We’ve just completed the Christmas 2018 long weekend, but there is another one coming at the end of the last week of the year. For those of you who haven’t taken leaves from office these four days in between, New Year’s Eve falls at the end of a long weekend as well. So pack your bags and head to these destinations, because there is no better time than now to get out and explore and ring in the new year at a new place. The winter season has lowered temperatures in most parts of the country, and there’s snowfall up north as well. To make things easy, here are a few great places in India for the New Year 2018 long weekend. ALSO READ: Best Places to Celebrate New Year 2018 in India
Let’s start this list with a bit of France from down South: Puducherry, or Pondicherry as it is still popularly called. The beaches of this coastal territory are a major party spot, especially on New Year’s Eve. Booze is cheap, and the town is full of historic colonial-era buildings and pockets where the hippie atmosphere dominates. Watch the firecrackers, munch on some delicious seafood and enjoy the celebrations on the streets.
Gulmarg Cable Car in Kashmir
From the beaches of Pondicherry, we go right up to the northern end of India, to the snowy slopes of Gulmarg a little ways away from Srinagar. Ring in the new year in the lap of nature and the midst of fresh snow. Love would be in the air, especialy with the honeymoon season going on at the moment. So get your better half and cozy up in a resort overlooking the Himalayas, invite your family as well for some fun by the snow, or head to the ski slopes with your friends.
From Gulmarg, we head down south to the outer edges of the Himalayas in Himachal Pradesh. Manali is the most popular hill station in the state, and easily accessible to the folks in Delhi NCR and Chandigarh. So head to the snowy, rugged mountains of Manali and Kulu and celebrate the arrival of 2018 on the midnight of December 31, with the Milky way stretched across the night sky. Drive along the twisties to other nearby destinations as well, like Kufri and Solang Valley.
View of Amber Fort from Jaigarh Fort in Jaipur
Winter is a great time to visit Rajasthan, so why not plan a trip to the desert end of the famed Golden Triangle: Jaipur. The city of palaces and forts and kings will be at its regal best this time of the year. You can welcome the new year in a heritage hotel, literally living life like a king, or head to a cultural performance and celebrate the arrival of 2018 to the tune of folk songs. Jaipur has its fair share of pubs, restaurants and New Year’s Eve events as well. NOW READ: Best Cities Around the World to Ring in New Year 2018
Next, we head off to the west coast of India, to the beach paradise of Gokarna around 150 km away from the more popular Goa. Gokarna is a lot quieter, which should immediately make it more appealing to travelers who love the beach but not the crowd and commotion of Goa during New Year’s Eve. Enjoy a walk down the beaches of Gokarna under a starry midnight on the last day of the year, and the delicious local cuisine on offer.