As the temperature begins to soar around the summer months, we all start planning for our summer breaks. Escaping the city heat is top on everyone’s mind, and of course hills are the ultimate calling. However, it might not be as easy for everyone. While the thought of breathtaking mountain views and refreshing cool breeze is much sought after, there are many who find high altitudes scary. The drive uphill makes them sick and mountain holidays are more a torture for them than being enjoyable. Now, if you fall under this bracket – here are few destinations you will still enjoy and have a rocking holiday.
Forests of Doaars (West Bengal)
Situated on the foothills of the Himalayas, bordering the districts of Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar, the area is best known for its green vegetation and abundance of national parks. The Dooars region is surrounded by many scenic villages such as Jayanti, Bhutanghat, Rajabhatkhawa and Chalsa. But the biggest attraction of Dooars remains the National Parks. Reputed forest areas such as Gorumara National Park, Chapramari Forest, Jaldapara National Park, Buxa Tiger Reserve and Chilapata Forest attract crowds of tourists during the summer season.
- Summer Temperatures (April – June): Between 21oC – 30oC
- Entry Fees: Rs. 160-70 (depending on the Watch Towers and Shift timings)
- Safari Charges: Rs. 100 per Gypsy (additional Rs. 200 for Video Cameras)
- Safari Timings: 6 AM – 6 PM
- Tips: Jatraprosad Watch Tower is the best watch tower to sight animals.
- Nearest Railhead: New Jalpaiguri
Backwaters of Alleppey (Kerala)
Known as “Venice of the East”, Alleppey is home to the beautiful backwaters. The city is surrounded by many natural and man-made channels and large lakes. So, while the temperature in other parts of Kerala might be quite unbearable, Alleppey remains very soothing. The foremost attraction of Alleppey are houseboat stays and tours through pristine villages, lakes and islands. The houseboats would typically take tourists through the beautiful villages of Kuppappuram and Kumarakom, through the Pathiramanal Island and Vembanad Lake.
- Summer Temperatures (April – June): Between 27oC – 35oC (Real Feel is about 2oC lower due to steady breeze and green surroundings)
- Average Costs of Houseboat Stays: A good houseboat for a 1D/1N package may cost around Rs. 8,000 – 10,000 for an adult. But you may get additional discounts for bookings during the summer season.
- Tips: Do ask the in-house chef of the Houseboat to prepare some of the local Malayali food delights, you can also purchase fishes from the local fishermen sitting within the houseboat.
- Nearest Railhead: Alleppey
Beauty of Haflong (Assam)
Much unexplored and very beautiful, Haflong sits on the foothills of the Himalayan range. The elevation of this small town will not cause much of a concern if you have height sickness issues. The highlight of a tour to Haflong is enjoying the unique lifestyle of Dima Hasao region and enjoying the natural beauty of the surroundings. Right at the center of Haflong you will find the beautiful Haflong Lake, with some limited traveling you can reach the unique village of Jatinga and its bird observatory. You can also take a trip to small towns of Maibong and Panimoor to view the mesmerizing waterfalls and quaint little villages.
- Summer Temperatures (April – June): Between 24oC – 30oC
- Must See: Haflong Hill, Haflong Lake, Dimasa Kachari Kingdom ruins at Maibong, mysterious bird migration event at Jatinga.
- Tips: As tourism has not still developed in Haflong, so quality hotels are only available in Silchar. But camping is a rare experience in Haflong.
- Nearest Railhead: Lumding
Godliness of Rishikesh (Uttarakhand)
For people who seek a touch of divinity on their summer tours, Rishikesh is the best destination. Situated on the foothills of the Himalayas, it is famed as the ‘Gateway to the Garhwal Himalayas’. Rishikesh is one of the holiest cities among the Hindus, and devotees have flocked to this hill side town since the ancient times. Situated at an elevation of 372 M above sea level, the town is a perfect getaway if you have height sickness issues. Many sacred temples and ashrams are scattered across the city. Lakshman Jhula, Ram Jhula, Triveni Ghat, Ganga Aarti at Parmarth Niketan and Triveni Ghat are some of the great sightseeing options while you are in this holy city.
- Summer Temperatures (April – June): Between 25oC – 32oC
- Nearby Travel Destinations: Haridwar, Byasi, Kaudiyala, Muni ki Reti, Shivpuri
- Tips: The Ganga Aarti is organized daily between 6-7 PM in the evening. It is a quite affair, and offers the tourists a chance to witness the beautiful sunset from Ganges shores.
- Nearest Railhead: Rishikesh
Coral Islands of Lakshadweep
This scenic Union Territory lies on the South western extreme of India in the Laccadive Sea. Gifted with supreme natural beauty, Lakshadweep is one of those places that has somehow escaped the attention of travel loving Indians. With least tourist footfalls, these islands are the best places to unwind and spend some days in solitude. Lakshadweep comprises of 36 coral islands and 12 atolls, most of which are known for their coral varieties, fishes and birds. The coral varieties can be best seen at Kadamat, Kavaratti, Kalpeni, Amini, Keltan, Chetlat and Androth.
- Summer Temperatures (April – June): Between 22° C – 33° C.
- Best Beaches: Bangaram Atoll, Agatti Island, Minicoy Island, Amindivi Islands
- Activities: Scuba Diving, Boating
- Nearest Railhead: Ernakulam
Hills of Igatpuri (Maharastra)
Situated ideally from Mumbai or Pune, Igatpuri is a scenic hill station in Maharastra. As this hill station is situated at an altitude of 600M above sea level, so you will not suffer from the symptoms of height sickness while visiting. Igatpuri is one of the wine producing regions of India and in the winters it is filled with grape vineyards, however, during the summers the beauty of Igatpuri is different. Filled with many scenic spots such as Kalsubai Peak, Bhatsa River Valley, Camel Valley and Tringalwadi Fort a trip here would be refreshing, indeed.
- Summer Temperatures (April – June): Between 23°C to 35°C
- Other Attractions: Ghatandevi Temple, Vaitarna Dam, Vipassna Centre, Bitangad Fort, Kulangadd Fort, Bhandardara hill station
- Tips: This is an ideal destination for short weekend trips of 1-2 days.
- Nearest Railhead: Igatpuri
So, this year let the fear of heights not bother you for summer trips.