It’s May, which means only one thing: summer is finally here! Mangoes, booty shorts and IPL are words that are now socially acceptable to say out loud. Unfortunately, I am not much of a summer person. That’s because, during this dreadful suckage of a season, I’m greeted to the earth’s worst fever; a swelter that makes me sticky and sweaty, and wish I could unzip my own skin off. It’s a never-ending fire bath that starts the minute I wake up and just lingers. It honestly renders me unproductive and moody as hell. That’s why, my alliances lie with an atmosphere filled with the crisp, chilly breath of Jack Frost surrounding me. A true winter wonderland. But there is a way to stay in that magnificent snow bubble until summer is defeated: Here are some of the most underrated yet undeniably incredible places you should head to, to make this summer your bitch!
It’s a small hill station in the Shimla District of Himachal Pradesh. The place is a quaint little town where you can enjoy a more laid-back, cabin-type of stay. It is one of few places in India that shares its land with some of the rarest species of antelope and other exotic wildlife. While there, try out Yak-riding, playing in the snow or ziplining (if you’re feeling adventurous) while you’re there.
DALHOUSIE and DHARAMSHALA
Fun fact- Dalhousie was named after the British Governor General of India at the time, the Earl of Dalhousie, who once saw the hill station and intended to make it his summer retreat. If this doesn’t prove that Dalhousie is the perfect summer getaway… then this might: it boasts the mountain ranges of the Himalayas in its backdrop and is beloved for its snow-capped peaks and exciting trekking trails. Also in Himachal Pradesh, is the spiritual city of Dharamshala. This city is home to gorgeous lakes, stunning mountains, Tibetan culture and the Dalai Lama!
Now, who wouldn’t wanna meet this awesome grandpa!
It is a whimsical little town located in Arunachal Pradesh, to the east of Bhutan and formerly a part of Tibet. Its abundance of holy monks and Buddhist devotees because of the infamous Tawang Monastery, picturesque hillside and the Tipi Orchid Sanctuary are sure to keep you captivated at every turn. It is also known by most, as the birthplace of the Dalai Lama.
Was this place added as a way for me to feed you more hilarious Dalai Lama memes? Damn right it was. You’re welcome world.
If you’re looking to go off the beaten path, Tirthan Valley is the perfect place to travel to. A known camping and stargazing areas, Tirthan Valley truly has it all: fishing sites, roaring rapids, mist-covered mountains glistening lakes (Parashar and Serolsar), clandestine waterfalls, traditional villages with kind-hearted locals, and newfound discovery everywhere you go!
The valley is a true hidden treasure and one of India’s best-kept secrets… along with masala chai. Located at the border of Nagaland and Manipur, this place is absolutely breathtaking and a visual masterpiece with beauty, love and the perfect summer breeze brushing across your face. A flora-enthusiasts’ lucid dream come true, Dzukou Valley is sure to help you lean into the idea of summer! Go camping in the wilderness with your friends and enjoy a night under the stars with plenty of card games, smores, and ghost stories!
Not a fan of Kashmir? Not a problem! Situated in the scenic state of Uttarakhand is a charming and pretty ski town, on the way to Badrinath, called Auli. One of the, most underrated skiing destinations, the town is cozy and relaxed as it bursting with fun winter sports and activities to unlock the inner adventurer in you (in addition to skiing), like snowboarding, cable car rides, snow treks, etc. It also plays host to some of the rarest forms of wildlife like the snow leopard. Visitors often site the Valley of Flowers, the Artificial Lake, and Nandi Devi Peak as the must-sees.
Just 16 kilometers from Manali, on the road to Rohtang Pass, lies the sheltered little village of Kothi. Just got a DSLR and need a place to test out your skills? Kothi Village is a photographer’s absolute paradise! Outdoorsy folk too will find themselves right at home in this colorful Elysium. Boasting an incredible view of snow-capped mountains, glaciers and the Baes River flowing right through its valley, the village is known for its homeliness, hospitality and pony transport!
NOW, for those of you who are looking to embrace the summer in all its radiant glory, I got you too. I hate you… but I got you *rolls eyes to the back of skull*. Here are some underrated locations to visit:
One of four coral reef regions in India, the sublime cluster of islands are situated off the coast of Kerala and are home to a wide array of aquatic wildlife including over 600 species of marine fish like Swordfish, and is an essential breeding ground for the endangered sea turtle species. While there, you can enjoy the white sandy beaches, crystal-clear water, sunbathing, adventure/water sports like jet-ski riding, parasailing, surfing and bodyboarding, the downtown cultural hubs, and deliciously fresh seafood and local cuisine.
This summer haven is located in the Diu District of India is truly an underappreciated paradise! Clean, pristine waters surround this wonderous beach, with minimal littering, unlike most Indian beaches… I’m looking at you, Juhu. While there, be sure to try out the many adventure sports the island has to offer including the much-talked-about banana boat ride as well as the crimson artistry of its sunrises.
In all honesty, there is something about beaches that makes me unwaveringly adore them. The Mahabalipuram Beach has this overwhelmingly positive aura and allure about it that can’t be explained in words, holding a special place in my heart as it one of my personal favorite spots. It’s low-key and thus allows you to purely enjoy the beach in all its wholesomeness, without being bombarded with the annoyance of street vendors, peanut seller, and an abundance of trash around you (objects and humans alike). The nearby temple, ancient rock sculptures and mini downtown street-shopping alleys only add to your experience.
In conclusion, summer sucks. It’s hot, sweaty and literally Satan’s daydream actualizing itself on our mortal realm. It’s legitimately only meant to facilitate humidity, sunburn and body insecurities. But, there are perks to Mother Nature’s Purge. For example, it gives you the opportunity to visit places that would otherwise leave you a frozen-solid icicle, if traveled to during winter. So, let’s appreciate our non-fossilization and love this season for everything it has to offer us. This year, turn your summertime sadness into summer lovin’, and make summer your beach!