Winter is here: Plan your next trip to these off-beat domestic destinations
With the winter season upon us, many of us are looking at a quick getaway - be it to spend more time with loved ones, take a much-needed break or experience what our beautiful country has to offer. Making it easier for people to travel during holiday season, yet avoid the crowd at a destination, Booking.com, the leading travel brand, has curated a list of offbeat domestic winter getaways one can explore in December. From Kalpetta (Kerala) to Lambasingi (Andhra Pradesh), head to these untapped destinations to create some unforgettable year-end memories.
Lambasingi, Andhra Pradesh:
Lambasingi is a small village located in Andhra Pradesh’s Visakhapatnam district. Nestled in the picturesque mountains of the Eastern Ghats, Lambasingi offers travellers a pleasant climate, great views of the dense forest, fresh coffee from locally grown coffee plantations and relaxing boat rides on the backwaters. Locally known as ‘The Kashmir of Andhra Pradesh’, since it is the only place in South India that receives snowfall, Lambasingi is a winter delight. If you are looking for a peaceful, quiet holiday with an opportunity to witness some breath-taking views and a chance to click plenty of photos, then Lambasingi is just the place to be
Bylakuppe is a lesser known destination in Karnataka which is also the second largest Tibetan settlement in India after Dharamshala. The town houses popular monasteries, temples with the Golden Temple being the most popular attraction. A day in Bylakuppe begins with the Namdroling Monastery’s bell being rung to wake up the town. For those of you who lean towards spirituality, meditation with the monks and a chat with them can be very enriching. During winter, this experience coupled with a hot cup of tea or momos makes for an engrossing telltale moment. The destination is said to have more tourists during summer as compared to winter, so winters are a good time to avoid crowds and enjoy the calmness.
Situated right at the Indian-Bangladesh border in the East Khasi Hills of Meghalaya, Mawlynnong is a green cove that has been voted as the cleanest village in Asia by Discovery magazine. This picture perfect hamlet is maintained entirely through self-sustained methods and each member of the village works hard at keeping Mawlynnong at its pristine best. So if you’re looking for a sustainable trip this winter, Mawlynnong is the place to visit. Often referred to as ‘God’s own Garden’ the destination has plenty of waterfalls and caves to explore including the Living Root Bridge which is great for morning walks during winters.
Lava, West Bengal:
Situated in West Bengal, Lava is one of the lesser known destinations of India but nonetheless a beautiful one. A small village situated in Darjeeling district, Lava is one of the few places in West Bengal to receive snowfall in winter. Nature trails in Lava during winter can be very captivating, as you get to spot many deers and squirrels, among other fauna, given its proximity to Neora Valley National Park. You and your family can also enjoy the panoramic snow views of Mt Kanchenjunga, Mt Siniolchu, Jelep La Pass and Rechila Pass. If you are looking for a quiet escape to the mountains, Lava makes for a good getaway.
Kalpetta is a town nestled in Wayanad’s green hills and valleys. This town makes an ideal getaway destination from the hustle and bustle of city life, given its tranquil environment. Moreover, the destination caters to both, travellers looking for some adventure as well as those looking for a calm getaway. Travellers looking for some adrenaline rush can go rock climbing along Meenmutty or uphill trekking to Chembra Peak or Neelima viewpoint. As for those looking for some relaxation and peace of mind, the meditation classes held at Swami Jain Temple are a must try. This hilltop temple is surrounded by coffee plantations to supplement your meditation with a warm brew of coffee.
Jibhi, Himachal Pradesh:
A little hamlet in the state of Himachal Pradesh, Jibhi is the perfect destination for you to explore this December if you want a quiet Christmas with your family, away from the crowd. Numerous waterfalls, historical temples, serene valleys and beautiful sunrise views provide for a unique and scintillating experience. The mountains surrounding Jibhi are lush with pine and cedar forests and it is also just one hour away from the Great Himalayan National Park. A short drive from picturesque Jalori Pass, Jibhi is a good base for hiking, birding, fishing, and enjoying the outdoors.