With summer at its peak and monsoon yet to arrive planning where to visit India in May is not an easy ask. Northern plains as well as most of southern coastal areas and cities and almost all of Western India including Rajasthan and Gujarat are better avoided. With this post, we strive to pick the best of the places to visit in India in May 2023 where you could have a fun time be it a family holiday, a long-awaited break with your spouse, a fun escape with friends, or a solo trip.
Here is the list of the 15 best places to travel in May in India 2023
Located in the Sahyadri range of the Western Ghats of Maharashtra, Lonavala is among the popular places to visit in May in India owing to its soothing weather. It is among the best weekend getaways near Mumbai and Pune. Also known as the ‘Jewel of Sahyadri’, Lonavala is blessed with lush greenery, sprawling meadows, stunning waterfalls, serene lakes, and ancient caves. The spectacular rock-cut caves of Karla caves, Bhaja caves, and Bedse caves are among the prime attractions of this hill town.
The places to visit near Lonavala comprise stunning cascades including Kune waterfall, Bhivpuri, Bhagirath, and Jummapatti waterfalls. Trekking, hiking, rappelling, and camping are among the best things to do in Lonavala. You can explore the historical sites including Tikona Fort, Rajmachi Fort, and Lohagad Fort. These stunning places and sites of Lonavala come alive in the month of May when you can witness the enthralling beauty of these places.
Gangtok – Impressive Natural Heritage
Are you looking for memorable North East holidays in May 2023? Then Gangtok is an amazing tourist place in Northeastern India to soak in the natural bliss and rejuvenate amidst the lush environs. The stunning panoramic views of Mount Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world make the tour to Gangtok memorable. The region blooms with wild rhododendron in May, making the vast fields colorful and enhancing the beauty of this hill town.
Gangtok is a base for adventure enthusiasts and a paradise for nature lovers. It is also a popular Buddhist pilgrimage site. The abundant natural beauty and home to numerous tourist attractions such as Tsomgo Lake, Tashi Viewpoint, Banjhakri Falls, Do Drul Chorten, Enchey Monastery, Rumtek Monastery, Ganesh Tok, and Himalayan Zoological Park. You can also visit the Nathula Pass, which was once part of the ancient Silk Route, and enjoy a memorable trip to Gangtok. Local delicacies of Gangtok such as Momos and Thukpa are also famous among visitors.
Lansdowne – A Quaint Little Hill Town
Blessed with paradisiacal beauty, Lansdowne is one of the best tourist places to visit in May in India
idyllic hill town located in the Pauri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand. It is an ideal location for nature lovers, honeymooners, and families. Encompassed by oak and pine trees, Lansdowne boasts colonial-style structures that have retained the old-world charm. Named after the then Viceroy of India, Lord Lansdowne this tiny hamlet is excellent for some of the popular hikes.
Soak in the scenic views of the mountain ranges and snow-capped peaks. You can enjoy bird watching, hiking, boating, and camping here. This is an amazing weekend getaway from Delhi in May 2023 to escape from the scorching heat of the national capital and spend some quality time amidst the lush nature.
Mount Abu – The Only Hill Station of Rajasthan
Popular for its stunning piece of architecture and breathtaking landscapes, Mount Abu is located in the Aravalli Plateau. This is the only hill station in Rajasthan and a perfect escape from the scorching heat of May for the people of Rajasthan and Gujarat. Adorned with lush green forest and blessed with pristine beauty, Mount Abu is home to numerous tourist places. You can explore the ancient forts, artistic temples, and lavish Havelis.
There are several enthralling landmarks in Mount Abu such as Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary, Peace Park, Guru Shikhar Peak, Sunset Point, Abu Road, Trevour’s Tank Toad Rock, and many more. You can explore the flawless ornamental carvings of Dilwara Jain Temples.
Indulge in adrenaline-rushing activities during your exciting Mount Abu trip.
Kashmir – Of Lakes, Gardens, and Spectacular Mountains
When it comes to summer holiday destinations in India, Kashmir up north is definitely one of the best bets to enjoy cooler climes, scintillating landscape, natural settings, and a lot of activities for families, kids, and youths. What makes Kashmir one of the top choices for places to visit in India in May is that it abounds with a number of natural attractions which include lakes and gardens; several important religious places that include pilgrimages, temples and mosques, and a lot of adventure activities like gondola rides, hiking & trekking, river rafting, angling and more.
With so many choices available it’s no wonder Kashmir rules the roost as one of the top honeymoon destinations as well as the best places for family holidays in India in May. Places to visit in Kashmir include Srinagar, Gulmarg, Sonamarg, and Pahalgam which are generally included in most of the week-long Kashmir tour itineraries.
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Sikkim – The Lesser Travelled Himalayas
One of the best-kept secrets of North East India but fast catching up with its due share of tourism, Sikkim is yet another of the top places to visit in India in May for seeking respite from the scorching summer. Set in the Himalayas and bequeathed with unsurpassed natural beauty, Sikkim with its tea gardens, Buddhist monasteries, picturesque valleys, and snow-laden Himalayan peaks is one of the finest summer holiday destinations in India.
Rafting in Teesta River, visit Tsomgo and Gurudongmar Lake and a ride to the historic trade route that was once connected via Nathu La are some of the top activities in Sikkim not to mention a visit Rumtek Monastery to partake in the ancient Tibetan Buddhism. Sikkim is one of our recommended destinations if you are looking for a family holiday.
Sikkim is also noted as one of the main destinations for ecotourism in India. The lesser-known and well-preserved Kanchendzonga National Park was recently inscribed as a World Heritage Biosphere by UNESCO.
Sikkim is yet another quaint place in India which is fast becoming a major honeymoon destination in India. With its tea gardens, lush valleys, and intoxicating lakes, Sikkim is favored by couples and honeymooners from all corners of India.
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Kerala – God’s Own Country
Running along 560 kilometers along the Western Coasts, this sliver of the state is one of the top all-weather tourist destinations in India. With its vast stretches of palm-fringed backwaters, hundreds of sun-kissed beaches, and a fair share of Nilgiri Hills, Kerala is a state endowed with immense natural beauty.
A stay in one of the many tree houses, sights of thundering waterfalls, cruising on houseboats (ketuvallams) across numerous canals and lagoons fringed with coconut trees and lush fields, and cultural interactions packs the punch when it comes to tourism in Kerala.
It is a world away from the frenzy of typical India that you’ll notice elsewhere. Munnar is one of the must-visit destinations if you are planning your vacation in Kerala in May. Houseboat rides from Alleppey or a retreat in Wayanad amidst lush forest should also feature high on your wish list if you happen to be in Kerala during the month of May. The immensely diverse Western Guide comes alive during the month of May. Do visit Silent Valley National Park to experience the diversity of plants and animal life in Kerala.
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Ranthambore National Park – Tiger Calling
We concede that it will be hot here if you’d plan your wildlife safari in Ranthambore in the month of May but them spotting the elusive tiger in their natural habitat is why anyone plans their trip to this fine tiger reserve in India in the first place anyways.
The reason why we have featured Ranthambore in our list of top places to visit in India in May is that this time of the year is considered best for tiger sightseeing as well as for game drives as wild animals head to the few remaining waterholes which mean more opportunity of sightings. Are you ready to visit the national park and spot the big cats?
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Ooty – Not So far from Madding Crowd
Ooty is to South India is what Shimla is to North. One of the most popular, scenic, and all-weather tourist destinations nestled in the Nilgiri Hills, Ooty’s appeal lies in its tea and spice plantations, lakes & gardens, verdant countryside, and distinct colonial charm.
Botanical gardens, vantage points, horse rides, and visits to tea and coffee plantations are some of the most popular activities here. One of the most romantic appeals of Ooty is a train ride up here offering a stunning view of the romantic surroundings.
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Manali – Tales of Adventure and Offbeat Paths
With snow cover gone and lush scenery opening up and tourist season yet to arrive, May is one of the best times to visit this otherwise popular and mostly crowded tourist destination in Himachal Pradesh. You name the activity and you are more likely than not to find it in Manali and its surrounding.
With Beas flowing down the town and Himalayan peaks surrounding it all across, Manali serves as the hub of adventure sports activities such as river rafting, paragliding, trekking, and much more. From people looking forward to adventure sports to the Indian families and honeymooners who come looking for rejuvenating mountain air and brush up with snow with a day trip to Rohtang Pass, Manali is definitely one of the top holiday destinations in India in May.
For more information about How to Plan your Trip to Manali this summer, contact IHPL.
Where to go: Vasisth with its temples, Solang Valley with a lot of adventure activities, and Rohtang Pass with snow throughout the year are major excursions from Manali. The Old Manali and new township also have a lot of activities to offer and places to visit.
When to go: From April to June for summer holidays and adventure activities and from November till March to experience snowfalls, solo treks, backpacking and not to forget the beautiful beginning of your married life. Manali is one of the most sought after honeymoon destinations in India especially up North.
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Darjeeling – Savor the Black Tea & Green Trails
With spectacular views of Mount Khangchendzonga, the third highest mountain peak in the world, world-famous black tea, and its unmistakable Raj-era inheritance, Darjeeling is one of the most popular hill stations in India and serves as a gateway to the North-Eastern state of Sikkim coupled with which it is also considered one of the best places for planning honeymoon in India in May. Activities here may include visiting Buddhist monasteries or gazing at rare animals in the Zoo or just exploring the narrow roads to catch sight of colonial-era architectural legacy.
Shimla – Mall, Ridge and Magnificence
Nestled along the ridge with steep forested hillsides on all sides, Shimla with its churches & cathedrals, colonial-era cottages and bungalows, and natural charm is one of the most popular hill stations in India and one of the best places to visit in May in India with family. It is thronged equally in summer as well as winter by vacationers from around the country. Formerly the summer capital of India and currently serving as the capital city of Himachal Pradesh, Shimla is definitely one of the best places to visit in India in May.
Things to do in Shimla could include doing nothing or it could be a leisurely walk along the long winding Mall, the main street where thankfully entry of vehicles is banned. Along the ridge lies the Christ Church, one of the most visible landmarks of Shimla. Further along, the road leads to the Jakhu Temple yet another popular tourist spot and the highest point in Shimla. Besides sightseeing; shopping in one of the various famous bazaars is one of the top things to do in Shimla.
Ranikhet – The Bucolic Delight
A good old cantonment town established during British Raj in 1869, Ranikhet home to the Kumaon Regiment is still reminiscent of the good old military atmosphere. Several old churches, mall road, and heritage hotels from the Raj era still evoke the colonial charm of this sleepy little hill town.
With its proximity to Delhi, Ranikhet is one of the popular places for summer holidays in North India. With its hilly location and lovely views of the distant Himalayan peaks and peaceful ambiance, Ranikhet is one of your best bets if you are looking for a retreat or a romantic getaway in India (especially North) in May.
Coonoor – Quieter Hills of South India
Quieter than its more popular counterpart Ooty and the second largest hill station in the Nilgiri Hills, Coonoor is one of the best places to visit in India in May for honeymoon. Its picturesque tea gardens, verdant surroundings, and fine heritage hotels are one of the best places to head to if you are looking for a cozy, serene place to go for a honeymoon in India in May. Sim’s Park and Botanical Garden are the major tourist attractions of Coonoor.
Several vantage points to watch the sun go down, Catherine falls and Guernsey Tea factory is things to look forward to if you are visiting this picturesque hill station in South India. However a word of wisdom. Avoid central Coonoor if you are looking for some quieter moments and choose guest houses or hotels located 1-2 kilometers away from the town center to truly enjoy the bucolic side of this hill town.
Ladakh – The Land of Lamas
Although highways to Leh from Manali and Srinagar sides open up a bit late in May, Ladakh itself comes to life in the month of May as most of the internal roads become open for vehicles to move around. May is one of the best times to visit Leh Ladakh as tourist arrival is relatively less during the month. One can enjoy and experience the best of Ladakh with visits to monasteries, rafting in Indus, or camel safari in the high-altitude desert in Hunder in Nubra Valley. The high-altitude lakes of Ladakh are yet the major tourist attractions in Ladakh. Both Tso Mori Ri and Pangong Tso are must visit destinations during your Ladakh trip.
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How to Reach: You can reach Ladakh by road from June till September and by air throughout the year. Roads from the Srinagar side via Zoji La Pass and Manali via the newly opened Rohtang Tunnel or the pass provide access to Spiti Valley in Himachal and Ladakh.
When to go: Tourist season in the Ladakh region opens in May and stays fully operational till Mid-October. July till September is considered the best time to visit Ladakh as most of India experiences heavy rain due to monsoon during that period.
What to do: Things to do in Ladakh include river rafting, trekking, cultural tours of monasteries, bike rides & motorcycle rides, camping, and camel rides in Nubra Valley.