It’s that time of the year when parents all over India have started fretting; it’s only a matter of time when schools close for the summer break and the dreaded “vacation” plans need to be executed. On a general note, it is also the time when people in the Northern regions of the country desperately look for places to find some respite from the impending soaring temperatures.
What’s troublesome in the whole scenario is the seeming dearth of new places to explore in India. Don’t get me wrong; Goa is still the best party place, Shimla’s mountains are still there, Ladakh can never lose its charm, yada yada. However, nobody wants to go to places that a) are overly crowded with tourists, and b) the family has been travelling to every year since Independence.
Because I believe in charity, I have found some places in India that still aren’t as known to the masses and thus, might serve as the perfect destination to explore this summer:
Ziro, Arunachal Pradesh
This little town, on the verge of becoming a World Heritage Site, is one of the lesser known gems of the North-East. An offbeat destination, Ziro is one of the most beautiful places in Arunachal Pradesh. The beautiful and lush green patches, rice fields as far as eyes can see and the silky white clouds all combine to make this place heavenly! Paddy cultivation is a major occupation here and one of the Tarin fish farm where two different varieties of rice are grown with one variety of fish in the water is one of the best places here. Its beautiful pine grove is the perfect place for a picnic.
Not only boasting of its greenery and breathtaking skies, Ziro is also famous for the people inhabiting it, with the Apatani tribe welcoming you with their friendly smiles. Ziro’s music, great people, and no connectivity is sure to help you come back a calmer and happier person.
The weather here is pleasant and soothing throughout the year. The maximum temperature goes up to 30 degrees Celsius during May-June.
Known as the “Switzerland of India”, Khajjiar’s beauty is awe-inspiring! Situated near Dalhousie, this sleepy hill town is India’s popular site in Himachal Pradesh for paraglider pilots and is frequently visited by tourists from the world! Guarded by dense forests of Devdar, oak and silver firs, Khajjiar is lush with a lake, pastures and forests.
There is something here for the adventure lovers too. For this underrated hilly town of Himachal Pradesh offers various adventure sports like paragliding, horse-riding, zorbing, hang gliding, trekking and camping for its visitors. The Kalatop Khajjiar Sanctuary is also a must go to.
You can visit Khajjiar anytime round the year, but the best time to visit is summers (March-October). The summers here are pleasant while the winters come with snow.
Tirthan Valley, Himachal Pradesh
This small valley situated in Himachal Pradesh is surrounded by flowing rivers, lakes, orchards full of luscious apples, lush green mountains. Situated in the safeguard of the Great Himalayan National Park with widespread vegetation all around, the place looks scenic and is a treat for photographers!
Adventure sports, trout fishing, exploration, rappelling, rock climbing– these are just some of the things the travellers can do while here.
March-June and October-November is the ideal weather to visit Tirthan Valley. If you wish to indulge in trout fishing in the River Tirthan, summers, which are warm and not very hot, are the best time. The place is usually windy.
Kalimpong, West Bengal
Kalimpong is a beautiful hill station situated in West Bengal. Till now, it remains off the tourist routes. The rejuvenating aura of the place, the picturesque bliss of the snow laden Himalayas and the pure mountain air all conspire to let your worries bite the dust. Going for walks through the towering pine trees is an experience in itself!
The meeting point of the Teesta and Rangeet rivers, called the ‘Lover’s Point’, also occurs in this region. Bakeries, Scottish Cottages, and Tibetan monasteries make it a lovely retreat for those who want to move away from the city life. The flower markets of Kalimpong are quite famous, so don’t forget to pay them a visit.
Approachable from the nearby hill station of Darjeeling, the road journey in itself is a treat. The best time to visit Kalimpong is March-June and September-December.
Gavi is the result of the eco-tourism project of the Kerala Forest Development Corporation, and is one of the most beautiful places in India. A small village captured on all sides by tropical forests, scenic lakes, hills, cardamom plantations, gushing waterfalls, and diverse flora and fauna, Gavi is situated some 14 kilometer away from the famed ‘Periyar Tiger Reserve’.
Canoeing in the calm waters of the lake, trekking in the hills, camping in the forests or wildlife spotting are some activities that the tourists can enjoy in this little village of Kerala. The rustic eco-lodges at the village, sitting right in front of a magnificent lake, provide the most romantic setting!
Gavi has a pleasant climate throughout the year with temperatures never rising above 28 degree Celsius during the day time in summer and falling to an average of 20 degree Celsius at night.