9 must visit places this summer holidays in 2023

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Are you already sweating as the scary Indian summer that has already arrived? And you are planning for a hassle-free tour to some destinations during the summer holidays to escape the blistering summer heat. Are you stuck in deciding how and where shall you go this summer? You have landed at the right place for in this post I have prepared a list of meticulously chosen destinations that you might love to visit this summer holiday. 

Most of your destinations should be up in the hills which are not only a beautiful treat to the eyes but also serve as ideal recreations due to their high altitude locations. They are potential summer getaways bestowed with a pleasant climate and natural beauty. The lofty mountain peaks combined with lavish greenery offer you an experience of your lifetime. When you look down at the valleys, it’s like you dive deep into the things and as you look up at the mountains, they make you think high. 

I have left out a few popular destinations from the list due to obvious reasons and have included some which not only deserve a place in the list but are less frequently traveled. So, get ready, and before mercury soaring high, pack your bags and head for one of these destinations with family and friends.

Summer holidays, Mussoorie
Mussoorie, Photo by Sagar Das

1. Mussoorie: Queen of the Hills

Mussoorie is moderately cold and offers pleasant weather to its visitors during the summer although it is located at an altitude of an average of 2000 meters. You must be wondering what made me include this destination which is one of the busiest during the summer holidays. Well, Mussoorie is not all about its idyllically spectacular views of the mighty Himalayas, but it’s real essence lies in the simple lifestyle it follows.

 There are plenty of places here amidst the mountain where you can retire and connect with your inner-self and at the same time enjoying your summer holidays. What makes the place more special is that it is the home of famous Indian writer Ruskin Bond and British geographer George Everest after whom the highest peak in the world is named  An ideal retreat that brings respite to the visitors from the sweltering weather in the plains.  

Must visit places

Summer Holidays, Kempty Fall
Kempty Waterfall, Photo by KuwarOnline

Kempty Fall: A hot favourite among the tourists it is one of the not-to-be-missed places in Mussoorie. Located about 15 kilometers from the hill town this 40feet high fall is very popular among family and picnickers.

Gun Hill: Gun Hill is the second-highest point in Mussoorie and is just 400 ft above the Mall. From the top of Gun Hill, you can have a panoramic view of the majestic Shivalik on one side while on the other side it is the Doon valley. You can get access to Gun Hill by the cable car service. 

Lal Tibba: It is another Himalayan viewpoint and the topmost point of the highest peak in Mussorie. It is extremely popular among tourists for viewing the major Himalayan peaks. You need to hire a taxi to reach its base which is about 5 kilometers from the town.

Clouds End: Situated at about a distance of 6 kilometers from the main hilltown, Clouds End marks the geographical end of Mussoorie. It is a calm and quiet place where nature rules the supreme. Don’t ever try to give it a miss. 

Sir George Everest House: The house aka Park estate is opened to tourists throughout the year. Sir George Everest used this house as an observatory for its strategic location and studied the Himalayas. It is from here that he could successfully estimate the highest peak in the world. You can enjoy a spectacular view of the Doon valley and the Himalayan majors. It is about 8 kilometers from the city center. 

Mussoorie Lake: Famous for picnic and boating it is an artificial lake developed by the city board and the Mussoorie-Dehradoon Development Authority. A taxi or a bus can take you to the lake which is some 6 kilometers from the hilltown. 

Benog Wildlife Sanctuary: A most frequented tourist spot, Benog wildlife sanctuary is about 11 kilometers from Mussoorie and near Dehradoon. A must for nature and wildlife lovers. 

How To Reach 

Mussoorie is well connected by air, railways from roads from all parts of the country. The nearest airport is Jolly Grant airport in Dehradoon about 45 kilometers away. Dehradun also has a railway station. The distance between Mussoorie and Indian capital New Delhi is about 280 kilometers.

Summer Holidays, Auli
Auli in Uttaranchal, Photo by Vaibhav78545–>

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2. Auli: The Meadow

A quaint hill station, Auli is best known for the Himalayan Ski Resort. Auli has everything that a perfect tourist’s dream-like Himalayan scenery, meadows, snowy slopes, adventure activities, extravagant vistas, cable cars, and more. At an altitude of 2800 meters, Auli offers a view of some of the highest peaks such as the Nanda Devi, Kamat Kamet (K2), and Mana Parbat. 

 The former training ground of the Indo-Tibetan Police Force, Auli has gained the status of a popular hill resort within a short period of time because it is bestowed with all that is enough to thrill the onlookers. Nature at its full bloom gives a feeling of an awe-inspiring time for the visitors.

Things To Do in Auli 

 Gurso Bugyal Trek: Located about three kilometers from Auli, it is one of the best Auli treks that one can experience. Just a short climb from the center of Auli. Summer is the best time to enjoy the charm of lush green meadows spread across the landscape.

Summer Holiday, Auli
Gurso Bugyal, Photo by Vaibhav78545

Skiing in Auli: If you are in Auli, this winter sport should be a must experience. Even when you are visiting Auli in summer, there is no dearth of snow as the whole ski resort is bound by snow on all sides and with the astonishing Himalayan Range in the backdrop.

Riding the cable car: When you are in Auli, don’t miss the cable car ride which has been touted as one of the longest and best in Asia. The 500 meters long ride that connects the base of Josimath with the Gurso Bugyal offers some of the spectacular views of the Himalayan vistas.

Artificial lake visit: One of the highest artificial lakes in the world, it has remained a favourite among tourists. The lake was constructed by the government to cater to the need for ice for skiing purposes when ice was not sufficiently available. The lake which turns into thin flakes of snow in summer and surrounded by greenery is a treat for your eyes.

Kwani Bugyal trek: A trek of the Kwani Bugyal in itself is some kind of an adventure as the meadow is known as a paradise for trekkers is perched at a breathtaking height of more than 10,000 feet. . And summer is the best season to experience the best of hiking.

How to reach Auli?

Auli is connected by roads from most cities of North India. The distance of Auli from New Delhi is 391 Kilometers and from the state capital Dehradoon it is 152 kilometers. The nearest airpost is the Jolly Grant airport in Dehradoon. The nearest railway station is also n Dehradoon. To reach Auli, you first have to reach Josimath. From there you can take a taxi to Auli which is some 10 kilometers away.

Summer holidays, Munnar
Munnar, Photo by Bhupesh Talwar

3.  Munnar: Kashmir of South India

From the mighty Himalayas over to the Nilgiris in South India. And when you think about South India, the first state that comes to mind is Kerala which is best known as god’s own country. Kerala is quite a place that you dream of as a vacationer as it boasts of some of the best gifts of nature such as the umpteen backwaters, beaches, coconut groves, and lush green mountains. But during the summer, the plains of Kerala are quite hot and humid. So, you need to escape to one of the many hill stations in the state to get respite from the scorching sun.

So, your answer is Munnar which is aptly referred to as ‘Kashmir of South India’. Nestled amidst the lofty peaks and sitting over the Nirgiris at a breathtaking height of 1500 meters Munnar is an ideal destination during the summer holidays. The weather is moderate and pleasant due to less humidity which makes for comfortable summer holidays for the tourists. 

Places of interest  

Blossom International Park: If you are a plant lover, then this place is for you. This beautifully designed and well-maintained park has all that is exclusive to Kerala and Munnar. It is located at Aluva in Munnar Highway. Entry tickets priced at Rs 10 for adults and Rs 2 for children.

The Lakhmi Hills: These are a group of seven hills that offers some of the best scenic experiences as the greenery and the surrounding landscape is great for your eyes. Popular with amateur trekkers, you can also go for a hike with your friends and family. The trekking is of moderate difficulty. It is located about 3 kilometers from Munnar.

Carmelagiri Elephant Park: This is a place where you not only sight the animal but also can take a ride. The elephant is among the few animals considered a part of life in Kerala. You can also take a look at the habitat of these Asian elephants.

Cheeyappara waterfalls: This is one of the must-see-places in Munnar. You need to walk a bit to reach the fall. But once you are there, what is before you is just awesome. The seven steps waterfall is what can only be described as a magic of nature. It is located on the Cochi-Madurai highway. 

Summer Holdays, Munnar
Photo by Gaurav Kumar

Tata tea Museum: If you are in Munnar, you must take note that tea  is intimately associated with the place and people. So, a tour of the tea museum set up by the Tatas is a must to know the intricacies of the beverage. The museum not only unfolds the history of tea in the hill station, but it houses artifacts, machineries, and photographs and each has a story. You can also visit the Tata tea estate which is nearby. 

Echo point: As the name suggests, this is a place in the wilderness of Munnar where you can hear your sound reverberated in the valley. The place also offers some stunning views of the hilltown. It is about 15 kilometers from Munnar.

Travel Tips 

Munnar is connected by road with major cities in South India. The nearest airport is Cochi about 125 kilometers while Aluva is the nearest railhead. First, you have to reach Cochi or Aluva and then take a taxi or bus to Munnar.

Summer Holidays, Mahabaleshwar
Mahabaleshwar, Photo by Karthik Easvur

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4.Mahabaleshwar: Strawberry fields forever

Mahabaleshwar used to be the summer capital of Bombay during the British Raj and is famous for its rivers, ancient temples, waterfalls, evergreen dense forests, stunning cascades, majestic peaks, and valleys. The city is known for its winding roads and pleasant weather conditions all year round. And as the title suggests it is also famous for the strawberry farms. 

Nestled amidst the natural wealth of Sahyadri hills of Western Range Mahabaleswar is located at an altitude of 1350 meters and records moderate weather conditions and is quite pleasant even in summer. It is not chillingly cold like in the Himalayan destinations or extreme hot like in the plain.

Must see places

Panchagni: The next-door neighbour of Mahabaleswar Panchagni is known for the breathtaking views it offers to the tourists. Another major attraction of Panchagni is the strawberry fields and a strawberry festival is also held here. Adding more charm is the river Krishna which flows by the quaint hilltown which makes your visit worthwhile.

Arthur Seat: Known as “Queen of the Points”, Arthur’s Seat is situated at a height of 1470 meters. What draws numerous tourists here is when you drop anything down the valley, it bounces back due to the air pressure. This tourist spot is also known as Madhi Mahaal and is famous for offering unmatched views of Savitri river. 

Mapro Garden: Your visit to Mahabaleswar is incomplete without a visit to Mapro Garden especially when you are visiting the hilltown in summer. The nine days strawberry festival here will indeed provide you with lots of fond memories to cherish for a lifetime. This garden park boasts a delightful strawberry plantation and a restaurant where you can indulge in some delicious strawberry shakes, fruit salads, strawberry ice-cream, and much more.

Summer Holidays, Mahabaleshwar
Elephant head point, Photo by Rishabh Tatiraju

Elephant head point: Elephant’s Head Point or Needle Point is another popular place in Mahabaleshwar, situated next to Kate’s Point. The overhanging cliffs of this point are similar to the head of an elephant and its trunk. Thus the point got its name as the Elephant’s Head Point.

Morarji Castle: This place will remind you of the colonial past of Mahabaleswar. If you love to explore the historical structures and architectural styles, then this is for you. Morarji Castle is surrounded by many other stunning architectural structures and rocky landscapes.

Mahabaleshwar temple: This is another attraction that you can’t afford to miss in Mahabaleswar. The temple dedicated to Lord Shiva was built in the 16th century by the Chanda Rao More dynasty is located in the old town of Mahabaleshwar.

Lingmala waterfall: This is an awe-inspiring waterfall located about 6 kilometers from Mahabaleshwar. The fall which is about 600 meters high originates from the Venna lake. 

Reaching there

The nearest airport is in Pune which is some 120 kilometers away. The nearest railway station is Wathar which is 65 kilometers from Mahabaleshwar. You need to take a taxi or bus to Mahabaleshwar after reaching Pune or Wathar.

Summer Holidays, Kalimpong
Kalimpong town view, Photo by Bernard Gagnon

5.Kalimpong: Hillock of Assemblage

You may be wondering why this lesser-known hill destination made it to my list while we can visit immensely popular Darjeeling which is just a few kilometers away. As I have told you I have left out a few popular destinations because of two reasons. 

One. since it is a popular destination you might already have visited the place earlier. The second reason is you may find these places crowded with a lot of tourists which might play the spoilsport to hassle-free and stress-free travels. As compared to Darjeeling this hill station is relatively smaller and quieter which is perfect for your summer holidays. 

Kalimpong experiences mild summer with lowest temperature ranging between 11 and 15 degree C which is quite pleasant and not extremely cold.

Places you must visit   

Cactus Nursery:  If you love nature and take a special interest in plants, then this is the perfect place for you. This nursery is dedicated exclusively to Cactus and showcases some of the rarest varieties of the plant. The place which is located in an isolated location is also popular as a viewpoint as it offers some breathtaking scenes  of the valleys and mountains. 

Deolo Hills  This is the highest point of the small hilltown at 1700 meters. This is another place in Kalimpong from where you can have some of the best views of the city surrounded by greenery, river and mountains. If you are adventurous, then you have the options of paragliding, trekking and horse riding. 

Summer Holidays, Kalimpong
Morgan House, Kalimpong, Photo credit: Subhrajyoti07

Morgan House  You have had numbers of haunted houses, but only in movies. Now, you see a real one. Right on the lap of nature this house built by Mr and Mrs Morgan in the 1930s is worth a visit not only for the excellent colonial architectural style, but also stories attached to it and said to be haunted. Adds some thrill to your Kalimpong tour. 

Lepcha Heritage Museum: Being close to Sikkim, the Lepcha tribe forms an integral part of Kalimpong. Take a walk to the Lepcha Heritage Museum which is a treasure trove for culture and history enthusiasts. The museum has a huge collection of Lepcha treasures that includes several myths, religious texts and sacred porcupine quill hats and old pangolin skins. This adds to your learnings when you are travelling. 

Dr Graham’s House: This must visit place in Kalimpong is on the way to the Deolo Hills. This is a school started by Dr JA Anderson in a single room for 35 destitute Anglo Indian students in 1900 has now blossomed into one of the best schools in the area. Now it is a huge complex spread over an area of 500 acres. 

 Durpin Monastery:  Regarded as a major centre for the followers of Buddhism, Durpin monastery was built in the year 1970. Located about 5 kilometers from the main town the monastery is built in the typical Buddhist architectural style, it has sculptured walls, pillars and ancient paintings. In addition, this gompa houses a main prayer hall with large paintings.

Haat Bazaar: Haat Bazaar is a biweekly local market which sits on Wednesdays and also on Saturdays. You can find local items to buy here like clothes, spices, herbs and also plastic garlands. Good for budget shopping. You can go shopping for some souvenirs for memory.

Neora National Park: If you are a wildlife enthusiast, then this place is for you. This national park is home to several species like Red pandas, leopard cats and several species of woodpeckers, owls, pigeons, eagles, warblers and finches. You can indulge in many activities here like bird watching, jeep safari or simply relaxing amidst the lush greenery.

Getting There

The nearest airport of Kalimpong is Bagdogra in Siligudi which is known as the gateway of North-East. The nearest railway station is New Jalpaigudi. First, you have to reach Siligudi by air or train and from there proceed to Kalimpong by road which is 67 kilometers.

Summer Holidays, Namchi
Statue of Guru Padma Sambhava, Namchi, Photo credit: Subhrajyoti07

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6.Namchi: Top of the sky

Yet again I have decided to list Namchi instead of the popular Gangtok for the obvious reasons I have pointed out above in my Kalimpong post. Situated at a height of about 1700 meters Namchi can be joyfully traveled in summer due to moderate weather conditions that is quite pleasant. And a departure from the routine hustle bustle of popular  destinations as it is less frequently travelled.

Namchi is the headquarter of South Sikkim district and cultural capital of Sikkim that offers a plethora of places of interest that showcases the best of the people, culture and nature of the state. Namchi is also an ideal location for viewing the Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain peak in the world. 

Places of Interest

Tendong State Biodiversity Park: If nature fascinates you, and if you wish to explore the pristine forests, tread the routes that are less traveled, then Tendong State Biodiversity Park in Namchi beckons you like your dream come true. Tendong State Biodiversity Park nestles 14 km north of district headquarter town in South Sikkim.

The park expands over a total area of 255 hectares and purpose is to increase the number of exotic, endangered and endemic species, and re-develop their natural habitat.

Samdruptse Hill: Samdruptse means “The wish fulfilling hill” in local Bhutia language is a short distance uphill from Namchi. Here stands the giant statue of Guru Padmasambhava, gazing upon the town and across the hills. It is 45 meters tall and covered in shimmering gold, sparkles in the sun. It is an incredible feat of engineering, founded in 1997. The views are spectacular across and the statue can be seen from across many places in Sikkim and Darjeeling.

Ralang Monastery: The most sacred monastery in Sikkim and said to have been built to honour the pilgrimage of the fourth Chogyal to Tibet, there are over a hundred monks there in the monastery. The monastery also boasts of some beautiful paintings to fascinate you, 

Summer Holidays, Namchi
Siddheswar Dham, Namchi, Photo credit:  spandan pattanayak

Siddheswar Dham: Some 5 kilometers from the main town atop Solophok hill is a cultural complex popularly known as Char Dham. The highlight of this HIndu religious site is the 108 feet high statue of Lord Shiva. The 12 Jyotirlingas and the Chardham temples like Puri Jagannath temple, Badrinath temple, Lord Dwarikadhish  temple and the Rameshwar temple find a place in the complex. A must see place in Namchi.

Shirdi Sai temple: Another religious shrine dedicated to Shirdi Sai who is adored by both Hndus and Muslims. Located near Char Dham, this two- storied building is an architectural marvel with a life size statue of Shrdi Sai on the first floor. All Sai devotees must visit this beautiful shrine. 

Namchi Rock garden: Situated at the base of Samdruptse Hill, Namchi Rock garden boasts diverse species of trees, flowers and plants. Heading towards this Namchi Rock Garden, you can find several scenic points, water bodies and lush greenery..

Baichung Stadium: The stadium is built in the honour of football legend Baiching Bhutia who is a son of the soil.  The stadium acts as a platform for sports enthusiasts, aspiring footballers and fitness conscious. If you are planning a tour to Namchi, then you must include this place as a stop. 

How to reach Namchi

By air: Bagdogra in West Bengal is the nearest airport though Gangtok too got its airport recently. However Bagdodra is still preferred for those who are not travelling to Namchi. You can take a taxi from Siligudi to Namchi that takes about 4 hours to cover the 105 kilometers distance.

By train: New Jalpaigudi in West Bengal is the nearest railway station. Namchi is just 98 kilometers away. You just need to take a bus or hire a taxi to reach Namchi.
By road; Namchi is well connected by road with major towns of Sikkim and West Bengal like Gangtok, Pelling, Darjeeling and Kalimpong.

Summer Holidays, Dharamshala
Dharamshala, Photo by Amit Phulera  CC BY-SA 4.0

7. Dharamshala: The little Lasha

Dharmasala is a quiet hilltown in Himachal Pradesh which makes your summer trip all the memorable. Situated at an average height of some 1400 meters and surrounded by lofty mountains and lush greenery, the moderate temperature that hovers around 25 degree C makes the weather pleasant for the summer holidayers. Even in summer you can find the snow here before it is washed away by the monsoon rain. 

Dharamshala is also known to be the spiritual hub of the Tibetan Buddhists and Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader who has self-exiled in India since 1959 has its own monastery here. If you are a culture and spirituality enthusiast, then this place has tons of things for you to relish. 

Places of Interest 

MacLeod Ganj: Also known as Upper Dharamshala it is located about 10 kilometers uphill of main Dharamshala town and houses some 10,000 population including Indian, Tibetan and some foreign travelers. This is the residence of the Buddhist spiritual leader Dalai lama and a great place to study and understand Tibetan culture and spirituality. 

Namgyal Monastery: You may be lucky to meet His Holiness Dalai Lama for this is his personal monastery. The monastery houses some 200 monks and is a learning place on Tibetan Buddhism. The monastery is also known for its vivid colours and Tibetan architectural styled structures. A must visit when you are in Dharamsala. 

Bhagsu Waterfalls: This is one of the most popular places in Dharamshala. Also known as Bhagsu fall, it is about 20 meters high and you need to do a bit of trekking to reach the place. You must spend some quality time here as there is a peaceful vibe here amidst the lush greenery.

Kangra Valley:If you ever wonder if green desktop wallpapers with mountains are real, then take a trip to Kangra Valley and feel the cool views of nature. It is an excellent destination for walks, bird watching, trekking, mountaineering and rock climbing.

State Art Museum: If you are keen to  explore the past of the places you are visiting in Dhramshala and discover interesting facts about them, there is the Kangra Art Museum. It contains objects and artefacts of the Tibetan and Buddhist time that show us their influence on the city of Dharamshala.

Summer Holidays, Dharamshala
Dharamshala Cricket Stadium, Photo credit: Jms1241  CC BY-SA 4.0

Dharamshala Cricket Stadium: This is one of the most beautiful venues for Cricket in the country. Dharamshala Cricket Stadium is nestled between two mountains and picturiquely sits in the lap of nature. A must visit place if you are in Dharamshala in summer. 

Dal Lake: Kareri Dal Lake or simply Dal Lake is known for calm and a soothing atmosphere for its tourists. It derives its name from its counterpart in Kashmir. It is not only surrounded by dense vegetation, but it also gives you a view of the gorgeous snow-capped mountains. You need to trek some distance to reach the lake, but once you are there it’s worthwhile.

Travel Tips 

You can reach Dharamshala by road, rail or air. Dharamshala has an airport in Gaggal about 12 kilometers away. It has flights from only select places like Chandigarh, New Delhi and Kullu. The nearest railway station is Pathankot in Punjab at a distance of 90 kilometers. Dharamshala has good road connectivity with most places in North India like, Chandigarh, New Delhi, Simla, Pathankot and many more.

Summer Holidays, Shillong
Police Bazaar, Shillong. Photo credit: Vikramjit Kakati 

8.Shillong: Scotland of the East

If you are travelling to the North-East, then Shillong is the best place to spend your summer holidays. For some Shillong is quite hot for a trip in summer, but it is not true. The temperature may be high for the local people, but for ones coming from plain, it is quite pleasant. The weather is only moderate which makes your visit even more comfortable. 

One of the most pristine and picturesque hill stations sitting on the lap of Khasi hills, Shillong is popularly referred to as the Scotland of the East because of its many similarities with the landscapes and countrysides of Scotland.

Must visit places

Elephant Falls:  Located about 12 km away from Shillong, this fall must top the list of must visit places in Shillong. Falling down three steps, this waterfall rejuvenates travelers from across the country. You will be able to go on the trail and stairs here as well. It’s scenic beauty with crystal clear water will certainly make you admire it more. 

Umiam Lake: Surrounded by dense coniferous forests and the East Khasi Hills, Umiam Lake is one of the most beautiful places in Shillong. Popular as Badapani, it is a huge man-made water body, built by damming the Umiam River. The lake is dotted with a few small islands and the adjoining Loom Nehru Park is an ideal place for a walk and picnic.

Shillong Peak: This is the highest view point and one of the best places to visit in Shillong. Located at an elevation of 6449 feet and mostly surrounded by fog, Shillong Peak offers 360-degree bird’s-eye view of the distant hills, waterfalls, Shillong city, and plains of Bangladesh.

Don Bosco Museum: Certainly among the best tourist places in Shillong, the Don Bosco Museum features art galleries, collections of artefacts, attires, ornaments and weapons used by the various tribes of the state. This seven storied building in the premise of the Sacred Heart Church boasts seventeen galleries. It is a treat for the tourists and culture enthusiasts as well. 

Summer Holidays, Shillong
Ward’s Lake, Shillong, Photo by ANKAN 

Ward’s lake: One of the major attractions in Shillong ideal for relaxation is the Ward’s lake. This horseshoe shaped lake is surrounded by a garden where you can enjoy exploring a variety of flora.It is an ideal picnic spot worth visiting with your family. You can spend some quality time here taking the stroll, boating in the serene waters of the lake, and feeding the fish that inhabit the lake. 

Botanical Garden: Botanical Garden is one of the most beautiful attractions in Shillong known for its impressive collection of special and rare orchids. It is a nice place to take a stroll in the afternoon when you want to spend some quality time with your family. If you are visiting Ward Lake, then you should definitely put this on your list too.

Rhino Heritage Museum: Another site  showcasing the rich cultural heritage of Meghalaya, Rhino Heritage Museum is a must-visit attraction for any tourist interested in learning about Shillong’s culture. Rhinos are an important part of Shillong’s heritage and culture. So, the people of Shillong have dedicated an entire museum to the mighty animals.

Butterfly Museum: This is counted among the best places to visit in Shillong.  Butterfly Museum, also known as Entomological Museum displays an amazing collection of beetles, butterflies, and other insects. For commercial purposes only, the museum also cultivates several butterflies. You are surely going to have a good time with your family. 

How to Reach Shillong: 

By air: Shillong doesn’t have an airport in the city. Umroi airport near Badapani which is 25 kilometers from Shillong serves as the airport for the hill station. 

By train: The nearest railway station is in Guwahati (105 km) which is well connected to all parts of the country. 
By road: You can take a bus or hire a taxi to reach Shillong from Guhawati which is 98 kilometers away.

Summer Holidays, Kodaikanal
Kodaikanal Lake, Photo credit: KARTY JazZ

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9. Kodaikanal: Princess of the Hills

This is another amazing place to visit during the summer holidays in South India, because the weather here is at its best during the April-June months as temperature hovers around a pleasant range. A small hill station loaded with charms Kodaokanal has an abundance of wonders in store for you.  

The second most visited place in Tamilnadu Kodaikanal is bestowed with the gifts of nature like the lush greenery, waterfall, rock formations and the cultivated hills. It is very apt that Kodaikanal in Tamil means ‘gift of the forest’.

Must visit places 

Kodaikanal Lake: This man made lake must feature at the top of the list when you are visiting Kodaikanal. You will be amazed to find a star shaped water body and the whole town centers around it. And there is the Palani Hill range that lends a beautiful surrounding to make your visit memorable. Really an exceptional place that you must not miss.

Green valley viewpoint: As the name suggests it is one of the best places in Kodaikanal from where you can have a visual experience of your lifetime. The valley, the hills and the plain is nothing less than a Picasso painting. It is also known as suicide point due to the 5000 ft deep valley below. 

Silver cascade fall: If you are travelling to Kodaikanal by road from Madurai, just before reaching the hill town you encounter a visual delight. You come across the gorgeous Silver Cascade Fall because it is situated in the Main Ghat road. Originating from the overflowing Kodaikanal lake, the water falls from 180 meters and is a treat to watch. 

Dolphin’s Nose:  What sums up the beauty of Dolphin;s Nose is that at an altitude of 6600 feet, it offers the tourists some of the best views of the valley, the greenery, hills and the mesmerizing landscapes. The viewpoint is so named, as there is a rock formation that resembles a Dolphin’s nose.

Pillar Rocks: This is a mos sought after tourist spot in Kodaikanal located about 8 kilometers from the main town. Three mammoth rocks stand shoulder to shoulder vertically kissing the mist. The three rocks about 400 ft high makes for compulsive visit, as it is some kind of a wonder. Not to mention the surrounding hills and valleys that are all beautiful. 

Bryant Park: Your visit to Kodaikanal is incomplete without a tour to Bryant Park which is a Botanical park that boasts wide varieties of flowers. And as you are visiting Kodaikanal in the summer, you can’t afford to miss the Annual Summer Festival that the Department of Horticulture organises to showcase its rich treasure of flowers. 

Summer Holidays, Kodaikanal
Pine Forest, Kodaikanal, Photo credit: KARTY JazZ

Pine Forest: This place might be somewhat familiar to you as you have seen this, but only in the movies. Now see the real one. A number of movies have been shot in this serene place that induces a peaceful vibe. A walk along the Pine forest is not only refreshing, but also it makes you high. A photographer’s paradise. 

Coaker’s Walk: This is an amazing one-kilometre pavement  built on the edge of a majestic cliff in Kodaikanal. Because of its wonderful location, Coakers Walk offers a picturesque view of the magnificent hills and lush green valleys. It is just like walking amidst the clouds. Coakers Walk is a must-visit spot, especially for nature lovers.

Getting There

By air: The nearest airport is at madurai about 120 kilometers away. Other airports that are useful for tourists are at Trichy (155 kms) and Coimbatore (180 kms).

By train: The nearest railway station is Kodai Road (80 kms) serves as the railhead for Kodaikanal. 

By Road: There are regular bus services to Kodaikanal from cities such as Chennai, Pondicherry, Coimbatore, Madurai, etc. In fact, this is the most preferred way to reach Kodaikanal because of the many options that are available. You can also take taxi if you want to travel privately.


I have deliberately excluded some destinations like Darjeeling, Gangtok and Simla in my list for two reasons. First, you might already have visited these places because they are hugely popular destinations. And second, these places are very crowded during the summer holidays and it wouldn’t serve the purpose of a hassle-free, calmer and quieter holiday. 

I also wanted you to visit some less travelled destinations like Kalimpong and Namchi. Despite being immensely touristy in nature, these places are relatively unknown to the general tourists. I also wanted to include a few more destinations like Araku, Panchmarhi and Puri, but found not suitable as summer destinations. 

I am sure you have found your answer in the list. In case I have forgotten something, please let me know. Your suggestions will help me to learn and will help in my future endeavours. 

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