The festive season is upon us! As 2018 gently strolls into 2019, Christmas beckons once again. And with it comes the pleasant fragrance of baked goodies, shimmering lights of decked up Christmas trees, and the charming tones of joyous carols travelling from household to household.
As the temperatures around the nation drop and our sub-tropical country welcomes winter, go on a trip with your loved ones to one of the many winter destinations in India where you can enjoy the Christmas vacations.
Christmas is celebrated with great aplomb in several parts of India. These regions are more often than not places like Goa, Kerala and Pondicherry which have larger Catholic communities.
Urban sprawls like Mumbai and Kolkata are amazing places to visit during Christmas. Mumbai with its famous bakeries and Kolkata with its festive fervor will not disappoint you!
On the other hand, if you are looking for a quintessential Christmas experience with snow and real Christmas trees, India has you covered on that front too. In winter, especially during Christmas, Manali and Shimla literally look like hamlets that just popped out of a Christmas Card.
So check out this list of amazing Christmas destinations in India for the best winter vacation experience the country has to offer. Plan your trips quick, or you will miss the Indian winter in the blink of an eye!
The Indian Christmas Experience
Before we begin, we would like to tell you a little about the Indian Christmas experience. There are majorly three types of destinations you can enjoy during Christmas. The first being Traditional Christmas havens. These locations are dotted with Churches and celebrate Christmas in a more traditional way. Think Christmas carols and midnight masses in a quiet joyful environment befitting the birth of Christ.
The second type is the Urban Christmas. These are major cities around India that engage in Christmas celebrations. Think city lights and Christmas lights framed together. These are cities that slow down their daily hustle and bustle and participate in the festival of joy with elaborate Christmas trees and a billion shimmering lights.
The final Christmas Experience is what we would like to call ‘White Christmas’. These are basically locations that feature snowcapped hills and quaint hamlets. Since Christmas falls in the winter month of December, why not enjoy it with a bit of fun and frolic in the snow!
Traditional Christmas Destinations in india
Goa has a rich Catholic heritage. This is visibly obvious with the majestic churches that dot the landscapes of one of India’s most scenic locations. Christmas is celebrated in Goa with more fervor than any other place in the country.
Should you visit Goa during Christmas, expect to find the place all decked up. Christmas carols that are sung till the early hours of the morning and beautifully decorated churches with midnight masses. Even the shacks and restaurants arrange festive luncheons and dinners with live music.
Expect large crowds as December also happens to be the best time to visit Goa. Explore Goa during winter and lose yourself to a kind of Christmas celebration unique to Goa.
This old French Colony is one of the most underappreciated Christmas destinations in India. Pondicherry is home to some of the prettiest Churches in India. Christmas is a special occasion in Pondicherry.
Pondicherry is a great alternative to Goa if you are looking to avoid large crowds. With its sandy shores, gothic churches, and quaint colonial heritage, Pondicherry is an alluring Christmas destination in India. You will definitely take back pleasant memories and lots of Christmas goodies back with you.
Kerala is another great coastal destination in India where one can participate in Christmas festivities. The entire coastline of Kerala is lined with majestic churches all of which are decorated in full splendor during Christmas.
Additionally, a Christmas vacation in Kerala will awe you as the state has great scenic diversity. From the cool hill stations of Munnar and Wayanad to the lazy backwaters of the Vembanad Lake, not to mention famous beach towns along the coastline, Kerala during Christmas is a sight to behold.
Engage in Christmas Carols and enjoy the rich Kerala cuisine during your winter trip!
Urban Christmas Vacations in India
India’s greatest city is also one of its best Christmas destinations. With myriad Parsi bakeries and a large Catholic community, this metropolitan powerhouse is the place to be during Christmas.
If you are a foodie then you should definitely visit the city during Christmas. The bakeries work non-stop to bake the finest cakes, breads and all other baked goodies. Mumbai definitely captures the aroma of the festival best. The lovely fragrance of plum cakes and loaves of bread reaches you in wafts of pure joy.
The Catholic community in the city celebrates Christmas with great zeal. As a matter of fact, Kolkata takes all of its festivals seriously. Therefore, if it’s fiesta you are looking for, then the City of Joy is the Christmas vacation destination for you.
St. Paul’s Cathedral and St. Philomena’s Cathedral are some of the must-see places in Kolkata during Christmas. The entire Park Street area comes to life during Christmas.
Picturesque Christmas Destinations in India
The Snowcapped city of Manali in Himachal Pradesh is by far the most picturesque destination for a Christmas Vacation. This winter wonderland on the foothills of the Himalayas definitely sets the bar for all other Christmas Destinations in India.
If you are not into beaches and tropical paradises then you should definitely try out Manali as a Christmas destination. Besides, any photos you click here will look as if you are in a whole other country. That is just how beautiful the Himalayas get during winter!
Not too far away from Manali, the capital city of Shimla is another winter wonderland situated on the Himalayan foothills. Visitors who come to Shimla for Christmas vacations will find the place at its most beautiful.
The Christ Church in Shimla is a sight to behold during Christmas. The old British Cafes, the quaint charming little shops along Mall road and the picturesque Himalayas will all keep you very much occupied during your visit.
The capital of Meghalaya, Shillong is one of the best places in the North East for Christmas vacation. This fascinating location features green rolling hills and a rich and beautiful heritage. Christmas only adds to the existing natural beauty of Shillong.
The Catholics in Shillong celebrate Christmas with as much zeal as any other place in India. The Mary Help of Christians Church is the most prominent Church in Shillong and it is also one of the defining features of the city during Christmas.
So which locations are you planning to visit on your Christmas vacation? Tell us in the comment section below!