephant safari at the Carmelagiri Elephant Park

How to reach:

  • By Air: Cochin International Airport (125 km from Munnar)
  • By Rail: Aluva Railway Station (110 km from Munnar)

14. Kodaikanal 

Kodaikanal is to Bangaloreans what Nainital is to Delhiites or what Darjeeling is to Kolkatans. Meadows, grasslands, waterfalls, valleys, forests, and lakes of the quaint hill station of Tamil Nadu make it one of the most popular summer holiday destination in India from the peninsula. From boat rides to treks, and from cycle rides to yoga; Kodaikanal has a lot of experiences to offer to its tourists.

Places to visit: Kodaikanal Lake, Bryant Park, Coaker’s Walk, Pillar Rocks, Dolphin’s Nose rock, Shembaganur Museum of Natural History, and Bear Shola Falls

Things to do: Experience Brocken Spectre at Coakers’ Walk, ride a rowboat or pedalo at Kodaikanal Boat Club, cycle around the Kodai Lake, take a trek to Kukkal Caves, and practice yoga at the Kodaikanal Yoga Centre

How to reach

  • By Air: Madurai Airport (120 km from Kodaikanal)
  • By Rail: Palani Railway Station (66 km from Kodaikanal)

15. Ooty

Udhagamandalam, or Ooty, is another prime destination in Tamil Nadu to spend your summer holidays in India. Located in the Nilgiri Blue Mountains hills, the hill station is often called the Queen of Hills. The famous toy train takes you through the nearby lush hills. The little hill station also offers a lot of places to visit and adventure activities to its visitors.

Places to visit: Doddabetta Peak, Ooty Lake, Emerald Lake, tribal Toda huts, Deer Park, Upper Bhawani Lake, Avalanche Lake, St Stephen’s Church, and Kalhatty Waterfalls

Things to do: Ride the Nilgiri Toy Train, horse riding, boating in Ooty Lake, mountain biking in the Blue Mountains, and hang gliding at Kalahatti (20 km from Ooty)

How to reach:

  • By Air: Coimbatore (105 km from Ooty)
  • By Rail: Mettupalayam (47 km from Ooty); toy train connects Ooty

16.  Coorg

Nestled amidst the lush valleys of the Western Ghats, Coorg is one of the most affluent summer holiday destinations in India. It offers a lot to the tourists in form of the various places to visit in Coorg. Thanks to its verdant beauty and pleasant weather conditions, the hill station is often referred as the Scotland of India.

Places to visit: Abbey Falls, Nalknad Palace, Barapole River, Brahmagiri Peak, Iruppu Falls, Namdroling Monastery, and Nagarhole National Park

Things to do: Camping near Nalknad Palace, River Rafting in Barapole River, Jeep Safari to Kabbe Hills, Trekking to Nishani Hills, taking a Microlight flight at Chelavara, ziplining, and angling in River Kaveri

How to reach:

  • By Air: Bangalore (260 km from Coorg)
  • By Rail: Mysore (120 km from Coorg)

17. Mahabaleshwar

Perched atop a height of 1,372 m above the sea level, Mahabaleshwar is another ultimate getaway for the summer holidays in India. The breath-taking views of the valleys and mountains, the colonial buildings, verdant forests, sparkling rivers, sonorous waterfalls, and Pratapgarh hill fort have been major crowd pullers. The scenic hill station is, without doubt, an ideal retreat away from the hustle-bustle and the punishing weather of Mumbai.

Places to visit: Venna Lake, Pratapgarh Fort, Parsi Point, Lingmala Falls, and Lord Mahabaleshwar Temple

Things to do: Horse riding, boating at Venna Lake, and trekking up to the Pratapgarh Fort

How to reach:

  • By Air: Pune Airport (120 km from Mahabaleshwar)
  • By Rail: Wathar Railway Station (60 km from Mahabaleshwar)

18. Gangtok

Gangtok, the urban settlement and capital city of Sikkim, is another summer destination in India. With monasteries, leisure activities, and adventure activities, Gangtok has every reason to be your perfect summer getaway.

Places to visit: Nathu La, Hanuman Tok, Rumtek Monastery, Khecheopalri Lake, and Phodong Monastery

Things to do: River Rafting in Teesta, riding a yak at Tsomgo Lake, paragliding, and ropeway cable-ride from Deorali

How to reach:

  • By Air: Bagdogra Airport in West Bengal (124 km from Gangtok); 20 minutes’ helicopter ride from Bagdogra
  • By Rail: New Jalpaiguri Railway Station in Silguri (148 km from Gangtok)

19. Kalimpong

Darjeeling and Kalimpong are the best entries from West Bengal in our list of summer destinations in India. But what gives Kalimpong an edge over Darjeeling is that it is untouched and less frequently visited by people. So, for those looking for a quiet summer getaway, Kalimpong is for you. Sitting on a ridge overlooking the Teesta River, the hill station is a perfect summer destination owing to its pleasant climate, magnificent views, and proximity to other tourist attractions.

Places to visit: Zang Dhok Palri Phodang, Mac Farlen Church, Tsonga Gompa, Morgan House, Dr. Graham’s Homes, Hanuman Tok, and Science City

Things to do: Paragliding, bird watching, and fishing

How to reach:

  • By Air: Bagdogra Airport in West Bengal (79 km from Kalimpong)
  • By Rail: New Jalpaiguri Railway Station in Silguri (77 km from Kalimpong)

20. Darjeeling

Towered by the majestic Kanchenjunga (8,586 meters above sea level) and surrounded by the emerald-green tea plantations, Darjeeling is among the best hill stations in India. Ride in the cute toy train through the Himalayas, walk through the tea gardens of Dooars, watch the sun setting behind the Tiger Hill or simply relax in the Revolver Hotel of West Bengal; there is a lot to do on your trip to Darjeeling.

Places to visit: Tea Gardens of Dooars, Tiger Hill, Peace Pagoda at Charlemont Hill, and Gorkha War Memorial

How to reach:

  • By Air: Bagdogra Airport in West Bengal (68 km from Kalimpong)
  • By Rail: New Jalpaiguri Railway Station in Silguri (71 km from Kalimpong)

 

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Korners of India

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