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Places to visit in India in May

Discussion in 'Travel advice' started by GohilShital, Nov 10, 2016.

  1. GohilShital

    GohilShital New Member

    We are going to India as a family for the first time, previously it has always been a member or two being left behind at home. We are planning to be in India from mid-April until mid-May, as the weather during this time is pleasant.
    We would spend the first half of the time at home with grandparents and other family members, and the rest of the time during May we want to go visit some place.
    I need some help from members to give some suggestions to places to visit in India in May with the family.
     
  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hi there, welcome to the forum!


    Overview

    May is part of the summer season in India and generally, the temperatures during this month are higher. However, it is the northern part of India that experiences the highest temperatures during this month. The remaining parts of India usually have their highest temperatures during the month of April. The central part of India, since it lies on low lying ground, can also have higher temperatures. And the most famous Golden Triangle Tour, Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, might get a bit uncomfortable, as these areas have temperature reaching 40°C and above during May.

    Yet you still have options which will help you avoid the heat and enjoy sightseeing, and they are none other than the hill stations. Hill stations are slightly elevated so they have cooler temperatures all-year round. Almost all regions of India have hill stations but favoured ones are in Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Uttarakhand. If the heat and humidity are some things that you would like to avoid, it's best to just reach these hill stations. Most of them have attractions that you can explore and also have some activities for tourists. But some are idyllic, just perfect for lazing around and enjoying the views around you.

    If the heat doesn't bother you though, May is one of the best times for wildlife spotting too. During the peak of the heat, the animals go out to find some water and so spotting them would be easier. In addition, there is less coverage in terms of bushes and trees due to the season too, so you can also see the animals more easily. There are tons of wildlife parks and national parks in the country that can give you an authentic wildlife experience. Also, you can also explore a few cities during this time, cities that the heat and humidity aren't too high.

    Best Places to Visit in India in May with Family

    Beat the heat with these hill stations...

    1. Shimla (Himachal Pradesh) - Shimla is one of the most well-known hill stations in the country. Temperatures don't exceed 32°C during the month of May. Days are warm but nights can get a bit on the chilly side. Summer is the peak tourist season and being easily accessible from major cities, Shimla is favoured by most locals as well. Since this hill station was once the summer capital of the British, the colonial era vibe of the place is still evident. You would see this in certain planned places like The Mall area and The Ridge. Both has lines of restaurants, shops and hotels that one can explore while in the hill station. There are still places though that highlight the religious side of the region. The Jakhoo Temple is probably the most visited temple here, dedicated to the Lord Hanuman and there's also a huge 108-feet statue of the same deity here. There are also other temples you can visit like the Tara Devi Temple and Kamna Devi Temple. Structures like the Viceregal Lodge and Gaiety Heritage Cultural Complex showcase the Victorian era style of architecture, they are also part of the unique beauty of the hill station. Shimla might be a bit commercialised and crowded but there's no doubt that the hill station is one of the best places to experience the combination of both Indian and British cultures plus architectures. And even during the peak of summer heat, Shimla remains quite comfortable enough for sightseeing.
    • Must visit attractions - The Mall, The Ridge, Jakhoo Temple, Tara Devi Temple, Kamna Devi Temple, Viceregal Lodge and Gaiety Heritage Cultural Complex.
    2. Manali (Himachal Pradesh) - Another hill station on the Himachal Pradesh state is Manali, touted as a honeymoon destination. But actually even families can enjoy the numerous activities that they can do here. Starting with the climate of Manali, it is usually pleasant all throughout the year. May is one of the hottest months, yet temperatures don't exceed 34°C so it is crisp and cool. Manali is a perfect destination for families because you can do lots of sightseeing and adventure activities while in here. Must visit religious sites here are that of the Hadimba Temple and the Manu Temple. The former is dedicated to Goddess Hidimbi while the latter is dedicated to the Indian sage, Manu, being the only temple of its kind in India. While there are some waterfalls in Manali, Jana Waterfalls, Jogini Waterfalls and Rahala Waterfalls, they might not be on full force during summer so you can skip them or just put them at the end of your itinerary. You cannot pass up the opportunity to visit Solang Valley though where numerous activities like zorbing, paragliding and quad biking can be enjoyed during summer. Children might also learn a thing or two about the culture of Himachal Pradesh through visits to the following museums: Museum of Himachal Culture & Folk Art and Uruswati Folk Art Museum.
    • Must visit attractions - Hadimba Temple, Manu Temple, Jana Waterfalls (Optional), Jogini Waterfalls (Optional), Rahala Waterfalls (Optional), Solang Valley, Museum of Himachal Culture & Folk Art and Uruswati Folk Art Museum.
    3. Vagamon (Kerala) - Vagamon is a picturesque hill station in the Idukki district of Kerala. Unlike the two former hill stations, Vagamon is this unexplored beauty, bounded by mountain views and green meadows. While there isn't much that you can do here, the place is perfect for a relaxing vacation. The beautiful views surrounding you would be enough to fulfil the wanderlust in you. Also quite picture perfect is the Vagamon Lake, a small lake with boating facilities, children would enjoy this attraction very much. If you enjoy trekking, places like the Barren Hills, Vagamon Pine Forest and Thangal Hill would work well for that. And even in summer, specifically in May, temperatures in the region don't exceed 23°C so you can still enjoy the cool climate while trekking. If crowds don't appeal to you, Vagamon would be a great option as it is rarely crowded even during the peak tourist summer season that most hill stations have.
    • Must visit attractions - Vagamon Lake, Barren Hills, Vagamon Pine Forest and Thangal Hill.
    [​IMG]
    Vagamon (Image from Trip Advisor)

    4. Coonoor (Tamil Nadu) - Tamil Nadu's most popular hill station might be Ooty but Coonoor deserves a mention on this list too. Since we have already mentioned two commercialised hill stations, it's time to focus on the hidden gems of the country. With temperatures not exceeding 24°C during May, Coonoor boasts of a pleasant climate even in summer. It's every bit as picturesque as Ooty, minus the crowds though. Children and parents would enjoy a stroll around the Sim's Park. It even has a small children's play area with slides and swings. The surrounding greenery and colours provided by the flowers and plants add to the charm of the park. Get your camera ready and visit the high points of Dolphin's Nose and Lamb's Rock, where you can certainly get a perfect shot to showcase after your trip. There are also a few waterfalls around Coonoor, like the Catherine's Waterfalls and Law's Waterfalls, but they might not be as picturesque during the summer season. There are also some tea estates around Coonoor that you can explore, don't forget to purchase some of the most coveted Nilgiri tea while in there.
    • Must visit attractions - Sim's Park, Dolphin's Nose, Lamb's Rock, Catherine's Waterfalls (Optional), Law's Waterfalls (Optional) and Tea Estates.
    5. Kausani (Uttarakhand) - You can consider Kausani as a bit of an offbeat hill station destination in Uttarakhand. Being offbeat though, it still is suitable for families because the terrains here aren't as difficult as other adventure hill station destinations (Example: Ladakh). The hill station is also surrounded by lush greenery and snow-capped mountains. A popular trekking route here is the Rudrahari Waterfalls and Caves trek, that even children above 5 years of age can join in. The trek is about two kilometres long though and might not be suitable for older people or children below 5 years old. At the end of the trek, you can also visit the Rudrahari Mahadev Temple, located just outside the cave. Another must visit here is the Baijnath Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. This is actually a collection of temples made out of single stones but the main one is dedicated to Shiva. There are also a few ashrams in Kausani where you can meditate in like the Anasakti Ashram and Lakshmi Ashram.
    • Must visit attractions - Rudrahari Waterfalls and Caves, Rudrahari Mahadev Temple, Baijnath Temple, Anasakti Ashram and Lakshmi Ashram.
    Wildlife spotting...

    6. Jim Corbett National Park (Uttarakhand) - The Jim Corbett National Park is the oldest national park in India. It was also the first ever national park to be included in the Project Tiger of the government. The national park has five zones but only the Dhikala and Bijrani zones have higher chances of spotting royal Bengal tigers. The landscape of the national park is diverse, consisting of both grasslands and dense forests. There are also small watering holes such as streams and lakes. If you are not able to spot royal Bengal tigers, keep your eyes open for other animals like leopards, elephants, sambars, spotted deers, wild boars, sloth bears and lots of bird species like pheasant, pigeons, cormorants, falcons and kingfishers. You can opt for an adventurous jeep safari or even a laid-back elephant safari. Around the national park, you can also visit the Corbett Waterfalls and Corbett Museum, which are still parts of the premises.
    • Animals to Spot - Royal Bengal Tigers, Leopards, Elephants, Sambars, Spotted Deers, Wild Boars, Sloth Bears and Birds.
    7. Ranthambore National Park (Rajasthan) - The Ranthambore National Park is located in the Sawai Madhopur district of Rajasthan. It has one of the highest tiger densities out of all the national parks in the country. It is comparatively smaller than the other national parks but it has about 68 tigers within its premises. Adding the fact that the heat in the region can reach 45°C during the summer, plus the dry and less coverings, you definitely have a higher chance of spotting the royal Bengal tigers here. The national park has 10 zones, the first five zones being the best spots for viewing tigers. Even if you're not lucky enough to spot the majestic tiger, the national park is home to lots more of wild animals like hyenas, chitals, macaques, desert cats and many more. In addition, you can even explore the heritage site within it like the Ranthambore Fort, where you can find temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and Lord Ganesh. There are also numerous watering holes around the national park where you have better chances of spotting animals. Both canters and gypsies that operate in the park are open-topped so you can have a clearer view for spotting animals.
    • Animals to Spot - Royal Bengal Tiger, Hyenas, Chitals, Macaques and Desert Cats.
    [​IMG]
    Ranthambore National Park (Image from World Viewers Stop)

    8. Gir National Park (Gujarat) - On the western state of Gujarat, the Gir National Park is this hotspot for both endemic animals and plants in the region. It is well known though for having the largest number of Asiatic lions in the world, accounting to about a hundred percent of the population of this species. During May, temperatures can sometimes reach the 40°C mark so it can be a bit uncomfortable. However, with the numerous watering holes here, you're bound to spot animals such as the popular Asiatic lions, leopards, jungle cats, spotted deers, sambars, hyenas and rusty spotted cats. The forests here are of the dry and deciduous type which has less coverings during summer. There are some watering holes within the national park too, where you can spot most wild animals taking some water in to relieve themselves due to the intense heat.
    • Animals to Spot - Asiatic Lions, Leopards, Jungle Cats, Spotted Deers, Sambars, Hyenas and Rusty Spotted Cats.
    9. Periyar National Park (Kerala) - Periyar National Park is renowned, not because of its wildlife, although it's very diverse, but because of the sheer beauty of the place itself. Temperatures during May don't exceed 35°C so you can enjoy the climate as well. It has a manmade lake at the middle of the national park, where guests can enjoy a boat ride and also spot bird species such as pigeons, parakeets, hornbills and storks. If you're lucky, you might even be able to spot wild elephants from the banks of the lake. The flora of the national park is very beautiful too, consisting of tropical forests and wide grasslands, with numerous flowers that add colour to the premises. Other animals residing here are Indian giant squirrels, sambars, wild boars, buffaloes and gaurs. This is also one of the few national parks that allows nature trails within the premises. You do need a guide though before you can try trekking within the national park. Or if you're someone who isn't fond of walking, you can just enjoy an elephant or jeep safari to view the wildlife of the premises.
    • Animals to Spot - Indian Elephants, Bird Species, Indian Giant Squirrels, Sambars, Wild Boars, Buffaloes and Gaurs.
    10. Bandhavgarh National Park (Madhya Pradesh) - Last on this section is the Bandhavgarh National Park, located in the Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh. This national park also has one of the highest tiger densities in the country, as there are about 44 tigers residing here. Although it was once home to the rare white tigers, none of them can be spotted in the reserve now. However, other animals such as leopards, chitals, wild boars, sloth bears, antelopes and nilgais can be spotted as well. Also located within the limits of the national park is the Bandhavgarh Ancient Caves, worth exploring especially for the history buffs. The caves are over 1,000 year old already, it also has several sections which served as stables and court during ancient times. Even the 2,000 year old Bandhavgarh Fort is worth visiting because of its relative importance during the pre-colonial era. Do keep in mind that temperatures can go as high as 40°C during May in the national park so remember to hydrate and bring a change of clothes for after the safari.
    • Animals to Spot - Royal Bengal Tigers, Leopards, Chitals, Wild Boars, Sloth Bears, Antelopes and Nilgais.
    Cities to explore...

    11. Mysore (Karnataka) - If you still want to explore some cities even in the midst of summer, you have a few options. Topping this section is Mysore, one of the most populous states of Karnataka. During May, temperatures here barely exceed 35°C so it is pretty manageable. Mysore is known as the City of Palaces due to the numerous palaces that line the region. Did you know that Mysore is also one of the cleanest cities in India? Now isn't that information enough to make you want to pack your bags and explore the city? The prime attraction of the city is none other than the Mysore Palace, a prime example of the mixture of Dravidian, Gothic, Indian and Saracenic styles of architecture. The influences of both Hindu and Islamic styles with regards to the ornamental designs are also evident. When the palace is illuminated at night, it stands tall as one of the best attractions of the city. There's also the Jagmohan Palace which has now been converted into an art gallery holding paintings of both locally and world renowned artists. Both these palaces were once homes, the latter being a summer palace, of the Wodeyars, the official royal rulers of the city. A place that kids would enjoy is the Brindavan Gardens, enveloped in lush greenery with the Krishnaraja Sagar Dam just beside it. Also, another must visit for families is the Mysore Zoo, one of the oldest zoological parks in the country. The assortment of animals that you can spot here, monkeys, giraffes, zebras and tigers, mean you might spend a few hours just for this attraction only.
    • Must visit attractions - Mysore Palace, Jaganmohan Palace, Brindavan Gardens and Mysore Zoo.
    12. Cochin (Kerala) - Cochin is located in the state of Kerala and is one of its most developed cities. A good feature of the city though is that it is very multi-cultural, where you can spot Hindus, Muslims, Jews and Christians all living together and enjoying the harmony. If you're visiting during May, temperatures don't exceed the 35°C mark so it's still very comfortable. You can indulge in all the sightseeing that you want as there are plenty to explore around the city. Starting with the historical sites, there's the Mattancherry Palace, a palace built by the Portuguese, then given to the King of Cochin and subsequently renovated by other rulers, including the Dutch. Noteworthy of mentioning here are the murals in its walls depicting stories from popular Hindu mythologies. The Hill Palace of Tripunithura is the largest museum of its kind in the state, it has several sections, archaeology, heritage and even parks, definitely a place that kids would enjoy. Religious sites are also plenty in the city, with the top-rated one being the Saint Francis Church, the oldest European church in the country. It has a very simple white facade and even the interiors are very simple with just white-washed walls and a high ceiling. Lastly, Cochin has its own theme park, Veegaland, also known as Wonderla, comprising of a water park and amusement park that the whole family can enjoy. Cochin has this laid-back appeal to it despite being a progressive city so you can enjoy the slow pace of life while also enjoying the modern facilities of the city.
    • Must visit attractions - Mattancherry Palace, Hill Palace of Tripunithura, Saint Francis Church and Veegaland.
    13. Mumbai (Maharashtra) - Although May is the hottest month for Mumbai, the sea breeze cools the heat in the city. Temperatures barely exceed 35°C and even if it does, count on the cool breeze of the sea to go to your rescue. Mumbai is known as the city that never sleeps and so the myriad of activities and places that you can visit here are too many to count. But for families, start with the India Gate in Mumbai, a heritage site, proof of the last place where the British stayed in the country. Also, take a stroll around the Marine Drive, relish in watching the waves of the sea meeting with shores. Although there are many beaches in Mumbai, not all of them are worth visiting especially for families. Do venture further into the beaches of Gorai, Marve and Versova, all of these are under 30 kilometres away from the city and has cleaner water that your children can enjoy. An excursion or boat ride away from Mumbai and you can reach the Elephanta Caves, a collection of Hindu and Buddhist rock-cut caves. Both the journey to get there and the caves would be enjoyable for children. For the older ones though, don't forget to visit the Colaba Causeway, where you can find retail stores, shops and cafes to cater to your souvenir needs.
    • Must visit attractions - India Gate, Marine Drive, Gorai Beach, Marve Beach, Versova Beach, Elephanta Caves and Colaba Causeway.
    [​IMG]
    Mumbai (Image from Sajid Bullet)

    14. Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu) - Coimbatore is one of the most developed cities of Tamil Nadu. Due to its location, it enjoys a pleasant climate almost all year round although summers see a higher temperature. May is one of the hottest months but temperatures don't usually reach the 40°C mark. It is one of the few cities surrounded mostly by forests, where else can you experience that, right? Still, the city is not on the rural side as it has modernities like shopping complexes and commercial hubs. Coimbatore is home to many temples, perfect for families who want to enhance their spiritual side. The Dhyanalinga Temple is the main religious site here, where meditation is very much allowed. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, where the Shivalingam here is made of pure mercury, quite rare and a one of its kind in the world. There's also the Marudamalai Temple, dedicated to Lord Murugan and requires some trekking to reach. Its shikhara towers over its location and is a sight to behold even from a distance. Several waterfalls are also located close to the city, namely, Kovai Kutralam Waterfalls and Monkey Waterfalls. The Gedee Car Museum is a fun and enjoyable place, where the whole family can learn about the history of cars, spot vintage cars and even newer models of motorcycles. Finally, the Parambikkulam Tiger Reserve can take you through the forest areas of the city but spotting tigers here might be a bit of a challenge.
    • Must visit attractions - Dhyanalinga Temple, Marudamalai Temple, Kovai Kutralam Waterfalls, Monkey Waterfalls, Gedee Car Museum and Parambikkulam Tiger Reserve.
    15. Shillong (Meghalaya) - Last on the list is the capital of the state of Meghalaya, Shillong. The city has pleasant climate all-year round and even during May, temperatures don't exceed 29°C. A city where you can view the mountains at any point, isn't that wonderful? A city where the Barapani Lake is located, one of the cleanest, most serene and beautiful lakes in the country. You can enjoy a boat ride here or even have a picnic alongside the lake. Waterfalls give a natural beauty to the region too, with the Sweet Waterfalls, Elephant Waterfalls and Crinoline Waterfalls within the city. Take the perfect shot of the mountains and valleys when you visit the Laitlum Canyons too. Or maybe enjoy a stroll around the Lady Hydari Park, full of local flora and greenery that is sure to make the children bounce with joy. Lastly, the Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Cultures, spread over seven floors, is also worth a visit. It would teach you more about the local culture and tribes of the region. There are also handicraft materials and textiles for sale here which would be great souvenirs.
    • Must visit attractions - Barapani Lake, Sweet Waterfalls, Elephant Waterfalls, Crinoline Waterfalls, Laitlum Canyons, Lady Hydari Park and Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Cultures.
    Conclusion

    Don't let the summer heat refrain you from enjoying the rest of India. While some destinations can prove to be a bit challenging to explore, there are other places that have a bit of a cooler climate that you can definitely enjoy. Summer also means less tourists in most hot destinations and so hotel discounts are larger. If you're travelling on a budget, May would be a good time to explore such places. Do keep in mind that hill stations might be a bit more crowded during this time since even locals want some relief from the heat.

    Enjoy your vacation!:)
     
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