2023 is here, and travellers are excited to venture out again as most places have relaxed COVID-19 travel restrictions. If travelling to a destination in India is on your to-do list this year, you can check out a destination that offers something special for the particular month of your travel.
So get set to plan your holidays in India with this list of 12 places to visit in India for each month of the year.
January – New Delhi
New Delhi is the Capital of India. Travellers can experience really cold weather in January in New Delhi, with mostly sunny and pleasant afternoons.
The best time to visit New Delhi in January is on 26th January, when India celebrates its Republic Day with great patriotism, enthusiasm and dignified celebrations. One can witness the Prime Minister hoisting the Tricolour at the Red Fort. To mark this historic day, a grand parade is held at Rajpath with a display of pageantry in the form of cultural floats and military parades.
The streets of New Delhi, Connaught Place, Meena Bazar – all offer amazing sightseeing and shopping throughout the day and night.
February – Khajuraho
The town of Khajuraho gets its name from the Sanskrit word kharjur meaning ‘date palm’. India’s largest group of medieval Hindu and Jain temples with famously erotic sculptures can be found at Khajuraho. Among the Hindu temples here, the Matangeshvara Temple is the only site of worship still actively in use.
Maha Shivaratri, signifying Shiva’s marriage, is celebrated at the temple in February. Over 25,000 people attend the three-day ceremony in Khajuraho, where the lingam is bathed, dressed and decorated like a human bridegroom.
Besides the festivities, travellers can take a tour of the Khajuraho Group of Monuments. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1986, it is considered one of the Seven Wonders of India.
March – Mathura
Mathura is located on the banks of the river Yamuna about an hour’s drive from Agra.
Mathura is considered as one of the seven holy cities of Hinduism. It is believed to be the place where Lord Krishna was born and spent his early days. Among the most sacred and most visited places is Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi Janmasthan Temple.
In the month of March, the festival of Holi is celebrated at Barsana with excitement. One can also visit the city of Vrindavan and partake in its festivities with a riot of colours.
Mathura has been chosen as one of the heritage cities under a Government of India scheme to help preserve its heritage. Dwarkadheesh Temple is definitely worth checking out as it is the most elaborately designed temple.
April – Goa
Goa, known as the ‘Rome of the East’, is India’s smallest state. Goa is located on the south-western coast, within the Konkan region. The waters of the Arabian Sea line Goa’s western coast, stretching from its tip to its toe. Goa is influenced by Portuguese colonialisation and this is still evident in its architecture, heritage, food and music.
Travellers to Goa can enjoy numerous activities and experiences throughout the year. There’s something for everybody – white-sand beaches, forts, World Heritage architectural sites, places of worship, idyllic villages, active nightlife, forest and wildlife sanctuaries, and sport & water adventure activities.
April is the harvest season in Goa, and it’s the time for a unique festival – the Goa Cashew & Coconut Festival. The festival focuses on the role that coconut and cashew nut play in Goa. There are many stalls featuring handicrafts and artefacts made using coconut shells and other by-products. Visitors can experience cashew fruit stomping and taste Urak and Feni, the liquor made from cashew, or participate in a ‘Climb a coconut tree’ workshop.
May – Sarnath
Sarnath is located 10kilometers northeast of Varanasi and is one of the four places of pilgrimage that the Buddha has mentioned that his devout followers should visit.
Visitors from around the world throng to Sarnath during the full moon night Buddha Purnima celebrations in May. The whole of Sarnath is decorated to mark the birthday of Lord Buddha. In the evening lamps are lit at the Bodhi Tree and other significant places transforming Sarnath into a captivating sight.
The Dhamek Stupa is one of the most impressive structures among the archaeological ruins. Historical enthusiasts should take a tour of the Sarnath Archeological Museum, housing the famous Lion Capital of Ashoka from the top of the Ashokan pillar, which is the State Emblem of India and national symbol on the flag of India.
June – Ladakh
Ladakh is located in the northern region of India amid the cloudy peaks of the Himalayas.
Travellers can enjoy trips to Ladakh’s colourful markets and take tours of its magnificent palaces and hidden monasteries. One can also meet local families and get immersed in remote village culture.
The Sindhu Darshan Festival is celebrated for three days in Ladakh in June. One of the highlights of the festival is the ceremony where people from other states bring water from their state’s rivers to further immerse in the Indus River. Amidst the scenic mountainscape of Ladakh, it is one of India’s best representation of cultural harmony.
While in Leh, take a vehicle ride across the Khardung La Pass, one of the world’s highest motorable roads.
July – Meghalaya
Meghalaya meaning ‘abode of clouds’, is one of the Seven Sister States of north-eastern India. Meghalaya is the wettest place on Earth, so visitors should pack accordingly. Meghalaya has three biodiversity-rich wildlife sanctuaries. Due to the abundant rainfall, the forests of Meghalaya support a vast variety of floral and faunal biodiversity. Small portions of the forests are preserved by the communities for hundreds of years, mainly for religious and cultural beliefs and to protect them from any exploitation.
Behdienkhlam Festival is a traditional Meghalayan festival celebrated by the Pnar tribe in Jowai, Jaintia Hills in July. It is timed right after the agricultural sowing is over, and the villagers dance to drive away any negativity that may affect the crop. Visitors can witness a procession of ceremonial tree trunks and chariots at the end of the three day festival
August – Alleppey
Alleppey (Alappuzha) is also known as ‘the Venice of the East’. Alleppey, located in Kerala, is considered to be the oldest planned city in the region. Alleppey offers the best of Kerala’s backwaters and more than a thousand nostalgic but modern ‘kettuvallam’ houseboats.
One of the major tourist attractions is Alappuzha Lighthouse, built on the coast of the city. It is the first of its kind along the Laccadive Sea coast.
Punnamda Lake is the venue for the famous Nehru Trophy Snake Boat Race in Alleppey in August. Witness thousands of men singing folk songs while competing with each other by rowing snake boats with great zeal and coordination. This event marks the start of 10 days of the festival of Onam in Kerala. Similarly, on Pampa River in Alleppey, the Aranmula Snake Boat Race marks the end of Onam.
September – Chhattisgarh
Chhattisgarh is a landlocked state in Eastern India that at one time in its history had 36 forts or strongholds, hence its name. Visitors lucky to get an aerial view will notice that the outline of Chhattisgarh appears to be like a sea horse.
Having the country’s 3rd largest forest cover, Chhattisgarh has the UNESCO recognised Achanakmar-Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve, as well as multiple National Parks and Tiger Reserves across the state. One of Chhattisgarh’s main attractions is the natural waterfall Amrit Dhara Waterfall at Koriya. Another popular place known for its natural environment and climate is the hill station city Chirimiri, often referred to as the Heaven of Chhattisgarh.
The best time to visit Chhattisgarh is in September during the 10-day classical dance and music festival of Chakradhar Samaroh. Travellers can enjoy the variety of light and sound shows, classical dance performances, and music shows.
October – Telangana
Telangana is a relatively newly formed state, situated on the high Deccan Plateau in the south-central region of the Indian peninsula. Telangana has three National Parks and some Wildlife Sanctuaries. There are 65 sacred groves, which are small areas of forest preserved by the local people, and provide sanctuary to the local flora and fauna. One of Telangana’s most renowned irrigation projects is the Nagarjuna Sagar Dam, the world’s highest masonry dam. Banjaras or the Gypsies are an important tribe of Telangana and the traditional Banjara needle crafts and handmade fabrics are well known.
During the festival of Bathukamma in October, the town takes on the multi-colour shades of various flowers. This flower festival celebrated the incarnation of Goddess Durga, considered as the Goddess of womanhood and a life-giver. A must-see is a temple tower structure that is built completely using only floral arrangements.
November – Assam
Assam is located in the north-eastern region of India. Assam is world famous for its Assam tea and Assam silk. There are two World Heritage sites at Kaziranga National Park and Manas National Park. The Brahmaputra River flows through Assam and it has some of the most beautiful oxbow lakes. Visitors at the Dibru-Saikhowa National Park can view Assam’s famed feral horses. Guwahati often referred to as the ‘Gateway to North-East India’ is one of the 100 fastest growing cities in the world.
Majuli is recognised as the world’s largest inhabited riverine island. The 4 day Majuli Festival is a showcase of Assam’s rich cultural heritage. It is celebrated in November in Garmur on the banks of the River Luit. A number of ethnic groups from Majuli and other parts of the state take part in the celebrations and cultural programmes.
December – Rajasthan
Rajasthan, meaning the ‘Land of Kings’ is India’s largest state. Most of the inhospitable Thar Desert lies in Rajasthan. The largest city in the desert is Jodhpur, also called ‘The Gateway of the Thar’. Rajasthan has three national tiger reserves, the most well-known of which is the Ranthambore National Park at Sawai Madhopur.
Mount Abu is located in India’s oldest mountain range, the Aravallis, and is Rajasthan’s only hill station. The Dilwara Temples located there, are a group of Jain temples dating between the 11th and 16th centuries.
The Winter Festival celebrated at Mount Abu in December, is an excellent way to end the old year and bring in the New Year. Rajasthan’s varied, ancient and rich culture and traditions are showcased during the Mount Abu Winter Festival. During this time, Rajasthan celebrates with fun and frolic, lights, flags, banners and buntings, hosting a boat race, adventure sports, a cyclothon, a cricket match and many more activities.
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