The cool temperature of the winters is the best time for hanging out with your family or friends on a winter tour. Whether you are travelling by bike or your car, here are some of the best dreamy winter destinations that must be in your travel bucket list this year.
Experiencing the Rajputana grandeur in Rajasthan is best done during the winter months when the weather is a pleasant 10-15 degrees Celsius, making it really enjoyable to go on a desert safari or see the wildlife at the Keoladeo national park. Winter is also the season of festivals in Rajasthan. Attend the Kumbhalgarh festival in Ajmer, the magnetic fields festival in Jaipur, winter festival in Mount Abu or the Pushkar festival in Pushkar. Check out the dates to tally your travel timing with the festivals.
Gulmarg, Sonmarg, Anantnag, Kupwara, Kishtwar National Park–there is so much to see in the laidback Switzerland of India that a couple of days won’t be enough! If you haven’t tried skiing yet, visit Gulmarg and experience it at least once. People here are disarmingly friendly and the local populace is an amalgamation of Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims. Winter is also a great time to trek on the frozen alpine lakes of Kashmir.
The world's third tallest mountain peak ‘Kanchenjunga’ is visible from Darjeeling, a cute little tea garden town in West Bengal it is also home to the 140-year old Darjeeling toy train - a UNESCO world heritage site. You can also plan a visit to Sikkim while you are in Darjeeling. If you are arriving from outside India, make sure to get your permits at the district magistrate’s office after getting the permit form checked and stamped at the foreigner’s registration office. Taxi cabs are usually very expensive so sharpen your haggling skills before arriving.
National higher up in the Himalayan ranges of north east India, Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh is another epic snow-capped destination that is worth a visit at least once especially if you love mountains. Bumla Lake, Panga Teng Pso Lake, Madhuri Lake, and the Tawang monastery are some places that you need to visit while you are in Tawang. Being one of the frontier regions of India, Tawang is a garrison town and therefore the Jaswantgarh war memorial is a spot worth visiting.
Misty landscapes, breathtaking waterfalls and wide-open green mountain vistas make Coorg the Scotland of India. Known today as Kodagu, Coorg was one of the first annexations of the British East India Company for coffee cultivation. You can still find a lot of colonial remnants in the area which were set up in the years following 1834. Some of the popular scenic spots here are the Abbey Falls, the Iruppu Falls and the Nagarhole National Park that is likely to become a UNESCO world heritage site soon.
The Havelock Island in the Andamans is a destination that you cannot simply miss if you love the blue waters of the Indian ocean. Get on a glass bottle and fairy and explore the coral reef that dots the entire coastline bustling with sea life. Apart from that there is also a lot more to do on the ground such as trekking on the jungle trails and camping. While you're in havelock island don't waste the opportunity to taste freshly-caught seafood delicacies that are a specialty of the island.
Do you remember the word Vindhya in the national anthem of India? It is a hill range in the southern and central region of India and it envelops the Ranthambore national park which is home to the Royal Bengal Tiger and many other endemic species of fauna which makes it one of the best places to explore for nature lovers and photographers. The other side of the national park is covered by the Aravalli hill range which makes Ranthambore one of the most amazing places that you can experience an unadulterated experience of being one with nature.
BONUS TIP: Roads in winter are shrouded in mist and fog which is why you need to be extra careful about riding safe and maintaining a safe distance between vehicles so that you get enough time to bring your vehicle to a stop under emergency braking. The hill roads are also notorious for slippery sleet so take the corners gently and never make the mistake of riding without a branded motorcycle helmet and other branded motorcycle accessories such as gloves and jackets.