India has the reputation of being a country where it is always hot. But that’s not true. The months of November to Febrary in India bring in the winter season which may not be as cold as some places in the west, but are pretty cold nevertheless. And that’s why December is an excellent month to travel in India. Some of the finest spots of the country are at their spectacular best during this time. From snow-clad peaks to deserts with mesmerizing sand dunes, India is home to some stunning locales that are poerfect to visit during December. Here is a list of 8 places you must visit in December 2016. (ALSO SEE 10 European cities that can be covered over a weekend)

1. Great Rann of Kutch

Rann of Kutch

The Great Rann of Kutch is a vast, white salt marsh located in the Kutch district of Gujarat. It springs to life in December as the popular Rann Utsav is on during this month. The spectacular view of the full moon from the Great Rann of Kutch is one of the most breathtaking experiences you can have. This year, the Rann Utsav is from October 30, 2016 to March 31, 2017. This means December is just the right time to visit this wonderful rugged land in Gujarat. Not only can you witness the mesmerizing natural beauty of this popular attraction, you can also experience the art, culture and folk of the region.

2. Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer

December is a great month to be in Rajasthan. Jaisalmer is one of the jewels of this beautiful state that represents India’s ethnicity and culture like none other. Be it the living fort of Jaisalmer or the Bada Bagh cenotaphs, Jaisalmer gives you a slice of history and India’s rich heritage. And then there are the beautiful sand dunes where you can take a camel safari, witness the most spectacular sunset and even spend the chilly night under the stars.

3. Gulmarg

Gulmarg-Khyber-resort

One of the best places to enjoy snow in India, Gulmarg is a delight for those who love winters. Not only is it breathtakingly beautiful during December, it is also India’s best and Asia’s seventh best skiing destination.With steep skiing slopes amidst spectacular views, Gulmarg draws several adventure enthusiasts during December. The Gulmarg cable car or gondola at the top, called Phase Two, is the second highest cable car in the world. It also has some of the finest resorts for a memorable stay.

DO READ A group of skiers spotted a snow leopard in Gulmarg and what happened next will surprise you!

4. Goa

Goa

December is Goa’s peak tourist season and there is a reason for that. No place in Inida parties better than Goa does. And with Christmas and New Years eve falling in December, who wouldn’t want to party?!? Goa is home to some of the most enchanting beaches where you can take leisurely morning walks and enjoy beautiful sunsets. It is also and some of the finest pubs, clubs and restaurants for you enjoy scrumptious meals and to party the night away. You must visit Goa in December if you want to see India’s most popular tourist spot in all its prime!

DO SEE 12 top secret beaches of Goa! Have you been there yet?

5. Mumbai

Mumbai-Gateway

It is extremely hot and humid in Mumbai for most part of the year. December is one of the few months when it is pleasant, romantic almost. You can take heritage walks, go on cycling tours and hit all the popular landmarks the beautiful city is home to. From the lovely Asiatic library to the historic Mani Bhavan, and the popular Marine Drive to the magnificent Mount Mary Church, Mumbai can surprise you with its natural beauty as well as architectural marvels. It also has, what can be called, the country’s most happening nightlife. With a wide array of restaurants and pubs that serve all kinds of cuisine, Mumbai is perhaps India’s finest metropolitan city, best enjoyed in the month of December!

6. Shillong

Shillong

Northeast India is a hidden delight. There is no logical reason why it is not one of the country’s most popular attractions, expect perhaps that some of the roads in the region are not in great shape. Nevertheless, Shillong in Meghalaya is magical during the winter months, especially December. Beautiful places to visit in Shillong include Elephant falls, Shillong peak and Ward’s lake. Shillong is also the base for some beautiful road trips to amazing destinations nearby. Stunning tourist attractions like the Nohkalikai falls, Seven Sisters Falls and the double-decker living root bridges await you at Cherrapunjee. Mawlynnong, made popular as Asia’s cleanest village, is also worth a visit. Dawki and the regions around it are untouched jewels worth checking out.

CHECK OUT 10-day itinerary to explore the best holiday destinations in northeast India

7. Khajuraho

khajuraho

Known mainly for its group of monuments including temples with erotic sculptures, Khajuraho is one of the places worth visiting in central India. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, these monuments are a group of Hindu and Jain temples which take you back in time and introduce you to the nagara-style architecture and heritage of the past. These temples are believed to be built between the years 950 and 1050 by the Chandela dynasty. December, when winter just sets in, is the best time to visit Khajuraho as you can take temple tours in the pleasant weather. January becomes too cold while summer is too hot for this region.

ALSO SEE 5 temples in India best known for their erotic sculptures

8. Sundarbans

Sundarbans

A delight for wildlife enthusiasts, the Sunderbans are known for their flora and fauna and serve as a fantastic getaway from Kolkata. It is actually the largest delta in the world consisting of 10,200 sq km of mangrove forest spread across both India and Bangladesh. The Sundarbans National Park is known to be home to the Royal Bengal Tiger and also the White Tiger (a variant of the Bengal Tiger). The park is only open to visitors from October to March as winter is the best time to be in the Sundarbans. Summers here are extremely hot and humid making December the ideal month for a tour of the beautiful region.

CHECK OUT 10 best budget-friendly places in the world to visit in 2017

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