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 of us when someone was planning for a vacation.
April to June
The three months of peak summer in most of India leaves us with the northern Himalayas as the most ideal location to be. A number of routes are opened during this period for pilgrimage and sight-seeing after a snow-forced closure during winter and spring. The weather is more pleasant than in the rest of India. Snow melts and numerous routes are cleared for road trips, treks and pilgrimages.
Here are some visit-worthy routes during the Himalayan summer.
Adventure and Sightseeing: Road Trips & Treks
- 1. Manali – Leh, Himachal and Ladakh
- 2. Srinagar – Leh, J & K and Ladakh
3. Manali – Spiti, Himachal
4. Leh- Kardungla – Nubra valley, Ladakh
5. Leh – Pangong Tso & Tsomoriri Lakes, Ladakh
6. Tawang – Sangetsar Lake – Bum La pass, Arunachal Pradesh
Several trek routes open 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, Sarkaundi pass, Chandratal, PinParvati Pass , Deo Tibba, Bhrigu Lake: Himachal
The Himalayas are the abode of Lord 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 rivers and are 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
Although the summers are unpleasant in non-Himalayan India, interestingly the dry summer is one of the best seasons during 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.
Kaziranga National Park in Assam is open till the end of April, Gir in Gujarat till mid – June, Kanha in Madhya Pradesh and Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand all the way until the end of June. Do check the park-specific websites for any changes in dates and for further guidance on planning your trips.
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!