// // Leave a Comment

Somnath Temple: Top Temples in India

One of the most ancient temples of India, Somnath temple or the Somnath Mahadev Temple enjoys a favourable location in the west Indian state of Gujarat. Around 79 km from Junagadh district,  this renowned temple lies on the country’s western coast.

This temple that has survived the tests of time, holds a lot of importance for the followers of the Hindu religion. The history states that this temple was looted of its wealth and structure by several conquerors. There are various stories about the origin and subsistence of the temple.

Somnath Temple,Gujarat
Somnath Temple, Gujarat by BeautifulEyes - Photo courtesy Wikipedia

Somnath Temple - Fast facts

Location - 79 kilometres from Junagadh in the Prabhas Kshetra near Veraval

Built by –  Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel (present structure)

Built in -
1951 (present structure- 7th reconstruction)

Highlights – 4-day Kartik Purnima Fair, ‘Jay Somnath’ Sound and Light Show : 8.00 pm to 9.00 pm and Aarti : 7.00 am, 12.00 noon and 7.00 pm

Best time to visit - October to March.

Entry fee – No entry fee

Timings - All days of the week between 6.00 am to 9.30 pm

Nearby attractions- Prabhas  Patan Museum, Bakhla  Tirth, Somnath Beach, Triveni  Tirth, Veraval Beach, Ahilya  Mandir and Surya Mandir

How to Reach Somnath

By Road: Somnath is 79 km from Junagadh and 25 km from Chorwad. State-run  buses and private luxury coaches are available from several places in Gujarat to Somnath.

By Rail: Somnath is located at a distance of 6 km from the nearest railway station placed at Veraval

By Air: The nearest domestic airports are at Koshed (55 km; 31 mi) and Diu (90 km; 56 mi). Connecting flights to Diu are available from Mumbai (Sahar International Airport) and Ahmedabad. Taxi fare from Diu to Somnath is roughly 2000 INR.


Introduction

Also known as Prabhas Pattan, Deo Pattan or Somnath Pattan, this temple is an excellent example of typical ancient temple architecture of India. It was famed for being a treasure of wealth, which was looted by Muslim rulers from 11th to 18th century. Being one of the 12 Jyotirlingas, it is considered to be one of the popular religious sites of the followers of Hinduism and Lord Shiva.

Renowned as a timeless shrine, it is every year visited by a decent number of devotees from all around the country. If the legends are to be believed, during the ancient times revenue was collected from the nearby 10,000 villages for the maintenance of the Somnath temple.

History of the Somnath Temple

It is believed that originally the Somnath Temple was built by Moon God Soma in gold, by Ravana of epic Ramayana in Silver, in wood by Lord Krishna  and then during the 11th century in stone by Solanki Rajput rulers.

The present structure is 7th reconstruction that was done in the year 1951 by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. The riches of this temple invited several invasions but after every invasion, the temple was given back its glory by one or the other Hindu devotee or devotees.


History of the Somnath Temple

Considered one of the top 10 temples in India, Somnath is erected in the Chalukyan architecture style or Kailash Mahameru Prasad Style with 50 m tall Shikhara, forming a beautiful sight with the view of the Arabian sea and the tip of the Saurashtra peninsula.

This magnificent temple consists of silver doors, a Nandi bull idol, delicate detailed carvings and the main Shivlinga. A huge mandapa or hall and the main temple are placed in the enormous courtyard.

Some interesting facts about Somnath
  • Somnath is not only a  pilgrimage or historical site, but it also offers a  beach vacation  with scenic beauty.
  • Shri Kapardi Vinayak and Shri Hanuman Temple are 2 of the other prime tourist attractions of the temple complex.
  • The Somnath temple is illuminated every evening.
  • Vallabhghat is a location in the complex from where one can enjoy a beautiful sunset.
  •  Every night ‘Sound & Light Show “Jay Somnath” is organized between 8.00 to 9.00 pm.
  •  Maha Shivaratri is one of the most important festivals of the temple.
  •  The 4-day Kartik Purnima Fair every year attracts pilgrims in huge numbers.
  •  The Kalash on the top of the Shikhar weighs around 10 tonnes while the flag- mast is around 37 feet in length.
  • The temple was looted of its wealth by Muslim rulers like Sultan Mohammad of Ghazni, Sultan Allauddin and Mohammad Begda.
  •  The arrow of the temple tells about the location of the temple that it is placed in such a manner that there is no land up till the South Pole.
  • The Somnath temple finds its mention in the Puranas and Mahabharata, the Hindu epic.

Also check out the Top 10 Heritage Caves Temples of India?

Contributed by by Geetika Handa
Read More
// // 1 comment

22 Best Places to Visit in India in December

Come December and India becomes one of the global tourist hot spots. Best places to visit in India in December not just include beaches and Himalayas, it is also the best time to visit the famed golden triangle tour circuit of India as well as Rajasthan - which is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India when it comes to foreign tourist arrivals - in its entirety. We bring to you the ultimate list of best places to visit in India in December to assist you in planning your trip to India.

Read on or go straight to:
Our List of Places to Visit in India in December and Tour Packages
Best Places in India to Visit In December

 Jaipur


The vibrant Pink City, Jaipur is at its beguiling best in December. The weather is perfect to pay a visit to bustling capital city of Rajasthan. Explore the magnificent architecture of the forts, palaces and temples, built under the influence of Rajput and Mughal architectural styles. Amer fort, City Palace, Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar, Jaigarh Fort, Nahargarh Fort, Jal Mahal, Albert Hall Museum, etc are the cherished sights. Exceptional food is another trait of Rajasthan. Relish the platters of food prepared in local style with delicious ingredients and tastes.

The gastronomical experience is best enjoyed at Choki Dhani, a traditional heritage village setup near the city. Take home knick-knacks of Rajputana tradition in the form of vibrant fabrics, gems and jewelry and exotic wares from the thriving markets of Bapu Bazar, Nehru Bazar, Chaura Rasta, etc. Soak up the traditional Rajasthani hospitality. Stay in the luxury palaces turned into heritage stays. The experience will be cherished.

How to Reach: 

Nearest Airport: Jaipur International Airport, 32 km away.
Nearest Railway station: Jaipur Junction Railway station 2 km away.

Goa


The coastal state of Goa is charming all year round but come winters and it’s exhilarating. International crowds from all over the world make way to Goa in December. The tropical weather is at its best. The silvery sand beaches exude charm with abundant options to relax, romance, party or indulge in the adventure of water sports. In December, Goa is prepared to celebrate. Christmas being celebrated on the 25th of the month, churches sing hymns, pray and praise the birth of Jesus. Beach parties are invigorating and international music festivals charge the ambiance with energy.

The hottest parties are here with clubs, pubs, and beaches creating amazing venues. Sunburn Festival is a popular electronic music festival alluring international crowds with heart pumping music. The Supersonic Festival is the next popular thing. The Feast of St Francis Xavier and Christmas are heartwarming. Indulge in luscious food of local flavors, succulent sea fares and sip on the local feni. Vacations are celebrated here.

How to Reach:

Nearest Airport: Goa International Airport (Dabolim).
Nearest Railway station: Madgaon Junction Railway Station, Dabolim Railway Station, and Thivim Railway Station.

Also Read:
6 Best Beaches in Goa
Top 10 Beaches in India

Alappuzha


One of the top places to visit in India in December, Alappuzha, Kerala is lovingly known as the ‘Venice of the East’ owing to the beautiful backwaters. The azure waters of Arabian Sea washes the Alappuzha beach and then merges with the unique backwaters. The network of waters, the clusters of coconut and palm groves, the unique ecosystem and the traditional villages are the enchantments.

The houseboat tour is the highlight of Alappuzha. Families, honeymoon couples and nature lovers will enjoy the experience. In traditional built Kettuvalams equipped with luxurious amenities, float along the scenic backwaters. The natural beauty is out of the world. Vembanad Lake, Punnamada Lake, Kuttanad, Karumadi kuttan, Pathiramanal Island are few of the attractions. Indulge in the healing holistic science of Kerala. Let the Ayurveda therapies work their magic, healing and rejuvenating your body, mind and soul. The soul stirring delicacies also makes your vacation pleasant.

How to Reach:

Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport, about 85 km from Alappuzha town.
Nearest railway station: Alappuzha is the nearest railway station.

Also Read:
25 Best Beaches in Kerala
5 Best Places to Visit in Kerala
Top 10 Honeymoon Destinations in India in Winter


Agra


The home of Taj Mahal, Agra is a city breathing the glories of the bygone era. December is the perfect time to visit as gone are the days of sweltering heat and cozy days are here. The chaotic thriving city of Uttar Pradesh has numerous tales to tell. In its by lanes, in its glorious architecture and in its vibrant markets, there is a treasure of heritage. Being the once-upon-a-time capital of Mughal sultanate, the charm of the Mughal lifestyle still lingers.

The marvelous Taj Mahal, built by Shah Jahan for loving wife Mumtaz Mahal is a beauty. Crowds from all corners of the world throng here to view the exquisite beauty of white marbled icon of love. The other grand architectural delights are the Agra fort, Tomb of Itmad-ud-Daulah, Fatehpur Sikri, Mehtab Bagh, etc. Walk around the streets, take home souvenirs and take the picture of the monument of love.

How to Reach:

Nearest Airport: Agra’s Kheria Airport is 5 km from city.
Nearest Railway Station: Agra Cantt Train Station Junction is 2 Km from city.

Also Read:
Things to Do in Agra beside Taj Mahal & Red Fort
Agra Travel Guide
Taj Mahotsav


Jaisalmer


Rajasthan’s Golden City, Jaisalmer is a delight. As the city lies on the brink of the Thar Desert, it is best enjoyed in the pleasant month of December so that the heat is bearable. The beautiful city is a treasure chest of resplendent specimens of architecture, hospitality and adventures of the desert. The popular winter getaway of India has international crowds making way.

The desert city is dotted with traces of sandstone heritage. Sonar Quila or the Jaisalmer Fort being the magnificent example. The Patwo ki Haveli, Salim ji ki Haveli, Vyas Chatri, Dilwara style Jain temples of 12th century are other exquisite examples. The Gadisagar Lake, Desert National Park, Sand dunes are other exciting experiences. Enjoy a desert safari in adventure style or in traditional form on camels. Enjoy the breathtaking sunrise and sunset when the desert turns golden. Treat yourself to delightful dining, shopping for treasures and the legendary hospitality of the Royal state.

How to Reach:

Distance from Railway Station: Jaisalmer Train Junction is at a distance of 2 km.
Distance from Airport: Jodhpur Airport is at distance of 275 km.

Also Read:
Things to Do in Jaisalmer
Jaisalmer Travel Tips
Hill Forts of Rajasthan

Kohima


For a cultural exploration of Nagaland, Kohima in the month of December is perfect. December is the time when Nagaland celebrates its famous Hornbill Festival. All the 16 tribes of Nagaland come together to celebrate their diversity. Started by the government to preserve the heritage, Hornbill has now become an international event. Participants of the grand affair are from all parts of North East as well as Asia.

During the festival, traditional arts, dances, folk songs and games are held. Lots of treats are available in the numerous handicraft stalls and food stalls. The major attraction of the festival is the Hornbill National Rock Concert that begins in the evening. Many music bands from all over the country come to compete and crowds come to enjoy their power-packed performances. The lively night bazaar is another attraction. Witness the Naga Chilli Eating competition, the amazing dance, music and other competitions.

Dates of Hornbill Festival 2014: 1st – 10th December 2015

How to Reach:

Nearest Airport: Dimapur Airport roughly 74 km away.
Nearest Railway Station: Dimapur Station at distance of 74 km.

Also Read:
Things to do in North East India

Kaziranga


The pride of Assam, Kaziranga National Park on the banks of river Brahmaputra is the land of one of the blessed national parks of India. The UNESCO World Heritage Site has a variety of wildlife species, flora and fauna. Rare, endangered and endemic species thrive here. December is a good time to visit as the weather is gloriously pleasant. The grassland and swamp area of the national park is blessed with bio-diversity.

Kaziranga National Park is known for housing more than half of the world's one horned rhinoceros. Other species in the preserved sanctuary are tigers, wild elephants, leopards, foxes, deer, flying squirrels, pelicans, hornbill and many more. Migratory birds are also seen making homes in the winters. These avian visitors are from far lands of Siberia. Wildlife safaris is best enjoyed in the warm sunshine of December. Elephant safari is best way to come close and observe the species.

How to Reach:

Nearest Airport: Jorhat at distance of 96 km is the nearest airport.
Nearest Railway station: Furketing Railway Station is at distance of 75 km.

Also Read:
6 Must Visit Natural World Heritage Site in India

Rann of Kutch


Known as the white desert, the Rann of Kutch is the world’ largest salt marsh sprawling over a 30,000 sq km area between the Gulf of Kutch and the Indus River. This Thar Desert region of Gujarat is an out-of-the-world beauty. The spooky whiteness is a delight as where other can you such unique soil, flora and fauna.

The best time to visit the Great Rann of Kutch is in December as the weather is at its best. The monsoon rain water submerges the area and in winter it’s dry. The greatest celebration on the white desert landscape is the famous Rann Utsav organized every year from 1st December till end of March. During the vibrant Rann Utsav, camping, the folk performances and night safaris in the desert ideally on a full-moon night. This spectacular miracle of nature is a beauty that words would not do justice. Visit to actually believe its remarkable brilliance.

Dates of Rann Utsav 2015: 1st December 2015 to 31st March 2016

How to Reach:

Nearest Airport: Bhuj Airport is 68 km away.
Nearest Railway Station: Bhuj Railway Station at distance of 68 km.

Also Read:
Rann Utsav Guide
Most Colorful Mahotsavs in India

Konark


Konark in Odisha is a beautiful city with treasures of heritage and culture. In December, the quaint city turns into an elegant beauty during the Konark Festival. Enjoy the opportunity to witness the poignant Odissi dance form at the backdrop of famous World Heritage Site, Sun Temple. The magnificent Sun Temple will leave you spellbound. The architecture has stood against the test of time.

During the December Konark festival, trained dancers come from all parts of India to display their skills of traditional dance forms. Performances can be seen ranging from the graceful Odissi, classic Bharatanatyam and Manipuri to the expressive Kathakali and Sattriya dance styles. The festival celebrates the rich heritage of India of which the various classical dance forms are an important part.  Enjoy great dance performances of Classical forms from all over India against the backdrop of the glorious temple.

Dates of the Konark Festival: 1st - 5th December 2015

Also Read:
Fair and Festivals in India in December

How to Reach:

Nearest Airport: Bhubaneswar Airport is 64 km away.
Nearest Railway Station: Puri Railway Station is at distance of 31 km.

Ranthambore


Ranthambore in the Sawai Madhopur district of Rajasthan is an attractive adventure destination. Travelers are attracted towards it as it’s not only famous for its royal roots but also the presence of the Royal Bengal Tigers. Ranthambore was once the hunting grounds of the Royalty of Rajasthan. Now the grounds have become a protected wildlife sanctuary. The 1973 started “Project Tiger” turned the wilderness into a haven for the wild beasts.

December is the best time to be here. The weather of the jungle is pleasant and the animals can be easily spotted. Ranthambore National park is best explored with safaris on elephants and jeeps. Observe animals in their natural habitats from a close range. The Jeep safaris take about three and half hour to cover the entire park. Other than the majestic tigers, the other inhabitants of the national park are leopards, deer, hyenas, crocodiles, boars, mongooses, jackals, gazelles etc.

How to Reach:

Nearest Airport: Jaipur Airport is at distance of 180 Km.
Nearest Railway Station: Sawai Madhopur train station is 11 Km away.

Also Read:
Wildlife Tours in India
Ranthambore on board Palace on Wheels

Pushkar


Pushkar is a quaint town of Rajasthan shrouded in enigmas. Pilgrims, travelers, heritage enthusiast are keen to visit this desert town. The charm of Pushkar and its numerous mysteries is best enjoyed in the pleasant month of December. Pushkar is prominently known for its holy lake where Lord Brahma has said to have dropped a lotus flower. The oasis of faith has 52 bathing ghats and crowds form all over the world take a dip to purify their sins.

The city is the abode of the one and only Brahma temple in India. Every year in November on the full moon of the Hindu month of Kartik, Pushkar hosts the largest cattle fair of the world. Apart from the famous Brahma, the town has 400 more temples dedicated to various other Gods and Goddesses of Hindu faith. Bliss lingers in the very air of the desert town of Rajasthan.

How to Reach:

Nearest Airport: Sanganeer Airport, Jaipur is 127 km away,
Nearest Railway Station: Amjer Train Station is at distance of 14 km.

Golconda Fort (Andhra Pradesh)

Golconda Fort,Andhra Pradesh

Golconda Fort, located in Andhra Pradesh, is a mud fort built during the 13th century by the Kakatiya Kings of Warangal. Golconda attained fame under the reign of the Qutub Shahi dynasty (1518 to 1687).

The place is also popular as the priceless Kohinoor diamond was also found here. The amazing light and sound show, held every evening, adds to the beauty of the fort. The echo effect also makes it a popular attraction amidst tourists.

The sound made at the entrance of the fort could clearly be heard at the highest point of the fort - ‘Bala Hissar’. The temperature in December ranges between 15 °C - 28 °C.

Khajuraho (Madhya Pradesh)


The temple city of Central India, Khajuraho is a must-visit travel attraction for tourists due to the incredible temple complex. The temples are carved beautifully in stones. Tourists gather here to explore the immortal saga of Hindu culture and art. Moreover, the Khajuraho Group of Monuments is also inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for being one of the important historical and archaeological monuments.

The temples in the complex were built in a span of hundred years, from 950-1050AD. Originally, there were 85 temples, out of which only 22 have survived and constituted as one of the great artistic wonders of the world. Since it requires you to walk considerable from one complex to another, we have featured Khajuraho, with its Group of Monuments as one of the top places in India to visit in December.

The temples in the complex are categorized as Eastern Group of Temples (Adinath Temple, Ghantai Temple, Parsvanth Temple, Hanuman Temple, and Brahma Temple), Southern Group of Temples (Chattarbhuj Temple, and Dulah Deo Temple), and Western Group of Temples (Chitragupta Temple , Chaunsat Yogini, Kandariya Mahadeo, Matangeswara Temple, and Lakshamana Temple). The temperature in December ranges between 11 °C - 27 °C.

Also Read:
Top 10 Temples in India
Orchha: Places to Visit near Khajuraho

Fatehpur Sikri (Uttar Pradesh)


Fatehpur Sikri, located 40 km west of Agra, is popularly known as the Ghost City. The city also served as a capital for Mughals between 1571 and 1585. The city was constructed to thank Sufi Saint Shaikh Salim Chisti, whose prediction of the birth of an heir to the Mughal throne came true.

The city showcases an excellent masterpiece of Indo-Islamic style of architecture. As the city suffered from water scarcity, soon after the death of Mughal Emperor Akbar, the city got abandoned. The city is a retreat for art lovers and travelers wanting to explore the architectural heritage of India. The tomb of Akbar is also located nearby at Sikandra.

Some of the popular attractions of the city are Diwan-i-Khas- Hall, Panch Mahal, Tomb of Salim Chisti and Buland Darwaza. The temperature of the city ranges between 9 °C - 24 °C.

Elephanta Caves (Maharashtra)


Caves of Elephanta, located at a distance of approx 9 nautical miles from the Gateway of India across the sea, are also popular as ‘Gharapuri’.

The caves, representing the architectural wonder of the 7th century, is a must visit travel attraction amidst native and foreign travelers. The beautiful hewn rock-cut cave temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva.

The Maheshamurti panel is one of the attracting features of the Elephanta caves, which features Lord Shiva as a creator, protector and destroyer. Please note, the caves is closed on all Mondays. The temperature here ranges between 21 °C - 32 °C.

Humayun's Tomb (Delhi)


Winter is magical in Delhi. Mist covered chilly mornings accompanied with warm scrumptious street food is a lifetime experience. Humayun's Tomb is one of the popular attractions in Delhi and a must visit due to its architectural brilliance.

It has been previously recommended by us as one of top 7 must visit places in Delhi.

The Tomb of Humayun is situated close to the crossing of Mathura road and Lodhi road. Thus, this is the first substantial specimen of Mughal architecture in India. The tomb was constructed in 1565 A.D., almost after 9 years after the death of Humayun, by Bega Begam his senior widow.

Chaharbagh (garden squares) with pathways water channels and well proportional mausoleum topped by a double dome in the center are the attracting features of the Humayun's Tomb. The tomb also plays an important role in Indian History. The temperature here in December ranges between 9 °C - 23 °C.

If you are scared of Delhi Belly, do check out our small but essential guide to Delhi's street food.

Vadodara (Gujarat)


Vadodara (Baroda) is located about 100km southeast of Ahmedabad, and praised as a cultured, and a harmonious university town in Gujarat. During the time if festivals and celebration, the town has amazing colors to showcase.

The city is dotted with numerous gates, mosques, tombs, forts, temples, shrines, palaces/buildings, walls, churches and minarets to visit and explore. The beautiful Tambekar Wada, impressive museum, and intricate Indo-Saracenic palace are some of the places of interest in Vadodara. Champaner, a UNESCO World Heritage Site is something that attracts tourists from all parts of the world.

Some of the attractions of the town are Sayaji Baug, Kirti Stambh, Nazarbaug Palace, Laxmi Vilas Palace, and EME Temple. The temperature here in December is between 12 °C - 29 °C.

Check out some more things to do in Gujarat.

Interested in Gujarat tour? See our recommended holiday package in Gujarat.

Bodhgaya (Bihar)


Bodhgaya is one of the world’s popular pilgrimage sites for Buddhist pilgrims. Almost 26 centuries ago, Prince Siddhartha Gautama attained enlightenment here beneath a Bodhi tree and thus, became the Buddha. Mahabodhi Temple is a UNESCO inscribed World Heritage Site for its cultural importance.

The temples and monasteries featured here are built by international Buddhist communities. These monasteries and temples are dotted around and therefore attract pilgrims from all round the globe to study, meditate and absorb the ambience.

The The Dalai Lama himself spends December and January at Bodh Gaya. The temperature in December here ranges between 19 °C - 29 °C.

Here are some of the important Buddhist pilgrimage sites in India.

Havelock Island (Andaman & Nicobar)


Havelock Island in Andaman and Nicobar is a must visit travel destination as it features the most dazzling beaches and affordable bamboo-hut accommodation.

The island is a great escape from sleepy winters as visitors can enjoy thrilling activities such as snorkelling and scuba-diving. In spite of being of the developed islands, the lifestyle here is simple and low-key.

The place experiences tropical climatic condition throughout the year, thus, makes it a worthy visiting destination at any point of the year. The temperature here in December ranges between 14 °C - 22 °C.

Here's a brief travel guide to help you plan your holiday in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Dudhwa National Park, Uttar Pradesh

Dudhwa National Park in Uttar Pradesh, India
Rhino calf feeling secure in the company of its mother in the barbed wire eclosure of Dudhwa National Park, Uttar Pradesh, India
If you are a wildlife enthusiasts then Dudhwa National Park in the Lakhimpur-Kheri district in Uttar Pradesh is one of the top places to visit India in December. It is one of the best examples of the very diverse and fruitful Terai eco-systems. The southern boundary of the Dudhwa National Park is distinguished by River Suheli and the northern edge of the sanctuary lies along the Indo-Nepal border.

Dudhwa National Park is a home to the Swamp Deer or the largest kind of Indian Deer with twelve magnificent antlers. The Dudhwa National Park has a huge number of certain rare and endangered species like Bengal Floricans, Tiger, Jackal Leopard, Sloth Bear, Leopard Cat, and The Jungle Cat. Dudhwa National Park is plentiful in local and migratory water birds.

There are various species of mammals and reptiles in the national park. There are 101 tigers and 4 leopards in the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve. The national park has a few rhinoceros and birds like Bulbul, Painted Storks, Cranes and night birds like Bee Eaters, Great Indian Horned Owl, Kingfishers and Woodpeckers.

Rameshwaram (Tamil Nadu)


In South India, Rameswaram is the most significant pilgrimage center for both Vaishnavaites and Shaivites. Ramanathaswamy Temple is a place of interest in Rameshwaram and an important temple in India.

The temple features a representation of India in miniature and pilgrims including everyone from colorfully clad Rajasthani tribesmen to urbane populace.

The Indira Gandhi bridge, opened in 1988, is one of the great engineering wonders of India. This bridge connects the mainland at Mandapam to Rameswaram (Gulf of Mannar). The temperature here is pleasant and during December, it ranges between 22 °C - 28 °C.

Fort Kochi (Kerala)


Fort Kochi in Kerala is one of the finest travel destinations in India. Over 600 years, Kochi has served as a favorite getaway for traders and wanderers. The destination also serves as a living homage to its varied colonial past.

Some of the attracting features of Kochi fort include giant Chinese fishing nets, a 16th-century synagogue, Portuguese Houses (constructed half a millennia ago), ancient mosques, and the crumbling residuum of the British Raj.

Here, the visitors find a perfect mix of Holland, English and Portuguese country village. Visitors can enjoy the natural setting of the place and quality time in solitude. The temperature here in December ranges between 23 °C - 28 °C.

Do check out this Kerala tour package if you are interested planning your vacation to 'God's own Country'

Related Post:
Places to visit in India in January
Places to visit in India in February
Places to visit in India in March
Places to visit in India in April
Places to visit in India in May
Places to visit in India in June and July
Places to visit in India in August
Places to visit in India in September
Places to visit in India in October
Places to visit in India in November

Updated on 26th Oct 2015 by Nikhil Chandra
Read More
// // 6 comments

Separating Myths about India from Real India

Most of the overseas tourists have a stereotypical image of India in their minds. Several layers of perceptions and myths about India separate it from the real India. Before embarking on our task of separating myths about India from real India, let us narrate for you a short story:

The story mentioned below is purely fictional but there is a strong chance it bears resemblance to certain real entities living or dead, which is a matter of pure coincidence.

Mr. John Matthews, living in Kentucky, USA, was planning a trip to a foreign unknown land with his family. While watching news one evening, he saw a turban wearing foreign leader shaking hands with Mr. Barrack Obama. And it was then, at that instant, he decided to visit India.

But he was a careful chap, and will not simply take his family to a country before researching about it. He bought books, read blogs, Web pages, Articles, News Updates, Stories… everything he could manage to find on India in 8 days. But when he visited India, all his research completely failed. He was in for a surprise… the biggest one of his life.

India is a land of myths, fables, stories and legends. But till you visit the country, you simply cannot say you know what the country is all about. Reach out to India and experience the real India for yourself.

Given below are some of the most common myths about India. Check out for yourself which of them are close to being true.

India is a land of Snake charmers
Just because Supreme God of India, Lord Shiva, appears in photos, paintings and sculptures with a snake coiled around his blue throat, it does not mean India is all about snake charmers and apex predators. Tourists also visit places in India looking for snake charmers they are so familiar with through media and stereotypes.

Snake Charmer
That these image of Snake Charmer from City Palace, Jaipur definitely contributes to building stereotype of India as the land of snake charmers. Photo courtesy Flickr

If truth is to be told, for a number of years now, snake charming is banned in India, under laws related to illegal torture of animals. India houses Taj Mahal- Seventh Wonder of the World; India has the largest film industry in the world; India has the second largest IT Sector in the world; we just become World Champions in Cricket! India is not and never was a land of snake charmers.

Tours to India are dangerous
India is considered to be a deadly, dangerous country, where if one visits, it is eminent that he/she will fall victim to a criminal act. Some recent events have only added to this particular stereotype. But then misfortunes could happen any where in the world.

Despite spurt in violence especially against women, it won't be fair to say India, on the whole, is an unsafe country. India has one of the largest active police force patrolling the streets every day. India is not a land of barbarians. Majority of people are warm and vey culturally civilized.

India has a motto: “Athiti Devo Bhavah” meaning “Guest is equal to God” and all the foreigners are treated with such degree of respect.

India is a disease ridden country with no medical facility
India introduced the medical science of Ayurveda which is now currently being practiced in almost every country.

Indian doctors introduced the science of heart transplant and kidney transplant. Many senior doctors in USA, Europe and Canada are all Indians.

Diseases like polio, tuberculosis, jaundice are almost eradicated from India. Indian Cancer Research institutes are rated on top all over the world. Are we still that “disease-ridden”?

Despite these facts we'd strongly advise you to ensure that you have travel insurance when you are traveling to India or for that matter to any country in the world. Read why travel insurance is important.

India is a hot & humid country
So you pack all your summer gears for a trip to India because in your imagination, all third-world countries are simply vast stretches of deserts with plentiful sunlight and sands.

And then you visit Shimla during winters, you are shocked; you visit Ooty, you are trembling; you visit Sikkim, you are shivering.

Even while spending rainy nights in Rajasthan, you need a quilt to bear the chilly winds. India is hot… when it comes to style! Otherwise, India’s temperature is as unpredictable as it can be.

Here's some summer vacation ideas in India and also check out 5 of the best hill stations in India to beat the heat.

Food in India is unhealthy
This can be true to some extent since unlike those posh Americans and Englishman who just stuff on bread and maize, we prefer spices and chilies. But are not those big stuffy breads and the high calorie maize reasons for heart problems and obesity?

No wonder Americans are often pictured as “couch-potatoes” watching Television with a bowl of French fries and a soda can in their hands. India has some of the best culinary restaurants, and the country is known for her delightful street food.

Pick the right street food corner, with maximum number of visitors and find out why “Gol-Gappas” or “Chhole Kulche” is more preferred than restaurant quality food in India.

India is a poor country
Tourists often do not think about a tour to India, thinking that they cannot beat to be around so much of poverty. There is no denying the fact that there are numbers of beggars on Indian streets.

But poverty and beggars are not the only things prevalent in the country. India has made her mark in business, sports, films, IT, infrastructure, Hotel Management, medical science… in almost every field.

India is recorded, according to a recent survey, at no. 85 in the list of poor countries, while USA did not lag far behind at no. 121.

According to a recent survey, India is at 11th position in the list of countries housing maximum number of millionaires. And you thought that India is a poor country!

India is overcrowded

According to Wikipedia, India's population density is 380/sq. km. In comparision, South Korea is 504, Hong Kong is 6000+ and Singapore is 7000+.

Okay, so you visit India and you see a lot more people than you expected to find, on the streets, in public vehicles, in major tourists places.

But that’s what happens to an average Indian businessman on his way to work on the bustling New York streets or on his father-son trip to Madison Square Garden to watch a football game where he could not find a place to sit.

Population is out of control everywhere… people are everywhere; you just need to find the right spots to visit. The truth is Indian people are most delightful to talk to since they just love engaging in conversations with foreigners.

Try it yourself on your next tour to India! And if you still want a little privacy, there are many, numerous, innumerable secluded locations in the country like the Andaman Islands or the hill stations that you will simply love!

All Indian people are religious fanatics, babas or Yoga Gurus
India has a lot of temples, and a lot of people visit these temples to make their prayers. But the devotion to our gods does not make us religious fanatics. We respect our idols and we make our prayers like every human being on this earth.

A Naga Baba at Kumbh Mela
Yet another of stereotypical image propagating India's image as a country of poor, hungry, naked and religious fanatical people. Imeage courtesy Bricolage

And surely, all Indians are not Yoga gurus. The medical science of yoga is practiced by a major population of India for a healthy body and calm mind.

But the image of India filled with Orange dhoti wearing people, preaching about inner demons and souls is not true. India houses numerous saints, but we have equal number of business tycoons, engineers, doctors, teachers and scientists.

Indians do not speak English
How can a country, with populations who do not speak or understand English, declare it as one of her official languages… the language of the Law?

And the fact that this top ranking English language India travel blog is maintained by native Indians living in India :-)

Yeah, India folks have their unique way of speaking and writing English, with a funny accent, but Indian population do speak and very well understand and write the language.

After America, India is the country, where maximum foreign films are released. In South India, maximum people converse only in English. Even parents are teaching their young ones to speak in English.

There is a country called India
India has such diverse cultures, religions, people, and styles that it is no longer a country. With such ethnic diversities, India appears almost like a continent which can be divided into North India, South India, East India and West India… but guess what?

It still won’t be enough, because all the states in North are different from each other, just like all states in South India are different from each other. India, as a country, is a myth in itself.

Special Mention: At last I would like to make a special mention to some of the popular assumptions. All Indians are not vegetarians. Chicken, Fish, Lamb and Mutton form staple diet of major Indian populations.

Indians do not run around trees or snow, dancing and singing as shown in Bollywood movies. And if you have seen Taj Mahal, You have still not seen whole of India… there is a lot more still missing! So if you have now decided to pack your bag and decided to go, do check out our post on packing tips for traveling to India.

Contributed by
Read More
// // 4 comments

India's Best Wildlife: Kaziranga National Park

You are a wildlife enthusiast. Where should you go? Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary
You love adventurous tours. Where should you head towards? Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary
One of the best tourist destinations in India? Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary
Beautiful Surroundings? Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary

Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. The sanctuary is a natural habitat for varied flora, fauna and bird species. Because of its serene surroundings, it has been Included in UNESCO’ World Heritage Site List. But what factors one need to keep in mind to make his/her tour to Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary the tour of their lifetime? Read this travel guide and find out.

What is Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary famous for?
Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary is famous for housing a large number of endangered species of Indian one-horned rhinocerosas well as most number of tigers in terms of population density.

However, Ranthambore National Park with lesser tiger population density is more ideal place to be for spotting tigers in their natural habitat.

Single Horned Rhinocerous
Kaziranga National Park is home to 2/3rd of world's Single-horned Rhinos
Wow… Rhinoceros! What is the story behind the creation of this wildlife sanctuary?
Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary was established since 1905, by Mary Victoria Leiter Curzon, on realizing that the population of rhinoceros is decreasing in the area.

In 1916, it was called as Kaziranga Game Sanctuary which was changed to Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary by P.D. Stracey in 1950 to remove any sort of linking to hunting activities.

Poaching in Park was banned but visitors were allowed to visit. By 1954, massive penalties were imposed on poachers and by 1968 it received the status of one of India’s National Park. In 1985, it earned the title of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Poachers, floods, rebels, nothing could bring the spirits of the Wildlife Sanctuary to a halt over the years, in 2005, and The Sanctuary celebrated her 100th anniversary.

That sounds very intriguing. Where is this popular Wildlife Sanctuary located?
Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Nagaon and Golaghat districts of Indian state of Assam.

Umm… Assam. I see. How can I reach Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary?

By Bus: After reaching Assam, you can take a bus from Guwahati Bus stop (217 km), Jorhat Bus stand (96 km) or from Nawgaon, Dibrugarh and Tezpur bus stand (75 km). The fare for the bus varies Government service and private service.

By Air: You can avail taxis, buses or autorickshaws from Guwahati airport (235km).

By Rail: Nearest railway station is Furkating (80 km) from where you can avail any means of transport to reach the park.

You seem to know a lot. Any suggestion on what time is best to visit the sanctuary?
The Wildlife Sanctuary is open for tourists between 1st November and 31st April. Floods rampage the park during monsoon. Overcrowding of tourists during December and January hinders a private experience. Therefore, months of March and February are the best to visit Kaziranga National Park.

I do not want to spend lavishly. What is the Entry Fee to the Park? 
Video cameras: INR 500 (Indians); INR 1000 (Foreigners)

Elephant safari: INR 280 (Indians); INR 750 (Foreigners)

Jeep safari: INR 1000 (Central range); INR 2000 (Burhapahar)

Vehicle entry: INR 200

Camera: INR 50 (Indians); INR 500 (Foreigners)

Armed guard: INR 50

Entrance: INR 50 (Indians); INR 250 (Foreigners)

Wow. That price totally works. What are the operating hours?

Jeep safaris: 0730 to 1100 (Morning Hours); 1400 to 1630 (Afternoon Hours)

Elephant safaris: 0530 to 0730 (Morning Hours); 1500 to 1600 (Afternoon Hours)

What all species of Fauna and Flora I can see on these safaris?
Mammals: Hoolock Gibbon, Eastern Swamp Deer, Wild Asiatic Water Buffalo, elephants, sambar, gaur, Indian Muntjac, hog deer, wild boar, Indian Tigers, Jungle Cat, Leopards, Fishing Cat, Hispid Hare, leopard Cats, Indian Gray Mongoose, Large Indian Civet, Small Indian Mongooses, Small Indian Civets, Golden Jackal, Bengal Fox, Sloth Bear, Indian Pangolins, Chinese Pangolin, Hog Badger, Particolored flying squirrels, Chinese Ferret Badgers, Assamese Macaque, Golden Langur, Capped, Great Indian One-Horned Rhinoceros

Birds: Rufous-vented Prinia Baer's Pochard duck, Ferruginous Duck, Lesser Adjutant, Black-necked Stork, Greater Adjutant, Asian Openbill stork, White-bellied Heron, Blyth's Kingfisher, Dalmatian Pelican, Nordmann's Greenshank, Spot-billed Pelican, Black-bellied Tern, Greater Spotted, Eastern Imperial, White-tailed, Grey-headed Fish Eagle, Pallas's Fish Eagle, the Lesser Kestrel, Indian Vulture, drug Diclofenac, Slender-billed Vulture, Swamp Francolin, Indian White-rumped Vulture, Bengal Florican, Pale-capped Pigeon, the Great Indian Hornbill, Old World babblers, Wreathed Hornbill, Baya Weaver, Hodgson's Bushchat, threatened Finn's Weavers, Old World warblers, Black-breasted Parrotbill, Bristled Grassbird, White-fronted Goose etc

Reptiles: Reticulated Python, Indian Cobra, Rock Python the King Cobra, Monocled Cobra, Common Krait, Russell's viper, Monitor lizard, the Water Monitor, Bengal monitor, the Brown Tortoise and Assam Roofed Turtle
Flora: Mimosa invisa Dillenia indica, Talauma hodgsonii, Garcinia tinctoria, Cinnamomum bejolghota, Ficus rumphii, Baguri, Haldibari, Bimali, Albizia procera, Lagerstroemia speciosa, Duabanga grandiflora, Crateva unilocularis, Grewia serrulata, Sterculia urens, Mallotus philippensis, Aphania rubra, Bridelia retusa, Leea indica, water hyacinth, Leea umbraculifera, Aphanamixis polystachya

What a range of Biodiversity! I am definitely going there. Any idea where I could stay?
There are a large numbers of hotels and wildlife resorts nearby at a very close distance to Kaziranga National Park. All these resorts are not very expensive and offer a very comfortable stay without lighting your pocket by a large margin.

The views outside these resorts are very exciting with amazing sceneries and picturesque landscapes all around. The rooms in these lodges and resorts are installed with all the amenities and services that are required by any modern day traveler.

The food served in all the resorts comprises mainly of vegetarian dishes, but is very scrumptious and you will keep licking your fingers after having the food. The food is a little expensive but it is so delicious, it more than makes up for the money spent for all foodies.

Some of the famous resorts are Unicorn Cottages, Wild Grass Lodge, Diphlu River Lodge, Nature-Hunt Eco Camp, Jupuri Ghar, Iora- the Retreat Resort.

My bags are packed and I am ready to go. Any more tips?
Loads of tips to be given:
  • For the best experience of Elephant Safari, chose to do it in Central Range.
  • If you are interested in boat rides in beautiful waters, head to North Eastern point of the park.
  • Do not book private elephant safari riders. They cut your tour time to take on more tourists. Go in groups.
  • Early morning safari in winters should be avoided as fog and mist restricts viewing.
  • Private vehicle can be taken to the park if accompanied with a forest guide.
Thank you for all the Information.
No problem. Enjoy your Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary tour. Looking for more wildlife vacation inspiration...check out Periyar National Park, one of the best wildlife sanctuaries in South India and one of the only that remains open during monsoon.

Also check out some of the best national parks in India.

For more details, packages and booking of hotel to plan your wildlife excursion in Kajiranga, visit the website of Wildlife India Tours here: http://www.wildlifeindiatours.com/kaziranga-national-park

Contributed by
Read More
// // 4 comments

Munnar: Places to visit in Kerela

Munnar, formed at the merging point of three rivers, is an exciting tourist destination in Kerala where three most modern trends in tourism merge together. The Rocky Mountains and steep hills make it ideal for adventure sports. The stunning lakes and dams nearby initiates water tourism.

Ecotourism, which believes in preservation of the ecosystem and simultaneously establishing an atmosphere for tourism that gives importance to the local inhabitants and culture, is the specialty of Munnar.

Munnar is a Hill STation in Kerala
Munnar in Kerela is renowned for its salubrious weather and verdant tea estates

Many newly weds also head to this serene and secluded hill station in Kerala for their honeymoon.

Are you looking for honeymoon ideas? Check out the top 10 honeymoon destinations in India.

Location: Munnar, a small hill station, is situated in the state of Kerala, in Western Ghats, at an altitude of 1600 m above sea level.

How to Reach Munnar: 
Airport: Cochin International airport is the nearest airport to Munnar (110 km).

Railway Station: Aluva Railway Station is the nearest station (110 km).

Best time to visit: Since the temperature is pleasant throughout the year in Munnar, all months from August to May are ideal for visiting the town, Monsoon months must be avoided.

Accommodations in Munnar
The accommodations in Munnar are mainly cottages and resorts, which are completely surrounded by the bounty of nature. All the hotels in Munnar are built keeping in mind to not disturb the ecosystem of Kerala. The tourists experience the Kerala flavors in the atmosphere while they enjoy all the modern amenities in these hotels in Munnar.

Major Tourist Attractions in Munnar

Pothamedu
For an unforgettable experience, visit the beautiful, lush green tea estates in Pohamedu and fell in love with Kerala’s ecosystem. 

Devikulam
The major attraction here is ‘Sita Devi Lake’, known amongst locals for possessing curative powers. Also, a lot of nature lovers are attracted with varied species of flora and fauna. The beautiful roadway to Munnar is simply delightful as well. 

Pallivasal
The captivating beautiful surroundings around the first hydro-electric project of Kerala should not be missed as it makes for a memorable view. 

Chithirapuram 
No tourists will ever remain the same after witnessing the stunning beauty around this magical tourist destination with gorgeous hills on one side and Pallivasal on the other side.

Echo Point
Go with your partner to this enchanting tourist destination and shout out your love for each other on a lake embankment and listen to your own voice returned manifold by the surrounding hills. Simply Magical!

Vagavurai 
The beautiful red flowers blooming on gorgeous Vaga trees make Vagavurai an amazing nature spot for tourists. Orange and pepper plantations, mini hydel project, amazing waterfall and a flowing stream make this a picturesque tourist destination. 

Meesapulimala
Traversing in the 'Silent Valley', this elegant tea plantation region, takes you to a height of 2650 meters, to the highest peak in Kerala. After reaching to this height, the state of Kerala will appear more enigmatic and vibrant than ever.

Top Station 
For witnessing an unforgettable ecosystem in and around India, visit the highest peak of Kerala, called the top station, on top of which, the state of Tamil Nadu appears clearly on Eastern side while The Majestic Arabian Sea appears on the Western side. Everything around here will never fade away from your memory!

Want more of Kerala? Check out this travel guide to Kerala. Discover the magic of God's own Country with Best of Kerala, a tastefully crafted tour itinerary of Kerala.

Contributed by
Read More
// // 7 comments

Top 10 Honeymoon Destinations in India in Winter

Last Updated on 07th Oct 2016 
 
Winter is the time when many couples in India tie the knots and look forward to beautiful beginnings. And thus starts their quest to find top winter honeymoon destinations in India. It was a painstaking effort to choose just the top honeymoon destinations in India in winter as there are so many.

Before choosing one of these top honeymoon picks, I’d also suggest that you check out some tips on winter packing and traveling safe in India.

There are so many places for beautiful beginnings in India but which destination to choose also depends on the likes and tastes of the couples who are venturing out for honeymoon in India.

In no particular order here are the top 10 honeymoon destinations in India:

1. Kerala, God's own Country

Alapuzza Houseboats in Kerala
Luxury Houseboat, Kerala Backwaters
No list is complete without mentioning Kerala as one of the top honeymoon destinations in India. There are beaches and backwaters, Ayurveda and spa and now the ethnic tree houses, there are a lot of activity to please the couples during their honeymoon.

The palm fringed backwaters at Alapuzza, the pervading calm and the sight of lush surroundings are enough to freeze the time. There are luxury houseboats complete with bedrooms, washroom, deck and kitchen which is one of the best options for honeymoon in Kerala. Imagine dining under the star with moon light shining golden in the water…how’s that for romance?

Kovalam with its 3 crescent shaped beaches is an internationally acclaimed beach destination in Kerala. For couples looking forward to their honeymoon, there is sun bathing, invigorating body massages and cruises to add to the romance.

You could splurge at Leela Kovalam, one of the most luxurious resorts in Kovalam. There are special packages by the hotel offering romantic activities like candle light dinner along the Kovalam Beach, breakfast in the bed, personalized cake and bottle of wine on arrival, romantic dinner overlooking Arabian Sea, airport transfers and complimentary romantic spa treatments.

Here's a comprehensive travel guide to Kerala Tourism. You may also want to check out the top 5 places to visit in Kerala.

2. Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir

Likir Gonpa, Ladakh
Ladakh is renowned for its barren beauty and awe inspiring monasterie
I know it’s unconventional, but this high altitude paradise is the latest fad among the adventurous couples. Ladakh is renowned all over the world for its awesome lakes, high altitude desert, mighty mountain passes and barren landscape.

Ladakh, also referred to as Little Tibet is one of the most surreal places to visit in India and also one of the safest. Sprinkled with monasteries, lakes and straddled in the Great Himalaya, Ladakh is a honeymooner’s paradise indeed.

Its magical landscape, friendly people, and relatively sparse population are perfect ingredients for a romantic escape. Besides serene retreats, there’s spirituality, adventure like mountain biking and even river rafting to keep the couples entertained and thrilled.

What could be more fascinating than sleeping in camps surrounded by cotton wool mountain peaks, riding two-humped camel in the 'desert in the sky' Hunder or getting cozy in the one of the luxury camp by the shore of the magical Pangong Lake near Spangmik or Tso Moriri in Changthang...the list is endless.

This one page handbook to Ladakh may also come handy if you are planning to travel to Ladakh for your beautiful beginning. Here's 5 most popular places to visit in Ladakh.

3. Udaipur, Rajasthan


Without a doubt, Udaipur will make it to any list talking about top romantic destinations in India. Fondly referred to as the "Venice of East", Udaipur in Rajasthan is home to India's most romantic hotel the Taj Lake Palace.

There are old mansions, havelis, mesmerizing gardens in Udaipur and more so there is calm and serenity of Lake Pichola flanked by undulating Aravali Hill which the couples would cherish during their honeymoon stay.

If you are willing to splurge for this onetime activity i.e. honeymoon, the natural choice for top honeymoon destination in India in winter is the Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur.

This luxury white marble wonder set amidst the manmade Lake Pichola, has been often mentioned as one of the world's most romantic hotels.

This magnificent 250 year old edifice with its luxurious suites and immaculate service is an ideal destination for an unforgettable honeymoon experience in India. A candlelit dinner under the stars is definitely recommended for couples.

Also check out some travel tips for Udaipur.

4. Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand


This is an oasis with bounties of nature all around. The undulating Himalayan peaks, lush landscape and pristine environment of Mukteshwar infuse the visitors with energy and romance. There are several luxury resorts where couples could spend a mesmerizing honeymoon. Head to Mukteswar during winters if the snow thrills you!

5. Dalhousie, Himachal Pradesh

Snowfall in Dalhousie
Snow enveloped Dalhousie is awe inspiring making it a favored honeymoon destination in India in Winter
This is yet another natural paradise. Ensconced in Dauladhar Range of Himalaya, Dalhousie charms the visitors with its old world charm, natural abundance and ambience infused with the vibrations of the 'British Raj.

Couples on their honeymoon would really enjoy the promenade on the Mall Road which happens to be the center of town activities. An array of modern hotels has come up along with Victorian Mansions catering to the honeymooners and tourists alike.

Snowfall occurs after January in Dalhousie which is considered the best time for honeymoon here. The prescription for tourists in Dalhousie is to do nothing and for honeymooners that is exactly why they are in Dalhousie: do nothing but enjoy some of the best moments of life.

6. Kullu Manali, Himachal Pradesh

Kullu-manali is one of the topmost tourist places in Himachal Pradesh

A cluster of beautiful valleys, Kullu presents an enjoyable tourist spot where one can feel the rejuvenating warmth of Mother Nature. Its picturesque views dotted with snow clad mountain peaks, verdant grassy fields, soaring deodar jungles, gurgling rivers and the apple orchards are awe inspiring spectacles.

Orchard of apple and plum, vast expense of meadows and sweeping valley are the main appeal of this charming town. Manali, as with other popular tourist destination, the main town is a mess and crowded with tourists.

But there are always the quieter retreats in Vashist, Old Manali and deluxe properties in the outskirts of the town where couples could head to for more privacy and far for the madding crowd. And add to that a trip to Rohtang Pass for 180 degree view of the mighty Himalaya and frolic in snow, one of the popular activities among the visiting couples.

Besides there are adventure activities like rafting, paragliding as well as nature walks and various other activities available here. The salubrious weather condition throughout the year which gets chilly as the winter arrives makes Kullu and Manali one of the ideal places for honeymoon in India.

7. Goa

Tropical weather makes it one of the best honeymoon destinations in India in winter
Tropical weather makes it one of the best honeymoon destinations in India in winter
Sossegado and siesta is what Goa is best known for. And what could be a better recipe for an unforgettable honeymoon in India.

Renowned for its beaches and host of luxury resorts and hotels, Goa is one of the top honeymoon destinations in India. Indulge is various honeymoon spa sessions, water sports or just laze around the beaches with your spouse by your side.

Some of the popular activities in Goa include the exploration of the various beaches, evening cruises, visit to Old Goa and visits to an array of Churches and Cathedrals. Goa is also renowned for its vibrant nightlife and parties.

If you are looking for a bit privacy to enjoy your honeymoon in Goa, head for the far away beaches like Agonda. If you are looking for more privacy and serenity, go for some premium properties like luxury hotels and mansions who maintain their own private beaches ideal for honeymoon couples.

Varca (Radisson White Sands Resort and the Club Mahindra Varca Beach Resort), Mobor and Cavelossim (Leela Goa and Holiday Inn and Radisson Blue) are some of private beaches where honeymooners could spend romantic time together in some of the finest hotels in Goa.

Taj Fort Aguada is yet another fine resort for enjoying honeymoon in Goa with an array of exclusive feature and romantic packages and activities.

8. Srinagar

Shikara Ride Houseboat in Srinagar

Srinagar is city of gardens, and lakes. Surrounded by towering Himalaya, Srinagar has an unmatchable romantic allure and often referred to as Switzerland of India. Before the unrest began in 1980s, Srinagar was the top tourist destinations in India and even the Bollywood movies were shot in this very paradise on earth.

Things are again going back to normal and the flood of the tourists in recent years is compelling evidence. The romantic gondola rides in the Dal Lake flanked by distant mountain peaks, colonial houseboats moored all along the Dal Lake and an array of awe inspiring Mughal Gardens erected by various Emperors and their Prime Ministers are the prime attractions in Kashmir along with old Mosques and Shrines.

Owing to its natural splendor, salubrious weather and colonial charm, Srinagar has long been one of the top honeymoon destinations in India. Coupled with the duo of Gulmarg and Pahalgam, this triumvirate is arguably the best honeymoon destinations in India for all seasons.

Some of the must visit places in Srinagar includes the Shalimar Bagh, Nishat Garden, Chashme Shahi, Hazratbal Mosque, Old sylvan Mosque Jama Masjid and the Shankaracharaya.

Stay in one of the houseboat to travel back in time or splurge in one of the 5 star hotels overlooking Dal Lake. The most luxurious properties include The Lalit Grand Palace and the Taj Dal View.

Interested in going? Check out this special honeymoon package in Kashmir.

9. Gulmarg

Horse Riding in Kashmir
Horse Riding in Kashmir
Gulmarg translates to “Meadow of Flower” and if you happen to visit it in spring you’d know why it is called so. Gulmarg is an awe inspiring destination with lush environs, blooming gardens with wide variety of flower and fragrances. It's undoubtably one of the top 10 honeymoon destinations in India in winter.

Gulmarg is a heavenly place indeed and after the shooting of Yeh Jaawani Hai Diwaani, the demand for Gulmarg has also rose considerably as a romantic destination in India.

Gulmarg in Kashmir is renowned for skiing, gondola rides and lots of snow making during winter and romantic promenade in summer. It is an all weather honeymoon destination in India.

Some of the major activities in Gulmarg includes visit to Alpathar Lake and St. Mary’s Church, Gondola Ride, skiing and golf.

The newly opened The Khyber Himalayan Resort and Spa is the finest five star hotels in Gulmarg. Yet another luxury property is the Gand Mumtaz, offering elegant and luxurious accommodation.

10. Shimla

Honeymoon in Shimla

Shimla is often referred to as the Queen of Hill Station in India. Such is the beauty of this nature’s paradise that British made it their summer capital. Till this date, the echoes of the British Raj reverberate in the ambience and architecture of Shimla.

Weather of Shimla remains salubrious throughout the year and winter also see snow cover blanketing the landscape and hills adding to the romance of this sleepy little town.

Enveloped in oak, pine and rhododendron forests, Shimla is renowned for its colonial architecture, the historical Himalayan Mountain Railway connecting Kalka - Shimla and pristine charm making it one of the top 10 places for honeymoon in India in winter.

If money is not the constraint then there are several plush five star hotels and resorts offering perfect refuge to couples looking for romance surrounded by nature in serenity and ample privacy.

There’s the Wildflower Hall by Oberoi located in the outskirts of the city. The view of the surrounding cedar forests and snowcapped peaks add fine touches to couples looking for romance and seclusion.

For couples, activities like romantic promenade through the forest, cozy picnic packages and the outdoor Jacuzzi is perfect way have an unforgettable honeymoon experience.

Also check out Magical Himachal Tour, an ultimate tour itinerary to uncover romance of Himachal

Our Expert Recommendation:

Luxury Train: Maharajas' Express

Maharajas Express - Mayur Mahal
For the connoisseurs of luxury, one of the unique experiences to celebrate honeymoon in India is to board one of the luxury trains. Maharajas’ Express, voted World’s Leading Luxury Train, is the best bet for an elegant and romantic honeymoon experience. Journeys from 3 nights to 7 nights crisscrossing some of the finest tourist places in India lets you have fun and romance on the go.

State of the art amenities such as Wi-Fi internet, attached toilet (Suites and Presidential Suites feature washrooms with bathtubs as well), round the clock butler service, live television, 2 dining cars, a bar and a lounge makes Maharajas’ Express one of the greatest rail journeys in the world.

If you are dismayed that Taj Mahal or Agra is not included in this list, you may want to check out things to do in Agra beside Taj Mahal which are in addition to the ultimate icon of love; the Taj Mahal.


Contributed by
Read More