The ‘Month of Love’ is the perfect time to travel across India for two reasons. In February, winter is almost at an end but the weather is still pleasant without being too cold. Secondly, you won’t have to deal with crowds of tourists as summer vacations are still a long way off. This not-so-off-season also translates into better travel and accommodation deals.
The entire country is open to exploration, even the places usually inaccessible in winter. You will be spoilt for choice as you plan your February getaway. The hill stations beckon you with the promise of serenity and the beaches offer the excitement of water sports. Get ready for music and cultural festivals that take place all over India during February.
Here’s a curated list of ten places to visit in India in February.
Places to visit in India in February
Things to do
Gulmarg, Jammu and Kashmir
Snow, skiing, sightseeing
Namdroling Monastery, Abbey Falls, Talacauvery
Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh
Dulhadev Temple, light and sound show, Kandariya Temple
Sri Jagannath Puri Temple, Puri Beach, Chilika Lake
Bamboo rafting, Periyar Tiger Trail, Periyar National Park
Wine tasting, Panchavati, Dudhsagar Falls
Rural Olympics, Lodhi Fort, Maharaja Ranjit Singh War Museum
Bir Billing, Himachal Pradesh
Hang gliding, meditation, nature walks
Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu
Bear Shola Falls, Kodai Lake, Green Valley View
Churu, Nawalgarh, Sikar
Gulmarg, Jammu and Kashmir – Adventure Begins Here
What could be a more perfect destination than Gulmarg for a holiday in the month of love? The pristine white snow cover is evocative of romance and contrasts beautifully against the deep blue sky and the verdant forest cover. Looked over by the mighty Himalayas, Gulmarg is truly blessed with nature’s bountiful beauty. But first and foremost, Gulmarg is a Himalayan adventure hub that offers exciting activities such as skiing, snowboarding, trekking and mountain climbing. The Indian Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering offers short courses that will prepare you for the adventures that lay ahead. If you want to experience the serene side of Gulmarg, you can admire the scenery from the world’s second-highest gondola ride.
Covered in a perpetual mist, Coorg is an exciting holiday destination that is called as ‘The Scotland of India’. The rolling green hills are covered with coffee plantations as far as the eyes can see. Kodagu, as it is locally known, is also an unexpected place to find an important Buddhist learning centre. The Namdroling monastery is the largest teaching centre of ‘Nyingmapa’, the school of Tibetan Buddhism. The Abbey Falls cascade down 70 ft in a poetic display of grace and power. Talacauvery, where the River Kaveri originates, offers a profoundly spiritual experience that is magnified by the surroundings. Take a safari at the Nagarhole National Park and gaze upon tigers, Indian bison and Asian elephants. For a surge of adrenaline, go white water rafting on the Barapole river.
Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh – The Hub of Historic Architecture
Khajuraho is one of the most important UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world. Known mostly for its erotic sculptures and carvings that adorn the temple walls, Khajuraho really is an amazing collection of medieval Indian architecture. The eclectic mix of Jain and Hindu temples here share the same sensuous adornments and were built between 960 to 1050 AD. But the artistic flair is not limited to the temples. Almost all the surviving structures from the period pay tribute to India’s artistic mastery of those times. The light and sound show in the evenings gives succinctly explains the city’s history. Apart from the main Vishwanath Temple, the Dulhadev and Lakshman temples also display the artistic treasure in their construction.
Puri is a part of the all-important ‘Char Dham’ pilgrimage centres of India. Lord Jagannath’s home is an adventurous holiday destination that was popularised by the hippies in the 1970s. But the city’s history dates back to 3rd century BC. Though you won’t get to attend the world-famous Rath Yatra in February, the Sri Jagannath Temple is worth a visit for its colourful architecture. It was built in the 11th century in the impressive Oriya style of architecture. The Chilika Lake is Asia’s largest internal salt-water lake and supports a rich ecosystem of flora and fauna. The Puri Beach is one of the most serene beaches on the east coast and is home to the incredible sand art of Mr Sudarshan Patnaik.
Thekkady, Kerala – Explore India’s Largest Tiger Reserve
Thekkady has the distinction of housing the largest tiger reserve in India. The Periyar National Park is one of the world’s most bio-diverse regions. It is thriving with native wildlife such as tigers, elephants, sambhars, birds and reptiles. The Periyar Tiger Trail is a memorable trek that takes you through dense forests and gets you closer to the park and its inhabitants. If you’re lucky enough, you might cross paths with a tiger. Bamboo rafting is another way of exploring the park from a different perspective. The Green Park Ayurvedic & Spice Plantation is a treasure trove of medicinal herbs and spices grown using advanced agricultural techniques. It offers a fascinating peek behind the scenes and lets you learn the techniques for yourself.
Nasik, Maharashtra – A Heady Mix of Temples and Wine
Nasik is an important religious centre that hosts the Kumbh Mela every 12 years. The town of Panchavati, near Nasik, is the place where Lord Ram supposedly spent a major part of his banishment. The Pandavleni Caves are an enthralling complex of 24 ancient rock-cut caves that are said to be more than 2000 years old. They are sacred to Hinayana Buddhism and hold many wonders like musical fountains, deep water tanks and intricately carved pillars. The Dudhsagar waterfall is a captivating cataract that is framed by spectacular scenery. But Nasik is popular for one more activity, wine tasting. With an abundance of vineyards in the vicinity, it is fast emerging as premium wine tourism region. This mix of contrasts makes for a heady holiday experience.
Ludhiana, Punjab – Sample the Delights of India’s Granary
Punjab’s largest city is an engaging holiday destination that still retains its spirituality and old-world charm. Even though it is an industrial town, it manages to attract tourists and pilgrims from all over the world with its ancient forts and Gurudwara. The Lodhi Fort, once the pride of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, is now mostly in ruins. But it holds centuries of engaging history and can tell stories of bravery and patriotism. The Maharaja Ranjit Singh War Museum is a chronicle of India’s wars, old and new. The Rakh Bagh Park is a little slice of games and entertainment that is fun for the entire family. The British-era toy train is the main attraction here as is the swimming pool.
Bir Billing, Himachal Pradesh – The Land of Peace and Adventure
This small town does not figure high on the list when it comes to holiday destinations because it is a well-kept secret. But Bir Billing is considered to be one of the world’s top paragliding spots. Located in the Joginder Valley, it is a nerve centre of adventure sports in the surrounding regions. Hang gliding is just one of the adventures you can enjoy in the picturesque environs of the town. If you’re looking for a more tranquil holiday, spend some time at the Bir Tea Factory or go on nature walks through some stunning scenery. Head to the Sherab Ling Monastery for meditation and to learn about the Buddhist philosophy in detail. Whatever you choose to do in Bir Billing, you will definitely have a wonderful holiday.
Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu – Bollywood’s Favourite Hill Station
Kodaikanal is one of the most beautiful and well-known hill stations in India. The misty cliffs and the cloud-capped mountains make wonderful backgrounds for its beautiful lakes and green valleys. It presents an intriguing mix of culture and nature to create the perfect mountain getaway. The Green Valley View offers stunning panoramas of the surrounding valleys and the Vaigai Dam. The Kodai Lake is located in the middle of the city, surrounded by the Palani Hills range. It is a star of Kodaikanal sightseeing. The Bear Shola Falls is a peaceful haven away from the hustle and bustle of the main city. The Devil’s Kitchen is a treat for photographers. It is home to Pillar Rocks and Guna Caves which are popular picnic spots.
Shekhawati, with its concentration of opulent palaces, mighty forts and plush havelis, is a study of contrasts. Surrounded by the semi-arid landscape of Rajasthan, Shekhawati is credited with having the largest collection of frescoes in the world. It is known as Rajasthan’s open-air art gallery. The 16th-century Badalgarh Fort still stands guard over the city. The Castle Mandawa is a beautiful old palace that has been converted into a heritage hotel. It is the perfect blend of ancient architecture and modern amenities. Similarly, Churu has its own havelis that feature beautiful Rajasthani art on the inside as well as outside.
These are only some of the destinations that you can visit in India in February. If you cannot make up your mind, drop in to your nearest Thomas Cook branch and let us help you decide. If you’ve already decided the destination, you can book your holidays online.