With the onset of sweltering summer in May, a vacation with family & friends is inevitable. It’s a good opportunity to travel with kids since most of the schools and colleges will be closed for summer vacation. When most parts of India is steaming with summer heat choosing an ideal travel destination could be tricky. However, I have prepared a list of not-to-miss places for those who haven’t yet decided where to go on a summer vacation in India with family.
1. Mysore, Karnataka- The heritage city
Loved by young couples, elderly people and kids alike, Mysore has something to make every visitor happy. Mysore city in Karnataka is famous for its glittering royal heritage, magnificent monuments and buildings, spiritual & religious places of interest and more. The list of must visit places here is Mysore palace, Jaganmohan palace, Chamundi Hill, Brindavan gardens, GRS Fantasy park, Rail museum, Bandipur Forest and Ranganathittu bird sanctuary. If you have kids do not miss visiting the Mysore zoo and Karanji lake park.
2. Chikmagalur, Karnataka- A cozy summer getaway
Away from the hustle and bustle of city life, Chikmagalur offers a calm and cozy environment to relax and unwind. This little green haven is famous for its coffee plantation and picturesque landscapes. You can indulge in sightseeing, adventurous trekking, exploring the wildlife or just enjoy the beautiful nature with a cup of coffee. The list of must visit places here are Mullayanagiri, Baba Budangiri & Kemmangundi (famous for trekking), Kalhatti falls, Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary, Manikyadhara falls, Kalhatti Falls, and Kudremukh national park.
3. Gangtok, Sikkim- Attend the International Flower Festival
The capital city of Sikkim, Gangtok is undoubtedly one of the most visited hill-stations in India. May would be an ideal time to visit Gangtok as the weather is pleasant during the daytime and gets cool at night. Apart from exploring the pristine natural beauty, the International Flower Festival in Gangtok could be just another reason to visit this place in May. Many species of orchids, gladioli, cacti, roses, trees, ferns, alpine plants, creepers, climbers, will be displayed items during the show. The festival is not limited to the flower show, lectures and seminars on indigenous plants, river rafting and yak safari are added attractions.
4. Yelagiri, Tamil Nadu- Experience the small town life
Wouldn’t it be nice to disconnect from the outer world and travel to a place without mobile network and internet? Is so pack your bags to explore Yelagiri. Nestled in the foothills of the eastern ghats, Yelagiri is a famous hill station in the Vellore district of Tamil Nadu. The drive to Yelagiri through the winding ghats offers a panoramic view of the hills and surroundings. In Yelagiri you get to revel in lofty hills, pristine lake, cascading waterfall and ancient temples. It consists of 14 villages which are inhabited by tribal folk who engage in forestry, horticulture and agriculture. Their customs, habits, culture and houses are quite unique and make for an interesting tourist experience. The list of must visit places here are Jalagamparai Water Falls, Punganoor Lake Park, Government Herbal Farm, Swamimalai Hill, Nature Park and the Telescope Observatory.
5. Tirthan Valley, Himachal Pradesh- Himachal’s best-kept secret
Are you all set for an unforgettable adventure in one of Himachal’s best off beat destinations? If yes, visit the riverside retreat Tirthan Valley in Himachal Pradesh. Tirthan is truly a hidden gem that has something for everyone. This quiet valley is ideal for trekking, fishing, camping, wildlife watching, and discovering under-explored hill villages. There’s also the option of doing absolutely nothing and relax among the pine trees in the valley in a rustic riverside cottage.
6. Vagamon, Kerala- Visit the ultimate eco-tourism destination
Situated on the hills of the Idukki-Kottayam border, Vagamon is the ultimate eco-tourism destination suitable for a relaxing holiday. By virtue of its cool and pleasant climate, Vagamon lures everybody with scenic valleys, beautiful green meadows, enchanting pine forests, tea estates, mists, fogs, and waterfalls. Adventure seekers can enjoy activities like trekking, paragliding, kayaking, boating, mountaineering or rock climbing here.
7. Mount Abu, Rajasthan- Celebrate the Summer Festival
Mount Abu is India’s favourite hill station in the royal state of Rajasthan. The charming hill offers an assorted mix of experiences that you do not expect in a state which is mostly known for its arid desert scapes. To get a true flavour of Rajasthan, attend the 3-day Summer Festival organised by Rajasthan Tourism in Mount Abu. The festival takes off with ballad singing and a traditional procession which assembles at the Nakki Lake. The audience is treated to authentic Rajasthani and Gujarati folk dances and music as well as the beautiful and graceful Gair, Ghoomar and Daph dances of Rajasthan. The summer festival ends with a display of dazzling fireworks which catches the fancy of every tourist.
8. Mirik, West Bengal- Peaceful getaway by the lake
Mirik is a scenic hill station in West Bengal popular for its lakeside location and unspoilt beauty. Mirik has many things to offer for people with varied interest. You can go for a romantic boating experience, have fun exploring the orange orchids, visit the monasteries, temples & church or walk along the green tea gardens. If time permits, you can also visit the wonderful hill stations of Siliguri and Darjeeling too.
9. Cherapunji, Meghalaya- Enjoy the rainy days
There is nothing more mesmerising than the smell of soil after first rain. If you are one of those who loves anything and everything about rain then Chirapunji is the place for you. Cherrapunji in Meghalaya is one of the wettest places on the planet and the only place in India to receive rain throughout the year. It is advisable to visit Cherapunji before the season of heaviest downpour i.e from June to September. The must visit places in Cherapunji is Seven Sisters Falls, Nohkalikai Falls, Dain-Thlen Falls, Living root bridges, Mawsmai caves, Ka Khoh Ramhah rocks and Eco Park.
Located along the Sahyadri mountain range, Lonavala will be welcome you with cold ambience and wonderful scenery. Lonavala provides stunning views of lush greenery around theSahyadri ranges and also serves as a starting point for tourists interested in visiting the famous, ancient Buddhist rock cut caves of Bhaja and Karla, which are located near this hill station. It also has an important Yoga centre near it, for the health conscious traveller. You can walk along the waterfalls, the grassy abundance and hills in and around Lonavala. The mountainous terrain of Lonavala is ideal for trekking and hiking as well.
So, what are you waiting for? Pack some warm clothes and escape to one of the above destinations soon!