Come winter, and with it comes the holiday season. The holiday season is when schools and colleges are shut, and everyone wants a break.
Our country has no shortage of destinations for this time of the year. You could choose to be in the desert, by the beach or amid snow-capped mountains.
So if you want to holiday in India, here is a list of destinations that I love. Take your pick and have a great holiday!
If you are a beach person and love seafood, Goa is your destination. Goa, the smallest state of India, is known for its endless beaches, eclectic seafood, great nightlife and beautiful Portuguese architecture. It is as good as any beach destination in Thailand or anywhere else.
While North Goa is all about the nightlife, flea markets, and touristy beaches, South Goa is about laid-back beaches and luxurious resorts.
You can choose from activities like scuba diving, sea rafting, paragliding, bungee jumping, hot air ballooning, Ayurvedic massages and tons of shopping.
It’s a great winter destination, especially if you are from the North of India and want to escape the cold.
Andaman is another beautiful beach option, a destination loved by all who love nature and history. While on the one hand, the place has stunning wildlife sanctuaries, national parks, mangrove forests and beaches; it boasts of historical museums, exotic food and several adventure sports options on the other. It is a blend of sea, sand and the sun. It has something to offer everyone, from a family to a honeymooning couple to a group of friends.
Auli is a beautiful destination for those who love the cold. Located in the state of Uttarakhand, Auli is a popular ski resort destination. If you have never experienced snowfall, this is just the right place for you to visit. It is a perfect family destination and what makes it unique is that it is still pretty unexplored. The place has several options. You could go skiing or trekking amidst the offbeat trails. You could be in the midst of some of the most picturesque sites in the world and enjoy nature. The place is a photographer’s delight. You could even ride the cable car.
Manali could be another option for those who enjoy the cold weather. Located in Himachal Pradesh, Manali is a beautiful destination all year round, but it is stunningly beautiful in the wintertime. Paragliding, rafting, skiing, trekking or a hot Sulphur bath; the place has a lot to offer. Located on the Beas river, it is known for its unparalleled beauty. You could visit the Hadimba Temple, Rohtang pass or the snow-laden Solang valley.
If desert and sand dunes are what you want, there is no other place like Jaisalmer. A city in the heart of the Thar desert, Jaisalmer is also known as the Golden City because of the golden dunes and castles built with golden sandstone. The city is located close to the Pakistan border and has a lot to offer tourists. It boasts of lavish Havelis, lagoons, Jain places of worship, lakes and colorful market places where you can pick up silver jewelry, embroidered handicrafts and leather products.
Udaipur is another beautiful city in the state of Rajasthan. Popularly known as the City of Lakes, the city is known for its history, culture and architecture. It has some beautiful forts, palaces, museums, temples, galleries and gardens. Popular spots include City Palace, Lake Palace, Jag Mandir, Monsoon Palace, Fateh Sagar Lake, Lake Pichola, Gulab Bagh, and Zoo.
A town in West Bengal and the summer capital of India under the British Raj, Darjeeling has become one of the most sought after hill stations in India. Nestled amidst acres of tea plantations, the place offers a fantastic view of the Kanchenjunga range of mountains. It is also known for its cultural and natural heritage richness, and the famous Toy train declared a UN heritage. Popular tourist attractions include monasteries, botanical gardens, a zoo and the Darjeeling- Rangeet Valley Passenger Ropeway cable car. A beautiful spot not to be missed is Tiger hill. And if you want your share of Darjeeling tea, this is the place to visit.
A union territory, a French Colonial settlement in India until 1954, Pondicherry is bounded by the State of Tamil Nadu. Its French legacy is preserved in its French quarter with colonial villas, tree-lined streets and chic boutiques. It has several options for a tourist. There are unspoiled beaches where one can relax and soak in the sun. One of the longest beaches is Promenade Beach. One could go boating, scuba diving, visit the temples and churches or go spiritual at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Other sights include the museum and the botanical garden. And if you have time, you could visit Auroville, a town that is nine miles from Pondy where people from across the world live and work together.
Shillong is a hill station in Northeast India and the capital of the state of Meghalaya. The city lies in the center of a plateau and is surrounded by hills. Known as the Scotland of the East, it is famous for its beautiful landscapes, mountain peaks, golf courses, waterfalls and caves. It has a fair share of touristy spots, including the Elephant Falls, Ward’s Lake, Shillong Peak, museums and galleries. It is known as India’s Rock Capital as people there love music. People’s love for rock and live music reflects through the little live venue cafes that keep popping up in the city. They promote upcoming talent and host bands from all over India and the world.