Best Places to Visit in January in India in 2020

Sightseeing Top Places

Places to visit in January in India

Kickstarting the new year with a vacation? Fret not, here is a comprehensive list of 18 lesser-known places to visit in January in India you can add to your bucket list to welcome 2020 with. From the most challenging terrains to the smoothest sand beaches, from north to south and east to west, on the sea and land, the eternal travel enthusiast's guide to winter vacation begins here.

Here is the list of 25 Best Places to Visit in January in India in 2020

1. Jaipur, Rajasthan - The Pink City

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Known For : Amer Fort City Palace, Jaipur Hawa Mahal

608 active cases 392 in last 7 days

The 'Pink City' of India, Jaipur is a palatial wonderland with its unparalleled beauty, spectacular architecture and vibrant, regal history. Jaipur is one of the best places to visit in January in India if you love literature and books. The Jaipur Literature Festival will be your Mecca! A grand festival solely dedicated to literature had been long due and JLF made it possible for all of us. So, what is the Jaipur Literature Festival? It is the annual literary festival which takes place in the royal city of Jaipur in the month of January. The Diggi Palace Hotel serves as the main venue for the event with 6 sub-venues inside.

Best Time: October to March

View packages starting from ₹ 2,568

2. Hampi, Karnataka - The abode of bygone ruins, rusty colors and fascinating landscape

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Known For : Virupaksha Temple, Hampi Vithala Temple Lotus Palace

437 active cases 331 in last 7 days

Hampi, the city of ruins, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Situated in the shadowed depth of hills and valleys in the state of Karnataka, this place is a historical delight for travellers. Surrounded by 500 ancient monuments, beautiful temples, bustling street markets, bastions, treasury building and captivating remains of Vijayanagar Empire, Hampi is a backpacker's delight. Hampi is an open museum with 100+ locations to explore and a favourite way to see the city from the perspective of its history.

Best Time: October to March

3. Jaisalmer, Rajasthan - The Golden City

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Known For : Jaisalmer Fort Desert Safari in Jaisalmer Kuldhara Village

13 active cases 11 in last 7 days

Situated close to the Pakistan Border, Jaisalmer is a major tourist spot located in the northwestern state of Rajasthan in India. It is called the 'golden city' due to its bounteous golden dunes flowing in the Thar Desert. It is one of the best places to visit in January in India due to its pleasant and breezy weather and the best time to enjoy the colourful sandy terrain.  This is also the perfect time to enjoy on the sandy terrain of the Thar Desert indulging in some winter activities like the camel ride and Desert Safari. The windy weather makes these activities even more pleasurable. 

Best Time: October to March

View packages starting from ₹ 12,000

4. Munnar, Kerala - Tea Gardens, Lakes and Pretty little hill-station

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Known For : Echo Point, Munnar Photo Point Atukkad Waterfalls

53 active cases 22 in last 7 days

The idyllic hill station Munnar - famous for its tea estates, exotic lush greenery and craggy peaks, is located in the Western Ghats, in the state of Kerala. Munnar specialises in its tantalising charm, and that is the reason people tend to escape the cold winter months and flock to this hill station. Trekking, rock climbing and rappelling are some of the activities that you must indulge yourself in to deal with the biting cold. Although do make sure to have all the necessary accessories to check out the full-fledged nature’s bounty.

Best Time: September to May

View packages starting from ₹ 4,498

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5. Varkala, Kerala - The hidden treasure of Kerala

4.2 /5 View 23+ photos

Known For : Water Sports in Varkala Varkala Beach Edava Beach

85 active cases 34 in last 7 days

Varkala is a coastal town in the southern part of Kerala known for the unique 15m high 'Northern Cliff' adjacent to the Arabian Sea. It is popular for its hippie culture, shacks on the cliff serving great seafood and playing global music and the samadhi of Kerala's saint Sree Narayana Guru. Varkala is also known for Jardana Swami Temple, also known as Dakshin Kashi.

Best Time: Throughout the year

View packages starting from ₹ 9,000

6. Vagamon, Kerala

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Known For : Ulipooni Wildlife Sanctuary Vagamon Meadows Pine Hill

53 active cases 22 in last 7 days

1100 meters above sea, far way from the loud city culture, lush greenery and serenity to gift every visitor, Vagamon could be your quiet offbeat hill station in Kerala away from maddening tourist crowds.

Best Time: Throughout the year

View packages starting from ₹ 2,986

7. Pondicherry - The French Riviera of the East

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Known For : Paradise Beach, Pondicherry Aurobindo Ashram Cafes in Pondicherry

379 active cases 276 in last 7 days

Pondicherry, also known as Puducherry and commonly referred to as just Pondy, is one of the seven Union Territories of India. is often famously referred to as the French Riviera of the East, and it is indeed one of the most charming and mesmerising places to visit in South India. Located in the state of Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry is a great beach place to visit in January in India to enjoy the perfect weather for not only sightseeing but also partaking in adventurous activities or a day at the beach.

Best Time: October to March

View packages starting from ₹ 6,768

8. Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh - The Architectural Masterpiece

4.2 /5 View 16+ photos

Known For : Light and Sound Show, Khajuraho Dulhadev Temple Kandariya Mahadev Temple

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One of Indian civilisation's most noteworthy contribution at the international scale is the sensibility and heightened sensitivity towards the human body. Khajuraho is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, known for its evolved representation of acceptance of diversity among Hinduism and Jainism as religions, through the unified temple complexes and for its intricate erotic carvings on all the temple walls. Although diminished in number from 85 to 20 since their inception in the 12th century AD, the temples still stand strong and are visited by art, history and cultural enthusiasts from around the world. The temperatures around this time lie comfortably between 9-25 degrees Celsius, a perfect place to visit in January in India.

Best Time: July to March

9. Kochi, Kerala - Queen of Arabian Sea

3.8 /5 View 46+ photos

Known For : Mattancherry Palace Fort Kochi Jewish Synagogue

166 active cases 65 in last 7 days

Situated on the south-west coast of India, Kochi or Cochin is a bustling commercial port city with a trading history that dates back to at least 600 years. Called as the Queen of the Arabian Sea, the city is the financial, commercial and industrial capital of Kerala.

Best Time: July to April

View packages starting from ₹ 5,591

10. Gokarna, Karnataka - Land of palm trees, blue seas and golden sands

4.2 /5 View 21+ photos

Known For : Om Beach Mahabaleshwara Temple Paradise Beach, Gokarna

With its pristine beaches and breathtaking landscapes, Gokarna is a Hindu pilgrimage town in Karnataka and a newly found hub for beach lovers and hippies.

Best Time: Throughout the year

11. Mawsynram, Shillong

3.2 /5

Currently the wettest place on earth (tough competition with Cherrapunjee), Mawsynram receives 12m of rain annually. The generosity of mother nature can be easily seen and experienced with the fresh air, blue skies waterfalls and lush greenery in the month of January while snuggling under a warm quilt.

12. Havelock Island, Andaman Nicobar-islands

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Havelock Island, in January in India, is a delight for all those who love quiet beaches with a never-ending horizon, sands and crystal clear waters that stretch beyond sight. Havelock Island is a hidden gem which is perfect for marine lovers, professional, and recreational alike. The Island is divided into several villages, and the main bazaar in village number 3 is quite popular among the travellers. One of the most beautiful aspects of the island is that larger sea animals, like dolphins, turtles and bigger fishes are friendly with the coastal people and are often seen without much difficulty. Snorkelling is also one of the major attractions here. With temperatures not hovering over 28 degrees and a pleasant air drifting all day, it's one of the places to visit in January in India.

13. Kutch, Gujarat - The White Desert of India

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Known For : Rann of Kutch Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary Dholavira

35 active cases 30 in last 7 days

Virtually an island that resembles the shape of a tortoise, Kutch is an erstwhile princely state of India holding onto its grandeur nature from the past. It is one of the best places to visit in January in India mainly because the Rann of Kutch festival is organised during this time, and that increases the scope for a lot of activities in and around the region. Experience the full moon nights in January as the reflection of the moonlight on the white sand turns the place into a magical paradise.

Best Time: July to March

14. Bikaner, Rajasthan - The desert town of 'Camel Festival'

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Known For : Junagarh Fort Karni Mata Temple Lallgarh Palace

167 active cases 129 in last 7 days

Bikaner is one of the best places to visit in India in January with one of the chief reasons being the Camel Festival organized here, in village Ladera. Camel owners show off their decorated camels and participate in various quirky competitions, some of which are: best haircut for a camel, best fur cutting, and camel milking. The camel owners make an exclusive show out of their well-trained camels, who dance to the directions of the owners. All in all, Bikaner is a well-packaged deal for January, considering the weather and the infallible charm of the hospitable city.

Best Time: October to March

View packages starting from ₹ 12,149

15. Auli, Uttarakhand - The skiing destination of India

4.0 /5 View 12+ photos

Known For : Skiing in Auli Gurso Bugyal Camping in Auli

14 active cases 10 in last 7 days

Auli may as well be named as the snow sports and adventurer's paradise for once and for all. The tiny snow swathed area, located in the Chamoli district of ?Dev Bhoomi? Uttarakhand at the height of 2,500 metres, is fast becoming a popular skiing destination among those who want to look beyond its commercial counterparts. January is the month when temperatures here drop to sub-zero levels. Hence the heaviest parkas and pashminas are a must have if you are planning to visit. Apart from skiing, various other excursions like trekking, visiting the world's highest man-made lake or spiritual enlightenment with the views of some major Hindu pilgrimage points, like Nanda Devi and Mount Neelkanth are what makes Auli a well-rounded pit stop.

Best Time: Throughout the year

16. Kalimpong, West Bengal

3.7 /5 View 20+ photos

Known For : Durpin Dara hill Cactus Nursery Morgan House

6 active cases 0 in last 7 days

Kalimpong is one of the hidden gems of the east, especially known among travel enthusiasts as one of the honeymooning places to visit in January in India. Snuggling in the heaviest woollens during January the view of the Teesta river valley is a remedy for every eye aching with the mundane metropolitan sites. The Galinka and Crockety bungalows built during the British regime which happen to be exemplary specimens of colonial architecture should be your choice of accommodation for the best facilities and experience. The Morgan House is also an option if economising is an agenda on your trip here. January can be an extremely chilly and frosty, but the view of the panoramic snow-capped mountains is worth the cold.

Best Time: March to June, September to December

View packages starting from ₹ 11,934

17. Chadar Trek, Ladakh - Walk on the Frozen River

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The Chadar Trek or The Frozen River Expedition is one of the unique and challenging treks in India. The 6-day chadar trek across the frozen Zanskar River in Ladakh takes place during the latter part of January till the end of February or sometimes the first week of March, depending on the weather. Though, it seems a challenging trek; it isn't the most difficult; as it is a flat walk along the Chadar with minimal amounts of climbing. If you can walk for a couple of hours without much strain, you are good to go. If you're a person interested in trekking, then head over to Ladakh in January for an experience of a lifetime.

18. Kalpetta, Kerala

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Known For : Karapuzha Dam Kanthanpara Waterfalls Shopping in Kalpetta

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A tiny town with an area of little over 40 square kilometres, Kalpetta is located in the Wayanad district of God's Own Country, Kerala. If like a true Indian, you are drawn to aromatic spices and the national beverages of tea and coffee, this is just the place to be. Large coffee and tea plantations, preceded by high mountain peaks are a vision. January is a peak time for traders and tourists alike. One thing to not miss while in Kalpetta is the Wayanad Flower Show, held every year in the months of December-January. The misty mountains and cooler plains are a treat for those looking for a laid back vacationing spot with the bonus of a kitchen supplies? connoisseur's delight.

Best Time: October to March

View packages starting from ₹ 6,500

19. Phawngpui, Mizoram

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Phwangpui, like Kalpetta, is one of the lesser discovered havens, and tucked up and away at the height of about 2150 metres in Mizoram. Also referred to as the Blue Mountain, Phwangpui is much revered among the locals for its folklore and local stories to housing a local deity, ?Sangau?. Apart from being spiritually significant, Phwangpui is also one of the most beautiful naturally preserved spots where flora and fauna flourish. Rhododendrons and orchids of various hues and some of the rarest animals, like the Asiatic black bear, leopard cat, gorals, capped langur, stump-tailed macaque, which are now endangered are a regular sight here. Colorful plumed sunbirds are seen soaring in the sky overhead while the calls of the barking deer transport a tourist into a nether realm of absolute natural beauty. Trekking at Phwangpui in January is a must to explore the lands, so make sure to carry all your trekking gear with you.

20. Kabini, Karnataka - Home to the Kabini Wildlife Sanctuary

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Known For : Jungle Safari, Kabini Elephant Safari Boating in Kabini

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Southern India is the most thronged part of the country when it comes to travellers looking to escape the harsh cold of the north, especially during January. The Kabini Wildlife Sanctuary in Karnataka is a wildlife lover's haven, and the added comfort of the breezy, pleasant southern air adds to the experience. The Sanctuary is the most popular wildlife tourism destination in south India and houses some of the most exotic varieties of animals known to the Indian populace, like the cheetah, panther, spotted deer and is also known as the best bird sanctuary in the area for maintaining and growing the 250 varieties of birds found here.

Best Time: Throughout the year

View packages starting from ₹ 22,073

21. Ooty, Tamil Nadu - Queen of the Nilgiris

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Known For : Nilgiri Mountain Railway Ooty Lake Emerald Lake, Ooty

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Surrounded by lush green hills, dense forests and beautiful lakes, Ooty, the Queen of Hill Stations, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in South India and has been so since the days of the British. It's one of the places to visit in January in India, owing to it's cool and misty weather then. The place is a delight for nature lovers as it is extremely rich in flora and fauna. The numerous lakes in and around Ooty provide some of the most picturesque picnic spots in the area. Among the tourist spots in Ooty, the Rose Garden, the Botanical gardens, the tea plantations, and a visit to the colonial era buildings is a must.

Best Time: Throughout the year

22. Diu, Daman and Diu - A mini-Goa

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Known For : Naida Caves Nagoa Beach Gangeshwar Mahadev Temple

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Known as the 'Isle of Calm' in Portuguese, Diu is a place frequented by those who want to have a relaxing time far away from the hustle and bustle of cities. Though it's a relatively popular destination for tourists, it's not very crowded. The Portuguese influence here is very much evident in the architecture, food and even the culture of Diu. There are plenty of historic forts, churches and temples that one can visit while here. Also, being a major fishing town, an abundance of seafood is available here, much to the delight of the sea-food lovers. Enjoy the blend of Portuguese and local culture, relax on the sandy shores and dig into the lip-smacking food. It's one of the best places to visit in January in India.

Best Time: July to March

View hotels starting from ₹ 799

23. Goa - Beaches, Sunsets and Crazy Nights

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Known For : Calangute Beach Basilica of Bom Jesus Water Sports in Goa

667 active cases 475 in last 7 days

When you think of Goa, you think of sandy beaches, amazing parties, beautiful little villages, delicious food, and magical holiday experience. It is one of the best places to visit in January due to the perfect weather, not very cold, not very hot. It's also a good time as almost all the beach shacks are open during these months. Water sports, like banana boat ride, jet ski, parasailing, etc. are also open to tourists in January on most of the popular beaches. If you like being in the crowd and are looking for fun party time, this is the time to go to Goa. Goa is considered to be one of the best places in India to enjoy Christmas and New Year season as the entire Goa is full of festivity.

Best Time: October to March

View packages starting from ₹ 4,100

24. Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu - The Princess of Hill Stations

4.4 /5 View 25+ photos

Known For : Green Valley View (Suicide Point) Kodai Lake Bear Shola Falls

176 active cases 126 in last 7 days

Located in the state of Tamil Nadu, Kodaikanal is one of the most famous honeymoon destinations in India. When you think of Kodaikanal, you think of a wonderful climate, cliffs covered in mist, cloud-capped mountains and beautiful lakes and valleys, and once you visit this hill station, you will find that every bit of what you have imagined it to be is true. Nestled amidst the rolling slopes of the Palani Hills in Tamil Nadu, Kodaikanal stands at an altitude of 7200 feet above sea level and has a cool, pleasant climate all year round. Kodaikanal means the gift of the forests.

Best Time: September to May

25. Wayanad, Kerala - Nature's Abode

4.3 /5 View 71+ photos

Known For : Banasura Sagar Dam Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary Chembra Peak

47 active cases 21 in last 7 days

Replete with waterfalls, historical caves, comfortable resorts and homestays, Wayanad in Kerala is famous for its spice plantations and wildlife. Walking through the sprawling spice plantations, trekking to the pre-historic caves and experiencing a resort holiday are one of the many things you can do to get a taste of Wayanad.

Best Time: Throughout the year

It's a new year so it's time to find a new place to explore. These are the top places to visit in January in India. Let us know which ones you have visited in the comments below!

This post was published by Urvi Singh

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