Planning a vacation in India is a challenging task with the country’s incredible diversity throwing up a long list of names. From tropical islands and tea plantations to lush valleys overlooking the mighty Himalayas, there is no dearth of options when it comes to planning the perfect summer getaway in India. (Text by Reva Vidyalankar)
Coorg (Kodagu), Karnataka
Spread out across the Western Ghats, the misty valley of Coorg offers the perfect getaway from the scorching summer heat. Fondly referred to as the ‘Scotland of India’ due to its verdant beauty and pleasant weather conditions, Coorg has a special place among all hill stations in India. A place where you can just sit around and watch the fog roll by.
Styling itself as the ‘Yoga Capital of the World’, Rishikesh is a magnet for spiritual seekers. Surrounded by the fast-flowing Ganga and forested hills, the setting is definitely conducive for relaxing and meditation. Rishikesh is also a popular white-water rafting centre and backpacking hang-out.
Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh
A heady mix of religion, history and nature, Tawang is one of the least discovered towns in Arunachal Pradesh. Dotted with Buddhist monasteries and mystical gompas on one end and a war memorial on another, the valley begins to work its magic on travellers the moment they start descending the hills.
Ooty, Tamil Nadu
Established as a retreat from the scorching heat of the summer by the British, Ooty is a visual delight filled with pretty cottages, fenced flower gardens, thatched-roof churches and terraced botanical gardens. Venture a few kilometres out and find yourself surrounded by greener, quieter areas dotted with an abundance of pine trees.
Darjeeling, West Bengal
Surrounded by emerald-green tea plantations and set against a backdrop of jagged white Himalayan peaks, Darjeeling is nestled away in the northern regions of West Bengal. A journey on the ‘Toy train,’ which meanders up the hills to Darjeeling from New Jalpaiguri in the plains is a great way to explore and soak in the magnificent surroundings of this hill station.
Sprawling tea plantations, picture-perfect towns and winding lanes make Munnar a perfect destination for those looking for respite from the summer heat. Although the town itself is forever buzzing with activity, wander a few kilometres out and you’ll be engulfed in a thousand shades of green.
Known as the ‘Valley of Shepherds,’ Pahalgam is a low-rise town that stands at the confluence of Lidder River and Sheshnag Lake. The surrounding mountains contain many picturesque spots and over 20 lakes to which countless guides and horsemen and more than eager to take you to.
Manali, Himachal Pradesh
With mountain adventures beckoning from all directions, Manali is the perfect destination for those looking to unwind during the summer months. Backpackers come to hang around in the villages near the main town and adventure tourists come for trekking, paragliding, rafting and skiing. About 53 km away from Manali is the famous Rohtang Pass offering up breathtaking sights of glaciers, peaks and valleys.
A welcome relief from the heat of Delhi, Nainital is a small town in Kumaon which encircles the picturesque Naini Lake. There’s a busy town bazaar and a web of walking tracks around the forested hillsides, which have enticed travellers since pre-independence days to retreat to Nainital during the summer months.
Andaman and Nicobar Islands
The perfect summer getaway, Andaman and Nicobar Islands offer tourists a relaxed tropical ambience and an array of thrilling adventure activities. Tourists from all over the world visit this tropical paradise for its rich and diverse marine life which is best seen while snorkelling and scuba diving around its many pristine beaches.