How are you planning to spend your New Years eve? Partying amidst loud music at a local club with your buddies? Drinking the night away and making resolutions which you may or may not be able to keep after a month? What if we tell you there is a much better way you can celebrate your New Years eve? Year after year, we go to the same kind of New Year parties with almost the same group of people to bring in the new year. Those who do not step out usually immerse themselves in the world of television which broadcasts a number of New Year events. Most of these shows are all about celebrities dancing to popular numbers and wishing you a happy new year as the clock strikes midnight. What is way better than sitting at home watching these shows or even dancing away at a club is to visit some of the most amazing destinations in our country and wake up to the most spectacular sights on the first day of your New Year. India is blessed with some of the most stunning places to visit which have their own unique identity and are splendid in their own way.(ALSO SEE List of long weekends in India in 2017) Here are 10 such awesome places in India to wake up on the first day of 2017.

Bandhavgarh National Park

Bandhavgarh

India is home to a number of Royal Bengal tigers and is the ideal place to witness this magnificent beast in all its glory. Bandhavgarh in Madhya Pradesh is one of the most prominent tiger spotting places in India. It was the first place in India where the majestic white tiger was found. Apart from the tiger, it is also home to the Indian bison, sambars, langurs and cheetals. The park is known for its flora and fauna, pleasant ambiance and its natural beauty with hilly terrains and marshy lands. It is great for for a quiet New Years Eve after which you will wake up amidst nature to the sound of birds.

Darjeeling

Darjeeling

One of India’s most beautiful hill stations, Darjeeling in West Bengal is known for its breathtaking view of snow-clad Himalayan peaks. While it gets very cold in December, you can get by with some warm clothing and hot meals. A walk through the sleepy streets of this lovely hill station can be quite rejuvenating. You can visit the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and the Happy Valley Tea Garden while you’re here. Shopping at the flea market (Bhutiya market) should also be on your list of things to do. Waking up to the beautiful views and pleasant ambiance of this laid-back hill station can give a great start to your New Year.

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Rishikesh

Rishikesh

Known as the yoga capital of the world, Rishikesh is one of the most amazing places to visit in north India. Located in the mesmerizing state of Uttarakhand, Rishikesh stands at the foothills of the Himalayas amidst astonishing views and an extremely peaceful and spiritual ambiance. Waking up here on the first day of the year is sure to start your year on a spiritual note great for your mind, body and soul. You can take leisurely walks in the markets of Ram Jhula and Laxman Jhula and enjoy the the street food here too. There are a number of ahsrams you can visit and several other backpackers you can meet and hang out with.

Gulmarg

Gulmarg-Khyber-resort

India’s premium ski destination, Gulmarg is an ideal New Years getaway for anyone who loves snow, skiing and winter in general. Gulmarg is located in India’s northermost state of Jammu and Kashmir and is one of the most popular hill stations of the country. It is Asia’s 7th best skiing destination and is home to steep skiing slopes surrounded by breathtaking views of pine forests and snow-clad peaks. Imagine waking up at a resort like the one in the picture above on the first day of 2017!

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Kheerganga

Photograph Courtesy: sabamonin/Creative Commons

Photograph Courtesy: sabamonin/Creative Commons

How can we not have a place from Himachal Pradesh on this list? Nestled in the Parvati valley, Kheerganga is a trekking destination popular with backpackers and nature lovers. Just a 3-hour trek from Barsheni near Tosh, Kheerganga is known for its hot water springs which provides a natural Jacuzzi for visitors as they enjoy the stunning views of surrounding snow-clad peaks. Accommodation and food is cheap here and this is as close to nature as you can get on New Years eve. Remember though that it will be extremely cold so pack accordingly!

Gokarna

Gokarna

Karnataka’s coastal gem, Gokarna is just a 4-hour drive from Goa and is preferred by those who do not like the noise and crowds of Goa. The Om beach here is a great place to just relax and enjoy a pleasant sunset. The nearby Kudle beach is even quieter and spectacular and makes for a fantastic New Year getaway from the rest of the world. If you stay at the Namaste lodge on Om beach, you can wake up to the sound of waves and a heartwarming morning view on January 1.

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Daringbadi

Photograph Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Photograph Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

You may not believe if someone told you that there is a place in Odisha where it snows! It’s true though. Known as the Kashmir of Odisha, Daringbadi is a hill station at an altitude of 915 min the eastern state. With  pine jungles, coffee gardens and beautiful valleys, Daringbadi is one of the best lesser-known getaways in India. What is special about Daringbadi in winter is that the dew collected on grass, leaves and ground turns to ice here. The snowfall and natural green valleys of Daringbadi make it a great place to wake up on the first day of 2017.

Kolad

Kolad

Kolad is Maharashtra’s prime river rafting destination. It is ideal for adventure lovers and serves as a great getaway amidst nature for those who like unconventional ways to bring in the New Year. Several tented accommodations are available where you can wake up to views of the Kundalika river underneath your machan.

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Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer-Gadisar-lake

What can be said about Jaisalmer that hasn’t been said already? Be it the majestic living fort or the mesmerizing Gadisar lake, Jaisalmer is home to some of the most beautiful attractions. It is also just an hour away from the sand dunes of Khuri where you can spend the night in the cold desert wrapped in warm rugs under sparkling stars. You can choose to wake up in the desert or with a view of the majestic Jaisalmer fort from your room. Either way, it is a great way to bring in your new year!

Pondicherry

Pondicherry

The former French colony is one of the most pleasant getaways in south India. From the township of Auroville to the serene Promenade beach, Pondicherry has some beautiful places to visit. Its tree-lined avenues and Mediterranean style houses transport you to a different era. However, what makes it a great place to bring in the New Year is its laid-back and relaxed ambiance. Just rent a bicycle and explore this lovely destination to start your year on a rejuvenating note.

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