Santa travels all over the world every Christmas, the least we can do is get out of the city! Whether you’re chasing a white Christmas, a peaceful one or one filled with celebrations, there’s always some place to road trip to.
This Christmas, ditch the couch and #hittheroad! Here’s where you can go:
1. Pondicherry –
A former french colony, the french connection of Pondicherry is still very evident. Beautifully decorated churches by the beach and the blending Indian (Tamil) and French cultures will mark your memories on this trip. Be ready for a serene yet grand Christmas holiday.
2. Goa –
(Image Source: mapio.net)
Goa is undoubtedly the favourite party hub in the country and as December approaches you can already see the tourists flocking in. For Christmas festivities there are umpteen churches in Goa which are all lit up elegantly. You will find many stalls around selling homemade chocolates and cakes. If you get an opportunity, do not miss out on a Christmas Gala dinner. Look forward to devouring some amazing Goan and Portuguese dishes.
If you are up north, Shillong is the place for you to celebrate the season. A small town in Meghalaya, Shillong will give you a magical Christmas holiday. The town has some of the great independent musicians in the country, catch them at a church singing some soul-stirring gospels. For a more local experience, pick a homestay where you can have a traditional dinner with the host and of course plenty of wine!
A sleepy little town in Uttarakhand, Lansdowne will help you get some quiet time if you are looking to get away from the festive chaos. With dense oak and blue pine tree forests peppered with snow, narrow mountain roads, and a lake; Lansdowne represents an ideal hill town picked right out of a travel book. Take a small hike in the woods or to just sit by a bonfire with your loved ones. Basically, just enjoy the peace and quiet away from the city.
For the history and archaeological buffs, the riverside ruins of Hampi are calling you. The boulders of this place are a favourite amongst the hippie community in the country. A world heritage site, the temple complex of Hampi are waiting to be perused. After an excursion of the entire town, laze around at a high boulder by the river for some solitude. The clement climate of December will make sure you have a great time.
You might be surprised to know even with the Christmas and New Year celebrations there are enough beaches that will give you nothing but tranquility. One of the many options you can choose from is Tarkarli. A paradise for gastronomes, this place offers great Konkani and Malvani dishes like Kombadi wade, fish curry, pomfret fry, and of the famous solkadi.
With a clean coast and clear waters this place is also great for a scuba diving and snorkelling lesson.
1. Gulmarg –
Kashmir is called the paradise on earth for all the right reasons. A valley in Pir Pangal range, Gulmarg has the world’s second highest gondola at 8690ft. Snaking through the valley, this 5 km ride gives you a dreamlike white Christmas with magnificent aerial views of the snow covered mountains, lofty pine trees and the frozen lakes. With more than a foot of snow around, go crazy making snowmen and butterflies!
Just 16 km away from the touristy Shimla, Kufri is a recent favourite amongst the adventure seekers. An ideal winter destination, it has huge snow meadows for skiing and tobogganing. The place is also known for amazing picnic spots and nature parks to enjoy your family outings. Christmas here would mean views of hushed white valleys, soft snowfall and steaming hot momos to top it off.
A tiny town in Uttarakhand, Munsiyari wouldn’t need much convincing when you are looking for a white Christmas. After all, Munsiyari literally translates to “the place with snow”. Locked up in the Kumaon hills, this place is surrounded with gleaming glaciers and high peaks of Panchachuli. Head here for an undisturbed and rustic vacation with the local villagers. While walking the village streets, check out the intricately handwoven carpets in the market.
With options galore, which one are you choosing?