Posted 27 December 2022

5 offbeat Indian places to welcome the New Year in

There’s one thing to know about New Year’s Eve, no matter where you are in this world, it brings everyone together. From the majestic fort cities across Rajasthan, and staggering mountain towns around Himachal to the coastal beauty of Goa and Gokarna; there are amazing places to celebrate the start of the new year. With so many options, you will probably be confused about where to go.

But, if you want to delve into the beauty of a new place and begin 2023 in an offbeat destination in India, then this blog may help you decide where to celebrate New Year’s Eve.

Read more about - Twenty Underrated places that you must explore in India 

1. Srinagar

As the temperature starts to dip, Srinagar transforms into a winter wonderland with a blanket of snow covering the streets, house roofs, and trees. The capital of Kashmir, Srinagar is famous for its shikaras or houseboats that sail around Dal Lake, and stunning gardens with snow-capped mountains in the background. Even though the winter months in Srinagar are cold, the best thing you can do is come here for a staycation at some of the luxurious hotels.

Things to do in and around Srinagar

  • Stay on the traditional shikara houseboat
  • Visit Pahalgam and take in the beautiful, serene valley
  • Drive to Gulmarg and engage in snow activities
  • Indulge in ski activities
  • Get a panoramic view by riding the cable car at Gulmarg

How to reach Srinagar?

  • Srinagar is easily accessible by air and train, to have a fun and frolicsome holiday season. The Sheikh ul-Alam International Airport, also known as Srinagar Airport, is approximately 13 km from the city centre, close to the Dal Lake.
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2. Leh

The rugged mountains, dramatic landscapes, blue sky, and picturesque high-altitude lake is what makes Ladakh a must-visit place in India. Leh is a major city and the historical capital of the Ladakh Kingdom. This region in North India is home to some of the oldest monasteries, the highest mountain roads, and mountain passes. You can visit Leh-Ladakh to welcome 2023 with an adventure of a lifetime.

Things to do in and around Leh

  • Explore the Diskit Monastery, which was inspired by Tibet Buddhism architecture
  • Visit the calming Pangong Tso where you can soak in the beauty of the lake
  • Go to the highest mountain pass, Khardung-La
  • Drive through the highest motorable road in India at Nubra Valley
  • Explore Leh’s major landmark, Shanti Stupa  

How to reach Leh?

  • It is fascinating to see the rugged mountains from above, and landing in one of the highest airports in India has a thrill of its own. Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport is the main airport in Leh, that is situated approximately 4 km away.
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3. Kochi

If travelling to colder parts of India is not your idea of a good way to celebrate New Year’s Eve, Kochi might just be the right city for you. Kochi is warm and pleasant during winters. Explore the heritage-bound attractions, savour delicious dishes, watch the sunset from the beaches, and admire the process of catching fresh produce using the Chinese fishing nets. For a surreal experience, spend at least a night at the many houseboats in the backwaters.

Things to do in and around Kochi

  • Walk around Willingdon Island, the largest man-made island in India
  • Go watch birds at Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary
  • Explore St. Francis Church, one of India’s oldest churches
  • Learn about the culture and art of Kerala at an Indo-Portuguese museum
  • Admire the architecture by visiting Mattancherry Palace

How to reach Kochi?

  • Cochin International Airport is located in Nedumbassery, about 25 km from the city’s centre. You can find several non-stop flights to Kochi from every major city in India and abroad. Taxis and buses are easily available from the airport to drop you off at your desired destination.  
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4. Rann of Kutch

To experience the best cultural aspects of Gujarat such as folk dance, traditional songs, and riding the camel, visit the Rann Utsav. Perhaps the best way to celebrate New Year’s Eve is at this colourful festival, don’t you think? Rann Utsav began after Diwali, on October 26, 2022, and is said to end on February 20, 2023. So, if you want to delve into festivity, nothing can beat the Rann of Kutch.

Things to do while at Rann of Kutch

  • Sail over the vast Rann of Kutch by riding ParaMotoring
  • Ride along the white desert of Gujarat on ATVs
  • Go for hiking at Kalo Dungar hillock
  • Explore the colourful festivity and see local handicrafts
  • Enjoy the festival; see the cultural dances and listen to folk songs

How to reach Rann of Kutch?

  • The closest airport to reach the Rann of Kutch is located in Bhuj. Being a domestic airport, several flights travel to Bhuj from across India. From Bhuj Airport, you can take an auto, bus, or taxi to get to the Rann of Kutch.  
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5. Itanagar

Beyond the mountains of northeast India lies the capital of Arunachal Pradesh, Itanagar. This hilly town has immense beauty with stunning views of snow-clad peaks, an ancient fort full of history, winding roads that traverse different viewpoints, and pristine places that are so pretty that they should be on a postcard. Itanagar can be an ideal town to celebrate the new year with family and friends.

Things to do in and around Itanagar

  • Drive to Tawang and enjoy playing in the snow
  • Catch a breathtaking view of the high-altitude Lake Madhuri
  • Explore some of the famous passes like Se-La and Bum-La
  • Visit Ziro village to see the paddy fields, variety of bamboo, and beautiful flora
  • See the Himalayan wildlife at Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary  

How to reach Itanagar?

  • With the new airport, which was launched in Hollongi on 19 November, 2022, travelling to Itanagar has become a cakewalk among savvy travellers. You can catch a flight to Itanagar from any part of India and spend a rejuvenating time here. The Airport, officially called Donyi Polo Airport, is around 25 km from the main town.  
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Conclusion

It is time to say goodbye to the old year and welcome the new. Some people like to celebrate by partying throughout the night, while others may enjoy waking up early to see the first sunrise of the year. You can celebrate it alone, with friends. or family. However, you may choose to celebrate the New Year, make it memorable.

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