Best Indian Cities To Visit in May

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May ushers in the warmth of summer across India, bringing a mix of vibrant festivals, serene hill stations, and cultural experiences waiting to be discovered.

As the temperature rises, various cities across the country offer unique opportunities for travelers to embark on unforgettable journeys. From spiritual havens to coastal paradises, this article lists 10 enchanting Indian cities in May, each promising an enriching and memorable adventure.

1. Mount Abu, Rajasthan

Escape the summer heat in Mount Abu, the only hill station in Rajasthan. Its lush greenery, Nakki Lake, and cool climate make it a perfect retreat. Explore the Dilwara Temples, take leisurely walks, and witness stunning sunsets.

At the heart of Mount Abu’s charm are its serene lakes that reflect the surrounding greenery and sky. Nakki Lake, the town’s centerpiece, holds mythological and historical significance.

According to local legends, gods created it using their nails (‘nakh’ in Hindi). Boating on Nakki Lake is a popular activity, allowing visitors to absorb the tranquility while surrounded by rocky outcrops and lush gardens.

The Dilwara Temples are a testimony to the exceptional craftsmanship of ancient artisans. These temples carved out of white marble, showcase intricate and delicate carvings that depict stories from Jain mythology. Each temple within the complex—Vimal Vasahi, Luna Vasahi, Pithalhar, Khartar Vasahi, and Mahaveer Swami—exudes a unique aura of divinity and artistry.

The Sunset Point in Mount Abu offers breathtaking vistas of the sun setting over the hills. Visitors gather to witness this awe-inspiring spectacle as the sky is painted in orange and pink hues. The Honeymoon Point and the Toad Rock nearby also offer panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes.

2. Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh

Kasauli’s tranquil ambiance and pleasant weather in May make it an inviting destination. The cantonment town is known for its colonial architecture, Christ Church, and scenic trails like the Gilbert Trail.

Kasauli’s rich history is reflected in its colonial architecture that transports visitors to a bygone era. The town’s quaint bungalows, churches, and old-world buildings are reminiscent of British colonial influence. The Christ Church, built in the mid-19th century, is a remarkable example of Gothic architecture and a significant landmark.

One of the best ways to explore Kasauli’s natural beauty is by strolling along the Gilbert Trail. This picturesque walking trail offers breathtaking views of the surrounding hills, pine forests, and the charming town below. The trail meanders through dense foliage, creating an idyllic setting for nature enthusiasts and photographers.

Kasauli is renowned for its panoramic views, and Sunset Point is a prime spot to witness the sun painting the sky with vibrant hues as it descends behind the hills. The sight of the sun setting over the Himalayas is a spectacle that leaves a lasting impression on every visitor.

The Kasauli Brewery, established in the late 19th century, is one of the oldest distilleries in Asia. Visitors can take guided tours of the distillery, learn about the brewing process, and sample some of its signature beverages. Kasauli’s local produce, including jams, pickles, and handicrafts, also offers a taste of the region’s distinct flavors and craftsmanship.

3. Karnataka: Mangalore

Mangalore is renowned for its rich cultural tapestry, influenced by a history of trade, colonialism, and local traditions. The city is a melting pot of cultures, with influences from various communities, including Tulu, Konkani, and Beary. The local architecture, cuisine, and festivals beautifully reflect this cultural diversity.

Mangalore boasts a collection of pristine beaches that offer a relaxing respite from the hustle and bustle of city life. Famous beaches like Panambur Beach and Tannirbhavi Beach are ideal spots for unwinding by the sea, enjoying water sports, or simply watching the sunset over the horizon.

Mangalorean cuisine is a highlight of any visit. The city is famed for its seafood dishes, influenced by the coastal location. Indulge in delectable preparations like Mangalorean fish curry, ghee roast, and neer dosa. The local markets are the best places to savor these culinary delights.

Mangalore is dotted with historical landmarks that offer insights into its colonial past and architectural heritage. The St. Aloysius Chapel is a prime example of Jesuit architecture, adorned with exquisite frescoes depicting the life of St. Aloysius Gonzaga. The Sultan Battery Watchtower, built by Tippu Sultan, offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

4. Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh

May in Varanasi offers unique insights into the spirituality and culture of India. Witness the Ganga Aarti, explore the narrow lanes, and take a boat ride along the Ganges for a serene experience.

Varanasi, often referred to as the spiritual capital of India, is a city that resonates with a profound sense of spirituality, tradition, and cultural richness. Nestled along the banks of the sacred Ganges River, Varanasi has been a pilgrimage site for centuries, attracting millions of devotees, seekers, and travelers from across the globe. Beyond its spiritual significance, the city offers a unique blend of history, art, and timeless rituals that vividly depict India’s cultural tapestry.

Varanasi has numerous temples and shrines, each with history and significance. The Kashi Vishwanath Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is one of the most revered temples in India.

The Sankat Mochan Hanuman and Durga Temple also hold deep spiritual importance. Exploring these temples provides insights into Hindu mythology, architecture, and the vibrant atmosphere of devotion.

Varanasi is not just a spiritual hub but also a repository of India’s cultural heritage. The narrow lanes of the old city are a labyrinth of markets, artisans, and historical sites. Wander through the bustling markets to discover silk sarees, handicrafts, and local street food. The Ramnagar Fort, located on the opposite bank of the Ganges, offers a glimpse into the city’s royal past and houses an impressive collection of artifacts.

Just a short distance from Varanasi lies Sarnath, where Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon after enlightenment. This sacred site is a serene retreat where visitors can explore the Dhamek Stupa, the Mulagandha Kuti Vihar, and the Sarnath Museum, which houses a remarkable collection of ancient artifacts.

5. Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu

Known as the “Princess of Hill Stations,” Kodaikanal’s pleasant climate in May is ideal for nature enthusiasts. Visit the serene Kodaikanal Lake, enjoy horse riding, and explore the vibrant markets.

At the heart of Kodaikanal lies the picturesque Kodaikanal Lake, a man-made marvel that mirrors the surrounding hills and skies. The lake’s gentle ripples in May create a soothing atmosphere, perfect for boat rides and strolls along its shores. Rowing and pedal boats allow visitors to explore the lake’s serenity while enjoying the cool breeze and panoramic views.

Coaker’s Walk is a paved pedestrian path that offers stunning vistas of the valleys, hills, and distant plains. The mist often enveloping the walkway in May adds an ethereal touch, creating an otherworldly ambiance.

The Telescope House along the path provides telescopic views of the surrounding beauty, making it a popular spot for photography enthusiasts and nature lovers.

The Pillar Rocks are a trio of massive rock formations that rise dramatically from the ground, creating a sense of awe and wonder. In May, the rocks are surrounded by a mystical mist, enhancing their mystique. The viewpoint offers breathtaking glimpses of the surrounding valleys and is a perfect spot to capture the natural beauty of Kodaikanal.

6. Puri, Odisha

Puri’s golden beaches and spiritual aura make it an inviting destination in May. Explore

the famous Jagannath Temple, relax on the beaches, and enjoy the local seafood. At the heart of Puri’s allure lies the iconic Jagannath Temple, one of India’s Char Dham pilgrimage sites. Dedicated to Lord Jagannath, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, the temple draws devotees and tourists alike.

The Rath Yatra, or Chariot Festival, usually held in June or July, is a grand spectacle where the deities are placed on lavishly decorated chariots and pulled through the streets by thousands of devotees. The temple’s grandeur and spiritual significance create an atmosphere of devotion and awe.

Puri’s golden beaches are a major draw for visitors seeking relaxation and rejuvenation. The soft sands and gentle waves offer an ideal setting for leisurely walks, beach sports, or simply unwinding by the sea.

The sunrise over the Bay of Bengal is a breathtaking sight that enchants early risers and nature enthusiasts. The serene ambiance of the beaches is perfect for introspection and tranquility.

Chilika Lake, Asia’s largest brackish water lagoon, is a short distance from Puri. The lake’s tranquil waters are home to diverse bird species, making it a paradise for birdwatchers. Boating on Chilika Lake during sunset is a magical experience, as the hues of the sky blend with the water to create a mesmerizing landscape.

7. Chikmagalur, Karnataka

Chikmagalur’s coffee plantations, rolling hills, and pleasant weather offer a rejuvenating escape in May. Enjoy coffee tours, the Mullayanagiri Peak, and the panoramic views.

A trek to Mullayanagiri Peak is an absolute must for adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers. It’s the highest peak in Karnataka and offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding valleys, hills, and coffee plantations.

The trek is relatively moderate and can be enjoyed by beginners as well. The peak’s elevation ensures that even in May, when most of India is sweltering in the heat, Chikmagalur maintains a pleasant and cool climate.

Named after the Sufi saint Baba Budan, this range of hills is spiritually significant and boasts stunning landscapes. The hills are a trekker’s delight, with trails leading to beautiful viewpoints and hidden waterfalls. The shrine of Baba Budan, known for its peaceful aura, attracts pilgrims and tourists alike.

Hebbe Falls is another gem in Chikmagalur’s crown. Located within dense forests, the falls are a two-stage cascade surrounded by lush greenery. A jeep ride followed by a short trek takes you to this mesmerizing natural wonder. The refreshing water spray against the backdrop of verdant forests offers a soothing respite from the summer heat.

8. Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu

May is a great time to explore the temple city of Kanchipuram. Known for its exquisite silk sarees and ancient temples, the city offers a glimpse into South Indian culture and architecture. Kanchipuram is often called the “City of Thousand Temples,” a testament to the many shrines that dot its landscape.

The city’s temples are characterized by their intricate architecture, ornate carvings, and historical significance. The Ekambareswarar Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is one of the Pancha Bhoota Stalams, representing the element Earth. The Kailasanathar Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is a masterpiece of Pallava architecture, showcasing intricately carved sculptures and majestic pillars.

Kanchipuram’s spiritual significance is deeply rooted in Hindu mythology and tradition. The city is believed to be the abode of various deities and saints, making it a prominent pilgrimage site. It is one of the seven Moksha-puris, where salvation is considered achievable. Devotees flock to Kanchipuram to seek blessings, perform rituals, and immerse themselves in the serene ambiance of the temples.

9. Aizawl, Mizoram

Aizawl’s moderate temperatures in May provide an excellent opportunity to explore this cultural gem. Enjoy the vibrant Mizo culture, visit Solomon’s Temple, and explore local markets.

The moment you set foot in Aizawl, you’re greeted by a sense of serenity that permeates the air. The city is built on hills, allowing breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding valleys. The laid-back atmosphere and cool climate contribute to a peaceful ambiance that offers respite from the hustle and bustle of urban life.

Aizawl proudly wears its Mizo identity on its sleeves. The city is adorned with vibrant, colorfully painted houses that dot the hillsides, reflecting the artistic and creative spirit of the Mizo people. Strolling through the city’s winding streets allows you to witness traditional Mizo bamboo and thatch houses coexisting harmoniously with modern architecture.

One of the city’s prominent landmarks, Solomon’s Temple, is a religious site and a symbol of unity and harmony. With its gleaming white exterior and intricate architecture, the temple is a testament to the strong faith of the people of Mizoram. The temple complex offers stunning panoramic views of Aizawl, making it an ideal spot for meditation and reflection.

10. Manali, Himachal Pradesh

May is a prelude to the summer rush in Manali, making it a serene getaway. The Beas River, Solang Valley, and Rohtang Pass offer a mix of adventure and natural beauty. Manali is renowned as an adventure enthusiast’s paradise.

The Rohtang Pass, accessible from May onwards, offers thrilling opportunities for activities like skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling. The nearby Solang Valley is a hub for adventure sports such as paragliding, zorbing, and quad biking. For trekkers, the Hampta Pass trek offers a chance to explore lush meadows, icy streams, and awe-inspiring mountain views.

Manali’s natural beauty is truly mesmerizing. Snow-capped peaks, dense pine forests, and gushing rivers create a canvas that captivates every visitor. The Beas River flows through the town, adding a touch of serenity and providing opportunities for riverside picnics and leisurely walks.

While New Manali bustles with markets, restaurants, and modern conveniences, Old Manali exudes a rustic charm. Cobbled streets, wooden houses, and quaint cafes create an atmosphere that feels like stepping back in time. Explore the Manu Temple, believed to be the only temple dedicated to the sage Manu, and relish the tranquility.

Final Words

May presents various travel options across India, from serene hill stations to coastal escapes and cultural havens. Whether you’re drawn to the tranquil charm of Mount Abu

or the spiritual aura of Varanasi, these 10 enchanting cities invite you to embrace the warmth of summer and embark on a journey of discovery and delight amidst India’s diverse and captivating landscapes.

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