With the end of the annual party month, January brings in a waft of fresh air, along with the New Year. Lots of travellers choose to kick in the new year off with a relaxing trip, either with family or with friends. Whether you are looking for a beach-y holiday or a snow-laden one, here is a list of the top 4 places to visit in India in the month of January.
Top Places to Visit in India in January
Fondly known as the ‘Queen of hills’, Darjeeling lies on the North Eastern end of the Himalayas. Darjeeling is easily one of the most beautiful places in India, with chilly winds characterizing the weather for the most part of the year. You can visit the Tiger Hills early in the morning to watch the most mesmerizing sunrise that you would ever witness, make sure to grab a camera and pack in a few pictures of the view. Next, you can lounge about at the Batasia Loop, an elevated area that is outlined by meandering tracks in the Ghum area, one of the most touristic spots of Darjeeling. If you nurture a fascination for the mighty mountains, you have to visit the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute. Here, you will meet some seasoned mountaineers, along with amateurs who aspire to hike up some of the tallest peaks. Your trip to Darjeeling cannot end without paying a visit to the tea estates, can it? Head to some of the oldest tea estates in Darjeeling, where you can learn the process of tea cultivation and tea making. Don’t forget to get a few packets back home! If you want to extend your trip, you can also head to the nearing Himalayan destinations such as Kalimpong, Meghalaya (Dawki) and Sikkim.
“Padharo mhaare des”, an expression that holds as much warmth as it holds the culture of Rajasthan is what you will be greeted with when you walk into the “Land of Kings”. Rajasthan is easily one of the most decorated cities of India, be it with glorious palaces or handicrafts that are celebrated across the world. The unmatchable sights and hospitality of Rajasthan are things that will leave you stunned. The culture and heritage of Rajasthan are so enriching and the people are so endearing, they will leave you feeling like royalty in no time when you visit the place. If you are someone who loves places with a rich history, head to Chittorgarh. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Chittorgarh is about 120 kilometres away from Udaipur and is located on the banks of Gambhiri and Berach rivers. Take off early in the morning for a trek to Chittorgarh but get back in time, to witness the most beautiful sunset at Sajjangarh Fort in Udaipur. Sajjangarh has been a popular film shooting location for various documentaries and for a few Bollywood films, the Fort has arched domes and the intricately drawn out patterns adorning the walls will make you want to stay back at the fort. As the night closes down, go to Fateh Sagar Lake (Udaipur) and enjoy a warm cup of kulhad coffee as the breezy winds blow across the city. Bikaner is the place for you if you are looking for a desert safari experience. Moving on, the Pink City of Rajasthan, Jaipur has streets full of buildings painted in a special Jaipuri/ Terracotta pink colour. When you go to Jaipur, visit Ajmer, a town that is approximately 180 kilometres from Jaipur. The Ajmer Dargah is one of the most important Sufi shrines and is believed to be a wish-fulfilling dargah. Ajmer is also home to Akbar’s Palace and Museum. Pushkar, another town which is known for having 400 temples, 52 ghats and a serene lake, is very well known for hosting the Pushkar Mela, a camel festival which displays camels dressed and decorated in colourful outfits. A tour of the city is sure to take you through the history and culture of Rajasthan. Last but not least, don’t forget about the food in Rajasthan, it is sure to give you a taste of the rich culture. Servers at local restaurants welcome you to dine with them with so much warmth that it will instantly make you feel at home. Some local delicacies that you must try in Rajasthan are the Daal Baati, Choorma, Laal Maas, Ker Sangri, Gatte ki Sabzi and Onion Kachoris. The best place to experience the hospitality and flavours of authentic Rajasthani food is Chokhi Dhani, a concept village. The cities of Rajasthan are truly the best places to visit in India in January as the weather is pleasant, making outdoor travel convenient.
3. Andaman and Nicobar-
Is your dream vacation full of sunny, glistening beaches? Then these islands are the ideal places for you to visit in January. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are known for being home to some of the most breath-taking beaches and sightseeing spots, turning it into your favourite holiday spot even before you know it, especially if you are not an ardent admirer of art, culture, history and architecture. When in Andaman and Nicobar, visit the Cellular Jail, popularly known as ‘Kaala Pani’, the remarkable place that was used to imprison Indian leaders during the British Raj. One of the most well-known beaches of Asia, the Radhanagar beach is the best tourist place in Andaman and Nicobar where you can bask in the sun or take a leisurely dip in the water. For adventure freaks, Havelock Islands offer great scuba diving opportunities, giving you a chance at first-hand marine-life experiences. The best time of the year for Scuba Diving at Andaman would be from December to April. There are lots of courses with different expertise levels that you can undertake. You could even opt for a PADI certified course if you are looking at pursuing it properly. The Barefoot Scuba Resort is one of the best places from where you can book your scuba courses.
Let me know your favourite travel destination in the comments below!