Travel lovers are always in luck with the offerings each season brings. This time, it’s a beautiful mix of places with hills, beaches, nature and wildlife to explore. Put on your travel shoes and head to any of these destinations worth exploring this month.
West Bengal’s premier attraction, Darjeeling, is spread in ribbons over a steep mountain ridge and towered over by the magnificent Khangchendzonga, becoming the definitive Indian hill station. One can explore colonial-era architecture, visit Buddhist monasteries, and spot snow leopards and red pandas at the nearby zoo. The adventurous ones can head to Singalila Ridge or hire a mountain bike for a guided ride around the hilltops.
This bustling bazaar town sprawls along a saddle-shaped mountain ridge overlooking the roaring Teesta River. It boasts of Himalayan views, Buddhist monasteries, colonial-era architecture and a fascinating nursery industry, all linked by some fine hikes.
Visit Coonoor for a pleasant change from the run-of-the-mill hill station holiday. Enjoy the peaceful bellflower-lined streets (preferably on foot). Around town are numerous viewing lookouts, best explored early in the mornings to avoid the rush of tourists. The summer months, from April to September, are the best time of the year to visit.
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Irreverent, cheerful and pleasantly boisterous, Gangtok is layered along a precipitous mountain ridge, descending the hillside in steep tiers. As well as a handful of minor sights, there are countless viewpoints with panoramas that encompass plunging green valleys and, if you’re lucky weather-wise, glimpses of Khangchendzonga on the distant skyline. More than anything, Gangtok is a good place for post-trek relaxation, for organising tours and permits, and for meeting new travellers.
There’s a sense of accomplishment on making it to the tip of the subcontinent’s ‘V’, past the final dramatic flourish of the Western Ghats and the green fields. Kanyakumari can feel surreal; at certain times of year you’ll see the sun set and the moon rise over three seas (Bay of Bengal, Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean) simultaneously. The Temple of the Virgin Sea Goddess, Swami Vivekananda’s legacy and the ‘Land’s End’ symbolism draw crowds of pilgrims and tourists to Kanyakumari.
The elevated Wayanad region with gorgeous mountains, rice paddies and lush coffee and rubber plantations, has been rated as one of the most beautiful regions in Kerala. Some of the top attractions of the place- Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, Edakkal Caves, Wayanad Heritage Museum, Thirunelly Temple and Pookot Lake- cannot be missed.
As the state capital of Meghalaya, Shillong has rapidly developed into a typical modern Indian town, but it retains some of its colonial-era charm in certain pockets. Top attractions of the city are- Don Bosco Museum, Shillong Golf Course, Ward’s Lake and Pinewood Hotel.
Kashmir is rightly recognised as India’s Switzerland, attracting hordes of local tourists seeking cool summer air, alpine scenery and Srinagar’s romantic houseboat accommodation. The place is blessed with nature’s bounty as magnificent peaks and emerald-green villages nestle photogenically in highland deserts. Dal Lake is Srinagar’s jewel, a vast sheet of water reflecting the carved wooden balconies of the houseboats and the misty peaks of the Pir Panjal range.