"Summer in the light, winter in the shade"
The mere mention of the word Spring brings to mind images of clear blue skies, blooming flowers, and fresh dewy grass with Dicken’s “summer in the light and winter in the shade” line ringing in the background. For most of us in India though, these romantic notions of Spring hold little water, thanks to the blistering heat and overpowering humidity. Those looking to truly soak in the spirit of Spring and enjoy the season are provided respite by the many hill stations and mountain ranges the country is gifted with.
So here are 10 places to visit in Spring in India that you can look at exploring this year:
Located at the foothills of the Himalayas in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, the picturesque Greater Bir area comprises of Billing, Chowgan, and Ghornala. Known for eco-tourism and meditation retreats, Bir is a treat for all kinds of travelers and is one of the ideal places to visit during Spring in India. From hiking trails and paragliding at Billing (which is considered to be the second best place to paraglide), to tea gardens and Tibetan monasteries, Bir has something to offer for all kinds of travelers. A big promoter of eco-tourism and voluntourism, Bir offers a lot of opportunities to travelers to both undertake courses on ecology and meditation, and to volunteer in the area. Bir is one of the best places to visit in Spring season in India for eco-travellers. The nearest airport is in Dharamshala, from where one can take a bus or taxi. The nearest railway station is Pathankot, from where one can reach Bir through bus/taxi/toy train.
Endowed with spirituality and natural beauty, Tawang offers visitors with a zillion reasons to visit. Connected to the rest of the country through the Sela Pass, which is known for being the only high altitude motorable mountain pass, Tawang has breathtaking views to offer. The Tawang monastery is the largest Buddhist monastery in India and is held in high regards by Buddhists around the world. Believed to be the land of 101 lakes, Tawang is considered to be holy by followers of Buddhism. For people interested in nature and spirituality, Tawang is one of the best places to visit in Spring in India. The nearest airport and railway station are in Tezpur, from where one can reach Tawang by road.
3. Yumthang Valley:
Located in the North Sikkim district of Sikkim, Yumthang valley is also popularly known as Valley of flowers (not to be confused with The Valley of flowers, Uttarakhand) owing to the vast spread of rhododendrons, poppies, primulas and other flora. Since it’s situated very close to the Indo-China border, visitors need to take permits for entering the valley from Gangtok before leaving. A trip to the valley takes around 1.5 hours from Lahchung, which is around 7 hours away from Gangtok. With the valley in full bloom in the months of April and May, this is one of the best places to visit in Spring in India.
Located in the Pir Panjal range of the Himalayas, Gulmarg is a part of the Baramulla distric of Jammu and Kashmir. Known for being the heartland of winter sports in India, Gulmarg offers visitors with all kinds of winter sports ranging from skiing and tobogganing to snowboarding and heli-skiing. The Gulmarg Gondola is also one of the highest in the world. For people looking to beat the harsh April/May heat, Gulmarg is one of the best places to visit in Spring in India.
The highest peak in the state of West Bengal, Sandakphu is located adjacent to the Singalila National Park, and gives visitors the best possible view of Kanchenjunga. What sets Sandakphu apart is the fact that it gives you clear views of four of the five highest peaks in the world- Everest, Kanchejunga, Makalu and Lhotse. No wonder the trek to Sandakphu and Phalut is a trekkers’ paradise. For people interested in trekking, the trek, combined with the brilliant views and lush greenery, makes Sandakphu one of the most beautiful places to visit during Spring in India. The treks start from Manebhanjan, which is about an hour away from Darjeeling.
Nestled among the Western Ghats, Wayanad is the least populated district in Kerala and is home to many indigenous tribes. Wayanad has a lot to offer nature lovers, be it in the form of treks and good views, or waterfalls and lush greenery. The highest peak in the region, the Chembra Peak offers a challenging trek and rewarding views from the top. The Pakshipathalam bird sanctuary is located deep inside the Brahmagiri forest and is home to a whole range of flora and fauna. Pleasant temperatures, blooming plants, and dense greenery make Wayanad one of the most splendid places to visit during Spring in India.
Once the summer capital of the Bombay province, Mahabaleshwar is a plateau that is surrounded by valleys on all sides, and offers stunning vistas of the lush greenery it is surrounded by. It is also known for being the birthplace of the river Krishna, along with 6 other rivers. One can also make day trips to Raigad, Pratapgad, Wai, Lingmala waterfalls and the Venna lake. Located at 160 and 260 kms from Bombay and Pune respectively, Mahabaleshwar is one of the ideal places to visit in Spring season in India.
8. Ziro Valley:
Located in Arunachal Pradesh, Ziro Valley is known for its stunning natural beauty and has a number of World Heritage Sites. Filled with lush greenery, hillocks, stunning views, pine groves, thick forests, and diverse flora and fauna, Ziro is a nature lovers’ paradise. Ziro can be reached from Itanagar, which is located around 115 kms away.
9. Araku Valley:
One of the lesser known hill stations, Araku Valley is a valley inhabited by indigenous tribes in the Eastern Ghats. One of the most visited tourist places in Andhra Pradesh, Araku is also famous for its coffee plantations. One must also visit the tribal museum, Borra caves and Ananthagiri Hills while at Araku. Araku can be reached from Visakhapatnam, from where there are regular buses.
10. Dayara Bugyal:
Considered to be one of the most beautiful meadows in the country, Dayara Bugyal, with its lush greenery, stunning views, and diverse flora and fauna makes you wonder how you missed it all this while. Located in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand, the entire trek can be covered over 6 days. Trekkers swear by the natural beauty of this place and consider it one of the best places to visit during Spring in India. The trek starts from Barsu village, which can be reached from Uttarkashi, which is about 45 kms away.