It’s a full blown summer and the perfect time to plan a getaway. For the families with children whose summer vacations have started, there has been hectic planning for things to do and places to visit that will cater to everyone’s interests. Then there are those who love to do solo travel, young couples (DINKs = Double Income, No Kids), etc., who are willing to explore more non-touristy/offbeat places. Perhaps not surprisingly, some of the most viewed destinations on GoPo have been the usual suspects. Yes, they do indeed guarantee some memorable experiences. The following are some of the popular summer destinations for which we have received maximum number of enquiries. For those heading to the South of the country, we have a list of the trending summer getaways in South India too.
It’s perhaps the destination of choice for couples going for a Honeymoon. It’s the perfect retreat for those who are looking for cooler pastures. The months of May and June draw the largest number of tourists to Manali. It’s also the best time for adventure sports enthusiasts to engage in wide range of activities. In-fact, in the month of May, a large number of devotees flock the Hadimba Devi Temple for an annual festival. Here’s a recommendation by one of our experts’ for the Top Things to do in Manali. The top must-see places are Beas River, Hadimba Devi Temple, Solang Valley, Jogini Waterfalls, and the Club House.
Home to the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government-in-exile, Dharamshala is known for its Temples and Monasteries. The best time to visit is between April and June. The place sees a lot of trekking enthusiasts during this time. The temperature remains pleasant between 20 to 35 degrees Celsius.The must-see places are Triund Hill, Dalai Lama Temple Complex, HPCA Cricket Stadium, Kangra Fort, and Bhagsu Falls. The top things to do:Trekking (Triund Trek), Visit the Tibetan Museum, Visit Norbulingka Institute, Watch a Cricket match at HPCA Cricket Stadium, Meditate & stay in Namgyal Monastery.
Located in the Kumaon region in the state of Uttarakhand, Nainital is one of the most popular Hill stations in India. The best time to visit Nainital is between March and June when the temperature ranges between 10 and 27 degree celsius. The must-see places include Nainital Lake, Goddess Naina Devi Temple, Bhimtal, Raj Bhavan, and Eco Cave Gardens. The top things to do: Naini Lake by Boat, Take the Cable car to Snow View, Visit Nainital Zoo, Shop at Tibetan Market, and View Sunset at Hanuman Garhi.
Trending Offbeat Locations
At GoPo, we have noticed that there’s an increasing trend of questions about some of the non-touristy/offbeat locations. The following are some of the destinations that travelers seem to want to explore beyond the popular destinations:
If you like Manali but crowds are not your cup of tea, head to Khajjiar. Close to Dalhousie, this town is often called the ‘Mini Switzerland of India’. This sleepy, small hill station sits on a plateau with a stream fed, moss covered lake and boasts of a unique topographical combination of forests, lakes, hills and pastures. From horse rides, Zorbing with kids, visits to the Kalatop Sanctuary, picnics by the Khajjiar and Chamera lakes, or playing a few rounds of golf at the scenic nine-hole course, there’s something here to catch everyone’s interest.
Located on the top of Jhandi Dhar Hills at an altitude of approximately 2400m, Binsar is a Bird Watchers’ paradise with over 200 species of birds. Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary is known for its rich flora with 25 varieties of trees, 24 types of bushes, and 7 types of grass. If you are in Binsar, then you must head out to a place called Zero Point from where you can get breathtaking views of Himalayan Peaks such as Kedarnath, Nanda Devi, Trisul, Chaukhamba, and Shivling. The best time to visit Binsar is from March to June. Besides Zero Point and Binsar Wildife Sanctuary, you could also visit Baneshwar Temple and Golu Devata Temple.
Nestled within the foothills of the Panchachuli peaks, Munsiyari is abundant in natural beauty that is not spoilt by tourism as it’s off the beaten track. As the name suggests, the Panchachuli peaks are a group of five snow clad mountains, so being able to get a glimpse of snow clad mountains from Munsiyari is a given, through the year. Munsiyari has special appeal for bikers and trekking enthusiasts. Infact, it serves as a base camp for several popular treks. From Munsiyari, one can trek to the Milam, Ralam and Namik Glaciers; the Nanda Devi Temple; Khalia Top; Khalika Pass; Chiplakot Bugyal and Birthi Falls. Other places of interest are the Tribal Heritage Museum at the Nanasen Village, the Mehsar Kund, camping (and/or rafting) near the Gori Ganga and walking through the scarlet coloured rhododendrons at Betulidhar. One can even go skiing at Betulidhar. The best time to visit here would be either before monsoons (i.e., March to June) or post monsoons from September till around November. During monsoons, parts of the connecting roads may become un-motorable and several activities may be suspended as the region experiences heavy rainfall.
A 45 minute drive from Shimla (15 KMs in terms of distance), is the famous hill station of Shoghi that welcomes visitors with green hues of hill slopes with Pine trees. In case you want to get away from the intense heat of the summer, the best time to visit the hill station is from March to June. The range of activities that one can engage in at Shoghi include rope climbing, bridge crossing, cycling, night walk, bird watching, valley crossing, etc.
The last inhabited village on the Indo-Tibetan border, Chitkul is famous for its fruit laden orchards and mustard fields. The frosty Himalayan river Bapsa also flows through Chitkul. The Himachali architectural cottages with slate/wooden roofs are a common sight here. The best time to visit Chitkul during summers is from March to June. Chitkul is a paradise for nature lovers; they can just immerse themselves in the surroundings – lush green forests and snow covered mountains in the backdrop of the river Bapsa. Another must visit at Chitkul is Kagyupa temple that has a beautiful, ancient idol of Shakyamuni Buddha. The carvings of 4 kings on 4 different directions is a must see.
On the foothills of Himalayas and on the banks of river Uhl, Barot is surrounded by the evergreen Deodar forest. The river Uhl in-fact serves as the breeding ground for fishes and the area has several fish farms. The best time to visit Barot during summers is from March to June.The place offers multiple options for outdoor activities such as angling, fishing, trekking, camping, rock climbing, river crossing and various other outdoor activities.