Best Places to Visit in India in Winter

Road Trips Sightseeing

Places to Visit in India in Winter

A shift in the seasons, a tilt of an axis and a drop in the temperature. Come winters, and India finds itself preparing for one of the best seasons to travel across the peninsula. With a string of holidays and a list of festivals and fairs, winters in India are marked by vacations to plan your year around, a romantic beach holiday, hill stations resembling postcard sceneries and its southern tips and desserts welcoming all its visitors that had been shying away till now given their generous humidity and temperatures. Here is a list of 12 places to visit in India in winter.

Here is the list of 26 Best Places to Visit in India in Winter

1. Auli, Uttarakhand - The Skiing Destination of India

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Known For : Skiing in Auli Gurso Bugyal Camping in Auli

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Gir National Park is the only remaining home for the Asiatic Lions that are almost a definition to this park in Gujarat, which has a lot more to offer.

Best Time: Throughout the year

2. Kutch, Gujarat

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Known For : Rann of Kutch Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary Dholavira

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You might not find too many reasons to be here in summers, but its winters have one too many things on its itineraries to tempt you. Winters in Kutch are planned around its much celebrated and grand Rann Utsav, which is one of the unique experiences of the state. Visit this moon-like desert of India in winters for an extraordinary experience that will continue to charm you for much longer.

Best Time: July to March

3. Nainital - Misty lakes and mountains

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Known For : Eco Cave Gardens Naini Lake Naina Devi Temple

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The gem of Uttarakhand - Nainital is a charming hill station that sits prettily at the green foothills of the Kumaon ranges in the Himalayas. Located at an elevation of around 1938 metres, the epicentre of the town’s popularity and beauty lies within the gorgeous Naini Lake, after which the town is named. Founded by the British due to its resemblance to the Cumbrian Lake district, Nainital brims with elegant colonial structures that amplify the beauty of this place. It is a perfect weekend getaway from the Indian capital of Delhi.

Best Time: Throughout the year

View packages starting from ₹ 6,999

4. Goa

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

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While there is no month, not ideal to let Goa spoil you a little, this beach winter destination in India tends to cast a spell. A perfect beach holiday, afternoons by the sea and a tan to show off, this one comes with its Decembers marked with the SUNBURN FESTIVAL, making it one of the best places to visit in winter in India!

Best Time: October to March

View packages starting from ₹ 4,100

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5. Gulmarg, Jammu & Kashmir - The Skiing School and Honeymoon

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Known For : Gulmarg Gondola Skiing in Gulmarg Alpather Lake

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Situated at an altitude of 2730 m above sea level, Gulmarg is a popular skiing destination located in Pir Panjal Range of Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. Surrounded by snow-covered lofty Himalayas, meadows of flowers, deep ravines, evergreen forested valleys, Gulmarg also has the world's second-highest Gondola ride.

Best Time: October to June

View packages starting from ₹ 11,000

6. Sonamarg, Jammu & Kashmir - The Meadow of Gold

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Known For : Thajiwas Glacier Zoji-La Pass Vishansar Lake

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Sonamarg is a town in Jammu and Kashmir, with snow-laden fields, surrounded by majestic glaciers and serene lakes which casts subtle spells on the visitors. Translating into 'the Meadow of gold', Sonamarg is a picturesque town located 80km north-east of Srinagar at an elevation of around 2800 km from sea level.

Best Time: May to October

View packages starting from ₹ 16,500

7. Kerala Circuit: Munnar - Kovalam - Trivandrum - Alleppey - Thekkady

It's hot and humid summers, leave Kerala, quite a favourite for the winters. Famous for its backwaters, beaches, sparkling lush greenery, temples, Ayurveda spas, a hill station and the largest tiger reserve in the country all wrapped in one of the richest and most colourful instances of culture and arts. This is one of the most sought after places to visit in India in winter.

8. Manali Circuit: Manali - Kullu - Kasol – Rohtang – Solang

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Known For : Solang Valley Rohtang Pass Adventure Activities in Manali

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If there is one hill station in North India you must visit in winters, it is Manali. A family holiday, an adventure trail, a honeymoon, or a winter vacation amongst its white, snow-covered expanses- there are one too many routes that will lead your travel plans here, this winter. If you find yourself here on Dusshera, don’t miss the celebration in Kullu’s temples.

Best Time: October to June

View packages starting from ₹ 6,250

9. Andaman & Nicobar Islands

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Known For : Scuba Diving In Andaman Havelock Island Radhanagar Beach

Replete with picturesque shimmering beaches, lagoons of turquoise blue waters and a bit of history, Andaman & Nicobar Islands is a little slice of paradise tucked around 1,400 km away from the east coast of India. The union territory comprises a total of 572 islands, only 37 of which are inhabited and a few are open to the tourists.

Best Time: October to Jun

View packages starting from ₹ 8,850

10. Jammu Circuit: Amritsar - Jammu - Vaishno Devi

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Known For : Bahu Fort Mubarak Mandi Palace Mansar Lake

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If this winters you want to be on a religious and spiritual trail and make the most of the cooler temperature and pleasant winds, take a trail through the Golden temple, to the city of temple and all the way to some sacred caves high up at Vaishno Devi. While here, don’t miss the Guru Nanak Jayanti celebrations at the Golden Temple, which falls in the month of November.

Best Time: September to March

View packages starting from ₹ 7,500

11. Dharamsala Circuit: Dharamsala - Mcleodganj

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Known For : Dharamshala Cricket Stadium Library of Tibetan Works and Archives St. John in the Wilderness Church

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Marked by a strong Tibetan influence, Buddhism and spirituality, these sister hill stations are though pleasant throughout the year, they tend to be all the more charming in winters. While monasteries are the obvious highlights here, the area is also loved for it falls, hills, lakes and trekking trails.

Best Time: October to June

View packages starting from ₹ 9,000

12. North East Circuit: Shillong - Mokokchung - Imphal - Kaziranga National Park

Countless waterfalls, sprawling views, one of the best national parks, pristine lakes, caves, peaks and acquaintance with Naga tribes. If this sounds like your idea of a winter vacation, the choice is pretty clear. Visit capitals and cultural hubs of the northeast these winters and the habitat to two-thirds of the world’s one-horned rhinoceros. While the weather is rarely a bother in the North East, the winters tend to be one of the most pleasant and enjoyable times to be here.

13. Jaipur Circuit: Jaipur - Jodhpur - Jaisalmer - Udaipur

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Known For : Amer Fort City Palace, Jaipur Hawa Mahal

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With the most staple and obvious number of places to visit in winter in India, this circuit finds itself gathering quite some hustle bustle from all the tourist rush its temperature and deserts were keeping away till now. Dotted by countless Havelis, Palaces and Forts, winters are an ideal time to enjoy strolls through its specimens of history. While history and architecture keep you busy through the day, Desert Safaris and lakes make their way to your itineraries by evening. These pink, blue and golden cities of India, are one of the top destinations for winters, not only for all their landmarks but also their rich cultural and shopping experiences. Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Udaipur, Jaipur - the count of best places in Rajasthan in winter is too long, but these places are at their best in winters and cannot be missed.

Best Time: October to March

View packages starting from ₹ 2,568

14. Ziro Music Festival in Ziro, Arunachal Pradesh

The most happening music festival in the laps of the green valley of Arunachal Pradesh, the Ziro Music Festival is an outdoor music festival that showcases the talent of independent artists in India. This festival brings together the most significant musical talents of India and a diverse audience to witness it. Ziro Music Festival is an amalgam of vibrant culture, music, and art. Initiated in 2012, by Bobby Hano and Menwhopause guitarist Anup Kutty spans over four days and is hosted by the members of the Apatani tribe in Ziro.

15. Hampi, Karnataka - The Abode of Bygone Ruins, Rusty Colours and Fascinating Landscape

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Known For : Virupaksha Temple, Hampi Vithala Temple Lotus Palace

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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

16. Binsar, Uttarakhand

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Known For : Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary Bineshwar Temple Zero Point

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Located at a distance of 33 km from Almora, Binsar is a small town in Uttarakhand known for the surreal beauty of the snow-laden Himalayan peaks. Set amid forests covered with oak, pine, rhododendrons and deodar trees, Binsar is home to beautiful green meadows, temples and the famous Binsar wildlife sanctuary.

Best Time: Throughout the year

17. Hornbill Festival in Kohima, Nagaland

Nagaland is known as the 'Land of Festivals' and one such grand carnival, organized by the State Tourism of Arts and Culture Department, Government of Nagaland is 'Hornbill festival'. Also known as ''Festival of Festivals", this is a commonly celebrated being a traditional cluster of all the seventeen Naga tribes, to promote intercultural harmony. It hardly has any featureless moments and provides a lifetime opportunity to know about ancient tribal lives through the exploration of the structure of tribal huts, which is dated back to primaeval lifestyles including other instruments like drums, gongs, costumes and wooden carvings.

18. Mysore, Karnataka - The Land of Sandalwood

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Known For : Mysore Palace Brindavan Gardens Somanathapura Temple

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Famously known as The City of Palaces, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that Mysore is one of the most flamboyant places in the country. It is replete with the history of its dazzling royal heritage, intricate architecture, its famed silk sarees, yoga, and sandalwood, to name just a few. Located in the foothills of the Chamundi Hills, Mysore is the third most populated city in the state of Karnataka, and its rich cultural heritage draws millions of tourists all year round.

Best Time: Throughout the year

19. Rajasthan Wildlife Circuit: Alwar - Ranthambore - Bharatpur

Dotted by one of the best tiger reserves and bird sanctuaries of the country, put this trail on your list for some of the richest and most enjoyable wildlife experience. With birds migrating all the way from Siberia for the colder months, Bharatpur is one of the places to visit in winter in India for an amazing bird watching experience. Your jungle safaris and tiger spotting expeditions through Ranthambore and Sariska Tiger Reserve will only be more convenient by winters. While reserves and national parks tend to be the generic highlight here, don’t miss the forts and temples at Alwar.

20. Malshej Ghat, Maharashtra

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Known For : Malshej falls Pimpalgaon Joga Dam Harishchandragad

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A beautiful hill station with its numerous lakes, waterfalls and mountains, Malshej Ghat is popular among hikers, trekkers and nature lovers. Malshej Ghat is an ideal place to visit in India in winters to escape the hustle of city life and is a heavenly abode full of natural beauty. With the uncountable number of waterfalls to beautifully structured dams and steep, lofty forts, a ghat is a perfect place for nature lovers delight.

Best Time: July to March

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21. Igatpuri, Maharashtra

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Known For : Tringalwadi Fort Ghatandevi Temple Vipassna Centre

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Igatpuri is blessed with picturesque beauty and is a heaven for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. It also has some of the highest peaks of the Sahyadri range. Igatpuri is also a major railway station in Maharashtra connecting surrounding major cities. Igatpuri is a hill station and a city in the Western Ghats located in the Nashik district of Maharashtra, 130kms from Mumbai, on the Mumbai-Agra National Highway.

Best Time: July to September

22. Gir National Park, Gujarat

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Gir National Park is the only remaining home for the Asiatic Lions that are almost a definition to this park in Gujarat, which has a lot more to offer.

Best Time: July to March

23. Chennai Circuit: Chennai - Pondicherry - Mahabalipuram

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Known For : Marina Beach Government Museum, Chennai MGR Film City

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While you’d probably pass Chennai for most parts of the summers and the monsoons that follow, winters leave this metropolitan a favourite if you want to travel south. One of the places to visit in winter in India, Chennai is the fourth largest city of India and finds its itineraries dotted by temples, churches and beaches. Puducherry was the largest French colony in India and a beautiful beach town with pleasant weather in winters making it the ideal time for sightseeing, water sports and laid-back beach vacations. Make sure you visit the famous Aurobindo Ashram and the serene meditative town of Auroville.

Best Time: October to March

24. Gokarna, Karnataka

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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. Winter temperatures in Gokarna range from a chilly 14 degree Celsius to as high as 32 degree Celsius. However, what makes the winters in Gokarna a pleasant affair is that one can experience all that the town has to offer without any of the usual hindrances like the humid, sticky heat in the summer or the torrential rains in the monsoons. This makes the winter the peak season for tourists to visit the seaside town and to experience all that Gokarna has to offer to its various visitors.

Best Time: Throughout the year

25. Delhi Circuit: Delhi - Mathura - Agra

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Known For : Humayun's Tomb Hauz Khas Village Qutub Minar

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As summers that kept the mercury from falling below 40 in Delhi leave the capital, its calenders are turned to its favourite months. There is no better time than winters to visit the capital of India, indulge in its heritage walks, street food and shopping experiences. About Agra, while this one gets the limelight pretty much all year round, the temperatures aren’t as friendly in summers. Hence if you have the choice, add Delhi to your list of places to visit in winter in India, for much cooler and pleasant weather.

Best Time: October to March

View packages starting from ₹ 7,000

26. Orchha, Madhya Pradesh

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Known For : Jehangir Mahal, Orchha Fort Ram Raja Temple Raja Mahal, Orchha Fort

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Orchha is a historical town located on the banks of river Betwa in Madhya Pradesh, known for its grand palaces, and intricately carved temples. Famous as the city of palaces, it is world-renowned for the classic mural paintings, frescos and Chhatris (cenotaphs) that were constructed to commemorate the Bundela rulers. Orchha's old-world charm casts a spell on tourists from all around the world.

Best Time: July to March

View packages starting from ₹ 11,999

With having a rich ancient heritage, India has ample places that are to be explored. These hand-picked places to visit in India in winters that are surely a perfect choice to make your getaway memorable.

This post was published by Pragya Sarin

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