There is a special charm associated with the night, magical things happen in the dark, after the harsh daylight bows out. It is the time of sparkling stars, moonlight walks and flickering lights. The time to believe in dreams, hopes and of course magic! India has many such magical destinations that are amazing to witness in the night. They range from natural beauty to man-made wonders, but they are all mesmerising after nightfall.
Monuments swathed in the mystical glow of the moonlight and valleys where you can sleep under the galaxies will make even the most cynical at heart take a second look and give in to the temptation of romance. Here are ten such places in India that you must visit after dark to experience its true beauty!
1. Jaisalmer Desert Safari
Do this at least once in your life, a desert experience in Rajasthan is unforgettable. Pamper yourself with a desert safari, ride across the Thar desert on camel back, stay at desert camps and have your food under the starry sky. The desert has two personalities, one that appears in the daylight and the more mysterious face it shows at night. You have to see it to believe. The vast expanse of dark with only pin-points of light in the sky can even be rather intimidating!
A desert camp fire.
Photo Courtesy: Mandy
2. Amritsar Golden Temple
It is easy to understand why this should be on your list of places to visit at night. The beautiful temple is one of the most popular places in the country and is a symbol of spirituality and peace. The beautiful structure is further enhanced after evening when the entire building is bathed in strings of little lights that present an unforgettable picture.
The Golden Temple illuminated during the evening.
Photo Courtesy: Arian Zwegers
3. Taj Mahal on A Full Moon Day
It is said that you will never understand the true beauty of the most iconic monument of India, the Taj Mahal till you see it on a full moon day bathed in silvery light. The marble is said to glisten bright and it is sure to make you believe in magic!
As the magical mist disappears.
Photo Courtesy: Koshy Koshy
4. Bassein Beach
A popular getaway beach destination from Mumbai, the Bassein beach is truly beautiful. With the white frothy surf on one side and palm fringe on the other, it is a rather idyllic spot, especially at night. The beach is rather romantic and charming after dark and definitely enthralls its visitors.
5. Tso Moriri Lake
Among the largest high altitude lakes in India, the beautiful Tso Moriri is possible to visit only in the summer season. The blue waters, the craggy mountain backdrop and the Buddhist relics that dot the region make it a great place to visit. All these elements take on an ethereal quality in the night, making Tso Moriri unbelievably beautiful in the dark with just the moon and stars lighting your way.
Enchanting Tso Moriri Lake in the night.
Photo Courtesy: Deepak Bhatia
6. Christmas Eve on Goa's Beaches
Christmas eve is a great time to spend on the popular beaches of Goa such as Calangute and Baga. We choose this as a great place during the night, not just because of the beach and the sea but also the wonderful décor. Shacks come alive with tables put out, each with lit candles, festive lights fill the shacks and people light halogen paper lamps and let them float in the air. Some fire-act performances also take place, making it all seem like a page out of a book!
A starry night!
Photo Courtesy: Gayatri Krishnamoorthy
7. Vembanad Lake
One of the largest lake bodies in India, the Vembanad spans various districts in Kerala. The popular lake has many resorts that dot its shores, and even more houseboats that take you on a mesmerising journey across the lush beauty of the region. It sure is beautiful during the day. But the scene at night is amazing, be it from the shore or from your houseboat, you will get to see the waters light up to the moonlight and stars. Small wonder it is a popular romantic destination!
Moonlit coconut trees.
Photo Courtesy: Lian Chang
Are you wondering how the dense plantations and forests of Chikmagalur can be a delight in the night. Just pick one from the many comfortable homestays and wait for nightfall. As the darkness prevails, you will spot little specks of light that you might wrongly understand for stars until you realise they are too close to you! As the fireflies light up the darkness, you are sure to have one of the most magical experiences ever.
Firflies light up the dark.
Photo Courtesy: Radim Schreiber
9. Marine Drive, Mumbai
A favourite among many, you have to see it to believe the immense romance of the Marine Drive in Mumbai. The busy city is the land of dreams, unfortunately not all of them come true. But, make a journey to the lit up Marine Drive, a 4.3 km stretch in the shape of a 'c' along the natural bay and you will suddenly find the peace that the otherwise busy city finds hard to provide. The lights of buildings and the road and its reflection in the waters is sure to feel like a dream come true!
The city of dreams.
Photo Courtesy: Gopal Vijayaraghavan
10. Varanasi Ghats
The holy city of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh sees a frenzy of activity across the Ghats leading to the Ganges River. Every evening many rituals and traditions take place on these steps. But, what makes it special is especially seen at key festivals such as the Dev Deepavali that falls on a full moon night every year. The festival sees the city come alive as people float thousands of 'diyas' (lamps) on the Ganger River. The sight is sure to be etched in you mind for a very long time!
The city of lights.
Photo Courtesy: Sam Hawley