Best Indian Places To Visit in December

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December in India brings a delightful blend of cool breezes, festive celebrations, and a touch of winter magic. As the country gears up to bid farewell to the year, numerous cities come alive with vibrant events, cultural festivals, and a unique charm best experienced during this season.

Whether you seek snow-capped mountains, historical treasures, or spiritual havens, this article lists 10 delightful Indian cities to visit in December, each offering a distinct flavor of exploration and adventure.

1. Shimla, Himachal Pradesh

Nestled amidst the snow-clad peaks of the Himalayas, Shimla is a winter wonderland that captures the season’s essence. December transforms this charming hill station into a picturesque paradise, with snow-covered landscapes, cozy cottages, and the possibility of witnessing the season’s first snowfall. The Mall Road’s festive decorations and the enchanting Ridge offer a perfect backdrop for memorable moments.

For adventure enthusiasts, Shimla offers various exciting activities to indulge in. The nearby Kufri and Narkanda become playgrounds for skiing, snowboarding, and tobogganing. Whether you’re a seasoned skier or a novice looking to try a new sport, Shimla’s slopes provide the perfect opportunity to embrace the thrill of winter sports.

The heart of Shimla’s social and commercial life, the Mall Road, takes on a magical aura in December. Lined with shops, cafes, and boutiques, it becomes a lively hub where locals and tourists come together to embrace the festivities. The Shimla Ridge, offering panoramic views of the snow-clad mountains, is a popular spot for strolling and enjoying the winter beauty.

The iconic Christ Church’s Gothic architecture and stunning stained glass windows are a must-visit landmark. As the snowfall dusts its surroundings, the church exudes a serene charm that adds to the winter ambiance. Nearby, the Gaiety Theatre, a historic cultural venue, often hosts performances and events that showcase Shimla’s artistic heritage.

2. Goa

While December may not be the coldest month in Goa, it’s the liveliest. The state comes alive with festivities, beach parties, and music festivals. With pleasant temperatures and clear skies, Goa is an ideal destination for those seeking a vibrant and energetic atmosphere to welcome the New Year.

Goa in December is synonymous with festive celebrations and lively events. The state gears up to welcome Christmas and New Year with vitality, and the festive spirit permeates every corner.

Churches and streets are adorned with colorful decorations, and you’ll find Christmas markets bustling with activity. Midnight Masses at the historic Basilica of Bom Jesus and other churches are a spiritual experience that showcases the state’s strong Christian heritage.

December is also a paradise for music enthusiasts. Goa hosts various music festivals and events that attract local and international artists.

The Sunburn Festival, one of Asia’s largest electronic dance music festivals, draws crowds of music lovers to groove to the beats of renowned DJs. The Goa International Jazz Festival also offers a more melodic and soulful experience.

Beyond the bustling beaches and lively parties, Goa offers pockets of natural tranquility. The Western Ghats provide opportunities for hiking and exploring lush forests, wildlife sanctuaries, and waterfalls. The Dudhsagar Waterfalls are a spectacular sight to behold during this time of the year.

3. Auli, Uttarakhand

For winter sports enthusiasts, Auli is a dream come true. This snowy paradise offers skiing, snowboarding, and other winter activities against the backdrop of the majestic Nanda Devi range. December presents the perfect opportunity to experience the thrill of gliding down the slopes and reveling in the beauty of the snow-covered landscapes.

Auli is often called the “Skiing Capital of India” due to its exceptional skiing facilities and breathtaking slopes. With its high altitude and ample snowfall, it has become a premier destination for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter activities. The ski resort at Auli features well-groomed slopes catering to both beginners and experienced skiers, ensuring an exhilarating experience for all levels of expertise.

One of the most captivating aspects of Auli is its stunning winter landscapes. The snow-covered meadows, dense coniferous forests, and awe-inspiring views of the surrounding peaks, including Nanda Devi, Trishul, and Kamet, create a surreal ambiance that seems straight out of a fairytale.

4. Chennai, Tamil Nadu

Chennai’s moderate climate in December makes it a great time to explore this vibrant city. From historic temples to modern shopping centers, Chennai blends tradition and modernity. The annual Chennai Music Festival, showcasing classical Indian music, and dance, is a cultural treat for visitors.

Chennai is a city steeped in history, and its architecture, art, and traditions reflect its storied past. One of the city’s most iconic landmarks is the Kapaleeshwarar Temple, an ancient Dravidian-style temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The intricately carved gopuram (tower) and vibrant sculptures captivate visitors, offering a glimpse into the city’s religious and artistic heritage.

Chennai’s coastline is adorned by Marina Beach, one of the longest urban beaches in the world. In December, the weather is pleasantly cool, making it an ideal time to take strolls along the sandy shore, enjoy horseback rides, and savor the delicious local snacks the beachside vendors offer. The beach also boasts iconic landmarks like the lighthouse and the Gandhi Statue, paying homage to India’s history and leaders.

5. Jaipur, Rajasthan

Jaipur’s “Pink City” takes on a different charm in December, with pleasant weather that is perfect for exploring its historical forts, palaces, and markets. The Jaipur Literature Festival, often held in January, attracts renowned authors and intellectuals, making it an ideal time for literature enthusiasts to visit.

At the heart of Jaipur lies the City Palace, an architectural marvel that showcases the fusion of Rajput, Mughal, and European influences. A symbol of Jaipur’s regal heritage, the palace complex houses a museum displaying a remarkable collection of artifacts, costumes, and royal paraphernalia.

The intricately designed gates, ornate courtyards, and exquisite artistry provide a window into the opulent world of Rajasthan’s kings. One of Jaipur’s most iconic landmarks, the Hawa Mahal, is a unique structure with its distinctive honeycomb façade.

Built to allow royal women to observe street festivals and processions without being seen, the Hawa Mahal showcases the architectural finesse of the era. December’s mild weather offers the perfect opportunity to explore this marvel up close and witness the interplay of light and shadow through its numerous windows.

6. Manali, Himachal Pradesh

Another gem in Himachal Pradesh, Manali, offers a picturesque winter landscape. December blankets the town in snow, providing opportunities for snowball fights, building snowmen, and even partaking in thrilling activities like paragliding. The Solang Valley is a hotspot for adventure seekers.

Manali is a haven for winter sports enthusiasts, attracting visitors nationwide and beyond. The Solang Valley, just a short drive from the main town, becomes a hub of activity during this season.

Skiing, snowboarding, and sledding are thrilling activities that enthrall adventurers of all ages. The undulating slopes of Solang Valley offer the perfect terrain for novices and experts alike to indulge in their favorite winter pursuits.

Beyond its natural beauty, Manali offers glimpses of local culture and traditions deeply rooted in the Himalayan way of life. The town is home to several ancient temples, including the Hadimba Temple, dedicated to the goddess Hadimba Devi. The Manu Temple, dedicated to the sage Manu, is another important pilgrimage site that attracts devotees seeking spiritual solace.

7. Kutch, Gujarat

The Rann of Kutch comes alive during the Rann Utsav, a cultural festival showcasing Gujarat’s vibrant traditions, handicrafts, and music. December offers a chance to experience the mesmerizing beauty of the white desert under the full moon and indulge in the festivities of this unique celebration.

The Rann Utsav, which typically spans November to February, celebrates the region’s rich cultural heritage. Organized by the Gujarat Tourism Department, this vibrant festival showcases Kutch’s diverse traditions, music, dance, art, and crafts. The festival is held at the Dhordo Village, just outside the salt desert. It features many activities that allow visitors to immerse themselves in the local way of life.

Visiting Kutch in December is a sensory journey that captures the essence of natural beauty and cultural vibrancy. The stark yet breathtaking landscape of the Great Rann of Kutch during this time of year is a sight to behold, and the Rann Utsav offers a platform to celebrate the region’s rich cultural heritage.

As you walk on the salt desert’s surface and immerse yourself in the festivities, you’ll create unforgettable memories that blend the enchantment of the Rann with the warmth of Gujarat’s hospitality. With its unique charm and allure, Kutch invites you to experience a winter escape unlike any other.

8. Hyderabad, Telangana

Hyderabad’s moderate winter climate makes it an inviting destination in December. Explore the historic Charminar, stroll through the ancient Golkonda Fort, and savor the city’s renowned biryani. The Lumbini Festival, celebrating the culture and traditions of Andhra Pradesh, adds a colorful touch to the month.

The Golconda Fort gem of Hyderabad’s history narrates royal grandeur and strategic brilliance tales. As you explore the fort’s intricate palaces, royal chambers, and the remarkable acoustic system of the Fateh Darwaza, you are transported back to a bygone era of luxury and strategic foresight.

Hyderabad is renowned for its delectable cuisine, with its iconic dish being the Hyderabadi Biryani. Fragrant, flavorful, and cooked with meticulous precision, the biryani is a culinary masterpiece that embodies the city’s cultural fusion. From the bustling streets to the grandest of restaurants, you’ll find various renditions of this celebrated dish, each with its unique blend of spices and flavors.

9. Rishikesh, Uttarakhand

Nestled along the banks of the Ganges River and nestled amidst the Himalayan foothills, Rishikesh is a spiritual haven and an adventure seeker’s paradise. In December, the weather is pleasantly cool, making it an ideal time to practice yoga, meditate by the river, and immerse yourself in the serene surroundings.

The town’s numerous ashrams and yoga centers offer retreats and classes for those seeking inner peace and self-discovery. For the more adventurous, activities like white-water rafting, trekking, and camping in the nearby forests provide an adrenaline rush against the backdrop of breathtaking landscapes.

As the sun sets over the Ganges, the evening Ganga Aarti (ritual offering to the river) is a mesmerizing experience that adds a spiritual dimension to your visit. Incorporating Rishikesh into your December travel plans adds a touch of spirituality and adventure, making it a perfect addition to your journey through India’s diverse and enchanting cities.

10. Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh

Nestled in the lap of the Dhauladhar range, Dharamshala offers a serene and spiritual escape in December. The Dalai Lama’s residence is a major attraction, and the town’s Buddhist monasteries exude a sense of tranquility. With the possibility of snowfall, Dharamshala is a perfect retreat for those seeking solace and natural beauty.

The Tsuglagkhang Complex, often called the Dalai Lama’s Temple, is a significant spiritual site that draws pilgrims and tourists alike. The complex houses the Namgyal Monastery, where monks engage in daily rituals, and the Kalachakra Temple, adorned with beautiful murals and traditional Tibetan architecture.

Visitors are welcome to join the local community in prayer and meditation, creating a sense of unity and harmony. Adventure enthusiasts are in for a treat with the Triund Trek, a relatively easy trek that rewards hikers with breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.

The trail winds through dense forests of oak and rhododendron, gradually ascending to an altitude of about 2,800 meters. The summit offers a stunning vista of the Dhauladhar range, making it an ideal spot for camping and stargazing.


December in India is a time of celebration, exploration, and enchantment. From the snowy landscapes of Shimla and Auli to the vibrant festivals of Goa and Kutch, each city on this list offers a unique and delightful experience. Whether you’re drawn to winter activities, cultural festivities, or historical treasures, these 10 delightful cities in India invite you to embrace the magic of the season and create lasting memories.

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