Top places to visit for an unusual Christmas experience

Image courtesy: ©Gunther Espinosa/500px

If you want to do something offbeat during Christmas this year, we have lined up a range of interesting options in different corners of the country, from snow-covered slopes in the north to the buzz of Bengaluru.

Sip special Christmas drinks in Bengaluru

In certain cities you can smell Christmas in the air and Bengaluru happens to be one of them. Think pulm cakes, mulled wine, yule logs, turkey and a hearty brunch with special Christmas buffets. If you would rather grab a drink the microbreweries here have special drinks for the festival. Head to Toit for their special Santa Ale, a beer made with traditional Christmas spices, mulled wine is best at Caperberry while Sangria is great at Olive Beach. Many bakeries such as Fatima, Albert, All Saints, Thomsan, Koshy’s make the ultimate plum cake.

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Cricket on the beach
Image courtesy: ©varun suvarna/Lonely Planet

Go angling on Christmas in Mangalore

Those passionate about angling can head to Panambur Beach to take part in the Angling Carnival organised on Christmas Eve and Christmas by the New Mangalore Port Trust. If you net the catch of the day, you will be richer by 50,000 rupees. Hurry and register as only 100 participants are allowed on a first come first serve basis.

Visit Daman and Diu for a Portuguese Christmas

Immerse yourself in traditional Christmas celebrations on a grand scale at Daman and Diu. Home to many churches including Daman’s famous Church of Bom Jesus, the heritage of these former Portuguese colonies comes alive as everyone lights up their homes with colourful lamps, there are Portuguese dances, cultural shows and of course traditional Christmas food. Don’t forget to taste the famous Christmas cookies here.

Get aboard the Deccan Odyssey to spend Christmas on a luxury train

Watch the countryside roll by as you relax in a classy cabin with beds that have sink in mattresses and soft pillows. Christmas aboard a luxury train may be unusual but with two restaurants, a bar, lounge and a spa to spoil you silly, this Christmas will be memorable. After all the Deccan Odyssey is no less than a five star hotel, but the red carpet treatment here goes a notch higher. Did we mention that the food is absolutely delicious?

Take part in the White Xmas Shimla Marathon

Start the day before Christmas on a healthy note by taking part in this 21-km marathon that’ll take you through the most interesting points in Shimla. Starting from the Ridge, you’ll pass Scandal Point, Viceregal Lodge, University Chowk, Kali Bari temple and go uphill several times. It’s not easy, but the magical views of the white mountains makes it worth the effort. Did we mention digging into delicious Christmas delicacies after the run?

Sunset at Radhanagar beach, on Havelock island, Andaman and Nicobar, India
Image courtesy: ©Dchauy/Shutterstock

Watch the sunset at Radhanagar Beach in Havelock Island, Andamans

Ranked as one of the best beaches in Asia, this soft white sand beach with crystal clear water on one side and mangroves on the other boasts of spectacular sunsets. You can try swimming or snorkelling and admire the gorgeous colourful corals. With no shacks in sight, it is promises to be quiet yet one of the most scenic Christmas evenings you’ve spent in a long time.

Enjoy the Rann Utsav on Christmas

If this famous festival has been on your bucket list, then make sure you’re here on Christmas this time. It’s a display of Gujarati culture at its best – from traditional dances, music, food and handicrafts to activities such as dirt biking and camel cart rides. Gazing at the white sands of Rann of Kutch on a full moon night promises to be an unforgettable experience.

AUTHOR'S BIO: A traveller and foodie at heart, Pallavi Pasricha has explored many destinations across the world. But that never seems to be enough and she’s always ready to hit the road again. Her obsession for travel is combined with a love for photography.