Best places to visit during winter in India
Staying cooped up at home, binge-watching series, working remotely in PJs, and a little bit of workout here and there – well, this was how 2020 passed by for most of us. The pandemic sure has been brutal on many levels but before you go on whining over how the year has been so unfair and that you had to cancel your travel plans and whatnot, hold on! Those beautiful places aren’t going anywhere and you always have another time. However, if you simply cannot hold back your urge to travel, fret not! We have listed some of the best places to visit during winter in India. After all, the air quality to has been at ‘Severe Plus’ across metro cities, so you might be needing some change of air too, don’t you?
If you are planning to visit any of these destinations, kindly read the guidelines issued by every state thoroughly before proceeding with your travel plans and take proper precautionary measures while travelling to ensure maximum safety.
Relishing the sun, sand and sea altogether may have felt like a distant dream this year, but the good news is that Lakshwadeep remains one of the few places in India that is Covid-free. The smallest union territory in India, Lakshwadeep is blessed by the god of weather all year long. However, if you are someone who needs an escape from the winter blues in the North, now may be a good time to visit the archipelago. The tranquillity the place has to offer, its pristine beaches and the marine life you get to witness will surely make you get past the perturbation you have been experiencing due to the pandemic. You can also enjoy snorkelling and scuba diving, if you are into water sports.
- Kerala – God’s Own Country
With monsoon already passed, the grandeur of Kerala is at its prime. From visiting the beaches, spice gardens and tea plantations to going bird watching or treating yourself to a spa or an Ayurvedic experience, there are so many things you can do there. In addition to this, you can also go for trekking amid the bountiful nature Wayanad has to offer. But what will you have done in Kerala, if not enjoyed the backwater destinations? Speaking of the latter, Alleppey is a place you cannot miss. You can rent a budget-friendly houseboat and luxuriate in the picturesque view upfront which will undoubtedly leave you speechless.
Bone-chilling winter may not be for all people, but there are some who are a sucker for snowfalls. If you fall in the latter category, this quaint little town nestled in the heart of the Dauladhar Mountains will have a lot to offer. One of the best places to visit during winter, you can either go for a serene walk along Garam Sadak or visit Devi Dehra Rock Garden overlooking the majestic mountains. you can do many adventure sports activities here.
Dalhousie also has a lot of beautiful churches like St. Patrick’s and St. John’s the inception of which dates back to the colonial era. However, the main charm of the town lies in Khajjar that bears a tropical resemblance to Switzerland and hence, is also called “Mini Swiss”. A small valley surrounded by dense cedar trees, you get to savour in the beauty of the greenery, the snow-capped mountains and a small lake, all in one place. Visit during the end of December or early January and voila – the snowfalls will take your breath away. Make sure to keep a pair of warm boots and mittens handy!
Who doesn’t dream of vacationing in the city of love and indulging in art, ancient architecture and fine wine? But well, not everyone has the time to travel there and the next best option is Puducherry, India’s very own slice of France. Brimming with immaculate beaches, heritage buildings and ancient churches and temples, there is a plethora of things you can do and see here. Come January and the weather of Puducherry will be at its zenith. You can soak up the sun at the beaches, go for boating and scuba diving or hop on two wheels and simply roam around the Tamil quarters, French colony and Green quarters. There is no such thing as ‘too much roaming’ when it’s Puducherry!
- Almora, Uttarakhand
We all know the charismatic beauty of Uttarakhand – its rich cultural heritage and exquisite wildlife, but not many are aware of Almora, a small town which is yet another jewel in the crown of the state. Relatively unexplored, Almora will, in fact, make for a great holiday destination in the hills. From Trishul to Nanda Devi, the town boasts of several majestic Himalayan Peaks. The remarkable centuries-old Hindu temples will take you back in time and well, the splendour of the lush greenery is needless to mention. If you visit in the month of December and January, the snowfall will make the overall landscape more alluring and your trip all the more worth it.
- Auli, Uttarakhand
If Himachal Pradesh has Khajjar as ‘Mini Swiss’, Uttarakhand has Auli. While the place is a year-round destination, it completely turns into a fairy tale destination when visited on winters because of the snowfall it receives which makes it look like heaven has come to earth. When it comes to Auli, there is no such thing as too much winter sports. From trekking, skiing, a chair car ride to whatnot, the list of things you can do there is endless. You can go for trekking till the highs of Joshimath, Pandukeshwar or Gopeshwar and make sure that you don’t miss the sunrise or sunsets!
- Gulmarg, Kashmir
With snow season already started in Gulmarg, Kashmir, we now have one more reason to visit the place, which when visited in springs, turns into a beautiful meadow of flowers. If you are an avid skier or want to learn skiing, Gulmarg holds snow festival every winter however, this year, due to the pandemic, it may have been delayed for a few months. Earlier in October, Gulmarg Gondola, one of the highest cable cars in the world, has now started its operations. Alpather Lake is also a famous place to visit, which is around 13 km far from Gulmarg. It remains frozen till May and is one of the most scenic places you can visit around Kashmir.
- Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Goa may be the ultimate beach destination in India for many but not all because there are people who prefer quaint and tranquil places rather than hustles that Goa is mainly known for. For the latter, including the lovers and wanderers, Andaman and Nicobar islands is another gem that you may want to visit. It is one of the best places to visit during winter in India. Among the most fun activities, you can engage in are scuba diving and snorkelling. You can also visit Havelock island, one of the largest islands of the archipelago and the best part? Its pristineness.
Known as one of the wettest places on earth, Meghalaya flaunts pleasant weather throughout the year and can be visited on all seasons. But mind you, this is for the backpackers and outdoorsy people. Shillong, Cherapunji, Tura, etc are frequently visited places that boast of attractions like Balpakram National Park, Umiam Lake, Laitlum Canyon, Double Decker Living Route Bridge and many more.
These are some of the best places to visit during winter in India. Explore and make new memories with your loved ones.
Frequently asked questions
- Is it advisable to travel to Kerala now?
Most of the tourist places in Kerala are open with strict covid-19 safety protocols. However, for travellers, it would be for the best if they travel with caution and take all the necessary measures for their own safety.
- Is visiting Lakshadweep Island worth it?
Lakshadweep is a tropical archipelago comprising of around 36 islands and is one of the best places to visit during winter in India. One of the best things about it is the fact that it is less crowded and hence, most of its islands remain pristine.
- Is Almora worth visiting?
Almora is a well-known hill station in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand. Unlike other hill stations, it is relatively less commercialised. For backpackers and wanderlusts, it is definitely worth visiting because Almora is a land of temples and also boasts of wildlife sanctuary and several trekking destinations.
Last modified: December 16, 2020