10 Best Places to Visit in January in India in 2020
Epic trip ideas to match the New Year spirit with these charming destinations
Before the flavour of the chilly season is out, before the humdrum cadence of work and school sets in, it is worth your while to sneak in a little trip that you can remember, all year.
The beginning of a new year is in many ways a chance for you to refresh your long-term plans. You can build fresh hope and plan with certainty and clarity. Taking a break, before you start with a clean slate, is one of the best ways to recharge your energies.
Thomas Cook’s well-considered suggestions for destinations and holiday planning will help you wedge in the best holiday of 2020 right at the beginning. Plunge into your vision of a burgeoning year by starting 2020 right.
Check out the trendiest destinations on our list and see how you can make the most of them:
Places to visit in India in January 2020
Things to do
Budget-friendly, dotted with nature trails, waterfalls, and timber woods
Playing in the snow, touring monasteries, treks leading up to the snowy peaks
Wildlife safari, birdwatching, shopping for colourful trinkets
Bakery trail, pub trail, beaches, inner wellness
Waterfalls, coffee plantations, the legend of Baba Budan giri
Beach fun, deep blue waters and untarnished sands, water sports
Religious hotspot, bonfire nights by the sea
Rann of Kutch
Endless stretches of white sand and the luminous light of the moon
Thrilling hairpin bends and picnics by the lake
Living root bridges and opulent waterfalls
Kasauli- Of nature trails and waterfalls
Taking in beautiful scenery has a way of purging boredom from the mind. You discover joyous spirit at every turn and Kasauli is exactly right for this mood. This quaint hill-town is a labyrinth of Colonial-style buildings, lush vegetation, and myriad paths. If Nature walks are your thing, Kasauli is full of trails and multiple “points” like Manki Point, Sunset Point, Gurka Fort, and Gilbert Trail. Catch breath-taking views of misty hilltops and watch clouds appear and waft away before your eyes. Admittedly, January is colder than most other months. But the wintry mornings are ideal for checking out the Baptist Church, Christ’s Church, and Baba Balak Nath Temple. Wolf down endless pakoras or bun samosa and cups of tea to warm you up from inside. Bite into steamy momos between your runs across this tiny town.
A hill-holiday in winter is only for those high on imagination. If you can bear with the cold, the pure, gleaming beauty of the mountains, clear nights, and loose, powdery snow is yours to experience and treasure forever. This is impossible in Summer. If you’re ready to stretch your imagination, Kalpa in Kinnaur district is ideal for a meditative, relaxed ramble. It houses the Narayan-Nagini temple built in the unique Kathkuni architecture – a blend of wood and stone. This tiny town on the banks of the Sutlej is a major grower of apples. Also sample Kalpa’s pears and walnuts and learn the lore on preserving dry fruits for the best flavour. Suicide point in Roghi village is a narrow projection from which the view is arresting. Kinnaur is also home to Sapni Fort, rising majestically against the glistening Himalayan peaks. Club this trip with Shimla and Chitkul to experience the magic of snow this new year.
Ranthambore- A date with the wild
Rajasthan is home to towns of myriad interests – cover Jaipur, Bikaner, Shekhawati, and Jodhpur to revel in forts, museums, textile, painting and architecture, handicraft finery, art, and pottery. End with a national park trip that sets your pulse racing as you set off to sight tigers in Ranthambore. Make your choice of getting about on 20-seater canters or 6-seater jeeps. Keep in mind that you have to pick a morning or evening safari and lie in wait for tigresses and their cubs to make an appearance. For safety, comply fully with the rules of the National Park – don’t blare music, blow horns, or walk around inside the park. Expect to see a mélange of birds showing off their plumage as they stop for water or to swoop down on a worm. A trip to Ranthambore is a lesson in patience, and one that is duly rewarded in sightings of Sambar stags, Sloths, Chinkara, Asian Palm Civets, Wild boars, Deer, Crocodiles, and Hares, along with the Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Hornbills, Kingfishers, Painted Storks, Herons, and Owls. You’re going to have long stretches of time waiting to spot the animals, so, make sure you carry dry snacks like energy bars and biscuits. Have a muffler and jacket handy as the sun goes down. Shopping opportunities abound in Sawai Madhopur near the Vanya Vilas Oberoi.
Pondicherry- Of quaint beach shacks and pristine waters
Spiritual awakening meets pristine beaches and quaint alleys studded with authentic bakery outlets – that’s Pondicherry for you. On the one hand is the Matri Mandir and the Aurobindo Ashram where you find plenty of food for thought. The very silence and the imposing golden globe in Auroville invite you to look within for answers to your deepest questions. On the other hand, sustainable practices such as a preference for cycling around instead of fuel-powered engines remind you of the appeal of simple living. Shop to your heart’s content in White Town and gorge on delicious pizza after a day of checking out church architecture. Pondicherry remains steeped in Portuguese, French, Dutch, and English historical remnants and offers pockets of glorious discovery to revellers. Winter is the best time to visit this spot on the Coromandel Coast.
Chikmagalur- Shimmering waterfalls and aromatic coffee plantations
Bang in the middle of Karnataka’s winter, when the pleasant climate gives way to a mild chill, the coffee plantations are a delight to the senses. The verdant coffee crop is harvested and brewed into an aromatic cup that exudes a flavour unique to South Indian coffee. When you’ve had your fill of the greenery, there’s more beauty to discover in Hebbe Falls and Jhari Falls. At the latter, a short walk or a 4×4 vehicle route brings you to a tiered waterfall you can access from three levels. Also called buttermilk falls, the spray of this ‘jhari’ can get you wet in an instant so carry an extra set of clothes. Also check out Hilekolale Lake and Mullayangiri, a scenic path of mists and tiny steps to the hilltop. The cold winds are an excellent excuse to chug down piping hot cups of coffee. The view from the drop point is soul-stirring. Kundremukh National Park and the trek to the peak which is punctuated by swirling streams are a major attraction.
Minicoy Island- Fun at the beach as the sea waves roar
The Lakshadweep islands play host to your cravings for the beach. Give reins to the urge for parasailing and watersports as you let go of your city-dwelling worries. Dive into a seafood buffet, the likes of which you have never seen before. The sun and sea have their own allure – you can spend your day underwater trying out scuba diving, yacht sailing, or snorkelling, and return to the cosy haven with a view of the rippling, murmuring sea. Start your expedition with the Minicoy Island Lighthouse, and don’t miss the glass-bottom boat ride. Keep an ear out for the anecdotes about the pole and line deep-sea fishing method that is unique to Lakshadweep. The pearly sands and incredible blue of the water are sure to resonate in your dreams long after you’ve left this delightful archipelago.
Gokarna, Karnataka- Amongst Best Places to Visit in India in January
Silence is golden and Gokarna reinforces that fact. A quieter Goa of sorts, Gokarna is the place to be if you wish to have a low-key and chilled out 31st December. Skip the deafening countdown till the clock strikes 12 and let the sound of the relentless waves fill your senses instead. Start your New Year with your loved ones in quaint, little bamboo huts that smell like home. The sweater weather is not as harsh in this hamlet as the sweet sea breeze wraps its arms around you. Visit the two sides of Gokarna- be it the wet, cushiony sands of its many tropical beaches or historical temples that dot this town. If you plan to visit the beaches of Gokarana on the 31st and are a social butterfly, get ready to bump into people who will turn into lifelong friends! Start your new year on a clean slate as you devour fresh fish, prawns and calamari!
Rann of Kutch, Gujarat- Endless stretches of white sand
In a world where the stars have been lost behind towering buildings and city lights; start your new year under the starry night sky. The endless, white ocean of the Rann desert amidst the shimmering stretch of stars painted in the night sky is indeed a sight to behold. If you are a nature-enthusiast, the twinkling night sky will surely take your breath away. Gather around a bonfire with your family this New Years’ eve and share a tale or two as the stars gaze down upon you. The endless white expanse shines as it reflects the light emitted from many a star that embellish the night sky. If you are somebody who likes to capture life as it is in the moment; you are in for a treat. Get a click of the never-ending white marshy desert as you marvel at some mystical winter stars shooting in the sky. The deafening silence lets you listen to your own heartbeats. Kutch has become every stargazer’s favourite destination in India.
Ooty- Thrilling hairpin bends and sweet delights
Say hello to 2020 amidst endless meadows, sparkling lakes and striking hills that will render you speechless. With the next decade round the corner, it’s time for something sweet! Feast on a variety of homemade chocolates and other bakery items. Do not forget to try the traditional biscuits of Ooty; Vakery. A crispy, deep fried biscuit with a golden-brown colour, this delicacy has rava, flour, semolina, water, ghee, salt and sugar in it. With tea and coffee plantations spread across Ooty, the delicious beverages are a given. Refresh yourself with a steaming cup of chai or Ooty’s aromatic coffees. Make sure that you do not miss out on a plate of piping hot momos from one of the street food stalls in Ooty.
Imagine waking up on the first day of the year with the incessant pitter patter of the rain knocking at your door, urging you to come out and play. Awaken the adventurer within you as you explore lush green forests sprinkled with dewy droplets, mysterious caves, endless stretches of green and topsy-turvy roads. Begin your new year with a breath of fresh air and petrichor that will immediately fill your senses. Sit in the lap of nature and watch this rainy town shimmer and shine. Marvel at the Nohkalikai Waterfalls that are blanketed in a mist of clouds. Step into 2020 on a mysterious note as you visit the dark caves that dare you to move forward; daunting yet intriguing at the same time. The many limestone carvings on this cave tell you stories belonging to the bygone eras. This maze of caves will confuse, inspire and force you to stop and stare all along the way. If you wish to entertain the adventurer in you, do carry a torch to explore the darker parts of the cave.
India’s expanse spoils you for choice when you look for winter destinations.
The silvery masses of winter’s mists lend charm to every place you can think of. Fluttery fog and ephemeral mist make it more beautiful than ever. This is the right time to fill up on those memorable pictures of a relaxed time and gather your loved ones together for a saunter. You will make a foray and return with a spring in your step to your workstation.
Can’t wait to start your New Year in a way like no other? Make your way to the Thomas Cook website and book your holiday right away!