December marks the beginning of pleasant weather in different parts of the country. And with so many varied places to visit in December in India that you can head out during the coming month, there is something for every type of traveller.
So whether you want to enjoy a heady dose of culture, head to the Kochi-Muziris Biennale or want to enjoy some electronic music at the Magnetic Fields Festival or want to seek some adrenaline rush, there is a host of activities and places that you must bookmark right away. So, which of these would you consider as the best places to visit in December in India.
Buy Handicrafts and Listen to Baul Singers at the Poush Mela, West Bengal
While Shantiniketan is perfect for visiting at any time of the year, but it is totally worth booking your ticket for the Poush Mela (Monday, 24 December -Wednesday, 26 December, 2018), a three day celebration of song, dance and crafts that dates back a century.
With fairgrounds lined with stalls selling terracotta figurines, jewellery of dokra metalwork and leather bags, this is the best chance for you to get your hands on some authentic local products from the. If the festival is not enough for making this one of the best places to visit in December in India, head to the Rabindra Bhavan Museum, where you can enjoy original letters and photographs from the life of Rabindranath Tagore. Plus, with niche sculptures, walls covered with paintings and striking murals, this is the best way to soak in the culture of Bengal in a truly unique and memorable manner.
When: Monday, 24 December – Wednesday, 26 December, 2018
Soak in the Music and Heritage at the Magnetic Fields Festival, Rajasthan
Another of the incredible places to visit in December in India is Rajasthan, which will soon play host to the Magnetic Fields Festival. The best time to visit the state, this festival takes place on the majestic and sweeping lawns of the restored Alsisar Mahal. Considered as a good mix of traditional Rajasthani culture and food, the star attraction of the festival is the electronic music played by DJs from all over the world. This year, the festival takes place between 14-16 December, 2018. Besides music, you can also take part in yoga sessions, treasure hunts, parties, arts installations and star gazing sessions. Make a plan with your friends right away.
PS: Once you have had your share of the festival, head out and explore the Shekhawati region which is known for its heritage havelis. Don’t forget to carry your cameras as well.
When: Fri Dec 14 – Sun Dec 16, 2018
Enjoy in the Music and Gorge on Ghee Roast at the Carnatic Music Season, Chennai
Always wanted to visit South India but never had the opportunity? Then one of the best places to visit in December in India would be Chennai, which will be holding the Chennai Music Season in the upcoming month. With a popular festival on the cards, the Carnatic Season continues for the entire month and brings together performers who are stalwarts in the classical singing field and newbies who are eager to make their debut at the festival. Another reason why you must consider this as one of the best places to visit in December in India is that also allows travellers a unique chance to explore Chennai, that is more often than not just a gateway to the Andaman or Pondicherry. From local markets, temples and delicious local food, this is truly one of the most unique places to visit in December in India.
When: Dec, 2018
Experience the Beaches, Fun and Music at the Feast of Francis Xavier, Goa
Although Goa is considered among the perfect places to visit in December in India at any point of time, what makes this beach haven more special is the fact that it takes on a totally different hue in this season. While beaches and local food are always an immediate draw, head to Goa during December for the Feast of Francis Xavier. Here you can mingle with tourists from all over the world, who come here to mark the death anniversary of Francis Xavier, who is the patron of the Old Goa’s Basilica of Bom Jesus. While masses begin as early as 4 in the morning, the day continues with carnival like celebrations that includes, peppy music, street star and performances by artists from around the globe.
When: Monday Dec 3, 2018
Get grooving at the NH7 Weekender, Pune
Another in the list of the best places to visit in December in India, especially for any music lover is the NH7 Weekender, which takes place in Pune. This time the festival will take place between 7-9 December and will include an eclectic mixture of musicians and stand-up comics. Performances will include God Is An Astronaut, The Contortionist, Salim-Sulaiman Live, Mahesh Kale, Louise Burns, Sandunes Live, Shébani, Tanya Nambiar, The Kush Upadhyay Group, Benny Dayal and Funktuation among others.
The comic line-up looks promising with comedians Ashish Shakya, Kavin Jay, Navin Noronha, Kaneez Surka, Kunal Rao, Niveditha Prakasam, Prashasti Singh, Rohan Joshi, Urooj Ashfaq, Biswa Kalyan Rath, Kumar Varun, Punya Arora, Radhika Vaz, and a few others set to tickle your bones.
PS: While Pune is always one of the better places to visit in December in India, this state can also be a good getaway to other places like Mumbai, Lonavala, Mahabaleshwar, Wai and Satara.
When: Fri Dec 7 – Sun Dec 9, 2018
(Tickets INR 2,000- 4000)
Get High On Adrenaline at the Orange Festival, Arunachal Pradesh
A quiet haven for adventure lovers from around the world, Arunachal Pradesh is truly one of the best places to visit in December in India. So if you are ready to climb every mountain and wade through every ocean, then head to the Orange Festival which takes place in Arunachal Pradesh’s Dambuk district. Get the adrenaline pumping with activities that include activities like motocross, zip lining, and white-water rafting, post which you can enjoy performances by artists and performers from around the country.
When: Saturday Dec 15 – Tuesday Dec 18, 2018
Enjoy Serendipity Arts Festival, Goa
Covering, arts, crafts, music, food, dance and a host of other activities, the Serendipity Arts Festival is one of the most ideal places to visit in December in India during this year. With multiple artworks in public and private spaces that are spread throughout the city, don’t forget to attend their workshops, food experiences and concerts. In the past, personalities like Riyas Khomu, Manu Chandra, Lilette Dubey along with performances and concerts, by artists like Astad Deboo, Papon and more have already been part of the festival and this year equally impressive names are set to make their experiences.
PS: The festival takes place at Panjim, which truly becomes one venue for the festival. A multi-disciplinary arts event, this festival truly takes art to the masses and is spread across various venues like historical buildings, public parks and private spaces.
Soak in the splendour of Bharatanayam at the Mamallapuram Dance Festival, Tamil Nadu
Still looking for a destination which can be counted among the best places to visit in December in India? We make a case for the coastal town of Mamallapuram (more popularly called Mahabalipuram) which is located a little over 60 km from Chennai. While temples, beaches and food are enough reason to make it one of the best places to visit in December in India, this town will also play host to Mamallapuram Dance Festival which starts from 25 Dec and will end by mid-January next year. Set against the backdrop of the UNESCO World Heritage stone temples, you can enjoy a host of unique dance forms including Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathak, Odissi, and Mohiniattam. Plus watching these dancers perform their incredible art is a once in a lifetime experience that you will remember for a long time. Book your tickets now.
Watch the Fierce Dance Form of Theyyams at Kanathoor Nalvar Bhoothasthanam, Kerala
While Kerala is one of those picture perfect places to visit in December in India all through the year, this month provides you one extra reason. What you ask? The Nalvar Bhoothasthanam which takes place at the village of Kanathoor where theyyam artists take centerstage. A striking dance form, that honours Shakti, or the primal goddess, these dances take place at night, usually in temples or forest clearing. Do not miss under any circumstances, as this art form is generally not witnessed by many people.
When: mid Dec 2018
Channel your Inner Superhero at the Comic Con, Delhi
On the travel list of many tourists, Delhi is definitely one of the best places to visit in December in India. Not only is the weather truly amazing with the occasional winter chills, Comic Con Delhi also provides is also the perfect opportunity for you to channel your inner superheroes and meet other comic nerds. Bonus reward for attending the festival: Tonnes of geeky, cool souvenirs.
With so many places to visit in December in India, we believe that choosing the best one might not be an easy task, but we recommend we strike off as many as possible from your list. Have you made your plans yet?