Winter holidays are about to begin, if they haven’t already in several parts of India. With both Christmas and New Year falling on Mondays, it should be a lot easier for people to take the week in between off and travel. So the question is: where will you be on New Year’s Eve? Winter is the perfect weather to explore almost every part of the country, so the season shouldn’t be a problem. Your destination of choice depends on what you want to do. So to make things easier, we’ve listed out a few of the best places to celebrate New Year 2018 in India. ALSO READ: Jammu and Kashmir is Getting Ready for Christmas and New Year 2018
Let’s start with the obvious entry in New Year party destinations: Goa. The state will be packed, but for good reason. No other state hosts New Year and beach parties quite like Goa. There will be carnivals, EDM and an endless supply of food and booze. And beyond the parties and beaches, Goa offers an incredible colonial heritage and biodiversity in its churches, museums and wildlife preserves.
Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Andaman and Nicobar
For a New Year 2018 party away from the mainland, hop on a flight to Port Blair and explore the Andaman and Nicobar islands. Havelock Island boasts of some of the most brilliant beaches in Asia, leave alone the country. And you’ll find parties hosted yachts and resorts as well. Plus, there are diving spots where you can explore the underwater life teeming in the waters around the islands and quieter spots away from the usual haunts and events, for a relaxed New Year’s Eve.
McLeodganj, Himachal Pradesh
Speaking of relaxation, you’ll find plenty of that and even more quietude in the mountains of McLeodganj, Himachal Pradesh. The destination is well-connected to most parts of the country, and boasts of a rich Tibetan heritage evolved over the decades since the exodus. It is the home of the current Dalai Lama, but don’t expect to meet him. Instead, head for the Triund trek or visit the cafes, monasteries and temples here, and soak in the incredible scenery. CHECK OUT: What to do in Dharamsala: Your complete 5-day Dharamsala and McLeod Ganj itinerary
Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu
Down south, India’s Nilgiri mountains have their own spots of serenity and beauty. One of them is Kodaikanal, one of the highest hill stations in Tamil Nadu and often called the princess of them all. Here, you’ll be met by misty mountains, lush green meadows and hills, dense forests and plenty of honeymooners. Also, you’ll find some of the best coffee in the country here. But if coffee is your choice of beverage, the next entry in our list might be a better fit.
The hill station of Coorg or Kodagu in Karnataka boasts of the best coffee in India and a climate that is cool and inviting any time of the year, but especially so in the winters. Ring in the new year with a view of the Western Ghats around you, mist cutting through the densely forested hills and coffee and spice plantations, with a cup of coffee in hand. The place is especially popular for residents in Bangalore looking for a New Year escape and bird watchers.
Next up is the desert town of Jaisalmer, where the UNESCO World Heritage Site that is Jaisalmer Fort looms above the horizon. Explore the living fort and the havelis of Jaisalmer, whose shade of gold earned it the nickname ‘Golden City’. And enjoy a safari through the Thar Desert nearby, where clear winter nights offer incredible views of the Milky Way across the sky. NOW READ: Top Seven Domestic Destinations for Indians in 2017, according to Hotels.com
Finally, we have Shillong, the capital city of Meghalaya and an enthralling Northeast escape. Surrounded by mountains, waterfalls and lakes, Shillong’s landscape is often compared to that of Scotland, but this is something else entirely. You won’t find loud New Year parties or activities here; instead, you’ll get a quiet, friendly city blessed with immense natural beauty and a breathtaking view of the Himalayan mountain peaks.