Paradise is not always a sandy beach! The super captivating landscapes of India are marked by a vast stretch of diverse topography wonders. And when the mercury plummets, it turns into a gram-worthy paradise and there is no shortage of such wonderlands in India.
Winter is the time when several parts of India are adorned by a blanket of glistening white snow, whilst many more boast a blend of pleasant and fresh weather accompanied by mild sunshine.
From the snowcapped valleys of North East to the mesmerizing sand dunes of Rajasthan and from the Great Runn Of Kutch to the backwaters of God's own country, India has an exhaustive list of best places to visit in Winter. As winter is around the corner, here are 37 truly beautiful places that become even more stunning once winter rolls around in India.
1. Gulmarg - Kashmir
Kashmir can be an irresistibly good destination to plan a holiday during winters and one of the popular hill stations is Gulmarg, which is looked up to.
Image Courtesy: Forbes India
It is an ideal and rejuvenating weekend destination that treasures luxurious high-end resorts and amazing winter sports. In Gulmarg, you will be offered a plethora of sports and one that will surely be available is skiing. A cable car ride is another major attraction in Gulmarg, as it is truly an incredible experience getting a panoramic view of the surroundings. Hot air ballooning is also an added bonus during your Gulmarg tour. and similar to Manali, you can also find heli-skiing options here as well.
How to get to Gulmarg?
By Air: The nearest airport to Gulmarg is in Srinagar which is 56 kilometres away. It is a domestic airport and is well connected to major cities in India by regular flights from Delhi, Mumbai, and Amritsar. Outside the airport, you can hire a prepaid cab which will cost you around Rs. 1500 one-way. You can also hire a shared taxi which will cost less.
By Bus: Gulmarg is well-connected with regular bus services from Srinagar, Sonmarg and other neighbouring towns in Kashmir. You can choose from regular, deluxe and luxury buses operated by both government and private companies.
By Train: Jammu is the nearest railway station, at a distance of 290 kilometres. Jammu railway station is well connected to most of the railheads in major Indian cities. Some of the popular trains are Jammu Rajdhani, Himgiri Express, Swaraj Express, Andaman Express and Himsagar Express which connects the farthest railhead in Trivandrum city.
By Road or Self Drive: Gulmarg is 57 kilometres from Srinagar and although it can be reached in 1-2 hours, it takes more time due to the winding high altitude roads. It is recommended that you update your car with specially equipped tires to drive in this region.
Things to do in Gulmarg?
Shikara rides in Dal Lake, bird watching at Hokersar, wildlife seeing at Dachigam National Park, and shopping from the floating markets of vegetables & flowers in Dal Lake.
Nearby attractions: Dal Lake, Nishat Bagh, Shalimar Bagh, Tomb of Zin-ul-Abidin, Jama Masjid, Hazratbal Mosque, and Shankaracharya Hill
Things to shop for in Gulmarg: Unique to the region are Pashmina shawls and wraps, silk carpets, walnut wood knick-knacks, paper-mâché handicrafts and stone jewellery
Weather in December: The weather of Gulmarg in December is cool with temperatures ranging from 11 degrees Celsius to a low of -4 degrees celsius
2. Sonmarg - Kashmir
Sonamarg or Sonmarg is extremely scenic during winters, think of the movie the Chronicles of Narnia, yes…that pretty. It'd be a shame if you didn’t visit this famous destination that displays wide wavering ranges of the Himalayan snow-clad peaks. And if an endurance traveller you say you are, drive on the roads towards Sonamarg during winters, it can get pretty slippery but the picturesque surroundings can really take your breath away.
Image Courtesy: TravelTriangle
Though the heavy snow can make your trek slow to the nearby destinations, you may be able to trek (3km) to the frozen lake of Vishansar. Basically, it can be considered a day trip to explore the scenic mountains, a frozen lake and just be there in the moment.
How to get to Sonmarg?
By Air: The nearest airport is Srinagar at a distance of 70 kilometres, which is connected to all major airports and flights. Taxis are available from Sonmarg to Srinagar airport on a daily basis.
By Bus: State-run buses from Jammu and Srinagar are available daily. You can also take the special deluxe buses available from Jammu and Srinagar to Sonmarg.
By Train: The nearest train station is Jammu, which is well connected by all the major train routes in the country.
Road or Self Drive: The distance from Jammu is around 400 kilometres which take approximately 10 to 12 hours. You will be witness to some spectacular vistas on the way to Sonmarg and cross the famous Jawahar Tunnel, which links the Kashmir Valley with the rest of India.
Things to do in Sonmarg?
Shikara rides in Dal Lake, bird watching at Hokersar, wildlife seeing at Dachigam National Park, and shopping from the floating markets of vegetables & flowers in Dal Lake.
Nearby Attraction: Dal Lake, Nishat Bagh, Shalimar Bagh, Tomb of Zin-ul-Abidin, Jama Masjid, Hazratbal Mosque, and Shankaracharya Hill
Things to shop for in Sonmarg: The variety of silverware and copperware Sonamarg Shopping is certainly inclusive: silver tea-sets, flower vases, lavatory seats, scent torsos, decorative picture-frames, cigarette-cases, glasses, etc.
Weather in December: The weather of Sonmarg in December is cool with temperatures ranging from 11 degrees Celsius to a low of -3 degrees Celsius.
3. Srinagar - Kashmir
Srinagar is nothing short of paradise and the people who have visited this extraordinary valley will agree. The colours of the valley change every season.
Image Courtesy: The Financial Express
In the summers, the valley is a fresh green, in autumn you will see it painted in shades of mandarin and in winters, which start in December, you will see the valley wrapping itself in hues of grey, blue and white. Crisp-cold winds blow in the valley indicating that winters are finally here. The temperature drops down to minus degrees and all you will need is a cup of warm kahwa and firans to keep you cosy at times like these.
How to get to Srinagar?
By Air: Srinagar domestic airport (Sheikh ul Alam Airport) is well connected to the airports of all major cities in India.
By Bus: Srinagar is well connected to cities like Jammu, Delhi, and Chandigarh. You can take JKSRTC deluxe buses to travel to and from the city.
By Train: There are no operational railway stations in Srinagar. Jammu is the nearest railway station, at a distance of 290 kilometres. Jammu railway station is well connected to the Indian railway network.
(Note: The Kashmir Railway project for a direct railway line from Jammu to Baramulla is currently underway)
Road or Self Drive: Srinagar is accessible via road through the Srinagar-Leh highway only during early May to mid-November and through the 5.-Leh highway from April to June. The drive to Srinagar is famous for its enchanting views and the strategic importance it holds for being close to the Line of Control (LOC).
Things to do in Srinagar?
Learn all about Kashmiri culture at Sri Pratap Singh Museum; shop for local produce at Polo View Market and watch the sunset by the pristine Dal Lake. Sightseeing, Long Walks Across the Dal Lake, Shopping At Lal Chowk and City Tours at the Mughal Garden.
Nearby Attraction: Dal Lake, Mughal Garden, Shalimar Bagh, Hazratbal Mosque, Char Chinar, Wular Lake, Baramulla, Jamia Masjid, Challi Point, Pari Mahal
Things to shop for in Srinagar: Some of the must-buys include wood carvings, papier mache, carpets, shawls, sweets, dried fruits and more.
Weather in December: The weather of Srinagar in December is cool with temperatures ranging from 10 degrees Celsius to a low of -2 degrees Celsius.
(Tip: Owing to security reasons in the valley, local shops in Srinagar shut down quite early. Make sure you stock up on the essentials beforehand)
4. Shimla - Himachal Pradesh
Perfect for the ones who want nothing more than a bit of rejuvenation, Shimla gets blanketed by snow-covered pine and deodar trees and uncovers its best form during the winter months. Even though the city’s popular Mall Road area has become increasingly chaotic, Shimla’s beauty still exists for those who choose to seek it out.
Image Courtesy: Club Mahindra
Shoppers though will find their makka at the Mall where they can have their heart’s fill of exotic spices, woollens, handicrafts, fabric and other souvenirs. Like in other vacation towns don’t be afraid to bargain to get the best deals! Those looking for an action-packed vacation have their pick of paragliding, ice skating and trekking—a number of adventure tour operators in the main town area cater to thrill-seekers.
How to get to Shimla?
By Air: Jubarhati, which is about 23 kilometres from the town, is the nearest airport. Regular flights are going from Jubbarhatti to Chandigarh and Delhi. You can easily get a taxi from the airport to get to Shimla or you can ask your hotel to arrange for an airport transfer.
By Bus: There are several bus services including Himachal Road Transport Corporation buses as well as private operators connecting Shimla to the major cities in North India. Chandigarh is at a distance of 117 kilometres, Manali at 260 kilometres and Delhi at 343 kilometres. If you are going from Delhi, you can take an overnight air-conditioned luxury bus from ISBT Kashmiri Gate. Buses go in the morning or later at night - timings can vary from season to season, you can check them online before making a reservation.
By Train: The small railway station in Shimla is just 1 kilometre away from the centre of the town and is connected to Kalka by a narrow-gauge rail track. The famous toy train of Shimla goes between Kalka and Shimla, covering a distance of 96 kilometres in about 7 hours. Kalka, in turn, is the nearest railhead, which is connected to Chandigarh and Delhi by regular trains. You can take the Kalka Shatabdi, which goes from New Delhi Railway Station to Kalka Railway Station via Chandigarh.
Road or Self Drive: If you are driving from Delhi, you will have to take the Outer Ring Road towards GT Karnal Road, then turn right on NH 1. After you reach Ambala, leave NH 1 and move on to NH 22 towards Kalka. Keep going on the same highway towards Solan and then on to Shimla. The journey usually takes about 6-7 hours depending on traffic.
Things to do in Shimla?
Revisit British Era with Viceregal Lodge, Stroll Lakkar Bazaar for wooden souvenirs, Skiing in Kufri, one of the best things to do in Shimla, Watching the sunset at Scandal Point, Golfing in Naldehra, Trekking to the top of Jakhoo Temple, Shopping at Mall Road, Ice-Skating in Asia’s only open-air ice-skating rink.
Nearby Attraction: Jakhoo Hill, The Scandal Point, Ridge, Naldehra And Shaily Peak, Chadwick Falls, Kufri
Things to shop for in Shimla: The Kullu and Kinnauri shawls, suppressors and scarves, Pashmina shawls and the Tibetan floor coverings are a portion of the must-purchases from Shimla
Weather in December: The weather of Shimla in December is cool with temperatures ranging from 10 degrees Celsius to a low of -2 degrees Celsius.
5. Manali - Himachal Pradesh
It may not need any introduction because it’s Manali after all, the favourite place for holidayers as well as winter lovers in India. This destination receives heavy footfall all year round especially during winters because it offers a myriad of adventure activities to be done on snow.
Image Courtesy: OYO
The things you can probably get your hands on are skiing, snowboarding, and sledging. The winter months also allows witnessing the culture of Manali in its Winter Carnival. It is held every February offering delicious Himachali cuisine, folk dances, plays and lots of music to the visitors. If you are willing to do something out of the ordinary, try heli-skiing that required you to jump from a helicopter sliding straight down on a snowy slope. Besides, a visit to Marhi in winter will certainly bowl you over.
How to get to Manali?
By Air: The nearest airport is at Bhuntar, located approximately 50 kilometres away from Manali. Domestic flights connect Bhuntar with Delhi and Chandigarh. Once at the airport, you can take a pre-paid taxi to Manali. However, owing to weather conditions, flights are not the most reliable option for getting to or out of Manali.
By Bus: Manali is very well-connected to important tourist destinations like Leh, Shimla, Kullu, Dharamshala, and New Delhi by means of a network of state-run as well as private buses. The bus journey from Delhi to Manali is 550 kilometres, and it is advisable to book your tickets in the air-conditioned Volvo coaches, as the buses are more comfortable than ordinary ones, keeping in mind the long-distance of the journey.
Road or Self Drive: The drive up to Manali is simply breathtaking! You can catch scenic glimpses of the adjoining mountains and valleys from almost every turn that the twisty uphill road throws you in. Though a lot of tourists prefer a self-drive up to Manali, it is advisable to hire a taxi in case you are not comfortable with driving in mountainous regions.
Things to do in Manali?
Don’t leave Manali without planning an excursion to Rohtang Pass, the unmatchable paradise covered with snow and offering breathtaking grandeur of nature.
Nearby Attraction: Rohtang Pass, Solang Valley, Bhrigu Lake, Great Himalayan National Park, Manali Sanctuary, Van Vihar
Things to shop for in Manali: Some of the best things to buy during your visit to Kullu Manali include woollen clothing from the famous Manu Market, Khara Bazaar is best for shawls, Kullu caps from Mall road, Dorjes from old Manali, carpets from Gadan Thekchokling Gompa and the unique Tibetan items from the Charitable Trust Tibetan Handicrafts.
Weather in December: The weather of Manali in December is cool with temperatures ranging from 5 degrees Celsius to a low of -9 degrees Celsius.
6. Dharamshala - Himachal Pradesh
Poised against panoramic views of the Dhauladhar range, Dharamshala is a refreshing and peaceful hill town in the district of Kangra and is one of the important tourist destinations in India.
Image Courtesy: Skymet Weather
Surrounded by a thick swathe of pine and deodar forests, Dharamshala is the home of Tibetan exiles in India and hosts the headquarters of His Holiness The Dalai Lama. Although pleasant throughout the year, the winters are biting cold but still enjoyable.
How to get to Dharamshala?
By Air: The nearest airport is at Gaggal, about 13 kilometres away from Dharamshala. Gaggal airport connects Dharamshala to Delhi via Air India and Spice Jet flights. Tourists from other parts of India would find it easier to take a flight to Chandigarh and book a taxi for their onward journey to Dharamshala, which is about 275 kilometres away.
By Bus: Dharamshala is well-connected to Delhi and other parts of North India via a network of state-operated buses as well as private tour operators. The journey is almost 520 kilometres from Delhi. Most buses stop at the main bus terminal in Lower Dharamshala, but there are also some public Haryana Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) buses that go all the way to the main square of McLeod Ganj. An overnight journey from Delhi takes about 13 hours. You can book HRTC tickets online.
By Train: An overnight train journey is a good option to reach Dharamshala. The nearest major railway station is at Pathankot, 85 kilometres away. Numerous trains go to Jammu and Kashmir that stop by in Pathankot. You can take a taxi or bus from Pathankot to reach Dharamshala. There is also a smaller railway station, Kangra Mandir, just 22 kilometres from Dharamshala but none of the important trains halts here.
Road or Self Drive: There are taxis available at the Gaggal airport as well as the Pathankot railway station for Dharamshala. From Pathankot, it takes around 3 hours to reach Dharamshala. The drive from Delhi via Chandigarh, Kiratpur and Bilaspur should take around 12-13 hours. From Delhi and Shimla, luxury buses ply to Dharamshala.
Things to do in Dharamshala?
One can attend the Himalayan festival organized by the Tibetan Institute of performing arts during this time or pay a visit to St. John’s church or Temple Road along with Tibetan Children’s Park which is famous with the tourists. A winter trek to Triund to experience camping amidst a carpet of snow makes Dharamshala an ideal destination for those looking for adventure.
Nearby Attraction: Kangra Fort, Bhagsunath Temple, Bhagsu Falls, Namgyal Monastery, Dalai Lama Temple complex, HPCA Stadium, and tea plantations of Kangra valley
Things to shop for in Dharamshala: You can also buy woollen shawls, prayer wheels and prayer flags. Jewellery is also famous in Dharamshala. You can pick up Tibetan trinkets and other traditional pieces of jewellery. If you are fond of art and painting, you can purchase special mandala paintings and exquisite thangkas.
Weather in December: The weather of Dharamshala in December is cool with temperatures ranging from 15 degrees Celsius to a low of 10 degrees Celsius.
7. Khajjiar - Himachal Pradesh
Khajjiar pleases with its nature’s mystique, scenic charm, and beautiful blend of picturesque beauty and adventure. Though the place is blessed with lovely weather all year round, winters in Khajjiar have their own distinctive charm. The snow-covered valley looks ravishing, making it among the best places to visit in winter in India.
Image Courtesy: All Gud Things
How to get to Khajjiar?
By Air: Khajjiar does not have any airport. The nearest airport is in Dharamshala called the Gaggal airport, at a distance of about 120 km. Taxis and buses are easily available from the airport to Khajjiar.
By Train: The nearest railway station is located at a distance of about 118 km in Pathankot. Trains from Delhi, Bhatinda and Chandigarh are available till Pathankot. Taxis can be hired to complete the journey to Khajjiar.
Road or Self Drive: Khajjiar is very well connected by road to all the important towns of Himachal Pradesh including Dalhousie, Shimla and Chamba. State-owned and private buses ply on the route. Alternatively, you can drive from these towns to Khajjiar.
Things to do in Khajjiar?
Visit an apple orchard when in Khajjiar and try the juicy fruit straight from the tree. Go to Khajjiar Lake and have a picnic by the lakeside with your family. You can get a spectacular view of Mount Kailash from Khajjiar Grounds. For a thrilling day out, visit Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary to see wildlife species like deer, serow, jackal, leopard, black bear, wild cats and more. This sanctuary also provides some great photo opportunities.
Nearby Attraction: Khajjiar Lake, Khajjiar Trek, Khajji Nag Temple, HP State Handicrafts Center
Things to shop for in Khajjiar: The Tibetan Handicrafts Center in Khajjiar is a must-visit if you want to shop for exquisite carpets as well as wall hangings.
Weather in December: The weather of Khajjiar in December is cool with temperatures ranging from 6 degrees Celsius to a low of -10 degrees Celsius.
8. Rohtang Pass - Himachal Pradesh
Serving a gateway to the picturesque Spiti valley home to the famous Pin Valley National Park and numerous Buddhist Monasteries, Rohtang Pass is more than just spectacular natural delights.
Image Courtesy: OYO
The pass is inaccessible during winters, but you can still visit the place by obtaining the necessary permits. Once you enter the pass, you will immediately notice a transformation in the landscape, and you will come back spellbound and mesmerized by the raw and untouched beauty of the region.
How to get to Rohtang Pass?
By Air: The nearest airport is in Bhuntar about 104 km from Rohtang Pass. Manali falls on the same road, National Highway 21, about 51 km from Bhuntar Airport in Himachal Pradesh.
By Train: Joginder Nagar is the nearest railway station which is about 103 km from Rohtang Pass and 50 km from Manali.
Road or Self Drive: It is well connected by Himachal Road Transport Corporation buses that start from Manali and go as far as Leh via Rohtang Pass and then through Keylong. HRTC, Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation, and private operators run both air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned deluxe coaches. From June to October, there are regular buses between Manali to Keylong.
Weather in December?
The weather of Rohtang Pass in December is super chill and usually in the negatives only.
9. Kalpa - Himachal Pradesh
The teensy town in Himachal, Kalpa is one of the best places you’d probably want to visit time and again. Located very close to its district headquarters, Reckong Peo, Kalpa can be expected to be dressed in white during the winter season in India. Since Kalpa is situated at a high altitude, this place becomes fluffier with snow in the months between November and March.
Image Courtesy: On a cheap trip
This small town is considered to have the cleanest air in India, and since it is away from all that rush of tourist destinations in Himachal Pradesh, it looks no less than land from the fairytale when it comes to winter. Apart from this, small Buddhist monasteries, Hindu temples and the traditional houses and rich culture are the main attractions of Kalpa.
How to get to Kalpa?
By Air: The nearest airport is at Shimla, 267 kilometres from Kalpa. The airport is connected to many major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, etc. The cabs and taxis are easily available from outside the airport to Kalpa.
By Train: The nearest railway station to the village is again Shimla (260 km). It is one of the major stations connecting to several major cities including Delhi. Hire a taxi or take a bus from here for Kalpa.
Road or Self Drive: The HRTC (Himachal Road Transport Corporation) has regular bus services from the state Capital Shimla and neighbouring states like Delhi, Punjab, etc. Travellers can also take a privately owned bus from Delhi to Kalpa. There are several intra-city bus services you can avail of from various neighbouring cities within the state.
Things to do in Kalpa?
Trek to Chakka, Pay a visit to Suicide Point, Visit Roghi and Kothi village.
Nearby Attraction: Kinnaur Kailash, Suicide Point, Roghi village, Hu-Bu-Lan-Kar monastery, Kamru Fort
Things to shop for in Kalpa: Shopping in Kalpa is all about buying Kinnauri shawls and caps from the Handicrafts Emporium in Kalpa
Weather in December: The weather of Kalpa in December is cool with temperatures ranging from 10 degrees Celsius to a low of -20 degrees Celsius.
10. Spiti Valley - Himachal Pradesh
Known for its mystical topography, monasteries, trekking routes, semi-frozen rivers and lakes, Spiti valley in Winter is a charming and quaint place.
Image Courtesy: India.com
Owing to all these things, Spiti has become a popular destination for nature-buffs, photographers, and adventure enthusiasts. Head here in Winter to witness the most mesmerizing snowcapped vistas of nature which would make you feel like a place straight out of the fairytale.
How to get to Spiti Valley?
By Air: The nearest airport to the Spiti region is the Kullu Airport at Bhuntar, Kullu. This airport is well-connected to the important cities of the country. One can rent a cab or taxi to reach the destination. The journey is somewhere around 5 hours.
By Train: The nearest railway stations to Spiti valley are Joginder Nagar railway station and Shimla railway station. To reach the valley, you can rent a taxi from the railway station or can also board a bus going to Spiti.
Road or Self Drive: You can board the Himachal Pradesh state transport buses and other private buses from Manali, travelling past the Kunzum La pass or can rent jeeps and cars to reach Spiti. There is another road that travels north from Shima via the Kinnaur district to the Spiti valley. While some roads are open all around the year, there are others such as those through Kunzum pass, which get completely covered with snow and thus are not accessible. The two alternative routes to reach Spiti by road are: One is via Manali: Manali – Rohtang Pass – Gramphu – Chattru – Kunzum Pass – Kaza (Spiti Valley) The other one via Shimla – Kinnaur Valley as Shimla – Kinnaur – Nako – Sumdo (Spiti Valley) – Tabo – Kaza
Things to do in Spiti Valley?
A good spot for an adventure junkie. One can spend a night camping, can go freely on trekking and do river rafting. For Sight-Seeing one can go to Thangu Valley, Chopta Valley, Spiti Monastery, Gurudongmar Lake and Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary.
Nearby Attraction: Chandratal Lake, Key Monastery, Kunzum Pass, Pin Valley National Park, Dhankar Monastery, Kibber, Keylong Market
Things to shop for in Spiti Valley: A special variety of tea here is known as the Spiti tea which is claimed to slow down ageing as per the locals
Weather in December: The weather of Spiti Valley in December is cool with temperatures ranging from -1 degrees Celsius to a low of -25 degrees Celsius
(Tip: Mountains and high valleys might cause you sickness so better to be prepared beforehand)
11. Auli - Uttarakhand
India’s premier ski resort destination, Auli in Uttarakhand is located at an average altitude of 2800 meters in the Chamoli district. Offering awe-inspiring views of the Himalayas and covered in coniferous forest and slopes dotted with oak, apple orchard and deodar trees, Auli during winters becomes India’s hottest ski destination.
Image Courtesy: Curly Tales
Auli is considered to be one of the best places to visit in India in January and February if you are an adventure enthusiast looking for fun in snow and skiing activities. Every year from January till March, several national and international ski festivals are arranged in Auli. If you are a novice or someone looking to learn skiing, GMVN arranges 7-14 days of skiing courses at Auli. An 800-meter long chair lift and a 500-meter ski lift links the lower slopes of Auli to the upper one from where ski professionals embark on an adrenaline rushing dash down the enthralling slopes covered in a sheet of snow.
How to get to Auli?
By Air: The nearest airport to Auli is Jolly Grant airport of Dehradun, 149 kilometres from Auli. From Dehradun, it is most convenient to travel by taxi or catch a bus to Auli. The bus takes you to Joshimath only, from Joshimath you are required to reach Auli by ropeway or by road. Travelling by ropeway is time-saving and more exciting.
By Train: The nearest railway station to Auli is the Haridwar railway station which is situated 273 km away from Auli. Dehradun and Rishikesh railway stations are also considered as the nearest railway heads to Auli. From Haridwar, you can catch a bus plying to Auli or you can hire a cab to Joshimath, from where you need to take the cable car or a bus to Auli.
Road or Self Drive: You are required to catch a bus or taxi to Joshimath in order to reach Auli. Joshimath is well-connected from the major cities of Uttarakhand such as Dehradun, Rishikesh, and Haridwar. Buses are also available from Delhi to Joshimath. From Joshimath, Auli lies at a distance of 10 km and you need to cover this distance by ropeway or by road.
Local Transport: Cable cars are one of the most popular means of transport in Auli. Otherwise, buses are also available, but irregularly. You can also book cabs from other cities to travel around Auli.
Things to do in Auli?
Skiing is a must-do adventure when in Auli. In addition to Skiing one can also try Camping, Ropeway Ride, Trekking, Visiting Nanda Devi National Park, Joshimath, Trishul Peak, Hiking, Shopping at the local market, and many more.
Nearby Attraction: Plan a visit to Gurson Bugyal - a picturesque location from where you can view imposing the Himalayas like Nanda Devi, View Points for the panoramic view of Auli, Trishul Peak - the three Himalayan mountain peaks of western Kumaun as a whole form the Trishul peak, Chenab Lake for the calm and serene atmosphere that it offers
Things to shop for in Auli: Joshimath is located just 13 km away from Auli where one can find busy markets selling all kinds of goods and materials. One can find various shopping places in Joshimath. It is a small township where one can find woollen caps, blankets, beautiful shawls, gift items and various kinds of souvenirs as well
Weather in December: The weather of Auli in December is cool with temperatures ranging from 2 degrees Celsius to a low of -18 degrees Celsius.
12. Mussoorie - Uttarakhand
Often called the “Queen of Hills”, Mussoorie is located on the foothills of Garhwal Himalayan Ranges in Uttarakhand. Mussoorie is famous throughout as one of the most beautiful and scenic hill towns of India. Pervaded with raw natural beauty, one can even experience moving amid the clouds while taking a walk. Winters brings out the sleepy romanticism of a hill town.
Image Courtesy: IndianYug
Thus, making it the right getaway for a weekend, romantic honeymoon or family time. One can enjoy the cool gush of Kempty falls or can take a walk along the Mall which stretches from Cloud’s End in the west to Rockville in the east or just sit around and soak in the refreshing sunshine for a memorable time.
How to get to Mussoorie?
By Air: Jollygrant Airport in Dehradun serves as the nearest airport to Mussoorie. Direct flights from Delhi and Mumbai are available till Dehradun. Local taxis or buses can be hired to reach Mussoorie from Dehradun. Otherwise, visitors can board a flight to Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi, the second nearest airport to Mussorie, which offers good air connectivity with the rest of India and then travel to Mussoorie by bus or car.
By Train: Dehradun Railway Station, located around 36 km away serves as the nearest railway station to Mussoorie. A number of trains from far and near cities including Delhi, Kolkata, Jammu and Amritsar serve Dehradun city. After reaching Dehradun by train, visitors can board local taxis or buses for Mussoorie.
Road or Self Drive: A number of state government and private buses connect Mussoorie with nearby places like Delhi, Dehradun and other important towns of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Buses for Mussoorie are available on a frequent and daily basis, so passengers can choose a bus depending on their convenience.
Things to do in Mussoorie?
Head to Laal Tibba and Chaar Dukaan for a lovely lookout point from where you can view the actual Laal Tibba peak, Give the crowded Kempty Falls and Bhatta Falls a miss, and go to Mossy Falls instead, No visit to Mussoorie is complete without the legendary cheese omelette served at Lovely Omelette, Landour Bakehouse - A quaint little space in candour. It's built like an old British house - the ambience is lovely.
Nearby Attraction: Battha & Kempty Falls, Naga Devta Temple, Dehradun Valley, Mall Road, Laal Tibba and Chaar Dukaan
Things to shop for in Mussoorie: There are certain items that are famous in Mussoorie, like wooden decorative items, Shawls, Tibetan Prayer wheels, handicrafts, handmade jewellery and woollen clothes
Weather in December: The weather of Mussoorie in December is cool with temperatures ranging from 10 degrees Celsius to a low of -5 degrees Celsius.
13. Munsiyari - Uttarakhand
The charm Munsiyari in Uttarakhand offers is beyond words, visit and you’ll find out. It offers pleasant weather year-round but the winter months are simply bewitching - a thick layer of snow, perfect to build castles and snowman. Like any other hill station, Munsiyari too is filled with many things for adventure and trekking lovers. There may not be winter trekking options to high altitude places like Namik Glacier but there may be a few available short treks options to Thamri Kund.
Image Courtesy: OnHisOwnTrip
It is a 3 km trek from Ganesh Temple after you drive 7 km from Munsiyari. A trek to this freshwater lake is quite easy and for wildlife enthusiasts, you can also encounter musk deer. Other tourist spots in Munsiyari are Kalamuni Top, Birthi Falls, Maheshwari Kund, etc.
How to get to Munsiyari?
By Air: Pantnagar serves as the nearest airport to Munsiyari lying at a distance of 249 km. Connected with daily flights from Delhi, it is easy to commute from the airport to the village by taxis available outside the airport. Naini Saini Airport in Pithoragarh is the other option, however, the flight is not that frequent from this airport.
By Train: Kathgodam (275 km) and Tanakpur (286 km) are the two best options of the nearest railway head to reach Munsiyari via rail. These stations are well connected to many major cities via a good rail network. Cabs and buses can be hired from outside the station till Munsiyari.
Road or Self Drive: Munsiyari is connected to many major cities of Uttarakhand as well as neighbouring states via a well-maintained network of roads. State-owned buses and private buses run regularly from Delhi and other states. Since the journey from Delhi to Munsiyari is quite long, it is advisable to break your journey at various stops and finally change the bus from either Almora or Pithoragarh.
(Tips: Make sure you plan your trip according to the climate that prevails in the area. Try avoiding travelling to the village during the monsoon due to heavy rainfall and landslides)
Things to do in Munsiyari?
Nature walks is something you can do when in mountains and valleys, Explore its flora and fauna, Skiing, Bird Watching, Local shopping, Indulge in local food.
Nearby Attraction: Adi Kailas, Khalia Top, Chitai Temple, Milam Glacier, Namik Glacier, Ralam glaciers
Things to shop for in Munsiyari: Buy tribal handmade knick-knacks or woollens made by locals
Weather in December: The weather of Munsiyari in December is cool with temperatures ranging from 15 degrees Celsius to a low of -15 degrees Celsius
14. Nainital - Uttarakhand
If you happen to travel to Nainital, and that too at the time of winters, you dare would not ask for more. A moment to discover yourself, whether it is by spending a solitary time with your special one as the snowflakes gently fall on both of you, or by breathing high in the adrenaline rush of the snow adventure sports, winters are the exceptions, Nainital can make up for you.
Image Courtesy: Nainital Tourism
And you need not worry about the access you can have at that time, as Nainital is amongst the few places in India which are open in every direction throughout the year.
How to get to Nainital?
By Air: Being a hill station, Nainital does not have direct air connectivity. The nearest airport is located at Pantnagar, which lies at a distance of 65 kilometres from Nainital. Most of the air traffic to Pantnagar airport includes private chartered flights. No commercial flights are operating to and from here.
The second nearest airport is in New Delhi which is approximately 290 kilometres away from the central town in Nainital. Delhi airport is well-connected to different cities across the globe. You can hire private taxis from the airport which will charge you around Rs. 4000 to 4500. If you are looking for an economical option, then you can board a train from the Delhi railway station.
By Bus: Nainital enjoys excellent bus connectivity to important destinations in North India. Several tour operators operate daily bus service from New Delhi to Nainital, which includes options like air-conditioned, non-air-conditioned, sleeper and Volvo buses. Boarding an overnight bus is the most convenient way to head to Nainital, although some buses operate during the daytime as well.
By Train: The nearest railway station is located at a distance of 34 kilometres at Kathgodham, at the foothills of the Kumaon hills. Kathgodam railway station enjoys good connectivity to important places such as Delhi, Lucknow, and Howrah, with daily trains running to New Delhi. Some of the popular trains that ply from Kathgodam station are Ranikhet Express, Uttar Sampark, Kranti Express, Bagh Express, Dehradun Kathgodam Express and Anvt Kgm Shatabdi Express. Outside the railway station, you can either hire a shared cab or board a private taxi which will take you to the city.
Road or Self Drive: Nainital is well-linked to all nearby places by a network of well-constructed roads, including National Highway 87, which links it to Rudrapur and Rampur. A 6 to 7-hour drive from New Delhi, Nainital can easily be accessed by road, with a few halts en route. Tour operators offer regular taxi services to and from Nainital, and one can also opt to drive all the way up, being a little careful on the uphill climb.
Things to do in Nainital?
Take a Lake Tour, Eat at Chandani Chowk, Himalaya View from Snow View, Visit the Nainital Zoo, Learn Rock Climbing, Shop at Tibetan Market, Eat at Sonam’s, Get a Desi Head Massage, Row Your Boat, Skating at Zoomland, Trek to China Peak, Watch Sun Disappear at Hanuman Garhi, Attend Sharad Utsav, Sit by the Lakeside.
Nearby Attraction: Cave Garden, Nainital Zoo, Governor’s House, St. John’s Church, Kilbury and Pangot, Gurney House, Corbett National Park
Things to shop for in Nainital: You can also buy fresh Cherries, Apples, Strawberries, Mulberries, Peaches, and Blueberries from here
Weather in December: The weather of Nainital in December is cool with temperatures ranging from 14 degrees Celsius to a low of 2 degrees Celsius.
15. Ranikhet - Uttarakhand
A cantonment town in the Almora district of Uttarakhand, Ranikhet is a popular getaway for couples and families. The scenic walking trails, coupled with local sightseeing and adventure sports, make Ranikhet one of the prime destinations in Uttarakhand.
Image Courtesy: Holidayrider
How to get to Ranikhet?
By Air: The nearest airport to Ranikhet is Pantnagar, situated around 109 km away. There is a direct flight available from Delhi to Pantnagar, that runs on a daily basis. Once reached the airport, one can hire a taxi to reach Ranikhet.
By Train: Kathgodam is the nearest railway station to Ranikhet, located at a distance of 75 km. There are several trains that pass through this railway station from almost all the major cities. Upon reaching the station, cab services are all time available to finally reach Ranikhet.
Road or Self Drive: Ranikhet establishes a viable connection through roads at all seasons, to places like Haldwani, Bhowali and Khairna. There are direct buses available from Delhi (359 km), Nainital (56 km), Kathgodam (75 km) and Ramnagar (96 km). Cab facility from cities like Haldwani and Nainital is also available for Ranikhet.
Things to do in Ranikhet?
Spend Few Hours at the Chaubatia Garden, Enjoy the Serene Settings of Bhalu Dam, Seek the Blessings of God at Various Temples in the Vicinity of Ranikhet, Try Your Hands at Some Golfing Fun at the Upat Golf Course, Witness the Culture of Kumaon Region During the Nanda Devi Fair, Soak Yourself in Scenic Vistas of Majkhali, Watch the Rising Sun at Sitlakhet.
Nearby Attraction: Sun Temple at Katarmal, Take an Excursion to Dwarahat, Take Part in Some Adventure Fun, Chaubatia Garden, Nanda Devi, Ashiyana Park and Rani Jheel
Things to shop for in Ranikhet: Buy finely chiselled or kerned silver ornaments and silver embossed images of gods and goddesses in copper frames
Weather in December: The weather of Ranikhet in December is cool with temperatures ranging from 7 degrees Celsius to a low of 2 degrees Celsius.
16. Nelong Valley - Uttarakhand
A hidden treasure chest in Uttarakhand for thrill-seekers! The winters in Nelong Valley can be harsh and difficult but guess what, no one can stop the endurance travellers, can they? This almost unexplored destination in Uttarakhand falls under the Gangotri National Park and it is rather famous for the bone-rattling bridge attached to the walls of the mountain some 3666 m above the mean sea level.
Image Courtesy: HT
Other factors that make Nelong a must-visit place is for having a resemblance of the climate and landscape of that of Ladakh and it is a treat for the wildlife and landscape lover as it provides a 360-degree view of the Tibetan plateau and some endangered wildlife species like bharal, snow leopard, musk deer and the Himalayan blue sheep.
How to get to Nelong Valley?
By Air: Jolly Grant airport at Dehradun is the closest airport to Nelong Valley. Dehradun is roughly 315 km away from this valley. Taxis and bus services are available from this airport.
By Train: The nearest railheads are in Rishikesh and Haridwar. Early morning, you can hire a taxi from the Rishikesh railway station to Bhairav Ghati, located a few km away from the Gangotri shrine.
Road or Self Drive: Nelong valley is well connected by motorable roads like Dehradun, Rishikesh, Haridwar. Initially, you will have to reach either Dehradun, Rishikesh, or Haridwar and upon reaching head to Bhairav Ghati where the Forest Department jeep will take you to Nelong Valley.
Weather in December?
The weather of Nelong Valley in December is cool with temperatures ranging from 2 degrees Celsius to a low of -22 degrees Celsius.
17. Khati Village - Uttarakhand
Last inhabited village in Uttarakhand and a perfect place to find solace! Need an offbeat winter holiday? Visit one of the least travelled yet beautiful destinations in Uttarakhand, Khati Village. Ideal for peace and solitude lovers, it is accessible only through a trek via Dhakuri Pass.
Image Courtesy: Expedia
In fact, it is the last inhabited village that can be traversed while trekking to Pindari Glacier in the Kumaon Region. The winter vibe of the trek is all about the snow-covered trails with tiny winter flowers and forests covered with sunrays, offering a picture-perfect setting. Besides, the stone houses of the village simply add charm to it. If you are looking for a visit to Khati, go for Pindari Glacier or Sunderdhunga Glacier Valley trek that will pass through dramatic mountain slopes and lush forests covered in snow.
How to get to Khati village?
You can hire a cab from Kathgodam Railway Station and takes around 7-10 hours to reach Saung Village from where one can start the trek to Loharkhet and next day trek to Khati village via Dhakuri pass and reach Khati and if the road is opened then you can drive to Khati instead of trekking.
Things to do in Khati village?
Khati village is popular for cycling, mountain biking and nature walks. However, trekking and camping by the Pindara River offer delight for all those who love adventure
Nearby Attraction: Nothing much to see, except the surreal beauty
Weather in December: The weather of Khati Village in December is cool with temperatures ranging from -2 degrees Celsius to a low of -25 degrees Celsius.
18. Gangtok - Sikkim
Draped in the cover of clouds, nestling beautifully in the cover of Himalayas is this tiny pearl and capital of the state of Sikkim. One of the important administrative centres and tourist destinations, Gangtok is a multicultural, cosmopolitan hub that has a range of all possible amenities for visitors including multiple cuisines, shopping complexes, cyber cafes, pool parlours, and nightclubs.
Image Courtesy: Thrillophilia
Gangtok enjoys strict police administration and outside travellers are enthusiastically welcomed. A great place to chill out throughout the year though in winters the ambience becomes cool and refreshing. Nathula Pass (Indo-China border) along with Changu Lake, Jakhri Falls, Gurudongmar Lake are some of the exciting and popular tourist destinations. With so many things to do, it doesn’t come as a surprise that Gangtok features one of the best places to visit in North East India in winter.
How to get to Gangtok?
By Air: The airport nearest to Gangtok is about 124 kilometres away in Bagdogra, West Bengal. From the airport, you can hire a shared taxi or a private vehicle that will get you to Gangtok in a matter of two hours. The drive from Bagdogra to Gangtok is absolutely stunning with gorgeous mountains and River Teesta as your backdrop. From Bagdogra, you can also take a TSA helicopter to get to Gangtok in just 20 minutes. However, their services depend on weather conditions. Chopper flights also get cancelled on the pretext of insufficient bookings.
By Train: The nearest railway station to Gangtok is about 148 kilometres away in New Jalpaiguri in Siliguri. The station is well-connected to major cities like Kolkata and New Delhi. From New Jalpaiguri, you can take a taxi to Gangtok or go to Siliguri Bus Station and catch a state-run bus to Gangtok, which will take you about 5-6 hours.
Road or Self Drive: Tourists rolling in from nearby places like Siliguri, Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kolkata prefer to drive to Gangtok. The roads are well-maintained, except in a few places.
Things to do in Gangtok?
River Rafting in Teesta, riding a yak at Tsomgo Lake, paragliding, and ropeway cable-ride from Deorali.
Nearby Attraction: Nathu La, Hanuman Tok, Rumtek Monastery, Khecheopalri Lake, and Phodong Monastery
Things to shop for in Gangtok: Tibetan Carpets, Semi-Precious Stones & Silver Jewelry, Sikkim Tea, Thangkas, Buddhist Figurines & Prayer Flags, Wall Hangings, Sikkimese Cups, Black Cardamom
Weather in December: The weather of Gangtok in December is cool with temperatures ranging from 6 degrees Celsius to a low of -10 degrees Celsius.
19. Zuluk - Sikkim
A surprise on the Hairpin Route of Sikkim! A small Sikkimese village of Zuluk as unusual as the name may sound, the place offers a riveting ambience for winter adventures. Although the roads here may challenge you during winters making it slippery but once you reach your destination, you’ll thank God for creating such a masterpiece kind of a place.
Image Courtesy: Sikkim Adventure Tourism
Basically, this hilltop tourist place is a transit point within the Silk Route offering a sight of the 32 dramatic hairpin turns. Most tourists visit Zuluk to catch a glimpse of it and of course experience a ride on this famous road. An ideal place to get a panoramic view of the roads and mighty Kanchenjunga is from the Thambi viewpoint. Also, this rare destination is home to one of Sikkim’s sacred Kupup lake and Nag Temple which look dreamlike when covered in snow during winter.
How to get to Zuluk?
One can directly reach Zuluk from Bagdogra airport and Jalpaiguri railway station through a 7-8 hour road trip. Another way is to reach Gangtok and from there you can take a shared cab, bus or government vehicles but in most chances, these are not available so you have to hire a cab that would cost you around anywhere between 6,000 and 8,000 depending upon how good you are at negotiating and how much time you have.
Things to do in Zuluk?
Witness the sacred lake Kalpokhari Lake, Trek through the various pass and experience the mesmerizing beauty of nature from The Thambi View Point.
Nearby Attraction: Zuluk Loop / Silk Route, Old Baba Mandir, Memenchu Lake, Thambi View Point, Lungthung, Nathang Valley, Ganek, Kupup
Weather in December: The weather of Zuluk in December is cool with temperatures ranging from 10 degrees Celsius to a low of 4 degrees Celsius
20. Pelling - Sikkim
Sikkim’s ultimate trekking and backpacking paradise! The closest view you can get of the Kanchenjunga is from these major tourist places of Pelling unless you’re going to the Kanchenjunga National Park. But if you’re visiting Pelling during winters you can expect a different ambience. The winter trekking routes remain open offering different trail guides to some of the popular attractions. Village tours are mainly opted by travellers to Yuksom which requires you to traverse the milky falls of Kanchenjunga.
Image Courtesy: India Tourist Destination - Blogger
Also, visits to some of the grand monasteries in Sikkim like Sangachoeling and Pemayangtse are not to be missed. Since it is quite close to Dzongri, a lot of adventure-seeking travellers visit Pelling before going to the base camp situated in Yuksom. What’s best is that the Khangchendzonga Festival falls during December making it a great excuse to visit Pelling.
How to get to Pelling?
By Air: The nearest airport is at Bagdogra, 160 kilometres away. The airport is connected to all major Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata by regular flights. From the Bagdogra Airport, hire a private cab or board a shared taxi (available from Siliguri) to reach Pelling.
By Train: The New Jalpaiguri (NJP) Railway Station is the closest railhead at a distance of 152 kilometres from Pelling. Trains from across the country connect the NJP station to major cities including Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata. Taxis are readily available for hire outside the railway station. However, if you want to travel by a shared cab, go to Siliguri, 6 kilometres away, and from there take a shared cab to Pelling.
Road or Self Drive: Pelling is easily accessible by all-weather metalled roads. Other than buses operated by the state transport department, there are shared and private cabs available from all major towns and cities in the region. Pelling is well connected to Gangtok, Siliguri, and Darjeeling by road. The road from Siliguri to Pelling is quite steep and hence it’s advisable to travel by car or Sumo rather than a bus.
Things to do in Pelling?
A short walk to the helipad ground offers brilliant, panoramic views of the stunning Kanchenjunga and its surrounding mountain ranges, Visit Sangachoeling Monastery - the oldest monasteries in Sikkim.
Nearby Attraction: Pelling Helipad, Sangachoeling Monastery, Pemayangtse Monastery, Rabdentse Ruins, Darap Village, Rimbi River
Things to shop for in Pelling: Buddhist flags, woven bamboo articles, colourful woollen scarves, Tibetan ornaments, and carpets can be included in your Pelling shopping list. You can also buy local spices and produce like black cardamom, tea, walnuts, and oranges!
Weather in December: The weather of Pelling in December is cool with temperatures ranging from 14 degrees Celsius to a low of -5 degrees Celsius.
21. Tawang - Arunachal Pradesh
A place that transports you to the land of your dreams! Somewhere around 3048 meters high, this paradise-like destination of Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh offers a spirit-lifting ambience. It may be one of the coldest places in India but everybody wants an experience of it. Here, one can witness the mash of Indian and Chinese influence surroundings and of course the Buddhist monasteries that appear to look even more appealing during winters.
Image Courtesy: TOI
The major attraction in Tawang is probably the second largest Buddhist monastery in the world, which looks incredibly gorgeous in the winter season. And a sight not to miss is the 8 m tall statue of Sakyamuni Buddha located inside the monastery. The Sela Pass Trek from Tawang is widely anticipated by adventurers throughout the year, especially during the winter. It’s fascinating to witness the Sela Lake completely frozen during the month of January and the views from the pass are just bewildering, overlooking the mountaintops.
How to get to Tawang?
By air: The nearest airport from Tawang is located in Tezpur (Salonibari Airport) at a distance of 387 km. The airport is directly connected to Kolkata and Guwahati through Air India flights. In October 2014, the Government of Arunachal Pradesh Government started a helicopter facility to connect Tawang and Guwahati. The service is available twice a week. The nearest international airport from Tawang is located in Guwahati (Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport), at a distance of 480 km. This airport is connected to major Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and International cities like Bangkok and Paro.
By Train: The nearest railway station from Tawang is Rangapara Railway Station, at a distance of 383 km. It is well connected to major cities and towns in northeast India. About 88 stations are directly connected to Rangapara Railway Station.
By Road: The best way to reach Tawang by road is via cab or bus services. Arunachal Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) and other private agencies have introduced regular bus services, most of which connect Tawang to Tezpur (319 km), Bhalukpong (262 km), Nagaon (383 km), Missamari (320 km), East Kameng (381 km), Dhula (420 km), Itanagar (440 km), Sagali (502 km), Udalguri (390 km) and other towns and cities.
Things to do in Tawang?
Don’t miss the opportunity to visit some spectacular high-altitude lakes, like Ptso and Sangster, with colourful rhododendrons blooming all around.
Nearby Attraction: Tawang Monastery, Brahmadung Nunnery, Urgelling Monastery, Craft Center, Tawang War Memorial, Khinmey monastery
Things to shop for in Tawang: Shawls, carpets, chadars (wrap skirts worn by Monpa women), handcrafted bags, local tribal dresses are some of the more popular items to shop here
Weather in December: The weather of Tawang in December is cool with temperatures ranging from 6 degrees Celsius to a low of -13 degrees Celsius.
22. Mechuka - Arunachal Pradesh
The forgotten valley of Arunachal Pradesh! Gradually turning into a popular tourist destination, Arunachal has a lot of beautiful places to visit, one such destination is Mechuka. This amiable valley is surrounded by wavering lush greenery for the rest of the year while during the winters, it turns into a surreal destination with snow blanketing everything. The attraction to visit in Mechuka is the 400-year-old Gumpa also known as the Samtem Yongcha.
Image Courtesy: buzztribenews
And since it is situated atop a hilltop, you can get a 360-degree view of the entire valley. For adventure lovers, you can hire a local guide to take you for a hiking tour to the villages of Singbir, Galling to explore the local lifestyle of the people living in the extremely cold places of Arunachal. There is also a small Gurudwara, a little away from Mechuka.
How to get to Mechuka?
The closest airport is Assam's Lilabari Airport, which is located 490 km away from Mechuka. Silapathar in Assam is the nearest railhead, at a distance of 390 km. As there is no railway station or airport in and around, the best way to reach Mechuka, therefore, is via a roadway. Mechuka is well connected via shared public transport with Aalo, also called Along, which is a district headquarter.
Things to do in Mechuka?
You can indulge in trekking and hiking over high mountains. Water lovers can go rafting and involve themselves in angling in the River Siyom. Camping in the greens is another thing which you can opt for relishing in the greens with complete silence is blissful.
Weather in December: The weather of Mechuka in December is cool with temperatures ranging from 8 degrees Celsius to a low of -5 degrees Celsius.
23. Shillong - Meghalaya
One of the few natural gems with an exclusive colonial charm of its own, Shillong is the capital of the fascinating but small Indian state of Meghalaya (literally the abode of clouds). Shillong is home to a number of beautiful waterfalls and lakes and museums in addition to abundant greenery swathing all around. The state receives a record rainfall every year, thus it is wet most of the time of the year.
Image Courtesy: One India
Barring the few chilling days, the weather during the winters is cool and pleasant most of the time. It is also the time when one can expect a moderate relief from rains, thus making it the best time to visit Shillong city.
How to get to Shillong?
By Air: Shillong doesn’t have an airport in the city. The nearest airport to the hill station is the Umroi Airport near Barapani, which is about 25 kilometres away. This has limited connectivity with other cities. The nearest major airport that is well-connected with multiple cities across India is in Guwahati, which is about 125 kilometres away. You can take a taxi from Guwahati to Shillong.
By Train: The closest railway station from Shillong is in Guwahati. It’s about 100 kilometres away and you can easily take a taxi from there. The Guwahati railway station is connected to New Delhi and other major cities across the country.
Road or Self Drive: You can take a bus from Guwahati to Shillong. There are several private as well as government-operated deluxe and regular tourists going at regular intervals. But it’s a better idea to hire a taxi for a convenient and comfortable journey. You can even take a shared taxi to be more economical. The drive is extremely beautiful so you will really enjoy it.
If you are planning to drive down from Guwahati here are directions for driving: Start from Bara Bazar in Guwahati and hit NH 37, also known as the Assam Trunk Road. Continue driving till you hit GS Road on the highway and enter Kamrup District. Go on towards NH 40 and drive for about 65 kilometres till you enter Meghalaya via Nongpoh. You will have to continue driving for about 59 kilometres till you reach Mawlai and then enter East Khasi Hills. You will cross Nongmynsong to reach Shillong.
Things to do in Shillong?
Waterfall rappelling at Elephant Falls, cave exploration, shopping at Bara Bazaar, boating in Umiam Lake, and yacht riding at Umiam Lake Water Sports Complex.
Nearby Attraction: Ward’s Lake, Sweet Falls, Shillong Peak, Khasi Hills, Umiam Lake, Elephant Falls, Laitlum Canyons, and Mawjymbuin Caves
Things to shop for in Shillong: One of the best things you can buy from Shillong is Scottish Cloth. This cloth material is extremely classy and can be made into jackets, frocks, shrugs and shirts. One of the advantages of wearing Scottish checks is that you don’t have to put on any extra layers during the winters if you are settled in the plains. Another best thing you can buy is organic products. Shillong is a treasure trove of organic products. Look out for the variety of jams and jellies made of Sohiong (Prunus nepalensis), peaches and pineapple. Honey based beauty scrubs, handmade soaps, Sohiong wine, cashews, essential oils, a variety of berries including mulberries, raspberries, sour sohphie berries and strawberries are amongst the other organic goods available in Shillong
Weather in December: The weather of Shillong in December is cool with temperatures ranging from 15 degrees Celsius to a low of 3 degrees Celsius
24. Majuli - Assam
Nestled between the mighty Brahmaputra, Majuli, the cradle of Assam civilization is the world's largest deltaic island that inherits many hidden gems to explore.
Image Courtesy: JNR Globetrotters
Situated calmly along the waters of Brahmaputra, it is an unparalleled mixture of culture and heritage. if you are hunting an offbeat place somewhere in the peace of northeast, then you can’t go wrong with Majuli.
How to get to Majuli?
By Air: Regular flights are operating from Guwahati and other eastern and north-eastern cities to reach Jorhat Airport, also known as Rowriah Airport. From Jorhat, tourists can take a bus or hire a taxi to reach Neemati Ghat located 14 km from Jorhat. From Neemati Ghat there are ferry services that tourists can avail to reach Majuli. There are two ferry rides from Neemati Ghat to Majuli each day. The timings are 10:00 am and 3:00 pm.
By Rail: There are no railway stations in Majuli. To reach Majuli by train, tourists will have to take trains from Guwahati to reach Jorhat, the nearest railhead to Majuli. From Jorhat, buses and taxis will transport tourists to Neemati Ghat where ferries are available for a ride to Majuli.
By Road: As a river island, Majuli is not connected by roadways to any major cities or towns. Hence buses or taxis cannot ferry tourists to the little island. One can reach Jorhat by road (From Guwahati, a 7-hour bus ride will transport tourists to Jorhat). Likewise, passengers can also hire a private taxi to reach Jorhat. From here, however, they will have to rely on ferries to reach Majuli.
Things to do in Majuli?
Pay a visit to Kamalabari Satra and Dakhinpat Satra which is the centre of culture, literature, art, music in Majuli, Go on a picnic with family at Tengapania, which is a popular picnic spot.
Nearby Attraction: Molai forest, Phatobihu, Faato Bihu - Mohghuli Chapori
Weather in December: The weather of Majuli in December is cool with temperatures ranging from 26 degrees Celsius to a low of 10 degrees Celsius.
25. Zanskar Valley - Ladakh
Looking for an adventure of a lifetime? Visit Zanskar for some winter action amid the snow-coated mountains and frozen lakes. This fabulous destination is one of the best winter places to visit in Ladakh and while here you can delve into the many attractions it possesses.
Image Courtesy: BBC
Besides visiting the beautiful Buddhist monasteries, trekking is the best thing to do here in winter and it is ventured by both domestic and international tourists who make reservations for the famed Chadar trek in advance. Ideally, Chadar Trek is can only be done in the chilly winter months, it passes over the Zanskar River which remains stone-cold frozen, from a teensy village of Chilling. Zanskar trek is also a famous trek in Ladakh where wildlife enthusiasts may catch a glimpse of snow leopards.
How to get to Zanskar valley?
By Air: The closest airport to Zanskar Valley is Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport in Leh. Thereupon, take a taxi to reach the Zanskar region.
By Rail: The nearest railway station to Zanskar is Jammu Tawi. From Jammu, first, take a bus or taxi to reach Srinagar. Thereafter tourists can again take a bus or taxi to reach Zanskar.
By Bus: Zanskar valley is 250 kilometres from Kargil. So as to reach here, one needs to first reach Kargil, which is 213 kilometres from Leh. From Kargil, hire an SUV to reach Zanskar, which takes good 8 hours. Also, there’s a weekly service that runs from Leh till Padum in Zanskar. It halts for the night at Kargil. If tourists are opting for the Manali route to reach Leh, then the Zanskar would one of the regions they will come across.
Things to do in Zanskar valley?
Shower in natural hot water springs, Ride through the China Border, Watch the sunrise by the lake, Camp in the mountains, See the majestic Himalayas reflected in crystal clear lakes, Meditate in an open monastery.
Nearby Attraction: Chumathang, Old Monasteries, Cold Deserts and Moon Lands, Magnetic Hills, Nubra Valley, Shanti Stupa, Khardung-La
Things to shop for in Zanskar valley: One can shop for pashmina and cashmere shawls, silk carpets, and handicraft items
Weather in December: The weather of Zanskar Valley in December is cool with temperatures ranging from 1 degrees Celsius to a low of -13 degrees Celsius
26. Kalimpong - West Bengal
With an amazing backdrop of snow-clad hills, this little town, overlooking the giant river Teesta, is an elegant place of Buddhist monasteries, nursery industry and charming colonial architecture.
Image Courtesy: OYO
Kalimpong boasts of an amazing tradition of hospitality, mixed with incredible assimilation of different races, cultures and religions.
How to get to Kalimpong?
By Air: Located at a distance of 79 km, Bagdogra airport is the nearest airport to Kalimpong. The airport is well-connected to major cities of the country like Kolkata, Delhi, and Guwahati. International travellers can reach the destination using connecting flights from major cities like Kolkata and Delhi. From the airport, tourists can take taxis and buses to reach Kalimpong.
By Rail: New Jalpaiguri railway station is the nearest railhead located at a distance of 77 km from Kalimpong. The station connects Kalimpong with different regions of the country. Buses and taxis are available outside the station which can be hired for reaching Kalimpong.
By Road: Kalimpong is well-connected to Sikkim and other cities of India via road. Direct buses connect the city from neighbouring states. State and private buses connect Kalimpong to places like Gangtok (75 km), Darjeeling (50 km), Bagdogra (79 km) and Siliguri (70 km).
Things to do in Kalimpong?
Paragliding, bird watching, and fishing.
Nearby Attraction: Zang Dhok Palri Phodang, Mac Farlen Church, Tsonga Gompa, Morgan House, Dr Graham’s Homes, Hanuman Tok, and Science City
Things to shop for in Kalimpong: When in Kalimpong do pick up some packets of cheese and noodles that the region is famous for. Other than that, handicrafts, embroidered items like bags and purses, copperware and Tibetan jewellery and artefacts are quite popular here
Weather in December: The weather of Kalimpong in December is cool with temperatures ranging from 16 degrees Celsius to a low of 7 degrees Celsius
27. Darjeeling - West Bengal
Luring with its meandering toy trains, Darjeeling is also led when it comes to the best tea plantation across the world. This paradise in winter experiences snowfall, which further beautifies its landscape, making it among the best place to enjoy a winter vacation in India.
Image Courtesy: EastMojo
In fact, not just the scenic charm, but the festivals such as Teesta Tea & Tourism festival and Darjeeling Orange Festival are organized during this time, giving you an insight into local culture and lifestyle.
How to get to Darjeeling?
By Air: The nearest airport to Darjeeling is Bagdogra which is approximately 95 km away from the city. There are some direct flights from cities like Kolkata, Delhi, and Guwahati to Darjeeling. From the airport, one can reach the city by hiring taxis. It takes around 3 hours to reach Darjeeling from the airport.
By Rail: The nearest railway station to Darjeeling is New Jalpaiguri which connects the city with all the major parts of the country. There are a number of trains from cities like Kolkata, Delhi, Guwahati, Chennai, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Bhubaneshwar, and Kochi. People can hire private cabs from the station to reach Darjeeling.
By Road: Darjeeling is well connected to some of the major cities close by such as Gangtok and Kalimpong which are located at a distance of 100 km and 51 km respectively. The city is also connected with Kolkata which is 651 km away and it takes around 14 hours to reach here. The capital city of Nepal, Kathmandu is just 310 KM away from this beautiful place. From the airport, one can reach the city by Bus or Cab.
Things to do in Darjeeling?
Paragliding, bird watching, and fishing.
Nearby Attraction: Tea Gardens of Dooars, Tiger Hill, Peace Pagoda at Charlemont Hill, and Gorkha War Memorial
Things to shop for in Darjeeling: Hand knitted items, Tibetan carpets, a packet of tea
Weather in December: The weather of Darjeeling in December is cool with temperatures ranging from 10 degrees Celsius to a low of -2 degrees Celsius
28. Ooty - Tamil Nadu
Snuggled amid picturesque Nilgiris, Ooty is a beautiful hill station in South India. Surrounded by a thick overlay of eucalyptus, coniferous, pine and wattle trees along with numerous coffee and tea plantations, the hill town is the epitome of natural rejuvenation. It has been loved since the days of the British Raj when they settled in the area. Their legacy exists in the form of Stone House and St. Stephen’s Church.
Image Courtesy: TravelTriangle
Moreover, the beauty and bliss take you to a different world, a holiday in winter will do wonders for your spirit.
How to get to Ooty?
By Air: Approximately 88 kilometres away, Coimbatore is the nearest domestic airport from Ooty which is well-connected with most of the Indian cities. You can also take a flight from Bangalore (which is 295 kilometres from Ooty) as Bangalore airport is connected with most of the cities across the globe. There are regular flights from Delhi, Mumbai, and Chennai connecting Bangalore and Coimbatore. Once you reach the airport, you can take a taxi or bus from there to reach Ooty.
By Train: The nearest railhead is Mettupalyam, 40 kilometres from Ooty. There are trains from Chennai, Coimbatore, Mysore, and Bangalore connecting Mettupalyam. Some of the popular trains are the Ooty Udagamandalam Passenger train, Mettupalyam Udagamandalam Passenger train, Mangalore Mail and Mangalore Express. From here on, you can also board the heritage train known as the Nilgiri Mountain train which takes you uphill on an exciting journey. However, if you wish to reach faster, take a taxi from the railway junction.
By Bus: Ooty is a major tourist attraction of South India. You will get both government and luxury buses from Bangalore, Mysore, and Chennai to Ooty. These are overnight buses and the journey is quite comfortable. Note that a special government bus leaves daily at 5 pm and 7 pm from Calicut and it takes just 6 hours to reach Ooty.
Road or Self Drive: The best part of a road trip to Ooty is that you drive through the reserve forest area and stunning scenery, and that surely is some experience. If you wish to drive from Bangalore to Ooty there are 2 routes you can take: via Mysore or via Chamarajanagar. Finally, you reach Gundlupet, the border town and enter the forest road amidst Bandipur National Park and Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary. Look out for elephants on this stretch!
Things to do in Ooty?
Ride the Nilgiri Toy Train, horse riding, boating in Ooty Lake, mountain biking in the Blue Mountains, and hang gliding at Kalahatti (20 km from Ooty).
Nearby Attraction: Doddabetta Peak, Ooty Lake, Emerald Lake, tribal Toda huts, Deer Park, Upper Bhawani Lake, Avalanche Lake, St Stephen’s Church, and Kalhatty Waterfalls
Things to shop for in Ooty: Vegetarian and organic cheese with milk from Jersey and Holstein cows, fresh spices like cloves, nutmeg, pepper and cardamom, handmade chocolate, aromatic essential oils such as camphor, eucalyptus and citronella, and finally a packet of its signature tea and coffee.
Weather in December: The weather of Ooty in December is cool with temperatures ranging from 20 degrees Celsius to a low of 8 degrees Celsius.
29. Kodaikanal - Tamil Nadu
Kodaikanal is to Bangaloreans what Darjeeling is to Kolkatans or what Nainital is to Delhiites. Waterfalls, valleys, meadows, grasslands, forests, and lakes of the quaint hill station of Tamil Nadu make it one of the best places to visit in South India and a perfect winter holiday destination from the peninsula.
Image Courtesy: Club Mahindra
From cycle rides to yoga, boat rides to treks Kodaikanal has a lot of adventure activities within its heart to offer to its tourists.
How to get to Kodaikanal?
By Air: Madurai International Airport is the nearest to Kodaikanal, approximately 120 km away. From the airport, travellers can easily avail of bus or taxi services to reach Kodaikanal.
By Rail: Kodai Road which is approximately 95 km away is the nearest railhead that links Kodaikanal with cities like Madurai and Trichy. This railway station mostly serves as the rail-to-bus transfer point for those visiting Kodaikanal, about a two to three hours journey. Taxis can also be easily available from the railway station.
By Road: Kodaikanal is linked by road with several prominent cities, including Bangalore, Trichy, Chennai, Ooty, Coimbatore, and Kumili. From Madurai, it takes less than four hours to reach Kodaikanal via NH 49. Depending upon their budget and requirement, travellers can choose from pocket-friendly state government buses or private luxury buses available from these cities.
Things to do in Kodai?
Experience Brocken Spectre at Coakers’ Walk, ride a rowboat or pedalo at Kodaikanal Boat Club, cycle around the Kodai Lake, take a trek to Kukkal Caves, and practice yoga at the Kodaikanal Yoga Centre.
Nearby Attraction: Kodaikanal Lake, Bryant Park, Coaker’s Walk, Pillar Rocks, Dolphin’s Nose rock, Shembaganur Museum of Natural History, and Bear Shola Falls
Things to shop for in Kodai: Homemade chocolates, marshmallows, cheese, shawls, Jewelry, Brass, Leather items, Bone and Walnut wood articles.
Weather in December: The weather of Kodaikanal in December is cool with temperatures ranging from 17 degrees Celsius to a low of 10 degrees Celsius.
30. Coorg - Bangalore
Another of the beautiful hill towns in the Western Ghats, Coorg is one of the best places for tourists in Karnataka. Rich with stunning natural beauty and a diversified biota, Coorg is a dream holiday spot. The landscape of coffee plantations as far as the eye can see soothes your senses like no other. Owing to rolling hills, clouds touching the hilltops and mists in the valley, the town got titled ‘Scotland of India’.
Image Courtesy: MakeMyTrip
Visitors can not only enjoy the calming views of the surrounding green hills and a raw landscape but also take on a number of exciting and adventurous outdoor activities such as trekking, rafting, angling, rock climbing etc. or participate in colourful and unique local festivals Keil Poldu, (weapon worshipping), Cauvery Shankaramana( return of goddess of the river) and Huttari (harvest). Winters are particularly stimulating and in March the valley appears with white flowers in bloom.
How to get to Coorg?
By Air: Coorg does not have its own airport, the nearest airport being Mangalore, which is approximately 135 km away has good connectivity with direct flights from different parts of the country. Flights are available from all the major cities for Coorg.
By Rail: Coorg does not own a railway network but the stations closest to this hill station are Mysore, Mangalore, and Hassan. There are many trains for these places from different parts of India.
By Road: Coorg is well connected with the municipalities like Mysore, Bangalore, and Mangalore so reaching Coorg is not a difficult task. You can hire taxis as well as state buses to reach the hill station which would take around 3 hours and 30 minutes to reach the place from Hassan.
Things to do in Coorg?
Coorg hosts mind-blowing adventures, ranging from camping, trekking and rock climbing to microlight flying and white-water rafting.
Nearby Attraction: Tadiandamol Peak, Brahmagiri Hill, Iruppu Falls, Golden Temple, coffee estate
Things to shop for in Coorg: The organic unadulterated packet of coffee, the famous Coorg honey, signature spices such as cardamom, pepper, vanilla, cumin, basil, oregano, star anise, rosemary, thyme, sage and nutmeg, chocolates, oranges and finally the savoury Coorg wine
Weather in December: The weather of Coorg in December is cool with temperatures ranging from 20 degrees Celsius to a low of 8 degrees Celsius.
31. Hampi - Karnataka
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hampi will sway you back to the golden era with its archaeological marvels. This is an otherwise hot place, which in winters experience the best weather conditions.
Image Courtesy: AudioCompassBlog
Also, in the month of January, it serves as the venue for Hampi Mahotsav. The festival celebrates the culture of Karnataka via puppet shows, temple parades, sports, dance, music and more, all of which combine to make this one of the best places to visit in winter in South India.
How to get to Hampi?
By Air: The nearest air link to Hampi is the Belgaum airport which is located at a distance of 270 km. Bangalore airport, on the other hand, is 300 km from Hampi. Direct flights to the airports operate from major cities of the country like Delhi and Mumbai. After reaching the airport, travellers can take a bus or taxi to reach Hampi.
By Train: There is no railway station in Hampi. Hospet which is 13 km from Hampi is the nearest railhead. Different cities of the country are connected to this railhead which makes it easy to reach Hampi. 10 daily trains and 5 special trains run to the station from different places of the country. After reaching the Hospet railway station, travellers can take a taxi or bus to reach Hampi.
By Road: Hampi is well-connected to Bangalore and other major cities of Karnataka via roadways. KSRTC buses operate on a regular basis from Hospet to Hampi. To get Hampi by road, there are many options that the tourists can choose from. These include buses, taxis or car rental. All the options offer a great option to reach the destination in a comfortable way.
Things to do in Hampi?
Visit the Temples and Ruins of Hampi, Climb Hampi’s Giant Boulders and Try Bouldering, Climb Hampi's best viewpoint place Matanga Hill, Visit Anjaneya Hill – the birthplace of Lord Hanuman, Join the Sunset Jam Session at Sunset Point on Hippie Island, Jump off a cliff to swim.
Nearby Attraction: Hippie Island, Matanga Hill, Anjaneya Hill, Virupaksha Temple, Vithala Temple, Lotus Palace, Queen's Bath
Things To Shop: Stone Artefacts, Lambani Crafts, Leather Crafts, Musical Instruments, Banana Fiber Crafts
Weather in December: The weather of Hampi in December is cool with temperatures ranging from 32 degrees Celsius to a low of 12 degrees Celsius
32. Great Rann of Kutch - Gujarat
Known across the world for the colourful white sand desert festival, Rann of Kutch organizes the Rann Utsav every year in the winter season, for the period between November and February.
Image Courtesy: CNN
The festival flaunts the ethnic charm of Gujarat through cultural programs and local cuisine. Scenic beach, white salted landscape, and full moon beauty add to the charm. One can indulge in various activities such as hot air balloons and camel rides, which makes it among the top picks for destinations for winter vacations in India.
How to get to the Great Rann of Kutch?
The best approach to reach Rann of Kutch is via Bhuj, Dhordo is the Gateway to the Rann. The nearest airport/railway station to Kutch is in the city of Bhuj, then hire a cab from Bhuj to reach Kutch.
Things to shop: Oil-based painting, Copper Bells, Lacquer, Embroidered garments with mirror-work, Chunky silver jewellery, Gold Jewelry, Bandhini sarees or dupattas, Ajrakh block printing shawls, Pottery, Patchwork fabric
Weather in December: The weather of Great Rann of Kutch in December is cool with temperatures ranging from 31 degrees Celsius to a low of 17 degrees Celsius
33. Jaisalmer - Rajasthan
Exhibiting the rich and colourful Rajasthani culture, the city of Jaisalmer, with its golden sand, exotic havelis and a giant, imposing fort standing in the middle is a sight to behold. The fort, still inhabited by the descendants of original citizens, offers a wealthy tapestry of hues, traditions, customs, attires and cultivation.
Image Courtesy: Thrillophilia
Referred to as Golden City, the best time to visit Jaisalmer is during the winters when a tourist can expect a safe escape from the dreaded heat of Rajasthan. However, winters can be chilly too, so it’s advisable to carry woollens and pullovers during this time.
How to get to Jaisalmer?
By Air: Jaisalmer does not have any airport within the city. The nearest airport to Jaisalmer is Jodhpur airport which is situated at a distance of around 275 kilometres. The Jodhpur airport is connected with domestic and international flights to and from major destinations.
By Rail: Jaisalmer is connected with various cities through the broad gauge and meter gauge railway tracks. There are direct trains from the cities of Delhi and Jaipur to Jaisalmer. The ‘Palace on Wheels’ also connects Jaisalmer.
By Road: Jaisalmer has good road connectivity with various cities of Rajasthan and Gujarat. Several state transport and private buses ply on the routes between these cities. The Golden Bus Terminal and Roadways main bus stand are the two main bus stands in Jaisalmer. The cities of Jodhpur, Bikaner, and Ajmer are located at a distance of 275 KM, 270 KM and 375 KM from Jaisalmer.
Things to do in Jaisalmer?
Visit the Jaisalmer Fort, Camel Safari in the Sand Dunes, Camping in the Dunes, Bonfire and Stargazing, Photography.
Nearby Attraction: Bada Bagh, Jaisalmer Fort, Gadi Sagar Lake, Kuldhara Village, Gadisar Lake, Sam Sand Dunes
Things to shop for in Jaisalmer: Mirror Work Embroidery, Camel Leather Products, Jewellery, Fossil Stone, Souvenirs and Gift Items
Weather in December: The weather of Jaisalmer in December is cool with temperatures ranging from 26 degrees Celsius to a low of 10 degrees Celsius
Famous white sand beaches, carefree culture and multi-flavoured delicacies are what define Goa. A former Portuguese colony, the legacy of the colonial era can be seen everywhere from Gothic Churches to monuments and other relics. A subtle mood of festivity pervades all around. Tourists can enjoy lazy afternoons chilling at long, ample beaches or soak in the gaiety ambience in the evening and night. Even then there is much left to be explored.
Image Courtesy: The Times
The most favourable time to visit Goa is during the December-March months especially for Christmas and New Year and the Goa Carnival when the state is enlivened with jubilation and merriment. It comes as no surprise that Goa features not only as one of the top warm-weather destinations in India but as one of the top places to visit in India in winter with the hotels especially the 4 star, 5 star and luxurious ones sold out well in advance. In fact, Goa is one of those rare places in India where hotel package prices are actually high during the Christmas and New Year, period
How to get to Goa?
By Air: The Dabolim Airport lies just 29 kilometres from the state’s capital, Panjim. It is well connected by daily flights from Chennai, Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Cochin, and Bangalore.
By Bus: There are a number of public as well as private bus operators in Goa, which offer options for intra-city and inter-city conveyance. KSRTC, MSRTC and KTC are some of the Government undertakings that operate from Panaji, Madgaon and Vasco Da Gama. Private bus operators include the likes of Neeta Tour and Travels, Paulo Travels and Naik Tours and Travels. Goa enjoys a daily bus service from important cities like Mumbai and Pune.
By Train: The two major railheads in Goa are Madgaon and Thivim, which are well connected by trains from all over the country.
Things to do in Goa?
Go shopping at one of Goa's flea markets, relax with a beachside massage and explore Goa's delectable food by trying out food at its innumerable beach shacks.
Nearby Attraction: Click Here to know what are the best places to visit nearby Goa
Things to shop for in Goa: Click Here to know all the best places to shop and what to buy from Goa
Weather in December: The weather of Goa in December is cool with temperatures ranging from 33 degrees Celsius to a low of 21 degrees Celsius
35. Munnar - Kerala
Often called the paradise for nature lovers, Munnar is the gem of South India. With a profusion of scenic appeal, any visit to Kerala is complete only after a visit to this place. The beauty and charm of Munnar is the reason why it is listed among the best honeymoon destinations in India.
Image Courtesy: The Indian Express
Explore expanses of tea plantations, misty surroundings, waterfalls and other exotic flora and fauna. It is truly a fabulous vacation spot. This is especially true for winters when a dreamy mist pervades. In fact, the bliss of the pleasant winters gives seasons to plan your holiday with family and loved ones.
How to get to Munnar?
By Air: Munnar does not have an airport of its own. The nearest airport is the Cochin International Airport, which is 110 kilometres away by road. From Cochin, you can hire a cab to get to Munnar. The Madurai International Airport is 140 kilometres away from Munnar. In case you de-board at the Madurai International Airport, you can hire a cab or board the state transport or private buses to get to Munnar.
By Train: The nearest railway station from Munnar is at Aluva, which is at a distance of 110 kilometres from Munnar. The Ernakulam Railway Station is 130 kilometres away while the Madurai Railway Station is at a distance of 135 kilometres. From these points, you can either hire a cab or board the state transport or private buses wherever available.
By Bus: State-run or private buses, plying from various towns in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, are the best way to get to Munnar by road. Kerala State Road Transport Corporation provides bus services to Munnar from all major cities in Kerala.
By Road or Self Drive:
Driving to Munnar is real breadth to eyes and can be a lot of fun at the same time. Below is a few interesting routes one can rely upon while driving to Munnar with the distance:
Munnar - Ernakulam: (135 kilometres) 4.5 hours
Munnar - Thekkady: (110 kilometers) 4 hours
Munnar - Thiruvananthapuram: (300 kilometres) 9 hours
Munnar - Palani: (120 kilometres) 2.5 hours
Munnar - Coimbatore (150 kilometres) 6 hours
Munnar - Madurai (135 kilometres) 6 hours
Things to do in Munnar?
Camping at Top Station, Visit Kolukkumalai Tea Plantation, Stay in A Tree House, Visit Blossom Park Dark Forest, Camping in Suryanelli, Visit Echo Point, Watch the Beauty of the City from Pothamedu View Point, Enjoy the Beauty of Lakkam Waterfalls, Take a Safari Tour Eravikulam National Park, Take a Safari Tour Eravikulam National Park, Shikara Ride in Kundala Lake, Mountain Biking in the Western Ghats, Hike to the Anamudi Peak, Elephant Safari at the Carmelagiri Elephant Park, Have Fun at Wonder Valley Adventure and Amusement Park, Rock Climbing on the Hills of Munnar, Rejuvenate With an Ayurvedic Spa, Watch Kathakali at the Thirumeny Cultural Centre, View the City from Lockhart Gap View Point.
Nearby Attraction: Attukal Waterfalls, Anamudi, Pothamedu View Point, Echo Point, Eravikulam National Park, Marayoor - A Place Between Clouds
Things to shop for in Munnar: You can take your pick and bring home some of the finest spices which are much superior in quality than the ones you usually get from the supermarket, Tea is an extremely preferred drink and has been cultivated in the city of Munnar ever since the British started their own tea gardens, Munnar is pretty famous for churning out some of the best handmade chocolate, and finally, Munnar has been known to produce some of the finest aromatic oils
Weather in December: The weather of Munnar in December is cool with temperatures ranging from 15 degrees Celsius to a low of 10 degrees Celsius
36. Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Sun-kissed shoreline filled with white sugary sand, greenish-blue lagoons, beautiful beaches, and the flawless underwater beauties make Andaman, a Hollywood-styled vacation spot. If you love water and water-based activities, Andaman is the right place to visit.
Image Courtesy: The Print
December is the peak tourism season and this is the time of Christmas celebration and New Year beach parties. December is the time of mild to moderate wind and clear visibility under the water. This allows many undersea activities like snorkelling, scuba diving, undersea walking, and others, to be more beautiful. The temperature will be very pleasing with low humidity and a warm climate. It seldom rains during December and thus, it is the perfect beach time.
How to get to Andaman and Nicobar Islands?
By Air: One of the easiest ways to travel to Andaman is by flight. This tourist destination houses its own airport at Port Blair which has good connectivity with Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, and Bangalore. While the flights from Delhi and Mumbai take 5 hours, travellers from Chennai and Kolkata can reach in just 2 hours.
By Ship: If you want to travel to Andaman by ship, then Kolkata, Vizag, and Chennai are the places to go. The ship tours take place 3-4 times every month, which can change as well. The journey takes around 60-70 hours to touch down the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Things to do in Andaman and Nicobar Islands?
Scuba Diving, Explore the underwater marine life through Andaman Dolphin Glass Bottom Boat, Snorkeling, Mangrove Kayaking at Mayabunder, Tour the Volcano in Barren Island, Attend the Tour the Volcano in Barren Island, Island Hopping, Parasailing, Sea Plane Ride, Island Trekking, Dolphin Watching, Go for a Helicopter Tour.
Nearby Attraction: Chidiya Tapu, Havelock Island, Ross Island, North Bay Island Andaman, Jolly Buoy Island, Baratang Island, Neil Island, Cinque Island, Red Skin Island, Barren Island, Smith Island, Radhanagar Beach, Elephant Beach, Kala Pathar Beach, Wandoor Beach, Mud Volcanoes - Diglipur, Visit Forest Museum, Anthropological Museum, Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, Explore Limestone Caves
Things to shop: Wooden artefacts, Coconut carved decoration pieces, Ornaments made of shells, Crafts made from Cane, Sarongs and Hats, Pearl Jewellery
Weather in December: The weather of Andaman and Nicobar Island in December is cool with temperatures ranging from 30 degrees Celsius to a low of 22 degrees Celsius.
Experience the quintessential island temperature, splash in the azure water, explore the beautiful coral reefs, and enjoy the myriad of water sports at the white sandy beaches of Lakshadweep.
Image Courtesy: Adventuresome
Though it is a year-round travel destination, what makes it one of the best winter destinations in India is its pleasing weather particularly in this season. And what is more? You would not mind a sun-tan in winters.
How to get to Lakshadweep?
By Air: The nearest international airport to Lakshadweep is the Cochin International Airport connecting Lakshadweep and the mainland. Cochin International Airport operates several onward flights to the major airports in India and also to some foreign destinations. The only airport in Lakshadweep is located in Agatti. From Agatti to Kavaratti, one can avail helicopter services all around the year and from Agatti to Bangaram during monsoon. Flights from Cochin take almost one and a half hours to reach Agatti. The flights are operated six days a week.
By Ship: To reach Lakshadweep you can avail of ship services from Cochin. Seven passenger ships are operated from Cochin to Lakshadweep such as MV Arabian Sea, MV Dweep Setu, MV Kavaratti, MV Bharat Seema, MV Minicoy, MV Lakshadweep Sea and MV Amindivi Sea. The journey through this route takes around 14 to 20 hours. Different classes of accommodation such as A/C Deluxe Class (with 2 berth cabins), A/C First Class (with 4 berth cabins) and Tourist Class (with A/C seating) can be availed in these ships. The ships are well equipped with an entertainment lounge, walkway, cafeteria, snack bars and video shows, etc. Avail health service or call on a doctor on board.
Things to do in Lakshadweep?
Scuba Diving, Enjoy Fishing at Minicoy Island, Witness breathtaking allure Lagoons at Agatti Island, Experience the beauty of Virgin Beaches at Bangaram Island, Kalpeni Island, Witness the Most Scenic Island with Colorful Corals: Kalpeni Island, Take sunbath at Kadmat Island, Do shopping at Amindivi Island, Get Mingle with the Nature at Andrott Island, Scenic view from Light House: Minicoy, Yacht trip in Lakshadweep, parasailing, Boating.
Nearby Attraction: Visit the nearby Island, Minicoy Light House
Things to shop for in Lakshadweep: A range of handicrafts made of seashells and oyster shells are available at the tiny roadside stalls. Other crafts include those made of coconut shells and tortoise shells. The chunky jewellery that these colourful people use can also be bought and carried home. Among all islands, one of the prime to pick up stuff from is Minicoy
Weather in December: The weather of Lakshadweep in December is cool with temperatures ranging from 32 degrees Celsius to a low of 20 degrees Celsius
These places might not be paradise in the way we have been taught to think about it, but once you have been there and strapped on skis or crampons, once you have ridden toboggans or snowmobiles, once you have sipped gluhwein or dipped fondue, you will never look back.
Q. Which places is best to visit in winter?
A. If you love snow, Gulmarg, Dharamshala, and Auli are the best snowfall places to visit in India. But if you're a fan of hot weather, Rann of Kutch and Jaisalmer are the best.
Q. What can you do in India in winter?
A. Taking Desert Safari in Jaisalmer, Skiing in Gulmarg and a Boat ride in the backwaters of Alleppey, are some of the best things to do in India in winter.