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The perfect places to visit in India during summer holidays - Part 1
The summer is almost at its peak. Usually this is the best time to go out for a vacation, especially in India, because the children have their final exams over and schools closed for a month or so. The parents also take a break from their work to go on and spend a week or so, outdoors for refreshment. This hub will tell you about some of the best places in India that are worth visiting during the summers - the northern states.
Summer is the hot season, so it will be a good idea to visit a cool place to escape from the heat, isn’t it? Yes of course India has got some astonishingly beautiful and cold places in the northern part. It is because India is covered by the tallest, young-fold mountain range ‘The Himalayas’ in the north which runs from the eastern most point to the northern most point of the country, for a stretch of about 2,500 km. They cover several Indian states like Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and few parts of the seven sister states. Some of the tallest peaks of the Himalayan range are Mt. Everest (8,848 m or 29,029 ft.) which is the world’s highest peak and Mt. Kanchenjunga (8,598 m or 28,209 ft.). Mt. Kanchenjunga is the highest point (peak) of India, which borders between Nepal and the Indian state of ‘Sikkim’. However, the second tallest peak in the world, Mt. K2 (8,611 m or 28,251 ft), is not in the Himalayan mountain range. It lies in the ‘Karakoram’ mountain range, below the Himalayas in the state of Kashmir. These ice-capped mountains not only provide a great relief from heat, but also an escape from the daily tensions. Want to know how? Read on –
The Kashmir valley has always been called as ‘Heaven on Earth’ by several great philosophers and naturalists. And yes, it is indeed a heaven – Kashmir’s beautiful landscape is so soothing that it can never be defined in words. From the beautiful mountain views to the huge calm lakes, everything is just FABULOUS! Kashmir is the best alpine land in the world. There are several unique things about this place, one of them being its fields and farms of colorful flowers and fruits like apples, peaches, cherries and especially saffron. The ‘Shikara’ and ‘House boat’ rides in the Dal Lake and the mouth-watering delicacies of the state. The silk work, carpet work, local woolen handicraft work and especially the ‘Pashmina’ wool is famous world-wide for its amazing insulation qualities which saves the people of the valley from the bitter cold. The Kashmir valley, being situated at a higher altitude, receives good amount of snowfall throughout the year.
The Jammu state lies at a transition between the northern plains and the high mountain ranges. It is situated just beneath the Kashmir state and is the house of several pilgrim spots, one of them being the famous Hindu pilgrim centre, ‘Vaishno Devi’.
Kashmir can be reached by air or road vehicles. Railways have been proposed and approved, but not yet started. The only functioning railway is the under construction Kashmir Railway, which will link the Kashmir valley to the rest of the India.
2. Himachal Pradesh
Himachal Pradesh is yet another beautiful state lying in the snow-capped mountains below Jammu & Kashmir. Himachal Pradesh is also very famous for its natural beauty. It is a famous spot for ice sports such as skiing, mountain climbing etc due to its snow-rich mountains. The capital city Shimla and Kullu-Manali are some of the most famous tourist centers of the state and the country as well. Himachal Pradesh, just like Kashmir, is also famous for the handicraft work, carpets and ‘Pashmina’. So if you are thinking of buying something, I would prefer you to go through the handicrafts of these two states. Himachal Pradesh is also the origination of several rivers which, in their initial stages, give rise to extreme water sports like white water rafting and kayaking due to the force of the water. Himachal Pradesh has rich Flora and Fauna and is the storehouse of some of the rarest and most uncommon bird species like the Asian Paradise Flycatcher and the Himalayan Monal. Himachal Pradesh has several national parks and bird sanctuaries as well.
Himachal Pradesh is very well connected to the country through air, road and railways. Regular bus services connect the capital city Shimla with important Indian cities such as Chandigarh, Delhi, Dehradun and also with other parts of the state. However, railway track is accessible only to a few places in Himachal Pradesh due to uneven terrain.
There are three domestic airports in the state, namely - Shimla Airport, Bhuntar Airport serving Kullu and Manali, and Gaggal Airport serving Kangra and Dharamsala. The air routes connect the state to the Delhi International Airport and also Chandigarh. There is no international airport in the state.
The state of Uttarakhand, formerly known as Uttaranchal was once a part of Uttar Pradesh. Uttarakhand is also a mountain state. Several glaciers, including the holy Gangotri glacier start in this state. It is also famous for adventure sports including water sports, mountain climbing, rock climbing, hiking etc. Uttarakhand has rich and dense subtropical forests and alpine meadows which sustain a wide flora and fauna. There are several wildlife sanctuaries including the world-famous Corbett National Park (Jim Corbett National Park;oldest national park of India)and the Nanda Devi National Park which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The capital, Dehradun is a beautiful city and has mountaineering institutes too. Uttarakhand has also got a huge religious importance and the reputation of being a pilgrim state because of religious centers like Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, Yamunotri (the famous 'Char Dham' of Hindus) Haridwar, Rishikesh etc. Also Hemkund and Mindroling Monastery are some other religious places apart from Hinduism.
Uttarakhand is well connected through road, railways and air to the rest of the country. It has 5 national airports, namely Jolly Grant Airport (Dehradun), Pantnagar Airport (Pantnagar), Naini-Saini (Pithoragarh), Uttarkashi, Gochar (Chamoli), Agastyamuni (Heliport) (Rudraprayag). One can reach Uttarakhand from all over the country. The Indira Gandhi International Airport (Delhi) is nearly 150 miles and can be covered with road, railways or even airways in just 2 – 6 hours.
- Take Warm Clothes.
As all the three states mentioned are cold states, which remain cold even during the summers. So, while packing your luggage for the vacations to these places, don’t forget to keep some warm clothes.
- Unleash The Photographer Inside You.
These places have very rich scenic beauty. So no matter if you are a nature lover or not, no matter whether a good or a bad photographer, carry a handy camera with you, because I can bet you will never want to miss that extravagant natural beauty once you reach the place!
- Plan Smartly.
There are several tour companies that have attractive and beneficial tour packages to these states. Look for some similar package that suits your needs and you can save a lot of your time and money.
- Take Fewer Luggage.
Keep the luggage as less as possible, because there will be several things which you’ll feel like buying during the vacations. So if you’ll have fewer luggages, it’ll be easier to carry the bought items along with you during the journey.
Precautions and Safety Measures
- Travel Insurance.
Don’t forget to have your travel insurance before you set out for your trip.
Beware of pickpocketers, thieves, forgers and thugs during the journey who always keep an eye on your belongings.
- 'Play Safe.'
Though there are sufficient security measures taken, but if you are a non-swimmer, prefer staying away from extreme water sports.
- Keep In Touch.
Keep few contact numbers of people whom you can contact in case of an emergency.
Our safety is always in our own hands. A journey or a vacation becomes a lot more relaxing and fun when it is safe. Though there are certain matters of concern, but if few steps are taken properly, then nothing can degrade our experiences of an outing or a vacation. I wish you all have a happy and safe vacation ahead!
- Jammu & Kashmir Tourism
Government website, with details of attractions and facilities in the state.
- Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation
Official Website of Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation, Shimla, (India), Comfortable Stay in Hotels, Resorts, Log Huts, Club Houses, Transport Services, Online Reservation, Trekking, Adventure Tourism
- Uttarakhand Tourism
Website of Uttarakhand Tourism Board.
- The Original Website of Ministry of Tourism, Government of India for hotels, tours and travel
Official Web site of Ministry of Tourism, Government of India : Travel and tours information and hotels for India : Official information
Ministry of Tourism, Government of India advises use of only authorized and approved tour guides and tour operators for a pleasurable and trouble free holiday in India. All approved tour guides are required to carry a photo identity issued by the Min
- MEA - Ministry of External Affairs
Official website of Ministry of External Affairs, India.