Get planning for your summer holidays by choosing from these three cool destinations in India.
Top three summer destinations in India
1. Kalimpong, West Bengal
At the Himalayan foothills in West Bengal, Kalimpong is a picture-perfect hill station. Much like its popular sister town, Darjeeling, but less explored, Kalimpong amazes visitors with a mix of natural beauty, history, and vibrant culture. While the magnificent Mount Kanchenjunga and other snow-capped peaks make you stop in your tracks, the hills of Durpin and Deolo on either side of the town pave the way for adventures. River Teesta flows nearby, adding to the interesting topography. Once an important town on the Trans- Himalayan trade route and in British India, Kalimpong is dotted with monasteries, churches, and old houses. A thriving horticulture industry makes this ‘bazaar town’ all the more beautiful.
Bagdogra International Airport, 70 km from Kalimpong, is the nearest. Many domestic airlines offer good connectivity between Bagdogra and major Indian cities.
2. McLeod Ganj, Himachal Pradesh
Part of the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, McLeod Ganj first became famous when His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama set up base here in 1960. The Tibetan government-in-exile is also headquartered in the hill town. A fascinating multicultural community thrives in McLeod Ganj and the neighbouring city of Dharamshala. From global travellers who love a bohemian lifestyle to robe-clad monks and nuns to hiking enthusiasts and culture seekers, a mishmash of people can be found strolling the town’s cafe-lined streets at any given time of the year. The destination’s cool climate and hearty Tibetan food makes it ideal for a soulful summer holiday.
Gaggal Airport, 20 kilometres from McLeod Ganj, is the nearest but has limited connectivity. Alternatively, you can drive from Delhi, which is just over 10 hours by road.
3. Ooty, Tamil Nadu
Once a convenient summer getaway for Britishers in colonial India, Ooty is a picturesque town nestled in the Western Ghats of Tamil Nadu, at a height of 2,240 metres. Traditionally known as Udhagamandalam, it continues to be a part of the Nilgiri Mountain Railway route, the only rack railway in India, established in 1908. Botanical gardens, old churches, temples, museums, and a 163-year- old library (which hosts the Ooty Literary Festival every September) lend insight into the region’s glorious past. The scenic outskirts of the town, marked by rolling hills, misty tea estates, and pine trees, make for a great setting for a quiet summer getaway.
Fly to Coimbatore International Airport. Ooty is a scenic 90-kilometre drive from there.