Here is a list of places that can prove to be ideal for a holiday in December :
Konark, Odisha : The Black Pagoda
Konark is known for its Sun Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you’re visiting Konark in December, make sure you attend the Konark Dance Festival and the International Sand Art Festival. The town is culturally and traditionally rich. The beaches of Konark, especially the Chandrabhaga Beach, are among the best in India.
At Konark you have the opportunity to witness the soulful Odissi dance form. The Konark Festival is held each year in the month of December in Konark and is one of the popular winter festivals and events in India. People from all around the globe gather here to witness it. So, along with the golden opportunity to explore this ancient and magnificent architecture, you as a visitor will get the chance to witness the age old dance form in India. During the festival, dancers come from all parts of India travel to Konark to display their skill of age-old dance forms ranging from the classic Bharatanatyam, the elegant Odissi and Manipuri, to the very expressive Kathakali and Sattriya dance styles amongst others. The festival is organized in the premises of Sun Temple and isn’t it exhilarating to realize that one can enjoy great performances against the backdrop of the temple.
Dates for the Konark Festival 2016: 19th – 23rd December 2016
Puri, Odisha : land of Lord Jagganath
No you don’t have to be a follower of a certain faith to visit a place like Puri. Yes, it is one of the prominent Char Dham sites in India but it has lot to offer in terms of rich architectural heritage. Blessed with a serene beach that is comparatively very clean and numerous ancient buildings including the majestic Jagganath Temple, this place deserves to be in the list to make your kids understand the rich history of the country.
Places of Interest: Jagganath Temple, Puri Beach, Puri Beach Market, Loknath Temple, Raghurajpur Artist Village, Chilika Lake
Things to do with Kids: Visit Chilika Lake Bird Sanctuary, Taste the Maha Prasadam of Jagganath Temple, Try Seafood, Visit Konark Temple (35kms from Puri), Sunset View at Puri Beach
Delhi : A city of contrast
Sprinkled with spectacular monuments, lush gardens and an array of architectural marvels, New Delhi is best visited during winters.
Delhi also houses 3 fascinating World Heritage Sites: Humayun’s Tomb, Red Fort and Qutb Minar Group of Monuments. A city of contrast, Delhi’s diversity manifests itself in the old world charm of the walled city and modern Lutyen’s Delhi.
Recently constructed Lotus Temple and Akshardham Temple are spectacular monuments high on the list of to do things in Delhi.
Delhi is also known for some of the top hotels by international brands which offer great venue for business as well as a refuge from the din of the city to let you rejuvenate.
Wrap yourselves in warm clothes and venture out when the sun’s shining brightly. Take one of the many organized heritage walks around the city and go on a shopping spree. If food is your thing, Delhi is your Mecca. With some of the best-known chef-run restaurants, Delhi has a wide range of cuisines for you to sample from and more street food items than you will have ever seen in your life. Got a few extra days, take off to Agra and Jaipur to complete the Golden Triangle Trip.
Goa : The eternal holiday destination
If not here, where else will you be in December ? One has plenty of reasons to visit Goa; after all it is one of the best tourist destinations in India. However, December provides many reasons for holidaying in Goa. The warmth and joy of Christmas amplifies when it is celebrated in Goa, well, India doesn’t know of a better destination that throws the biggest bash on New Year. Furthermore, the ever so lively music festival of Sunburn is evidently a delight, if you are an ardent EDM (Electric Dance Music) fan. Also, Goa in the month of December takes you back on the spiritual road as it observes the pious Feast of St. Francis Xavier, which is marked by several days of festivity and concludes with a large fair. All these celebrations allure tourists to book their tickets for Goa before its gets jam-packed.
Travelers often find it impossible to believe that Goa, a tiny emerald ensconced between the Arabian Sea and the Western Ghat, is a part of India.
Winter is the time when the tiny emerald that is Goa is teeming with visitors. Renowned as one of the finest beach destinations in the world, Goa is very unlike the rest of the India. Its cosmopolitan culture, eclectic cuisine, vibrant nightlife and vast stretches of sandy beaches make it one of the most popular tourist destinations in India.
Visit the city in winters and join in the festivities in the city. With the arrival of Christmas and New Year, Goa is at its vibrant best. Parties, music and scrumptious cuisines along with cultural events make it the high time to visit Goa in winter especially from November till February.
Since winter also herald the wedding season in India, this is the time when newlyweds visit Goa for honeymoon. Couples could enjoy their honeymoon at some of the finest luxury hotels in Goa that boast of private beaches. Other activities could include water sport, wildlife and sussegado on Goa’s famed beaches.
For families too there is much to do in Goa in winters. Beaches, waterfalls, wildlife and adventure sports are some of the top things to do in Goa along with visit to World Heritage churches and cathedrals and evening river cruises.
Winter also rocks as it is the time for Christmas and New Year in Goa and people of Goa celebrate both these occasion with great gusto.
If you are planning your trip to Goa during winter, keep in mind that it is the peak season for tourism and hotels and accommodations – whether 3 stars or 5 stars – fill up in advance and even sold out during December-January. It’s always wise to book your winter holiday packages in Goa in advance so that you don’t have to compromise with your holiday.
What to do: Burn the dance floor at India’s best parties, shop your heart out at the many flea markets and pray for your soul during the feast of St Francis Xavier.
Goa is indeed the most famous and loved party destination of India. It welcomes you with open arms and magnificent sunny beach-fronts all round the year. But December is special for various reasons. From night bazaars and the flea markets to the feast of St Francis Xavier and the loudest EDM party, Sunburn or Supersonic, Goa has exactly everything to offer, you could ask for. Right from Christmas, all the way to New Years, Goa is THE venue for a month long party.
The Feast of St Francis Xavier, a feast held at the Basilica De Bom Jesus, Christmas, Sunburn Festival and of course New Year’s Eve. That being said, be prepared for large crowds and super-expensive hotel tariff.
Kerala : God’s own country
You want to avoid the crowd and still want to enjoy the vivacity of nature? Well, the idea of vacationing in Alappuzha is just perfect. The picture perfect backwaters and the tranquility that Kerala is famous for comes together at Alappuzha to offer visitors their best holiday experience. Stay in houseboats and sail through the quiet waters; also December is the time when Alappuzha celebrates a 10-day festival called Mullackal Chirap. So, along with enjoying a stay amidst the serene ambiance, one can also witness the rich culture of Kerala coming to life.
A treat for all seasons, it’s when the monsoon departs that Kerala true natural splendor reaches its zenith. Western Ghats and brackish lagoons or the backwaters bestow a unique charm on Kerala’s appeal.
You name it and Kerala has it: backwaters, beaches, spice gardens, tea plantations, Ayurveda, ecotourism and abundant wildlife. That’s why we have chosen Kerala as one of the top winter holiday destinations in India.
For beach lovers its the Kovalam and Varkala or even Marari; for backwaters its Alapuzza, Kollam, Kumarakom and Vembanad lake. Then there is Munnar’s lush tea plantation and salubrious weather.
If you are in for wildlife there is a bird sanctuary in Kumarakom, tiger reserve in Periyar and the world’s most bio diverse ecosystem Silent Valley National Park which is home to the largest population of Lion-tailed macaque.
Kerala also happens to be the top destination in India for health and rejuvenation. You could find a number of authentic and world class Ayurveda center that offer therapeutic massages and treatments based on 3000 years old science of healing: Ayurveda. In fact, Kerala is one of the top destinations for authentic Ayurveda in India.
You can alternately visit the Back waters of Kerala or do trekking trips to the mountains of Idukki district.
Kochi, was known as Cochin for the longest time. It is known to be one of the fastest growing cities in India. Kochi has been a port for centuries and the city has a lot to offer when it comes to the number of churches and chapels there are here. December is a great time to visit Kochi, you’ll get to witness the Cochin Carnival at the Kochi Fort.
Agra : The City of Love
Weather in December makes Taj a wonder to watch. Located in Uttar Pradesh, Agra is famous for its famous monuments of Mughal era. TajMahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World is located here. Other than that Akbar Fort, Moti Masjid and Sheesh Mahal are also bearing the witness of amazing architecture of Mughal period.
Home to one of the ‘Seven Modern Wonders of the World’ Taj Mahal, Agra needs no introduction. Home to some of the greatest Mughal architectural marvels, Agra is one of the most visited tourist places in India. It is thronged by tourists round the year and who’s who around the globe make it a point to visit Taj Mahal when they visit India. The reason why we have included Agra as one of the top places to visit in India in December – January or for that matter entire winter season is that, when you visit Taj Mahal, you are not allowed to wear shoes on the white marble. During the scorching summer the white marble gets too hot and makes it uncomfortable to walk on the floor. During winter it is very comfortable to do the sightseeing tour of both Taj Mahal and the Agra Red Fort.
Rajasthan Land of Maharajas
An amazing concoction of colors, royalty, tradition and romance, Rajasthan is a favorite haunt of overseas tourists in India. There is so much to see and do in Rajasthan that even seasoned travelers find it hard to pick and choose from the plenty of options at hand.
Maharajas held sway in Rajputana a century ago. They were great patrons of art and culture. All their idiosyncrasies as well as respect for tradition and art are today evident in numerous mighty fortresses, scintillating palaces, traditional dance and arts.
The capital Jaipur is the most popular place, visited by millions every year. It is closely followed by major tourist places such as Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Ranthambore and Bikaner.
Festivals held during winter months in Rajasthan is another reason why it is considered one of the best places to visit in India in winter. Pushar Mela needs to introduction as it has become of the major draws among visitors from overseas. Jodhpur Riff is an another recently introduced cultural fest that draws musical talents from around the world. Then there are several other camel festivals which are celebrated between November and March.
The capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur has amazing weather in December. The city offers a perfect combination of the rays of the sun and the cool breeze that is most welcoming. You can visit the City Palace, Hawa Mahal, Amber Fort, Jantar Mantar, Albert Museum, and take a regular shopping trip to Bapu Bazaar. But if you’re up for something interesting, visit the Alsisar Haveli (about 2.5 km away) and be a part of the Magnetic Fields Festival that will be hosted at there.
For the lovers of heritage Bundi is a great escape during winters whereas the honeymooners prefer it at the Mount Abu which is the only hill station in the desert state.
Our honeymoon tips for people looking for winter destinations in India is to head for the sand dunes in Jaisalmer or Bikaner. Imagine the romance in the ambiance as you sit by the campfire holding each others hand gazing at starlit sky.
Palace which have been turned into heritage hotels are also a big draw when it comes to winter vacations in India. Whereas the Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur has been adjudged the best romantic hotel in India, nearby Devigarh by Lebua is a heritage cum boutique hotel which attracts who’s who in the world by virtue of its architectural appeal.
If you happen to be visiting Bikaner and want to get a taste of royalty as did Maharajas of yore, then we’d like to recommend Gajner Palace in Bikaner.
What to do: Shopping at the Shilpgram Arts and Crafts Festival, wander in the by lanes of Udaipur.
Udaipur is home to Lake Pichola and the Fateh Sagar Lake along with its magnificent City Palace, Monsoon palace, Lake Palace and Jag Mandir that lure travelers to visit this royal acity. Seven km away is Shilpgram, a government set up village to promote artisans. The articulate and intricate work by these local artisans will leave you spell bound. This month, the village will celebrate the Shilpgram Arts and Crafts Festival, that you should totally be a part of.
One of the best tiger reserves of India, Ranthambore finds itself all the more welcoming in December with the pleasant drop in the temperature. A region known for being the richest centers of flora and fauna, a dreamy terrain amidst the Vindhya and Aravalli, this one also houses the Ranthambore Fort in the reserve. Apart from being the home of the endangered tiger, several other animal species are found here such as the wild cats, leopards, sloth bears, hyenas, Indian foxes, crocodiles and jackals. Compared to other tiger reserves, chances of tiger spotting are relatively higher at Ranthambore.
Jim Corbett: Lure of the Jungle
Just as the monsoon retreats, Jim Corbett open its door to the visitors to experience the diversity of fauna and postcard perfect landscape, lush forest cover and gurgling water streams. Jim Corbett National Park is the first national park to be established in Asia. There are several zones where jeep safaris are allowed to sight the wildlife. Other than jeep safaris, you can also do elephant safari in Jim Corbett to rendezvous with tigers from close proximity.
Besides mammals which include tigers, elephants, Asiatic Black Bear, Sloth Bear, Barking Deer, otters and more. Yet another appeal of Jim Corbett is the wide variety of bird species that could be spotted here making it one of the best places for bird watching in India. Over 600 species of birds have been recorded inside this park including great pied hornbill, white-backed vulture and Pallas fish eagle.
With extreme winter not setting yet, Jim Corbett becomes one of the best places to visit in India from October to March if you are a wildlife enthusiast. Make sure that you get your accommodation in Dhikala range where the chances of tiger spotting are maximum.
Kullu Manali: Himalayan Hinterlands
If you are looking for honeymoon destination in India during winters, then look no further. Kullu and Manali offer one of the best romantic setting to kindle the romance.
Whereas Kullu is relatively low lying area with lush natural surroundings, Manali is a place where couples could enjoy adventure sports and frolic in snow.
Then there are ancient temples, opportunity for paragliding etc and picturesque ambiance that makes Manali a favored destination even during winters.
Honeymooners in Manali also prefer to head for Rohtang Pass nearby where there’s ample opportunity for snow sports.
To experience snowfall, Manali is one of the top places to visit in in November, December and January.
Shimla: Queen of Hills
A short ride from Delhi, Shimla is one of the most popular honeymoon destinations in India during summers as well as winters. The major pull factors are the altitude, ambiance and bearable snow fall and cool weather. In Shimla even if you do nothing, you have done all that you have come for.
Considered one of the best hill stations in India, Shimla could be visited anytime of the year. Winters are fun in Shimla as there’s snowfall which add to the romantic appeal of the place. It also gets bit cold which keeps of the crowd making it the best time and one of the best places for honeymoon in India with some sense of privacy and thrill and adventure of snow.
The Mall Road in Shimla is packed with couples during winters. Adventure enthusiasts also head to Shimla for hiking activities which is one of the things to do in here. Then there are people who visit Shimla for its colonial charm and to explore the seamless blend of tradition and modernity.
The luxe lovers visit Shimla for the award winning Wildflower Hall located at Mashobara. One of the finest luxury hotels and spa destinations in India, Wildflower Hall is one of the best heritage hotels in India. The most alluring factor is that this hotel is located in Himalayas and offer breathtaking views and serene escape and one of its king luxury in the lap of Himalayas.
Dharamsala and Mcleodganj
Nestled in the Dauladhar range of Himalaya, Dharamsala is renowned as the seat of Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government in Exile. A little ahead of Dharamsala is McLeodganj at a bit higher altitude and a different world altogether. Dharamsala and Mcleodganj are especially popular among the foreign tourists as one of the top places for volunteering in India.
As soon as you arrive in McLeodganj, everything changes. The weather, ambience, the crowd and the culture. McLeodganj is thronged by Lamas, foreigners both resident and visitors and tourists from India.
The snowcapped mountain paks of Dauladhar creates breathtaking scenery and there are plenty of hiking trails that begins with McLeodganj as the base. With increasing popularity, McLeodganj has become touristy these days but is a very good option as a winter holiday destination in India.
Lesser people visit during winter. And you may try staying at Naddi or Dharamkot for serenity and proximity to nature. This 2 relatively unknown places are the haven for honeymooners looking to have a memorable beginning of their married life.
If you are traveling to Dharamsala in winter, why not try the hike to Triund and spend the night in the camps surrounded by snow. We promise that the first rays of sun would leave you with indelible memories.
Lucknow : Land of Nawabs, Kebabs & Shababs
Home of the Nawabs of the Oudh (Awadh), Lucknow is renowned for its sumptuous cuisines, dance and music, thanks to the Nawabs who were great patron of art. An important political center for a long time Lucknow is dotted with Raj era building some stunning mausoleums. But above all the reason you should visit Lucknow is to witness firsthand the city’s reputation as the land of ‘Nawabs, Kebabs, Adaab (respect) and shabab (beauty).’
One of the reasons to visit Lucknow at this time of the year is to attend the Lucknow Mahotsav, a cultural extravaganza that celebrates the ‘tezjib’ and nawabi cuisine of the region, the reason why we recommend Lucknow as one of the best places to visit in India in December – January.
Source : Curated from the web