As the calendar flips to December, the air tingles with the promise of adventure and festive cheer. If your heart yearns for a memorable escape in the magical month of December to bid a grand farewell to the year 2023, look no far. Our very own country has some amazing destinations to enjoy a dreamy year-end escapade. Whether you fancy frolicking in the snow, indulging in the joy of Christmas festivities, or venturing off-the-beaten-track, just throw yourself a trip to India.
However, with so many choices, deciding where to go can be a delightful dilemma. Hence, we present to you, our handpicked list of the Top 10 Best Destinations in India to Pick for Your December Travel Plan. Now, let’s get started!
First on our list is the enchanting beach paradise, Goa! Goa in December is a whole new spectacle. As most of India shivers in winter’s chill, Goa extends a warm invitation with its pleasant weather and clear skies during this time of the year.
Picture nightlong parties on beaches, thrilling water sports, sparkling lighting throughout the streets, vibrant Christmas celebrations, midnight shopping, spectacular carnivals, and indulging in lip-smacking seafood delicacies – all come together to make your Goan trip an absolute delight. And, of course, don’t miss the Sunburn Festival, one of Asia’s largest EDM (Electronic Dance Music) festivals held in December, adding an extra beat to your Goan experience.
Now, let’s head to Kochi, the most happening city in God’s Own Country Kerala. December offers pleasant warm weather to explore Kochi. This is the time when the “Queen of the Arabian Sea” dons its festive attire, playing host to the biggest celebration of the year, the Cochin Carnival.
With lively street parades, spectacular floats, bedecked elephants, music, dance, fairs, games, sports, art displays, and endless entertainment, this 10-day grand fiesta is a spectacle not to be missed. From exploring historical landmarks like Fort Kochi, Mattancherry Dutch Palace, and Jew Town to immersing yourself in the spectacular Cochin Carnival, Kochi in December promises a delightful fusion of cultural experiences. Prepare for a unique adventure with the latest attraction in Kochi – the Water Metro ride!
Include ‘The Queen of Hills,’ Shimla in the state of Himachal Pradesh, into your December travel plans for a magical experience. December paints the charming Hill Station of Shimla in snow, transforming it into a snowy paradise that captivates visitors from all corners of the globe.
Shimla, once the summer capital of British India, still retains its old-world charm with colonial architecture and is a picturesque retreat against the majestic Himalayan peaks. From thrilling snow activities to leisurely strolls along Mall Road, shopping at the cosy shops at the Ridge and tasting local delights, every moment in Shimla is absolutely awe-inspiring. Don’t miss the enchanting ride on the UNESCO-listed Kalka-Shimla Toy Train, a journey that’s nothing short of mesmerizing!
When planning a December trip to India, you cannot miss Auli in Uttarakhand, India’s premier ski resort, especially if you are a skiing enthusiast. Blanketed in pure white, Auli becomes a fairy tale destination in December.
The snowy slopes of Auli provide an exhilarating experience for both seasoned and novice skiers. With its majestic mountains, snow-covered meadows, and romantic scenery, every nook of Auli becomes a canvas for perfect photographs. Other than skiing, trekking and camping are the most popular activities at this winter wonderland. Stay at the luxurious glass dome in Auli in the state of Uttarakhand for a one-of-a-kind experience.
Here is an offbeat Indian destination for your unforgettable December trip – the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat. The weather in Kutch in December is so soothing, cool, and comfortable, making it the perfect time to visit this surreal white desert.
When in Kutch, embrace the unique camping adventure under the starlit sky on the largest salt sand desert in sub-zero temperatures, and witness the ethereal beauty of the White Desert illuminated by the moonlight. Come December, treat yourself to the grand and spectacular Great Rann Utsav, offering a fascinating medley of music, dance, authentic handicrafts, traditional cuisine, and thrilling desert safaris against the stunning backdrop of the expansive white terrain.
December in Jaisalmer beckons with comfortable weather, inviting you to explore the grandeur of the Thar Desert, royal forts, palaces, and more. The clear desert skies in December provide a perfect canvas for stargazing. Experience the magic of December nights in Jaisalmer with camping under the star-studded desert sky amid golden sand dunes. Savor the rich flavors of authentic Rajasthani cuisine as you feast your senses to the captivating folk art forms of Rajasthan, all around a warm bonfire. Don’t miss the chance to explore the bustling markets of Jaisalmer and indulge in the joy of shopping. The lively markets showcases a kaleidoscope of stalls offering embroidered fabrics, camel leather goods, and exquisite handicrafts and jewelry.
Visiting Pondicherry in December is a mind-fulfilling experience. The cool and breezy weather creates a perfect setting for city wandering, water sports, and beach fun. Take a leisurely stroll through the French Quarters lined with colonial architecture, vibrant markets, and charming cafes and enjoy the fusion of French and Indian cultures. The sunsets at the picturesque Promenade Beach are a spectacle not to be missed. Discover Pondicherry’s culinary delights, where your taste buds can savor the rich flavors of both French and South Indian cuisine while soaking in the vibrant colors of Pondicherry in December. A visit to Pondicherry is incomplete without exploring Auroville.
Dreaming of a snowy Christmas in India? Come to Manali. The mesmerizing Manali turns into a snow-covered haven in December, offering a magical escape for snow lovers. The streets and lively markets are all decked with glittering lights exuding a festive and inviting atmosphere. Experience a fusion of traditional, and contemporary culture at Old Manali, shop till you drop at the Mall Road, taste the local street food of Himachal, and relish a riverside camping adventure at Kasol. Manali’s Solang Valley is supremely scenic during this time of the year inviting you to revel in the splendour of snow-capped landscapes and partake in winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding.
Our next pick is this tiny slice of paradise in Jammu and Kashmir. December in Gulmarg is a symphony of snowy landscape, adventure, and surreal charm. Showcasing jaw-dropping natural beauty and paradisiacal setting, every nook and corner of Gulmarg is a stunning frame worth capturing in your camera. A perfect retreat for winter sports enthusiasts, Gulmarg provides opportunities for skiing and snowboarding against the backdrop of the majestic Himalayan peaks. Must experience in Gulmarg is the Gondola Ride. Notably, it is the world’s second-highest operating cable car, offering soul-stirring views of the snow-clad Himalayas.
Opting for Varanasi in December is not a common choice among travelers, but we highly recommend it as it is the excellent time to visit this sacred city of India. The ghats along the Ganges River come alive with rituals and ceremonies, creating a mesmerizing ambiance. The cool winter weather adds to the charm, making it perfect for leisurely strolls along the ghats and vibrant streets. The evening Ganga Aarti is a remarkably heart-warming and truly mind-satisfying sight to be seen and experienced in Varanasi. Take a sunrise boat ride to witness the otherworldly beauty of the ghats and soak in the spiritual atmosphere of this age-old city.
These top 10 destinations in India promise a December to remember.
From snowy landscapes to festive vibe and cultural extravaganzas, each place unfolds unique surprises for relishing the most enchanting vacation of the year. So, why wait? Pick your favourite, pack your bags, and embark on a delightful December escapade in India to embrace the joy of the season.
If you have any more December delights in India to share, let us know in the comments below.