Places to visit in May

    Synonymous with the confused whispers of receding summer and the onset of Monsoon in India, May is also regarded as the time when the traveller is either on holiday or vigorously packing off to his next destination. Stop not, as May invites you on a voyage that will leave an unforgettable trace in your travel photos, and most importantly, your memories. For remember, when you're old and grey, these memories shall be your only true treasure.

    Best picks

    South Africa

    South Africa

    Winters begin from May in South Africa which is the perfect time for a safari holiday. You can enjoy game viewing in Kruger National Park, Madikwe Game Reserve, Pilanesberg Game Reserve or KwaZulu-Natal. This is the dry season when animals gather around rivers and waterholes. You can spot wildlife which includes lions, leopards, cheetahs, elephants, rhinos and buffaloes. The weather is pleasant with chilly evenings, making your safari experience unforgettable.

    We recommend: 6 Nights / 7 Days in South Africa @ Rs 99,500

    West Bengal and Sikkim

    Yuksom, Sikkim

    May is the best time to visit hill stations to beat the heat. Nestled in West Bengal, Darjeeling is a popular summer retreat. You can visit the Tiger Hill, Peace Pagoda and enjoy a toy train ride. Kalimpong is another hill station which is popular for traditional handicrafts, orchids and nurseries. Explore Siliguri which is adorned with tea gardens and soak in the spectacular views of Himalayas. Sikkim is awesome in May when the flowers bloom. It offers beautiful places to visit which include Rumtek Monastery, Tsomgo Lake, Yumthang Valley, Rabdentse Palace Ruins, Phamrong Waterfalls, Rangit Water World and Kirateswar Mahadev Mandir.

    We recommend: 6 Nights / 7 Days Sikkim @ Rs 28,700

    Long weekends

    Maharashtra Hills

    Lavasa

    Located between the Sahyadri range of the Western Ghats and the Konkan shoreline, Karjat is a splendid mini hill station. You can indulge in adventure sports, river rafting, hiking, trekking and rock climbing. Other attractions include the Peth Fort, Kondana Caves, Bhor Ghat and Ulhas valley. Nestled in the Western Ghats of Maharashtra, Lavasa is another famous hill retreat. It’s one of the most sought-after weekend destination due to its energetic town centres, lush greenery and lakes with the back drop of green hills. Surrounded by hills, Igatpuri is a scenic haven popular for hiking and trekking. You can visit the Bhatsa River Valley, Tringalwadi Fort, Dhamma Giri Meditation Centre and Camel Valley.

    We recommend: 2 Nights / 3 Days Sikkim @ Rs 11,300

    Festivals

    Thrissur Elephant Festival (5th May 2017)

    Thrissur Elephant Festival

    This Elephant Festival is celebrated in the Vadakkunnathan Temple of Thrissur, Kerala. During this festival, you will witness folk dancing and stellar fireworks which begin early in the morning, it’s indeed a visual feast. The main attraction is the grand elephant parade - 2 teams of 15 beautifully decorated elephants face off across the temple grounds. On each elephant’s back, a man holds a parasol. As the temple orchestra plays, the parasols are exchanged among the men standing on the elephants.

    We recommend: 5 Nights / 6 Days Kerala @ Rs 15,200

    Stars of the White Nights Festival, St. Petersburg (26th May - 23rd July 2017)

    White Nights Festival, St. Petersburg

    If you happen to visit Russia between May and July, you must experience the Stars of the White Nights Festival. It is held at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg and is among the ten best music festivals in the world. Every year, this event presents the best opera and ballet performances, chamber music and theatrical premiers. Major highlight of this festival is that it features works of renowned composers like Sergei Prokofiev, Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Dmitri Shostakovich and Gustav Mahler.

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    Honeymoon

    Switzerland

    Honeymoon in Switzerland is highly recommended for couples who are looking for adventure sports and beauty amidst breathtaking alpines and lakes. Bollywood films have made us fall in love with this paradise, making it a popular getaway among the romantics. You can indulge in bungee jumping, paragliding or river-rafting with your partner. Majestic mountains and lavish greenery make Zurich a perfect place to bond with your loved one. You can visit places like Swiss National Museum, Grossmunster Cathedral and the Botanical Garden and Zoo. Nestled between lakes, Interlaken is blessed with immense natural beauty. Popular attractions include Jungfraujoch, St. Beatus Caves and Open- Air Museum. Situated on the banks of Lake Geneva, Geneva is considered to be among the beautiful cities in entire Europe. Shed off all the wedding fatigue and soak in the splendid beauty of this haven with your partner.

    We recommend: 5 Nights / 6 Days Switzerland @ Rs 1,21,000

    Jammu and Kashmir

    Nothing attracts honeymooners like Jammu and Kashmir. Take a shikara boat ride on the Dal Lake, catch a glimpse of migratory birds in Dachigam Wildlife Sanctuary or walk through the Mughal gardens with your better half. In Pahalgam, you can soak in the beautiful Betaab Valley, enjoy a pony ride in the meadows of Baisaran or go white water rafting on Lidder River. Try trout fishing on the Krishnasar Lake near Sonmarg. For adventure lovers, Patnitop offers paragliding, rock climbing and rappelling. In Pulwama, treat your eyes to the sprawling saffron fields. You both can visit the Nandini Wildlife Sanctuary in Jammu and shop together at Ragunath Bazaar, Gole Market and the City Square Mall.

    We recommend: 4 Nights / 5 Days Kashmir @ Rs 12,000

    Adventure

    Paragliding in Manali

    Paragliding in Manali

    Manali offers lots of adventure sports which include horse riding, zorbing, parachuting and paragliding. If you dream of soaring through the sky, paragliding is perfect for you. While paragliding at the Solang Valley, you’re sure to feel the adrenaline rush and catch a bird’s eye view of this surreal valley. You are advised to undertake the sport only through the operators who are registered with the Tourism Department and the pilot must possess a registration license issued by the District Administration. From January to May, paragliding can be done between 9am and 5pm. It’s of 2 types - short flights and high flying. Short flights are the ones where the client takes a flight along with the pilot in the two seater paraglider and the flight lasts for approximately 60-90 seconds. In case of high flying, the flight lasts for 20-30 minutes and the pilots eligible are the ones experienced in short flights.

    We recommend: 3 Nights / 4 Days Manali @ Rs 6,400

    Unique experience

    Kailash Mansarovar Yatra (May - September 2017)

    Mansarovar

    Considered as one of the arduous treks, the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra is of religious significance to the Hindus, Buddhists and Jains. To seek Lord Shiva’s blessings, devotees visit Mount Kailash, the snow-clad mountain which stands tall in a remote corner of Western Tibet. High altitudes, freezing temperatures, dangerous trekking trails and rugged terrain form part of this trek. Though tough, every step of the sacred routes encircling Kailash and Mansarovar is blissful. If you plan to embark on this pilgrimage, include 30-minute walk, jogging and stretching in your routine, months in advance. Documents that you will need to qualify for this journey include medical report certified by doctors and passport valid for at least 6 months. Total trip costs over 1 lac per person.

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