Cherry blossoms – or the Sakura, as the Japanese call it – are something all travel bloggers have on their bucket list. We do too. Although we are yet to go to Japan, we had an unlikely yet beautiful encounter with cherry blossoms on our trip to the quaint village Kanatal in Northern India.
We were driving to Kanatal from the Dehradun airport after an early flight. Half asleep in the car and dreaming of the cozy bed awaiting us in the resort, we suddenly saw delicate pink blossoms out of the window. Could it or could it not be? Cherry blossom trees? Was our mind playing tricks? Nope, there they were, in plain sight. Jogging down memory lane, we remembered a story by Ruskin Bond called ‘The Cherry Tree’.
The Ruskin Bond connection:
This wonderful short story by Ruskin Bond tells the tale of young Rakesh and his experience with planting a cherry tree. In the course of the story, the tree gets eaten by a goat and cut by a woman while cutting grass, enduring hardships but living a full life. It thus echoes the Japanese philosophy that the sakura embodies both beauty and mortality.
The winding road around Dehradun and Mussoorie is flanked by these charming trees. Most people drive past them nonchalantly and locals think you are crazy when you get down from your car and start posing with the tree. Cherry blossoms range from white to pink. The ones we encountered were almost white with a pinkish tint.
Unlike the rest of the world, cherry blossoms bloom here around November instead of March-April. As of 2016, Shillong in the North East of India has started an autumn cherry blossom festival. It was the first of its kind in India. Although we really wanted to visit, our 2016 was fully planned. Meeting these delicate beauties made up for the regret we felt at missing it.[bctt tweet=”Our first encounter with the delicate cherry blossoms in India!” username=”SiddharthShruti”]
Cherry blossoms around the world:
Here are some glimpses of cherry blossom trees in different parts of the world. If you are planning a trip around March-April, you can like the Japanese, have picnics below the transient and exquisite cherry blossom. Hanami festivals celebrate the beauty of the cherry blossom and for many are a chance to relax and enjoy the beautiful view.
Photo Credit: Yong Thye
Photo Credit: Eugenijus Radlinskas
Photo Credit: Mr Hicks46
Photo Credit: calamity_sal
Photo Credit: susanfunk
Photo Credit: Ana Elisa Ribeiro
Have you been to any of these cherry blossom festivals? We would love to know what your experience was like. Let us know in the comments below.
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This is a wonderful post ……. Cherry Blossoms is one of the most photographed!! Now whenever one drives to Kanatal from the Dehradun will remember this 🙂 Me too !
Thanks! Remember that cherry blossoms mostly grow in the lower foothills so you’ll see most of them during the steep climb towards Chamba and very few in Kanatal itself.
They are one of the best in Washington DC…I was lucky to see them last year (wrote a post on that too)!
Great! We’d love to read your blog post if you could drop a link in the comments.
Beautiful pictures! I have never been to Japan but I have always heard that it is beautiful and your photographs are a testament to that. Well done. Nice post!
Thanks Raymond. Glad you liked the post. 🙂
Oh it’s so beautiful! My university (in SC, USA) had lots of cherry trees in their botanical gardens and I always loved seeing them bloom in Spring. How fun to see photos of them all over the world!
We would love to visit South Carolina sometime as we’ve heard the Fall colors there are some of the best in the world. We’ll keep an eye out for cherry trees as well. Glad you enjoyed our post.
I would have never pictured cherry blossom in India, but there you go! I’ve yet to see them in Japan either, but remember seeing them in Copenhagen and it really was quite the sight!
We were really surprised too; quite an unexpected (and delightful) encounter.
I love cherry blossoms. I’ve seen them in Washington DC. I’d love to visit Sweden and Japan during cherry blossom time.
We’d love to see the gardens in DC sometime too. Do send us a link to your blog post in case you write about your trips.
Your photos are so pretty! I love cherry blossoms! I grew up in Washington, D.C. and I loved going to the cherry blossom festival every year.
Thanks Julia. 🙂
Ahhh, these make me so excited for spring to finally be here! There were cherry trees lining the street where I grew up that have gradually gotten sick and been removed, but I absolutely loved seeing them every year. I planted some in the front yard of my own house last year and can’t wait for them to bloom!
One of our favorite trees ever! We are so excited for cherry blossom season here in Portland, Or. We would love to see them in India one day. Gorgeous pics! 🙂
Awww, cherry blossoms are so pretty! I love that the locals were staring at you snapping pics Haha! Shameless selfies all the way
Aren’t cherry blossoms so pretty and fragrant? I love them! Beautiful photos!!
Stunning ! I have always wanted to plan a trip around seeing these !
Isn’t it all just lovely? I would love to visit there that time of year and experience this. Reminds me of Washington DC when they bloom there. Your pictures captured the beauty for sure!
Japan’s cherry blossoms are so well documented I’ve not even thought of them being elsewhere. Good to know!
How beautiful to encounter your first cherry blossoms. How interesting that they bloom in India in Nov verses March-April. Wonderful photos, thanks for sharing 🙂 #feetdotravel
Really beautiful and so cool that you got to see this in India. I didn’t even realise in how many places you can see the cherry blossoms! Awesome experience and thanks for sharing – would love to see this for myself one day
We would have never pictured blossoms trees in India! Thanks for sharing a wonderful post with us. We also like the fact that you told us the tale about the blossom trees and we loved that you put pictures about how blossoms trees look different in different parts of the world! Keep up the great work! Patrick and Cécile from Travel4lifeblog:)
These flowers are so small but so so beautiful! I love that you’ve dedicated a whole blog post to them as well!
look at those beautiful flowers , i just the picture and I am already in love with them :* You have written an amazing tale here! Nicely studied by you guys 🙂
What a magic experience and I love your photos! I’ve seen the cherry blossoms in bloom at Washington DC and in Central Park, New York but would love to see them in Japan one day!
Oh lucky you! I love cherry clossoms so much I got ’em tattooed on me. 🙂 Would love to one day see them in real life.
Wow! So far the most useful travel article of 2017 so far. An alternative to the tourist fiesta of the Japanese Sakura. Plus, plus: one more beautiful reason to push for that India trip! 🙂
This post is so sweet, I love it!! I live in Maryland and we have the BEST cherry blossom trees in the spring. I could wander around outside for days looking at them, they are so lovely. Thanks for sharing this story and putting a smile on my face! Enjoy your travels 🙂
Great photos! I have yet to see cherry blossoms in person but I plan to someday. The locals just don’t appreciate them as much because it’s normal to them. I would have gotten out the car to pose with them too!
Beautiful and I bet smelled wonderful! #feetdotravel
Very very beautiful pictures. It’s a great moment to see the cherry blossoms, especially in many parts of the world. Thank you for your sharing. Really love this <3
Amazingly beautiful!! We always had a cherry blossom tree in our garden when I was growing up so they will definitely always have a special place in my heart <3 beautiful post!
What an interesting place. From the pictures you took, I would have never of guessed its North India.
The post is beautifully written. Truly cherry blossoms are in every travellers bucket list. The Ruskin bond analogy is beautiful. And thank you for mentioning the Shillong cherry blossom festival. Would love to visit it.
Cherry blossom is just so stunning and yes, it’s on my bucket list!! Forgive my ignorance though, but I did not know that they were in other places around the world and not just Japan – how silly of me! I guess I just haven’t read a post such as this that showed other places to visit so thank you so much for providing me with this information, I really appreciate it and have pinned this for future reference. #feetdotravel
Nice post, things explained in details. Thank You.
Wonderful post. Truly cherry blossoms are on every traveler’s list and it is such a delight to see the full-blossomed trees. I was already planning to visit Kanatal and now your post has given me an another reason for it. Thanks for the info on Shillong’s Cherry Blossom festival too.
Thanks Suruchi. It was such a surprise for us. We would also love to visit Shillong for the cherry blossom festival next year.