As the winter chill sets in across the country, we’ve rounded up a list of the best winter-sun destinations in India that you can head to, to keep seasonal depression at bay. By Eshita Srinivas
It’s not just migratory birds that need the warmth of the sun when the weather turns frosty. The romance of steaming cups of coffee and foggy breath can wear off very quickly when the fatigue and moodiness of seasonal depression set in. There’s no better time than now to take that much-deserved holiday to a place with sunny skies and plenty of all-natural vitamin D to go around. Here’s our list of places in India that are ideal getaway options this winter.
8 best winter-sun destinations in India
Serving travellers with a sort of duality that few Indian cities can boast of, Puducherry marries the contemporary with the colonial, European with Indian, and the material with the spiritual. It’s no surprise that it draws a diverse set of people to it every year.
At any other time of the year, a visit to this part of the country would have you reapplying sunscreen every minute and sweating through your OOTDs. But the months of October-March are when the temperatures ease down to an average of 25 degrees C from the usual 35 degrees. This makes it the ideal time to walk or cycle through the French colony, sign up to go on a heritage tour of the city’s historical sites, or just spend a day dawdling at the beach. Not to mention, this is also the ideal time to sign up for scuba diving lessons since the best visibility underwater is believed to be from November-March.
Although beach vacations are somewhat synonymous with summers, Goa is best enjoyed when the winter sets in the rest of the country. From November to May, temperatures in the city remain at a pleasant 20-33 degrees celsius.
Scuba diving lessons, kayaking experiences, and banana boat rides are popular with travellers during this season. The weather is also perfect to go beach hopping from the North right down to the South. The word is that this happens to be the time when dolphins come out to play, making boat tours a great option. Goa is also decked up in bright lights for the festive season during December and January, and there’s no better place to celebrate Christmas or ring in the new year than at one of its many beautiful beaches.
A sleepy beach town in God’s own country Kerala, a typical vacation in Varkala often includes yoga sessions in the morning and walks by the beach in the night with plenty of room to sample delicious seafood, paraglide off a cliff, or visit a 2000-year old Vishnu temple in between. The temperatures during this time are at a comfortable 22-33 degrees celsius. You’re also likely to encounter a lot of other travellers during this season that you can chat with over a pint of beer or a glass of locally-brewed coconut wine.
The city’s usual stuffy and humid weather takes a bit of a backseat during the months of October to February when the temperatures range from 10-35 degrees celsius. The bustling city has something to offer every traveller: historical monuments, art galleries and landmarks for the culture buff, temples and dargahs for the spiritually-inclined and restaurants and street food stalls for the foodie.
The city, known to come alive at night, is also a dream for those who’d like to party through Christmas and the New Year. The mild weather makes it that much easier to navigate the city’s notoriously chaotic and busy transportation system as well. That, along with the fact that the city is known to be very welcoming to its visitors, makes Mumbai the perfect place to head to when you just can’t take the cold anymore.
This city’s weather has been romanticised by anyone who’s ever visited it for years and for good reason. With stable temperatures accompanied by a cool breeze for the most part of the year, Bengaluru has one of the best weather conditions in the country. However, the summers can get a bit too hot to explore the city’s gardens and lakes while the monsoon rains are certain to dampen any outdoor plans.
Winters come with mild weather, fewer rainy days, and temperatures ranging from 18-27 degrees celsius. This makes it the best time to grab your picnic basket and head to the popular Cubbon park in the city, kick back with a mug of beer at one of the city’s many popular breweries or enjoy the sunset at a rooftop restaurant. You can also leave your umbrella at home when you head out to shop at Commercial Street or walk down the bustling Church Street. And if you’ve got some time to spare, you could rent a car to drive down to the neighbouring city of Mysore to take a look at the beautiful Mysore palace and sample some delicious Mysore Pak.
You can count on Chennai’s humid weather to turn your perfectly-set hair into a frizzy mess for the better part of the year. However, the winter months of October to February with temperatures ranging from 22-31 degrees celsius bring some relief with far more instances of encountering a cool breeze than in any other season. This makes it the right time to head to this beautiful Southern city to enjoy some mouth-watering dosa and sambar, stroll down Marina beach, visit one of the city’s many popular temples, spend a day at the Guindy National Park or Arignar Anna Zoological Park or experience everything that its theme parks have to offer. On good days, you could even have an early picnic at the beach.
Sandwiched between pretty hills and pristine beaches, this underrated travel destination is the perfect escape from the biting cold. Known as the jewel of the East Coast, this coastal city can get a bit stuffy in the summers and monsoons but experiences mild weather in the winter with temperatures ranging from 18-32 degrees celsius. This makes it a pleasant time to watch the sunrise and the sunset at the beach, explore the Borra caves, visit some of its parks, or visit the submarine museum, the first of its kind in South Asia.
The second major group of islets on the Indian coastline, Lakshadweep Islands become home to the best water sports you could dream of when winter sets in. Kadmat Island, a coral island with vibrant marine life, is one such popular winter destination for those seeking an adventurous, yet quiet vacation. With temperatures ranging from 24-32 degrees celsius, the months of November – February are perfect to engage in some fun activities like snorkelling, kayaking, and deep-sea diving. It’s also one of the best times to sample food made with some local catch.
Where are you heading to escape the winter chill?