As the month of December approaches, temperatures across the country have dropped significantly, giving cities a new, colder and misty atmosphere. Regions like Wayanad, Munnar and Thekkady experience freezing temperatures, while Rajasthan observes temperatures as low as -2 degrees Celsius.
Places in Himachal witness thick snowfall, while people in Kashmir snuggle for days in their hammams. Despite the cold, there’s a palpable sense of anticipation and warmth as the holiday season makes one long for travel. Explore these places across the country for the best winter experience.
December in Kochi is a beautiful time to visit, with its mild climate and cooler temperatures providing a delightful escape from the heat. The season is marked by vibrant festivals, such as the Cochin Carnival, and cultural extravaganzas, like the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, that draw visitors worldwide.
The fresh seafood is also at its best during this time, offering plenty of culinary exploration. Visitors can enjoy the serene experience of the backwaters and houseboats and explore historical sites and markets with reduced humidity. Overall, winter in Kochi promises a perfect blend of cultural richness, culinary delights, and natural beauty, making it an ideal time to immerse oneself in the unique charm of this coastal city.
Where To Stay: Some options to choose from for lodgings in Kochi are Flora Airport Hotel and Convention Centre, Trident, Cochin, and Cherai Beach Resorts.
How To Reach: Take a flight to Kochi International Airport located at Nedumbassery or a train to one of the three railway stations in Kochi, namely, Ernakulam Junction, Ernakulam Town and Cochin Harbor Terminus. The city also has a great road connectivity.
Jaisalmer is an enchanting destination that attracts travellers during winter due to its moderate climate that allows for comfortable exploration of its architectural gems, including the Golden Fort, intricately carved havelis, and ancient Jain Temples. The season provides an ideal backdrop for outdoor activities such as camel safaris into the Thar Desert, where the cooler temperatures accentuate the landscape’s beauty.
Cultural enthusiasts can partake in the Desert Festival, a vibrant celebration of Rajasthan’s heritage. Local markets come alive with Rajasthani handicrafts and textiles, and evenings offer a pleasant atmosphere for outdoor dining. Overall, Jaisalmer in December promises a perfect combination of historical richness, cultural festivities, and natural beauty, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in the magic of this desert city.
Where To Stay: Some options for stay at Jaisalmer include Jaisalmer Marriott Resort & Spa, Royal Golden Camp, and Hotel Pleasant Haveli.
How To Reach: The nearest airport to Jaisalmer is Jodhpur at 300 km. The city is well connected to the major neighbouring cities through railway and roadway.
Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir is a winter destination that entices visitors with its stunning snow-covered landscapes, frozen lakes, and exciting winter sports. Gulmarg is a renowned skiing destination that offers thrilling experiences, while festivals add to the area’s cultural vibrancy during the cold months.
The Dal Lake and other high-altitude lakes freeze over, providing a unique opportunity for ice skating, while the Mughal gardens look like winter wonderlands. With fewer crowds, winter is an ideal time to explore the rich Kashmiri culture in a more intimate setting, and cosy houseboat stays on Dal Lake are a must. Photographers will be fascinated by the contrasting colours against the snowy backdrop, promising an unforgettable journey into the heart of the Himalayas.
Where To Stay: The best places to stay in Jammu and Kashmir are Hotel Highlands Park, Gulmarg and Karan Mahal, Srinagar, among others.
How To Reach: Direct flights and trains are available from Delhi to Kashmir. Srinagar airport is 15 km from the city, while the nearest railway station is 297 km away. Buses and cabs are available from Delhi to Jammu and Srinagar.
Darjeeling, West Bengal
Darjeeling in winter is a captivating destination, offering picturesque views of the Himalayas and lush tea plantations. With fewer crowds and cosy retreats, it’s the perfect time to explore leisurely. Darjeeling also hosts cultural events and festive celebrations, adding to the lively atmosphere.
Travellers must not miss the first light at Tiger Hill or a walk through snow-covered tea plantations. Experience the beauty of nature and rich culture peacefully and unforgettably in Darjeeling.
Where To Stay: Some places to stay at in Darjeeling include Udaan Himalayan Suites and Spa, Sinclairs Darjeeling, and Glenburn Tea Estate, among others.
How To Reach: The nearest airport and railway stations to Darjeeling are Bagdogra and New Jalpaiguri. There’s a regular bus service from Siliguri to Darjeeling, but it could be faster due to the steep and twisty climb.
Source: Outlook Traveller