12 Best Places to visit in Winters|Christmas and December Holidays

by

Pankaj Kumar

- December 20, 2016


A shift in the seasons, a tilt of an axis and a drop in the temperature. Come winters, and India finds itself preparing for one of the best seasons to travel across the peninsula. With a series of occasions and a rundown of celebrations and fairs, winters in India are marked by vacations to plan your year around, a dreamy beach holiday, hill stations resembling postcard landscapes and its southern tips and desserts welcoming all its visitors that had been shying away till now given their generous moistness and temperatures. Here is a list of 12 places to visit in winter in India.

Thajiwas Glacier, Sonamarg, Jammu and Kashmir


Witness the beginning of snowfall in December as you go about the glacial sighting in this winter wonderland. The weather at the meadow of gold, Sonamarg, drops down to subzero levels during this month.
Visit the undiscovered Thajiwas glacier, located just 7 kilometers. Sledge rides, snowboarding and skiing are the best things to do in December here. Sport a red Santa Claus coat and hop onto a sledge singing ‘jingle bells’ with breathtaking hills on the backdrop.

Cost Of Sledge With Shoes: INR 300/-
Tariff: INR 1,400 per night during Christmas

Places of Interest

  • Krishnasar Lake
  • Baltal Valley
  • White River Rafting

Dawki, Shillong

The place becomes heavenly in December with a pleasant temperature ranging from 12 to 20 degrees. Shillong is the only hill station in the country which is accessible from all sides. The water of Unmgot river in Dwaki is so clear that a boat floating on it, seems  like it’s flying in mid-air. Shillong definitely needs to be added to your list of places to visit in India in December. You can also, relish the sweet and juicy oranges at the border town near the river.

The river is not the only place here. Entertain yourself at some really amazing festivals organized here in December—Tysim Festival, Baghmara, Pinjera Festival, Williamnagar and Tura Winter Festival, Tura.

Tickets For The Festival: The tickets are available on arrival
When to visit: December
Cheapest Stay: Hotel Broadway
Tariff: INR 1,400 per night at the time of Christmas

Place of Interest

  • Elephant Falls
  • Nohkalikai Falls
  • Air Force Museum

Dalhousie, Himachal Pradesh


The picturesque town of Dalhousie looks magnificent in December with its snow flake covered Deodar forests. The view is absolutely quintessential. This gorgeous winter destination becomes a ramp opened to the chilly breeze with a view of snow-capped mountains. Additionally, all the trekking enthusiasts must visit Dalhousie in December to attend the National Himalayan Winter Trekking Expedition.

When: 10th December 2016 to 6th January 2017
Cost: Rs.4620.00/- (Inclusive of Food, boarding, lodging, equipment, group insurance, forest entry, trekking)
Duration: 6D/5N

Place of Interest

  • Rohtang pass
  • Solan Valley
  • Hidimba Devi Temple

Shimla, Himachal Pradesh

How could we miss out on the most beautiful place to visit in December, the queen of hill stations- Shimla! Let’s go for a colonial walk in the most romantic getaway in India. Walk through the snow floors with long boots and visit the Chail town. You will encounter immense  peace beyond the crowd of Shimla. Click the perfect selfie with your loved one at the most erotic honeymoon destinations in india in December. Take a joyride at the Winter Sports Festival in Shimla—enjoy the natural ice-skiing and hanging balloons.

When to visit: December to February
Cost Of Ice-Skiing: INR 100 per person
Cheapest Stay: Alpine Heritage Residency

Tariff: INR 1,400 per night during Christmas

Places of Interest

  • Kalka – Shimla Railway
  • Kinnaur
  • Jakhu Temple

 

Auli, Uttarakhand

The snow clad peaks of the Neelkant, Mana Parbat, and Nanda Devi give an awe-inspiring panoramic view of the hills which will make your toes freeze, especially at the time of Christmas. Want to learn skiing or are good at it? Well, then you’ve to add Auli to your list of  places to explore in December. It is the time when you can start learning this thrilling adventure sport. And if you think skiing is your thing, you must attend the National Championship of Skiing held in January at Auli.

When: Skiing could be done from December to March and Championship is held in January
Cost For Skiing: INR 500 for two hours; hire an instructor in INR 1,000

Cheapest Stay: Maya Deep Herbal Resort

Tariff: INR 950 per night (at the time of Christmas)

Place of Interest

  • Nainital
  • Mussoorie
  • Rishikesh

Leh, Ladakh

The crystal blue ice and the hills on the backdrop will flabbergast you. The only frozen ice trek in India is incredible! The extreme adventures of the Chadar trek couples with -14 degree Celsius temperature. There are other amazing treks besides Chadar namely—Sham trek, Liker to Khaltse trek and Samboo to Khalsar. Too daring an adventure? Worry not, take a cup of hot chocolate and unwind in the God’s paradise!

When: December to February
Cheapest Stay: Dorje Guest House
Tariff: INR 800 per night (at the time of Christmas)

Places of Interest

  • Tibetan Market
  • Phyang Monastery
  • Leh Royal Palace

 

Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir

Do you remember that song from the movie Mission Kashmir -‘Socho ke jheelon ka ek shehar ho’ in Shikara featuring Preity Zinta and Hrithik Roshan? Well, then you can actually reshoot the same scene with your love at this romantic hideaway in India. The best part, temperature in December just touches the freezing point. Explore Gulmarg and go skiing on the fresh snow. Don’t miss the Gulmarg Snow festival organized in December. It is just 56 kilometers from Srinagar.

When: December – March (January for Snow Festival)
Cost Of Festival: Entry is free
Cheapest Stay: Hotel New Prince Inn

Tariff: INR 1,000 per night (at the time of Christmas)

Place of Interest

  • Dal Lake
  • Mughal Gardens
  • Jame Mosque   Done

 

Nagoa Beach, Diu

The virgin beaches of Diu are so breathtaking in December that you’ve to see it to believe it. The temperature ranges 16 degree to 23 degree Celsius. Bonfire on the pristine beaches create wonders as Diu is out of the ordinary honeymoon destinations in India in December. The uncharted union territory of India has a unique festival which ,starting in December, can accompany you in your exciting trip. The Festa De Diu—Asia’s longest beach festival invites you to celebrate this New Year. Come get pampered!

Cost To Attend:Book tickets online
Cheapest Stay: Diu Vision Guest House
Tariff: INR 1,500 per night (at the time of Christmas)

Place of Interest

  • Diu Fort
  • Diu Museum
  • Old Diu Fort

 

Small Vagator, Goa

 

Goa is amongst the most popular places to visit in December in India. The casinos in Goa become wilder during this month which is why the place got it’s name as the ‘Las Vegas of India’. The fireworks and the trance music with sand tickling your toes is best feeling you can have during new years! The list does not end here—loudest EDM party, feast of St.Francis Xavier, VH1 Supersonic and Sunburn Music Festival come complimentary. The place has exactly everything to offer what you expect for a kickass Christmas and New Year.

P.S: The Saturday night market in Arpora which stays awake till dawn is a must visit.

When: Sunburn is from 27th – 30th December 2016
Cheapest Stay: Lambana Stay
Tariff: INR 2,700 per night (at the time of Christmas)

Place of Interest

  • Panaji
  • Palolem Beach
  • Old Goa

Mylapore, Chennai

Chennai is hotter in other months, but it is one of the most popular places to visit in December in India. Sip coconut water, stroll along the longest beach of India & feel the pleasant breeze through your hair. And coconut water isn’t the only beverage to quench your thirst here, Pondicherry, just 2 hours from Chennai, offers cheap booze! Spend some bugs for the love of music while traveling to Chennai. Visit Madras Music Festival and 89th Annual Conferences and Concerts.

When: Madras Music Festival from 15th December 2016 to 1st January 2017
Tickets: Book your ticket for Madras Music Festival and the concert in advance.
Cheapest Stay: R.M.C Travelers Inn
Tariff: INR 890 per night (at the time of Christmas)

Place of Interest

  • Marina Beach
  • San thom Basilica
  • Vivekanandar Museum

Rann Of Kutch, Gujarat

December is the best time to explore the white desert to see the salt turn blue under the moonlit sky. A stay at a tent in the outskirts of Dhordo village is an enchanting experience. Kutch becomes alive during December with loads of celebrations—The Kutch Festival. The only festival which extends for two long months is held in this salty land. Visit the Rann utsav Rann Utsav for an everlasting experience.

When: 1st November 2016 to 20th February 2017
Tickets: Book your tickets for Rann utsav here
Cheapest Stay: V.R.P Guest House
Tariff: INR 660 per night (at the time of Christmas)

Place of Interest

  • Somnath temple
  • Akshardham
  • Gir Forest National Park

Udaipur, Rajasthan

This city of lakes with its magnificent gifts—Lake Palace, Fateh Sagar Lake, Monsoon Palace and Jag Mandir is amongst the perfect places for a December vacation. The best part of Udaipur is that it is located at the base of Aravali hills. The temperature of Venice of the east in December is cold because of the surrounding hills but the lakes nullifies the extreme effects. So, what you get as a result is fabulous. And all you art lovers, plan your trip around Shilpgram Arts and Crafts Festival to explore some endemic traditional crafts. You could learn crafting skills from the famous artisans too.

When: November to December
Entry Fee: Available there only
Cheapest Stay: Anand Mahal Hotel
Tariff: INR 1,300 per night (at the time of Christmas)

Place of Interest

  • Jain Temple – Ranakpur
  • Shilpgram
  • City Palace of Udaipur

Where are you planning a trip this winters?

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