Best winter sun destinations in India

Port Blair is like a paradise on Earth
Image courtesy: ©Suresh Srinivasan

The air is chilly and the cold season is at its peak in major parts of the country, so it’s time to head off to warmer places for a holiday.

Some of the winter sun destinations that you may want to gradually tick off your bucket list this season are listed here.

Blissful Port Blair

This is for those who love travelling far, long and at the same time appreciate being closer to nature. Imagine a unique landing experience just before you touch down overlooking the gorgeous rain forests, amidst the vast expanse of azure sea welcoming you with open arms; that’s Port Blair for you- the perfect weather during this time, calm seas, warm Sun, sand and sports activities to satisfy your adventure appetite. Head with family or friends and explore all nearby islands, like Ross and Havelock. Travelling solo has its own advantages; all you need is to hire a scooter.

Places to Explore: You can run around from Aberdeen Bazaar to Corbyn’s cove beach, try out some water sport or just zip away for a 2 hour ride to Chidiya Tapu & see the sunset while riding along the beach. A 1.5km trek from Munda Pahar beach will offer you some of the most stunning views. Other places to explore are Mount Harriet and Cellular Jail- its sound and light show will give an insight into history. For more adventurous lots, there are some unexplored islands like Cinque Island which can be explored from Chidiya Tapu. Head to Havelock or Neil Island and relax at beaches of Radhanagar, Kalapathar and Vijaynagar or just snorkel at the Elephant beach. There are plenty of accommodations available around.

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Hampi has a strangely beautiful landscape
Hampi has a strangely beautiful landscape
Image courtesy: ©D'July/Shutterstock

Pleasant Hampi

For those who are looking to experience history, ruins, nature and a relaxing time with some good food then this place has a lot to offer. Hampi, the world famous UNESCO World Heritage Site, situated on the southern bank of Tungabhadra River, is just an overnight bus ride away from Bengaluru. Best way to see this place is by foot or on a bicycle. Some of the most picturesque and breath taking views of nature can be experienced by crossing the river, riding through lush landscapes with the greenest views.

Places to Explore: When in Hampi, do not forget to see the Garuda Stone Chariot in Vittala Temple, Virupaksha Temple- the oldest site, Hampi Bazaar and Sanapur Lake. The adventurous ones can take their bicycle on the boat and ride to Monkey Temple across the river which is remarkably in contrast with the temple on the side of Hampi Bazaar, so you get to experience the best of both worlds. Before you cross the river, don’t forget to experience some cute, compact cafes.

Feel closer to nature in Coorg
Feel closer to nature in Coorg
Image courtesy: ©Suresh Srinivasan

Charming Coorg

Appreciate serenity coupled with lush green hills, forests, coffee estates and tranquil home stays as Coorg is that kind of a vacation place. With an exposure to the Kodagu culture, this is your place to relax, unwind, and take limitlessly long walks amidst coffee plantations, waterfalls and rural landscapes. One would love to stay in Pollibetta region, a bit untouched, which is accessible from Virajpet and offers strikingly spectacular views, quite different from the other side which is Madikeri.

What to Experience: Coorg is all about Home stays, Coffee plantations, sipping coffee with black jiggery and Kodagu food. Don’t forget to visit to the golf course.

St. Mary's Island in Udupi is quite distinctive
St. Mary's Island in Udupi is quite distinctive
Image courtesy: ©Suresh Srinivasan

Divine Udupi

Beautiful road journeys, seascapes, sunset views, historical and cultural sites will make you fall in love with Udupi. The place is famous for Kapu Beach and Shri Krishna Temple, considered as one of the holiest places for pilgrimage in southern India.

If you are slightly more adventurous and love natural, serene surroundings then you could take a boat to the St. Mary’s Island off Malpe Beach. Here you will encounter some stunning views of the sea, coconut trees and beautiful lagoons amidst big rocks.

Places to Explore: Krishna devotees should surely head to the famous Shri Krishna Temple. Visit St. Mary’s Island which is remote, rocky and rustic; Mattu Beach is relaxing and known for stunning sun set views. Also dig your feet in fine sands at Malpe Beach and Kapu Beach.

Feel no boundaries at backwaters of Mahabaleshwar
Feel no boundaries at backwaters of Mahabaleshwar
Image courtesy: ©Suresh Srinivasan

Mystical Mahabaleshwar

Mahabaleshwar gives an experience of uniqueness combined with raw nature. This picturesque hill station will certainly take your breath away, particularly the road journey with serpentine bends from Pune to Mahabaleshwar and those narrow remote roads that make you want to live in the moment forever. The place is famous for its strawberries that are grown and cultivated in abundance. Pluck and taste some fresh ones from the plantations on your way.

Few places to explore are Mapro Garden, Venna Lake, Parsi Point- where you can view the shining backwaters of Dhom Dam- and the Krishna valley. During evening, head to Table Land point, as sunset here is absolutely stunning.

AUTHOR'S BIO: Suresh is an avid solo backpacker based out of Delhi. He loves exploring the scenic parts of the world and loves to uncover the beauty of travelling through his writing; he is well-travelled across India, Asia and Europe. Besides, Suresh is a seasoned marathoner, health food freak and a photography enthusiast. He can be reached at sureshsrin@gmail.com.More on: solojunketer.wordpress.com/