What sparks the romantic in you? Is it a sun-kissed beach, where the waves rush to meet the sand only to be pulled back by the ocean again and again, like star-crossed lovers? Or it is postcard-perfect snow-capped mountains, surrounded by dense orchards, crystal clear streams and cool, fresh air? From the sands of the Thar Desert to the misty mountains of the East, and from the snow-clad peaks of the North to the white sandy beaches of the South, India has countless destinations that cast their own romantic spell. If you are drawing up plans for your wedding, here are some of the most beautiful places in India for a honeymoon.
Snowfall in Shimla
The British-era town of Shimla and the nearby Manali are popular destinations for travellers of all ages in Himachal Pradesh. Manali, despite its popularity, makes for a quiet, idealist honeymoon destination. There are several hotels on offer, as are restaurants and eating joints. From Manali, you can also enjoy activities like trekking, skiing, paragliding and white-water rafting. Solang Valley, Sangla Valley and Rohtang Pass are just a few of the places worth visiting near Manali.
Dal lake house, Srinagar
The capital city of Srinagar offers the quintessential Kashmir experience and has long been a favourite for honeymooners. Its lofty mountains, the mirror-like Dal Lake, and cosily cool weather are just some of the highlights here. A ride along Dal Lake on the famed Shikaras can be romantic in itself, but you can also choose to spend a night in the houseboats. You can also feast on tasty Kashmiri cuisine or go sightseeing at the Mughal Gardens, Nagin Lake, Hazratbal Shrine or the Charar-i-Shareef.
Lying at a height of around 2,000 metres above sea level, Dalhousie was once a popular summer retreat during the British era and is now a popular choice for a summer honeymoon. The town is dotted with colonial-era buildings and surrounded by deodar, oak and pine trees and misty hills. It has several budget hotels and a few luxury choices too, making it a great option for a pocket-friendly getaway. Bara Pathar, Dainkund, Kalatope and Panchpula are popular spots to visit here, and there are several viewpoints from which you can get an impressive view of the Chamba Valley and Dhauladhar range.
The hill city of Nainital in Himachal Pradesh lies around the emerald lake of Naini, which is so-called because of its eye shape (Naina translates to eyes in Hindi). Situated in Uttarakhand, this hill station offers tranquillity and a peaceful stay despite its popularity. From here, you can explore and enjoy the view of the mountains towering above the lake, or simply go on a boat ride along Naini Lake. You can also visit the nearby destinations of Bhimtal or Saattal, and of course the legendary Corbett National Park, which is very close to the hill station.
If beaches fascinate you more than the mountains, just head to Goa, the heart of India’s party scene. Scenic Goa is famous for its long stretches of beaches of all types. You can go beach-hopping through Agonda, Mandrem, Candolim and Baga, all the while enjoying the unique Goan cuisine at shacks and restaurants. In the evenings, you can head out to the pubs and restaurants to experience the vivacious nightlife of Goa, with music, dance and cheer all around. And if you want a more laid-back experience, just take your time soaking in the local culture and visiting the ancient churches and forts in the area.
For those of you who are interested in visiting the Northeast, Shillong is a beautiful honeymoon destination. Located in Meghalaya, Shillong offers roaring waterfalls, beautiful views of the hills around, and a peaceful ambiance. You can celebrate your new marriage with friendly locals or simply spend some quality time together, enjoying the sunrise and sunsets and the delicious cuisine. Evenings can be spent listening to the local music; when people bring out their guitars and sing popular tunes. You can find several hotels and resorts here and there are plenty of places to visit, like Shillong Peaks, Spread Eagle Fall, Sweet Falls, Ward’s Lake and Hydari Lake.
Darjeeling, the misty eastern hill station surrounded by tea estates and snow-clad Himalayan mountains, is a honeymooner’s paradise. You can find several hotels here, from budget options to three-star offerings, with great honeymoon packages on offer. The views and the climate can thaw even the coldest hearts and turn everyone into a romantic, which is why it is so popular among newlyweds. The invigorating aroma of tea from the plantations around Darjeeling also adds to its charm. From here, you can visit the Ghoom Monastery, Japanese Peace Pagoda and Himalayan Mountaineering Institute Zoo, among other places. Or you can just soak in the view of the Kanchenjunga range or take a ride along the famous Toy Train.
Galden Namgey Lhatse Monastery, Tawang
Another northeast Indian beauty, Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh is a little difficult to reach but offers an unparalleled experience to the intrepid honeymoon couple. Its natural beauty has attracted many couples bitten by the travel bug, with tall mountains through which waterfalls make their way, pristine lakes and a starlit night sky. The place is also famous for its Mahayana Buddhist culture, with several monasteries like the Khinme monastery and Galden Namgyal Lhatse Monastery, along with the Gorsam Stupa and other places. Sangeshar Lake and Tatsang gompa are some of the other places worth visiting in this less-frequented honeymoon destination.
Most of our list has been focused on North and the East, but the South has its own charm. Coorg in Karnataka is a honeymoon abode in it own right, thanks to its pleasant climate and beautiful scenery. You can find several affordable hotels here where you can relax and soak in the views of rolling hills. From here, you can explore the Bhagamandala, Talacauvery, Gaddige, Raja’s Seat, Omkareshwar Temple and Abbi Falls, or simply cover trekking trails and go bird-watching. For honeymoon couples who want a relaxed experience, Coorg is a great option.
Ooty in Tamil Nadu is an incredibly popular spot for families and couples, thanks to its tall blue mountains, dense pine forests and rich green tea estates. The main town is a little crowded, but you can easily find more isolated areas around the town where you and your better half can spend some alone time. You can enjoy the spectacular views on offer, and the climate here is wonderfully cool and makes you want to snuggle up with a cup of Ooty’s famous tea. You can visit the Botanical Garden, Pykara Lake, Sanctuary Avalanche or Upper Bhavani Lake.
In the neighboring state of Kerala lies the wonderful region of Wayanad. This hill station on the southern end of the Western Ghats offers spectacular sights of valleys, hills and dense jungles, which are the perfect ingredient for a cozy little honeymoon. The popular hill station has several hotels, including big five-star affairs. From here, you can explore local points of interest like the Edakkal Cave, Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary, Kurruva Island and Chembra Peak.
Havelock, Andaman Islands
Finally, let’s look at the beautifully pristine islands of Andaman. The Andaman Islands are the ideal beach destination, an ocean away from the Indian mainland. With white sandy beaches and palm trees galore, the island offers an incredible honeymoon experience at an affordable price. You can indulge yourself in water sports to start off your married life with a bit of adventure. The islands have several activities, like canoeing, kayaking, windsurfing, scuba diving, water skiing and snorkeling. You can find several resorts and hotels here, and spend your days at Jolly Buoy, Havelock Island and Baratang.