Ok, so it is that part of the year when the sweltering summer will take a toll over the entire Indian Peninsula. And most schools and colleges will be closed down to offer respite to students and teachers in India; and families and groups shall escape to hill stations in order to find some relief from the scorching sun. Well, at this point, let us just be grateful to India’s diversity as it stores a good amount of entertainment for you during the vile summer season. This is why, right before you come to the usual “oh my god it is so hot!” mood, there is a destination/activity in India in your head to prevent you from all your anguish. And in case you are not a ‘Man/woman with a plan,’ here is our list of things to do and places to see in June in India that can really help you get going this summer break. From religious festivals to grand feasts to competitions; and from sacred journeys to adventure escapades; you can engage yourself so much while you find the perfect getaway during this peak summer season with one of our ideas here:
Get that Adrenaline Rushing: Adventure Escapes in June!
For an adventure buff, there is no unfit time to go for an adventure. Since, we are talking about dodging the heat in the best possible way here, let us turn our heads to one of the best places for adventure in India, Ladakh. As mid June welcomes monsoon in the country, it is wise to go camping in a high altitude region like Nubra Valley in Ladakh. An ideal place to go camping at Nubra Valley will be at Hunder, which is the last point for tourists. The gentle contours, surprising desert and the surrounding snow-capped peaks make this place a wonderful experience. You can also enjoy rides on Bactrian Camels or Double Humped camels here, visit the beautiful Diskit Village and its famed Diskit Monastery and take a trip around the beautiful Sumur and Panamik villages known for their hot springs and lively bazaar.
With adventure in your mind, June can be an exhilarating time to take up high altitude trekking expeditions in the Indian Himalaya. These alpine Himalayan treks have everything worthy of going for it! Thick forests, gurgling streams and brooks, stunning campsites, miles of rolling meadows, snow, ice and the perfect taste of a great adventure as you cut and cross through 8,000ft to 16,000ft. Roopkund trek, Rupin Pass trek, Bali Pass-Ruinsara trek, The Valley of Flowers in Garhwal, Uttarakhand and Hampta Pass and Buran Ghati Pass in Himachal Pradesh are some of the best treks to take up this June.
Motor Biking is indeed a great summer break idea in June. At this time of the year when the sun will be beating the strength out of people, you can calmly gear up and set out for motor biking in Ladakh via Manali. You can either head to Ladakh via Manali or explore the rough trails of Keylong, Sarchu and Nubra Valley or take the ride to Spiti Valley via Manali, which will allow you to explore many destinations in Kullu Valley, Pin Valley, Kinnaur Valley and Lahaul Valley. Untouched with the influence of summer strokes and monsoon, Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh can be great adventure escapades for any adventure aficionado.
Monsoon starts to knock at the door of Goa in June. The beaches at the end of May or in the beginning of June in Goa are altogether a different story. The surf at this time gets between 5 feet and 10 feet plus. So, you can expect a wonderful surf season with right kind of waves at one of India’s best places to surf.
Go For the Good Ol Summer Vacation in the Hill Stations
Summer beckons a chance to explore the myriad and scenic hill stations in India. Before the onset of the monsoon, the hill stations in North and Northeast India are perfect for relishing a summer break amidst picturesque landscape and pleasing weather, which is warm by day and chilly by night. Whereas, the monsoon in South India commences in June making the hill station there even more surreal and alluring. So, you see it is never a bad idea to choose a hill station for a summer holiday in India but make sure you a different one every year. The popular choices can range from Nainital, Mussoorie, Dhanaulti, Lansdowne, Chakrata, Ranikhet, Kausani in Uttarakhand to Shimla, Manali, Kasauli, Dalhousie, Dharamshala, Chail in Himachal Pradesh; and from Srinagar, Pahalgam, Gulmarg, Sonmarg in Jammu and Kashmir to Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Kurseong in West Bengal to Shillong in Meghalaya and Gangtok, Pelling, Ravangla, Yuksom in Sikkim. In South India the best hill stations to choose for summer vacation are Ooty, Kodaikanal, Coonoor in Tamil Nadu, Coorg in Karnataka, Wayanad and Munnar in Kerala.
Venerate Give Your Health a Boost in June
Thinking to take a weekend off in June? How about using it to improve your health condition? Sounds good. Even though, in the first place I would suggest you to visit Rishikesh for a good stay in one of the Ashrams and learn yoga and meditation but then the idea of attending the Yogshala Expo in Delhi also felt quite nice too. Likely to be held on the 16-18th June 2017, the expo will be organized by Namo Gange, a non-profit organization whose vision is to contribute to the health and wellbeing of people and to establish India as holistic and drugless healthcare destination. The highlights of the Yogashala Expo this year are Yoga and Ayurveda Seminar, Online Film Festival, Live Painting Competition, Photography Competition, and Nukkad Natak Competition, indeed everything looks fun and promising. You can check the details of the expo here.
Venerate and Celebrate: Spirituality and Tourism in June
Hills calling! Well, there is nothing better than to escape to a hill station to beat the summer heat. The summer festival at Shimla is an extended treat for you. This 7 to 8 days festival is held usually in the first week of June when one can enjoy Himachal’s cuisine, dance and music performances and simultaneously take pleasure of the soothing weather in Shimla. Activities like sports tournament, competitions, flower shows, showcasing of traditional dresses and local handicrafts exhibitions make this festival quite eventful. If you are planning a family getaway, I say this can be one of the best places to be at this June in India!
If you are a cultural aficionado, then you are going to love this festival! Sindhu Darshan Festival is indeed more than a festival, it is a project. Have you ever tried looking for reasons to be proud of your country? Well here is one reason, the Sindhu Darshan Festival in Leh invites people to pay homage to the river from which the country has got its name. The festival encourages communal harmony and brings different cultures and traditions on one platform. Each year this festival is held in the month of June in Leh, Ladakh, where people from all over the country gather to celebrate peaceful co-existence in India. It is definitely one of its kind festival offering you the right kind of escape from a monotonous routine.
The festival celebrates the descent of the River Ganga to earth. A high voltage spiritual festival is held in Varanasi, Rishikesh and Haridwar in the month of June each year. A large number of Hindu devotees gather on the Ghats (banks) of River Ganga in any of the three above mentioned holy cities and take a dip in the water believing that all their sins will be washed away. You can also plan a visit to this lively festival this year and participate in one of the most vivacious festivals in India in June. If my opinion is sought, I would recommend you to visit Varanasi in order to see the best of the festival. The pious atmosphere, large congregation of Hindu devotees and the beautiful banks of River Ganga -there could be no better place than Varanasi to quench the thirst of your spiritual soul.
The Rath Yatra in Puri, Odisha is sheer spiritual hysteria! The Ratha Yatra this June can be your getaway to experience one of the most exquisite processions in India. Held during mid-summer (June-July) in the coastal town of Odisha, this massive procession is for Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and their sister Subhadra who are carried on colossal chariots from the famed Jagannath temple to another temple called Gundicha Temple. There ain’t a better way to make use of your summer break, so be a part of one of the biggest Hindu festivals in India and let yourself earn countless blessings and revived spirit.
There are two more Rath Yatras that take place, one in Ahmedabad in Gujarat and the other in Mahesh in West Bengal. Just like the grand Rath Yatra in Puri, these two Yatras are held with the same amount of zeal and devotion. So, if you don’t get a chance to witness the Rath Yatra in Puri or for some reason you decide not to go to Puri, you can witness it at Mahesh in Hooghly district, West Bengal and Ahmedabad in Gujarat.
Sing, Dance and Rejoice… Cultural Getaways in June!
The entire North Goa rejoices and celebrates the Sao Joao Festival honouring their patron Saint John the Baptist. If you enjoy learning about different culture and traditions, Goa can be the go to place for you this June. The 150 years old feast is held on 24 June each year and is celebrated with great zeal and fervour in Northern Goa at places like Siolim, Anjuna, Candolim, Calangute and Assagao. Moussrad mango (a Goan variety of mango), pineapples, jackfruits and feni are vital part of this feast. Ladies wearing pretty Kopel (crown made of flowers) and young men jumping in the well (representing the joy of John the Baptist inside his mother’s womb), colourful boats, parade and dance and music are the highlights of the Sao Joao Feast.
While you pack your bags and prepare to go somewhere in June, Leh is preparing for its grand Hemis Festival! If you are willing to spend a little extra money than the usual, you can get an opportunity to witness one of the best religious and cultural festivals in India. Held on the 10th day of the Tibetan lunar month (June or July in the modern calendar). The festival is celebrated in the premises of the Hemis Monastery in Hemis village, which is about 45 kms away from Leh city. Held to commemorate the birth anniversary of Guru Padmasambhava, Hemis Festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm and fervour. The highlight of the festival is the Masked Dance or the Cham Dance that depicts the triumph of good over evil. A unique festival and undoubtedly a colourful one too, it is celebrated in the perfect settings with great climate to accompany, you cannot ask for a better holiday in Leh in summers than this.
Your summer break can be your ticket to a world of wonder and awe! Go down south to witness South India’s oldest boat race at Champakulam. Champakulam Moolam Boat Race or the Vallam Kalli or Snake Boat race as it is popularly known, can guarantee you a fun-filled and a never-had-before experience. Usually the boat race takes place in mid June or July in Champakulam village in Kerala. A vibrant procession is followed by a lively and energetic boat race on River Pamba. The decoration on each boat with different parasols and other decorative art is worth capturing, while the sheer hysteria and the energy not only in the contestants but in the spectators is definitely a thing to see. This unforgettable race will open your eyes and give a new perspective about life and will indeed make you feel thankful that you made a choice to be here.
Even though the the holy month of fasting (Sawm) for Muslims, Ramadan is a period of abstinence of food, the iftaar time in the evening is something everyone irrespective of their religion looks forward to. In India, places like Hyderabad, Lucknow, Bhopal and even the metropolis like Delhi and Mumbai are the best places to relish delicacies during Ramadan. In each of these destinations, a market or an eatery is dedicated to Ramadan where special food is prepared for iftaar. So, if you are a foodie, and aren’t that worried about heat and sun, then these 5 places are ideal for you to visit in the month of June in India.
Held in Kootiyoor in the district of Kannur of the state of Kerala, the festival is 28 days long, and thus one can plan a holiday here anytime in the month of June. Kootiyoor Utsavam, is celebrated in two temples, Akkara Kottiyoor and Ikkara Kottiyoor which are situated on the banks of the River Baveli amidst the dense forest. The festival is celebration to rever Lord Shiva in the form of self manifested (swayambhoo). One of the major parts of the festival is the Rohini Aaradhana where the priest embraces the swayambhoo Shiva linga. Another ritual that catches the eye here is Elaneer Vayppu in which tender coconuts brought by the devotees are offered before the swayambhoo by the head priest. This of the lesser known festivals in Kerala can be a nice experience to have in your summer break. You will have the chance to witness the rich culture and tradition of Kerala along with the unwavering faith that the people here have.
With the celebration of this important Buddhist festival you have another reason to visit Sikkim. Saga Dawa is mainly a carnival that is celebrated by the Mahayana Buddhists in Gangtok City. On the day of the festival, lighting of butter lamp is followed by procession that begins from Tsuklakhang Monastery. The monks walk with the holy scriptures in hands while they sing hymns, indeed a great view to have. Post the celebration of festival, you can also plan to visit other places in Sikkim like Pelling, Ravangla, Namchi and Yuksom or can simply enjoy a pleasant stay in Gangtok amidst its salubrious climate and charming landscape.
If culture and religion greatly intrigue you, Ambubachi Mela, which is held in Guwahati in Assam is something that might interest you in June. Convened in the famous Kamakhya Temple, the fair is begins when the door of the shrine are closed for three days when it is said the Goddess menstruate. Ambubachi is basically a fair for the Hindu Tantric Sect devotees who throng the temple from all over the country. The scene outside this holy place is worth witnessing as even the matted-hair sadhus and semi nude/nude aghoris are part of the celebration. On the fourth day, the devotees of the Goddess are allowed to enter the temple for worshipping Goddess Kamakhya.
Can’t get enough of Goa, right? This is why you must also visit Goa during the last week of June when the Feast of Saint Peter and Paul is celebrated. Also known as Sangodd, it is a unique festival when the fishermen community of Bardez tie up two or three fishing boats or canoes together to turned them into floating platforms on which the model of a church/chapel are then kept. These floats comprise of music system, dance performances, singers and skits onboard to entertain the crowd. Tiatrs, which is a local drama along with folk dances are performed before the audience who stands on the banks of the river. The most famous Sangodd is that of Candolim and Sinquerim, where the rafts carrying the church models make their way to the Chapel of St. Peter.
So, here you go, you have all the ideas and information that you require to plan a good holiday for yourself in June. Give summer a break this year and allow yourself a vacation of your kind- search, plan and set out. Remember ‘Summer’ is the best time to savour different flavours of India. So, Go Explore!