Soaring temperatures call for a quick trip to cooler retreats. Here’s a list of 10 places you should consider adding to your itinerary this year:
1. Rohtang Pass:
This picturesque location is the best for incessant wanderers. Lose track of the life you’ve briefly left behind, as you hunt for the peace. Get on a bike, grab a bowl of steaming hot Maggi on the beautiful road, and brace yourself for an unforgettable experience.
Source: Sudipto Sarkar/Flickr
It’s as pretty as a postcard with its Buddhist monasteries, remarkable landscapes and the magnificent Khangchendzonga – the world’s third-highest mountain. It is visible from any point in the state and is a sight to behold. Expect a strong Tibetan influence and a taste of interesting Himalayan wildlife accompanied by delectable local cuisine.
3. Spiti Valley:
In the Spiti valley, you’re never truly alone as you will almost always be able to spot the beautiful Spiti River making its way across a beautiful landscape. Traces of Tibet linger here as well and you’ll find yourself in a remote, faraway paradise. The Spiti-Kinnaur route is considered to be one of the most stunning bike trails in the country.
Source: Sankarshan Mukhopadhyay/Flickr
Meghalaya’s capital is worth the effort and time it takes to orchestrate a much-awaited escape. Shillong perfectly mixes up modernity with its intriguing colonial era influences, leaving you to marvel at its old world charm in tiny pockets. There’s a lot to see, there’s a lot to do, and yet there’s enough room for you to slow down and cherish the present in Shillong.
Source: Krishan pandey/Flickr
Uttarakhand’s tiny cantonment town is a hidden gem. It is in the Almora district of the state and has a plethora of resorts with an unforgettable view of the mountains. It’s a very sought-after location for zealous mountaineers and has a little something for every traveller.
Source: Thangaraj Kumaravel/Flickr
Coonoor is a part of the trifecta – Ooty, Kotagiri, and Coonoor, the hill stations that rise above the southern plains. It is less commercial than Ooty and has lovely heritage hotels for those looking to unwind. Head towards upper Coonoor for peace and quiet; central Coonoor is for those trying to get a taste of local life – the hustle and bustle of cars and people rushing to get somewhere. Coonoor’s cool climate and intriguing demeanour will make your summer a happy one.
Assam’s only hill station, Haflong is surrounded by Himalayan ranges and is a dream. You name it; they have it – pretty waterfalls, green hills and a rich culture. Take the train on a track that has been around for over a century. Spend a day bird-watching and being impressed as the region hosts an impressive variety of bird species.
8. Nubra Valley:
A combination of the most extraordinary things makes up the Nubra Valley. Sand dunes, monasteries, a desolate palace, boulder fields, arid mountains and more – this place is meant for the hungry traveller. Dip your toes into a starkly different culture and explore the villages surrounding the Nubra valley.
9. Horsley Hills, Andhra Pradesh:
Source: Karthik Tripurari/Flickr
A welcoming hamlet in Andhra Pradesh, Horsley Hills is worth a visit for the serenity it offers. Around 144 km from the religious hotspot Tirupati, Horsley Hills has a mesmerizing drive packed with the most incredible views. The region has a dense forest cover and is a nature lover’s dream. You’ll be able to spot panthers in the beautiful Koundinya Wildlife Sanctuary and marvel at the majestic Mallamma temple while taking in the local sights and sounds.
10. Ponmudi, Kerala:
Source: Thejas Panarkandy/Flickr
If you’re into trekking, you could consider going off the beaten track and heading to Ponmudi with its plentiful opportunities to discover exotic butterflies and small, lovely rivulets. A short drive away from Thiruvananthapuram, the hill resort is like a warm hug. The tea estates will satiate the tea lover while its narrow winding pathways and gorgeous cottages will make you want to visit again and again.