From Srinagar to Goa, we'll tell you the places to head to in April. Read on...
The temperature is soaring and it may look like the perfect time to hit the beach or visit a hill station.
But if you are one of those who'd like to steer clear of tourists or try something with a touch of tradition, this list is meant for you.
Here are our Top 4 travel picks for the month of April.
April 1-15: Srinagar
Why: Tulip festival
There is a reason why Srinagar is called the 'summer capital' of Jammu and Kashmir -- its charming houseboats parked on the gorgeous Dal Lake, surrounding Himalayan villages and pleasant climate make it the best destination when it comes to escaping the scorching summer heat.
Many would suggest that September is a good time to visit this 'paradise on Earth', but April is when you will get to witness the tulips in full bloom.
This year, Srinagar is holding a 15-day mega tulip festival from April 1 to 15 at the Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden, overlooking the Dal Lake.
The festival will give you the opportunity to witness traditional Kashmiri folk music and cuisine as well.
A word of caution: The temperature will be mostly pleasant but don't forget to carry body warmers just in case it gets cold at night.
Things to do:
- Witness the flowers in full bloom.
- Attend Aalmi Mushaira, where famous poets with enthrall you with their poetry.
- You can stay in a houseboat (shikara) and try water-ski too!
- Visit the Mogul gardens -- many of these were built during the 17th Century.
- When you are there, try the mutton rogan josh, Kashmiri lamb dishes like gushtaba, phirni and kawa, along with other delicacies made from lotus leaf.
How to get there: There are regular flights from Delhi to Srinagar. You can also travel by rail or road. The Srinagar Airport is well-connected from most of the major cities in India. After reaching the airport, you can hire a cab to your destination.
Video: Take a look at the gorgeous tulip gardens in the Kashmir Valley
April 14: Kerala
The two occasions in a year when you should actually be making a trip to Kerala are during Vishu and Onam.
This year, Vishu will be celebrated on April 14. It marks the beginning of the harvest season.
On this day, family members wake up early in the morning for their prayers. In the evening, children light crackers.
Things to do:
- You definitely need to try delicacies like puttu, avial, olan, thoran, payasam and steamed ripe bananas, just to name a few.
- There is a special sadhya prepared in most homes in Kerala, so if you're lucky, you might get treated to some good traditional Vishu food.
- Go temple hopping and don't forget to visit the Guruvayur Temple. But be prepared to find hordes and hordes of people there.
How to get there: You can take a train or flight to Kerala as it is well-connected from most of the cities in India.
April 14: Goa
You don't need actually need an excuse to travel to Goa, but this time there's one really good reason, Easter.
Visit Goa to witness how the Goans celebrate Easter, which is never completed without delicious, lip-smacking food.
The best Easter celebrations take place at Panjim.
You can attend the Easter Vigil mass at a church in Goa and then partake in the festivities.
The traditional clubs host Easter bashes and on Easter Sunday almost every corner of Goa feels like there's a party going on.
Things to do:
- Feast on yummy Easter eggs, dig into succulent slices of turkey or roast sucking pigs. You must try the hot buns and other Goan delicacies.
- Participate in an Easter egg painting competition.
- In the evening, you can put on your dancing shoes and dance the night away.
How to get there: Take a flight to Goa. You can also drive down from Mumbai, which is 600 km away. You can also take a train from Mumbai to Goa.
April 1-30: Mahabaleshwar-Panchgani
Why: Strawberry festival
There's no better way to beat the heat, than with a trip to a hill station.
Folks from Mumbai and Pune can always head to Mahabaleshwar to cool off.
The entire month of April has been dedicated to the strawberry festival -- it has been taking place every summer.
It's the season to indulge yourself with some delicious strawberry cream and ice cream.
While Mapro hosts a strawberry festival, there are other strawberry farms in Mahabaleshwar which will also be having similar festivals.
Things to do there:
- Eat to your heart's delight. Mapro has also introduced a wood-fire pizza. You must try that too.
- You can also take a trip of the strawberry farms in Mahabaleshwar.
How to get there: You can take a flight to Mumbai and drive down. There are regular state transport buses that will ply you from Mumbai and Pune to Mahabaleshwar.
Distance from Pune to Mahabaleshwar is around 125 km and it takes around three hours to get there. From Mumbai, it takes around five hours to reach the hill station.