After the hot summer and the muggy monsoon, winter is a much-awaited season across the country. Though winter starts in November, it is only in December that it can announce its presence confidently. It is one of the best months to travel across India, without worrying about the rain interrupting your travels or the heat forcing you to change your plans.
A winter vacation is not just about the cold, you can enjoy a variety of experiences. India offers a variety of options to choose from. You could spend your holidays surrounded by the misty bliss of the mountains or lounge on golden beaches along India’s vast coastline. Though some places might be too cold there are others that are just perfect.
Here’s a Handy List of 10 Places to Visit in India in December
Places to Visit in December
Things to Do
Water sports, beaches, churches
Chandni Chowk, Akshardham Temple, India Gate
Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, Edakkal Caves, Western Ghats
Desert safari, Kuldhara Village, Jaisalmer Fort
Water sports, Mahabaleshwara Temple, Om Beach
Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Radhanagar Beach, Havelock Island, scuba diving
Wildlife Sanctuary, The Great Rann of Kutch, Dholavira
Skiing, sightseeing, snowball fights
ASI Museum, Chandrabhaga Beach, Sun Temple
Tiger Reserve, Ranthambore Fort, Jeep Safari
Goa – Fun under the sun
December is the best time to be in Goa, especially if you want to enjoy a rocking New Year party. The winter cool takes the edge off the sun’s heat, making for a pleasant beach weather. Take on the sea with exciting water sports or simply enjoy the beach atmosphere at one of the shacks that line the seashore. Hunt for bargains at Anjuna’s flea market and buy souvenirs to carry back home. Fuel your shopping expeditions with fresh, scrumptious Goan food and spend your evenings sampling the city’s buzzing nightlife. Discover the vastness of Goan cuisine in its elegant restaurants, simple beach shacks and quaint cafes. Explore Goa’s rich history in its monuments and marvel at the iconic Portuguese architecture which has become the sunny state’s cultural identity.
India’s capital is a cosmopolitan city with a historic heart. Steeped in centuries of history, Delhi has carved its own identity in the colourful tapestry of India’s cultural fabric. The narrow by-lanes of Old Delhi beautifully contrast with its wide leafy avenues. The India Gate adds to the splendour of Rajpath at one end while the magnificent Rashtrapati Bhavan crests the Raisina Hill at the other. The Red Fort still stands vigil over the old city and the history is palpable at Purana Qila and Humayun’s Tomb. The multitude of places of worship such as the Akshardham Temple, the Lotus Temple and the Jama Masjid are the spiritual oases in the city. Enjoy your shopping at Chandni Chowk and buy your handicrafts at Dilli Haat.
There is no dearth of natural beauty in “God’s Own Country”. But Wayanad seems to lead from the front when it comes to abundance and sheer diversity. Blessed with a dense concentration of prehistoric caves, vast spice plantations and comfortable resorts, Wayanad is a dream holiday destination. It also makes a perfect weekend getaway from nearby cities. The teeming Wayanad Wildlife Reserve is a part of the Western Ghats’ thriving Nilgiri biosphere. December is one of the best times of the year to thoroughly explore its wild bounty. You can get up and close with elephants, leopards, bears and a profusion of other wildlife even as you traverse the reserve’s wild trails. Explore the sprawling spice gardens and buy fresh spices straight from the source.
The winter cool of December offers you the perfect chance to experience the mystery and intrigue of Jaisalmer’s constantly shifting sand dunes. These undulating golden dunes turn into a silvery sea under a starry sky. The thrill of a night desert safari is one of the few incomparable experiences of Jaisalmer. Ride a camel into the desert and camp out under the endless sky. You get a taste of the desert culture and, if you’re really lucky, a clear view of our Milky Way. The Jaisalmer Fort stands testament to the city’s fighting spirit while the elaborate Jain temples and havelis vouch for its cultural and historical opulence. Shop for handicrafts in the city’s old bazaar while you indulge yourself with the delicious, clean flavours of Rajasthan.
Gokarna, Karnataka – Discover pristine beaches
Gokarna can simply be described as the “land of golden beaches, blue seas and green palms”. Nature seems to have outdone itself in this town’s pristine beaches and breath-taking views. It is slowly catching up with Goa as a thriving beach holiday hub and is attracting more attention with each passing year. But don’t expect the hustle and bustle of Goa. Gokarna is known for its peaceful beaches which seem to be custom-made for relaxing vacations. The 4th-century Mahabaleshwara Temple is a flourishing pilgrimage site that attracts millions of devotees each year. The temple itself is a perfect example of the distinct Dravidian architecture. The Om beach is a water sports hub that provides adrenaline-pumping adventure.
Andaman and Nicobar Islands – Beauty of a different kind
The Andaman Islands make for a great holiday destination during the month of December. Once infamous for its Cellular Jail, it is now a well-developed holiday resort that lures visitors to its azure coast. Havelock Island, with its dense coconut groves and sandy shores, is one of the largest islands of the group. You can enjoy a variety of adventure sports at the Radhanagar Beach that include snorkelling, scuba diving, kayaking and parasailing. The waters surrounding the islands hide vibrant coral reefs that will mesmerise you. Step back in time as you visit the old Cellular Jail that held India’s toughest freedom fighters back in the day. Scour the local markets for bargains and try the local dishes for a taste of the local culture.
Kutch, Gujarat – The desert unknown
The ‘White Desert of India’ is a popular holiday destination with a colourful soul. The white salt plain of the Rann of Kutch is the perfect venue for the spirited Rann Festival which takes place between December and February. The desert comes alive to the sounds of traditional song and dance. You can enjoy the stunning vistas of the Rann from a hot-air balloon and partake in the rich traditions of this hardy land. The Wild Ass Sanctuary and the Flamingo Sanctuary are places to meet the local wildlife. Walk amidst history as you explore the ruins of the 4500-year-old ancient town of Dholavira. It was a part of the amazing Indus Valley Civilisation that has endured the test of time to tell its story.
Auli, Uttarakhand – Enjoy a white winter
One of the few places in India where you can enjoy the snow and skiing, Auli is a premier winter holiday destination. Serving as a gateway to treks into the Garhwal Himalayas, the town boasts of some lofty peaks like Nanda Devi, Kamat and Mana Parvat. The origins of this modern skiing hub can be traced back to the 8th century. But the main attraction of Auli are its smooth, glittering slopes. You can learn skiing and experience the joys of flying down-hill at exciting speeds. Test your mettle in hard-fought snowball fights or simply head out on gruelling winter treks on the nearby trails. Whatever you choose to do, you will never face a dull moment in Auli.
Konark, Orissa – Worship the sun
Konark’s Sun Temple, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the most-recognised landmarks of India. But Konark is also known for its beautiful sandy beaches along the Bay of Bengal. It is on these very beaches that the Sun Festival is celebrated with a dip in the sea. Konark’s Annual Dance Festival is a five-day-long extravaganza that attracts talent from all across the country. It is a celebration of India’s rich dance heritage that is an inseparable part of its culture. The event takes place against the backdrop of the majestic Sun Temple which adds a solemn grace to the festival. Here you can also buy the state’s handlooms and handicrafts to carry as souvenirs back home.
Ranthambore, Rajasthan – Stalk the tiger
This is perhaps the best place to spot the Royal Bengal Tiger in the wild. Settled at the foothills of the Vindhya and Aravali Hills, the Ranthambore National Park is home to India’s burgeoning tiger population. The 10th-century Ranthambore Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is located inside the national park keeps watch over the forest. The park is a treasure trove for photographers with its thriving wildlife population. Get close to the tigers at the Tiger Reserve or take the Jeep Safari that covers the whole park. The park is also home to some exotic animal species along with panthers and bears.
With so many options available, selecting one destination can be quite the task. Let Thomas Cook help you choose your perfect December holiday. Visit your nearest Thomas Cook branch or book your holiday online.