December is the month of festivity and a perfect time to go a vacation to celebrate the past year and to set a cheerful tone to the upcoming year. The northern parts of India are carpeted with snow, the southern region acquires a raw beauty, and the plains flaunt a countryside landscape. Undoubtedly winters are a great time to travel across the Indian Peninsula where grandeur is the norm. There are numerous places to visit in December in India, and the list is endless.
20 Best Places To Visit In December
1. Auli, Uttarakhand
The Himalayan ski resort of Auli is often regarded as a thrilling December holiday destination in India. The temperature drops down to minus 2 degrees Celsius, and you also get the opportunity to witness snowfall. There is no dearth of natural beauty in this hill town and offers a storybook vacation that you have been longing for. The sparkling white meadows with the snow-draped mountain in the backdrop conjure a magnificence sight everywhere you look.
Auli is one of the most exquisite ski destinations in India and lets you glide smoothly on the glittering slopes. There are also a number of trekking trails that run through snow-covered regions. The region is so quiet and peaceful that even the camera shutter speaks up there. Auli also offers visitors the longest gondola ride in Asia. Here you also get to indulge in soul-soothing Garhwali delicacies. Hence, it is a great place to start a vacation and one of the best holiday destinations in India in December.
Things to do in Auli
- Get spellbinding views of the popular peaks including Nanda Devi
- Enjoy a cable car ride amidst the snow
- Go for a trekking adventure to Gurson Bugyal
- Engage is skiing
- Enjoy the thrill of snowfall
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2. Gulmarg, Kashmir
Snuggled in the Pir Panjal Range of the Western Himalayas, Gulmarg is one of the best places to visit in December in India. The weather gets freezing cold, and the temperature varies between 11 degrees Celsius to minus 4 degrees Celsius. It is a popular hill station as well as a skiing destination that lure brave souls across the globe. It is India’s first ski resort that came into existence in the year 1927. The region also boasts the largest cable car project in Asia and the second largest in the world.
Gulmarg turns into a winter wonderland in December. The snow-capped mountains offer the perfect setting for visitors to immerse in its absolute beauty. For the adventure seekers, there are options for skiing, ice-skating and snowboarding. The explorers can enjoy the gondola ride or spend a day at Alpathar Lake. There are also a number of sacred landmarks for the religious souls. Indeed, Gulmarg has something to offer everyone.
Things to do in Gulmarg
- Take part in exciting winter activities
- Soak up the majestic view from Gulmarg Gondola
- Seek the lord’s blessings at St. Mary’s Church
- Go on a trekking excursion to Alpather Lake
- Pray to the god at Baba Reshi Shrine
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3. Manali, Himachal Pradesh
Set on the tranquil Beas River, Manali is one of the most exquisite places to visit in India in December. The average temperature varies between 5 degrees Celsius and – 9 degrees Celsius. This dream destination is snuggled in the Kullu district and looks straight out of the postcard. The scenic locales, clean environment and the snowfall, offer a picture-perfect vacation that redefines charm. You will be hard-pressed to find a more spectacular region full of historical edifices, quaint villages and winter adventures.
Manali is often regarded as a skiing gateway to the Solang Valley, a haven for trekkers and adventure lovers. This place offers ample opportunities for travellers to engage in trekking and various adrenaline rushing activities. Another prominent attraction is the Mall Road. Completely covered in glittering snow and bustling with tourists, this stretch is a mind-boggling feat. Manali has its own rhythm and makes a great December holiday destination in India.
Things to do in Manali
- Enjoy shopping and dining at the Mall Road
- Head to Solang Valley for winter adventures
- Explore Old Manali, a blend of ancient and modern
- Engage in skiing and paragliding at Gulaba Village
- Go on a trekking adventure to Chandrakhani Pass
- Admire the breathtaking architecture at the historic Siyali Mahadev Temple
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4. Darjeeling, West Bengal
Nestled in the lap of the Himalayas, the hill station of Darjeeling was founded by the British in the 19th century. This region is the home to colonial buildings, pine-clad valleys and majestic mountains. Darjeeling has an old-world charm that is often reflected in its sights and sounds. It enthrals visitors and transports them to a tranquil land away from the chaos of daily life. If you are not bothered by the chills, Darjeeling is one of the enchanting places to visit during December in India.
The maximum temperature in the daytime is 11 degrees Celsius that drops down to 2 degrees Celsius at night. Snowfall is a rare sight, but the soul-satisfying views double the charm of this season. With myriad places and activities, there is no end of fun in December. The Orange Festival and the Teesta Tea & Tourism Festival is usually held during this time of the year and offers one in a kind experience. It is the only opportunity for visitors to absorb the true festive flavour of this serene hill station.
Things to do in Darjeeling
- Watch the mesmerising sunrise view from the Tiger Hills
- Visit Batasia Loop, a scenic junction
- Enjoy a cable car ride and gaze at the panorama
- Grab some churpi, cheese made from yak’s milk
- Ride the toy train across the tea plantations
- Go on a trekking expedition to Sandakphu
5. Orchha, Madhya Pradesh
Tucked on the Banks of River Betwa, Orchha is one of the most significant places to visit in December in India with family. It flaunts a wealth of architectural gems that allure culture hounds from every corner of the country. December is a pleasant time to visit Orchha. The temperature ranges from 9 degrees Celsius to 25 degrees Celsius and the climate is favourable for exploring the monuments. The city has earned praise for its heritage sites and tells stories of India’s diverse cultural past.
Orchha was the capital of the erstwhile Bundela Dynasty and has a rich history dating back to the 16th century. It stands true to its name and unravels the unique culture of medieval India full of beauty and grandeur. The ageless castles, palatial havelis and temples are mesmerisingly gorgeous and teleports you to the bygone era. Orchha is also known for its timeless frescoes and mural paintings that have immense historical significance. This year Orchcha has made it to the tentative list of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Things to do Orchha
- Marvel at the sight of Jahangir Mahal
- Immerse in the history of Rama Raj Temple
- Engage in boating and river rafting in the Betwa River
- Admire the beauty of Chhatris (royal tombs)
- Learn the history of Rai Praveen Mahal
- Visit the Chaturbhuj Temple
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6. Dalhousie, Himachal Pradesh
Often known as the ‘Switzerland of India’, the quaint hamlet of Dalhousie greets visitors with its visually impressive locales. It is a winter destination and looks like the stuff of dream in December. This region receives heavy snowfall and attract honeymooners and adventure bugs from India and abroad. The maximum temperature in the daytime is 11 degrees Celsius and it hovers around 4 degrees Celsius at night. The snowfall adds to the spine chilling cold in Dalhousie.
This splendid hill station exudes a vintage charm and offers some of the best places to visit in December. Wrapped in lush green trees and misty fog, Garam Sadak is ideal for taking an evening stroll with your loved ones. The region enchants visitors with quaint shops and cosy restaurants, the kind of paradise we all wish for. The serene and peaceful atmosphere of St. John’s Church shall not be missed. Built during the British era, this colonial structure has a pristine aura that rejuvenates the senses. Hence, Dalhousie is one of the best holiday destinations in India in December.
Things to do in Dalhousie
- Explore Devi Dehra Rock Garden
- Pray to God at St. Patrick Church
- Witness the perennial spring of Subhash Baoli
- Visit the revered Laxmi Narayan Temple
- Embrace peace and solitude at St. John’s Church
- Soak up the bountiful nature at Garam Sadak
7. Shillong, Meghalaya
Shillong the capital city of Meghalaya is the epitome of raw natural beauty. It is the home to gushing waterfalls, lofty mountains, crystal clear lakes and vast expanses of green fields. This breathtaking hill station wrapped in towering pine trees is often regarded as the best destination to visit in December. It is the coldest month of the year and the average temperature dips to 6 degrees Celsius. However, this month boasts a magical allure that no other season could offer.
December is a great relief from the scorching heat and fills visitors with unexpected surprises. Most of the winter festivals take place during this time of the year and witnessing them is a lifetime experience. December is also a great month for orange harvest in Shillong. And getting a glimpse of the orange orchards with the mountain background is sheer bliss. It is also the perfect time to soak up the beauty of the Umngot River at its vibrant best.
Things to do in Shillong
- Enjoy boat-ride in the Umiam Lake
- Soak up the spellbinding views from the Shillong Peak
- Admire the foamy water of the three-step Elephant Falls
- Go for an offbeat excursion at Laitlum Canyon
- Witness wildlife at the Phan Nonglait Park
- Marvel at the sight of the crystal clear Umngot River
8. Udaipur, Rajasthan
Hugged by the Aravalli Range, the City of Lakes is often regarded as the cultural seat of Rajasthan. This region depicts an exemplary architectural style that revives the senses and evokes euphoria. It is enriched with four sparkling lakes where grandeur is the norm. Udaipur boasts some of the best tourist places to visit in December. The beauty of these places gets doubled during this time of the year.
December is the advent of the winter season when the weather is soothing and comfortable. The temperature ranges from 6 degrees Celsius to 30 degrees Celsius making it apt for exploring the heritage sites and other attractions. No doubt, Udaipur lives up to the expectations of the visitors. Hence, this culture-driven city is one of the perfect places to visit in December in India.
Things to do in Udaipur
- Take a sunset boat ride in Lake Pichola
- Admire the architecture of Bagore Ki Haveli
- Scour the traditional Hathi Pol Bazaar
- Marvel at the sight of Taj Lake Palace
- Tour the exemplary City Palace
- Head to the hilltop Monsoon Palace
- Explore the majestic Jag Mandir Palace
9. Jaisalmer, Rajasthan
Commonly known as ‘The Golden City’, Jaisalmer is a peaceful escape away from the hustle of urban life. It is popularly known as the ‘Golden City’ because of the golden dunes and yellowish architecture. This quintessential city is one of the prominent places to visit in December in India. The weather is relatively pleasant during this time of the year and there is a lesser probability of getting a sunburn. The temperature drops down to 10 degrees Celsius and there is a slight chill in the air.
There are a number of heritage monuments made from yellow sandstone and adds to the irresistible charm of this region. Jaisalmer Fort is a precious jewel on the city’s crown and stands in contrast to the desert landscape. December is the best time to camp under the open sky and spend some nice time around a bonfire. You can also enjoy a camel safari and explore the Thar Desert at your own pace. These experiences are worth cherishing as you might not find it anywhere else. No doubt, Jaisalmer is the best destination to visit in December.
Things to do in Jaisalmer
- Marvel at the sight of the Gadisagar Lake
- Sample authentic Rajasthani cuisine
- Visit the Sonar Quila, one of India’s largest fortifications
- Take a camel ride across the dunes
- Experience camping under the open sky
10. Alleppey, Kerala
The enchanting land of Alleppey is brimming with scenic vistas. It is full of tropical beaches, sparkling backwaters and verdant greenery that enthral visitors with its charm. It is one of the most exquisite places to visit in December in South India. This region usually has a temperature ranging between 32 degrees Celsius and 17 degrees Celsius. It is the perfect time to plan a holiday and enjoy sightseeing around this heavenly beauty.
Alleppey boasts some of the best destinations to visit in December and it has something to offer everyone. Live in a houseboat, go for kayaking, explore the beaches and pamper yourself with Ayurveda treatments, this place has it all. Alleppey is also the home to rarest migratory birds and December is the ideal time for bird watching. This serene town is waiting to gift you with spectacular sights that you will cherish forever.
Things to do in Alleppey
- Sail through the backwaters and absorb the charming sights
- Explore the Kuttanad and experience the local way of life
- Enjoy a leisure stroll around Alappuzha Beach
- Go on a shopping spree at Zakariya Market
- Go for a refreshing swim at Pozhiyoram Beach
- Splurge on the delicious seafood dishes
11. Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu
Lying on the lap of Coromandel Coast, Mahabalipuram is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a piece of heaven for culture seekers. It is packed with rock-cut temples and intricately carved structures that treat the sore eyes. These monuments tell the story of the Pallava Dynasty dating back to the 7th century. Some of the most popular historical structures include the Shore Temple, Pancha Rathas and the Descent of the Ganges.
Mahabalipuram is one of the finest places to visit in December in South India. Nights are cool and the average temperature hovers around 20 degrees Celsius making it perfect for sightseeing. During this month the annual dance festival takes place and draws visitors across the country. The lush setting coupled with the white sandy beaches and peaceful environment is the reason why vacationers are tempted by this magical town.
Things to do in Mahabalipuram
- Revitalise your senses at the Mahabalipuram Beach
- Marvel at the sight of the historic monuments
- Visit the iconic Sthalasayana Perumal Temple
- Witness the largest seashell collection at the Seashell Museum
- Witness crocodiles and alligators at the Crocodile Farm
- Admire the elegant art at Mamallapuram Dance Festival
12. Gokarna, Karnataka
Gokarna is a small temple town nestled on the coast of Karwar. Every year, hordes of travellers visit this fascinating land in search of peace and salvation. It is the kind of place where you can enjoy a relaxed holiday by the beach lined with towering coconuts and palms. Gokarna is less touristy and gives you a mental makeover that you have been yearning for.
Gokarna imparts a tropical vibe and it is one of the most underrated places to visit in India in December. The weather is soothing and the average temperature hover around 32 degrees Celsius. During this time the idyllic beaches are free from the stress of commercialisation and let you relax and unwind. There are possibilities to learn yoga and take part in surf lessons. No wonder, Gokarna is a great place for hedonistic vacationers.
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Things to do in Gokarna
- Stroll along the quaint beaches
- Engage in adrenaline rush water sports
- Sample the local cuisine
- Enjoy a night walk along the Nirvana Beach
- Watch the mesmerising sunset at Kudle Beach
- Seek blessing from the god at Mahabaleshwar Temple
13. Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu
Popularly known as the ‘French Capital of India’, the vibrant city of Pondicherry is tucked in India’s south-eastern coast. The region is brimming with colonial structures, unspoiled beaches, quaint streets and cosy shops. December is the best time to savour the beauty of this place. Vacationers can traipse through the French Quarters and watch the world go by.
December is the beginning of the winter season and the temperature drops down to 17 degrees Celsius. It is the ideal time to embark on a sightseeing tour, engage in water sports and take part in beach activities. Hopping on a two-wheeler is the best way to explore Pondicherry. It takes you through French and Tamil Quarters and shows the rich cultural diversity of the region. Indeed, Pondicherry is one of the most intriguing places to visit in December in India.
Things to do in Pondicherry
- Soak up the sun-kissed beaches
- Enjoy a speed-boat ride at Chunnambar Backwaters
- Watch a spectacular sunset at Ousteri Lake
- Embrace spirituality at Aurobindo Ashram
- Meditate in peace at Auroville
- Relish the delicious local cuisine
14. Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
Standing on the banks of the River Ganga, Varanasi is one of the oldest inhabited cities across the globe. Every year, hordes of pilgrims visit Varanasi to wash away their sins and attain salvation. If you are looking for a different kind of experience, Varanasi is one of the most significant places to visit in December in India. The religious complexities are intriguing and the sepia coloured world has a peculiar way of making connections.
The average temperature hovers around 5 degrees Celsius and you can make the most of your trip during this time. Although winter is the busiest time of the year, Varanasi looks vibrant and exploring it becomes all the way more interesting. It is the only city in our country where life and death co-exist in beautiful harmony. And planning a trip to this holy destination especially in December is an absolute must.
Things to do in Varanasi
- Go for a boat ride on the River Ganges
- Pray to the Gods at the temple
- Stroll along the ghats at sunset
- Watch the evening Ganga Arti
- Wander along the weaver’s village
- Go for an excursion to Sarnath
15. Havelock, Andaman & Nicobar Islands
If you are dreaming of a tropic getaway in December, there is no better place than Havelock Island. Named after Henry Havelock, a British General, it is a peaceful escape far away from the maddening crowd. The island is a true embodiment of natural beauty, brimming with lush greenery and pristine beaches. Indeed, Havelock is one of the exotic places to visit in December in India.
It is a peak tourist season and the average temperature is around 25 degrees Celsius. Havelock is blessed with abundant marine life and offer ample opportunities to snorkel and dive. There are a number of scuba diving sites that promises you with exquisitely gorgeous underwater sights. Besides beaches, you can also engage in fun elephant rides and take part in bird watching. Havelock is indeed a slice of paradise on earth.
Things to do in Havelock Island
- Enjoy a refreshing swim at Radhanagar Beach
- Take part in snorkelling at Elephant Beach
- Watch a spectacular sunrise at Kalapathar Beach
- Explore the island on a two-wheeler
- Sample the mouth-watering cuisine
16. Kovalam, Kerala
Kovalam, the popular beach destination by the Arabian Sea, is a relaxing getaway draped in verdant hues. This coastal region is one of the enticing places to visit in December in India with family. Being a tropical paradise, the temperature ranges from 16 degrees Celsius to 30 degrees Celsius. The moderate climate condition is appropriate for beach hopping, sightseeing and engaging in water activities.
Apart from the beaches, there are a lot more to do and see around Kovalam. The remarkable art, impeccable ancient sites and massive dams form a part of Kovalam’s diverse heritage. Thus, it is a perfect retreat for vacationers looking for serenity combined with a pinch of history and art. Spend a December and you will hardly have time to worry about anything else other than the breathtaking sights surrounding you.
Things to do in Kovalam
- Enjoy boat-ride in the Karamana River
- Visit Vellayani Lake on a moonlit night
- Explore the iconic Halcyon castle
- Admire the art at Kovalam Art Gallery
- Walk around the picturesque Neyyar Dam
- Learn the history at Vizhinjam Rock Cut Cave Temple
17. Murudeshwar, Karnataka
The beachside temple town of Murudeshwar is known for its colossal statue of Lord Shiva. It is also the gateway to the charming island of Netrani, known for snorkelling and scuba diving. The unique mix of temple, forts and beaches, makes Murudeshwar one of the best holiday destinations in India in December. The average temperature hovers around 10 degrees Celsius, making it conducive to sightseeing and beach fun.
Murudeshwar Temple is the main highlight of this region and houses the world’s second-tallest figure of Lord Shiva. Enclosed by the Arabian Sea, this statue is a sight to behold. Apart from the temple, the beach is another attraction. The long stretch of golden sand redefines charm and has a peculiar way of making connections.
Things to do in Murudeshwar
- Explore the 17th-century Mirjan Fort
- Stroll along the captivating Murudeshwar Beach
- Relive history at Murudeshwar Fort
- Visit the island fort of Basavaraja
- Go for shopping around Murudeshwar Market
18. Munroe Island, Kerala
Nestled snugly at the meeting point of two rivers, the unspoiled Munroe Island is Kollam’s hidden gem. Away from the city’s ruckus, it boasts the perfectly framed views of the lush surrounding. It is known for preserving some of the country’s ancient sites that hold immense historical significance. With its tropical vibe, Munroe Island often tops the chart of the best places to visit in December in India. The temperature is amazingly pleasing and can keep travellers happy for days.
This destination is perfect for visitors who are willing to explore the unexplored. There is a picturesque village located here that give visitors a sneak peek into the true Kerala lifestyle. Take a ferry-ride and admire the tranquillity of the remote islands filled with abundant flora. Hence, getting lost in this magical piece of land is not only expected but encouraged.
Things to do Munroe Island
- Go for bird watching
- Take a boat ride along the backwaters
- Wander around the winding lanes
- Explore the pristine islands
19. Rann of Kutch, Gujarat
Rann of Kutch is an enormous stretch of white sand that has earned accolades for its irresistible charm. It is reputed as one of the largest salt deserts in the world and sprawls across 10,000 square kilometres. And the most striking part is that the region is submerged underwater during the monsoon months. Winter is the best time to have a rendezvous with this beauty. Thus, it is one of the remarkable places to visit in December in India.
With an average temperature of 12 degrees Celsius, you will be hard-pressed to find a more spectacular place. The Great Rann Utsav takes place during this time and the surrounding steadily transforms into a festive stretch. This event boasts a number of activities and allows you to witness the typical Gujarati traditions. Stargazing on a moonlit night is an absolute must. There are also opportunities for camel safari and gives a surreal experience.
Things to do in Rann of Kutch
- Enjoy a panoramic view from the Kala Dungar
- Learn the history in Kutch Museum
- Get to know about the royal heritages at Prag and Aina Mahal
- Explore Vijay Vilas Palace
- Engage in camel ride on the beach of Mandvi
20. Kohima, Nagaland
Kohima, the capital of Nagaland is known for its ethereal beauty and surreal surrounding. This region is an assortment of thick forest, quaint hills and lush landscapes. The land of folklore is set back in time where people have a pace of their own. If the amalgamation of cultural sights and scenic vistas intrigues you, Kohima is one of the picturesque places to visit in December in India. December marks the winter season and is often characterised by the chills in the air. The maximum temperature goes up to 26 degrees Celsius and the minimum drops down to 10 degrees Celsius.
December is the time of the Hornbill Festival in Kohima when the tribes gather to showcase their fascinating culture. People from across the country throng to this region and take part in the festivity. Nature lovers take a day off and go for camping amidst the isolated stretch of jagged terrain. Kohima offers one of the best backdrops imaginable and it is indeed an undeniable bucket list destination during this time of the year.
Things to do in Kohima
- Witness the charismatic Hornbill Festival
- Go for a thrilling wildlife tour at Pulie Badze Sanctuary
- Savour the local cuisine
- Look around Keeda Bazaar
- Trek to Dzukou Valley and Japfu Peak
Which of these places are on your bucket list this December? Let us know.