It’s that time of the year when your full-blown air-conditioner does not offer respite. Its peak summer and like always most cities and hinterland across India is burning under smelting heat. Why not head out to a cooler destination and heal your body and soul?
Get busy packing your bags and start searching for the best summer family holiday destinations. Thankfully, India is a vast country, and it does spoil you with choices when you are searching for a good summer holiday destination. There is something for everyone when choosing a summer vacation destination in India. Whether you wish to laze around with your family or seek adventure with your friends here are the 10 best Summer Holiday Destinations in India.
- Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
As the former summer capital of India during the days of the British Raj, it is the oldest destination for summer holidays in India. Though you can’t escape the crowd, a visit to Shimla is on every Indian’s bucket list. The mesmerizing backdrop of the Himalayas blended with the heritage colonial structures is enough to help you relax and rejuvenate. Take a ride on the famous Kalka-Shimla Toy Train, a UNESCO mountain railway of India World Heritage Site. A visit to Mall Road, Christ Church, Summer Hill, Himachal State Museum, and Chadwick Falls should be on your list.
How to Reach Shimla?
You can drive from Kalka which is the closest major railhead in case you aren’t riding on the Toy Train in your journey up the mountains. Shimla Airport has direct flights from New Delhi but most people arriving here usually fly to Delhi or Chandigarh and take the road from there.
Darjeeling, West Bengal
A world heritage mountain railway, fragrant tea gardens, and view of snow-capped Himalayas, Darjeeling tops the list of a perfect family summer holiday destination in India. An important center of power during the British Raj, the town holds onto its colonial heritage including India’s most famous mountain railway – the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway that takes you through heavenly tea gardens and hairpin loops crisscrossing the Himalayas. A ride on this train is a must-do for any traveller. And don’t forget to enjoy your cuppa of freshly brewed Darjeeling chai!
How to Reach Darjeeling?
New Jalpaiguri Junction is the biggest railhead located 73 kilometres from Darjeeling. It is also the starting point for the DHR Toy Train. For people traveling by air, Bagdogra Airport is just 67 km from the town. There are buses and cabs available from the city of Siliguri.
- Manali, Himachal Pradesh
It would be impossible to list out the best summer holiday places in India and leave out Manali. Along with its twin sister Kullu, this town located between Pir Panjal and the Dhauladhar ranges, is the ideal place for your summer vacation. Whether you are seeking adventurous activities such as heli-skiing, hiking, mountaineering, or river rafting or wish to relax and rejuvenate yourself, this is one of the perfect places to be. You must visit Solang Valley, Hadimba Temple, Vashisht Hot Springs, Himalayan Nyingmapa Gompa, Great Himalayan National Park, and Kasol during your trip. For those who are driven by an adrenaline rush, a visit to the Rohtang Pass is a must.How to Reach Manali?
Chandigarh is the nearest railhead and is well connected to the rest of the country. The 313 km ride through the mountain road is full of adventure and breath-taking sights. The Kullu–Manali Airport has direct connectivity with Delhi and Chandigarh. There are also buses available from Delhi.
- Ooty, Tamil Nadu
If you have tried out summer vacation destinations in the North and Northeast, Ooty officially called Udhagamandalam in the Nilgiris range down south should be on your list. The erstwhile summer capital of the Madras Presidency, this place is 2,240 m above sea level and famous for its lush green valleys, lakes, mountains, and tea plantations. There are several colonial heritage structures for you to admire. Make sure you visit the Avalanche Lake, Emerald Lake, Ooty Botanical Gardens, Doddabetta Peak, and the Needle View Hill point while touring Ooty.How to Reach Ooty?
Coimbatore is the nearest airport and major railhead from this place located 128 km away. Travelers also reach Ooty from Mysore, Bangalore, and Chennai as regular buses and cabs are available.
- Gangtok, Sikkim
The capital of the second smallest state in India, Gangtok is a paradise for summer vacationers. Popularly known as the Land of Monasteries you shouldn’t miss out on Ranka the Monastery, Rumtek Monastery, and the Phodong Monastery which would amaze you with their architecture. There is a lot to see here beyond the Monasteries and you must have Himalayan Zoological Park, Banjhakri Waterfalls, and Hanuman Tok on your list. If you are part of an adventurous group head out to see the famous Nathula Pass and create memories for a lifetime.How to Reach Gangtok?
Bagdogra Airport in West Bengal is the nearest major airport located 124 km away and serves as a gateway to this place. New Jalpaiguri Junction is the closest railhead just 117 km away. You can easily hire cars from both these places, and it takes about 4 hours to reach Gangtok.
- Gulmarg, Jammu & Kashmir
Located 2,650 meters above sea level, it is known as the “Meadow of Flowers” and one of the peaceful destinations in the troubled Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir. One of India’s most popular skiing destinations, it also boasts of having the highest golf course in the world. There are beautiful flowers all around for you to see and capture in your photographs.
You must visit the Gulmarg Gondola, Alpather Lake, Drung Waterfall, Strawberry Valley, and Seven Springs during your visit to this place.How to Reach Gulmarg?
Srinagar is the nearest airport and is 56 km from Gulmarg and has flights from all major cities in India via Delhi. If you are traveling by train, Jammu Tawai is the nearest railway station 290 km away. You can hire cars from Srinagar, Sonmarg, and Jammu to reach here.
- Shillong, Meghalaya
The most visited place in the Northeast, Shillong is known as the ‘Scotland of the East’ and for good reasons. The rolling hills, tall pine trees, meadows, sparkling lakes, and numerous waterfalls make it the perfect destination to escape the burning heat and humidity. Known for its pleasant climate and greenery, this place is thronged by travellers throughout the year, especially during the summer. There is plenty for you to explore in the city including the Shillong Peak, Ward’s Lake, Umaim Lake, and the Elephant Falls. Head to Cherrapunji and catch glimpse of rolling hills, natural limestone caves, and some of the best waterfalls in India. Mawsynram, the wettest place on earth should also be on your radar.How to Reach Shillong?
You can reach Shillong by traveling from Guwahati, the capital of Assam which is 100 kilometres from the city. Guwahati is well connected to the rest of the country through rail and air. There is also a small airport in Shillong with daily flights from Kolkata.
- Nainital, Uttarakhand
Wake up to the might of the Himalayas in Nainital. As one of the most charming hill stations of all, it ranks at the top of the list of the best summer holiday in India. Surrounded by seven hills known as ‘Sapta-Shring’, the place gets its name from the Naini Lake which mesmerizes you with its beauty and sparkling water. Nanda Devi Temple, Tiffin Top, Eco Cave Gardens, Naina Peak, and Hanuman Garhi should be on your list. If you are seeking adventure, you can plan a trip to the Nanga Parbat, Mt. Nanda Devi, and Nikanth Hathi Parbat to get up close with the mighty Himalayas.
How to Reach Nainital?
Most tourists take the Delhi-Nainital Road to reach this place which is 324 km from Delhi. Kathgodham Railway Station is the nearest railhead to Nainital located 34 km away. Pantnagar Airport, a regional airport is 41 km from the city and has flights from Delhi, Lucknow, and Dehradun.
- Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra
Lush greenery and evergreen forests make this one of the most travelled summer holiday destinations in India for people in the West, South, and Deccan Plateau. It may lack the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas and the tall peaks, but the place makes up for it with a beautiful climate and greenery. A paradise for any nature lover, it offers you plenty to see and experience during your holiday. Pratapgarh Fort, Mahabaleshwar Temple, Lingmala Waterfalls, Elephants head point, Mapro Garden, and Venna Dam should be on your list while you are here.How to Reach Mahabaleshwar?
Pune Airport is 130 km away and is the preferred place for air travellers. Buses and cars are easily available. For those traveling by train, Pune is the best choice as it is well connected to different parts of the country. It takes about 6 hours of drive from Mumbai to reach this place.
- Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh
If you are seeking adventure this summer head towards the farthest part of India to the beautiful town of Tawang in the state of Arunachal Pradesh. It isn’t the ideal family destination for a summer holiday but the best bet for thrill-seekers. Located at an altitude of 1000 ft, it is a place filled with natural beauty and spirituality. There is a lot to see and experience here including the Tawang Monastery, Nuranang Falls, Tawang War Memorial, and Nagula Lake.
Don’t miss out on a trip to the famous Sela Pass which is located at an altitude of 13,000 ft.
How to Reach Tawang?
Tawang is a remote destination and the journey to the place is adventurous. Guwahati in Assam located at 480 km is the best place to take a flight or train. From there on you can take the Guwahati-Tezpur-Tawang road which takes about 12-15 hours depending on the weather conditions.
That’s a wrap on our list of best holiday destinations in India for the summer. It was hard to pick this list and leave put others, but these destinations have their unique charm and attraction. If you are looking to escape the burning heat and go closer to Mother Nature, these places would surely helpyou create memories for a lifetime.