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Best places to visit in January in India

Discussion in 'Travel advice' started by DaiwikChaman, Nov 30, 2016.

  1. DaiwikChaman

    DaiwikChaman New Member

    I will be arriving in India with my wife and 2-year-old son in January. We will be staying in Delhi with my parents for a while, but we would also like to go some other places.
    The weather in January is cold, and I am not too sure whether going to a hill station would be suitable or not, as our son is small and the least we would want is him getting a cold.

    So if there are hill stations to consider, maybe suggesting the ones which don't get snowfall would be better.
     
  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Moderator Staff Member

    Hi there, welcome to the forum!

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    (Images from Happy Trips, India and Holidify)

    Overview

    January is part of the winter season in India and by this month, the country experiences lower temperatures and a drier atmosphere. The northern part of the country, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Sikkim, receives abundant snowfall by the end of December until the month of January. If you want to explore the warmer regions of India during this month, then you can visit destinations around the southern part of India and even its east coast and west coast. Usually, temperatures hover around 15°C to 30°C in different places around the southern region of India. There are also some hill stations around the southern part that you can visit that don't receive snowfall unlike the hill stations in the northern part of India.

    Best Places to Visit in January in India for Warmer Climate

    Trendy and modern cities...

    1. Chennai - Chennai retains an old world charm despite being quite progressive. It is one of the most populated cities in India but still isn't as crowded as Delhi or Mumbai. The people relish in their heritage yet are still able to lend a helping hand to tourists. January is the coldest month of the year but temperatures are still on the 30°C mark. It is pleasantly cooler as compared to the rest of they year so sightseeing is very much a possibility. As mentioned above, Chennai is a bustling city that holds some of its colonial era attractions still. The Fort Saint George was the first ever British fortress in the country where the oldest Anglican church and oldest British tomb stones in India can be found. The Vivekananda House is another important historical site in the city as this is where Swami Vivekananda stayed during his visit in the city. Marina Beach is known as the second longest beach in the world, a favourite hot spot for both youngsters and couple, it can be bit crowded though. The Besant Nagar Beach is located on the south of the former beach and is a bit more secluded. For families with small children, Chennai has lots of attractions to keep them busy. The second oldest museum in the country, the Government Museum of Chennai, plays host to significant artefacts excavated in and out of the country. The Dakshinachitra Museum is fascinating because actual houses from the traditional villages of South India were transferred here to mimic the look and feel of a rural region. The Railway Museum is another fun attraction as it has a toy train and real train exhibits. And lastly, there are a few wildlife sanctuaries in the city too but the Guindy National Park is particularly interesting as it is one of the few national parks located within a city in India. You can spot mammals such as blackbucks, chitals and jackals here as well as plenty of bird species.
    • Must visit attractions - Fort Saint George, Vivekananda House, Marina Beach, Besant Nagar Beach, Government Museum of Chennai, Dakshinachitra Museum, Railway Museum and Guindy National Park.
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    Vivekananda House in Chennai (Image from Vivekananda House)

    2. Hyderabad - A city with a very diverse culture, Hyderabad, is yet another must visit destination in January. Just like the former city, temperatures barely exceed the 30°C during this month so it's mildly cool. As compared to the summer months which reach the 45°C mark, January isn't too hot nor too cold, perfect for just exploring the city. The best features of the city are its cleaner surroundings and less crowds as compared to main metro cities in India. A prime attraction of the city is the Golconda Fort, which started out as a mud fort built by the Kakatiya rulers but much of its present structure can be attributed to the Qutub Shahi rulers. Aside from the grand architectural design of the fort, the ingenious elements that ensured the safety and strength of it are also worth seeing. Just outside the Golconda Fort is the Qutub Shahi Tombs, another masterpiece of the dynasty with the same name. The combination of both Persian and Hindu styles of architecture is unique in itself and the tombs are the only of their kind wherein a whole dynasty was buried in one place. Another landmark of the city is the Charminar, a mosque with four minarets, built to ward off a deadly plague in the 15th century. Built over a span of a hundred years by different rulers is the Chowmahalla Palace which now has exhibits showcasing important items used by the royal family back then. The Hussain Sagar Lake is a manmade lake made by the Qutub Shahi dynasty as well. In the middle of the lake is a large statue of Buddha which looks especially stunning during sunset. Stepping aside from the historical sites, we go to the Birla Mandir of Hyderabad. With its pure white facade, it's impossible to miss this temple in the city, dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Its grandeur is apparent yet still exudes a sense of calmness and serenity to devotees. The Nehru Zoological Park, the largest zoological park in the country, is a place that children would enjoy. There's even a toy train here that can take visitors around the whole park. Finally, take some time to explore the Ramoji Film City, the largest film complex in the country. Several tour agencies provide for tours around the film city or you can opt to stay within the two luxury hotels in the film city.
    • Must visit attractions - Golconda Fort, Qutub Shahi Tombs, Charminar, Chowmahalla Palace, Hussain Sagar Lake, Birla Mandir, Nehru Zoological Park and Ramoji Film City.
    Hill stations without snowfall...

    3. Yercaud - Hill stations that are synonymous with Tamil Nadu are Ooty, Coonoor and Kodaikanal but there's this hidden gem that not a lot of tourists know about. Going by the name of Yercaud, which can be found in the Salem district of Tamil Nadu, this picturesque hill station offers the same scenic views but less of the crowds. During January, temperatures can go as low as 16°C so they are still bearable and snowfall does not occur on this region as well. Tourists can enjoy a boat ride on the Yercaud Lake, also known as the Big Lake, especially on a clear morning sky when you can view the surrounding greenery. Just nearby the lake is the Deer Park and Botanical Garden, attractions that children would surely enjoy. The Pagoda Point is another must visit place where you can view the mountains and valleys below. The approach to the view point is a bit bumpy though so access it with caution. Other view points around Yercaud are the Lady's Seat, Gent's Seat and Children's Seat which all give good views of the valleys below. For trekkers, you can visit the Kiliyur Waterfalls which requires about a 200-step downwards climb to reach so it's not suitable for the elderly people or very small children. The boulders surrounding the waterfalls add to the picturesque natural beauty of the attraction. Finally, indulge in a thrilling drive around the 32-Kilometre Loop Road of Yercaud. The road trip would take you around aromatic coffee plantations although the curves and climbs can be a bit challenging. Avoid the crowds and commercialisation of other hill stations and explore Yercaud instead, it's an experience worth having.
    • Must visit attractions - Yercaud Lake, Deer Park, Botanical Garden, Pagoda Point, Lady's Seat, Gent's Seat, Children's Seat, Kiliyur Waterfalls and 32-Kilometre Loop Road.
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    Yercaud Lake in Yercaud (Image from Sudarshan V.)

    4. Araku Valley - Araku Valley is located in Andhra Pradesh and has pleasant climate almost all-year round. January is its coldest month with temperatures reaching the low 10°C mark. Snowfall does not occur on this region though so you can still enjoy sightseeing. Just bring your medium to heavy woollens to enjoy exploring the region. Because the region is inhabited by tribes, nature here is well preserved and attractions are still in their pristine forms. For instance, the Katiki Waterfalls, approachable after a 30-minute trek, is surrounded by lush jungles which add to its beauty. The pool beneath the waterfalls can refresh you after a tiring trek. A bit further from the Araku Valley is the Dumbriguda Chaparai Waterfalls, but this one is approachable by car. It is best visited during the winter and most families enjoy a simple picnic beside the waterfalls. The Padmapuram Botanical Gardens was originally intended to be a vegetable farm for soldiers but was then converted into a botanical garden after the war. The assortment of flowers and plants can be very refreshing especially for the city dwellers. The Ananthagiri Hills is surrounded by coffee plantations and has lots of waterfalls and mangroves that make the place even more beautiful. Last but not the least is the Araku Tribal Museum, here you can find certain artefacts relating to the native tribes of the region.
    • Must visit attractions - Katiki Waterfalls, Dumbriguda Chaparai Waterfalls, Padmapuram Botanical Gardens, Ananthagiri Hills and Araku Tribal Museum.
    Heritage is important...

    5. Jaisalmer - On the desert state of Rajasthan lies Jaisalmer, which also referred to as the Golden City of the State. While the city remains hot and humid during the other seasons, winter is the preferred season for tourists because the temperatures are bearable. In fact, temperatures can go as low as 5°C during the month of January in the region. The only living fort in India is located in Jaisalmer, known as the Golden Fort or Jaisalmer Fort. You can spot houses, shops and restaurants within the fort, also people going by as they are living their daily lives away. The changing hues of the fort depending on the time of the day is also worth watching. The Tanot Mata Temple is another attraction in the city, revered holy by many Indian soldiers primarily because it survived the bombing during the war despite its location. There are also many havelis around the fort which were built by the merchants of the region. The Patwon Ki Haveli is the largest haveli in the city, with a golden facade, it's quite hard to miss in the city. The arched pillars and carved exteriors add to the glamour of the place. The Salim Singh Ki Haveli can be viewed only from the outside, its lattice works are quite extensive and very much photograph-worthy. Of course what's a visit to Jaisalmer without exploring its Sand Dunes? Do take a camel safari ride and enjoy the views of the Thar desert or even more thrilling, stay in an overnight camping site to fully experience the desert life. Finally, before your trip to Jaisalmer ends, visit the Gadsisar Sagar Lake and enjoy a calming boat ride here. This lake is a manmade reservoir which used to supply water to the residents of the city.
    • Must visit attractions - Golden Fort, Tanot Mata Temple, Patwon Ki Haveli, Salim Singh Ki Haveli, Sand Dunes and Gadsisar Sagar Lake.
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    Golden Fort in Jaisalmer

    6. Khajuraho - You know that a monument is important when it is included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list, just like the Khajuraho Group of Monuments. The best season to explore the structures and carvings within the monuments would be during the winter season. The other seasons have downsides like the summer which can be extremely hot and humid or the monsoon which can be cloudy and gloomy. Temperatures during January can reach the lower 5°C mark. The Khajuraho Group of Monuments can be divided into four sections, namely: Western Group, Eastern Group, Jain Group and Southern Group. Aside from the famed erotic sculptures, these monuments also showcase the lifestyle during that era. You can find sculptures depicting daily activities like women putting on makeup or even farmers tending to their lands. Also included in the carvings are that of Hindu deities like Vishnu and Shiva along with their consorts. Allot about two to three days to fully explore the monuments and see their glory. Also located in Khajuraho is the Benisagar Lake, about seven kilometres away from its city centre. After a tiring day of exploring the monuments, a serene boat ride in this lake can be a breath of fresh air.
    • Must visit attractions - Khajuraho Group of Monuments and Benisagar Lake.
    Swim like a fish...

    7. Varkala - Varkala is a beach destination in Kerala, a favourite amongst local families. Its beaches are more serene and less crowded as compared to the beaches of Kovalam, also in Kerala. During January, temperatures don't exceed the 30°C mark so just warm enough to lounge and swim all day long. The clear blue skies reflect upon the seas which is quite a stunning view. Varkala Beach is located amidst cliff sides which is a different sight in itself. There are even restaurants within these cliff sides from where you can dine and enjoy the view of the seas at the same time. The Papasnanam Beach is another fascinating beach. During the early morning, there are rituals done here by the priests for the dead. By mid-afternoon, the beach becomes less crowded and more serene. Finally, the Kappil Beach has two sides, one is the lagoon side and the other is the beach side. You can enjoy a boat ride amidst the lake and a swim in its beach. If the beaches of Goa or even Kovalam are too mainstream for you, Varkala would be your best choice. The beaches here are clean, serene and beautiful too, with stunning views of the cliffs as well.
    • Must visit attractions - Varkala Beach, Papasnanam Beach and Kappil Beach.
    8. Ganpatipule - This small town in Maharashtra is little known to tourists. January is a good time to visit this beach destination as temperatures don't exceed the 25°C mark. The Ganpatipule Beach is its main beach, which has white sands and clear greenish waters. Although there are some beach shacks and hawkers around, the beach is still relatively quiet and serene. There are a few water sports activities that you can do here, like water scootering and boat riding. The duo Beaches of Arey and Ware, a few kilometres away from Ganpatipule is also worth exploring. Their shores are lined with sea shells and very fine golden sands. Both are very quiet too especially during weekdays. However, there's not much water sports that you can do here but for sunset and sunrise views, these beaches would be perfect for those. A bit further from Ganpatipule is the Malgund Beach, which is the most underdeveloped beach of the region. You can consider it as a virgin beach, untouched by commercialism and modernism. Do visit the beach during day time only as it is a bit isolated.
    • Must visit attractions - Ganpatipule Beach, Arey Beach, Ware Beach and Malgund Beach.
    • Related thread - n/a
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    Ganpatipule Beach in Ganpatipule (Image from India)

    Offbeat places for you...

    9. Kadapa - Are you a fan of unexplored heritage sites? Then make your way into Kadapa where India's very own Grand Canyon can be viewed. Kadapa is located in the Rayalseema district of Andhra Pradesh. The small village has a tropical climate all-year round but January is the coldest month with temperatures barely exceeding the 28°C mark. Its main attraction os the Gandikota Fort, from which the gorge along the Pennar river can be viewed from. But aside from this view, the fort itself is stunning, with a mixture of both architectural styles of the Qutub Shahi rulers and Vijayanagar rulers. Also located close to the Pennar river is the Sidhout Fort, built around the 13th century. Its main draw though is that it has plenty of ancient temples with magnificent carvings. There are also a couple of temples around the village that you can visit like the Ameen Peer Dargah Shrine and Sri Kodanda Ramaswamy Temple.
    • Must visit attractions - Gandikota Fort, Sidhout Fort, Ameen Peer Dargah Shrine and Sri Kodanda Ramaswamy Temple.
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    Gandikota Fort in Kadapa (Image from Adventure Gurus)

    10. Kudremukh - Kudremukh is a peak located in the hill station of Chikmagalur in Karnataka. It is an adventure lover's paradise as it has tons of places for trekking. During January, the climate in the region is pleasant, with temperatures around 10°C to 20°C. The prime attraction of the region is the Kudremukh Peak, where trekking is allowed. The trek would take you around lush forests and even wildlife. The peak is located in the Kudremukh National Park, yet another attraction in the region. There's also the Hanuman Gundi Waterfalls is a small waterfall located close to Kudremukh. The gushing of the water here can calm your spirits after a tiring day of trekking around. If you're someone who loves adventure, Kudremukh is a good place to visit. It isn't as crowded as other hill stations yet has the same views, if not better because its untouched by modernism yet.
    • Must visit attractions - Kudremukh Peak, Kudremukh National Park and Hanuman Gundi Waterfalls.
    Conclusion

    Even during the colder winter season, there are many places that you can explore around India. Set aside that cup of hot tea and your blanket, pack your bags and get ready for a wild adventure. Just make sure that you bring your winter essentials though to combat the lower temperatures. Enjoy your trip and make sure you bring home lots of memories that would last forever!

    :)
     

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