While most foreign tourists know that the best time to travel to India is during the winter, there are many who like India when it is red ‘hot’! Nevertheless, India is a warm country with hot and humid conditions during the summer; Monsoon lovers, European vacationers and travellers who can endure the heat strike the rod when it is hot. There are many good reasons why India is a fabulous summer destination including the proliferation of summer festivals, exhilarating summer-only touring destinations in the Himalayas and other hill stations, lesser-known un-crowded summer tourist attractions, airfare discounts, and hotel and resort deals. Here are top 7 reasons to visit India in summer is a strong contender tourist destination in the world.
What is summer in India without tasting its sweet and succulent home-grown mangoes? India is a land of mangoes too, and one of the sweetest mango varieties in the world, the Alphonso, is celebrated in India as the “king of fruits” that often creates sensation in the media due to its high selling price in the marketplace. There are other varieties of export-quality mangoes which makes India one of the largest producers and biggest consumers of mangoes. Visit the local Mango Mandis (wholesale dealer markets) and bazaars to feel the smell and taste of mangoes. The recommended time is between April and June when you can find great deals for bulk purchases. The fact that mango chutney and other everyday dishes including Mango Rasam, milkshakes, rice, sambhar, salad, kheer, ice cream, etc are a part of staple diet of more than half of the Indians accounts for its popularity.
Hike in Ladakh
Ladakh, part of the larger Kashmir region, is a chillingly cold, abandoned and lonely mountain kingdom. But summers offer a different scene when the flowers bloom and start to flutter in the cool breeze, and tourists come back and enjoy the arid, lunar-like expansive landscapes and rich and traditional Tibetan, Indian and Central Asian cultural practises. Hikers make a beeline to Leh, the capital of Ladakh region, for the best trekking experience in India. Given you don’t have to scale the high and lofty peaks; you can always enjoy hiking up to the royal monastery and palace and Namgyal Tsemo Gompa, in the middle of the region of Leh, to witness the spectacular view of the sunrise over the snow-laden Himalayas. Although summer in the Leh region is marked by a short season, and by mid-September it is literally over, yet still check out your holiday tour package with your travel operator or agency before making an informed decision to travel to Leh.
3. Chill at any hill station
It was during the British Raj that most hill stations were explored just to escape from the scorching summer heat. India has several hill stations that are popular worldwide. You can chill down at hill stations in any part of the country including Manali, McLeod Ganj and Dalhousie in Himachal Pradesh, Shillong in Meghalaya, Mussoorie, Auli and Nainital in Uttarakhand, Srinagar and Gulmarg in Jammu & Kashmir, Leh-Ladakh in Jammu & Ladakh, Ooty and Kodaikanal in Tamil Nadu, Darjeeling in West Bengal, Gangtok in Sikkim, Lonavala and Mahabaleshwar in Maharashtra, Coorg and Chikmagalur in Karnataka and Munnar in Kerala.
4. Ayurvedic treatment
Though there is no season as such for medical treatment, summer is thebest time for experiencing Ayurvedic treatment in India. ‘Ayurveda’ or ‘Indian Medical Science’ finds a special mention in the Vedas, and literally has a cure for every ailment in the world. The fact that every prescription is documented for over thousands of years makes it extremely popular amongst the westerners. Kerala is the best place to be for Ayurvedic treatment as scores of overseas tourists from all over flock to the state to take Ayurvedic treatment for life-long health, well-being and rejuvenation. There are 25 powerful Ayurveda treatment including Vamanan, Virechanam, Snehavasthy, Nasyam, Kashayavasthy, Uzhichil or Abhyanga, Tharpanam and Putapakam, among others.
5. Snake Boat Race
Don’t leave Kerala any sooner as the month of August will host the world-famous Onam festival, the state’s rich cultural festival uniting Keralites whether they’re settled in the Gulf countries or planet Mars! This 10-day festival is a splendid display of traditional sports, games, drama, art forms and classical music. The local festival bazaars are abuzz with activity, as shopping comes to life. Keralites save their breath when the world’s largest annual Snake Boat Race, conducted on the backwaters of Alapuzha, draws massive crowd who get lost in the high-decibel drum-rolls, roar, claps and chanting cheering their favourite team to victory.
6. Tea for hope – Darjeeling
One of the world’s most popular hill stations, Darjelling, is nestled high up in the Himalayan ranges, on the northern edge of the state of West Bengal. The famous Darjeeling Tea needs no mention. As mentioned in the beginning of the article, hill stations were the summer destinations of the British pre-independence, and Darjeeling was no exception as it served as the summer retreat for the British in Kolkatta (the erstwhile capital of India). Though Darjeeling is most affected by the summer monsoon, it serves as a getaway from the simmering summer heat of other Indian states. You can enjoy the holiday environment triggered by the Victorian-era architecture, panoramic views of some of the world’s tallest peaks, guided tours to verdant tea gardens and Tibetan heritage and culture. Take the slow-moving Toy Train from the small town of Siliguri, and you will find yourself in complete harmony with the sheer beauty and timeless glamour of the place.
7. Treat your self to Shopping
Shopping as an activity and travel as an experience to Indiaare interwoven together. The famous bazaars of India have enthralled English authors like Rudyard Kipling, and even the great Indian poet, Sarojini Naidu in her poem, “In the Bazaars of Hyderabad” emphasised the need to buy local products over foreign goods. India is a haven for shoppers; therefore treat yourself to shopping at any of the famous Indian bazaars including the Arpora Saturday Night Market (Goa), Sarojini Market (Delhi), FC Road (Pune), Commercial Street (Bangalore), Colaba Causeway (Mumbai), Janpath (Delhi), Hazratganj market ( Lucknow),Baapu Bazaar (Jaipur) New Market (Kolkata), Tibet Walk (Ooty), just to name a few.