A fashionable sanctuary for summer travellers, India captivates visitors with her inimitable attractions. The abundant Himalayan gateways, unapproachable during the frigid winter, perhaps form two-thirds of the Top 20 Summer Holiday Destinations in India. Coupled with the monsoon, uninterrupted festivities and the benefits of travelling off-season, India is ‘the summer destination.’
Some typical summery things to enjoy while cascading through this surreal country are –
- Eat mangoes – Indians hold the ‘King of Fruits,’ Mango with the highest regard. More than a hundred lip-smacking varieties line the streets, by-lanes and highways of the country, in a magmatic sea of orange. You won’t know what the fuss is about unless you gorge on this heavenly fruit.
- Hike – Transverse through Ladakh with just a backpack. Explore Buddhist monasteries that withstood the test of time and tell tales of a glorious past amidst magnificent blooms and unparallel topography. Enrol in adrenaline-pumping treks or unleash the daredevil in you by trans-biking across unfathomable peaks.
- Bid Adieu to Ganesha – Celebrate Bollywood’s favourite festival, Ganesh Chaturthi. Though observed across India, Mumbai is the place to be. For ten days, it transforms into a breathtaking abode for the Elephant God – Ganesha. The festivities end with a parade when numerous idols of Ganesha are immersed into the sea.
- Unearth Ganga’s Source – The story of the origin of the river Ganges (colloquially revered as ‘Ganga Mata’), is intriguing. Each summer, pilgrims perform the Char Dham Yatra – visiting Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri. While searching for its source, conquer the rapids in the white-waters of Ganga at Rishikesh – India’s supreme rafting experience.
- Explore the Hills – Ape the erstwhile rulers and withdraw to the hills to escape the scorching summer. Watch the sunrise above the white Himalayas and get enamoured.
- Enjoy A Cuppa – While you’re northward bound, stop at Darjeeling and please your taste-buds with the world’s best tea. A Victorian atmosphere and chugging toy-train journeying painstakingly slow through the mountains is reminiscent of an era bygone.
- Get Drenched – Filmed in countless Bollywood movies, the monsoon is best enjoyed as if you’re onscreen, just like the protagonist and his/her love interest romance in the rains, dancing on the city’s streets – completely cliché but timelessly appealing.
- Ride the Chariot – Attend the Rath Yatra in Puri, Orissa, that attracts millions of global devotees. Three immense chariots are paraded through this Southern state as disciples of Lord Jagganath run alongside. So grand is this festival that it led to the origin of the word ‘juggernaut.’
- Reclaim yourself – Visit the land of Ayurveda – Kerala and yield your mind and body to experienced masseuses who skilfully rejuvenate you with traditional oil massages – best enjoyed in the summer due to increased body reception.
- Go Wild– With more than 600 wildlife encounters to choose from, one is spoilt for choice. Pick a destination of your choice and go up and personal with native flora and fauna.
- Watch a Snake-boat Race – As August nears an end, Kerala gears up for ten days of festivities. The Onam festival showcases its rich culturally tropical heritage, with dance and drama, games and sports and the climax – the Nehru Trophy Snake Boat Race, the largest such race worldwide.
- Celebrate Lord Krishna’s Birthday – Devotees across India celebrate Janmashtami (Lord Krishna’s birthday) with pomp – fasting, feasting, creating human pyramids, and what-not. The best place to enjoy this religious mayhem is Mathura, Uttar Pradesh where Lord Krishna was born.
- Beach-hopping – Lie leisurely as the waves lash against the beaches of peninsular India. Relax on the exotic sands while bingeing on spectacular seafood, sunbathing and parting the night away.
India proffers an enchanting summer retreat. The choice is yours – go, get that perfect tan while enjoying the holiday of a lifetime.