December brings down the curtain on each year, and a vacation at this juncture can be a good idea to refresh and rejuvenate before a new year begins. With Christmas and New Year taking centre stage in this month and the weather remaining quite pleasant across the country, we suggest that you should plan a vacation in December. There are quite a few destinations that you can choose from, but to save you from doing the chores, we bring you the list of 10 such amazing places to visit in December:
Places to Visit in December:
Shimla, fondly called the ‘Queen of Hills’, is known for its picturesque landscape featuring lush greenery and snow-clad mountains; add to that its pleasant climate. Now, who wouldn’t want to come to this amazing hill station? One can come here at any time of the year, but December has its own charm; the reason being Shimla receives quite a bit of snowfall in this month, specifically towards Christmas Eve. So, if you want to enjoy snowfall and indulge in ice skating, then you ought to come to Shimla in winters.
Places to visit in Shimla: Jakhoo Hill, Summer Hills, Chadwick Falls, Annandale, Himalayan Bird Park, Tara Devi Temple, Viceregal Lodge, The Shimla State Museum and Johnnie’s Wax Museum.
Things to do in Shimla: Take a ride on the Toy Train to reach Shimla from Kalka, trek to Chadwick Falls and Jakhoo Hill, visit the famous Gaiety Theatre, shop at Lakkar Bazaar, enjoy a leisure walk on the Mall Road and indulge in ice skating at Circular Road
Another quaint hill station that can be a great choice for a vacation in December is Sonamarg in Jammu & Kashmir. Situated at an altitude of 2800 m above sea level, this place is home to some serene lakes, including Satsar and Gadsar lakes. Over the years, the place has made its name popular through adventure sports like trekking, skiing and hiking, and as a result, adventure freaks rush to Sonamarg across the year. In December all these three activities are on offer in addition to other leisure activities, namely camping and trout fishing. Whether you come here for adventure or simply relaxing amidst the beauty of nature, you will thoroughly enjoy your trip.
Places to visit in Sonamarg: Gadsar Lake, Baltal Valley, Satsar Lake, Gangabal Lake, Nilagrad River, Zoji-La Pass, Thajiwas Glacier, Krishnasar Lake and Yusmarg.
Things to do in Sonamarg: Indulge in adventure sports – Skiing, hiking and trekking, enjoying camping with friends, include trout fishing in your itinerary and shop at the Main Market at Sonamarg
More than its natural beauty, the scenic Auli has made its name globally as a fantastic ski resort in recent years. So, if you have plans with your friends to go on a fun-filled and adventurous trip, then coming to Auli in December can be a good choice. While you are here do enjoy a cable car ride as well as go on a trekking expedition to Gurso Bugyal and Kwani Bugyal. Besides this, there is a lot to see and explore in Auli like Nanda Devi National Park, Joshimath, Nandprayag, etc. The bird-eye view of the Auli region from its various viewpoints is a charming experience, and the icing on the cake is the sight of Nanda Devi Peak.
Places to visit in Auli: Gurso Bugyal, Kwani Bugyal, Trishul Peak, Chenab Lake, Joshimath, Rudraprayag, Nandprayag and Nanda Devi National Park
Things to do in Auli: Enjoy your time in Auli by skiing, visit the viewpoints in Auli to capture scintillating views in your cameras and go on a cable car ride
Goa is a dream destination for many, and if this dream becomes reality, then nothing like it! Home to the most scenic beaches in the country, Goa receives thousands of tourists from across the globe each year, but the experience that one gets in December is simply outstanding. Goa fully comes alive in this month with grand Christmas and New Year’s celebrations held here. In December, Goa also holds the Mando Festival and Goa Art & Literature Festival, both of which draw huge crowds. So, make your plans and fly to Goa in December for a gala of a time!
Things to do in Goa: Be a part of the grand Christmas and New Year’s celebrations, indulge in water sports, go on a hot air balloon ride, clubbing, enjoy a cruise on Mandovi River, be a part of Goa Art & Literature Festival and Mando Festival
Another awe-inspiring destination in Himachal Pradesh is Manali, which is nestled between the snow-clad mountains of the Dhauladhar and Pir Panjal ranges. The natural beauty of this serene hill station has mesmerized tourists from decades and it still does; while winter is the time when it comes to its full glory. From ancient temples to scenic valleys, Manali is an ideal destination for sightseeing enthusiasts. However, that is not all; it is also popular for offering some fantastic trekking expeditions.
Places to visit in Manali: Hadimba Temple, Manu Temple, Vashisht Hot Water Springs, Solang Valley, Nehru Kund, Arjun Gufa and Museum of Himachal Culture and Folk Art
Things to do in Manali: Go on an excursion to Jogini Falls and Raha Falls, trek to Beas Kund, witness snowfall, explore the Manali Sanctuary and visit the Naggar Village
Mylapore, the major commercial centre of Chennai, is one of the oldest residential areas in the city. There are some really important temples and cultural venues in this part of Chennai and tourists travelling to the city, do make a trip to Mylapore. Besides praying at the famous Kapaleeswarar Temple, Theerthapaleeswarar Temple and San Thome Basilica, the most interesting thing to do in Mylapore is to walk through its streets and soak in the old-world charm of this place.
Places to visit in Mylapore: Kapaleeswarar Temple, Ramakrishna Math, Madhava Perumal Temple, Theerthapaleeswarar Temple and San Thome Basilica
Things to do in Mylapore: Go on a shopping spree at Luz, relish authentic South Indian delicacies, watch a Carnatic music performance, and enjoy a culture and heritage walk across Mada Veethis and Mangollai
Once an erstwhile princely state of India, Kutch is known for its unique beauty – the huge expanses of the white salt desert. The sight of the white salt desert, be it at day or night, is simply an out of this world experience! If you are coming here in December, then you will definitely enjoy being part of the Rann Festival, in which various cultural programs are hosted along with adventure activities like hot air ballooning. In addition to it, you must visit the ancient town of Dholavira and the Siyot Caves.
Places to visit in Kutch: Great Rann of Kutch, Kalo Dungar, Topansar Lake, Kandla Port, Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary, Mandvi Beach, Vijay Vilas Palace, Aina Mahal and Bhadreshwar Jain Temple
Things to do in Kutch: Visit Dholavira, explore the ancient Siyot Caves, try out local cuisine and spend quality time at Kutch Museum
One of the scenic destinations of India is Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh and hence receives hordes of travellers throughout the year. Home to some important Buddhist monasteries, this hill town is famous for its picturesque setting too. A trip to this place with the backing of a pleasant climate will is a perfect recipe for a peaceful and enjoyable vacation.
Places to visit in Tawang: Tawang Monastery, Madhuri Lake, Sela Pass, Gorichen Peak, Tawang War Memorial, Nuranang Falls, Taktsang Gompa, Jaswant Garh and Peng Teng Tso Lake
Things to do in Tawang: Trek to Geshila Peak, witness the Bumla Pass, visit the Urgelling Gompa, and shop at the local Tibetan Market
An important pilgrimage site for both Buddhists and Hindus, Gaya lies on the banks of the holy Phalgu River. Mahabodhi Temple and Vishnupad Temple are the two most important shrines at this place, which are flocked by devotees in large numbers every day. Gaya is also an important site for Pind Daan pujas. If you wish to reach Gaya, then the best option would be to travel to Patna, which is only about 100 km from here.
Places to visit in Gaya: Mahabodhi Temple, Dungeshwari Cave Temples, Barabar Caves, Vishnupad Temple, Chinese Temple and Monastery, Thai Temple and Monastery, and Royal Bhutan Monastery
Things to do in Gaya: Spend some time near the Bodhi Tree, get mesmerized by the chants and hymns sung by the priests at the Mahabodhi Temple, pay a visit to Mangla Gauri Temple and Dakshinaarka Temple and explore the Bodhgaya Archaeological Museum
The Union Territory of Pondicherry, officially called Puducherry, is one of the most sought-after destinations in the country owing to its landscape being an amalgamation of French architecture and traditional Indian culture. A calm and peaceful destination, Pondicherry is perfect for those who wish to spend their vacation in a leisurely manner.
Places to visit in Pondicherry: Auroville, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Gingee Fort, Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Jawahar Toy Museum, Ousteri Lake, French War Memorial and Pondicherry Botanical Garden
Things to do in Pondicherry: Spend some relaxing time at Promenade Beach and Paradise Beach, by handicrafts at Pondy Bazaar, hangout at Goubert Avenue beach road, take a ride in the Chunnambar Boat House, explore the White Town and pay a visit to Sri Gokilambal Thirukameswar Temple
This place in West Jaintia Hills District, Meghalaya, is known for the crystal clear Umngot River bordered by lofty cliffs. It feels heavenly to be here in December as the temperature drops to a range of 12 to 20 degree Celsius and offers a pleasant boating experience. The river flows into Bangladesh.
Places to visit in Dawki: Umngot River, Dawki Bridge
Things to do in Dawki: Go boating on the Umngot River, walk on the famous suspension bridge – Dawki Bridge
Dalhousie is one of the most picturesque towns in India, which generations of tourists and settlers have endeared. If you go there in December snowflakes covering the deodar forests and the snow clad peaks in the background will extend a grand welcome to you.
Places to visit in Dalhousie: St. John’s Church, Satdhara Falls, Dainkund Peak
Things to do in Dalhousie: Experience boating on Chamera Lake, enjoy a picnic at Khajjiar, savour the beauty of Panch Pulla Waterfall, and hike to the Kalatop Khajjiar Sanctuary
Chopta in Uttarakhand offers panoramic views of snow laden peaks like Trishul, Nanda Devi, and Chaukhamba. The serenity of the place, the beauty of nature, and the call of adventure make this an alluring place to visit during the winter months.
Places to visit in Chopta: Deoria Tal, Tungnath, Rohini Bugyal, Omkar Ratneshwar Mahade
Things to do in Chopta: Trek to Tungnath and visit the summit at Chandrashila, spot wildlife at Kanchula Korak Musk Deer Sanctuary
This is a sleepy hill town surrounded by breathtakingly beautiful Nanda Devi, Trishul, and Pachachuli peaks. The mesmerising view of Himalayan peaks like Nanda Devi and Kedarnath from Zero Point is one of the most popular attractions of Binsar.
Places to visit in Binsar: Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary
Things to do in Binsar: Explore the rustic charm of the quaint villages in Binsar, spot wildlife at the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary, and try local delicacies like Madve ki roti, Kaudh ki daal
Perched at a height of 2171 metres on Kumaon hills and surrounded by the stunning Himalayan range, Mukteshwar is one of the most beautiful places to be in India during the winter months. The dense forest cover, the green meadows covered under soft snow and the snow-clad slopes and peaks offer a truly romantic setting.
Places to visit in Mukteshwar: Nanda Devi, Indian Veterinary Research Institute, and Renewable Park
Things to do in Mukteshwar: Trekking to the Shiva Temple
With stony mountains in the background and crystal blue ice on the ground, Leh is a splendor waiting to explore. During the winter months, Leh is like an icy meadow with frozen lakes and snow clad mountains.
Places to visit in Leh: Pangong Lake, Zanskar Valley, Magnetic Hill, Shanti Stupa, Stakna Monastery, Royal Leh Palace
Things to do in Leh: Hire a bike and explore the open roads and tiny hamlets of Ladakh, Try your hand in mountain cycling, Sign up for winter treks, hone your skiing skills on the slopes of the snow-clad Himalayas, and try local dishes at any of the cafes and eateries in Leh Market
Diu is a mystical island with a bouquet of attractions waiting to be explored. There are beaches, historical monuments, ancient temples, memorials and more. You are never going to get tired exploring this tiny island off the coast of Gujarat.
Places to visit in Diu: Diu Fort, Naida Caves, Ghoghla Beach, Sunset Point, INS Khukri Memorial, Panikota Fort, Sea Shell Museum
Things to do in Diu: Take up water sports in Ghoghla and Nagoa Beach, rent a bicycle and explore the corners of this spellbinding paradise
18. Havelock Island
Havelock Island in Andaman and Nicober group of Islands is one of the most popular destinations in India because of its alluring beaches. Radhanagar Beach along with its stunning curve, palm trees and turquoise blue water is the top draw of this island. December is definitely the best time to visit this island.
Places to visit in Havelock: Radhanagar Beach, Elephant Beach, Kalapathar Beach, and Vijaynagar Beach
Things to do in Havelock: Stroll on the clean sands of Havelock’s pristine beaches, explore the rich marine biodiversity with scuba diving, do no miss out on snorkeling to check out the coral reefs at Elephant Beach, and hire a scooty to discover the sights and sounds of Havelock.
If you are looking to spend a warm holiday in December, then Kerala is your best bet. The best time to visit Kerala is the winter season, especially in the month of December. In the coastal state’s 14 districts, you will come across beaches, backwaters, historic monuments, hills, tea, coffee and spice plantations, waterfalls and more.
Places to visit in Kerala: Alapuzzha, Fort Kochi, Kovalam Beach, Periyar National Park, Lighthouse Beach, Vellayani Lake, and Hawah Beach
Things to do in Kerala: Spot the endangered, Nilgiri Tahr at the Eravikulam National Park, sip on flavoursome tea right where it is grown in Munnar, book a houseboat and spend a romantic time in Alleppey, and buy exotic spices from Thekkady
20. Neil Island
Neil is a tiny island in the Andaman & Nicobar group of islands. It is known for its beautiful coral reefs and breathtaking views. In essence, the island showcases a peaceful ambiance in the lap of abundant nature.
Places to visit in Neil Island: Bharatpur Beach, Sitapur Beach, Neil Kendra Beach, Lakshmanpur Beach
Things to do in Neil Island: Learn scuba diving from certified instructors, go jet skiing and try other water sports at Bharatpur Beach, hire a bicycle to slowly explore every corner of Neil Island, unwind and enjoy the slow life by Ramnagar Beach
Located at the base of the Aravalli Hills, Udaipur is a charming city with magnificent palaces and placid lakes. While the temperature is biting during the winter months, the lakes make it comfortable to stay and tour.
Places to visit in Udaipur: Lake Palace, Fateh Sagar Lake, Monsoon Palace
Things to do in Udaipur: Explore the grand palaces and havelis, ride the ropeway to get a bird’s eye view of Udaipur, try your hand at horse riding, visit the Shilpgram Arts and Crafts Festival
Located on the banks of the Brahmaputra River, Guwahati serves as the gateway to North East India. Nevertheless, the city itself is a tourist hotspot. With a number of wildlife sanctuaries, zoo, river and lakes, your stay in Guwahati can be quite an eventful one.
Places to visit in Guwahati: Umananda Island, Nehru Park, Dighali Pukhuri Lake, Ferry Ghat Things to do in Guwahati: Go for an evening cruise on the Brahmaputra, visit the Saraighat Bridge, shop for local handicrafts and the famous lal chai
Cherrapunjee in Meghalaya used to be the place with the highest rainfall. Though the title has now been taken over by Mawsynram, Cherrapunjee has retained its charm with its deep valleys, foaming rivers, and mystical clouds.
Places to visit in Cherrapunjee: Double Decker Living Root Bridge, Nohkalikai Waterfalls, Mawsmai Cave, Dainthlen Waterfall
Things to do in Cherrapunjee: Admire the beauty of the iconic waterfalls, experience tribal life at Mawsynram, explore the underworld in Mawsmai Cave, visit The Echo Park to view the picture-perfect landscapes of Meghalaya, and see Khasi monoliths
Kaziranga in Assam is known for its one-horned rhino. You can see them roaming fearlessly and even crossing your path during the safari. The lush green forest and the sightings of the wild truly make a visit to Kaziranga worth the time and money.
Places to visit in Kaziranga: Kaziranga National Park, Kaziranga National Orchid Sanctuary & Biodiversity Park, Adabari Tea Estate
Things to do in Kaziranga: Book a jeep safari to meet the one-horned rhino, stop to explore the fragrant tea plantations, and sample local Assamese thalis at local eateries
Situated at an altitude of 1444 metres above sea level, Kohima is the capital of Nagaland. December in the city is one of the coldest months with some areas experiencing snowfall. This is a picturesque town with blooming meadows and dense green hills in the background.
Places to visit in Kohima: Kisama Heritage Village, Khonoma Green Village, Kohima War Cemetery, Dzukou Valley, Japfu Peak, Touphema Tourist Village
Things to do in Kohima: Experience the eco-friendly lifestyles of India’s first green village – Khonoma, participate in a trek to Mt. Japfu, take a bite at the spicy Bhut Jolokia, and witness the famous Hornbill Festival
Jaisalmer is one of the most significant tourist places of Rajasthan. The count of tourists increases by leaps and bounds during the month of December. It is known as the golden city as the castles here are made from golden sandstone.
Places to visit in Jaisalmer: Jaisalmer Fort, Kothari’s Patwaon Ki Haveli, Vyas Chhatri
Things to do in Jaisalmer: Go dune bashing, parasailing, or paramotoring, camp under the stars in a desert camp, spot the elusive Great Indian Bustard at the Desert National Park, witness the beauty of the golden sands while riding on a camel, explore the architectural marvels of Jaisalmer in heritage and culture trails
Popularly described as ‘The Blue City’ due to the blue houses in the city, Jodhpur is another popular destination in Rajasthan. Founded in 1459 by Rao Jadhao from the Rathore clan, Jodhpur is a historic city with a plethora of attractions.
Places to visit in Jodhpur: Mehrangarh Fort, Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jaswant Thada, Rai-ka-Bag Palace, Mandore Garden
Things to do in Jodhpur: Explore the majestic Mehrangarh Fort, start the winter mornings with a hot cup of masala tea and mirchi pakoras, go on a desert safari
28. Sawai Madhopur
Known prominently for being home to the Ranthambore National Park, Sawai Madhopur’s history dates back to 1765 AD. Apart from the wildlife reserve, the district has a mixed landscape, which comprises hills and plains. December is one of the best months to visit this area, as the weather is cool and pleasant, perfect for exploring the fort, lakes, temples, museums, monuments, etc.
Places to visit in Sawai Madhopur: Ranthambore National Park, Ranthambore Fort, Jogi Mahal, and Padam Talab
Things to do in Sawai Madhopur: Take a jeep safari to spot tigers and other wildlife at Ranthambore National Park, seek answers to your problems from Lord Ganesh at Trinetra Ganesha Temple, and step back in time with a visit to the Ranthambore Fort
The coastal town of Gokarna, located beside the Arabian Sea, has some of the most pristine beaches in India as well as an alluring landscape. It is an important site of pilgrimage for Hindus owing to the presence of prominent sacred temples.
Places to visit in Gokarna: Sri Mahabaleshwara Swami Temple, Koti Teertha, Kudle Beach and Om Beach
Things to do in Gokarna: Participate in adventurous water sports and rides with friends and family, go dolphin-spotting at the Paradise Beach, hire a vehicle for scenic drives in and around Gokarna, and pay respect to the Gods and Goddesses in this temple town
The charming beauty of Kasol, Himachal Pradesh lures backpackers from all across the world to relax. Situated on the banks of the Parvati River and surrounded by the Himalayas, there is a host of things that you can experience in this laid-back town. It turns into a snowy paradise during December, so for the adventurous among you who can brave the chilly weather visit Kasol.
Places to visit in Kasol: Tosh Village, Malana Village, Nature Park, Kheer Ganga, Chalal Village, Manikaran Sahib
Things to do in Kasol: Brave the slippery paths in the Kheerganga trek, sip on hot beverages at the cosy cafes, indulge in some nature photography of the snow-clad mountains
Places to Visit in December FAQs:
Q: Which is the best region in India to visit during December?
A: Southern and Western India can well be the best places to visit in India during the month of December. In both these regions, there are several tourist attractions, but the temperature is high during summer and there is too much rain during the rainy months. During December, the weather is the most suitable here to enjoy a comprehensive tour.
Q: What are the coldest and harshest tourist places in India during December?
A: Dras and Kargil in Jammu & Kashmir, Leh in Ladakh, Hemkund Sahib in Uttarakhand, North Sikkim, and Sela Pass in Arunachal Pradesh are some of the coldest and harshest places in India to visit during the month of December.
Q: Which are the most romantic places to visit during December?
A: There are ample places to visit for couples during December. You can visit Coorg in Karnataka, Munnar in Kerala, Ooty in Tamil Nadu, Mahabaleshwar in Maharashtra, Manali in Himachal Pradesh, and Puducherry in Tamil Nadu. Also, places in Rajasthan like Jaisalmer, Udaipur, etc. are some of the most romantic places to visit.
Q: Are there landslides in hilly places in India during winter?
A: There are places in Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim and North Eastern India, where heavy rains do trigger landslides. But this is mostly during the late summer and rainy months. The fear of landslides in December is less. Try to travel with local drivers who are experienced with regard to the local topography and can consciously avoid troublesome sections.