We all need a holiday and the end of the year is such an apt time to travel. With Christmas and New Year, it becomes a time to celebrate.
December is perfect for traveling. The weather is nice and cold and not all the places experience peak winters. Mostly, its chill and serene.
We have picked 9 offbeat destinations from across India that make great holiday destinations. Remember to reach out to our Scout for planning your trip.
9 offbeat places to visit in India
1. Mawlynnong and Dawki, Shillong
Shillong, a beautiful hill station in the northeast of India, is a pristine place to visit. It is situated in the center of the plateau and is surrounded by hills. It’s famous for its picturesque beauty and simplicity. And it is rightly called the Scotland of the East. About 100 kms from here is Asia’s cleanest village – Mawlynnong. It is a village of orderly row houses, waterfalls, greenery, natural beauty, and a 100% literacy rate.
About 2km from Mawlynnong is the Riwai village. It is famous for the Living Root Bridge. Interestingly , this is a gigantic bridge naturally constructed by Arial embraces of super-sized rubber trees. You can even trek from Mawlynnong village to the bridge. Having said that, there are many home stays available, including treehouses. Reach out to our Scouts for more details on this.
Meanwhile, 17kms from Mawlynnong is Dawki, a village known for the Umngot River. It is India’s cleanest river. The bottom of the river bed is visible through the clean, green water from a boat. You can opt for a boat ride here and enjoy the view.
The river flows between India and Bangladesh and has an antique-looking single suspension bridge. It was built-in 1932, through which a lot of cross border trade takes place.
This is an interesting area to explore. Very close to the river is the Shoongpden camp. It is famous for its beauty on a full moon night.
The best time to visit Shillong is between September to December.
2. Chopta, Uttarakhand
Chopta, a small valley in Uttarakhand, is unexplored and beautiful. It has adventurous trekking routes.
Popularly known as the Mini Switzerland of India, Chopta lies in the lap of the Himalayas. At an altitude of 2,680 meters (8,790 ft) above sea level, it is surrounded by Trishul, Nanda Devi, and Chaukhamba ranges. Huge forests of pine, deodar, and rhododendron cover the hill station.
Different types of birds are found here. This makes Chopta a popular destination for birdwatchers.
There are many treks and trail routes here. The most famous being the Chopta – Tungnath – Chandrashila trek. It is the base for trekking to Tungnath, the third temple of Panch Kedar.
Winter sets in early here which makes it an ideal destination for snow trekking and snow skiing.
3. Neil Island, Andaman
Towards the south of Port Blair is a small island called Neil; famously known for its unexplored coral reefs, white sandy beaches, and tropical woodlands. It is a quaint little island with multiple beaches. Havelock island is its neighbor. Inspired by Indian mythology the Ramayana, the beaches are called Rampur, Sitapur, Laxmanpur, and Bharatpur.
Neil island has an exquisite coral and marine life which makes activities like snorkeling and scuba diving fun. It is one place that offers absolute peace, tranquillity, and relaxation in the lap of nature. December is the perfect time to visit this island as the weather is great. Do connect with our Scout for booking your trip this December.
4. Wayanad, Kerala
Wayanad, surrounded by the mountains of the Western Ghats, is one of the cleanest and pristine locations in the already picturesque Kerala. 76km from Kozhikode, Wayanad is a vast green land full of plantations, forests, white water springs, blue water lakes, and wildlife. It is surrounded by leading tourist destinations – Ooty, Mysore, Bengaluru, Coorg, and Kannur.
Wayanad has a wide range of trek trails, plantation visits, and wildlife tours. It is home to numerous wild animals, beautiful flora and fauna, birds, and other creatures.
A lot of tribals live in Wayanad, making it a major highlight for tourists. About fifty-strong tribes live here. They keep the authentic tribal culture alive and enjoy a unique lifestyle amidst nature. Tourists visiting Wayanad can meet the tribals and enjoy their hospitality.
December is a great time to visit Wayanad as the weather is cold and nice. Our Scout can help you plan the trip and book a stay at one of the treetop houses or mud huts.
5. Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve, Assam
Kaziranga is the only wildlife sanctuary in India that has Indian one-horned rhinoceros. Over 2200 rhinos and other animals live in this park which is spread across a vast green land measuring 430 sq km. Kaziranga is a UNESCO certified world heritage site.
Other animals that are found here include elephants, wild water buffalos, swamp deer, and tigers.
The mighty river the Brahmaputra flows through the park. It is a vast land of tall elephant grass, marshland, and dense tropical forests.
November to March are the best months to visit Kaziranga as the weather is just perfect for a jungle safari or trek.
6. Mokokchung, Nagaland
Mokokchung in Nagaland is truly an offbeat destination that everyone must visit. This is specifically to enjoy the culture and heritage of the Nagas. It is known for its culture, rich hospitality, age-old traditions, and festivals.
Mokokchung’s beauty lies in its ranges and valleys that surround the city. Other attractions are the Tangkum Marok Spring, Mokokchung District Museum, Mokokchung Park, etc.
Christmas is a big festival here. This makes December the best time to visit Mokokchung. They organize Children’s Christmas Cake Carol Competition (C5) and Mokokchung Christmas Cake Race. They are two of the most popular festivals here. Christmas Cake Race is a unique festival where men, women, children all participate in the cake eating race.
After Christmas, New Year’s eve is celebrated in Mokukchung. It is as big as the New Year’s Eve of Sydney. With music, countdown, and the fireworks display, it is a must-visit event.
It is called the New Year’s Eve capital of Nagaland, as Sydney is known to be the New Year’s Eve Capital of the World.
Please contact our Scout to help you travel to Nagaland and uniquely enjoy Christmas.
7. Kalimpong, West Bengal
Kalimpong is a beautiful hill station in West Bengal. A little away from Darjeeling and surrounded by mountains, it offers an exclusive picturesque view of the snow-laden Himalayas. The river Teesta flows through the valley and separates Kalimpong from the state of Sikkim. The world’s third tallest peak Mount Kanchenjunga (28,169 ft) is visible from here.
The town has a happy vibe that makes it perfect for a relaxing vacation. Towering pine trees, rolling hills, and chirping birds add to the charm of the location.
Kalimpong has a rich and diverse culture, influenced by the Lepchas, Nepalese, Britishers, Indians, Tibetans, and Sikkimese.
It is famous for its stunning mountain views, great hill walks, bird watching, and wonderful scenic drives. Wish to know more about a road trip across Kalimpong in December? What are we here for?
8. Patan, Gujarat
One of the newest additions to India’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites is Patan in Gujarat. It is a city of temples and lakes, and Rani ki Vav is one of the main attractions here, which is a classic example of great architecture. An inverted stepwell, this historical monument signifies the relevance of water.
By the way, Patola is a popular handloom craft in Patan. It is one of the finest hand-made textiles in the world.
December is a great time to visit Gujarat as the skies are clear, the wind is cool, and the sun is warm. Club Patan with other tourist attractions of Gujarat for a memorable holiday.
9. Mandu, Madhya Pradesh
Mandu or Mandavgarh is a small town in the historic state of Madhya Pradesh. There are several wonderful monuments of Afghan architecture here that interest history and architecture lovers. Almost in ruins now, the town of Mandu is a testament to the love story of Prince Baz Bahadur and Rani Roopmati.
Places of attraction include the Mandu Fort, Jahaz Mahal, Jami Masjid, Hindola Mahal, Baz Bahadur’s Palace, Rewa Kund among many others. All the monuments have a unique structure highlighting the craftsmanship of the artisans. Recommended by many, this place is famous for architectural brilliance, the domes, and the vast history.
December is a great time to visit Mandu as the weather remains pleasant.
There is beauty, energy, and history in almost every nook and corner of India. One only needs time and planning to explore the hidden jewels.
These offbeat destinations are unexplored, far away from crowds and commercialization. If this is the kind of holiday you prefer, Hire a Scout and let them give you an experience to remember.