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Best place to visit in January in India

Discussion in 'Travel advice' started by Taji, Aug 24, 2016.

  1. Taji

    Taji New Member

    I will be India during the month of January for a family get together. I have heard that weather in India during January is very cold, so I know that going to a hill station may not be feasible, but if it is, please let me know.
    Something regarding hill stations I wanted to know was, is there any difference in the hill stations across India, or are they pretty much the same. I have heard of the famous ones like Shimla and Ooty, but both of these are in different parts of India.

    I wanted to know what the best place to visit in January in India would be? I don't have issues with the destination as long as the traveling time is not more than 6 hours, so for further destinations, a flight would be taken. The most time spent at the destination would be one week.

    Some information about the weather at the suggested destination would be good so that the appropriate clothes can be packed.
  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello, @Taji! Welcome to the forum!

    Hill stations are preferably visited during the summer season, so that you can get some relief from the heat of the lower lying areas. But some hill stations are best visited during the winter season, which includes January, so you can witness fresh snowfall. These include the hill stations of Auli, Manali, Gulmarg, Shimla, Kufri and many more. So if you do enjoy the cold weather and would like to see snowfall, then a hill station would be a good destination for you. Remember to bring your thick woollen clothes and other winter paraphernalia as temperatures can go beyond zero in many of these hill stations.

    With regards to the hill stations, there are some differences between them. The main feature hill stations is that they are located at a higher level than other cities or towns. Let's look at some of the differences of these hill stations:
    • One difference would be the elevation, some are mildly elevated while others are located at a higher level. The highest hill station in India? It has to be Leh in Ladakh, but this destination cannot be visited during the winter time. Rishikesh is located at an altitude of about 372 metres only.
    • Another difference is the attractions within a hill station. Like Shimla, it has many colonial British buildings and structures. Then, there's Nainital, where its main attraction is its lake. The Valley of Flowers is a picturesque hill station with different species of rare flowers. So depending on your interests, there's a certain hill station that you can visit for that.
    • One more difference is the commercialisation of a hill station. Places like Shimla, Manali, Ooty and Dharamsala are highly commercialised. On the other hand, there are also places that are not known as much like Barog, Landour, Kausani and Cherrapunji.
    • Yet another difference is the kind of activities that you can do in a hill station. During January though, many hill stations that have snow offer winter activities like skiing, snowboarding and playing with snow. Those that don't have snow, you can join in activities like trekking, river rafting, boating and many more. Of course, sightseeing is one activity that you can do in all hill stations.
    So as you can see, hill stations do have some major differences. They can also be visited during January, at least some of them. If you'd like to enjoy fresh snow and snowfall, then do consider hill stations as well.

    Anyway, we now go to the main purpose of this thread, which is the best place to visit in January in India. This depends really on what your interests are. During the month of January, generally, the whole country experiences a cooler temperature, thus it is a great time for exploring the tourist attractions of a certain place. But for me, here are the best places to visit in India during the month of January:

    For sightseeing and exploring the history of India

    1. Udaipur - With its many beautiful lakes, it's no wonder why Udaipur is known as the City of Lakes. Being a city in Rajasthan, Udaipur experiences a tropical climate almost all-year round. The winter season is the best time to visit the city, when temperatures are lower and humidity is lesser. Other seasons, monsoon and summer, are not as good times to visit the region. Summer experiences up to 39°C of temperature or higher. And although temperatures are lower in monsoon, the city receives less rainfall and therefor has a higher humidity during this time. This leaves the winter season as the best time to visit Udaipur, when temperatures are between 24°C to 29°C. Night time temperatures are lower and can even go beyond 8°C, especially during January. Thus, you can enjoy exploring the city, visiting its palaces and lakes. Do bring thicker clothes for night time though.
    • Must visit attractions - Lake Pichola, Jaisalmand Lake, City Palace, Monsoon Palace, Saheliyon Ki Bari and many more.
    • Climate in January - Pleasant, with temperatures between 24°C to 29°C for day time and 7°C to 11°C for night time.
    2. Khajuraho - Just like Udaipur, the seasons of summer and monsoon are inappropriate times to visit Khajuraho. Summers are extremely hot, with temperatures even reaching 47°C. On the other hand, monsoons in the region receive heavy rainfall and exploring the temples in Khajuraho can be extremely difficult when the skies are hidden by the clouds. Winter season, from December to February, is the best time to visit Khajuraho. Days are warm and ideal for exploring the beautiful sculptures in the temples. Nights can get chilly though at 4°C or higher, so do bring your thicker woollen clothes and some socks. You need a few days to fully explore the temples, which have both Hindu and Jain ones. The sculptures in the temples are intricately carved, ranging from Hindu deities, couples, women, animals and many more. The Khajuraho Temples are designated as an UNESCO World Heritage Site as well.
    • Must visit attractions - Lakshmana Temple, Kandariya Mahadeva Temple, Vamana Temple, Jatkari Temple and many more.
    • Climate in January - Pleasant, with night temperatures going to the extreme.
    For experiencing snow

    3. Pahalgam - Although the peak tourist season in Pahalgam is during the summer, don't disregard visiting this hill station during the winter. Temperatures can go as low as -4°C, especially from January to February. But this is also the best time for witnessing snow and snowfall in the region. The region is best known as a base for trekking, thus many adventure lovers visit Pahalgam. For those not so keen on trekking, you can indulge in just enjoying the views of the snow-capped mountains. It's best to bring thicker clothes though as day and night temperatures can go very low and cold.
    • Must visit attractions - Betaab Valley, Aru Valley, Chandanwari, Mamalleshwar Temple and many more.
    • Climate in January - Cold, reaching the negative temperatures even.
    4. Gulmarg - The best time to visit Gulmarg for enjoying thick snow is during January to February. You can do activities like skiing and snowboarding during this time. For the children, they can enjoy creating their masterpieces in snow as it's thick enough to be played with. Temperatures can go as low as -4°C as well so it can get extremely cold. Bring lots of moisturiser to protect your skin from drying. Do bring thicker clothes, winter paraphernalia like mittens, bonnets and snow shoes as well. A ride in the Gulmarg Gondola during this time can also be wonderful but temperatures can get even colder in the higher regions.
    • Must visit attractions - Apharwat Peak, Gulmarg Gondola and Gulmarg Ski Resort.
    • Climate in January - Cold, reaching -4°C and even lower temperatures at the higher regions.
    For spotting wildlife

    5. Ranthambore - If you'd like to explore the wildlife, the month of January is ideal for that. Temperatures range between 23°C to 25°C during day time. Temperatures at night time are lower at 9°C to 11°C. So exploring the wildlife of Ranthambore National Park can be pleasant during this month. And if you are a person who doesn't enjoy the humidity of summers, then visiting the national park during winter is your best option. However, spotting animals might be more challenging during this time, but that's part of the adventure, right? You'd probably need about three to four days to spot the elusive tigers. But other animals like sambars, blackbucks, macaques and chitals might be more easily spotted.
    • Must visit attractions - Bakaula, Raj Bagh Ruins, Ranthambore Fort, Rajbagh Talao and many more.
    • Climate in January - Cool and pleasant, ranging between 9°C to 11°C.
    6. Kaziranga - Another good national park to visit, this time, it's located in Guwahati in Assam. The winter season in the region is from December to February. Even during winter season, temperatures don't go beyond 17°C and mostly staying between 24°C to 26°C. It's a good time as well for bird watching as many migratory birds visit the national park. You can also easily spot the Indian one-horned rhinos during the month of January. Other animals you can spot here are elephants, tigers, wild buffalos and swamp deers.
    • Must visit attractions - Kohra, Baghori, Agaratoli, Deoparbat Ruins and many more.
    • Climate in January - Mildly cool, with temperatures between 24°C to 26°C.
    For something different

    7. Nagaland - The state of Nagaland is best visited during winter season, when temperatures range between 4°C to 16°C. Monsoon season in the region is best avoided as the state receives heavy rainfall. Summer is a good season to visit too as the region does not receive much heat and humidity. The region is mostly surrounded by forests, which is why it's one of the best offbeat destinations in the country. It is also the home to many tribes, including the Nagas. January is also the month for many festivals like Tsukhenyie, Bushu Jiba and Gaan Ngai. Thus, if you'd like to experience the culture and tradition of the tribes in the country, Nagaland is a must visit destination for you.
    • Must visit attractions - Kohima War Cemetery, Naga Heritage Village, Dzukou Village, Nagaland Zoological Park and many more.
    • Climate in January - Pleasant and mildly cool, not as cold as other regions, temperatures do not exceed 4°C.
    8. Kutch - The best season to visit Kutch in Gujarat is winter, when temperatures are between 13°C to 30°C. January is one of the coldest months in the region. It is also during the winter season, from November to February, that the annual festival of Rann Utsav is held. This festival showcases the rich culture of the tribes in the region. Kutch is divided into the Great Rann of Kutch and the Little Rann of Kutch. In the Great Rann of Kutch, temperatures can go beyond zero during the winter season. It's a great time to witness the beauty of this white sand desert. On the other hand, the Little Rann of Kutch is famous for its Wild Ass Sanctuary, which has the highest number of the endangered species of khurs in the world. A visit to Kutch is surely something that you would remember in your lifetime.
    • Must visit attractions - Great Rann of Kutch, Little Rann of Kutch, Roha Fort, Siyot Caves and many more.
    • Climate in January - Pleasant in most regions, cold in Great Rann of Kutch.
    I hope this helps you.:)
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