20 in 2020: Holiday Destinations to Visit in India
When it comes to travelling, India is a vastly underrated holiday destination that doesn’t get its due credit. From arid deserts to lush rainforests, from lofty mountains to mysterious valleys; you’ll get an overwhelmingly vast number of experiences to cherish for a lifetime. India’s wealth of natural beauty coupled with a warm hospitality culture, makes it a destination worth exploring on your next holiday. As the year 2020 approaches, it is time to reset your holiday clock and prepare afresh for next year’s holidays. We have put together a list of our pick of destinations across India that should figure prominently on your travel list.
Here is the List of Holiday Destinations to Visit in India:
1. Andaman Islands
The other island destination in India is a tropical paradise, perfectly framed by the blue ocean. While Port Blair is a bustling city, most other islands are oasis of peace and serenity. You can enjoy the white sandy beaches on all the islands. But Havelock and Neil islands have some of the best snorkelling and diving sites in the whole of Andaman. The submerged seascapes and the corals will mesmerise you with their colourful beauty.
The largest of the seven sisters of the north-east, Assam is a surprisingly accessible holiday destination. Graced with the rugged aura of unexplored beauty, Assam is a gracious host that will welcome you to experience its vibrant culture that is as unexplored as its natural beauty. The Assamese landscape is studded with lush wild forests, ferocious rives and sprawling tea plantations. Do not miss visiting the teeming Kaziranga National Park to visit the majestic Indian Rhino in its home.
3. Auli, One of the Best Holiday Destinations to Visit in India
If you want to enjoy the thrill of flying down a snowy slope at breakneck speeds, head to Auli in Uttarakhand. It is a cosy hill resort located amidst the Garhwal Himalayas. It can trace its history all the way back to the 8th century. Along with spectacular skiing, you can also enjoy invigorating treks along the nearby trails. Auli is also an appealing destination for those looking to kick back and enjoy a memorable vacation.
Bikaner completes the circle of our top picks for travelling within India in 2020. It lovingly preserves the magnificent culture of the reason, right in the middle of the Thar Desert. Apart from its dazzling palaces, opulent havelis and mighty forts, Bikaner’s International Camel Festival is a major seasonal attraction. Experience the beauty of the colourful Rajasthani culture in the middle of a monochromatic desert landscape.
Dalhousie is proud of its colonial heritage that has shaped its character as a much-loved holiday destination. The hiking trails will take you through dense forests and across raging rivers. The cascading waters of Panjpula and Satdhara waterfalls make for spectacular sightseeing and are believed to have medicinal properties. The St. Patricks Church is an elegant structure that is beautiful on the inside as well as the out. But the real appeal of Dalhousie lies in its unhurried way of life.
Home to spectacular sunrises, stunning panoramas and untouched beauty, Darjeeling is one of the most popular holiday destinations in north-east India. One of the highlights of Darjeeling is its toy trains which is a part of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites list. Take a soothing ride on Asia’s longest ropeway which operates between Darjeeling and Rangeet Valley. Darjeeling’s zoo and botanical garden will keep you occupied for hours. Head to one of the monasteries and spend some time in quiet contemplation.
Located on the western coast of India, Diu is a picturesque coastal town that will mesmerise you with its scenic beauty. Ruled mostly by the Portuguese, it is a treasure trove of Portuguese history in India. The majestic Diu Fort and the colourful charm of the quaint Vanakbara fishing village offer an exciting melange of contrasting beauty. But Diu’s beaches are its defining character, which is also on display at the interesting Sea Shell Museum.
Goa needs no introduction as a holiday destination. Famous for its water sports during the day and beach parties at night, a holiday in Goa is an adrenaline pumping joyride. The flea market at Anjuna is a good place to pick up some souvenirs. Explore Goa’s churches and temples if you need a break from all the partying. But even a day spent just lounging on the beach is well-spent.
The home of Indian Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering is a thriving adventure hub of the north. Located in the Pir Panjal Mountain Range, Gulmarg is a slice of paradise on earth. Backed by the mighty snow-capped Himalayas, it boasts of lush valleys and colour-splashed meadows along with the world’s second-highest Gondola ride. Peaceful in summer and exciting in winter, Gulmarg is a destination for all seasons.
10. Lakshadweep Islands
Lakshadweep is the type of exotic island destination that dream holidays are made of. The azure sea beautifully complements the deep blue sky and the golden palm-lined beaches. While most islands have varying levels of water sports happening around the beaches, some of them are meant just for lounging on the beach. It still retains its rustic charm that you will find endearing. And fresh seas food is just the icing on the cake.
11. Mount Abu
Rajasthan’s only hill station is also a diverse ecological hotspot. Blessed with natural beauty, history and spirituality, Mont Abu is a popular holiday destination that comes alive every winter. The Dilwara Temples of Abu, with a potent mix of history, culture and architecture, are undoubtedly the biggest attractions of the hill station. Add to it a pleasant climate, especially during the summers, and you get a thriving summer holiday destination.
Munnar is an impossibly beautiful part of ‘God’s own country’. The erstwhile summer resort of Britishers in India, Munnar has developed itself as a thriving tourist destination. The Eravikulam National Park is a great place to encounter some rare Indian wildlife like the Nilgiri Tahr and many other species of birds and animals. The Tea Museum showcases the history of India’s most favourite beverage. But the highlight of Munnar is Anamudi Peak, which is the highest peak in South India.
Rising out of the Garhwal Himalayas, Mussoorie projects an old-world charm that is a result of its colonial heritage. Pretty much an all-year holiday hill station, Mussoorie is a popular and much-loved honeymoon destination. While Mall Road is the hub of activity within the hill station, trekking is immensely popular in the surrounding areas. But Mussoorie is truly enjoyed as a restful holiday hill station. Brisk early morning walks and leisurely evening strolls seem to be the most preferred activity.
Nestled cosily at the base of Kumaon range of the Himalayas, Nainital is a bustling hill station that was established by the British. The Naini Lake is the centre of all activities. There is a range of designated viewing spots around town that open up to some stunning vistas in Nainital’s surroundings. Take in the sights from a bird’s eye view and get your shopping done at Mall Road or the Tibetan market.
Located down south, in the state of Tamil Nadu, the ‘Queen of Nilgiris’ is blessed with an abundance of natural beauty. Sporting a pleasant, hilly climate throughout the year, Ooty strips away the layers of make believe to offer a pure holiday experience. The local culture is an interesting as the sights are beautiful. Spend your holidays amidst a landscape dotted with winding roads, soothing waterfalls and undulating tea gardens. The Toy Train of the Nilgiri Mountain Railways is a highly recommended ride for spectacular sights along the way.
Settled in the shadow of Mount Kanchenjunga, Sikkim can boast of some truly stunning sights. Apart for the third-highest peak in the world, Sikkim’s culture is its biggest draw. With its remote location and mountainous terrain, it is not an easy destination to reach. But perhaps that is the very reason that its beauty is still preserved and protected against over-tourism. Relish the hearty local cuisine and experience the joys of a hot meal accompanied by the soaring views of the mountains.
Tawang seems to be the epitome of picture-postcard beauty with its colourful houses dotting the gently sloping hillsides. Famous for being the birthplace of the current Dalai Lama, it is an important centre of Buddhist learning. The unearthly beauty of Tawang is cloaked in spirituality which is an integral part of the landscape. Apart from its Buddhist monasteries and meandering trekking trails, the Tippi Orchid Sanctuary is the highlight of Tawang’s tourism trail.
Known by many names such as ‘City of Lakes’ and ‘Venice of the East’, Udaipur is the crown jewel of Rajasthan’s regal grandeur. The Lake Palace shines like a dazzling diamond in the middle of Lake Pichola and exemplifies the city’s opulence rather perfectly. The Sajjangarh Place and the City Palace are not that far behind when it comes to displaying a regal mien. The Vintage Car Museum stands out as a unique attraction amidst an abundance of lakes and palaces.
The world’s oldest living city is also the spiritual capital of India. Settled along the western bank of River Ganga, Varanasi is one of the most important seats of Hinduism in the country. Its maze-like alleys and its riverside ghats are the souls of the city. They offer a fascinating peek into this ancient city’s psyche. Every evening after dusk, these ghats pause all their activities as the brilliantly lit Ganga Aarti infuses its spirituality into the evening.
Far away from the hustle and bustle of India’s urban sprawl, Zanskar seems like the home of divine serenity amidst the mighty Himalayas. Nestled between two scenic lakes, beneath a wide-open sky, it is known for its challenging trekking trails and exhilarating river rafting, Zanskar also cherishes Buddhist spirituality in its cave monasteries. Whether you meditate or set off on a Himalayan adventure, Zanskar will give you memories to last a lifetime.
With its wide range of holiday packages, Thomas Cook offers you the complete experience of your holiday destination. Book your holiday online or drop in to your nearest Thomas Cook branch for a customised holiday package.