Best Destinations To Visit In December In India

The month of December is a magical time to explore the diverse landscapes and rich cultural heritage of India. From snow-capped mountains to sun-kissed beaches, this country offers a plethora of options for travelers seeking a memorable holiday experience. Whether you are looking for a romantic getaway, an adventurous escapade, or a spiritual retreat, India has something for everyone. In this article, we will take you on a virtual journey to the best destinations to visit in December in India.

The Himalayas

Experience the snow-capped peaks and thrilling adventures in the Himalayas. The Himalayas, with its majestic snow-covered mountains, is a paradise for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike. In December, this region transforms into a winter wonderland, offering a unique and awe-inspiring experience. From skiing in Gulmarg to trekking in Himachal Pradesh, the Himalayas provide a range of exciting activities for travelers. The pristine beauty of the mountains, the crisp winter air, and the adrenaline rush of adventure make the Himalayas a must-visit destination in December.

Skiing in Gulmarg

Gulmarg, located in Jammu and Kashmir, is known as the “Mecca of Winter Sports” in India. This picturesque hill station turns into a skiing paradise during December. With its powdery snow, vast slopes, and state-of-the-art ski facilities, Gulmarg attracts skiers from all over the world. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, there are slopes suitable for all skill levels. Glide down the slopes, feel the rush of the wind, and enjoy the breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. Skiing in Gulmarg is an experience that will leave you with lifelong memories.

Trekking in Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh, with its rugged terrain and stunning landscapes, offers some of the best trekking experiences in India. In December, the trails are covered in a blanket of snow, creating a magical atmosphere. Trekking enthusiasts can choose from a variety of routes, such as the popular Triund Trek near McLeod Ganj or the challenging Pin Parvati Pass Trek in Kullu. Each trek offers a unique experience, from traversing through dense forests to crossing frozen rivers. The serene beauty of the Himalayas, the peacefulness of the surroundings, and the sense of accomplishment upon reaching the summit make trekking in Himachal Pradesh a truly unforgettable adventure.

Goa

Escape to the sunny beaches of Goa in December. Known for its vibrant nightlife and pristine shores, Goa offers the perfect combination of relaxation and excitement. The pleasant weather during December, with temperatures ranging from 22°C to 32°C, makes it an ideal time to visit. Whether you want to sunbathe on the beaches, indulge in water sports, or party the night away, Goa has it all.

Beach Hopping

Goa is blessed with an abundance of stunning beaches, each with its own unique charm. Start your beach-hopping adventure with the popular Calangute Beach, known for its vibrant atmosphere and water sports activities. Move on to Baga Beach, where you can relax on the sandy shores or enjoy thrilling water rides. If you are looking for a quieter beach, head to Palolem Beach in South Goa, famous for its natural beauty and laid-back vibe. As you explore the different beaches, you will be captivated by the golden sands, palm-fringed coastlines, and the calming sound of the waves.

Nightlife and Festivals

Goa’s nightlife is legendary, with its numerous bars, clubs, and beach parties. In December, the state comes alive with music festivals and cultural events. Don’t miss the Sunburn Festival, one of Asia’s largest electronic music festivals, held in Vagator. Dance to the beats of internationally renowned DJs and soak in the electrifying atmosphere. If you prefer a more traditional experience, visit during Christmas and witness the vibrant celebrations and midnight mass at the churches. The combination of music, dance, and festivities makes Goa a perfect destination to celebrate the holiday season.

Rajasthan

Discover the royal heritage of Rajasthan in cities like Jaipur, Udaipur, and Jaisalmer. Known for its magnificent palaces, vibrant culture, and warm hospitality, Rajasthan offers a glimpse into the opulent world of the Maharajas. In December, the weather is pleasant, making it an excellent time to explore the desert state.

Palaces and Forts

Jaipur, the capital city of Rajasthan, is known as the “Pink City” due to its stunning pink-hued architecture. Visit the iconic Hawa Mahal, a palace with intricate latticework, and explore the majestic City Palace, which houses a museum displaying royal artifacts. In Udaipur, often called the “Venice of the East,” marvel at the grandeur of the City Palace and take a boat ride on Lake Pichola, surrounded by palaces and hills. Jaisalmer, located in the heart of the Thar Desert, is famous for its golden-hued fort, where you can witness breathtaking sunsets and experience the rich history of the region. Exploring these palaces and forts will transport you back in time to the era of royalty.

Bustling Bazaars

A visit to Rajasthan is incomplete without experiencing its vibrant bazaars. The bustling markets of Jaipur, like Johari Bazaar and Bapu Bazaar, offer a treasure trove of colorful textiles, exquisite jewelry, and traditional handicrafts. Lose yourself in the narrow lanes of the markets, haggle with the vendors, and take home unique souvenirs that will remind you of the rich cultural heritage of Rajasthan. The bazaars are also a food lover’s paradise, with street stalls offering mouthwatering Rajasthani delicacies like dal baati churma and ghevar. Indulge in the flavors of Rajasthan as you explore the lively bazaars.

Kerala

Experience the tranquility of Kerala’s backwaters, rejuvenate with Ayurvedic treatments, and explore the lush green landscapes of Munnar. Kerala, often referred to as “God’s Own Country,” is a serene and beautiful destination that is perfect for a December getaway.

Backwater Bliss

Alleppey, also known as Alappuzha, is famous for its backwaters, a network of canals, lakes, and lagoons. Embark on a houseboat cruise and glide through the scenic backwaters, surrounded by swaying palm trees and paddy fields. Experience the serenity of the surroundings, watch traditional village life unfold, and savor delicious Kerala cuisine prepared on board. Spend a night on the houseboat, drifting along the calm waters and gazing at the starry sky. The backwaters of Kerala offer a peaceful and rejuvenating experience like no other.

Ayurvedic Bliss

Kerala is renowned for its Ayurvedic treatments, which focus on holistic healing and rejuvenation. Pamper yourself with therapeutic massages, herbal baths, and yoga sessions in the tranquil Ayurvedic resorts and spas. The ancient healing techniques, combined with the natural beauty of Kerala, create a perfect environment for relaxation and wellness. Treat yourself to a rejuvenating Ayurvedic retreat and let the stress melt away in this peaceful haven.

Mystical Munnar

Munnar, nestled in the Western Ghats, is a hill station renowned for its tea plantations and breathtaking landscapes. In December, the region is covered in a blanket of mist, creating a mystical ambiance. Explore the tea estates, visit the Tea Museum to learn about the history of tea production, and take a stroll through the aromatic tea gardens. Munnar is also home to several waterfalls, such as Attukad Waterfall and Lakkam Waterfall, where you can witness the cascading waters amidst lush greenery. Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Munnar and let its tranquility rejuvenate your soul.

Auli

For skiing enthusiasts, Auli in Uttarakhand is a paradise. Nestled amidst the snow-covered peaks of the Garhwal Himalayas, Auli offers thrilling skiing adventures and panoramic views that will take your breath away. With its well-groomed slopes, Auli is considered one of the best skiing destinations in India.

Skiing Adventures

December is the perfect time to visit Auli as the slopes are covered in fresh snow, creating ideal conditions for skiing. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced skier, there are slopes suitable for all levels. Take ski lessons from experienced instructors, rent the necessary equipment, and glide down the slopes with the wind in your hair. The panoramic views of the surrounding peaks, including Nanda Devi and Kamet, add to the thrill of the skiing experience. Auli offers a unique and exhilarating adventure that will leave you with unforgettable memories.

Other Winter Activities

Apart from skiing, Auli offers a range of other winter activities that cater to all interests. Take a cable car ride, known as the Auli Ropeway, to get a bird’s-eye view of the snow-covered landscape. Enjoy a snowball fight or build snowmen in the snow-clad meadows. If you prefer a more relaxed experience, take a leisurely walk amidst the snow-coveredpine forests and soak in the peaceful atmosphere. Auli is a winter wonderland that offers something for everyone, making it an ideal destination for a December getaway.

Varanasi

Immerse yourself in the spirituality of Varanasi, the holiest city in India. Located on the banks of the sacred river Ganges, Varanasi is a place of immense cultural and religious significance. In December, the city is adorned with a mystical charm, making it an ideal time to visit.

Ganga Aarti

One of the most enchanting experiences in Varanasi is witnessing the Ganga Aarti, a ritual performed every evening at Dashashwamedh Ghat. As the sun sets, priests perform a synchronized ceremony, offering prayers to the river Ganges. The rhythmic chants, the sound of bells, and the mesmerizing sight of lamps floating on the river create a spiritual and captivating atmosphere. Join the locals and tourists in the evening as they gather to witness this divine spectacle and seek blessings from the holy river.

Boat Ride on the Ganges

Embark on a boat ride along the sacred river Ganges and witness the vibrant life that unfolds on its banks. As you glide through the serene waters, you will pass by numerous ghats, where people perform daily rituals and ceremonies. Take a moment to immerse yourself in the spiritual aura of the ghats and observe the devotion and faith of the pilgrims. The boat ride provides a unique perspective of Varanasi, allowing you to admire the beautiful temples, ancient buildings, and bustling markets that line the riverbanks.

Exploring Temples and Ashrams

Varanasi is home to numerous ancient temples and ashrams that hold great religious and cultural significance. Visit the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, one of the most revered Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. Explore the Sarnath, where Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon after attaining enlightenment. Discover the tranquil atmosphere of the various ashrams, where spiritual seekers and devotees come to meditate and seek enlightenment. Varanasi offers a unique opportunity to delve into the depths of spirituality and explore the rich religious heritage of India.

Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Escape to the pristine beaches of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, a tropical paradise located in the Bay of Bengal. With crystal-clear waters, vibrant coral reefs, and lush green forests, these islands offer a perfect retreat for nature lovers and beach enthusiasts.

Beach Bliss

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Radhanagar Beach in Havelock Island is often ranked as one of the best beaches in Asia, with its white sands and turquoise waters. Visit the picturesque Elephant Beach, known for its vibrant coral reefs and abundant marine life. Relax on the secluded Kalapathar Beach, surrounded by lush greenery and tranquility. The beaches of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands offer a serene and idyllic setting to unwind, soak up the sun, and swim in the crystal-clear waters.

Snorkeling and Diving

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are a haven for snorkeling and diving enthusiasts. Explore the vibrant coral reefs and swim alongside colorful marine species. Havelock Island and Neil Island are popular diving destinations, offering a chance to discover the underwater world and witness the beauty of the coral gardens. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced diver, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands provide ample opportunities to explore the mesmerizing underwater world and create unforgettable memories.

Nature Trails and Wildlife

Beyond the beaches, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. Take a nature trail through the lush forests of the islands and discover unique plant species, exotic birds, and endemic wildlife. Visit the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, which is spread across several islands, and witness the rich biodiversity of the region. Spot colorful birds, playful dolphins, and if you’re lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of a sea turtle or a saltwater crocodile. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands offer a perfect balance of relaxation and adventure amidst nature’s beauty.

Darjeeling

Enjoy a cup of steaming Darjeeling tea while soaking in the breathtaking views of the snow-clad Kanchenjunga peak. Darjeeling, located in the state of West Bengal, is a charming hill station that offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, colonial architecture, and tea plantations.

Tea Gardens and Tea Tasting

Darjeeling is world-renowned for its tea production, particularly the aromatic Darjeeling tea. Take a tour of the tea gardens and witness the tea-making process, from plucking the leaves to the final product. Learn about the different types of tea and indulge in a tea tasting session to savor the flavors and aromas of this exquisite beverage. The tea gardens of Darjeeling provide a tranquil setting to relax, enjoy the scenic views, and immerse yourself in the rich culture of tea cultivation.

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

Experience a nostalgic journey on the famous Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, also known as the “Toy Train.” This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a marvel of engineering, with its narrow-gauge tracks and vintage steam locomotives. Embark on a scenic ride through the picturesque landscapes, passing through charming hillside villages, verdant forests, and breathtaking mountain views. The slow pace of the train allows you to soak in the beauty of Darjeeling and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Tiger Hill and Sunrise View

Wake up early and make your way to Tiger Hill to witness the mesmerizing sunrise over the snow-covered peaks of Kanchenjunga and the Eastern Himalayas. As the first rays of the sun illuminate the mountains, the colors change from shades of pink to golden hues, creating a magical spectacle. The panoramic view from Tiger Hill is a photographer’s delight and a sight that will leave you in awe of nature’s beauty. Capture this breathtaking moment and cherish it forever.

Hampi

Step back in time and explore the ancient ruins of Hampi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the state of Karnataka. Hampi was once the capital of the mighty Vijayanagara Empire and is now a treasure trove of historical and architectural marvels.

Virupaksha Temple

Begin your Hampi exploration with a visit to the iconic Virupaksha Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple, dating back to the 7th century, is still in active worship and is a significant pilgrimage site. Marvel at the intricate carvings, towering gopurams (entrance towers), and the grandeur of the temple complex. The annual Hampi Utsav, held in December, is a vibrant cultural festival where you can witness traditional music, dance performances, and processions that bring the ancient city back to life.

Monuments and Ruins

Hampi is scattered with fascinating monuments and ruins that showcase the architectural brilliance of the Vijayanagara Empire. Explore the grandeur of the Vittala Temple, known for its iconic stone chariot and musical pillars that produce melodious sounds. Visit the majestic Lotus Mahal, a beautiful blend of Islamic and Hindu architectural styles. Discover the ruins of the Queen’s Bath, the Elephant Stables, and the Hazara Rama Temple, each with its own unique story to tell. Hampi is a paradise for history buffs and offers a glimpse into the glorious past of South India.

River Crossing and Coracle Rides

Experience a unique way of crossing the Tungabhadra River by taking a coracle ride. Coracles are round-shaped traditional boats made of woven bamboo and coated with a layer of tar. Glide across the calm waters of the river, surrounded by the magnificent landscape of Hampi. The coracle ride offers a peaceful and serene experience, allowing you to appreciate the natural beauty of the surroundings and create a connection with the ancient city.

Rann of Kutch

Witness the surreal beauty of the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat. This vast salt marsh transforms into a white desert during December, offering a unique and mesmerizing experience. The Rann Utsav, a cultural extravaganza held in December, showcases the vibrant culture and traditions of Gujarat.

White Desert

As winter sets in, the Rann of Kutch transforms into a vast expanse of white salt flats, stretching as far as the eye can see. The stark landscape, with its glistening salt crystals and the clear blue sky above, creates a surreal and ethereal ambiance. Take a walk on the salt flats, feel the crunch of the salt beneath your feet, and witness the breathtaking sunset over the white desert. The Rann of Kutch is a photographer’s paradise and offers a unique experience that cannot be found anywhere else in India.

Rann Utsav

Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Gujarat by attending the Rann Utsav, a festival that celebrates the spirit of the Rann of Kutch. The festival showcases the rich traditions, folk music, dance performances, and handicrafts of the region. Witness the colorful attire of the locals, indulge in traditional Gujarati cuisineand shop for exquisite handicrafts and textiles. The Rann Utsav is a time when the desert comes alive with cultural performances, camel rides, and bonfires under the starry sky. Immerse yourself in the festive spirit and experience the warmth and hospitality of Gujarat.

Wildlife and Bird Watching

The Rann of Kutch is not just about the desert; it is also home to a diverse range of wildlife and migratory birds. Visit the Wild Ass Sanctuary, where you can spot the Indian wild ass, a rare and endangered species. Keep your eyes peeled for other wildlife such as blackbucks, wolves, and desert foxes. The Rann of Kutch is also a paradise for bird watchers, with numerous species of migratory birds, including flamingos, pelicans, and cranes, flocking to the region during winter. Witness the spectacle of thousands of birds taking flight and creating a mesmerizing sight against the backdrop of the white desert.

In conclusion, December offers a multitude of options for travelers to explore the diverse landscapes and cultural heritage of India. Whether you prefer snowy mountains, sun-kissed beaches, spiritual retreats, or vibrant festivals, India has it all. From the serene backwaters of Kerala to the vibrant nightlife of Goa, each destination offers a unique experience. The Himalayas provide thrilling adventures, while Rajasthan takes you on a journey through royal palaces and bustling bazaars. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands offer pristine beaches and underwater wonders, while Varanasi immerses you in spirituality. Darjeeling and Hampi captivate with their historical charm, and the Rann of Kutch showcases the surreal beauty of the white desert. December is the perfect time to embark on a memorable journey to the best destinations in India and create lifelong memories.

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