Winter is presumably the best time of the year, to visit India. The weather is pleasant, especially in the plains, which gets unbearably hot in the summer months. If you choose to travel to India, in the winter months, you can travel across the length and breadth of the country, without being bogged down by the heat. With the weather on your side, your travels will be more enjoyable.
We have created a list of the best 10 destinations, for your trip to India. They promise a great experience and with a lot of sunshine.
Kerala – God’s own country
Cradled between the Arabian Sea and the Western Ghats, Kerala’s landscape gets painted emerald, come winter. Kerala has a lot to offer – sun-kissed beaches in Varkala and Kovalam, houseboat rides in the backwaters at Alleppey, spice gardens at Thekkady, tea and coffee plantations in Munnar, Elephants and tigers in Wildlife Sanctuaries and Ayurveda centres for holistic healing.
The average winter temperature in Munnar drops to around 11° C, but can even dip to 2°C with some frost. It is a nice destination for adventure lovers, with lots of opportunities for trekking, rock climbing and rappelling. Major tourist attractions include Anamudi the highest peak in the Western Ghats, the tea plantations in Devikulam, Mattupetty dam and the Eravikulam National Park.
Wayanad’s natural beauty is enticing and it is also a great trekking destination. The Ayurveda centres are an added bonus, they offer traditional massages and therapies to heal the mind and the body. Day trips to Meenmutty Waterfalls, Ghat View Point, Chembra Peak and Edakkal Caves can be enjoyed.
Rajasthan – The Land of the Maharajas
Rajasthan is vibrant and steeped in culture, tradition. It is a gateway to India’s great historic past. Set foot on Rajasthan and get transported into another era. Explore the grandiose of the palaces and the towering fortresses. Feast like a maharaja, shop for exquisite handicraft, camp in the Thar and dance with the nomadic tribes. Let Rajasthan mesmerise you.
Here is a peep into what you can expect in Rajasthan’s four major cities.
The Pink City or Jaipur has some famous iconic buildings – City Palace, Amer Fort, Jaigarh Fort, Nahargarh Fort, Hawa Mahal, Jal Mahal and Jantar Mantar. Udaipur, the Lake City is dotted with heritage buildings and palaces that have been converted into resorts. Jodhpur, the Blue City has one of the most majestic forts, the Mehrangarh Fort. And Jaisalmer or the Golden City nestles in the Thar desert. Would you fancy a safari across the desert or go camping there at night?
Delhi – The capital city
Delhi is the political capital of India. It is a remarkable city, modern, yet entrenched in history; divided into two distinctive areas – Old Delhi and New Delhi.
Old Delhi is a visual delight, buzzing with people, cycle rickshaws, tongas, roadside stalls, narrow-lanes, markets dating back to over hundreds of years and a lot of incredible history.
Take a tour of Old Delhi, shop at the spice market in Khari Baoli and for silver in Dariba Kalan. Visit the Jama Masjid, Red Fort and other hidden treasures.
New Delhi has the Qutab Minar, Railway Museum, Humayun’s Tomb, Lodhi Gardens and the State Emporiums, where you can buy genuine products, unique to each state.
Tamil Nadu – Land of Temples
Winter is the best time to visit Tamil Nadu, the weather improves from being hot and sultry to being pleasant and cool. Tamil Nadu is home to some of India’s most ancient temples as well as wildlife sanctuaries.
Visit the shore temples and rock caves in Mahabalipuram and pose for a selfie under the Butter Ball, a huge boulder that precariously balances on a rocky slope. Stay at one of the umpteen resorts. Travel down further south to Madurai, Tanjore, Rameswaram and Kanyakumari, to see some more old and beautiful temples.
Karnataka – Southern Beauty
Karnataka is a beautiful southern state, famous for its ancient temple architecture, forests and scenic hill ranges. Mysore and Bangalore are two major tourist hubs. The grandiose of the Mysore Palace will leave you in awe. Enjoy the sound and light show at the musical fountains in the Vrindavan Gardens.
However, if you want to visit heritage sites then head to Hampi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Other places of interest are the beaches in Gokarna and the Jog falls.
Himachal Pradesh – Queen of Hills
Himachal Pradesh is your best bet if you want to see snow, in winter. Shimla, Kullu and Manali and other tourist places get a lot of snow during the winter months. Shimla is the state capital and can be used as a central point to move to other destinations. The Mall Road and the Ridge are the most popular places in Shimla and Mashobra and Kufri are within driveable distance.
The more adventurous must visit Manali, an ideal retreat. Places of attraction near Manali include the Rohtang Pass and Solang Valley.
Pondicherry – Once a French colony
Pondicherry now called Puducherry is quaint, with cobbled streets and distinctive architecture, influenced by the French. It was till recently a French colony. Pondicherry is laidback, people move around on bicycles. Streets still have inimitable French names – streets are called by the French name rue.
Aurobindo Ashram and Auroville and the Promenade are tourist attractions.
Uttarakhand – Adventure and Adrenaline
Bungee jumping, skiing, white-water rafting, treks and camps and wildlife sanctuaries – is this your dream of a perfect holiday? Uttarakhand has all these and more. It is the destination for all the adventures you seek. Head to Rishikesh, for some bungee jumping and white-water rafting adventures. And to Jim Corbett National Park to spot the big cats. Auli gets covered in snow, in the winter and that makes an ideal setting for skiing and snowboarding.
Gujarat – India’s cultural hub
Gujarat is a colourful and culturally rich state, with an inimitable landscape. The Statue of Unity, the tallest statue in the world on the Sardar Sarovar Dam will make your visit to the state worthwhile. Also, interesting in the Charanka Solar Park in Patan; it is the third largest in the world, in its category.
The Gir Forest is home to regal Asiatic lions and can be easily spotted in the wild. The Rann of Kutch or the salt desert comes alive during the winter months, when the Rann Utsav is organised. Enjoy a ride on a camel back or go up in the sky in a hot air balloon. Stroll on the Mandvi Beach, under the full moon.
Lakshadweep Islands – Sun, sand & surf
Lakshadweep is an exotic holiday destination. Crystal clear blue waters, warm sun and pristine white sands. Go scuba diving, or just snorkel and explore the coral reefs and the underwater world. Island hop on special boats and enjoy the exquisite flora and fauna.