Best Summer Vacation Destinations in India – I

In the depth of winter,

I finally learned

there was in me,

an invincible summer!

Despite half of India being out of the Tropic of Cancer, it depicts a largely tropical climate. This makes Indian Summers as invincible yet appealing as ever…

Indian Summers

Indian summers– the words open out with a romantic invitation to experience nature’s bounty! Bright – beautiful days and vivid extravaganza of the colorful landscapes. Although the exact origins of the term, ‘Indian Summers’; are uncertain, it was perhaps so-called because it was first noted in regions inhabited by Native Americans (“Indians”). The Native Americans first described it to the Europeans, based on the warm and hazy conditions in autumn. The phrase ‘Indian Summer’ refers to unseasonably warm, dry and calm weather. It usually follows a period of colder weather or frost in the late autumn. (Or in the Southern hemisphere, where the term is less common, late spring). With such a vast spread of terrain, 29 different states make the whole of India. Each state can boast of its summer capital, so to speak!


The Road to Peora

The Best Summer Vacation Destinations in India

In this multi-part blog series, let us explore such sweet-spots as summer vacation destinations all across India, starting north. Starting north…or starring from the North, we have the most newly formed state. The state which at its 18th birthday, is turning out to be quite a smashing adult!

Any guesses?

Yes, it’s Uttarakhand!!

Formerly known as Uttaranchal, it is a state in north-eastern India. Due to a large number of pilgrim sites, the state is also referred to as the ‘Devbhumi’- literally, the land of Gods. It has a recorded forest area of 34,666 square kilometer, which constitutes 65% of the total area of the state. Uttarakhand has many tourist spots due to its location in the Himalayas. A plethora of ancient temples, forest reserves, national parks, hill stations, and mountain peaks draw a large number of tourists. There are 44 nationally protected monuments in the state. Uttarakhand has always been a destination for mountaineering, hiking, and rock climbing in India. A recent development in adventure tourism in the region has been white-water rafting in Rishikesh.

But then, of course, these are the easily-available-facts. How about we delve into some lesser-known-facts? Unexplored places and unseen wonders of this newly formed state for its Indian summer vacation destinations?





View from Peora

Peora, hailed as the best-kept secret of Uttarakhand, is a tiny hamlet, nestled amidst the picturesque valley of Kumaon region. Abounded by dense pine forests and the majestic Shivalik range in the background, it is a perfect summer get-away. Draped in the thick blanket of natural vegetation, mainly pine, oak, and rhododendron, it is home to birds and bees. This quaint village dons the hat of eco-tourism at its natural best. Closer to the popular hill station Mukteshwar, your vacation here will be a rare mix of secluded nature trails, and uninterrupted views of the Himalayas. And you bask in the glory of rustic environment untouched by the modern world. Ready for your next exciting secret summer vacation destination?

For your weary legs: Dak Bungalow, Veselka Homestay Cottage, Resort Sequester etc.

For your taste buds: Fresh herbal tea

For your sore eyes: A paradise for wildlife lovers and bird watchers

Summer special: Fruit Bowl – From apples, plums, peaches, to apricots and pomegranates, everything grows here.

Vacation Tip: It’s a small hamlet, carry your bare necessities.





Scenic Sarmoli, Uttarakhand

A small village, Sarmoli, situated above Munsiyari, shares its borders with Tibet and Nepal. Cradled in the Kumaon region with the Panchachuli range in the background, the river Gori Ganga flows right next to it. Peace and serenity prevail along with the best of natural beauty in this place. Though remote in its placement, the village is quite forward with its initiatives. Uniquely, the tourism-conservation-livelihood initiative offers great opportunities to its visitors. It allows them to participate, learn and contribute. Homestays involve activities for tourists relating to the agricultural cycle and the forest-river dynamics. The locals here run their own Instagram channel – @VoicesofMunsiari – documenting their lives, mountains, seasons and stories with some useful travel tips. Looking to skip the touristy things this summer? Head to Sarmoli village in Munsiyari and rediscover life in its most innocent yet eco-sensitive form.

For your weary legs: About 15 Homestays!

For your taste buds: Saut shaumal, a three-days-long community summer food festival

For your sore eyes: Birding at Dhanadhar Ridge, Mesar Kund, Khaliya Top etc.

Summer special: Annual summer ritual – the weeklong Himal Kalasutra festival where the locals of Sarmoli come together to run a marathon with an altitude gain of 8000 feet over 20km

Vacation Tip: Carry first aid kits, solar water heaters, and emergency lights.


Johar Valley



Off the Beaten Track- Johar Valley

Johar Valley, a new summer trek favorite on the old silk route. The Sino-Indian war of 1962 not only abandoned but also closed down the few border villages. Located just 20 km from the Tibetan border, Johar valley was once a major pit-stop on the thriving silk-route for trade. The valley reopened in 1994, but with strict rules. Travelers require a permit along with approval from the Indo Tibetan Border Police and also clearance from the forest department. With time, the valley is becoming popular among hikers and adventure seeking enthusiasts. Stones engraved with Tibetan texts are very commonly found en route to Milam, the first Indian village on this side of the border.

Difficult terrains, chilly climate, and picturesque views are quite the package of this summer vacation destination. Whether it is the majestic Hansling Peaks, which wave at you or the serpent curls of the Gori Ganga, your constant companion, Johar valley is the rare beauty which captures your attention like never before. Experience this jewel of a place this summer, your ‘Johar’ in the valley of vacations!

For your weary legs: Camp at villages like Pungdeo, Bogudyar, ITBP settlement or Martoli

For your taste buds: Wild Spinach and Wild Fern as local delicacies

For your sore eyes: A paradise for wildlife lovers and bird watchers

Summer special: Treks

Vacation Tip: It’s a small hamlet, carry your bare necessities.


Johar Valley, Uttarakhand

The list is really endless.

Whether it is the Spiti of Uttarakhand- Nelong valley or Almora a well-connected, yet sleepy hill-town of Kumaon, the state offers you a wide choice of summer vacation destinations to choose from, replete with rustic-scenic beauty. If you have a penchant for border towns and villages, which offer unique yet timeless experiences…well this was quite the first blog of the exotic Indian Summers, for the ‘Invincible’ in you!


One Comment

  1. Thanks for sharing about these best summer vacation destinations in Uttarakhand, I was actually looking for same.

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