December
December
4.3 533 Ratings | 433 Reviews

Best Places To Visit In December In India

Planning A Trip In December? Here's our list of best places to visit in December In India

The last month of the Gregorian calendar, December is one of the most beautiful months in almost all of India. With a quiet cold, suffused with pleasant sunshine and lots of festive cheer ripe in the air, this month sees the most tourist influx in many of the coveted cities in the subcontinental region. While skiing in mountains like Auli is for the snow-lovers and ski enthusiasts, the luxury seekers can attack beaches of Goa for New Year’s; Rajasthan is for a royal vacation steeped in lots of forts and palaces. Kolkata lights up with a colonial style charm for Christmas, bringing you holiday cheer in thick waves. There is the white desert of Kutch that celebrates the ‘Rann Utsav’ during this time, as well as the backwaters of Kerala, that give you an idyllic break from all the holiday noise elsewhere. Below is a detailed list of the best places to visit in India during December. Take your pick, because the holiday mood is already upon us!

Goa

Goa:  Best Places To Visit In December In India
Photograph by https://www.pinterest.com

Goa is ON!!’ has become one of the recent war cries of party-mongers coveting a place to celebrate new year’s eve. With its line of beaches, lavish shacks, nigh clubs and bars, Goa throbs with a young vibe, attracting people especially during the end of December. Goa’s New Year parties are famous, not only among mere mortals but also among the stars. From Anjuna to Calungute, Panaji to Candolim, you will find that the vibe during the last week of December is sizzled, almost charged in Goa. The temperatures are naturally at their most pleasant, in the 18-20°C range. One drawback for budget travellers is, that the rates are always inflated in Goa during December. 

 

Things to Do: 

December in Goa is a great time, even if you don’t go during the peak last week. You can explore the many regions of Goa, take heritage walks, soak in the sun, lie down by the beach and partake in the many water sports. Panaji is renowned for its historic richness, while Anjuna is where all the beaches lie; Arambol is the hub of yogis, while you can choose to explore Old Goa, Vasco Da Gama, Palolem, Calangute and Dona Paula at your leisure. Flea markets and stone chapels are an added treat, especially during the Christmas week! While if you are in Goa for the New Year’s Eve, you can check out Hill Top in Vagator, a happening party thrown, as the name suggests, atop a hill. Curlies is another fun destination to enjoy beach parties in Anjuna. Other clubs that shimmy up for new year’s include Club Cubana, Love Passion Karma, Tito's Night Club and Cafe Mambo. 

 

How to Reach: 

Dabolim Airport is 45 km away from Goa and makes for your landing spot when coming in from India or abroad. It is an international airport and receives flights from Mumbai, Delhi, Kochi, Chennai, Bangalore etc, as well as Gulf countries like Doha and Muscat. Seasonally flights from London and Birmingham are also scheduled. The two main railway stations in Goa are Madgaon and Thivim, while you can also take buses and taxis to Goa from Maharashtra, Karnataka or Andhra. Most travellers also prefer to take a road trip to Goa from Mumbai.

Kolkata

Kolkata:  Best Places To Visit In December In India
Photograph by https://scroll.in

Kolkata in December is literally a paradise leading up to Christmas. With the small streets and lanes being decked in twinkling lights, choirs starting practise, rock music blaring from corners, Christmas carols at every turn and feast delicacies in the making, Kolkata becomes truly steeped in the ‘X-mas spirit.’ Even though the city is home to a majority of Hindu-Bengali population, it has been a hub for Christmas culture since its colonial days and still revels in the same mood every year. The month of December is cold and dry here, with a pleasant climate that makes life very easy for locals as well as tourists. 

 

Things to Do:

Some must-visit tourist spots in Kolkata include the Victoria Memorial, Howrah Bridge, Dakshineshwar Kali Temple and Indian Museum. Nicco Park is decked up with lights and a stunning city view brings it alive at nights. Shop for Christmas goodies and treats at Hogg’s Market (now called New Market). The rich fruit cake from Nahoum’s, a Jewish bakery dating back to 1902, is highly coveted and must have. Visit Park Street for live performances at Allen Park, with lots of food kiosks, stalls selling holiday goodies and fairy lights to brighten up the cheer several notches. On Christmas eve, head to St. Paul’s Cathedral for mass, and revel in the experience with carols and choirs. Bow Barracks is another place rich with Anglo-Indian vibe, decorated to the T and alive with jingle-bells, music and lively local performances. 

 

How to Reach: 

Kolkata’s Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport is 17 km away from the city centre and becomes your landing spot when coming in from Indian metros or major international destinations. The city also has many railway stations, namely Howrah and Sealdah. NH2 and NH6 are two important road network that wind their way through Kolkata and make road travel a cake walk. Internally, you can hire cars, taxis, autos, hand-drawn rickshaws etc. Trams are also great.

Advertisement

Rann of Kutch

Rann of Kutch:  Best Places To Visit In December In India
Photograph by http://nidhiholidays.com

Rann of Kutch is the expanse of white desert ensconced within the district of Kutch in Gujarat. The famous Rann Festival that makes this place a coveted tourist destination starts in November and goes on until February, with December as one of the best months to visit. It is set up in a village called Dhordo. The place is known for its rugged terrain chilled through and through in December, tribal tents, music galore, artistic workshops, dancing and lots of great Gujarati and Kutchi food. The winter in December has solidified in Kutch and leaves the temperature anywhere between 12-25°C, with nights in the barren desert going as low as 2°C.

 

Things to Do:

In addition to the traditional workshops, mud house painting, tribal music and dances, the Rann Utsav also boasts of adventure activities like rock climbing, rappelling, para motoring, ATV rides, rifle shooting and Bungee run basketball. Archery is also highly coveted, as is star-gazing and camel riding. You can get yourself accommodation in one of the tents in the desert and enjoy all of these activities with a closer bond to the barren nature. Other places to visit around include Bhuj (for temples and sightseeing), Mandvi (for beaches), Gandhidham, Wild Ass sanctuary, Shri Swaminarayan temple, Prag Mahal and Aina Mahal. Special Christmas and New Year camps, as well as parties are organised. Spas and meditations are also offered, bridging you some of the best luxuries and amenities in a place in the ‘middle of nowhere.’

 

One good advise for all those visiting the Rann Utsav would be to sleep in an open air tent or just lie down in the open desert, see the moon rising above the white desert and experience life as you never have before.

 

How to Reach: 

Bhuj being the nearest airport to Kutch, is your landing sot when flying in here. It is located 70 km away from Kutch. Jet Airways and Alliance Air operate regular flights from major cities like Mumbai and Delhi. For those looking at train options, Bhuj Railway Station is also 70 km away from Kutch and receives trains from all over Gujarat, Rajasthan and Maharashtra. You can also hire private cabs or taxis, as well as avail local buses.

Lakshadweep

Lakshadweep:  Best Places To Visit In December In India
Photograph by https://www.makemytrip.com

Lakshadweep Islands are a collection of tropical islands in the Laccadive Sea, just off the coast of Kerala. Only a handful of this archipelago of islands are open to public, the rest either uninhabited or off-limits for tourists. You have to obtain prior permission to visit any of these islands. What makes Lakshadweep a wonderful December holiday destination is its rolls of sandy beaches, coral reefs and uninterrupted natural vistas that warm your heart. Here the winters are quite cool, and they start from December, with temperatures fluctuating between 20 and 32°C. For beach babies who want to revel in sand, sea and the sun without being burned within an inch of their lives, Lakshadweep is the best bet for December. 

 

Things to Do:

Lakshadweep is a tropical archipelago of 36 atolls and coral reefs in the Laccadive Sea, off the coast of Kerala, India. Not all of the islands are inhabited, and only a few are open to visitors, that too, with required permits in place beforehand. Kavaratti is one of the more developed islands on Lakshwadeep and home to a number of mosques, including the Ujra Mosque, crafted with such finesse that it exudes an oriental charm. You must also visit the Kavaratti Aquarium, housing regional fish, shark and corals. Spend a morning exploring Minicoy, with its famous Lighthouse, while keeping the evening off for canoeing on this island. Agatti Island is known for its Fish Hatchery and coral gazing while you can go see Hermit crabs on Parelli Island. Kadamat is another coveted destination island, a wilderness of blue lagoons and coral beaches. Kite surfing is a highly coveted adventure sport here. 

 

How to Reach:

Lakshadweep Island can be easily reached by waterways (ships, boats) and flights, both operated from Kochi in Kerala. Air India operates regular flights from Kochi to Agatti and Bangaram islands, as they boast of an airstrip and helipads.There onwards you can take boats to Kavaratti and Kadmat (only during tourist season, ie. October to May). Helicopter transfer is available during monsoons. Otherwise, you can take boats or ferries for island hopping.

Advertisement

Bandhavgarh National Park

Bandhavgarh National Park:  Best Places To Visit In December In India
Photograph by http://www.natgeotraveller.in

Bandhavgarh National Park is one of the rare homes of the royal Bengal tigers in India. Situated in Madhya Pradesh, Bandhavgarh makes for one hell of a wildlife holiday in the month of December. Along with scores of bird species and regal eagles, you will also find yourself lost in the lush greens of Sal trees and grasslands. December is a cool and dry month, with temperatures between 2-20°C. This ideally is one of the best times to visit Bandhavgarh National Park.

 

Things to Do:

Undertake a majestic jeep safari through the four zones of the forest, namely Tala, Magadhi, Panpatha, and Khitauli. Tala is one of the main places for tiger spotting, as is Chakradhar region. You will find these animals easily as they are lured out of their habitats in search of water holes due to the dry weather. In addition to tigers, you can also sight numerous species of birds, and smaller animals like spotted deer, 4-horned antelope, Indian gazelle and wild bear. The National Park also hosts a number of luxury accommodations for you to stay in, like the Taj Mahua Kothi, Syna Tiger Resort, Tree House Hideaway, Bandhav Vilas etc. Shoping in the markets is filled with souvenirs like t-shirts, frames and wildlife books.

 

You can also take a trek to the Bandhavgarh Fort to have a peak into history, or explore other places outside the National park, like the Bamera Dam, Tala Village, and even the imposing temples and ruins of Khajuraho

 

How to Reach:

The nearest airport to Bandhavgarh National Park is at Jabalpur (164 km away). But due to infrequent flights to Jabalpur, we recommended you fly to Khajuraho (237 km away) and then drive drive up to Bandhavgarh. The nearest railway stations here are Jabalpur (164 km), Satna (120 km) and Katni (102 km); while you can take state run buses or private cabs from either of these towns or from Umaria, Bilaspur or Khajuraho.

Kerala

Kerala:  Best Places To Visit In December In India
Photograph by http://5-five-5.blogspot.com

Known as ‘God’s own country,’ Kerala is a beautiful paradise of beaches and palm trees, backwaters and houseboats, meditative chants and long, silent Ayurvedic massages. Located on the south-western coast of India, it is a perfect winter destination as the weather here is not too hot nor too cold, with the average day high of 31°C in December. Rainfall is scarce and only makes you feel happier with its drizzle. Such a pleasant warm climate is bound to rejuvenate your senses and leave you in thrall of the nature that will embrace you here.

 

Things to Do:

Float the backwaters of Kerala, that is what the state is renowned for. Hire a houseboat and go fishing, or just lie down and float into the sunset, with idyllic streams and villages passing you by. Get yourself booked for Ayurvedic treatments like massages, spas and meditation. Some of the best backwater destinations here are Alapuzha, Kumarakom and Kozhikode. Wayanad is another hilly retreat, while Periyar National Park and Bandipur National Park become getaways for nature and wildlife enthusiasts. Enjoy the beaches of Kozhikode, Cochin and Kollam, all the while breathing in the heavenly fragrances of perfectly cooked sea food, dosas, idlis and appams. Do not forget Thiruvananthapuram, the city that is home to temples, palaces and museums. And also the forts and colonial architecture of Cochin, which was once a British dock and outpost.

 

How to Reach:

Kerala has three major International Airports, located in Kochi, Trivandrum and Calicut. You can hire cars or get state-run buses from each of these airports. Southern Railways operates trains in Kerala and makes for a very well connected rail system, in spite of all the rivers and mountains in its way. Train journey makes for a very scenic travel and tickets are not very expensive either. The state also boasts of 11 National highways and 70 state highways, so driving or taking buses across Kerala is not too rough.

Advertisement

Rajasthan

Rajasthan:  Best Places To Visit In December In India
Photograph by http://www.darter.in/rajasthan-photography/

Rajasthan, as the name implies, is the state of royals. With its deserts and forts, palaces and rugged hills, this state boasts of some great attractions, especially in the winter month of December. The temperature drops to a range between 10-27°C and the pleasant nip in the air ensures you have a great time scouting sights and monuments without breaking a sweat. The food is also better enjoyed during the winter as you can eat the heavy, ghee and masala laden foods and have it digested well in the dry weather. Also famous for New Year’s is the desert camping in Jaisalmer, where you can spend the new year under the stars, with great folk music and bonfires. 

 

Things to Do: 

Take a tour of some of the most beautiful cities like Udaipur, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Mount Abu, Pushkar, Ajmer etc. There are some splendid palaces in these cities like the City Palace of Udaipur, Lake Palace, Hawa Mahal, Amer Fort, Jantar Mantar etc. You can also go on a wildlife safari to spot the elusive Royal Bengal Tiger in Ranthambore Forest Reserve near Sawai Madhopur. The sand dunes of Bikaner and Jaisalmer also make for great safaris, camel rides and fun. Explore the temples of Rajasthan, like the Shrinathji Temple in Nathdwara near Udaipur, Eklingji in Udaipur, Brahma Temple in Pushkar, Ajmer Sharif Dargah in Ajmer and many more. Shop for souvenirs like Rajasthani mojris, blue pottery items, semi-precious and precious gemstones, handlooms and handicrafts, as well as colourful leheriya dupattas, saris and dhotis. Also famous in Nathdwara and Udaipur are the Pichwai paintings (rich wall hanging paintings) that are all the rage in classic art nowadays, and Minakari decor items. 

 

How to Reach:

The main airports in Rajasthan include the Jaipur International Airport, Maharana Pratap Airport in Udaipur and Jodhpur Airport. Kota and Bikaner also boast of airports, with daily flights connecting each to the rest of the country. Rajasthan is very well connected and served by the Western Railways majorly, with main stations and junctions like Jaipur, Ajmer Jn, Udaipur City, Bikaner, and Jodhpur Jn. The Royal Rajasthan on Wheels is a luxury train operated here for tourists to get a feel of Rajasthan while travelling. There are state-run RSRTC buses as well as cabs on hire to take the road if you so wish.

Andaman Nicobar

Andaman Nicobar:  Best Places To Visit In December In India
Photograph by https://www.pinterest.com

Andaman And Nicobar Islands make for a group of islands in the Bay of Bengal, belonging to India. With their white sandy shores, blemish-free sunrises and sunsets, untouched coral reefs and endless rolls of palm trees they make for a perfect December holiday destination, especially for beach babies. The temperature ranges between 18-32°C and rains are mostly gone by this time, leaving the islands all dry and prepared for major water sports and undisturbed sightseeing activities. Special parties and outings are also organised keeping New Year’s in mind at this time. 

 

Things to Do:

The pair of islands boast of many other smaller accompaniments, namely Neil Island, Ross Island, Havelock etc. Each with their own charms, beaches and a new experience for the tourists. They all offer splendid vistas and a host of water-sports, from snorkelling to rafting, deep water diving to paddling. The coral reefs and azure waters make it all the more refreshing. Baratang Island is suffused with mangrove creeks and beaches, interlaced with backwater rides while the Viper Island holds many a ruins and a haunted history of being an erstwhile jail. Even the capital of Andaman, Port Blair boasts of the Cellular Jail, a prison for Indian freedom fighters during British Raj. Today it stuns tourists with its museums and light-and-sound shows telling the history of India’s freedom struggle. If you wish to go scuba diving, you have Neil Island and Long Island as your go-to destination. Neil Island is also the place to go if you want to retreat from all the noise and exist peacefully, in an idyllic place for a few days.

 

How to Reach:

Veer Savarkar airport of Port Blair becomes your landing spot when flying in to these islands from the mainland (India). Flights from Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Delhi are available to Port Blair. Ships from Kolkata, Chennai and Visakhapatnam are also available if you want to take the sea route. Once on the islands, you can use jetties, boats, hired cars or hired bikes for commute. Auto rickshaws are also available.

Auli

Auli:  Best Places To Visit In December In India
Photograph by https://www.budgetyatri.com

Auli is a skiing resort in the upper reaches of Uttarakhand, known, of course, for its spectacular skiing tracks.The town has been settled and maintained for this express purpose itself, and serves it well. With an artificial lake to supply snow to the skiing tracks as well as many resorts dotted around the ways, Auli is a ski-enthusiast’s dream. The best time to go skiing in Auli is from December to February as the snow is perfectly thick and textured during these months.

 

Things to Do:

Skiing is the main reason you would be in Auli, but there are several other things the town has to offer. Like Cable Car rides, hikes, nature walks and treks. Trek up some magnanimous mountains like Trishul Peaks, go traipsing through Nanda Devi National Park to spot Snow Leopards and Foxes or take a day of pilgrimage to Joshimath and Rudraprayag nearby. The Gorson Reserve Forest in Nanda Devi also makes for a great nature walk, with snow ripe and crisp under your foot and animals come down from the higher Himalayas. The two main skiing resorts in Auli are GMVN (owned by Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam) and Cliff Top Resort. The place also has learning schools for novices and gives out skiing gear on hire. Some of the best ski routes in Auli are the mountains of Kamat, Ghori, Mana parvat and Nanda Devi.  

 

How to Reach:

The nearest airport to Auli is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, which is 149 km away. Buses and cars ply from here to Joshimath, from where you can either take a cable car ride to Auli (faster) or the road. Haridwar is the nearest railway station to Auli (273 km), while if you want to drive up, you can do so from Rishikesh, Dehradun or Haridwar. We recommend cable car as your mode of transport from Joshimath to Auli as it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Khajuraho

Khajuraho:  Best Places To Visit In December In India
Photograph by https://www.trekearth.com

Khajuraho is a smallish town in the Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh, renowned for its temples worldwide. The brilliance of these temples are symbol of India’s rich cultural and historical heritage, which has stood the test of time. What is also very appealing about these temples are the intricate carvings that are so minute, that they exemplify the proverb ‘devil lies in the detail.’ The second most visited UNESCO World Heritage Site in India after the Taj, Khajuraho temples are best visited in the winter months, December being ideal for its soothing temperatures and dry climate. The temperature may also drop below 4°C sometimes.

 

Things to Do:

The temples of Khajuraho are so vivid and so intricate, their carvings almost come alive with stories of the medieval time. The erotic sculptures of sexual positions and men and women in the throes of passion only exemplify the openness of our culture in the medieval days, as well as bring to fore Kama Sutra and its significance in human life, as accepted by medieval residents of India. There are three parts of the temple complex, Western Group, Eastern group and Southern Group; the Western group being the largest and richest. You can also enjoy a light and sound show organised at the Western group of temples every evening. This show is voiced by Mr. Amitabh Bachchan (pre-recorded) and makes for a goosebump-giving experience. The entry fee is 10 INR for Indian tourists and US $5 for foreign nationals. Aside from the famous Khajuraho Temples, you can also explore Kandariya Mahadeva Temple, Devi Jagadambi Temple, Chaturbhuj Temple, Nandi Temple and Vishvanatha Temple among others.

 

How to Reach:

Khajuraho boasts of an airport that is 5 kms from the city centre. The railway station at Khajuraho is also well connected to major railway stations of India and Madhya Pradesh. UP Sampark Kranti is a train said to be the best connected to Khajuraho, and also the fastest. You can also take a taxi or bus to your destination from the station or airport.

Read More
Get Package Quotes
From Top Travel Agents. FREE!
Planning A Trip In December?
Find The Best Travel Packages From Top Travel Agents