Winter days in India are welcomed by its people, filled with long cherished remembrances of beautiful experiences on roads less travelled across its many geographies. Foreign travellers, taking a cue from locals, should definitely be picking up such unique destinations in the country, to explore this time round for such memorable moments.

Kaziranga National Park & Tiger Reserve

Of all the wildlife destinations in India the king of Bhutan has chosen to explore, along with his wife and two boys, is Kaziranga National Park, during his official visit to the country.

This UNESCO-acclaimed game par is world renowned for its amazing conservation programme which saw the comeback of the endangered one-horned Indian rhino. Other endangered species for which it is an important habitat are the tiger, the swamp deer, and the Asiatic elephant; it’s also home to a diminishing number of avifaunal species such as the Bengal florican. Jeep safaris offer thrilling opportunities for rewarding sightings. A popular cruise on the famous Brahmaputra River also has Kaziranga on its itinerary. The Kaziranga Golf Resort offers great rounds of golf; You can actually tee off from this beautiful colonial-days tea bungalow.

Rann of Kutch

This is the best time to be in one of India’s most spectacular wilderness destinations. Unique for its astonishing white desert landscape —an ocean of salt pans and marshy expanses, tourists will be most comfortable here in the cooler winter days. To add that extra spice to the experience is the Rann Utsav from December to February which showcases some of the most thrilling aspects of Gujarati culture. You can choose to spend a couple of days in the tented village at Dhordo which comes up for the festival. Try and be there on a full moon night to enjoy this fabulous setting. You can spend your days visiting the nearby artisan villages of Bhujodi, Dhamkada, Nirona, Bhachau et al.


They say the snow peaks of the Mt Khangchendzonga range are best viewed in December-January when the skies are blue and the weather nippy in this beautiful summer retreat of the British Raj. Enjoy the festive air of the Mall, teeming with travellers from home and abroad; drink hot chocolate at the century-old Glenary’s cafe; sign up for a heritage walk to all the colonial-day hot spots; follow nature trails around the hillsides soaking in the fresh mountain air and verdant beauty.


Head out for the desert outpost of the royal city of Jaisalmer, world-renowned for its ‘Sona Kila’ or ‘Golden Fort’. This fantastic fortified city is best visited in the winter days, because its setting in the hot desert sands of Rajasthan can be quite unpleasant for travellers in the punishing summers, with temperature hitting the roof. Jaisalmer offers a wonderful opportunity to spend a night under the stars on the sand dunes, entered by folk singers and dancers with dinner featuring a slew of local specialities. In town spend magical moments soaking in the rich nuances of its architectural marvels such as the sculpted havelis (mansion) and temple sites. In the antique bazaars load up on came leather goods, hand-embroidered mirror work apparel, block printed and batik print fabric, stoneware et al. If you are here in mid-February an event not to be missed is the Jaisalmer Desert Festival held over three days (22-24th Feb) at the Sam Dunes.


The jump-off point for backwater cruises and traditional houseboat (Kettuvallam) stays in Kerala’s famous network of water channels, Lord Curzon’s ‘Venice of the East’ is an evergreen holiday hub. What’s even more interesting is also getting to do a deep dive into the heritage of Alleppy and its conservation of the legacy of the backwater ecosystem of Kerala. Back in the day, it was an important, planned port town. Be sure to sign up for the Alleppey on Foot” heritage walk. Organized by the Preserve Alleppey Society, originally functioning as the Lion Ladies Wing of the Lion’s Club of Alleppey its focus is to raise awareness about the town’s fading heritage. This lovely walk sheds the spotlight on the local architecture, the communities, and crafts.

Mcleodganj & Dharamsala

First-time visitors may be in for a bit of a shock when they arrive in the twin towns of Mcleodganj and Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh to discover how deeply they are steeped in Tibetan culture. While the Himachali legacy is still deeply embedded in these townships in Kangra, the exotic nuances of Tibetan culture are undeniable. What has largely driven this is that since 1960 Mcleodganj has also served as the headquarters of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile, presided over by His Holiness the Dalai Lama since he fled Lhasa with his people because of the Chinese invasion.

His Holiness has been fiercely protective also of the cultural history of his people and every effort has been made to keep it alive. A visit to the nearby Norbulingka Institute, where you’ll discover the Academy of Tibetan Culture, Literary and Cultural Research Centre and the Centre of the Arts offers a peek into a window to Tibetan artisanal skills. Unmissable experiences await at the spiritually-charged Tsuglagkhang temple complex, the Kalachakra temple and Namgyal Monastery; the Tibetan Museum is packed with documentation and stories of the tragedy of losing one’s country. Also, check out the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives.   You should also head for the ancient Hindu shrine of Bhagsunath and sample the offerings of a slew of restaurants which fill you up with Tibetan specialities. Wait for the snows in January when everything looks like part of a picture postcard!

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