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Best Places To Visit In May In India

Planning A Trip In May? Here's our list of best places to visit in May In India

One of the hottest months in the subcontinent, May is the summer vacation proper in India. What makes May a good time to visit the north, south and north east India is the fact that these places are pleasant, amicable and inviting, when the heart of the country is scorching hot. From hill station destinations in Himachal and Uttarakhand to the hills and valleys of Kashmir, trekking routes of Ladakh to the backwaters of Kerala, May is a fine month for places at an altitude and near the sea. Here are some of the best places to visit in India in the month of May.

Ladakh

Ladakh:  Best Places To Visit In May In India
Photograph by https://www.darter.in

Welcome to the rugged, white deserts of India, the northernmost part of the subcontinent that is home to monasteries, mountains, crystal clear lakes and amazing weather in the month of May. This is the peak of summer here and days are long, sunny and full of opportunities for outdoor fun. Most highways open up now and temperature reaches 16°C highs during the day and 3°C by night. Not the warmest you cold find, but this weather is just perfect for sightseeing, hiking, trekking and relaxing.

 

Things to Do: 

There are a great many things here, from exploring the town of Leh and its famous Leh Palace to visiting monasteries like Lamayuru, Zanskar and Chemrey. Other great sights include Shanti Stupa, Magnetic Hill and Kargil War Memorial in Dras. There are some great valleys that have thawed and become ready for treks, like the Zanskar valley, Nubra Valley, Markha valley, Stok Kangri trek etc. The Hundar sand dunes are a beauty as well, white rolls of never-ending marvels. Some of the most famous, clear lakes worth visiting here are Pangong Tso and Tsomoriri Lake. You must also visit the Khardung La Pass and Rohtang. Special permissions are to be obtained for the same.

 

How to Reach:

Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport of Leh is where you will land when flying in from anywhere from India (Mumbai, Delhi, Amritsar, Srinagar etc). Jammu is the nearest railway station but is 700 km away. However, the most fun and adventurous way to reach Ladakh is by using dirt roads and taking bikes. This one is for the adventure junkies though and driving in a car is also an option.

Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh:  Best Places To Visit In May In India
Photograph by http://www.voodoomanali.com

Nested in the laps of the mighty Himalayas, Himachal Pradesh is a beautiful paradise of deciduous mountains, evergreen vegetation, hills, rivers and lakes. With a prevalent Garhwali or foothills culture, this state of India is home to so many hill stations, it is mind-boggling. From Shimla, Kullu and Manali to Kufri, Mcleod Ganj, Dalhousie and Dharamsala; Himachal is a whole network of summer holiday spots. In May, most towns here warm up and open gates to visitors. With average summer range in Himachal being 22-37°C, bright sunny days and dry weather, holidays are bound to be fun.

 

Things to Do:  

With an evergreen deciduous vegetation, Himachal is full of forests, meadows and lots of greenery. You have an option of quite a few hill stations to choose from - Kufri, Shimla, Manali, Kullu, Kasauli, Kalka, Kasol, McLeod Ganj, Dharamsala, Dalhousie etc. The state is also famous for its trekking and hiking sites like the Indrahar Pass and Beas Kund. There is also Kinnaur or the land of fairy tales. Most travel stories and Instagram feeds have recently started to feature Spiti Valley as wanderer paradise too, with its starry skies and nil tourist noise. Solo travellers and wanderers choose Spiti. For some ancient temples, you can also check out Chamba, Manikaran, Mandi and Kaza. Paragliding and camping are well done in Bir while Naina Devi is known for wild animals, nature trails and shrines.

 

How to Reach: 

Kullu Airport is the best way to get into Himachal Pradesh via flight. Or you can drive up from Delhi (343 km), taking a scenic road trip up into the hills. Dehradun (Uttarakhand) to Himachal Pradesh is 240 km and Chandigarh (Punjab) to Himachal is 117 km by road. The nearest rail head in Himachal is Kalka with regular and narrow gauge lines to Ambala.

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Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand:  Best Places To Visit In May In India
Photograph by http://newsmobile.in

Uttarakhand is a state in Northern India, straddled by the mighty Himalayas. It is renowned for its yoga hubs, lakes and Hindu pilgrimages. Rishikesh’s yoga centres, ashrams, Ganga aarti and Jim Corbett’s tigers are all the incentive you need to visit Uttarakhand. If that’s not all, there are quite a few hill stations to enjoy in the month of May - Dehradun, Auli, Nainital and so on. The temperature range at this time is 24°C-42°C here but the breeze is quite pleasant by evening. 

 

Things to Do:

Go skiing in one of the world’s best ski grounds - Auli, spend some time holidaying in the hill station life of Nainital, head to Rishikesh for a sublime experience in the many ashrams, by the ghats of Ganga and yoga centres. Corbett National Park is home to some of the most royal beasts - the Bengal Tigers. Jeep safaris are quite famous here. Other great tourist attractions here include Mussoorie, Nanda Devi, Valley Of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and Chardham Yatra shrines of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri. Haridwar, Ranikhet, Dehradun, Dhanaulti are also quite great for pilgrimage, adventure sports like whitewater rafting, trekking and honeymoon too. The beautiful Rhododendron flowers bloom in April-May and sprinkle a burst of whites, pinks, reds, yellows and purples around. Make a special trip to Valley of Flowers for this.

 

How to Reach:

Uttarakhand boasts of two domestic airports - the Jolly Grant Airport and Pantnagar Airport. Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai have regular flights to these airports. However, trains are a cheaper option, with railway stations at all major towns like Nainital, Dehradun, Rishikesh etc. You can also drive up to Uttarakhand from Delhi or Chandigarh.

Jammu Kashmir

Jammu Kashmir:  Best Places To Visit In May In India
Photograph by http://www.rediff.com

Jammu and Kashmir are a set of two halves that make a state in the northernmost part of India, with Ladakh as a part of it. The Himalayas crown it and numerous rivers sanctify it, with valleys and meadows and loads of lakes. Kashmir is so beautiful that it is compared to heaven, and rightly so, with people so loving and landscapes so welcoming. In May, Kashmir sees a thawing of its winter as well as spring, with a pleasant temperature range of 14-30°C, bright sunny days and long daylight hours for outdoor exploration. Jammu is much more hot through the summers as it experiences a sub-tropical climate.

 

Things to Do:

Favourite tourist destinations in Kashmir include towns like Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Sonmarg, Gurez Valley and Betaab Valley. They each come with their charming sights, meadows, adventure activities and relaxation. In Srinagar itself, you have so much to do, from shikara rides in Dal lake to floating dawn markets, Hazratbal shrine and Shankaracharya temple to Pari Mahal. Hari Parbat is an amazing gentle hike and Mughal Gardens mesmerise with their beauty. The Tulip Gardens of Srinagar are in full bloom at this time and come like a burst of brilliant reds and yellows; one fo the best photography opportunities.

 

For Jammu, do visit the famous pilgrimage of Vaishno Devi, Akhnoor town, Jammu City and Nandini Wildlife Sanctuary. The catch here is that Jammu is a little too hot for most people’s liking, hence avoidable. 

 

How to Reach:

Jammu-Kashmir’s major airports are Sheikh ul-Alam Airport in Srinagar and Jammu Airport in Jammu region. Cars are ready for hire from airports or you can hail a taxi. Auto rickshaws also ply in the cities, as well as local buses. Railway lines are not very well spread through J&K hence trains might not be the best bet. Jammu Tawi Station in Jammu is your last stop for trains.

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Kerala

Kerala:  Best Places To Visit In May In India
Photograph by https://traveltriangle.com

Backwater rides, massages and lots of sumptuous South Indian fare, what more can one want for a relaxed summer vacation? Head to God’s own land, Kerala for such a retreat. It is a beach paradise with swaying palm trees and mesh of backwater streams. In the month of May, Kerala sees its summer which is quite amicable because of the water’s maritime influence. Also, the south western monsoon winds bring rain in the second half of May, thereby cooling the lands. An average temperature of 29°C is observed here with around 17 rainy days, making it a brilliant burst of green lush landscape.

 

Things to Do:

Kerala is renowned world over for its beautiful backwater destinations, and hence you must visit some great ones like Kumarakom, Alapuzha (Alleppey) and Kozhikode. For a small town hilly retreat, head to Wayanad with its bird sanctuaries and greenery, while animal lovers tour the Periyar National Park and Bandipur National Park. Kozhikode, Kochi and Kollam are great beach holidays, as are the food items you will get to eat there, including the sinfully tasty sea food, idli-dosas and appams. Thiruvananthapuram is the centre of ancient temples, opulent palaces and great museums. While the colonial architecture, the Chinese fishing nets, ports and forts of Cochin are quite great tourist sights. Massages in Kerala are rejuvenating, done in the patent Ayurvedic style, as are meditation sessions and spas. You can also go fishing and floating in the backwaters.

 

How to Reach:

Kerala’s three major International Airports are located in Cochin, Trivandrum and Calicut. Cars are available for hire outside each, as are taxis and state-run buses. The Southern Railways run trains in the well spread tracks of Kerala, making train travel scenic, inexpensive and quite fast too. Driving across the state is also a good option with well paved highways and roads. For places like Kumarakom and Alleppey, you also have the option of using waterways like ferries, boats etc.

Andaman Nicobar

Andaman Nicobar:  Best Places To Visit In May In India
Photograph by http://www.natgeotraveller.in

Andaman along with Nicobar, make a group of islands in the Bay of Bengal. Known as the land of exiles once upon a time, they are now a coveted tourist destination. With its pristine beaches, coral reefs, water sports and resorts, Andaman is a great May vacation idea. Summer is at its peak but monsoon isn’t far behind either at this time. By mid-May the average temperature is between 24-37°C and monsoons hit by late May, bringing them down again. Yet, this time is one of the best for beach retreats, swimming, diving, snorkelling and chilling. 

 

Things to Do:

Port Blair, the capital of Andaman, is home to the Cellular Jail, which was once used as prison for Indian freedom fighters by the British. Today the place is transformed into a museum and hosts a light and sound show on the Indian freedom struggle. You can also visit Neil Island for its brilliant beaches, water sports, idyllic village walks and scrumptious sea food. Havelock has great night life along with beach shacks and parties. Ross Island and Baratang are other tourist attractions here that host some good beaches, marine life and beauty. Baratang is known for its mangrove creeks. For scuba diving, head to Long island; you can also learn scuba diving here at training schools and become a certified diver yourself.

 

How to Reach:

Veer Savarkar Airport in Port Blair is an International airport and receives flights from all over the world as well as Indian cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai etc. Ships also leave Kolkata, Visakhapatnam and Chennai for Port Blair. In Andaman, you can use auto rickshaws, hired cars, bikes or cycles to commute. Island hopping is done either by jetties or helicopters, depending on your budget.

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Ooty (Udhagamandalam)

Ooty (Udhagamandalam):  Best Places To Visit In May In India
Photograph by https://yourshot.nationalgeographic.com

A beautiful hill station in the state of Tamil Nadu, Ooty is a great summer getaway. With its hillocks, tea gardens and estates, the place is fragrant wherever you go. The Ooty Lake glints like a centre piece to this beauty and makes for a great picnic spot in summer. May is a warm month in Ooty, with the sun high and shining and temperature averaging to 30°C maximum. A little drizzle of rain can be expected in the last week of May and it rejuvenates the greenery around you.

 

Things to Do:

Also known as Udagamandalam, Ooty has been loved by tourists for its quiet, idyllic charm for decades now. Head to the slopes of Elk Hill to see the Rose Gardens in full bloom, take a ride in the Nilgiri Toy Train for amusement and check out the Government Botanical Garden that dates back to the 19th century (home to ferns, orchids and a fossilised tree). Boating is a great pass time for evenings at Pykara Lake, followed by a leisurely picnic. For the best part, tour tea estates here. Tea lovers will be delighted with the Glen Morgan Tea Estate, thick with the scent of fresh tea leaves being picked and teas being brewed in the shack for tasting. Other tourist places you must explore here include Toda Hamlet, which is home to the Toda temple and the mighty Doddabetta Peak.

 

How to Reach:

You can fly to the Coimbatore Airport as it is only 88 km away from Ooty. Jet Airways, Air India and Go Air run regular flights from Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore etc to Ooty. You can also choose to drive up to Ooty from Bangalore; either via Mysore or enroute Chamarajanagar. Tamil Nadu's state run buses are an inexpensive option, the expensive ones being hired cars. For trains, the nearest railway station is Mettupalyam (40 km away).

Arunachal Pradesh

Arunachal Pradesh:  Best Places To Visit In May In India
Photograph by https://www.thrillophilia.com

The state of dawn-lit skies and mountains that seem invincible, Arunachal Pradesh is a stunning holiday destination in the North Eastern part of India. With its hills and valleys, waterfalls and lakes, this place is full of nature and its charming allure. Arunachal Pradesh is not very hospitable through the monsoons and just too cold in winters hence summers make for a special time here. In May, the temperature is anywhere between 20-35°C, with long clear days and sunshine. 

 

Things to Do: 

Some of Arunachal Pradesh’s best towns include Tawang, Itanagar, Bomdila, Ziro and Tezpur. Tawang is a stunning place with meadows like a large field of emeralds. A summer vacation in Bomdila will be filled with mountainous views, picnics and waterfalls. Ziro is a settlement on a plateau and hence boasts of great views too, with the native tribal settlement making it a peculiar exploration of cuisine and culture. Visit Itanagar too; it is a township built at a height of 350 m above sea level and boasts of the Ita Fort and other architecture marvels. For animal and nature lovers, you have options too - Pakhui Wildlife Sanctuary, Namdapha National Park and Tez Talley Wildlife Sanctuary. Other tourist attractions are Tezu, Talley Valley, Kardo Hills, Sela Pass, Mehao Lake and Parasuram Kund.

 

How to Reach:  

Tezu Airport of Arunachal Pradesh is the closest airport, or you can fly in to Lilabari Tezpur airport of Assam and travel by road (260 km) into Arunachal Pradesh. Harmuti train station of Assam is 43 km away and the cloest well-connected rail head. You can hire cars, book vans or take state run buses or private ones to reach Arunachal Pradesh.

Sikkim-Darjeeling

Sikkim-Darjeeling:  Best Places To Visit In May In India
Photograph by https://yourshot.nationalgeographic.com

Sikkim is a small but utterly beautiful state in North East India, with Gangtok being the highlight for tourists coming here. Darjeeling is a town in West Bengal but very close to Sikkim, and hence best visited along with Sikkim when planning a tour. What makes the two entities a great summer holiday is the fact that they share a similar kind of weather, vegetation and landscape, with the temperatures in May going to an average of 22°C in Sikkim and 19°C in Darjeeling. Darjeeling may also see showers and hail during this time.

 

Things to Do:

In Sikkim, you have the mighty Kanchenjunga peak, glaciers, wild flowers, Buddhist monasteries as well as alpine meadows. With towns like Gangtok, Pelling, Lachung and Yumthang, you are bound to have a nature filled retreat. Visit Lachung for its quiet lifestyle and quaint charm, Yumthang Valley Of Flowers for the blooming Rhododendrons, Gangtok for waterfalls, green hiking trails and sceneries and Lake Tsomgo for lazy picnics, yak rides and boating. Pemayangtse is a beautiful monastery here, as is Rumtek. For adventurers, go trekking in Goecha La, river rafting to Teesta river, mountain biking from Gangtok to Rangpo and bird watching in Kewzing. Gangtok is also known for its cable car rides, cafes, live music, clubs and a happening night life.

 

In Darjeeling, in the foothills of the Himalayas, explore through Toy Trains. Visit the Ghum Monastery, Peace Pagoda and Padmaja Naidu Zoological park. Explore the many tea gardens and also get a chance to dwell in a homestay in the midst of one.  

 

How to Reach:

Bagdogra is the nearest airport to Sikkim, located 124 km away. Air India, Go Air and Spice Jet serve this airport. You can reach Gangtok from here by helicopter or take a taxi on a 4 hour drive. New Jalpaiguri (188 Km) and Siliguri (145 Km) are the nearest railway stations to Gangtok while you can also choose to travel by buses, jeeps or taxis. NH31 A is the most developed and functional highway here.

Pench National Park

Pench National Park:  Best Places To Visit In May In India
Photograph by http://beta.outlooktraveller.com

Located in the Seoni and Chhindwara districts of Madhya Pradesh, Pench National Park hosts a plethora of wild-life, forests, rivers and birds. It is bound by River Pench and Satpuda Hills, making for a very scenic holiday indeed. Pench inspired Rudyard Kipling and The Jungle Book was set in one of the many parks of Pench. If that doesn’t excite the child in you then what can? In May, Pench is generally quite hot and dry, but this is the best season to sight animals. Tigers especially, are lured out of their habitats in search of watering holes, where you can catch sight of them and other prey and predators.  

 

Things to Do:

Visit the Indira Priyadarshini Pench Park and the Mowgli Pench Sanctuary in the buffer area of the park. Mowgli Pench Sanctuary is considered as the setting of Rudyard Kipling’s most iconic work - The Jungle Book. Go for jeep and open jeep safaris to sight tigers, leopards, jackals, old boars, sambars, blue bulls and bisons. Tigers of Pench are considered to be the healthiest of all in India. Jeep safari timings here are 6:30 am to 9:30 am, and then 03.30 pm to 06.30 pm. You can get your advanced bookings done too. Other things to do around Pench include a visit to Pachdhar or as they like to call it - the ‘potter’s’ village. This little village in Seoni has great landscapes, teak trees, paddy fields and a lively potter community that might teach you pottery and also sell their best wares. You can also go boating in the Kamthikhairy Dam and enjoy some quiet time down there.

 

How to Reach:

The airport nearest to Pench is Nagpur (92 km) and Jabalpur (200 km). Nagpur also happens to be the closest well-connected railway station, while Seoni is the closest in distance but not as well connected. You can take a taxi or hire a car to travel to Pench National Park. When in the park, you can hire open gypsies for safari as they make for the best experience.

Assam

Assam:  Best Places To Visit In May In India
Photograph by https://yourshot.nationalgeographic.com

Home to tea gardens, green landscapes, silk bazars and the great Kamakhya temple, Assam is a state in North East India. Summers are a good time to visit Assam, especially the hilly regions here. With temperatures reaching upto 40°C in Guwahati, afternoons might not be the best time to venture out but mornings and evenings are very pleasant. The Kaziranga National Park is one great attraction at this time as dry weather and heat lure the animals out of their habitats, hence permitting better and more frequent sightings. 

 

Things to Do:

Visit Guwahati, one of the largest cities of Assam and of the Northeast put together; it stuns with its Kamakhya Temple, bazars of the finest silks and saris, zoos, Umananda Island and the state museum. Also, do visit the pilgrim sites of Hajo and Madan Kamdev, now in ruins but worshipped nonetheless. You can also go cruising on Brahmaputra river and enjoy a picnic by Chandubi lake by evening. Another great place to visit here is the Kaziranga National Park, the UNESCO protected world heritage site that is home to one-horned Rhinoceros. Also on the list are Manas and Orang National Parks. Explore Majuli town for its freshwater island landscape, vaishnav pilgrim sites like Kamalabari Satra, Dakhinpat Satra, Samaguri Satra etc. Assam is also known for its tea gardens, so tea tours here are a must.

 

How to Reach:

The Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport of Guwahati is an international airport and very well connected to Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai etc. Taxi services, hired cars and buses are available from here to the city centre. The North East Frontier Railway operates in this region and connects well to Guwahati, which is the largest railway station in the state. Dadar Express from Mumbai, Saraighat Express from Kolkata and Banglore Express connect Assam to the metros.

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