Beat the summer heat when you plan a trip to these famous hill stations in India in May. There are plenty of destinations which will be your perfect summer break, away from the scorching sun. Take a pick and get ready for that much needed vacation!
Barog, Himachal Pradesh
Home to one of the most beautiful railway stations in India, Barog greets you with vast stretches of pine and deodar forests. If you want an extended break, then this is your destination. You can book yourself at the railway guest house near the station and enjoy the sight of toy trains passing by from your room.
When to go: All year round, but the summer and monsoon months are the best with lush greenery all around.
Connectivity: Book a ticket on Kalka Shimla Toy train for Barog as it is the most convenient option.
Accommodation Options: Some nice stay options in Barog include The Pinewood and Barog Heights.
The rolling hills and lush green coffee plantations of Coorg are the best retreat to escape the summer heat of cities. Located about 220 km from Bengaluru, this one looks like a picture postcard, straight out of your drawing book with scenic beauty all around.
Plantation stays are the USP of Coorg country. Here you understand what it means to “live close to the land”. If your heart is in eco-friendly travel, this is the place for you!
When to go: October to May months are the best.
Connectivity: Around 220 km from Bengaluru, you can reach here by taking a state bus or your private cabs.
Stay Options: Even though there is no dearth of hotels in Coorg, it is recommended to stay at a plantation stay for the true Coorg experience. Some of the noted options are The Rainforest Retreat, Palace Estate, Chillipilli Homestay and Alath-Cad Estate.
Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir
For a tourist, the defining experience of this northernmost tract of India is in its landscape–largely pristine, beautiful, disconcertingly bare, isolated. Mountain passes across the Great Himalaya at dizzying heights, like Tanglang La (16,400 ft) on the Manali-Leh route, lead to the region.
When to go: May to October
Connectivity: Leh airport (6 km/20 minutes) is connected to Delhi and Jammu all year round and to Chandigarh and Srinagar seasonally. Taxi for town will cost you around INR 150-175.
Stay Options: Leh has many places to stay; hotels, guest houses and homestays are now coming up all over Ladakh. Most Leh hotels arrange your permits to go to restricted areas, fix up taxis, vehicles and help with nitty gritties of your travel.
Gulmarg, Jammu and Kashmir
Reportedly discovered by Kashmiri ruler Yusuf Shah Chak in the 15 CE, Gulmarg has been a most favoured resort since the days of the Raj. There is a lot to explore and experience on your Gulmarg trip–take the Gondola cable car, try your hands at golfing or go for challenging trekking trails to soak up the best views of the Himalayas.
It is one of those places which should be included even if you are planning a 3-day Jammu and Kashmir trip!
When to go: May to October are the best months and you can even see snow in the summer months if you are lucky.
Connectivity: Nearest airport: Srinagar (51 km/2 hours). Taxi to Gulmarg costs INR 1,500. Nearest railhead: Jammu (344 km/8 hours). Shared Sumo will cost INR 450-500 per head to Gulmarg.
Stay Options: The latest one is The Khyber and there are some other good options including Hotel Highlands Park, Pine Palace and there are loads of private cottages as well. There is a luxury Jammu and Kashmir Tourist guest house, right in the golf course area.
Munnar is in a valley hemmed in by hills. Many of its attractions are to be found on its outskirts, within a radius of 30 km from the town. Visit the lush green tea plantations, admire the magnificent churches or just take a leisure stroll, all alone with only your thoughts for company. Whatever you do, be assured that there will be no dull moment while you are in Munnar!
When to go: It is an all year round destination and the rains add a new charm to the landscape.
Connectivity: Cochin International Airport is the nearest airport and Ernakulam is the nearest railhead. There are regular flights from Delhi to Cochin, book a ticket well in advance for a hassle-free travelling experience. Munnar’s Bus Stand is served by a host of KSRTC and private buses from Kerala and Tamil Nadu, linking it to Thiruvananthapuram, Alappuzha, Kochi, Madurai, Coimbatore and more.
Stay Options: In this tea country, perched on a vantage point, you will find the planter’s bungalow. KDHP offers 4 bungalows around the town under the brand name The Tea Sanctuary.
Occupying a saucer-shaped valley, Manipur’s capital Imphal is surrounded by hills and is the hub for exploring this state, which has forested stretches and the largest freshwater lake in the North-East. Some of the major attractions here include Sri Govindaji Temple, Kangla Fort, Langthabal, and the floating Loktak Lake. Plan a trip to Imphal for an offbeat vacation experience!
When to go: Any time of the year; it rains from June-October.
Connectivity: Nearest airport: Tulihal Airport (7 km/30 mins) has connections to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Guwahati. Taxi into town INR 500.
Stay Options: Your options for a decent accommodation in Imphal include Hotel Nirmala on MG Avenue, Hotel Anand Continental in Thangal Bazaar, Hotel White Palace also on MG Avenue and The Classic Hotel.
Home to the famous Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary, the tiny and pretty Binsar is one of the many gems in Uttarakhand. The main attraction here is the sanctuary itself, however many people come here to just sit back and relax, soaking up the unmatched Himalayan views.
Apart from the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary, you can visit the serene Bineshwar Temple, the 16 CE Shiva shrine from which Binsar takes it name. There are many trekking routes also and the standard excursion at Binsar is the 1 km gentle ascent to Jhandi Dhar, the main hill of Binsar. The machan at this spot affords a 360° view of the sanctuary, and of the snow ranges. The views of the perennially snow-clad Greater Himalayan mountain range are a big draw at Binsar.
When to go: Feb to June
Connectivity: Nearest railhead is Kathgodam (126 km/5 hours) and you can easily book a cab from here. Delhi is the nearest airport.
Stay Options: KMVN’s Nanda Devi Tourist Rest House occupies prime location in terms of views and as a nodal point for many of the walks; it is also the hangout for guides. Mountain Resort Khali Estate located on a 22 acre sprawl of one of Binsar’s oldest estates, is a lovely property with stone cottages and snowy views.
Mirik, West Bengal
Picturesque Mirik is an easy 50 km from both Siliguri and Darjeeling but is comparatively less crowded. This is where you want to go for your lazy retreat, your slow holiday. It offers the beauty of tea plantations as well as grandeur of mountains, especially Grande Dame Khangchendzonga, as a splendid backdrop. Mirik is the country of scenic tea and orange plantations and lavish sunrises and sunsets. One of the biggest gifts of Mirik may be your surprisingly easy transformation from a tourist into a trekker. If you’ve thought of trekking as an adventure activity that sounds fascinating but too daunting, come to Mirik. The two short easy treks are Rang Bhang and Manju. Opt for the West Bengal holiday tour package to avoid any travel hassles.
When to go: The best months are between October to June.
Connectivity: The nearest airport is Bagdogra (46 km/around 2 hours), which is connected to Kolkata, Delhi and Guwahati. Jalpaiguri is the nearest railhead and you can easily book a cab from here.
Stay Options: Mirik offers quite a few good hotels. The Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council’s Mirik Tourist Lodge has amazing views. Jagjeet Hotel, Hotel Ratnagiri and Hotel Viraaj are some other good options.
Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh
Take the road less travelled this time and head to Tawang for a surreal experience. Half the fun of visiting Tawang is in reaching there as it involves driving over 200 km of Himalayan country, weaving through a kaleidoscopic quilt of scenic and cultural variances.
Don’t miss the beautiful Tawang Monastery while you are here as the 17 CE structure still stands tall with all its elegance.
When to go: Best time to visit Tawang is between September and June.
Connectivity: Nearest airport is Tezpur (360 km/10 hours), connected to Kolkata and Dimapur. Taxis charge INR 3,500 per day; nearest railhead is Guwahati.
Stay Options: Some of the nice accommodation choices here are Hotel Siddharth, Hotel Buddha and Hotel Nefa.
Coonoor, Tamil Nadu
Coonoor is quintessential tea country — you find tea being sold all over the place, offices of the Tea Auction Board next to the old church and of course tea plantations almost everywhere you go. Include places like Sim’s Park, Law Falls, Dolphin’s Nose, the vintage buildings and the tea factories in your itinerary. Walking can be the essence of a holiday in Coonoor. The weather is almost lovely and there are loads of crowd-free hill roads to choose from.
The picturesque hill station has the Nilgiri Mountain Railway, one of the most popular mountain railways in India. It is not just a train journey, it’s a slow motion version of train journey against hilly, lush movie set backdrops and across bridges.
When to go: Best season is March to June, however it is excellent during light rains with misty mountains.
Connectivity: Coimbatore is both the nearest railhead and airport and taxi charges may vary between INR 1,200 to INR 1,500.
Stay Options: Neemrana’s Wallwood Garden, Taj’s The Gateway Hotel, Velan Hotel and Hotel Blue Hills.
Book your tickets, pack your bags and head to anyone of these hill stations in India in May for that perfect vacation time! Happy travels!
About the author:
Jigyasha loves to read and travel!