Fri, 28 Aug 2009 04:53:59 GMT

Top 10 summer destinations in India

Whether you want to trek up to the summer sun, hike along meandering jungle paths, ride a tropical sea wave or simply hit the hammock and douse yourself in a Hardley Chase paperback, the Indian terrain offers you the best.


Top 10 summer destinations in India

Goa

The sunny beaches of Goa are an ideal summer destination for you.  A diverse tourist locale, Goa is celebrated the world over for its laidback culture, sun kissed beaches, gothic churches and rocking nightlife.

From north to south, the Goa coastline is marked by a number of beach towns, with relaxed ambience, seafood and water sports such as wind surfing, water skiing, sailing, water-scooters, and dolphin spotting cruises. The beaches of Calangute and Baga are the most visited while other famous beaches include Arambol, Anjuna,Candolim, Colva and Palolem.

By the way, don’t forget your sunscreens if you don’t want to get your skin tanned!

Accommodation

Being a much in demand tourist destination, the place offers accommodation to suite your budget. Anything from independent private cottages to the luxuary hotels like the Taj Exotica and Leela Kempinski caters to the need of the tourists who come here from around the globe.

How to get there?

Goa’s Dabolim airport is both a military and civilian airport catering to domestic and international airlines that stop en route to other Indian destinations. In addition to regular flights, the airport handles a large number of chartered flights. Goa receives International flights from Dubai, Sharjah and Kuwait in the Middle East and from the United Kingdom, Germany and Russia during the charter flight tourist season. Dabolim airport is serviced by the following carriers - Air India, Indian Airlines, Air Deccan, Kingfisher airlines, Go air, Spice jet, Jet Airways besides Charter flights from Thomas Cook (condor) etc.

Also the place is well connected to all the major cities like Mumbai, Bangalore etc. by road. Trains running along the Konkan coast also have a stop at Goa.

Matheran

Matheran is a city and a municipal council in Raigad district in the state of Maharashtra. It is the smallest hill station in India. It is located on the Western Ghats range at an elevation of around 800 m (2,625 feet) above sea level. Located at around 90 km from Mumbai and about 120 km from Pune, it is a popular weekend getaway for urban residents. The name Matheran means either "forest on top" or "mother forest".

Matheran offers you a great panoramic view from as many as 33 points located here. Some of the favourite points to visit are, Porcupine Point, Echo Point,Panorama Point, Heart Point, Monkey Point (for the monkeys that inhabit the place) and many more where you could catch the most breathtaking views of the sunrise and sunset as well as of the Sahyadri range and its valleys. In fact, the Panorama Point is rightly also called the Sunrise Point to catch that perfect sunrise.

You can also visit the Charlotte Lake and the Panthers Caves. One of the best things that you can do at Matheran, is to take a ride on the toy train, which takes you through the One Kiss Tunnel and very many fascinating little spots. In fact this is your ride from Neral to Matheran and is a great way to start your trip.

Accommodation

The place offers hill resorts costing you from anything below R.s 2000 to the expensive heritage resorts like the Verandha in the Forest that offers you a typical jungle stay.

How to get there?

Matheran is located about 100 km from Mumbai and 120 km from Pune. It lies on the busy Mumbai-Pune rail link and the nearest train station is at Neral, approximately 25 km from Matheran. From Neral, one can rent a taxi to the entrance of Matheran. From the taxi stop at Matheran, one can walk to the city center or rent a horse!

The nearest airports to this place are the airports in Mumbai and Pune.

Shimla

A popular tourist destination, Shimla is often referred to as the "Queen of Hills" (a term coined by the British). Located in north-west Himalayas at an altitude of 2,130 metres (6,988 ft), the city of Shimla, draped in forests of pine, rhododendron, and oak, experiences pleasant summers and cold, snowy winters. The city is famous for its buildings styled in tudorbethan and neo-gothic architecture reminiscent of the colonial era.

Trekking, hiking and skiing are the major attractions in Shimla. Some of the major places of interest in and around this town are Himachal State Museum, Annandale, Chadwick Falls, Jakhoo Hill, Mashobra, Kufri and Shoghi. And don’t miss the Shimla Toy Train. The winding route of the century-old train cutting through the hills offers visitors a charming and novel way of enjoying the hill vistas. Bookings are hard to come by in the high season so book a little in advance.

Accommodation

The place offers you affordable tents and camps stays to luxuary hotels like the Oberoi Cecil.

How to get there?

Shimla is connected to the city of Kalka, Haryana by one of the longest narrow gauge railway routes still operating in India.

Shimla is approximately 115 km from Chandigarh, the nearest major city, and 365 km from New Delhi, the national capital.

Munnar

Munnar is a town located in the Idduki district of Kerala state. Situated in the south Western Ghats of South India the name Munnar usually refers to the whole tourist area of the Idukki district of which the town forms only a small part. The name Munnar is believed to be derived from the Malayalam words Munu (three) and aaru (river), referring to the town's strategic location at the confluence of the Muthirappuzha, Nallathanni and Kundaly rivers.

The area around Munnar is surrounded by vast jungles and remains wet and cold during most of the year. Sprawling tea plantations, picture book towns, winding lanes, trekking and holiday facilities make Munnar a unique experience for the tourist and traveller. Munnar is essentially a tea town. The people of Munnar share the culture and traditions of both Kerala and their Tamil neighbours from across the border.

Tata Tea Museum, Indo Swiss Dairy Farm, Eravikulam National Park, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Lock Heart Gap etc. are the major places of interest in Munnar.

Accommodation

Munnar offers its visitors with a range of accommodation starting with the expensive hill and wildlife resorts to reasonable home stays which you can avail on reaching the place.

How to get there?

Munnar is well connected by road to major cities in Kerala like Cochin, Kottayam etc. The nearest airport to Munnar is the Cochin airport which has a lot of national and international flights docking in.

Manali

This is Himachal Pradesh's main summer destination for backpackers, trekkers and partygoers escaping the summer heat. A popular tourist destination at 570km from New Delhi and 280km from Shimla, Manali is the northern-most town of Himachal Pradesh's Kullu Valley. Situated on the national highway that leads to Leh, Manali is also the gateway to the remote and desolate valleys of Lahaul and Spiti.

The ancient cave temple, Hidimba Devi Temple, is not far from town, 3 kms. from the main city and is the main sightseeing spot in Manali. The various Tibetan Monasteries, Naggar Castle, Roerich Museum, Arjun Guf (Arjun Cave), Jagatsukh, Solang Valley etc. are the other places of interest in and around Manali. The place is also famous for adventure sports like skiing, hiking, mountaineering, para gliding, rafting, trekking, kayaking, and mountain biking.

Accommodation

Like all the other tourist destinations, Manali also offers the visitors with accommodation of varying range.

How to get there?

The only way to reach Manali is by road. The place is well connected to nearby cities and towns by roads passing through mountain ranges. It’s a ride you’d never forget.

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