Whether you want to trek up to the summer sun, hike along meandering jungle paths, ride a tropical sea wave or simply hit the hammock and douse yourself in a Hardley Chase paperback, the Indian terrain offers you the best. This is an effort to show case some of the best summer holiday spots in India. There is no 1 or 2 ratings here. You have to see the place to believe it!!!

Goa

The sunny beaches of Goa are an ideal summer destination for you.  A diverse tourist locale, Goa is celebrated the world over for its laidback culture, sun kissed beaches, gothic churches and rocking nightlife.

From north to south, the Goa coastline is marked by a number of beach towns, with relaxed ambience, seafood and water sports such as wind surfing, water skiing, sailing, water-scooters, and dolphin spotting cruises. The beaches of Calangute and Baga are the most visited while other famous beaches include Arambol, Anjuna,Candolim, Colva and Palolem.

By the way, don’t forget your sunscreens if you don’t want to get your skin tanned!

Accommodation

Being a much in demand tourist destination, the place offers accommodation to suite your budget. Anything from independent private cottages to the luxuary hotels like the Taj Exotica and Leela Kempinski caters to the need of the tourists who come here from around the globe.

How to get there?

Goa’s Dabolim airport is both a military and civilian airport catering to domestic and international airlines that stop en route to other Indian destinations. In addition to regular flights, the airport handles a large number of chartered flights. Goa receives International flights from Dubai, Sharjah and Kuwait in the Middle East and from the United Kingdom, Germany and Russia during the charter flight tourist season. Dabolim airport is serviced by the following carriers – Air India, Indian Airlines, Kingfisher airlines, Go air, Spice jet, Jet Airways besides Charter flights from Thomas Cook (condor) etc.

Also the place is well connected to all the major cities like Mumbai, Bangalore etc. by road. Trains running along the Konkan coast also have a stop at Goa.

Matheran

Matheran is a city and a municipal council in Raigad district in the state of Maharashtra. It is the smallest hill station in India. It is located on the Western Ghats range at an elevation of around 800 m (2,625 feet) above sea level. Located at around 90 km from Mumbai and about 120 km from Pune, it is a popular weekend getaway for urban residents. The name Matheran means either “forest on top” or “mother forest”.

Matheran offers you a great panoramic view from as many as 33 points located here. Some of the favourite points to visit are, Porcupine Point, Echo Point,Panorama Point, Heart Point, Monkey Point (for the monkeys that inhabit the place) and many more where you could catch the most breathtaking views of the sunrise and sunset as well as of the Sahyadri range and its valleys. In fact, the Panorama Point is rightly also called the Sunrise Point to catch that perfect sunrise.

You can also visit the Charlotte Lake and the Panthers Caves. One of the best things that you can do at Matheran, is to take a ride on the toy train, which takes you through the One Kiss Tunnel and very many fascinating little spots. In fact this is your ride from Neral to Matheran and is a great way to start your trip.

Accommodation

The place offers hill resorts costing you from anything below R.s 2000 to the expensive heritage resorts like the Verandha in the Forest that offers you a typical jungle stay.

How to get there?

Matheran is located about 100 km from Mumbai and 120 km from Pune. It lies on the busy Mumbai-Pune rail link and the nearest train station is at Neral, approximately 25 km from Matheran. From Neral, one can rent a taxi to the entrance of Matheran. From the taxi stop at Matheran, one can walk to the city center or rent a horse!

The nearest airports to this place are the airports in Mumbai and Pune.

Shimla

A popular tourist destination, Shimla is often referred to as the “Queen of Hills” (a term coined by the British). Located in north-west Himalayas at an altitude of 2,130 metres (6,988 ft), the city of Shimla, draped in forests of pine, rhododendron, and oak, experiences pleasant summers and cold, snowy winters. The city is famous for its buildings styled in tudorbethan and neo-gothic architecture reminiscent of the colonial era.

Trekking, hiking and skiing are the major attractions in Shimla. Some of the major places of interest in and around this town are Himachal State Museum, Annandale, Chadwick Falls, Jakhoo Hill, Mashobra, Kufri and Shoghi. And don’t miss the Shimla Toy Train. The winding route of the century-old train cutting through the hills offers visitors a charming and novel way of enjoying the hill vistas. Bookings are hard to come by in the high season so book a little in advance.

Accommodation

The place offers you affordable tents and camps stays to luxuary hotels like the Oberoi Cecil.

How to get there?

Shimla is connected to the city of Kalka, Haryana by one of the longest narrow gauge railway routes still operating in India.

Shimla is approximately 115 km from Chandigarh, the nearest major city, and 365 km from New Delhi, the national capital.

Munnar

Munnar is a town located in the Idduki district of Kerala state. Situated in the south Western Ghats of South India the name Munnar usually refers to the whole tourist area of the Idukki district of which the town forms only a small part. The name Munnar is believed to be derived from the Malayalam words Munu (three) and aaru (river), referring to the town’s strategic location at the confluence of the Muthirappuzha, Nallathanni and Kundaly rivers.

The area around Munnar is surrounded by vast jungles and remains wet and cold during most of the year. Sprawling tea plantations, picture book towns, winding lanes, trekking and holiday facilities make Munnar a unique experience for the tourist and traveller. Munnar is essentially a tea town. The people of Munnar share the culture and traditions of both Kerala and their Tamil neighbours from across the border.

Tata Tea Museum, Indo Swiss Dairy Farm, Eravikulam National Park, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Lock Heart Gap etc. are the major places of interest in Munnar.

Accommodation

Munnar offers its visitors with a range of accommodation starting with the expensive hill and wildlife resorts to reasonable home stays which you can avail on reaching the place.

How to get there?

Munnar is well connected by road to major cities in Kerala like Cochin, Kottayam etc. The nearest airport to Munnar is the Cochin airport which has a lot of national and international flights docking in.

Manali

This is Himachal Pradesh’s main summer destination for backpackers, trekkers and partygoers escaping the summer heat. A popular tourist destination at 570km from New Delhi and 280km from Shimla, Manali is the northern-most town of Himachal Pradesh’s Kullu Valley. Situated on the national highway that leads to Leh, Manali is also the gateway to the remote and desolate valleys of Lahaul and Spiti.

The ancient cave temple, Hidimba Devi Temple, is not far from town, 3 kms. from the main city and is the main sightseeing spot in Manali. The various Tibetan Monasteries, Naggar Castle, Roerich Museum, Arjun Guf (Arjun Cave), Jagatsukh, Solang Valley etc. are the other places of interest in and around Manali. The place is also famous for adventure sports like skiing, hiking, mountaineering, para gliding, rafting, trekking, kayaking, and mountain biking.

Accommodation

Like all the other tourist destinations, Manali also offers the visitors with accommodation of varying range.

How to get there?

The only way to reach Manali is by road. The place is well connected to nearby cities and towns by roads passing through mountain ranges. It’s a ride you’d never forget.

Ooty

Located in the mountainous range called the Blue Mountains or Nilgiris, Ooty draws a large number of tourists every year. One can notice a marvelous change in vegetation, as one goes from Kallar to Coonoor. The establishment of numerous tea estates made Ooty famous. Lofty mountains, dense forest, sprawling grasslands and miles and miles of tea gardens greet the passengers on most routes. The annual Tea and Tourism Festival attracts crowds in huge numbers.

Botanical Gardens, Ooty Lake and Boat House, Rose Garden, Government Museum, Doddabetta Peak, Tiger Hill, Glen Morgen, Kalhatty Waterfalls, Ketti Valley View, Pykara etc. are the major crowd pullers in and around Ooty.

Accommodation

Ooty offers a wide variety of accommodation in and around the township. Let whatever maybe your budget, Ooty assures a roof over your head.

How to get there?

The nearest airport to Ooty is the Coimbatore airport which is only 90 kms away. One can also reach Ooty from Bangalore airport which is around 200 kms away. You can take a bus from many of the major towns of Tamil Nadu to reach Ooty. Also there’s the Nilgiri Express broad gauge service that connects Ooty with Mettupalayam.

Kodaikanal

A hilly retreat established by American missionaries around 1845 in order to escape from the high temperatures of the plains, Kodaikanal, or Kodai as its better known, is a quiet hill station at an altitude of 2,195 m, on the southern ridge of the Palani hills in Tamil Nadu. It is popular amongst the locals as well as other tourists and has earned the nickname of Princess of Hill Stations.

It is the serenity and tranquility and greenery and the weather that make Kodai so special, so it can be best enjoyed if you stay for four to five days; relax, let go of all your steam and come back refreshed. Kodai Lake, Bryant Park, Coaker’s Walk, Green Valley View, Shenbaganur Museum of Natural History, Pillar Rocks, Guna caves, Silver Cascade, Dolphin’s Nose and Kurinji Andavar Murugan temple are the major tourist attractions in and around Kodaikanal.

Accommodation

Starting from expensive resorts like Sterling Resorts to private home stays are available at Kodaikanal.

How to get there?

Almost all distances from Kodaikanal are calculated with the lake as the central point of reference. The nearest airports are Madurai (135 kilometers), Trichy (200 kilometers) and Coimbatore(170 kilometers). The nearest Railway stations are Palani Railway Station (64 kilometers) north, Kodai Road Station (80 kilometers) south east and Dindigul Railway Junction (100 kilometers).

The 2 – 3 hours drive to Kodai via the steep and winding Ghat roads from Batlagundu or Palani would be a memorable experience. Travelers may stop at turnouts on the road and enjoy the scenic beauty of the Palani hills. There is a 28 km shortcut from Periyakulam to Kodaikanal via Kumbakarai under construction.

Coorg

One of the best places in the country you can be during the summer. Also known as Kodagu, this is a place said to haunt you forever with its timeless beauty. Coorg offers you a fascinating past, captivating natural beauty, great cuisine and aromas of the coffee plantations, oranges and honey. Set amidst verdant valleys, imposing mountains and teak wood forests, this is one of the most beautiful hill stations you can visit.

Coorg is a beautiful destination sure to be visited any time of the year. This place has beautiful plantation crops filled with exotic aroma of spices. The landscapes just make a memorable impression to remember. The winding and steep pathways that leads to other nearby destinations, make us feel to be lost in the lush green Ghats.

Madikeri Fort, Abbi Falls, Iruppu Falls, Talakaveri, Bhagamandala, Padi Iggutappa Temple, Somwarpet, Little Tibet (Tibetan refugee’s colony), etc. are the major tourist spots here. The major outdoor activities that one can indulge in this place are trekking, Angling, White Water Rafting and Golfing.

Accommodation

Though Coorg offers its tourists with many types of accommodation, the home stays and estate stays are the best way to enjoy the stay in Coorg.

How to get there?

Travelling by road is the most convinient way to reach Coorg. It is well connected by road to Cities like Mysore, Bangalore, Mangalore and Hassan. Volvo Busses operate from Mysore, Bangalore, Mangalore and Chennai to Madikeri.

The nearest Airport to Coorg is Mangalore International Airport which is around 180 km. International flights operate directly from Dubai,Abu Dhabi, Muscat, Kuwait, Sharjah and Bahrain. Daily domestic flights are available to Mumbai, Bengaluru, Goa, Kochi, Kozhikode and Chennai.

Bengaluru International Airport and Kozhikode Airport are 250 km from Kodagu.

Nearest railway stations are Mysuru and Hassan.

Mahabaleshwar

This picturesque hill station, also known as the Queen of Maharashtra’s hill stations, is located in the Western Ghats, cradled in the Sahyadri ranges. An altitude of 1,372 m gives it the distinction of being the highest hill station in Western India. Its popularity is not only as a honeymoon spot and a great summer getaway, but also because of its historical and religious significance.

Among the major tourist attractions in the place, Lodwick Point, Elphinstone Point, Arthur’s Seat, Wilson’s Point, Pratapgad Fort, Panchgani etc. are a few to be named. Bird watchers can spend hours in the open with their binoculars and bird books. Horse riding is another excellent outdoor activity, as is trekking and hiking in the forest.

Accommodation

Accommodation in Mahabaleshwar includes luxuary hotel stays and heritage hotels to mid range and cheap lodgings.

How to get there?

The nearest airport to Mahabaleshwar is the Mumbai airport. One can also reach this place via road from Pune which is only 120 kms away.

Srinagar

What better summer destination to recommend than the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir! Srinagar is set around the beautiful Dal Lake, where picturesque houseboats or shikharas, carry tourists on boat rides around the placid lake. This scintillating hill resort set in the Kashmir valley is an ideal summer getaway. Srinagar basically has an alpine weather, as the summers are mild and winters are cold.

One can’t help but marvel at the tranquil beauty of the Dal Lake and its surrounding. Great if you want to seek a quiet refuge from the hustle bustle of city life. The people are warm and friendly.

The many gardens and boating in the Dal Lake are the major tourist attractions in this place.

Accommodation

Srinagar houses many a luxuary hotels and heritage resorts in its premises. Medium and cheap lodges to suite your budgets are also available at this place.

How to get there?

How would you wish to reach this paradise on earth? You name it and you have it. Srinagar is connected to the major cities of India via road, train as well as domestic airways.

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