India’s low season sees temperatures soaring to almost unbearable levels. By May, most of the country feels like an oven, and locals wait eagerly for the cooling effect of the monsoon. Luckily, India has so many places to visit in May to escape the scorching heat right from the mighty Himalayas to stunning hill stations and exotic jungles. From backpacking to time with friends and family, these places to visit in May in India offer a surreal respite from the summer heat with their pleasant temperatures and will help you relax and unwind to the core. So, pack your bags and get ready to experience the coolest summer of your life and create memories that will last a lifetime.
Best Places to Visit in North/East India in May
1. Manali – The Valley of Gods
Manali, Valley of the Gods is a colorful hotspot for tourists and nature lovers, tucked in the hills of the upper Himalayas. A picturesque place to spend some time away from the humdrum of the cities, the town offers something for every kind of traveler.
The average high temperatures in May range between 25°C to 28°C, while the average low ranges from 8°C to 13°C, providing a welcome relief from the blistering heat. Most visitors want to come to Manali in summer to indulge in a range of adventurous and thrilling activities like paragliding, zorbing, river rafting, rock climbing and trekking. With lush greenery all around, the spectacular mountain flora in full bloom, pleasant weather and plenty of exciting activities on offer, Manali is one of the best places to visit in May in India. Here’s a guide to Manali, with comprehensive details on activities and things to do here, to make the most out of your trip.
Places to visit in Manali
With abundant natural beauty, ethnic flavors, and adventure options, it offers endless options for sightseeing. Here are some of the best places to visit in Manali –
- Hadimba Temple – The 15th-century temple is located inside a pine forest and is dedicated to Hadimba, a local deity, who is also a significant character in the epic Mahabharata.
- Manali Gompa – The local Buddhist monasteries are some of the most sought-after places to visit and reflect the Tibetan influence on the local culture.
- Vashist Temple and Hotsprings – The temple is an ancient pilgrimage site that houses a natural hot spring.
- Van Vihar – A small nature park in the middle of the town, with abundant greenery and towering alpine trees.
- Mall Road – The busiest and the only commercial hub of the town, the Mall Road is dotted with shops, restaurants, pubs, and cafes, making it a popular neighborhood to shop, dine, or just explore on foot.
How to Reach
Manali has no direct train services. Manali is well-connected by roads from all parts of Himachal Pradesh like Bilaspur, Sundernagar, Mandi, Kullu, and Naggar, via NH21, but most importantly from nearest cities like Delhi and NCR region, Chandigarh, Ambala, etc. via NH 1. There are regular state-run and private buses from these cities to Manali. But the best way to travel would be to hire a private car or rent a cab from Delhi or nearby cities and do a road trip to Manali.
2. Darjeeling – The Queen of Hills
The scenic and popular hill station of Darjeeling is the highlight of West Bengal and one of the oldest mountain settlements in India. With sprawling tea gardens, unparalleled views of the Kanchenjunga Peak, and a colorful local culture, Darjeeling makes for a memorable travel experience. It is often called the Queen of Hills for its natural beauty and deep-seated heritage, both historical and cultural. Darjeeling lies in the Lesser Himalayas on the Darjeeling-Jalapahar Range, which originates in the south of the Ghum district and rises to an elevation of 6700 ft.
The summers are warm and pleasant while the winters are extremely chilly with occasional snowfall and cold waves. While May remains a very popular tourist month in Darjeeling, there are chances of occasional showers and hail during this time. This is when the temperature is comfortable enough to explore the outdoors, making it one of the best places to visit in May in India. Check out this handy Darjeeling travel guide that details the treasures of Darjeeling that every traveler must experience.
Places to Visit
- Tiger Hill – Tiger Hill is one of the highest points of Darjeeling, offering panoramic views of Mount Everest and Kanchenjunga along with some other peaks like Rathong, Kabru, and Kokthang.
- Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park – The park is home to many rare species of animals, such as the Red Panda, Snow Leopard, Siberian Tiger, and Himalayan Wolf.
- Batasia Loop: – One of the most famous places in Darjeeling, Batasia Loop was constructed by the British. It is situated at a distance of 5 km from the main town of Darjeeling.
- Peace Pagoda – Japanese Peace Pagoda is among the most peaceful and beautiful places in Darjeeling. It was inaugurated in 1972 and is a two-storied white building. It is the symbol of spirituality and peace.
How to Reach
There is no railway station in Darjeeling owing to its steep terrain. Darjeeling is well-connected to neighboring states and major cities and towns of West Bengal by road. There are regular state-run and private buses to Darjeeling from Kolkata, Haldia, Asansol, Malda, Siliguri, New Jalpaiguri, Kalimpong, and Kurseong. You can also book an outstation cab or rent a car from any of these places to reach Darjeeling.
3. Kinnaur – Land of Fairy Tales
Kinnaur is a tiny hilly hamlet in Himachal Pradesh, lying in the northeast corner of the state, bordering Tibet to the east. Also called the ‘Land of Gods’, Kinnaur is famous for its apple orchards and has the best varieties of luscious fruit in the state. The lush surroundings against the background of snow-clad mountains, the rich valleys with fruit orchards, and the colorful local culture, make Kinnaur a quaint and quiet place to spend a vacation. You can enjoy pleasant weather during May, which is why it is considered the best time to visit Kinnaur. The temperature in this region ranges from 8 degrees Celsius to 30 degrees Celsius in summer. Because this is the peak season, all attractions are open and the pleasant weather makes it an enjoyable experience to go sightseeing. Check out this guide to Kinnaur, with comprehensive details on activities and things to do here, to make the most out of your trip.
Places to visit in Kinnaur
- Kamru fort – The Kamru Fort is considered to be amongst the oldest forts in Himachal Pradesh.
- Bering Nag Temple – The Kamru Fort is considered to be amongst the oldest forts in Himachal Pradesh.
- Nako Village – One of India’s best-kept secrets, Nako village is situated on the Indo-Tibetan border, 360 m above sea level in the Himalayan range of Kinnaur District in Himachal Pradesh.
How to Reach
Kinnaur does not have any rail connectivity. Kinnaur is well-connected to most cities and towns across Himachal Pradesh and other parts of northern India via NH44 and NH5. There are also regular state-run and private buses from Delhi, Shimla, Chandigarh, Kalka, Manali, Sangla, etc. The most convenient travel option is to book a car from Delhi, or Chandigarh and drive to Kinnaur. You can also take a bus or rent a car from Shimla to Kinnaur.
4. Dawki – A Divine Discovery
Dawki, Duki or Dauki is a picturesque town in the district of West Jaintia Hills in Meghalaya. Snuggled between the borders of India and Bangladesh. The lush greenery, the play of green and blue in the rivers, the crystal clear streams, and the serenity of the surroundings make this place a worthwhile retreat.
Dawki can be visited throughout the year but one of the best times to visit Dawki is the summer season from March to May to explore its immense natural beauty. This is the time the weather remains more pleasant and comfortable, making it one of the best places to visit in May in India. Here’s a guide to Dawki, with comprehensive details on activities and things to do here, to make the most out of your trip.
Places to visit in Dawki
- Umngot River: Umngot River, also known as River Dawki, is the town’s chief attraction. The pristine waters of the river are a sight to behold during the winter season when it becomes so crystal clear that the river bed is visible in the shallow regions.
- Jaflong Zero Point: Jaflong Zero Point is a spot located along the India-Bangladesh border. This is also the point where the Umngot River crosses over from India and enters Bangladesh.
- Burhill Waterfalls: Burhill Waterfalls is situated around 9 km away from Dawki and is a scenic spot drenched in natural beauty.
How to Reach
Because of its geographical location, reaching the town of Dawki in Meghalaya could be a little challenging, especially if you are expecting cakewalk travel. The distance from Dawki to Shillong is about 82 km, and the nearest airport and railway head are in Guwahati. You can either fly to Guwahati or take a train. From there, you can book Guwahati to Shillong cabs or take the taxi directly to Dawki. For a more exciting journey, take the helicopter ride from Shillong. However, for the roadrunners, a cab ride through the hills, gorges and dense forests can be more fulfilling.
Best Places to Visit in South India in May
1. Munnar – A Nature Lover’s Treasure Trove
Munnar is a hill station in Kerala, located in the Idukki district. Lying in the Western Ghats at 1600 meters, it is one of the most sought after and visited travel destinations globally. Munnar is famous for its tea estates, greenery, and blankets of mist forming natural-view points. A trip to Munnar is not complete without a tour of the sprawling tea estates and tasting the most refreshing blends of tea you would have ever had. You can take a walking tour of the scenic tea gardens and immerse yourself in the serene ambience engulfing the entire region.
The weather remains pleasant in May and temperatures range between 19 degrees Celsius and 35 degrees Celsius. Summer in Munnar is a perfect time to enjoy sightseeing and visiting tea estates and the Tata Tea Museum, making it one of the best places to visit in May in India. Check out this handy guide to Munnar, with comprehensive details on activities and things to do here, to make the most out of your trip.
Places to visit in Munnar
- Meesapulimala – Meesapulimala, one of Munnar’s highest peaks, offers spectacular vistas.
- Kolukkumalai Tea Estate – Kolukkumalai Tea Estate, which is lined with a lush carpet of tea plantations and offers the perfect backdrop of the spacious skies, is one of the top nature tourism destinations in Munnar.
- Nyayamakad Waterfall – Located between Munnar and Rajamala, Nyayamakad is a land of breathtaking waterfalls. The enchanting surroundings make an excellent picnic spot and trekking point.
- Echo Point – Echo Point in Munnar lies on the banks of a serene lake and offers a panoramic view of the surrounding hills and evergreen forest cover.
How to Reach
Munnar does not have an airport of its own. The nearest airport is the Cochin International Airport, which is 110 kilometers away by road. From Cochin, you can hire a cab to get to Munnar.
2. Chikmagalur – The Coffee Land of Karnataka
Chikmagalur or known officially as Chikkamagaluru is a lush green retreat tucked in the hills of northern Karnataka. Also called the Coffee Land of Karnataka, the district is replete with dense coffee plantations and is the leading producer of coffee in the country. The luxurious natural beauty, rolling hills and valleys, sparkling rivers and waterfalls, and the aromatic coffee gardens are what Chikmagalur is famous for.
May is one of the best times to visit Chikmagalur. The stimulating scent of the aromatic white coffee blossoms wafting through the summer air makes it an ideal summer getaway. This handy Chikmagalur tour guide details out the gems of the place that every traveler must experience.
Places to Visit
- Rock Garden – a public garden perched on the peaks of Kemmanagundi. There are pathways cut out of rock, an orchid house with several exotic species of flowers, and offers great views of the surrounding hills.
- Hebbe Falls – the most famous waterfall in the region. It sits 10 km from the town in the middle of verdant forests with great views of the Kemmanagundi hills. The source stream splits into the Dodda Hebbe or Big Falls and the Chikka Hebbe or Small Falls.
- Kalhatti Falls – a scenic waterfall in a tranquil natural setting. It sits on the Kemmanagundi hills in the backdrop of dense rainforests, with nature trails. You can trek up to the top of the falls and enjoy the views.
- Ayyanakere Lake – one of the most famous lakes in Chikmagalur, Ayyanakere is also the second largest lake in Karnataka. It’s flanked by hills and has a boardwalk for closer viewing. The lake is great for picnics and watching sunsets.
How to Reach
Chikmagalur has good road connectivity with two national highways that pass through the district. There are regular state-run and private bus services that connect this hill station to other major cities of Karnataka like Bangalore, Mysore, Mangalore, Shimoga etc. Alternatively, you can do a road trip from any of these cities and enjoy the scenic drive through the hills and forests of northern Karnataka. You can book Bangalore to Chikmagalur cabs, Mysore to Chikmagalur cabs, Shimoga to Chikmagalur cabs and more.
3. Yercaud – Jewel of the South
Yercaud is a charming hill station in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, nestled within the Eastern Ghats. Yercaud and its hills serve as a relaxing hilly retreat for travelers of all kinds. Its tourism thrives on this fine balance of the town’s old-world charm and the picturesque beauty. Surrounded by hills, valleys, abundant wildlife and calming vibes, it is truly a hidden “Jewel of the South”.
The summer temperature in Yercaud is usually around 28°C. During May, a seven-day summer festival is conducted which includes flower shows, dog shows, boating races, and village fairs. This is the prime attraction of Yercaud, hence making it one of the best places to visit in May in India. Here’s a guide to Yercaud, with comprehensive details on activities and things to do here, to make the most out of your trip.
Places to Visit
- Kiliyur Falls – Kiliyur, the most popular and scenic Yercaud falls, sits 300 feet above the Shevaroy Hills. Swimming, boating, and hiking are all popular activities at the perennial waterfall, which is surrounded by forests and hills.
- Shevaroy Hills – Shevaroy Hills, the hills that surround the town, are home to lush and dense forests, orange orchards, coffee and spice plantations, and other towering trees and breathtaking views. This is also a popular trekking destination.
- Lady’s Seat – A huge seat-like rock atop the Shevaroy Hills. It serves as an observation point overlooking the town and the ghat roads, perfect for scenic views of surrounding hills and valleys.
- Yercaud Lake – This pristine, natural water body, also known as Emerald Lake, is the town’s most iconic and appealing feature. This lake, surrounded by rolling hills and beautiful gardens, is popular with both locals and tourists and is ideal for boating, picnics, trail walking, and sunset viewing.
- National Orchidarium – This orchid house, also known as the Orchidarium, houses a large collection of exotic and endemic orchids, as well as a variety of other plants, trees, shrubs, and flowers, including the rare Kurinji flower. Discover the bonsai garden, the foliage garden, the topiary garden, the rock garden, the water garden, the herbal garden, the sensory garden, and more.
- Tipperary View Point – This hilltop viewpoint is located on the town’s southernmost outskirts. It has a view of the Elephant Tooth Rocks, which are thought to be the last remnants of meteorites that fell on Earth decades ago.
- Anna Park – A popular local spot located near Yercaud Lake, Anna Park houses a collection of all the species of plants and other trees that are found in the Shevaroy Hills.
How to Reach
Yercaud is well-connected to all major cities and towns in Tamil Nadu and neighboring states via road. There are regular state-run and private buses from Dharmapuri, Salem, Erode, Trichy, Coimbatore, Bangalore, Mysore, Vellore etc. But the best way to reach Yercaud from any of these cities is to book a cab or rent a private car and drive down.
We hope you enjoyed reading this article and it helped you plan your May holiday plan to some of the best destinations in India. Share this with your family members and plan your offbeat vacation soon! Happy Vacations!
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