April is a great time to take a holiday in India. It’s the end of the financial year, so a lot of people will be getting fatter bank accounts around that time. It is also smack in the middle of the summer, which means that temperatures would be at its peak. That makes for a perfect excuse to take a trip and escape the heat. But where do you escape to? Here are 10 of the best places to visit in April in India.
While the sun scorches several parts of India in April, it turns a kind eye towards Srinagar, blessing it with sunshine and bringing the valley city to life. Daytime temperatures in Srinagar are expected to be a pleasant 17-24°C in April 2017, with night temperatures dipping to 4-12°C. This would be a perfect contrast to the sweltering summer heat in other places. Weather and valleys are not the only other reasons to visit Srinagar. There is also the Tulip Festival, with more than a million tulips blooming in Asia’s largest tulip garden. Apart from the captivating sights, the festival will also give you a chance to experience Kashmiri folk music, cuisine, handicrafts and other cultural programs.
Manali is another spot that would be perfect to visit for its temperature alone. Temperatures in the daytime would be a pleasant 13-22°C but nights can see the mercury dip to the lowest single digits, so be ready. The town itself offers a few spots for sightseeing, like the local market and the Hadimba Devi temple. Road connectivity is great, so you can also visit Solang Valley to experience paragliding through the mountains and skiing down snowy slopes. Head down to Kasol to enjoy some peace, quiet and Israeli cusine or battle the white waters of Rishikesh to quench your thirst for adventure. There are lots of trekking trails as well, like the Hampta Pass, Malana Village and Jogini Waterfalls. ALSO READ: The History and Culture of Manali
McLeodganj in Dharamsala is towards the western end of Himachal Pradesh, and offers its own charm. It is perfect for almost all kinds of travellers, from those seeking adventure to people who want to kick back and enjoy good views and good food. The weather would be a little warmer than in Manali, but still pleasant enough to make it count as a summer break. Expect daytime temperatures of 21-28°C, and night temperatures of 10-17°C. Adventure enthusiasts should definitely do the Triund trek, while those hungry for the culture of the region can visit the Tibetan Museum, Tsechokling Gompa, Nechung Monastery and the Kalachakra Temple. Foodies will find everything from local Tibetan to Italian, French and even Lebanese cuisine over here, apart from a rather surprising range of baked delights like cakes, lemon tarts and chocolate mousse.
Binsar would be a very off-beat destination to visit in April. Temperatures during the day would be hovering around 30°C, but the climate is still pretty good. It wasn’t the summer capital of the Chand Kings for nothing, after all. Located less than 100km from the more mainstream resort town of Nainital, Binsar offers views of the Shivling, Nanda Devi, Trishul and Chaukhamba ranges. It is also home to the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary, nestled in the Jhandi Dhar hills. The sanctuary has over 200 species of birds, not to mention some rare trees and shrubs that would be in full bloom during the month. Trekkers can find plenty of mountain trails to explore at their own pace, because Binsar, at least for now, is a lesser-known destination and is therefore relatively untouched by the typical tourist bustle. ALSO READ: Top 17 places to visit in India in 2017
We’ve mostly explored mountains of the north so far, but south India has its own gems worth visiting during the summers. Chief among them is the hill station of Kodaikanal. Temperatures during the day range from 24 to 27°C, and night temperatures would generally stay at or below 15°C. April would likely be peak season for Kodaikanal, but that doesn’t mean you cannot enjoy the sights of this popular Tamil Nadu hill station. Treks would, of course, be a great option, and popular spots include Bryant’s Park, Coaker’s Walk and Bear Shola Falls. And if you are visiting the hill station, you cannot miss boating on the serene Kodai Lake.
If you have set your sights on Northeast India for your trip in April, the district of Mon in Nagaland ought to be in your itinerary. Nagaland has a rather fascinating tribal village life worth exploring and experiencing, and what better way to do it than through the Aoling Festival taking place in the first week of April 2017. The festival centres around the Konyak tribe that finds their home in the district. Once reputed for their deadly headhunting skills, the people of the tribe now live a more leisured life spent in their farms, with the usual rounds of local alcohol and opium. The Aoling festival celebrates the arrival of spring and ushers in a new year for this tribe, and it is definitely worth joining the locals in their revelries. ALSO READ: 19 photographs of the rare Konyak tribe of Nagaland
Didn’t expect Goa to feature here? Well that’s because April is among the hottest months of the year for the popular beach holiday destination. For this year, temperatures are expected to reach up to 36°C, with night time temperatures dipping to 24-28°C. But Goa is relatively less crowded during this time of the year, which should be a plus for those looking to calmly enjoy its pristine beaches. Another big reason to drive, ride, fly or take a train down to Goa is the Goa Food and Culture Festival. Set to take place in Panaji, the five-day festival will see locals, hotels and restaurants across Goa offer their most delicious local cuisine, and you can wash it all down with some local feni and fireworks.
Photograph Courtesy: Tarique Sani/Wikimedia Commons
From the fireworks of Goa, we move on to the wildlife of Pench. Straddling the border of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, Pench can often be at its hottest during the month of April. So why visit this national park and tiger reserve? Well, the summer months are also a good time to spot most of the wildlife in the reserve. You will have a better chance of finding tigers, spotted deer (Chitals) and larger Sambar deers resting at man-made water holes. With the sun shining bright, there could be lots of opportunities to exercise your wildlife photography skills. Or if you prefer, you can just take in the experience of being closer than ever to India’s incredible wildlife. ALSO READ: Top 5 national parks in Madhya Pradesh every wildlife lover must visit
If you would rather not visit the wild-lands of Pench, you could consider Coorg instead. Nestled within the mountains of Karnataka, Coorg is a hill station surrounded by coffee and spice plantations. During April, the air around the hill station would permeate with the aroma of freshly blossomed coffee flowers. Expect daytime temperatures to hover around 28-34°C, with pleasantly cool night temperatures of 16-20°C. Coorg also boasts of three wildlife sanctuaries: Pushpagiri, Brahmagiri and Talacauvery. Together, these three sanctuaries spread across nearly 380 square kilometres. Apart from these, there is the Rajiv Gandhi or Nagarhole National Park spread across 644 square kilometres.
Finally, we end this list by revisiting Northeast India, specifically Kaziranga. With daytime temperatures ranging from 26°C to 34°C, Kaziranga would also likely see a few rain showers during the month of April; the ultimate respite from the summer heat. April is actually the last month that Kaziranga’s famed tiger reserve and national park would be open, before closing down for the heavy monsoon season. This is also when the reserve is most silent, with the jungle quietly waiting for the rains to arrive in full force. Another reason to visit the region would the harvest festival of Mopin. Celebrated by the welcoming Galo tribe in the West and East Siang districts of Arunachal Pradesh, the celebrations happen over the course of two days near the state’s capital, Itanagar. The festival takes place on 5-6 April, and will see local rice wine being poured, with indigenous women performing their celebratory Popir dance. The whole festival is celebrated to drive away bad spirits, but should also help you drive away the summer doldrums for a few days at least.
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