India is a treasure trove of wonderful places to visit. Beautiful landscapes spread with refreshing natural resources, heritage-rich cities, towns and villages that are home to stunning monuments that gleams with the glory of the past. Being a melting pot of so many cultures, Indians co-exist peacefully.
Travelling through Indian destinations, therefore, enriches any traveller with so many unique experiences, that one can never get enough of it. Be it the snowy regions of Jammu & Kashmir or the backwaters of Kerala, every state of our country has a story to tell.
With 2018 around the corner, you might be preparing a bucket list of places you intend to travel. If you're unsure of how to go about this list, then here is a comprehensive guide to walk you through various destinations you must visit, according to the ideal time to visit them.
PC: Sumita Roy Dutta
If you're an adventure buff, Zanskar in Jammu & Kashmir is the place to be in January. For one of a kind experience, go for the ice trek on the frozen river Zanskar, which is what the place is famous for. Revel in the stunning natural beauty of Leh and Ladakh along with this trekking experience.
PC: Koshy Koshy
Sightseeing the Golden City of Jaisalmer in the cool climate of Rajasthan's winter is a blissful experience. Explore the forts and havelis of Jaisalmer, especially the Jaisalmer Fort that crowns the city. Also witness the grand Jaisalmer Desert Festival that celebrates the vivid culture of Rajasthan.
Although the coastal state of Goa is a place that can be visited all through the year, February is when you can witness the Goa Carnival. Being one of the biggest carnivals in Asia, you can watch magnificent shows, performances of music and dance. Enjoy the beaches of Goa while having a ball at the Carnival.
PC: Sid Mohanty
Being a World Heritage Site, Hampi is spread with magnificent monuments and temples that were built during the glorious Vijayanagara Empire. A balmy weather will enhance the experience of going through famous places like Virupaksha Temple complex, Hemakuta Hill monuments and more.
Refresh your senses by breathing in the fresh aroma coming from the spices, coffee and tea plantations of Wayanad. The landscape of Wayanad is covered with lush greenery and dotted with serene places like the Banasura Dam, Pookot Lake and more. Plan a long drive to Wayanad during April.
Spiti, a high-altitude cold desert region, is a confluence of adventure, spirituality and pristine nature. Quench your adrenaline thirst by going on activities like mountain biking, trekking, river rafting or seek spirituality by going through the monasteries of Spiti like Key monastery and Kibber monastery.
With a favourable summer weather, Pahalgam in Jammu & Kashmir is a great spot to visit in June. Immaculate carpets of meadows cover the slopes of lofty snow-capped mountains, and is dotted with glittering glaciers. Streams of water trickle through thickets of pine and cedar forests, all making for a breathtaking experience at the arms of nature.
Valley Of Flowers
Valley of Flowers in Uttarakhand is a World Heritage Site that is home to meadows of spectacular endemic alpine flowers such as blue corydalis, geraniums, etc. Since the flowers begin blooming in July, it is the ideal time to visit.
To escape the heat of Rajasthan, head to the state's only hill station, Mount Abu. Rich in historical places and stunning scenic vistas of nature like Nakki lake, Guru Shikar viewpoint, etc., the perfect to visit Mount Abu is July.
PC: Ashwin Kumar
Visit Cherrapunjee, one of the wettest places on the planet during August. This small town of Meghalaya is home to several interesting places like the Living Root Bridge, Mawsmai Caves, Nohkalikai Falls, etc. Visit the nearby village of Mawlynnong which happens to be the cleanest village in Asia.
Kodaikanal, the picturesque hill station of Tamil Nadu has a beautiful weather all through the year. However, the trickling rain of monsoon enhances the enchanting beauty of Kodaikanal. Visit places like Kodai Lake, Vattakanal and more at this beautiful hill station.
PC: Shinu Scaria
With receding monsoon rains, the laid-back city of Kochi is a great place to visit during September. Observe the unique Chinese fishing nets of Kochi, stroll through the Marine Drive or unwind by the beautiful Cherai Beach at Kochi, Kerala.
A hill station that has recently attracted tourist attention, Coonoor is a mesmerising hill station in Tamil Nadu. Lush tea plantations spread across the slopes of Coonoor's hills are a pleasing welcome to the tired eyes of a traveller.
Head to the city that is home to the world famous Golden Temple, the most revered Gurudwara or pilgrimage site for Sikhs in the world. Tour through the historically significant places of Amritsar like Jallianwala Bagh, Wagah Border and more on your visit to the beautiful city.
PC: Sarath Kuchi
Serene beaches, a charming French colony and dainty restaurants - all this coupled with a blissful climate is what you can expect at the picturesque city of Pondicherry in Tamil Nadu, during October. Have a spiritual journey at Auroville or relax by the beaches at Pondicherry.
Settled on the banks of river Ganga, Varanasi is one of the most revered pilgrimage sites for Hindu devotees. Visit Varanasi in November to be a part of the boisterous Ganga Mahotsav that usually happens in this month. Witness crafts, art and culture of Varanasi come together during this 5 day long festival.
PC: Ali Arsh
Spot the royal Bengal tigers in Sundarbans, a dense mangrove forest that will be a delight for nature and wildlife enthusiasts. Explore the wildlife of Sundarbans and witness other animals like wild boar, fox, or spot Olive Ridley turtles at Kanak Island on your visit to Sundarbans in West Bengal.
PC: Anuj Kumar Garg
Spend the final month of the year at Auli, the snowy hill station that is ideal to try out skiing. Visit this pristine hill station and take a stroll through the mesmerising apple orchards, deodars and oak trees of Auli.
PC: Dennis Jarvis
Udaipur, fondly known as the City of Lakes, is a stunning city in Rajasthan that is home to several magnificent forts and palaces, and of course glittering lakes. Travel back in time by visiting palaces like the Lake Palace, Jag Mandir, City Palace, to name a few.