Top Exotic Honeymoon Destinations in the Indian Himalayas
Give your married life a beautiful beginning by honeymooning in the enrapturing Himalaya Mountains in India. The best honeymoon destinations of the Himalayas are located in the states of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Sikkim & West Bengal. These exotic far-flung places boast not only stunning sights, but romantic ambience as well. A starry sky, a carefree breeze, a crackling bonfire and enchanting views all around would make you want to never leave.
The capital city of Sikkim, Gangtok is formed of rugged mountains, verdant valleys, racing rivers, lovely lakes and few monasteries. Needless to say, Gangtok is a geographical gem, which also happens to be one of the least populated cities of India, making it a just right secluded honeymoon destination.
When to Go: Between March and May is the best time to visit, as the landscape is blessed with clear skies and the spring flowers are in full bloom.
Where to Stay: For Budget Travelers – The Nettle & Fern Hotel, For Luxury Travelers – Mayfair Spa Resort & Casino
What to Do: Watch a spectacular sunrise from Dzongri Top, which can be reached by means of trekking. Bathe in the waters of the Yumthang Hot Spring, which can be visited by walking a 100 yards across a bridge on the Lachung river. Do not forget to say a prayer at the Pemayangtse Monastery, which is the starting point of the Dzongri Trek, so you can just drive up there in a local taxi. Play in the snow at Nathula Pass, which you can visit by reserving a vehicle.
Darjeeling, West Bengal
Surrounded by mesmerizing tea plantations and guarded by the majestic Khangchendzonga Mountain Range, Darjeeling still retains much of its colonial charm. Take a trip to the vantage points that promise you exceptional views of the snow-laden Kanchenjunga. Most of the tourists here spend their time exploring the many Buddhist monasteries, tea estates, art galleries and age-old churches.
When to Go: Between the months of October and March is the best time to visit. There’s a slight nip in the air, which makes it ideal to explore the city. It is advisable to avoid visiting in the monsoon months.
Where to Stay: For Budget Travelers – North Point Hotel, For Luxury Travelers – The Elgin, For a home-like stay – Happy Valley Homestay
What to Do: Embark on a Toy Train Ride that takes you through t
he lush forests surrounding the city and to Batasia Loop, the most splendid stop along the way. Spot the exotic Red Pandas at the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park on a lazy afternoon. Take a cable car ride (India’s first Passenger Ropeway) to enjoy the extraordinary views of rolling tea gardens, waterfalls and the rivers Raman and Ranjeet below. When in Darjeeling, do not miss out on a day-trip to the picturesque Kalimpong (50 km away) and to Mirik Lake (61 km away).
Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
Undoubtedly this is the most visited hill station in the Indian Himalayas. Shimla is most unique owing to its dramatic stepped layout. The famous Ridge with its old-world lamp posts add a greater grandeur to the township. Shimla is dotted with historic churches, specialty markets and a few temples and I recommend you spend time exploring these places.
When to Go: March to June are the ideal months to visit Shimla if you want to escape the sultry summer heat of the plains. These months are also ideal for partaking in adventure activities like trekking, paragliding and camping. Monsoon months must be avoided, as landslides are quite frequent in the area. If you want to witness snow showers, visit in January.
Where to Stay: For Budget Travelers – Rock Heaven Hotel, For Luxury Travelers – The Oberoi Wildflower
What to Do: Enjoy an evening walk along the Ridge and wander around the winding streets of Mall Road, where there are no honking cars on the roads as traffic is banned from the centre of the town. Experience the pleasures of camping in the wilderness at Shoghi, only 15 km away from town centre. Watch a concert or walk through an exhibition at the newly-restored Gaiety Theatre or visit Gorton Castle (which was previously the British government’s Secretariat). Take a day trip to Kufri to partake in adventure-inducing winter sports like skiing and ice skating.
You should also book a ride on the Toy Train in Shimla. This is different to the one in Darjeeling, in fact, Shimla and Darjeeling have an incredible history of train travel. The Kalka-Shimla Toy Train, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is counted as one of the most beautiful rail routes of India. It traverses through misty mountains and lofty pines via 800 tunnels and offers some of the most enchanting views of the valley.
Gulmarg, Jammu & Kashmir
Blessed with nature’s bounty, Gulmarg is a slice of heaven in the surreal state of Kashmir. Gulmarg’s wondrous wooded trails, magnificent views of the Apharwat, and salubrious setting make it all the more appealing to newly-weds.
When to Go: The months between April and June are ideal to enjoy pleasant weather, go horseback riding and trekking. If you wish to enjoy snowfall and indulge in skiing on the mountain slopes, then you should visit between the months of December and March.
Where to Stay: For Budget Travelers – Hotel Hilltop, For Luxury Travelers – The Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa
What to Do: Take a Gondola ride up to Kongdori (height: 2600 m) and then to Apharwat Peak (height: 3747 m). On days with clear skies, you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the Nanga Parbat. Try your hand at the game of Golf at the world’s second highest golf course. If you are visiting in the winter months, you can learn to ski on the steep slopes of Gulmarg. Spend a day at Apharwat Lake, only 13 km away from Gulmarg. The lake remains frozen in the winter up till the month of May. Go tea-picking on the terraced plantations. You can also sample the exotic Kashmiri ‘’Kahwa’’ or ‘’sheer chai’’.
These are 4 of the most amazing honeymoon destinations in Indian Himalayas. A visit here is sure to deliver spectacular views and memories to last a lifetime. If you have any questions, feel free to drop a comment. I’ll be more than happy to answer your questions.
About The Author: Varun is a travel enthusiast who loves to visit new places & learn about different cultures. He is currently employed as a travel writer in an Indian travel company.