December, one of the most vacation-friendly months in India is almost here. Isn’t it time for planning where your next winter vacation will be to? With the number of festivals and events in December, picking a destination shouldn’t be too tough.

Yet, we bring to you, nine of the best destinations in India you can visit this winter!

ALSO READ 10 (more) places to visit in India this december

1. Mount Abu

Photograph courtesy: Sabomoni/Creative Commons

Photograph courtesy: Sabomonin/Creative Commons

What to do: Attend the Mt Abu Winter Festival on snuggle under a blanket… with a book or your sweetheart!

Rajasthan’s only hill station is a perfect getaway from the deserts of the state. Known for its Dilwara Jain Temples, Achalgarh Fort and Nakki Lake, Mount Abu is a nice place to enjoy yourself on a winter vacation. The Mt Abu Winter Festival is around the corner for those looking for a visually and aesthetically appealing cultural exchange.

ALSO READ Top 6 places to visit in Diu

2. Diu

What to do: Participate in Asia’s longest beach festival and to soak in a bit of the Portuguese culture in a place that is NOT Goa.

Diu is one of the most underrated union territories of India. There are several forts, churches and chapels and beaches that you can visit. Since it’s a destination, not explored by many, it calls out to those willing to enjoy a weekend or two by themselves. However, there is a pretty amazing-crazy side of Diu that you can catch a glimpse of only for a few months. The Festa De Diu, Asia’s Longest Beach Festival is from December 1, 22015 to February 15, 2016. You can spend a day, a week or even a month or two here!

ALSO READ Diu’s best churches

Here are five best beaches of Diu you must visit

3. Goa

Photograph courtesy: Juha Riisanen

Photograph courtesy: Juha Riisanen

What to do: Burn the dance floor at India’s best parties, shop your heart out at the many flea markets and pray for your soul during the feast of St Francis Xavier

Goa is indeed the most famous and loved party destination of India. It welcomes you with open arms and magnificent sunny beach-fronts all round the year. But December is special for various reasons. From night bazaars and the flea markets to the feast of St Francis Xavier and the loudest EDM party, Sunburn or Supersonic, Goa has exactly everything to offer, you could ask for. Right from Christmas, all the way to New Years, Goa is THE venue for a month long party.

DON’T MISS iTripto’s complete guide to Goa

29 places to visit in and around Goa


4. Chennai

What to do: Soak in some culture at the Madras Music Season, drive to Pondicherry or better still to Mahabalipuram for the Mamallapuram Indian Dance Festival

They say that Chennai is has two seasons, eight months of the month it’s hot and the rest four, it’s even hotter! The truth is, unlike most assumptions, December is Chennai is pleasant and it gets as close to being cool as possible. Weather-wise, it is literally the only apt time of the year you can vacation at Chennai. Not to forget, the Madras Music Season (December 15, 2015 to January 1, 2016) will give you a taste of the culture of Chennai. If not, you can drive through the East Coast Road all the way to Pondicherry or stop over at Mahabalipuram to enjoy the Mamallapuram Indian Dance Festival (December 21, 2015 to January 21, 2016)

ALSO READ Best places to visit in and around Chennai

5. Great Rann of Kutch

What to do: Attend the Rann Utsav, obviously!

The Great Rann of Kutch along with the Little Rann of Kutch is a salt desert marsh in the Thar Desert that ends at north Gujarat. Though summers are extremely hot, winter temperatures fall down to approximately 0°C. The Gujarat Tourism Development Cell organizes an annual two month long festival, Rann Utsav. This year, the festival will be held from December 23, 2015 to February 29, 2016. Welcome the new year at the white desert with colorful people of Kutch.

DON’T MISS 8 pictures of Rann of Kutch that will make you want to go there right away!

6. Santiniketan

What to do: Attend the Poush Mela, attend the Bishnupur festival

West Bengal proudly boasts of its university town and celebrates its foundation in the month Poush, as Poush Mela which is a must-visit. If you think there isn’t much for you to do in Santiniketan, you can always drive off the near by villages to cuddle up during the winters. Another option is, particularly for shopaholics, to visit Bishnupur. The Bishnupur festival will slowly and gradually burn a hole in your pocket, all thanks to the irresistible handicrafts and silk and terracotta products.

DON’T MISS iTripto’s complete guide to Santiniketan

7. Udaipur

Lake Pichola

Photograph courtesy: Kalyan/Creative Commons

What to do: Shopping at the Shilpgram Arts and Crafts Festival, wander in the by lanes of Udaipur

Udaipur is home to Lake Pichola and the Fateh Sagar Lake along with its magnificent City Palace, Monsoon palace, Lake Palace and Jag Mandir that lure travelers to visit this royal city. Seven km away is Shilpgram, a government set up village to promote artisans. The articulate and intricate work by these local artisans will leave you spell bound. This month, the village will celebrate the Shilpgram Arts and Crafts Festival, that you should totally be a part of.

ALSO READ Top 5 places to visit in Udaipur

8. Gulmarg

Photograph courtesy: Batsmidt

Photograph courtesy: Batsmid/Creative Commons

What to do: Pack warm and go skiing

With the wedding season in full swing, this breathtaking honeymoon destination is going to be flooded by hundreds newly weds. However, Gulmarg has sufficient space for you as well, if you’re looking for some adventure and memories from a perfect skiing trip to take back home. Mind you, the temperature is estimated to be anything between -2ºC to 9ºC. So pack up all those winter clothes. you’re most definitely going to need them!

ALSO SEE 10 pictures of Gulmarg that will surely mesmerize you

9. Gangtok

Photograph courtesy: Anthony Vance/Creative Common

Photograph courtesy: Anthony Vance/Creative Common

What to do: Celebrate the Sikkimese New Year, eat momos… lots of them!

Along with the New Year, December also marks the Sikkimese New Year that is celebrated with great all around India’s smallest state. The zest and the enthusiasm of the Bhutia and Lepcha community is something you must not miss! The Sikkimese are known to be very hospitable, momos here are die for and the cultural extravaganza will ensure a trip you will not forget.