Top 10 Winter Destinations in India

With winter just round the corner, you’re probably already scouting about to plan your holidays for the remaining part of the year. We did some research and dished out a list of the top ten winter destinations in India. Read on!

Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh: Known for its palaces and temples, Gwalior makes one feel royal just by being in it. The majestic fort overlooks the entire city, making for an unforgettable stopover. Don’t miss the spectacular 45-minute sound and light show here. There’s also the imperial-styled Man Singh Palace, which adds further to the city’s mystique and grandeur. Further, the city’s notable chattris are magnificent walk-in marble structures as big as large houses. Also, if you have the time, try and visit the famed Scindia School, the erstwhile abode of princes.

Alleppey, Kerala: Winter is the perfect time to visit this idyllic haven. Known best for its houseboat cruises along the backwaters, you can spend the winter unwinding and relaxing in peace and tranquility. With sightseeing that consists of a mix of temples, churches, beaches and museums, there’s never a dull moment in Alleppey. The snake boat race is a significant annual event not to be missed. You can also sit back and relax while relishing a soothing ayurvedic massage, or watching an animated Kathakali performance while in the city.

Amritsar, Punjab: The city that caters to pilgrims, foodies and history buffs alike, Amritsar has something for everyone. With pleasant weather in the coming months, it is a treat for the senses. With great rail and air connectivity, Amritsar is the perfect weekend getaway. The famous Golden temple is auspicious and always a pleasure to visit. You could stop by the Jallianwala Bagh not too far away for a peek into India’s history. The Partition museum, with its rare collection of photographs, documents and artifacts chronicling the partition of India and Pakistan, is another relatively new attraction that should not be missed.

Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh: This city of nawabs comes alive in the winter months. This capital city is seeped with history and culture. Some of the quintessential sightseeing to do while you’re here includes the Rumi Darwaza, a Mughal gateway; the Bara Imambara shrine; the Bhool Bhulaiya and the Victorian Clock Tower. If you’re a shopaholic who loves clothes, then Lucknow is the place to pick up some salwar-kurtas having some of the intricate chikan embroidery. You could also head out to the main market for some of the finest traditional mouthwatering cuisine—the century- old Tunday Kebabi is your best bet. Lucknow Mahotsav, a 10-day festival that starts in late November, is a good time to visit.

Nashik, Maharashtra: This ancient holy city is celebrated equally for its religious spots as well as vineyards. Make a stop at the Dudhsagar falls, regarded as one of the finest for its panoramic views. The wellknown Sula Vineyards is another talking point in the city. Spread over an area of 160 acres, the vineyard also houses its own resort and tasting room for visitors. Apart from this, there are a number of temples and caves in the city—enough to keep travellers busy over a long, captivating weekend.

Pondicherry: ‘Pondy’, as it is popularly called, is a delightful choice for all those looking to experience the best of France in India. The city also appeals to the spiritually inclined, as its renowned Mother’s ashram draws several visitors every year. The French quarter of the city has some of the most authentic bakeries, patisseries and other delicacies that will leave you wanting more. Moreover, Pondicherry is a convenient bus ride from Chennai, and the three-hour journey is as picturesque as the destination.

Jaisalmer, Rajasthan: This stunning desert city is a popular choice for all those looking to do something vibrant in the winter vacations. Though a predominantly yellow city (due to the presence of sand everywhere), there is an abundance of colour—in the attire of the rural men and women, the ornaments of the camels and the rich experiences that the city offers. A camel safari on the Sam sand dunes is an absolute must-do, as is a visit to the city’s exquisite live-in fort—the only one of its kind in India.

Kaziranga National Park, Assam: If you’re a wildlife enthusiast, then winter is the time when most national parks in India are open. If you have enough vacation time, then pick someplace far and interesting—Kaziranga will surely not disappoint. A world heritage site, Kaziranga is home to a fascinating collection of tigers, elephants and the world’s largest population of the Indian one-horned rhinoceroses. Apart from these, the park also has dolphins, wild water buffalos, swamp deer, migratory birds and grey pelicans.

Hampi, Karnataka: This ancient village in Karnataka— another world heritage site—is filled with several ruins of temple complexes from the Vijayanagara Empire. The 16th century Vittala temple is a highlight, and is at a distance of about 2 kilometres from Hampi Bazaar. Here, you could visit the Virupaksha temple, one of the city’s oldest structures, and Hampi’s only remaining working temple. Another charming place to go to are the elephant stables, a grand building with 11 domed chambers where state elephants once resided. A good time to visit would be January, when the annual Vijaya Utsav takes place—a three-day extravaganza of culture, heritage and the arts.

Konark, Odisha: Think exotic, and you think of Konark. Located in the Puri district of Odisha, it has some of the nicest temples, beaches and museums. The eminent Sun temple, built in the 13th century, is an architectural marvel that exemplifies the Oriyan form of architecture. Also a world heritage site, the temple is shaped in the form of a massive chariot engraved with stone wheels, pillars and walls. Outside the temple, there is an ASI museum consisting of 250 kinds of unique artifacts and antiques. Further, the pristine Chandrabhaga beach is considered one of the best on the east coast, and perfect for viewing the sunrise and the sunset while here.

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