India is a beautiful country that gets oppressively hot in the summer months with temperatures touching the early 40s (ºC). So, summer is the perfect time to make the most of the country’s diverse landscape by travelling to the mountainous regions.
Mountain towns are definitely the best places to visit in India in April and May (late March and June too depending on the geographical location of the town), because in other months these high altitude towns are inaccessible, have uncomfortably low temperatures or experience rainfall that hinders outdoor activities. That said, not all listed destinations are seasonal. Some can be seen all year round, but with summer having a certain charm, enabling certain activities or holding particular festivals and events. So here is a list of the best places to visit in India in summer as suggested by fellow travel bloggers.
15 Places to Visit in India in Summer
Map of Summer Destinations in India
1. Leh, Ladakh
Ladakh, the land of high passes, is a mountainous region nestled in the Himalayas with villages at altitudes between 2800 – 4500 metres (9000 – 15000 feet). Because of the high altitude, the area is a desert with minimal vegetation. Ladakh is bordered by Pakistan, and Tibet (Chinese territory), so interestingly, you can find influences of these countries in the people, culture and food.
Leh, the capital of Ladakh and your entry point into the region, lies 3500 meters (11,500 feet) above sea level. So while visiting ensure you acclimatize for at least a day in order to not get acute altitude sickness.
Ladakh’s tourist season lasts from April to September. While Leh can be visited year-round, the best time to visit it would be in combination with the rest of Ladakh in the months of May, June and September when the temperature is better (3ºC -21ºC) than other times of the year and rainfall is low.
How to Reach Leh
Leh can be reached directly by flight, by road from Delhi/Chandigarh via Manali or from Srinagar in Kashmir. Taking the roadway to Leh is an experience by itself and considered better for acclimatization too. You’ll enjoy views of the Indus river’s deep gorges, magnificent panoramas, and pass the second coldest town in the world, Drass.
Things to See and Do in Leh, Ladakh
- Leh City Attractions: The main attractions are the 16th century 9-storey Leh Palace (now a museum), Shanti Stupa, Namgyal Tsemo Monastery (has the best view of Leh city)
- Sham Valley: Take a day trip on this route to see Magnetic Hill (optical illusion where cars seem to be going up a hill), the Confluence of Zanskar and Indus Rivers and some monasteries.
- Monasteries: Take a trip to monasteries like Thiksey (15th century), Shey and Diskit.
- Rafting: Rafting on Indus is a great experience for adventure enthusiasts.
- Khardung La Pass: Marketed as the highest motorable road pass (though it isn’t), at more than 5500 meters (18000 feet).
- Hemis National Park: It is the perfect place to spot snow leopards with a 50% chance of seeing them on a safari.
If you’re travelling to such a remote place, it will be ideal to also see other areas of Ladakh like Nubra Valley (sand dunes and camels), Turtuk Village (last village before Pakistan that is inhabited by Balti people), and Pangong Lake (beautiful blue lake of which 1/3rd is in India).
You’ll need at least 8 days for this whole trip including Leh if reaching the city by flight!
Luxury: The Grand Dragon Ladakh is undoubtedly the most popular hotel in Leh.
Budget: Stay at one of the many guesthouses like Tsetan Guest House. Basic but well-rated and well-located.
Click above on the property names to see prices and book your stay!
2. Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh
Explored by Samantha Shea from International Detours
One of the best places to visit in India in May is Spiti Valley. Much like Ladakh, this beautiful high-altitude region is frozen and frigid most of the year, so summer is the best time to visit. May is perfect as temperatures will be relatively warm during the day and the forecast will be full of sunshine. While you can also visit in April, do know that it will be quite a bit colder, though you may find better deals on hotels as there tend to be fewer tourists.
How to Reach Spiti Valley
Spiti Valley is extremely remote, so you’ll have to embark on a long road trip. As the roads are quite perilous, local transport is your best bet unless you have experience driving on mountain passes. To reach Spiti from Delhi, you’ll first have to make it to either Manali or Reckong Peo, both of which have connections to the valley. Though each route is of a similar distance, keep in mind that going via Reckong Peo is safer as the altitude gain is gentler.
Places to See in Spiti Valley
You should take at least a week to explore the Spiti region.
- Dhankar Village: Check out the ancient monastery and 14,000-foot lake in Dhankar Village.
- Hikkim: See the world’s highest post office in Hikkim.
- Demul and Lhalung: Embark on a trek through the more offbeat villages of Demul and Lhalung.
- Tabo: Here you’ll find the oldest monastery of the entire Himalayan region. It was constructed in 996 CE and contains centuries’ old frescoes and paintings that remain intact.
The best thing to do in Spiti is to simply enjoy its beauty. The vast, open skies are perfect for stargazing and the culture of the locals is more like Tibet than other areas of North India, making for a unique experience.
Spitian food is also delicious and interesting- be sure to try Phakse, Thupka and of course- butter tea, a Spiti essential!
Guesthouses and homestays are plentiful in Spiti, and each village has numerous options to choose from. If you’re looking to experience extreme comfort at an amazing cost, choose to stay at the Bendurya Hotel while in Dhankar.
3. McLeod Ganj, Himachal Pradesh
How to Reach McLeodGanj
You can take a flight to the nearest airport, Gaggal Airport in Dharamshala (20 km), or a train to the nearest station at Pathankot (90 km), then take a cab or bus to McLeodganj. You can alternately board a bus from major cities in North India like Amritsar, Chandigarh, Delhi, etc. directly to McLeodganj or Dharamshala and then a cab to the town.
Things to Do in McLeodGanj
- Tibetan History, Culture and Food: To learn about the history of the region and how it became a place of exile for Tibetan refugees, visit the Tibet Museum. Catch talks held by the Dalai Lama and visit his temple at Tsug La Khang. Make a trip to Namgyal Monastery which is the residence of the Dalai Lama and also the biggest Tibetan Sanctuary outside Tibet. There are several other monasteries and Tibetan establishments to visit in the area. Finally, try delicious Tibetan food like Momos and Thukpa at Tibet Kitchen.
- Bhagsu Falls and Temple: Swim in the waters of these falls that is simply beautiful especially from the viewpoint beyond the stalls.
- Meditation Classes: You can do some soul searching by taking meditation classes – there’s a particularly good school called Tushita Meditation Centre.
- Trekking: There are several hiking opportunities in the area including the renowned 9 km Triund Hike, 12 km Bhagsu Falls Hike, 2-day Kareri River Trek, 4-hour Kangra Valley Trek and the 6-hour Indrahar Pass Trek.
- Illiterati Cafe has beautiful mountain views and a small library which you can borrow books from.
- Jimmy’s Italian Kitchen for gnocchi and banoffee pie!
- Moonpeak Espresso is the best cafe for Wi-Fi if you need to do some work.
- Woeser Bakery is famous for baking the Dalai Lama’s yearly birthday cake!
- Lung Ta Japanese Restaurant serves incredibly authentic Japanese food.
Ram Yoga House is an excellent budget place to stay. It has a fantastic cafe on site as well as a yoga studio on the roof with affordable classes.
Click above on the property names to see prices and book your stay!
May to June is peak tourist season so you will find the town very busy! Book your accommodation in advance because there may be a dearth of it as the summer approaches.
4. Kasol, Himachal Pradesh
Kasol is a charming little city tucked away in the Parvati Valley. It is famous for its picturesque views of the Parvati River, stunning mountain vistas, and relaxed atmosphere. Its mountainous and northern location means that it’s also one of the most fantastic places to visit in summer in India. Temperatures range between a comfortable 13°C and 35°C in March through June.
How to Reach Kasol
The best way to get to Kasol is via an overnight bus from New Delhi, which leaves once daily and takes about 14 or so hours in total. However, it is also possible to reach Kasol from other major cities in Himachal Pradesh, such as Manali. The closest airport to Kasol is in Manali (30km) and closest railway stations at Joginder Nagar (144 km) and Chandigarh (296 km).
Things to See and Do in Kasol
Aside from relaxing and enjoying the slow pace of this northern hamlet, the best things to do in Kasol include:
- Doing the Kheerganga Trek to bathe in holy, natural hot springs
- Taking a hike through the forest to nearby Grahan Village
- Visiting the village of Manikaran to marvel at the beauty of the local temple
- Strolling through the Trippy forest
- Embarking on the Chalal walk
Visit Jim Morrison Café and Shanti Café for a hearty meal.
Click above on the property names to see prices and book your stay!
As a small, remote village, it’s necessary to come prepared with everything you need during your visit to Kasol. There is only one ATM in the whole town, and only one in the neighbouring villages as well, so it’s important you come with enough money.
5. Rishikesh, Uttarakhand
Explored by Devyani Sharma
Rishikesh, a tranquil city located at the Himalayan foothills, has the holy Ganga River flowing right through it. This picturesque city is surrounded by verdant forests, emerald mountains and beautiful riverside promenades that enchant one and all. Rishikesh is often referred to as the ‘Yoga Capital of the World’ and has many Ashrams that are internationally recognized as centres of yoga, meditation and philosophical studies.
Rishikesh is best visited in late March and April as it is rafting season. Temperatures range between 18ºC -32ºC, so the weather is comfortable and the water not as cold. It gets quite hot in May, but the end of May is around the time when Ganga Dussehra is celebrated. So do check the dates and visit if interested in seeing the festivities!
How to Reach Rishikesh
You can reach Rishikesh by first taking a flight to the closest airports at Dehradun (35km)/Delhi (240km) or a train to Rishikesh/Haridwar (21km) and then a bus or cab to get to the city.
Things to Do in Rishikesh
- Adventure: With all the different levels of rapids, rafting in Rishikesh is undoubtedly the best place to do this activity in the country. Combine this with camping, cliff jumping and other adventure activities like kayaking, zip-lining, rock climbing, and rappelling for the ultimate adventure.
- Religious Places and Ceremonies: See the jaw-dropping Ganga Aarti at Triveni Ghat either early morn at 5:30 am or at 6 pm. Also, visit the magnificent 13-storey Trimbakeshwar temple and other temples in the area.
- Ashrams and Yoga Experiences: Visit one or more of the many Ashrams in Rishikesh -Parmarth Niketan is especially renowned. All Beatles fans would definitely want to see The Beatles Ashram. An offbeat option is to visit Vasishta Gufa which was the area where sage Vasishta attained enlightenment. It is a quiet and peaceful place.
- Explore Tapovan: First, see and walk on the engineering feats, Ram Jhula and Laxman Jhula, that connect the two banks of the Ganga. Then explore Tapovan’s cafes and handicraft shops.
- Hiking: If you’re a nature lover, then there are hikes, waterfalls and springs too that you can visit. Do the 6-hour hike Kunjapuri Temple hike for epic sunrise views.
The 60s café, Bistro Nirvana, Beatles Cafe and Little Buddha Café are superb places to eat. The latter two face the Ganga river! Know that in Tapovan and Rishikesh city you get only veg food.
It is best to live in Tapovan (tourist hub) as opposed to Rishikesh city (just like any other India city). If living anywhere other than Tapovan, you should hire a scooter to get around.
6. Darjeeling, West Bengal
Darjeeling is a hill station known as the ‘Queen of the Hills’. The town was established during the British Raj to escape the high heat and humidity of the lower altitudes. The summer months have comfortable temperatures with highs of 27ºC and lows of 16ºC and winter months are rather cold with lows of 3ºC. Hence, Darjeeling is easily a popular choice for places to visit in April and May in India.
How to Reach Darjeeling
You can take a flight to Bagdogra (68 km) and then a 3-hour taxi or bus to Darjeeling. To avoid the tortuous bends of the roads, opt for a train. To do this, you can reach Siliguri Junction or New Jalpaiguri Station (directly by train from other parts of India or from the Bagdogra Airport) then board the famous Toy Train (also known as Darjeeling Himalayan Railway) to Darjeeling. This train is slow but you won’t mind that as it is an attraction in itself. Did you know that Darjeeling’s 88 km railway line is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site?
Things to Do in Darjeeling
- Batasia Loop Toy Train: If you haven’t used the train to reach the city, ride this route with a 360-degree view of Darjeeling’s landscape – manicured gardens and the snow-clad Himalayas. You will get to see India’s highest railway station, Ghum.
- Sunrise at Tiger Hill: Sunrise at Tiger Hill is recommended to see the sun glint off the peak of Mt Kanchenjunga.
- Visit a Tea Estate: You’ll find more than 80 tea gardens in the area. The Happy Valley Tea Estate is a popular garden just 5 minutes-walk from Darjeeling town, it dates back to 1850 and is organic. You can take a guided tour here for Rs. 100 and also buy some tea to take home too.
Other things to see and go include visiting the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park to see snow leopards; Japanese Peace Pagoda; shop at the Mall Road and Bhutia Market.
Glenary’s bakery pub and restaurant serves different cuisines and comes with fabulous views.
Darjeeling has plenty of beautiful properties for every budget. The 3-star Mayfair Darjeeling is in a glorious location opposite the Governor’s House and provides sophisticated elegance and sumptuous comfort.
7. Sandakphu, West Bengal
Explored by Soumya Goswami from Nature Diary
Located near the border of Nepal and Sikkim, Sandakphu is the highest mountain in West Bengal at 11,941ft. It is surrounded by lush green forests and offers a mesmerizing view of the Himalayas shaped as a “Sleeping Buddha” (Can you see it in the image below?). You can get a clear view of Mt. Kanchanjunga and even Mt. Everest. Visit in the summer to see the forest trails of Sandakphu lit up with colourful Rhododendrons.
The average temperature in April-May ranges between 10ºC -24ºC which is quite comfortable. You can also visit here from October to early December when the sky is super clear but the temperature is much lower ranging between -5ºC and 5ºC.
How to Reach Sandakphu
To visit Sandakphu, first, visit Manebhanjan to take a visitor permit to enter Singalila National Park. Manebhanjan is well-connected from railway stations like New Jalpaiguri (85km) or Siliguri (80km) and Bagdogra airport (82km). Hiring a guide is mandatory.
From Manebhanjan, you have two options-
1. 6-9 day Trek to Sandakphu via places like Tonglu, Tumling, Kalipokhri and return via Gurdum and Srikhola. The trek is of moderate difficulty and perfectly safe for beginners. The trek is best done till mid-April for a clear view of the mountains, the beauty of Rhododendrons and to avoid rains.
2. Hire a Landrover to reach Sandakphu directly without stopping anywhere. The vehicle will save you a lot of time but will cost you around 1500 INR/ day.
Things to Do in Sandakphu
Hike and Camp: Sandakphu Trek is one of the most beautiful treks which will take you through some of the most unknown and unexplored parts of Sikkim and Nepal. You’ll camp under the brilliant night sky, a sight to behold. Book your trek to Sandakphu.
Relax and Unwind: If you’re not into adventure, you can simply relax amongst the scenic beauty of untouched nature. Admire the famous Himalayas during sunrise and sunset when the sun blends with the icy peaks of the mountain tops.
- Contact and arrange the trip by contacting a guide before the visit.
- Bring a valid photo ID card as forest officials need to check it at the entry of Singalila National Park.
- It is better to halt at Tonglu or Tumling on the 1st day to avoid the possibility of high altitude sickness.
- You can also visit Phalut and come back to Manebhanjan via Gorkhey and Srikhola. So, plan well before your visit.
8. Gangtok, Sikkim
Explored by Subhadeep Mondal from My Travel Frames
Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim, is a popular hill station in north-east India. It is a beautiful and lively place with a mixed cultural influence as it is bordered by China, Bhutan and Nepal. Although you can visit Gangtok throughout the year, summer months are ideal as the gardens in Gangtok become vibrant with blooming flowers and high altitude sights in North Sikkim, like the placid Gurudongmar Lake, are accessible.
How to Reach Gangtok
The Bagdogra airport and the New Jalpaiguri railway station are 124 and 118 km, respectively, from Gangtok. It takes around 4 hours to reach by cab. The new airport in Pakyong (code: PYG), the only airport in Sikkim, is 26 kilometres from Gangtok. But the flights are inconsistent and limited.
- MG Marg: M.G. Marg is the city centre, a walking street full of hotels, restaurants and branded stores. This street makes for a pleasant evening stroll.
- Monasteries: The 150-year old Rumtek Monastery and the newly built Ranka monastery are must-visits to get a glimpse of Buddhist culture and architecture.
- Day Trips: It is highly recommended to go for day trips to Tsomgo Lake and Nathula Pass, provided the roads are open.
- Ropeway: Ride the ropeway and enjoy a view of the Gangtok skyline and of Mt. Kanchenjunga on a clear day.
- Casino: If casinos are your thing, visit the Mayfair hotel.
Ganesh and Hanuman Tok, Banjhakri Waterfall, Bakthang Waterfall, Namgyal Institute of Tibetology and Saramsa Garden are some other attractions you should visit if you have more time.
That said, if you’re going all the way to Gangtok, you should also explore the picturesque north Sikkim district, particularly places like Lachen, Lachung, Gurudongmar Lake (high lake), Yumthang, Yumesamdong (Zero Point) and Katao, on a package tour for two nights and three days from Gangtok. It is an incredible experience!
It is also the ideal season to visit Bhutan which is just 220 km or a 6-hour drive, so you can visit Bhutan too after your Sikkim visit.
Head to MG Marg for food and you won’t be disappointed. Try Tibetan food at Taste of Tibet, international fare and coffee at The Coffee Shop Restaurant, rolls at Roll House and traditional Sikkimese Millet Beer called Chang at Tongba Bar or Nimtho (a Nepalese Restaurant).
9. Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh
Explored by Christian Lindgren from Unusual Traveler
Tawang, known for its scenic vistas and Buddhist monasteries, is one of the best places to visit in April May in India due to the very pleasant summer weather. No rain or snow to hinder your sightseeing! Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh is located in the foothills of Himalaya at an elevation of 3000 metres (10,000 feet), so the temperature rarely gets higher than 21ºC. Still, the evenings can get chilly and down to 10ºC, so be sure to bring warmer clothes too.
How to Reach Tawang
Reaching Tawang can be a slight challenge due to its remote location. You can get here by taking a flight to the nearest airport at Tezpur (317 km) or to a more well-connected airport/ railway station like at Guwahati (450km). Know that from Tezpur and Guwahati the road journey to Tawang takes about 14-18 hours! So it is better to break up the journey by staying in towns midway. Consider the following routes where each place mentioned is an overnight stop:
- Tezpur-Bomdilla-Tawang-Dirang-Tezpur via. Bhalukpong
Don’t worry once you get to Tawang, you’ll know the effort was absolutely worth it!
Places to See in Tawang
- Monasteries: Tawang’s biggest and most beautiful attraction is the Tawang Monastery which is the largest monastery in India and the second-largest monastery in the world. It is home to more than 400 monks. Also, visit the Taktsang Gompa which is a peaceful monastery surrounded by dense coniferous forest and mountains.
- Hikes: Go hiking around the valley. Opt for either short day hikes or go on multi-day hikes with local guides like the 5-7 day Gorichen Peak Hike.
- Nuranang Waterfalls: See this stunning milky white waterfall 40 km from Tawang
- Lakes: Visit the Shonga Tser lake area that is covered by Blue Lapis flowers in the summer and Madhuri lake which is surrounded by snow-capped mountains.
- Passes: There are two passes you have to visit in the area- Sela Pass that has 110 Buddhist revered lakes situated in and around it and Bumla Pass at the Indo-China Border. The latter is a meeting point between Indian and Chinese armies so you’ll need a permit.
You can also shop at the Tibetan Settlement market and visit the many quaint villages in the area.
It is honestly difficult to find accommodation in Tawang online. That said, Hotel Tawang Heights is well rated and worth checking out.
10. Mount Abu, Rajasthan
Explored by Trisha Agrawal from Try Wandering More
If you’re wondering where to visit to beat the heat in Rajasthan then there is no better place than Mount Abu- a hill station built on a high plateau in the Aravalli Range. It is a land of contrasts as it is surrounded by forests but offers splendid views of the arid plains below. Summer months are pleasant with temperature ranging between 23ºC to 33ºC. The place can be seen in 1-2 days!
How to Reach Mt. Abu
By air, you can reach the nearest airport Udaipur (210 km) or Ahmedabad (221 km) then reach Mt.Abu by bus or cab. Alternately you can take a train to Abu Road (32 km).
Places to See in Mt. Abu
- Dilwara Temple: This temple is a rather beautiful one with religious importance to the Jains. It is filled with intricate designs on marble – a must-see even if you don’t prefer visiting temples.
- Nakki Lake: Enjoy a boat ride in this large lake surrounded by lush hills and forest or try zorbing and horse riding on the bank of the lake.
- Trekking: Go for a trek to the highest point of the Aravalli hills, Guru Shikhar, for sweeping views of the Mount Abu region. Before sunset attempt Bailey’s walk from Nakki Lake to Sunset Point where you not only see the brilliant setting sun but also the fascinating Toad Rock. You can also trek to Dhrudhiya Waterfalls or Achalgarh Fort.
- Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary: Spread over 290 sq. km, this sanctuary has a variety of endangered species of flora and fauna. Enjoy an exciting jungle trek here with a chance of spotting leopards, sloth bears, wolves, jackals, hyenas, wild boars and the nearly extinct grey jungle fowl.
11. Chikmagalur, Karnataka
Submitted by Jessica Schmit from Uprooted Traveler
Chikmagalur is a gorgeous district of Karnataka, full of rolling mountain peaks and lush coffee plantations. Located about four and a half hours from the bustling tech hub of Bangalore, this hill station enjoys pleasant temperature year-round, but April and May are particularly wonderful months to visit. With average temperatures of around 32ºC to 35ºC, but with refreshing winds to cool things down, these months are perfect for enjoying Chikmagalur’s outdoor scene. Given that June is the start of the area’s monsoon season, though, you will find April to be a significantly drier month to visit than May.
How to Reach Chikmagalur
You can get here by train to the nearest station at Kadur/Birur and a 45-minute bus/taxi thereafter or a flight to Bangalore/Mangalore and a taxi/bus thereafter. The best way to reach Chikmagalur by an approx 5-hour drive via private car or hired cab (245 km) from Bangalore. This allows you to see places midway.
Things to Do in Chikmagalur
Tour Coffee and Tea Plantations: When here you should definitely visit coffee and tea plantations. You can also visit the Coffee Yatra Museum set up by the Coffee Board Of India to sample coffee and learn about different varieties, its origin and evolution, and how it is processed.
Hiking: If you’re interested in hiking, check out Mullayanagiri, which, at 2000 meters above sea level, is one of the highest peaks in Karnataka. At the top of the mountain, you will find a small temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, where thousands flock to worship every year. Some other good trekking options in Chikmagalur include Sri Krishnarajendra Hill station, Kudremukh, and Baba Budangiri.
Waterfalls and Rafting: If you’re looking for some adventure, consider driving a car (with four-wheel drive!) down a very bumpy 13 km path to swim under Hebbe Falls, a stunning 169 meter-tall waterfall, or instead, rafting down the Bhadra River through Chikmagalur’s lush greenery.
The fecund nature of the area’s landscape fosters the abundance of tea and coffee plantations here, many of which offer homestays. If you opt to stay at one of the coffee plantation homestays, you will likely be treated not only to gorgeous views but a personal tour of the grounds. For example, consider staying at Halli Berri, where you can take in the surrounding Baba Budan mountains at this sustainable farm- each cup of coffee produced here has earned the Rainforest Alliance-certification for the plantation’s environmentally-friendly practices.
Click on the property names to see prices and book your stay!
While you’re on your way from Bangalore to Chikmagalur, make a quick detour along your route to explore the Hoysala Temple Trail (in the cities of Belur, Halebid, and Belvadi, amongst others), where you’ll find several intricately-carved Hosala temples with breath-taking architecture and fascinating history.
12. Coorg, Karnataka
Coorg is one of the best summer destinations in India as it remains pleasant in these months with temperatures around 25ºC. The town lies serenely amidst misty mountains and is surrounded by greenery. It is popularly known as “The Scotland of India” for its breathtakingly stunning landscape.
How to Reach Coorg
Coorg does not have its own airport or railway station and is generally reached by cab or private car. You can get to Coorg either by airports at Mysore (120km) or Mangalore (140km) or from the nearest railway station at Mysore (100 km).
Things to Do in Coorg
- Dubare Elephant Camp: Watch elephants in their natural habitat being fed and bathed at the Dubare Camp. One can pay to feed the elephants too.
- Visit the coffee plantations: Coorg is one of the largest producers of coffee in India. Embark on a fascinating journey of coffee bean picking.
- River rafting: If you are one for adventure activities then you will enjoy river rafting on the Barapole river.
- Abbey Falls: Click Instagram worthy pictures at Abbey waterfall.
- Hiking: Go hiking and enjoy sunset views at Raja’s Seat.
Sri Ambika Upahar: Do try the Uttapam, Masala Dosa and mouth-watering chutneys.
13. Ooty, Tamil Nadu
Ooty, hands down, is one of the most amazing places to visit in summer in South India. Situated at 7000 ft in the Nilgiri Biodiverse region, it is called the queen of the hills. It can be visited all year round but is perfect to beat the summer heat with temperature ranging from 15ºC to 25ºC.
How to Reach Ooty
Ooty is well connected through roads and railways from major southern cities Chennai and Bangalore. The nearest airports at Coimbatore (90 km) and Kozhikode (140 km) are just a short scenic drive away on good condition roads. However, your best bet would be to reach Mettupalayam, a small town at the foothills of the Nilgiris, and take the Nilgiri Mountain Express. A 200 years old Swiss-engineered steam-powered locomotive train will take you through one of the most picturesque train routes in India. Did you know it is the steepest rail track in all of Asia?
Things to Do in Ooty
- Tea Gardens and Factory: Visit Doddabetta Tea Factory to understand the process of tea making and the Ooty Tea Museum to learn about the history and evolution of tea.
- Ooty Lake and Pykara Lake: Go on a motorboat, rowboat, or speedboat ride on these lakes.
- Train Ride to Coonoor– Take a day trip to Coonoor which will take 4-5 hours. You’ll enjoy the view of hills, lakes, tea estates, and tunnels along the way.
- Viewpoints: Enjoy the scenery from many viewpoints especially the Needle Rock viewpoint and Tiger Point during sunrise and sunset.
Other places to visit are Avalanche Lake, Pine Forest, and Botanical Garden. You can also take a day trip to Kotagiri!
There are a lot of bakeries and cafés in the town that you’ll love. Don’t forget to buy handmade chocolates in Ooty. You can either buy from village women or at Moddy’s Confectionery.
Indian Railways issues only 30 reserved tickets for the mountain train. So, book in advance or be at the station well before the time to be among the first few for the general coach. Also, carry a rain jacket as it rains anytime.
14. Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu
Explored by Trisha and Modi from Try Wandering More
Once a retreat for the British to escape the summer heat, this hill station at 7200 feet is now also popular amongst Indians for summer holidays in India. Even though the temperature ranges between 20ºC to 30ºC, the cool breeze makes the town cooler. Kodaikanal has beautiful verdant hills, dense jungles and brilliant lakes that soothe the soul.
You can reach the closest airports to Kodaikanal at Madurai (120km), Trichy (150km) and Coimbatore (175km) and then take a bus or cab to this hill station. Alternately you can take a train to Kodairoad Station (100km) or Dindigul Station (90km) and then take a cab to Kodaikanal.
Things to Do in Kodaikanal
- Kodaikanal Lake and Berijam Lake: Cycle around or boat in Kodaikanal’s star-shaped lake that is located right in the middle of town. Don’t forget to see this lake from Lake View Point. A stroll around the forest surrounding Berijam lake is a must though it requires a permit.
- Trekking: The top thing to do in Kodaikanal is trekking as there are so many brilliant options. The most popular in summer are the Pillar Rocks (4 hours) and Dolphins Nose plus Echo Rock( 4 hours). However, it would be amazing to do some treks around Kodaikanal like Vattakanal (4 hours) and Perumal Peak (9-10 hours).
- Coakers Walk: It is a pleasant 1 km walk from where you’ll see brilliant valley views. You can elevate this experience by viewing the valley through a telescope.
- Bryant Park: Normally wouldn’t have mentioned this, but the Annual Horticulture Show is held in May so you can see exotic plants from all over the world.
Other places to visit include the Pine Tree Forest, Solar Observatory, Bear Shola Falls and Silver Cascade Falls.
Café Cariappa for top-notch coffee and Cloud Street for delicious food.
Luxury Option: The Carlton which is smack in the centre of the town with a view of Kodaikanal Lake or The Tamara Kodaikanal near Coakers Walk.
Budget Option: Check out Zostel Kodaikanal – it is beautiful!
For the ultimate experience, opt at a homestay amidst greenery – best for budget and mid-budget travellers.
Click above on the property names to see prices and book your stay!
15. Munnar, Kerala
Explored by Athul from Our Backpack Tales
Surrounded by misty mountains and studded with tea plantations, Munnar is one of the most popular summer destinations in India, especially in the South. Munnar is known to have a pleasant climate throughout the year. However, it perfect for a summer vacation in India as early mornings and evenings are foggy and cool and days are bright and crisp with temperatures ranging between 19ºC to 30ºC. It is the best time for sightseeing and visiting tea estates.
How to Reach Munnar
You can reach Munnar by first taking a flight to the Cochin International Airport (110kms) or a train to Cochin/ Coimbatore (156km). From there you can either take a bus or cab to Munnar.
Things to Do in Munnar
There plenty of things to do in Munnar like trekking, boating and nature walk. Some of the most popular spots to visit in Munnar include the Top Station, the Echo Point, and the Madupetty Dam which are a must include sites in your Munnar Itinerary. You should also visit the following places when visiting Munnar:
- Eravikulam National Park: See unique Nilgiri Thar and much other exotic wildlife. The highest mountain peak in South India, the Anamudi Peak is also located in the Eravikulam.
- Kolukumalai: Visit Kolukumalai, located in the neighbouring town of Suriyanalle, for an epic sunrise experience. Kolukumalai is also famed to be the highest organic tea plantation in the world which gives its tea a very unique flavour.
- Vattavada: Make a day trip to Vattavada which is the first self-sufficient village in Kerala. Take time to taste fresh fruits like strawberry and blueberry, which are not cultivated anywhere else in the state.
Though most accommodations provide delicious meals at their restaurants, you can also take time to venture out and taste some of the local food. Hotel Gurubhavan, Rapsy restaurant, Saravana Bhavan and Copper Castle restaurants in Munnar town are some great places to eat out at. The piping hot idiyappam with Kerala-style egg curry and the traditional puttu with kadala curry is a treat to enjoy in the cool chilly evenings.
Hope you got some ideas and inspirations from this monster of a post. Tell us which of these amazing places to visit in India in summer interest you the most? We would love to hear from you in the comments below.
If you’re keeping options open to travel a little later, say between June to September, read this post on the 10 Best Places to Visit in India in the Monsoon.
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