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When, Where and What of the Indian Travel – The Great Indian summer

In India 360, we had no specific theme for the trip. Seasons were the most important determinant for our place of travel. In a vast and diverse country like India, the same place could look vastly different from one season to another and could provide different reasons to visit. This is also the most frequent question asked to us when someone is planning for a vacation.

April – May – June

The three months of peak summer in most of India leaves us with the Northern Himalayas as the most ideal location to be there during this period. A number of routes are opened up during this period for pilgrimage and weather is more pleasant than the rest of India. Snow melts and numerous routes are opened up for both road trips, treks and pilgrimages that open up during this time include:

Adventure and Sightseeing: Road Trips & Treks

  • 1. Manali – Leh, Himachal and J & K
  • 2. Srinagar – Leh, J & K
    3. Manali – Spiti – Kaza, Himachal
    4. Leh- Kardungla – Nubra valley, J & K
    5. Leh – Pangong Tso & Tsomoriri Lakes, J & K
    6. Tawang – Sangetsar Lake – Bumla Pass, Arunachal Pradesh

Several Trek routes open up during this time and the below is only an indicative list:

Rupin Pass, Gaumukh Glacier, Nandadevi Basecamp, Har ki Dun, Kuari Pass, Roopkund – Uttrakhand
Sar Pass, Sarkundi pass, Chandratal, PinParvati Pass , Deo Tibba, Bhrigu Lake – Himachal

Pilgrimage

Himalayas is the abode of Shiva. The range of mountains in Uttarakhand’s Garhwal region is in fact known as ‘Shivalik’ mountains. Numerous temples have been built in geographically significant locations like the sources of river which is often referred to as the ‘Tirth Yatra’. The Yatra starts from the banks and culminates at the source of the river. Choosing a pilgrimage destination has numerous advantages even if you are not religious. The places are often well-equipped with economical accommodation managed by temple trusts. Medical facilities are available even in unimaginably remote spaces. This enables one to travel/trek with less weight and worries.

Popular Pilgrimages that open up during this season in the Himalayas are Gangotri, Yamnotri, Badrinath, Kedarnath popularly called the ‘chhota char dham’ or ‘Four Abodes of the Lord’. Badrinath is a very important pilgrimage site for both Shaivites and Vaishnavites of Hinduism. All four of these places are sources of river Bhagirati, Yamuna, Alaknanda and Mandakini , all of which culminate to form the mighty Ganges, India’s most important river and its lifeline.

Chopta – Tungnath and Panch Kedars are also important and beautiful pilgrimage sites that may be visited during this time of the year. Kedarnath and Tungnath involve strenuous treks while Yamnotri involves a basic trek. Most other temples can be reached by road.

Jungle Safari and Wildlife Spotting

National parks are very popular in summer. All parks shut down during monsoon.

Although the summers are unpleasant in most of rest of India, interestingly the dry summer is one of the best seasons for a Jungle safari to spot wild animals. The animals walk a lot looking for water and hence have good chance of being spotted. The rides will probably be dry and sunny, but the higher probability of spotting wild animals in their natural habitat is worth it for the wildlife lovers.

While Kaziranga National Park is open till end of April , Gir till mid – June and Kanha and Jim Corbett National Park is open till end of June. Do check the park specific sites for any changes in dates and for further guidance on planning your trips.

Conclusion

Summer in India doesn’t have to be the time when you lock yourself up in an air-conditioned room or visit the nearest multiplex to get a whiff of cool air. Instead, embrace the heat, embrace the possibilities and make something happen!