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Best tourist places in India in May

Discussion in 'Travel advice' started by Udita, Dec 23, 2016.

  1. Udita

    Udita New Member

    I will be in India during May 2017, and I want to see many different places in India and require some help in knowing what are some of the best tourist places in India to see during May.

    Taj Mahal is my number on the list of places to see, and I need help with the rest. I am hoping that I would be in India for a month and a half, so I plan to see quite a few places.

  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello, @Udita, welcome to the forum!


    May is part of the summer season in India and you'd be facing quite high temperatures in most areas except higher lying ones. The northern part of the country usually experiences the highest temperatures during May. But the hill stations in the north have pleasant climates, making them suitable enough for sightseeing. There are also some hill stations in the south that you can visit, they would have temperatures that are pretty manageable too. Agra, being on the northern central part of India, experiences high temperatures during this month, reaching beyond 40°C at times. If there's one thing that you can enjoy, it's the lesser crowded attractions, especially on central and western areas like Delhi, Agra, Jaipur and other cities. Plus, rates are also on the lower side since hotels want to lure more customers in. Other than hill stations, you can also opt for wildlife safaris as animals are easily spotted during this time. Now, natural attractions like waterfalls might not be good to visit as they won't be filled with water during this time. Beach destinations are good options as well, especially if you want to go home with a tan that you can be proud of!

    Best Tourist Places in India in May

    For enjoying snow in summer...

    1. Manali (Himachal Pradesh) - During the month of May, Manali reaches its highest temperatures, but even that won't exceed 26°C. This mild climate is what makes Manali a favoured summer destination in the state. You would find both foreigners and Indians flocking to Manali by the beginning of summer season. From a distance, you can see the snow-capped mountains, even during the peak of the heat. On the other hand, for those who want to play with actual snow, you can do so in several areas in the hill station. Rohtang Pass usually opens by the first week of May, sometimes a bit later, around the middle of the month, and this is where you can enjoy snow in all its glory. You can play with snow scooters, try skiing or just build a snowman. If you find that the pass is closed during your visit, you can venture into either Gulaba or Snow Point, both would have enough snow to play with even in the month of May. Now Manali isn't just all about snow because there are many other attractions that you can visit here. If you're fond of religious sites, you can visit the Manu Temple, the only one of its kind in the country that is dedicated to Sage Manu, or to the Hadimba Devi Temple, showcasing traditional Manali-style of architecture with its all-wooden facade. The Vashisht Temple is dedicated to one of the seven sages of Hinduism, Rich Vashisht, and is popular for its hot springs that can certainly warm cold days in the hill station. For families, the Van Vihar Park is a must visit, it is enclosed in lush greenery and has tons of activities for children and whole families alike. Anyone who have visited Manali only has praises for it, despite being one of India's most popular destination.
    • Must Visit Attractions - Rohtang Pass, Gulaba, Snow Point, Manu Temple, Hadimba Devi Temple, Vashisht Temple and Van Vihar Park
    2. Gulmarg (Jammu and Kashmir) - Even in the month of May, Gulmarg has temperatures lower than 20°C. In summer, Gulmarg showcases its pure beauty in two aspects, first is by the green meadows on its lower areas and second by the thick blankets of snow on its higher areas. Where else can you get such contrasting views in one location? To experience the first aspect, just take a stroll around the Outer Circle Walk, an area of meadows, surrounded by pine trees on one side. Every step takes you to a different perspective of Gulmarg and every area has different colours to delight you. You can also visit religious sites such as the Rani Temple, one of the oldest Shiva temples in the region, or the Baba Reshi Shrine, a dargah designed with an influence of Persian architectural style and revered holy by many Muslims. Once you're done sightseeing, ride the Gulmarg Gondola to reach its Phase II, located on the Apharwat Peak. This is where you can experience winter even at the midst of summer. You can enjoy playing with snow or even try your luck with skiing. The views of the snow-capped mountains throughout your whole ride can take your breath away. There are winter clothes and boots rentals in the counter but make sure you wear inner thermals too since temperatures can go as low as 10°C in this area. Other than skiing, you can try sledding, snow biking and even trekking to reach the top of the peak.
    • Must Visit Attractions - Outer Circle Walk, Rani Temple, Baba Reshi Shrine, Gulmarg Gondola and Phase II in Apharwat Peak
    3. Lachung (Sikkim) - Because the area is ravaged by snow and even rainfall many months in a year, May is actually one of the best times to visit it, especially if you venture by the first week of May. Temperatures remain below 28°C during the month of May. Lachung is often the base point for trekking to the Yumthang Valley. This valley is quite picturesque especially in the summer season. You would all sorts of colours of rhododendrons and other flowers, plus the green meadows on top of everything else. However, the roads to reach the valley are quite bumpy and patchy, as they are always damaged by the rains. Make sure you pack enough patience and will when travelling through this route. So where can you find snow in Lachung even in summer season? That would be in Yume Samdong, also known as Zero Point, a bit further away from the previously mentioned attraction. As the name suggests, this is the last point that is approachable by road in the region, thereafter, no roads are available and you can only see the frozen river. The presence of the thick snow, with the views of the distant mountains, are sure to mesmerise you. On your way back home, you also cannot miss visiting the Lachung Monastery, although fairly small, it exudes serenity and has an amazing view of the river and the mountains.
    • Must Visit Attractions - Yumthang Valley, Yume Samdong and Lachung Monastery
    Yume Samdong in Lachung (Image from Alangkrita)

    Hill stations of another level...

    4. Madikeri (Karnataka) - A hill station in the Coorg district of Karnataka, Madikeri is a must visit destination during the month of May. With mild temperatures not exceeding 29°C, the climate would be enjoyed by those tired of the city heat. This is the place where the aroma of coffee can be smelled all around. This is the place where nature and wildlife still dominates. Therefore, if you are someone who loves the slow-paced life, Madikeri might be one of your best tourist destinations. There are lots of attractions around Madikeri, though you need a taxi or car to fully explore them as they are located a distance away from each other. Do you love heritage sites? There's the Raja's Seat, this is a small garden built around a platform, where the king of Kodagu used to while time away. It looks stunning during summer when the flowers are in full bloom and you can even enjoy a toy train ride here. Or venture into the Madikeri Fort, a fortress built by Mudduraja during the 17th century. It has now been converted into a government office, but there's a small museum inside with a nice collection of sculptures from the ancient centuries. The Raja's Tomb is another must visit, especially during sunrise, it contains the tombs of the royal Kodava family. It has an interesting Indo-Saracenic style of architecture and you can even find tombs dedicated to the soldiers of Tipu Sultan. If you're more into religious sites, Madikeri has a number of temples that you can visit. There's the Omkareshwara Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, although fairly small, it is one of the oldest temples in the hill station. The Namdroling Monastery, a Tibetan Buddhist temple, which is located in a vast expanse of land, even having shopping areas inside. If you're on the adventurous side, trek to reach the Tadiandamol Peak or reach the Nisargadhama where you can indulge in boating and cross a hanging bridge.
    • Must Visit Attractions - Raja's Seat, Madikeri Fort, Raja's Tomb, Omkareshwara Temple, Namdroling Monastery, Tadiandamol Peak and Nisargadhama
    Raja's Tomb in Madikeri (Image from Nidhilall)

    5. Yercaud (Tamil Nadu) - Tamil Nadu has a number of hill stations that you can also visit. One of which is Yercaud, though not as popular as Ooty, it boasts of the same landscapes, climate and beauty. Temperatures don't exceed 29°C during the month of May. On your way to Yercaud, you'd pass through the 32-Kilometre Loop Road, a series of 20 hairpin bends, with lush greenery on all sides. As picturesque as it is, make sure you drive carefully if you're bringing your own car. The Shevaroy Temple must be at the top of your itinerary when visiting Yercaud. It is located at the top of the Shevaroy hill, hence the name. This is a small temple, with the main deity, Vishnu, located in a natural cave. There's also the Pagoda Point where you can get a commanding view of the hill station especially on a clear sunny day. For views of the mountain, you can head on over to the Karadiyur Point, though the road to approach it is a bit patchy and bumpy. Children would also enjoy a short boat ride in the Big Lake, where motor boats and pedal boats are both available. Just adjacent to the lake is a small Deer Park, where you can spend a few minutes viewing wildlife.
    • Must Visit Attractions - 32-Kilometre Loop Road, Shevaroy Temple, Pagoda Point, Karadiyur Point, Big Lake and Deer Park
    6. Ranikhet (Uttarakhand) - Uttarakhand's hidden gem, Ranikhet, has very mild summers, with temperatures not exceeding 25°C even. While most tourists flock to Nainital during the summer season, take the lesser known route and reach Ranikhet instead. Ranikhet can be literally translated to the Queen's Meadow as legend has it that a queen by the name of Rani Padmini fell in love with this quaint hill station. If Nainital has the Naini Lake, then Ranikhet has the Naukuchia Lake, also known as the Naukuchia Tal. This is a nine-cornered lake, which has boating facilities and considerably less crowded than the star lake of Nainital. There are tons of activities that one can enjoy here aside from boating, like zorbing and even paragliding. There's also the Chaubatia Gardens, where you can stroll amidst fruit plantations and apple orchards. From here, you can also get a good view of the Himalayan ranges. You can even have a spiritual journey when in the hill station, especially when you visit the Jhula Devi Temple. Goddess Durga, the protector of the region, is the main deity of the temple. You can also have your wishes fulfilled by hanging bells in the temple and over the years, the collection has grown to over thousands. There's also the Haidakhan Babaji Temple, dedicated to Guru Babaji but also has shrines for Shiva and Hanuman, approachable by a short trek from the city centre. The views of the Himalayan ranges are quite amazing from here.
    • Must Visit Attractions - Naukuchia Lake, Chaubatia Gardens, Jhula Devi Temple and Haidakhan Babaji Temple
    Of tigers and other wildlife...

    7. Bandhavgarh National Park (Madhya Pradesh) - The Bandhavgarh National Park has one of the highest tiger densities in the national parks of India. Your chances of spotting tigers here are higher, especially during the midst of summer in May. Some tourists were even able to spot tigers along with their kills in some instances. But aside from these majestic animals, there are many more wildlife residing in the national park. Some of these other wildlife are chitals, hyenas, leopards, sambars, barking deers and jungle cats. The best zones for tiger sightings are Tala and Magadhi, according to reviews. You can opt for morning or afternoon safaris but the former has better tiger sightings. It's also best to book your safari at least a month in advance through the online website of the national park. There are lots of resorts and lodges just outside the national park, near the buffer zone, that you can stay in to truly have an authentic wildlife experience.
    • Must Spot Animals - Tigers, Chitals, Hyenas, Leopards, Sambars, Barking Deers and Jungle Cats
    8. Ranthambore National Park (Rajasthan) - Rajasthan experiences extremely hot summers so it might not be advisable to do sightseeing during the month of May here. However, for viewing the wildlife of the desert region of India, May is one of the best times for that. Ranthambore National Park has lots of watering holes, where you can spot animals such as tigers, leopards, nilgais, wild boars, sloth bears, hyenas and even rhesus macaques. Ranthambore can also be easily reached whether you're coming from Delhi or even Agra. The jungles of Ranthambore are quite picturesque in itself, especially with its large open grasslands and dry forests. The watering holes are also hot spots for bird sightings, you can easily spot bird species such as black-headed herons, kingfishers, green-headed ducks and jungle babblers. You can opt for either a gypsy ride or a canter ride, with the former being more recommended. You can book online to avoid the hassles of queuing in person too. It is believed that zones one to five are the best areas for spotting tigers, with many fortunate individuals recommending the zone three for the most tiger sightings. As always though, don't make the whole trip revolved around spotting tigers so that you won't be disappointed in the end. Enjoy the safari and the jungles, amongst the other wildlife, instead of waiting for the elusive tigers.
    • Must Spot Animals - Tigers, Leopards, Nilgais, Wild Boars, Sloth Bears, Hyenas, Rhesus Macaques and Birds
    9. Gir National Park (Gujarat) - The only home of the Asiatic lions in the world is in Gujarat, specifically in the Gir National Park. This Asiatic lions are already endangered but thankfully, their number has been steadily increasing in the national park. As of latest estimates, there are over 500 Asiatic lions residing in the national park. With this number, especially in summer, your chances of spotting Asiatic lions are quite high. However, the Gir National Park is a popular wildlife sanctuary and you need to book your safari ticket a few months in advance. Otherwise, you can resort to booking through agents or hotels but their rates would be on the higher side. The Asiatic lions are distinct from other species of lions because they have lesser mane at the top of their head. Other animals that you can spot here are leopards, jungle cats, jackals, Indian mongooses, antelopes, chitals and wild boars.
    • Must Spot Animals - Asiatic Lions, Leopards, Jungle Cats, Jackals, Indian Mongooses, Antelopes, Chitals and Wild Boars
    Asiatic Lion in Gir (Image from Arian Zwegers)

    Just you, the sand and the water...

    10. Malvan (Maharashtra) - This little known beach destination in Maharashtra has temperatures reaching the middle to the high 30°C during May. This beach destination is just 146 kilometres away from Goa, yet seems to be under the shadow of the party capital of the country. Still, it can rival the beaches of Goa any day and as an added bonus, you won't have crowds or noises to accompany you. The most popular beach here is the Tarkarli Beach, about seven kilometres away from the centre of the small town. This beach has pure, powdery white sands and has clear blue waters. It's very lively too, with tons of activities and beach shacks on the shores. This is the perfect beach for lounging around, especially if you have small children with you. For water sports, you can venture into the Tsunami Island, which is an island that only appears during low tide. There are boats from Tarkarli that reach the island all throughout the day. For scuba diving or snorkelling, you can go to the Malvan Marine Sanctuary, located close to the Sindhudurg Fort. So after exploring the ruins of the fort, venture into a wild and thrilling underwater adventure. Don't worry as there are certified scuba instructors here that can guide you. There are also other virgin but isolated beaches around Malvan like the Vengurla Beach, Tondavali Beach and Achara Beach. Though facilities here are limited, you can enjoy ultimate serenity and peace.
    • Must Visit Attractions - Tarkarli Beach, Tsunami Island, Malvan Marine Sanctuary, Sindhudurg Fort, Vengurla Beach, Tondavali Beach and Achara Beach
    Tarkarli Beach in Malvan (Image from Ankur P.)

    11. Kozhikode (Kerala) - Being in the southern part of India, temperatures in Kozhikode can reach beyond 30°C during May. Though a popular destination, the beaches of Kozhikode still retains their charm and allure. Not as crowded as other beaches in Kerala, you can enjoy your stay here especially with the numerous options for dining and accommodations. The Beypore Beach is one of the most popular beaches of the city. It has a bridge that goes long into the water of the beach. Sunsets are best viewed from here, especially with your loved ones. The Kappad Beach is also worth visiting as it's not only beautiful and clean, this is also where Vasco Da Gama first landed when he reached the Indian subcontinent. The beach has a long shoreline of creamy white sands and the water isn't that rough as well. There's also the Payyoli Beach, which has nice white sands, almost never crowded by tourists. The shores are lined with coconut trees too that provide some shade for the tourists. It's idyllic and serene, with very calm waters suitable enough for swimming. Perhaps the only avoidable beach here is the Kozhikode Beach, since it is heavily thronged by tourists especially on weekends. But if you would just like to enjoy the views of the sea, Kozhikode Beach can give you that.
    • Must Visit Attractions - Beypore Beach, Kappad Beach, Payyoli Beach and Kozhikode Beach
    12. Balasore (Odisha) - This is one of the lesser known beach destinations in India. Balasore is located in Odisha, about 190 kilometres away from the capital, Bhubaneswar. Summers here can be hot, with temperatures reaching beyond 30°C. The Chandipur Beach is the main beach here and is popular because it has shallow waters reaching from three to five kilometres away. This usually happens daily during low tide and the water reaches its deeper depths by afternoon or evening. This phenomenon lets tourists walk into the beach for a length and still has the water just within knee deep. It's also not unusual to see crabs, sea shells and other marine animals on the nearby sea bed. Another interesting beach is the Talsari Beach, which also has a unique phenomenon to it. During low tide, you can reach the main beach by foot but during high tide, you need to reach the beach by boat as it is separated from the shores by a river. Last is the most pristine beach of the region, the Dagara Beach. There are no restaurants nor hotels nearby so you need to make this a day trip. It has nice creamy white sands and shallow waters not plagued by waves too much.
    • Must Visit Attractions - Chandipur Beach, Talsari Beach and Dagara Beach

    For those coming from countries with cooler climates, just pack your light cotton clothes and lots of sunscreen when visiting India in May. Though the temperatures are high, the crowds are low, this nice contrast can make your adventure trip more enjoyable. Stay hydrated, bring your sun essentials and you're bound to have a memorable experience in India, even at the peak of the heat. Enjoy and have fun!