With the most favourable weather all around, December marks the best of the holiday season in India. There is a huge list of best places to visit in December in India such as beaches in South India and the snow-capped Himalayas up North. Gentle weather also makes it ideal to explore central India and even the desert kingdom of Rajasthan in December.
We bring to you the top 20 travel destinations in India during December.
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1. Andaman Islands
Nature’s beauty and some of the most beautiful, pristine beaches, make the Andaman Islands every traveller’s delight. The Andaman Islands can boast of the various natural phenomena that can be a treat for all, whether he/she is a traveller or not. This isolated group of islands has a lot of things that you should know. December is the best time to explore the place.
What To Do: Snorkelling, Swimming, scuba diving, banana boat rides, underwater walking, parasailing, jet skiing and much more. Each water activity will push that adrenaline rush to an altogether new level.
How To Reach: One of the easiest ways to travel to Andaman is by flight. This tourist destination houses its own airport at Port Blair which has good connectivity with Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, and Bangalore. While the flights from Delhi and Mumbai take 5 hours, travellers from Chennai and Kolkata can reach in just 2 hours.
It is one of the major tourist spot located in the northwestern state of Rajasthan in India. Its called as the -golden city due to its bounteous golden dunes and castles clad in golden honey sandstone. Jaisalmer is adorned with lakes, ornate Jain temples and Havelis. Climb on to the camel saddle and make your way through this desert or camp under the night sky in this golden land for an unforgettable experience.
What To Do: The prized highlight of the Golden City is the beautiful sand dunes. The stretch of pristine sand dunes of the Thar Desert is a beauty. In addition, it is the hub of adventure sports. Here you can enjoy Jaisalmer desert safari, camel rides and camping, the experience is one of the best of Jaisalmer tour.
How To Reach: Jaisalmer is not directly connected by air with any part of India. Jodhpur Airport, located some 300 km away from Jaisalmer, is the nearest airport to the desert land. The airport connects Rajasthan with all major Indian cities. From Jodhpur Airport, tourists can hire cabs to reach Jaisalmer.
3. Himachal Pradesh
Composed of lofty snow peaks, deep gorges, lush green valleys, fast-flowing rivers, enchanting mountain lakes, flower-bedecked meadows, beautiful temples and monasteries, Himachal Pradesh is a traveller’s paradise.
What To Do: Explore picturesque hill stations, gushing waterfalls, abundant wildlife, emerald lakes, snow-capped mountains and the barren beauty of upper Himalayas. Go for Himalayan treks, watch a Tibetan opera in Dharamsala, Visit Asia’s oldest brewery in Kasauli and much more.
How To Reach: The best way to reach Himachal by air is to take a flight to Chandigarh, and then take a car or local buses. By Train: Himachal Pradesh has two narrow-gauge railway lines, one connecting Kalka with Shimla and the other one connecting Pathankot to Kangra.
Visit God’s own country and spend some quality time with your loved ones in a Kerala trip. This South Indian state is a paradise tucked between the stretch of the lush Western Ghats and the cerulean expanse of the Arabian Sea. The land of limitless blues and greens, Kerala finds its place in the National Geographic Traveler’s list of – One of the 50 must-see destinations of a lifetime.
What To Do: There are many reasons to plan a holiday in Kerala. Plush beauty, serene backwaters, golden sand shores, bustling wildlife sanctuaries, colourful arts, dances, crafts, and many more delights offer matchless experiences.
How To Reach: Kerala is well-connected to all the major cities of India including the four metropolitan cities namely, New-Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai through an effective train services link. There are around 200 railway stations in Kerala which connect places both within and outside Kerala.
Goa is always bustling with high-energy during December. The alluring wonders of the beach state of Goa, also known as the -Party Capital of India. Being one of the best holiday destinations in India in December, Goa receives a crazy number of tourists from all across the world as it has two of the most happening events at this time of the year- Sunburn Festival and Special New Year’s Eve parties. Goa is truly a fun-filled destination.
What To Do: Indulge in the pleasures of beaches, parties, music festivals, food, free-flowing booze, water-sports, sightseeing and other adventures. The Sunburn festival is a must.
How To Reach: It is quite easy to reach Goa as the major railway stations in Goa are located in Margao. The main railway station is known as Madgaon and Vasco-da-Gama. These railway stations are well linked with Mumbai and then other major parts of the country as well.
December calls for adventure, sightseeing and exciting experiences, with this in mind Jaipur is one of the best places to visit this month. The Royal capital of Rajasthan, popularly known as the Pink City is a city of heritage sights, vibrant culture and experiences. The winter month is perfect to plan a holiday. Marvel at the incredible palaces, forts and temples. Savour the experiences of regal holiday this December!
What To Do: Jaipur is a city full of experiences. It has a plethora of not just royal palaces and forts for you to visit and explore, but also fun and adventurous to quench your thirst for the thrill. Visit the Jal Mahal, Nahargarh Fort and also shop at Jaipur Bazaars.
How To Reach: Sanganer airport is the nearest airport to the city of Jaipur. It is located at a distance of 10 kilometres from the city centre. The airport has flight connectivity with major Indian cities like Mumbai and Delhi. International tourists can take connecting flights to Jaipur from Mumbai or Delhi airport.
The month of December is an ideal month to visit the holy city of Varanasi. The ghats of River Ganga, its temples, and the city itself is at its best, offering unforgettable experiences to its visitors. Although Varanasi has a slight chill in the air in December month, it is the best time for the creation of memories here. The city lies on the western banks of the holy Ganges and is a labyrinth of temples, eating joints, shops, and Dharamshala.
What To Do: Enjoy an early morning ride and observe the on-going activities by the Ghat. Pay homage to the deities inside the ancient temples. Take Bath in the Ganges. Rendezvous with Gods at temples of Varanasi. A Sunset Stroll Along The Ghats. Evening Aarti Ceremony at Ganges River. Go for a Sightseeing Tour of Sarnath.
How To Reach: Many people choose to travel to Varanasi by train. It takes a minimum of eight hours from Kolkata, 10 to 12 hours from Delhi, and around 30 hours from Mumbai. Most trains run overnight. The main railway station in Varanasi is called as Varanasi Junction or Varanasi Cantt.
8. Tamil Nadu
December brings salubrious weather for Tamil Nadu, one of the best destinations in India. The coastal state of Southern India, tempts visitors with its rich historical past, ancient temples, serene beaches, verdant hill stations, charming nature, and colourful Dravidian culture. While on one side, there are various popular allures, on the other, there are some hidden-treasures too.
What To Do: The weather at time is wonderful, making sightseeing, temple-visit and beach-hopping favourable activities during holidays. There are religion, architecture, nature, wildlife, culture, spirituality, food and much more for a tourist to explore in Tamil Nadu at this time.
How To Reach: Tamil Nadu has a road network of nearly 1.70 lakh km. Private bus operators along with a number of government buses link the important cities and ply the entire south. Inter-state buses run by the State Express Transport Corporation connect Chennai with the states of Karnataka, Kerala, and Andhra Pradesh.
Uttarakhand is also known as the- abode of the gods, and as such, everything is beautiful here. Home to the holiest rivers, profound spiritualism, fascinating history caved in ancient stones, a treasure house of flora and fauna and incredible people, words fail to describe the beauty of this place. However, there is no better time to visit Uttarakhand than winters.
What To Do: Witness the exotic wildlife, visit the spiritual destinations, enjoy sightseeing and engage in thrilling activities like mountain biking, rafting and camping. Skiing. The snow-covered mountains of Uttarakhand are perfect for skiing. Visit the Jim Corbett National Park. Rappelling is also one of my favourite activities.
How To Reach: The airports, where the flights from different states fly in, go by the name of Pantnagar Airport which is situated in the Pantnagar in Kumaon Region, Jolly Grant situated in Dehradun and Naini Saini Airport in the Pithoragarh. Jolly Grant is the most well-connected of the three airports in Uttarakhand and Pithoragarh is yet to open for public.
Alleppey, also known as Alappuzha, holds the distinction for being the Venice of the East and has had an illustrious maritime history. It’s also one of the best destinations to head to in winter. This is the time to experience the best of all that this place has to offer from backwater holidays to marine products, beaches and the coir industry. A cruise on its backwaters on a Kettuvallam – a traditional houseboat offers an incredible experience during winter.
What To Do: Stay in Kuttanad and capture the south Indian village life. Grab that camera and go bird watching while you Canoe or Kayak. Explore the beaches and behold the sunset from a lighthouse. Rejuvenate with Ayurveda and Spa pampering. Relish some spiritualism at the temples and churches.
How To Reach: The Cochin International Airport, located at a distance of 75 kilometres is the nearest airport to Alleppey. The airport is well connected to major cities in India as well as abroad. From the Cochin International Airport, one can book a taxi or a cab to get to Alleppey.
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For many travellers, Agra is all about Taj Mahal. Indeed! This massive edifice is listed on the 7 Modern Wonders of the World and reflects the grandeur of Mughal architecture and eternal affection of a husband for his wife. But there is more to Agra than Taj Mahal like Agra fort, various Mughal gardens, Itmad Ud Daulah Tomb and several temples. Pleasant weather makes it an ideal time to visit Agra in December.
What To Do: Visit the Mesmerizing Taj Mahal, explore the Agra Fort, bird watching at Chambal river, take a trip to Fatehpur Sikri and don’t forget to splurge on shopping at the Kinari Bazaar.
How To Reach: Agra’s Kheria airport is also a military base. It is a seasonal commercial airport and is connected only by Air India flights from New Delhi. The flight from Delhi to Agra is less than an hour long. Kheria airport is 13 kilometres away from Agra city. Hire a taxi from the airport to get to the city, which should take you around 10-15 minutes depending on traffic.
One of the finest holiday destinations in South India, Pondicherry gets ready to create incredible vacations with the start of winters. December is the perfect time to explore beaches, ashrams and the French connection. This beautiful town boasts of several allures and offers peaceful vacations, away from chaos.
What To Do: The weather at this time is salubrious and is considered to be ideal for enjoying sightseeing, visiting the beaches, partaking in leisure walks, savouring the French culture, and indulging in thrilling water sports. Do not forget to indulge in shopping to get your hands on some amazing keepsakes. Sumptuous food is another highlight.
How To Reach: Train is the best way to go here. The nearest rail station from Pondicherry is Villupuram, which is about 35 kilometres away from the town. The railhead is well-connected to cities like New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, and Trivandrum. Two of the most popular trains are New Delhi Pondicherry Express and Nagarcoli Express.
Gujarat is the state which flaunts vibrant ethnicity and the whole country takes pride in that. Located on the westernmost end of India, this state has some magnificent beaches. There are majestic forts and temples in Gujarat attract millions of travellers and pilgrims around the world. Take home the brilliance dedication of local artisans who leave no stone unturned to carve a masterpiece every time.
What To Do: Explore the Land of Legends. Salt Marshes in Great Rann of Kutch. Spot Asiatic Lions at Gir. Admire the Architecture of Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple in Ahmedabad. Visit the Historical Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad. Witness a Mesmerizing Sunset in Kankaria Lake in Ahmedabad and much more.
How To Reach: The fastest way to reach Gujarat is to take a flight from the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus Airport in Mumbai to any of the states in Gujarat such as Porbandar, Surat, Ahmedabad and Vadodara. Take the flight to Surat and you will be there in approximately 55 minutes.
Winter holidays in India remain incomplete without a visit to Manali. The hill town in Himachal Pradesh snuggled on the lap of the Himalayas along the Beas River is a picturesque beauty coupled with adventure. From family holidays to romantic honeymoon to adventure, Manali is the playground of some of the most unforgettable holidays. December is the month of bliss here, as snowfall blesses the landscape.
What To Do: Snowsports in Rohtang Pass & Solang Valley, picnic in apple orchards, sightseeing, visit holy temples, pampering stay in hotels are some highlights of your December holiday in Manali.
How To Reach: The nearest airport is at Bhuntar, located approximately 50 kilometres away from Manali. Domestic flights connect Bhuntar with Delhi and Chandigarh. Once at the airport, you can take a pre-paid taxi to Manali. However, owing to weather conditions, flights are not the most reliable option for getting to or out of Manali.
Holidays in December in India lure tourists to the beaches. Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu snuggled along the Bay of Bengal is one of the places to check out this winter month. The weather is pleasant. Cultural festivals and performances are also on the calendar for visitors.
What To Do: Visitors can go sightseeing, exploring the heritage of the ancient Tamil Era as well as of the British Raj. The beautiful Marina Beach and Elliot’s beach is amazing to spend your evenings. Museums are fun to explore. Food, shopping, day trips add to the thrill.
How To Reach: Chennai International Airport, situated around 20 km away from the city centre, is among the busiest airports in the country. Spread across uptown regions of Meenambakkam, Tirusulam and Pallavaram, the airport has been recorded to have handled more than 342 aeroplane movements on a day to day basis.
Wayanad is one of the few districts of Kerala which showcases the pristine face of nature. Spread across a region of almost 2,132sq. km, its hills are home to the oldest tribes untouched by civilization. This place is home to some amazing destinations, from Chembra Peak and Neelimala to Meenmutty Waterfalls and Banasura Sagar Dam.
What To Do: This place is famous for its beautiful hill-stations, sub-tropical savannahs, sprawling spice plantations and rich cultural traditions, besides much more. Located on the southern tip of the magnificent Deccan Plateau, the region is a wonderful combination of wilderness, culture and history.
How To Reach: Calicut International Airport, located around 65 km away serves as the nearest airport to Wayanad. Visitors can avail direct or stopover flights to Calicut from different parts of Kerala as well as rest of India, depending upon availability. On arrival at the airport, local taxis can be availed to travel till Wayanad.
The glories and achievements of the past ages are reflected brilliantly in the ruins of Hampi in Karnataka, once the capital of the famous Vijayanagara Empire. The ruins shed light on the incredible architectural traditions existing during that time. The Virupaksha Temple, with its 9 stories tall gopura, presents a picture of magnificence. The brilliance of the past is visible in the form of structures like Stone Chariot, enormous Ganesh statues, and much more.
What To Do: Take the taxi boat across the river to the hippie side of Hampi, Anegundi. Where to Stay in Hampi: A cottage on the rice fields. Rent a bike and finally learn how to drive one! Go cliff jumping, but watch the crocs! Bathe/Get blessed by an elephant. Enjoy views from Matanga Hill.
How To Reach: The nearest air link to Hampi is the Belgaum airport which is located at a distance of 270 km. Bangalore airport, on the other hand, is 300 km from Hampi. By Train. There is no railway station in Hampi. By Road. Hampi is well-connected to Bangalore and other major cities of Karnataka.
Delhi is an amalgamation of several cultures and traditions, having served as the capital of several dynasties and empires. The avenues for exploration, shopping and hanging out are many. For music and art lovers, the city is also home to a number of art galleries and theatres which host incredible performances and exhibitions throughout the year.
What To Do: It boasts several historical monuments which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites including the Red Fort, Humayun’s Tomb and Qutub Minar. Eating out is a particular delight, with several options available for indulging in gastronomical delights. There is also the Dilli Haat, a one-stop destination for almost everything.
How To Reach: Delhi is well connected by air, railways and roads with all major cities across India. For a comfortable journey, you can take a flight to Delhi. Indira Gandhi International Airport is just 20 km away from the city centre. The railway stations in Delhi are all well connected with different parts of the city.
19. Bodh Gaya
Bodhgaya is one of the most revered Buddhist pilgrimage centres in the world. It was here that Lord Buddha attained enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree, and became known as the Enlightened One. One of the main attractions is the Mahabodhi Temple, whose architecture has been influenced by various cultures and heritages over the centuries.
What To Do: Apart from the Mahabodhi Temple, the other attractions here are Animesh temple, Chankramana and Ratnagarh, to name a few. Here are some favourite attractions to see in Bodh Gaya- Great Buddha Statue, Tibetan Refugee Market, Bodhi Tree, The Thai Monastery. Mahabodhi Temple Complex Book store, Muchalinda Lake and the Royal Bhutan Monastery.
How To Go: Gaya is the nearest airport which is approximately 17 kilometres from the town of Bodh Gaya. Though the frequency of flights is lesser, the airport is well-connected to Kolkata by flights. Now, however, the airport has started catering to international as well as domestic sectors. To start with, Thai Airways has an everyday flight to Gaya, Druk Air (an international carrier) flies once in a week from Bangkok.
Amritsar, in Punjab, is linked with the history of Sikhism and is one of the most revered sites in the world. Founded as far back as the 16th century, this place is associated with a range of historical and mythological narratives. The most prominent tourist attraction here, the Golden Temple. The other most historically important site is the Jallianwala Bagh, which evokes strong emotions from the visitors.
What To Do: Amritsar is also famous for its textiles, particularly shawls and carpets. One can witness the exciting Wagah Border Ceremony here, apart from exploring the old bazaars, historical monuments and much more.
How To Reach: For transportation within the city, you can take rickshaws, auto-rickshaws, taxis or buses. The Amritsar Railway Station connects the city to almost all major Indian cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Agra, Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Chandigarh. A train journey from Delhi to Amritsar takes about 6 hours.
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Hope your December is full of happy memories. Related article- X’mas Celebrations: Places To Visit!
Dog Travel Tips: Travel Long Distance With Your Dog!
Who doesn’t love travelling with their furry friends? And for that some dog travel tips are very important! Long road trips are enjoyed by some dogs, while others quiver at the mere prospect of getting into a car. But anyway, if you want to drive long distances in a car with your dog, then good preparation and attentiveness is required before and during the trip.
These are few dog travel tips to help your furry friend!
Make sure everything is packed
You need to make sure you’ve got everything they may need on their journey to keep your dog happy. Usually on the long road trip and once you’ve finally arrived at your destination.
Never take them on trips during vaccination
Although travelling with puppies is great, ensuring you get them used to car trips ahead of any long road trips can be tough. Make sure you wait until all their vaccinations are full. Usually, this will be by the time they are around 14 weeks old.
Waiting until your puppy is completely house-trained is also advised, so you don’t run up a big hotel bill!
Start with Short Trips
Take your dog to a quick drive to the store, veterinarian, to another doggie park or even to training lessons for puppies. This ensures that your dog gets used to car trips as best as possible.
And hopefully some trips are expected to take them somewhere fun and exciting, so they understand that the car is fine.
Protect them from Sunshade
Temperatures inside cars will still be much higher than outside temperatures, even though it’s not a especially hot day. It is recommended to put a sunshade inside your windscreen before you drive so that inside the car it’s a little cooler.
You can also buy some sunshades for the back windows. So that during the car ride your dog will not be lying in patches of sun. Install these the night before your trip as for windscreens above.
Tire up their energy
By making sure your dog has used up all their pent up energy, he’ll be more likely to just go in the car to sleep.
Keep them entertained
Keep the radio on if you don’t talk for the whole ride. Also, let your dog chew on an antler bone. Else, a kong filled with delicious treats, or some of their favourite toys. The act of chewing alone, after a while, should tire them out.
Don’t forget toilet breaks!
Have plenty of toilet breaks specifically, every 90 minutes to 2 hours. Also, this will need to be reduced if your dog is less used to long road trips.
You should also let your dog do their business as soon as possible when you arrive. If they are desperate, even the most toilet-trained dogs could go inside.
Carry plenty of water
Dogs would also need plenty of water as they ride in vehicles. In case of traffic or delays, you can ensure you have enough to cover the entire journey plus some extra. And if you buy a bottle that has a bowl compartment attached to it, it will make things simpler for you. Mainly, because the dog can almost drink straight from the bottle.
Belum Caves: An Underground Hidden City
From sheltering men to their Gods, caves in India have been special right from ancient times. Indian cave systems usually bring to mind the north-eastern state of Meghalaya with its extensive network of caves; surprisingly the southern state of Andhra Pradesh has the second largest system of caves in India, the inconspicuous Belum Caves. The word Belum derives from the Sanskrit ‘Bilum’ which means caves, so it is just a repetition to call these caves Belum Caves. Belum Caves is a network of underground calcareous caves at the deepest point, more than 3 kilometres long and 29 metres deep.
Moreover, at present, about half of this length is publicly available. Visitors from nearby Gandikota are attracted to this site. Mainly those who intend a day trip that will visit both of these locations. This area has made the availability of limestone and water very suitable for cement factories.
Best Season to visit Belum Caves
Here the hot climate is as rugged as the terrain. Belum caves, situated in the southern part of India, remain hot for most of the year. Also, the best time to visit it will be between the months of October and February when the weather is good. Further, the temperature in the underground caves is marginally higher than the temperature at ground level. It is due to continuous carbon dioxide accumulation at the bottom of the caves.
How to reach Belum Caves
Gandikota is usually carried out as a day trip from Chennai or Bangalore, the two major cities nearby, in combination with a visit to the nearby Belum caves. The best choice is a day trip from each of these cities and it can be achieved using a hired taxi, but if you want to make it back on time, you have to start very early. The nearest railway stations are Tadipatri, 30 kilometres from here, and Banganapalli, 33 kilometres away. You can find taxis and buses from Tadipatri, while there are frequent buses from Banganapalli. Most of the buses stop at Kolimigundla, from where the Belum Caves shuttle service is open.
Punnami Hotel, run by the Andhra Pradesh government’s department of tourism, APTDC, is the only choice if you want to remain close to Belum Caves itself. But Punnami only offers dorm-type accommodation, and if you want a decent bed, you’d better go to Tadipatri which is a little far away.
The citizens here speak Telugu, Kannada, Tamil, Hindi, and even English to a good degree. You will be shocked at the number of multi-lingual guides available here. Even the people are courteous enough to ask us what language you would prefer.
The canteen owned by it is directly next to the APTDC hotel. The canteen serve a multitude of offerings. As well as a few breads, both North and South Indian. It would be a shame not to taste the world-famous mango of Banganapalli after visiting a place so similar to Banganapalli.
To know more about the historical importance, main sections etc, checkout their official website.
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