New year is the eve when all families plan their annual trips. Sponsoring their family trips is a great way to reward your employees. Here’s a list of the best trips in January to choose from to reward your employees.
As the first month of the New Year has almost arrived at the doorstep, you might be looking for a winter vacation to make the most of it. The good news is that there are plenty of great options in the Indian Subcontinent to explore. So it’s just a matter of finding the right place that suits you the best. So, when it comes to places to visit in January in India, this list will leave you sorted.
The Indian Subcontinent boasts of some of the top remarkable monuments, sky-high forts, majestic hill stations, scenic beach resorts, tea estates, wild forests, pristine lakes, waterfalls, rugged plateau, desert and lots more! It is indeed really hard to choose where to go and what to explore in India. Spread across the tropic and subtropics, a tropical wet and dry climate is more evident in the Indian Peninsula, making it one of the most preferred tourist destinations to visit during winter.
With just a handful of days left for this year, it is high time to chalk out the New Year vacation. If you haven’t made your choice yet, we’re here to help you out with a list of handpicked destinations that are some of the most popular places to visit in January in India.
Best Places to Visit In January In India – North
Located in the shadowed area of the Himalayan Mountains, Ladakh is one of the most vibrant and the beautiful place on earth. The barren beauty of Ladakh along with the crystal clear chilling weather, snow-capped peaks and stunning lakes is attracting the travellers for ages. Boasting of some majestic mountains, rugged terrain, and wild rivers, Ladakh is considered to be the trekker’s paradise. Being the highest plateau of the country, this region is surrounded by rough mountains, alpine deserts and beautiful landscapes with exotic panoramic views.
This winter, admire the natural beauty at its absolute at Chadar Trek, which is a daunting trek in the Himalayas. The Chadar trek, located in the Zanskar range and consisting of some breathtaking trail routes covered with thick layers of snow on the frozen lake. The entire valley is engulfed by a pristine snowy sheet during the winter, making it one of the most spectacular places to visit in January in India.
Key Attractions: Drang Drung glacier, Panikhar, Kargil, Padum, Pangong lake, Nubra Valley, Tso moriri, Khardung La, Zoji La, Leh Shanti Stupa.
Things you must try : Trekking, camping, paragliding, river rafting at Zanskar river, and rock climbing.
How to reach:
By air: Leh airport is connected to the major cities of India.
By train: Jammu Tawi railway station is the nearest railhead to Zanskar Leh Ladakh.
By road: Regular buses connect Jammu and Manali to Zanskar Leh Ladakh.
Paradise on Earth – Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir popularly referred to as the “Paradise on Earth”, is among the top honeymoon destinations in India and is one of the must-visit destinations to rejuvenate your senses. If you want to avoid the mad tourist rush during the peak summer season, you should visit Kashmir during winter. The entire state is blessed with natural spectacles and artificial masterpieces, making it an enthralling jewel in the crown of the Himalayas and one of finest places to visit in January in India.
Kashmir is popular for the serene Dal Lake, Mughal Gardens and lustrous valleys. Some of the top places to visit in Kashmir include Srinagar, Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Sonamarg. Every year during winter, a huge number of adventure enthusiasts head to Gulmarg as there is excellent skiing opportunity and other snow adventures available.
Key Attractions: (Jammu) Patnitop, the sacred shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi, Raghunath Temple (Srinagar) Dal Lake, Shalimar Bagh, Nishat Bagh, Chashme Shahi Bagh, Wular Lake, Sonamarg, Yousmarg.
Things you must try: Ride a shikara (houseboat) at Dal Lake, Stay overnight at a luxurious Houseboat at Dal lake, take a gondola ride in Gulmarg, Admire the stunning beauty of Pahalgam, try the delicious local cuisine at Srinagar.
How to reach:
By air: Jammu and Srinagar – both the airports are well connected to other major cities of India
By train: Jammu Tawi is the main railhead
By road: Jammu and Srinagar both the cities are connected through National highways with major North Indian cities like New Delhi, Manali, Chandigarh, Amritsar etc.
Manali is one of the top-rated honeymoon destinations in India. It is popular among the road trippers as well. It is certainly one of the best places to visit in January in India if you want to explore the serenity and proximity of nature and experience snowfall for real. From deep gorgeous valleys to snow-clad mountains, Manali offers the perfect romantic setting to kindle the romance, where couples can enjoy adventure sports including paragliding, skiing etc.
There are ancient temples, castles and much more to explore around Manali. Your trip to Manali will not be complete without visiting the snow point – Rohtang Pass, where there’s ample opportunity for snow sports.
Key Attractions: Rohtang Pass, Solang Valley, Naggar castle, Hadimba Temple, Lahaul, Spiti, Kinnaur, Manikaran.
Things you must try: Rafting on Beas river, Try paragliding at Solang valley, Get frolic with snow at Rohtang pass, Trek to Chandratal.
How to reach:
By air: Bhuntar airport is the nearest airport that is about 50 km away from Manali
By train: Kalka railhead is the nearest
By road: You can reach Manali easily from Delhi, Chandigarh, and Amritsar as frequent bus services are available.
Most Exotic Places to Visit In January In India – West
Rann of Kutch – Land of sand and salt
Located in the extreme west of the country, The Great Rann of Kutch in Gujarat is an exciting place to visit in January in India. Covering an area of over 100 miles in length and 200 miles in breadth, it is the largest salt desert in the world. Being blessed with rich flora and fauna, Rann of Kutch is a hotspot for migratory birds who flock to the place during winters. The Gujarat Tourism organizes Rann Mahotsav every year during the full moon night in the month of December.
Vibrant luxury tents are set up along with various food stalls, handicrafts arcades and cultural performances. Full-fledged cultural celebrations of the region are performed all over the Bhuj district. During this time of the year, one of the most enchanting experience you can have is the full moon safari ride at the Rann of Kutch.
White Rann, Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary, Kachchh Museum, Centre for Desert and Ocean, Darbargadh, Kandla Port, Aina Mahal Museum, Mandvi Beach.
Things you must try:
Experience the vibrant Rann Mahotsav and International kite festival, stay in the eco-resorts and homestays in Kutch, stroll around Mandvi beach, visit local villages that are famous for handicrafts and handlooms, enjoy Ahmedabad Nightlife.
How to reach:
By air: The major Airport near to Kutch is Bhuj airport which is well-connected to other major cities of India
By train: Bhuj Railway Station is the nearest railway station to Kutch
By road: Bus services from nearby and major cities of Gujarat are available.
Diu – Isle of Calm
If you are one who is looking for a soothing retreat in a peaceful and less crowded environment, nothing matches the beauty and charm of Diu. Called as the “Isle of Calm” in Portuguese, it is considered to be one of the awe-inspiring solo travel destinations for girls in India. During this time of the year, Asia’s longest beach festival is celebrated here, which is known as Festa De Diu.
The whole territory is beautifully decorated during this festival, making it one of the top tourist places to visit in January in India. Here, the Portuguese influence is very much evident in every sphere – be it the culture, architecture or food. There are a number of historical forts, churches and temples that you can visit while touring Diu. Being a major fishing town, Diu is famous for its seafood culinary.
Key Attractions: Diu Fort, Nagoa Beach, St. Paul’s Church, Pani Kotha, Jalandhar shrine, Gangeshwar temple, Ghoghla Beach.
Things you must try: Visit during Festa De Diu – enjoy the amazing blend of Portuguese and local culture, soak yourself on the sandy beaches, have a taste of the lip-smacking local cuisine, enjoy a bonfire on the beachfront, go birdwatching, boat tour kiosk, party at Casa Luxo bar.
How to reach:
By air: There is an airport in Diu island that is well connected to other major Indian cities
By train: Una is the nearest railway station, which is 12 km away from Diu
By road: Diu is located at a distance of 370 km from Ahmedabad and it is well connected by road.
Goa – “Pearl of the Orient”
The most celebrated holiday destination of India, consisting of a number of top beach resorts – Goa is in every bachelor’s bucket-list. The cosmopolitan culture, delicious cuisine, sizzling nightlife and wide stretches of sandy and palm-fringed beaches make it one of the best tourist destinations and one of the most appealing places to visit in January in India. Goa is at its vibrant best during the Christmas and New Year. Boat Cruises, Open air beach parties, loud music and scrumptious Goanese cuisine along with cultural events make it one of the most recommended places to visit in January in India.
Besides, India Yoga Festival and Goa Lokotsav are some of the top activities to attend in Goa in January.
Key Attractions: Pristine beaches ranging from north to south end of the state, Vasco Church, Panaji, Basilica of Bom Jesus, Fort Aguada, Dudhsagar Falls, Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, explore Goa nightlife.
Things you must try: Stay at a luxury beach resort in Goa that has a private beach, go barefoot at the gorgeous sandy beaches, try some water sports and adventure activities including parasailing, jet skiing, sea biking etc, visit to churches and cathedrals, evening river cruises on Mandovi river, dig into the mouthwatering Goanese cuisine, try out some seafood.
How to reach:
By air: Dabolim Airport is well connected to the other Indian cities as well as international cities. It is located about 29 km from Panaji
By train: Madgaon and Thivim are the two major railway stations of Goa that are well connected to other parts of the country
By road: KSRTC, MSRTC, and KTC bus services are available from Panaji, Madgaon and Vasco Da Gama.
Top Places to Visit In January In India – South
Andamans – Into the Blue
The Andaman islands are one of the top adventure destinations in the list of popular places to visit in January in India. Lying at the conjunction of the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea, it is considered to be the honeymooner’s paradise. The islands boast of serene atmosphere, breathtaking beaches, pristine coral reefs, mangrove creeks, coconut palm trees, mud-volcanoes, limestone caves and much more that would simply amaze you! The tropical humid climate has made it one of the most preferred places to visit in January in India
Key Attractions: Port Blair, Cellular jail, North Bay Island (Coral Island), Ross Island, Harbour Cruise (Viper Island), Neil Island, Havelock Island, Radhanagar Beach, Baratang island, Rangat, Mayabunder, Diglipur.
Things you must try: Scuba diving and Snorkeling at Havelock, Enjoy light and sound show at the Cellular Jail, Visit Indigenous Tribal villages (the Jarawa, Onge, and Sentinelese)
How to reach:
By air: Port Blair Airport is well connected with Kolkata and Chennai
By sea: You may also embark on a ship from Kolkata or Visakhapatnam or Chennai.
Kerala Backwaters – “God’s own country”
The Kerala backwaters, called as “God’s own country”, is one of the best places to visit in January in India. Alappuzha, which is commonly known as Alleppey is most popular tourist destinations in the world, famous for its backwater cruises and houseboats where you can get closer to nature. The picturesque backwaters of Kerala comprise tranquil stretches of lakes, lagoons, and canals that are located parallel to the Arabian sea-coast. Ashtamudi and Wayanad are the two major lakes among them.
Kerala backwater cruises are a once in a lifetime experience. If you want to add an extra bit of adventure to your trip, there are a lot of other things to do in Wayanad apart from backwater cruising. You may also head towards Munnar, which is a serene hill-station located nearby. However, if you want to escape the cold, Kerala Backwaters are certainly one of the most lucrative places to visit in January in India.
Key Attractions: Alleppey to Quilon backwater day-cruise, Fort Kochi – Zeus Town, Munnar, Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Mattupetty Dam, Nilgiri hills, Periyar, Kovalam Beach.
Things you must try: Backwater cruising, Backwater Kayaking, Capture sunset photos at Kochi with the iconic Chinese Fishing Nets, Buy aromatic Kerala spices, Rejuvenate your body and soul – get an authentic Kerala Ayurvedic spa treatment, Watch Kalaripayattu – the ancient martial art performance, Enjoy a vibrant performance of Kathakali.
How to reach:
By air: There is an airport in the main city Thiruvananthapuram that is well connected to the major airports of India
By train: Cochin, Alleppey, Thiruvananthapuram and Kottayam railheads are well connected to the other parts of India
By road: You can reach Ernakulam, Alleppey, Munnar, Periyar from other South Indian cities by road.
Hyderabad – The Mecca of India
Known as the city of Nizams, Hyderabad is one of the major tourist attractions in South India. The vibrant royal heritage and culture turn the city an allure for travellers. Located at down south, it is one of the warm places in the country. Due to pleasant weather conditions, Hyderabad is considered to be one of the top tourist places to visit in January in India. Take a heritage walk through the historical sites around the city. Apart from this, you may also opt for hill stations near Hyderabad for a perfect mountainous getaway.
Thus, make your plans of exploring the city holding the prestigious distinction of “the Mecca of India”.
Key Attractions: Charminar, Mecca Masjid, Golconda Fort, Ramoji Rao film city, Hussain Sagar lake, Nizam Palace, Salarjung Museum.
Things you must try: Savour some authentic Hyderabadi cuisine including kebabs and biryanis, heritage walks through various city sightseeing spots, watch light and sound show at Golconda Fort, try street food at Charminar area, take a ferry ride in Hussain Sagar lake, admire the mesmerizing paintings of Salar Jung Museum, stroll around the popular Ramoji film city.
How to reach:
By air: Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad is well connected to other cities of the country
By train: Hyderabad Railway Station is connected with all the major cities of the country
By road: Hyderabad has bus routes from almost all the neighboring cities and other major cities like Bangalore, Mumbai, Kolkata.
Most Popular Places to Visit In January In India – East
Shillong – “Scotland of the East”
Located in the North-East, Shillong is one of the most popular places to visit in January in India. About 100 kms away from the Guwahati city, Shillong is the main city of Meghalaya. It is also one of the top hill stations near Kolkata for a soul-soothing rendezvous with nature. Known for its picturesque landscapes, this beautiful hill-station is surrounded by pine trees, serene lakes and waterfalls, majestic mountains, breathtakingly beautiful valleys, museums and golf courses. Shillong is famous for clouds and heavy rainfalls, making Meghalaya the highest rainfall state in India. The jovial people and their culture have added more charm to the place. Brace yourself for a cosy getaway as you discover the wide riches of the North-East.
Key Attractions: Barapani lake, Cherrapunji, Dawki village, Nohkalikai falls, Mawlynnong, Mawsynram.
Things you must try: Walk through the Living Root Bridge in Mawlynnong, Have lunch at the cleanest village in India, Climb up in a tree-house, Boating at Barapani lake, trekking, camping.
How to reach:
By air: Guwahati Airport is the closest airport to Shillong
By train: Guwahati is the nearest railhead before Shillong
By road: Buses and taxis operate regularly from Guwahati to Shillong.
Located alongside the coast of Bay of Bengal, Puri is home to one of the most sacred Hindu temples, the Jagannath Temple. Apart from the cultural heritage and religious significance, it is also a popular tourist destination for relaxation and recreation. The golden sea beaches, placid weather and plenty of treasures put it on the list of the most popular places to visit in January in India. There are a number of places that you may visit here, such as the Chilika lake, Puri beach, Sun temple of Konark etc. Chilka Lake is called the natural habitat of migratory birds.
Key Attractions: Puri beach, Konark beach, Chilka lake, Chilka Wildlife Sanctuary, Bhitarkanika.
Things you must try: Bird watching, visit sanctuaries and temples, cruise and fish in Chilika lake, Stroll along the coastline.
How to reach:
By air: Biju Patnaik Airport is the nearest airport, located at a distance of 60 km from the city
By train: Puri Railway Station is located at the centre of the city
By road: Regular bus services from the neighbouring cities are available.
Sundarbans is the largest mangrove forest in the world, making it one of the UNESCO world heritage sites. Ranging from India to Bangladesh, it provides a complete circle of nature to the visitors, from the Royal Bengal tigers to mangrove creeks, wide rivers and estuaries. The climate here mostly remains hot and humid. It is one of the most popular places to visit in January in India due to the pleasant weather that prevails during the winter. This area has a submissive charm that amazes the tourists with its most dynamic and awe-inspiring flora and fauna.
This forest is home to the largest number of Sundari trees. Besides, there are over 64 varieties of Mangroves namely Goran, Genwa, Garjan, Sundari, Dhundal and Passur. Other endangered species in the Biosphere reserve include King Crabs, Crocodiles and Olive Ridley Turtle. You can also spot the giant lizards, spotted deer, wild boar and jungle fowl.
Key Attractions: Pakhiralaya, Sajnekhali Tiger Reserve, Sajnekhali Bird Sanctuary, Dobanki, Sudhanyakhali, Netidhopani, Buridabri.
Things you must try: Stay at an eco-friendly cottage at Sundarbans, Enjoy wilderness camping, safaris, buy honey from local sellers, Sail through the islands and mangrove creeks to double up the adventure, try seafood, hit the watchtowers and viewpoints that offer fantastic views of various species. You may also enjoy the mud-flats called ‘Chargheri Char’, where you can do coastal trekking.
How to reach:
By air: Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata is the nearest airport from Sundarbans
By train: Canning is the nearest railway station which can be reached by boarding one of the regular local trains running from Sealdah
By road: Sundarbans is well connected to the cities nearby. You may board on a bus or hire a car up to Godkhali, Namkhana, Canning or Sonakhali and proceed up to Sundarbans by ferry.