Off-Season Destinations in India to Score Ridiculous Discounts


The off-season is when smart travellers get going. Reason? Because you'll get the best deals such as slashed rates, personalised service from the hotel/resort staff, amazing weather and no crowd.

Here's a list of places in India which are cheaper and way better in the off - season. So, avoid the crowds and bag a bargain by travelling to the best bits of India when everyone else isn’t.

Off-Season In January

Photo of Leh by Gunjan Upreti

Leh is the perfect spot to start your year with. Winter is at its peak and there are no tourists around. That makes January the best time to visit the monasteries without the crowds, as they stay open all round the year. Leh’s most famous monasteries are Thiksey and Hemis. If you are lucky, you can also drive to Pangong-Tso and see the lake absolutely frozen. A minimum of two days are required to acclimatise, so plan your trip for around seven days. Expenditure on hotels will be minimal; you will only need to pay the full price for the taxi you take to go around. Leh is the perfect off season destination in India to visit!

The airport receives flights every alternate day in the week. The main highways are closed though. The only way to reach Leh in January is through air, at the Kushok Bakula Rinpoche Airport. It takes 1 hr 45 mins to reach Leh from Delhi.

Photo of Kalimpong, West Bengal, India by Gunjan Upreti

During the winters, tourist footfall is the least as compared to any other month in the year and this makes January the best time to visit Kalimpong. Monasteries in and around Kalimpong are open to visitors. The Zong Dhog Monastery is a must visit for Buddhist enthusiasts. The sky is clear and gives a good view of Kanchenjunga peak covered in snow at this particular time.

The nearest airport is Bagdogra near Siliguri and is connected to New Delhi, Guwahati and Kolkata. Kalimpong is 79 km away from Siliguri; hire a taxi, which will take 2 hours (approx) to cover this distance.

Off-Season In February

Photo of Sangla, Himachal Pradesh, India by Gunjan Upreti

The snow-capped peaks go beyond your sight, and the cold crisp air meets your face. Sangla gets remote in the winters, with its route being the most dangerous to trod in January. Sangla in off season will completely change your perception about being a powerful human. It is one of the most beautiful places to visit in India during winters. The Baspa River flows along Sangla valley's banks and creates a grey streak surrounded by white everywhere! The fort of Kamru is a great attraction and all monasteries allow visitors. Add it to your off season places to visit in India list.

You can reach Sangla through the Shimla route because the Manali-Rohtang Pass road will be closed at this time of the year. Buses and taxis are available from Shimla and Rampur. The nearest airport and railway station is in Shimla. It takes 7 hours to reach Manali from Shimla.

Credits: Rahul Bota

Photo of Rann of Kutch, Kutch, Gujarat, India by Gunjan Upreti

February is the best time to visit Kutch because it is off season and pretty cold. But if you button up well, in the day time you can enjoy the salt spread marshy ground and explore the local areas. If you are a running enthusiast you can also participate in a trail marathon organised by The Outdoor Journal. You will also be just in time for the Rann Utsav, skipping the extra tourist lot that crowded there in the previous months.

To reach Kutch, the nearest airport is in Bhuj or you can take a train to Ahmedabad and hire a taxi from Ahmedabad to the Rann of Kutch (402 km).

Photo of Reckong Peo, Himachal Pradesh, India by Gunjan Upreti

A remote district in Himachal Pradesh that also works as a checkpoint for travelers going on the Manali-Leh route, Reckong Peo is one of the best places to visit during off-season. Reckong Peo is a must visit for all adventure junkies. You can visit and stay at the Key Gompa, and I am sure the sight will blow your mind away. The monastery will be wrapped in a blanket of snow right in the middle of descending slopes of the Pir Panjal range.

The only way to reach Reckong Peo at the peak of winters is via the road. You can hire a taxi or take the local buses that ply every day from Shimla, it takes 8 hours (243 km).

Off-Season In March

Photo of Old Manali, Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by Gunjan Upreti

March is a time when most tourists avoid the snow and cold that Manali has to offer, and this makes this off-season the best time to go here. Old Manali celebrates Holi in a very traditional way in March and this stands as the focal point of a trip in this season. Completely off beat and rugged, you can enjoy chhang with the locals and play Holi with organic colours. The Hadimba Temple will also be open to visitors during this time. If you are adventurous, you can try your hand at skiing or trekking.

You can reach Old Manali by an overnight bus from Delhi. The nearest airport is Bhuntar (5 km away).

Photo of Palampur, Himachal Pradesh, India by Gunjan Upreti

Palampur is famously known as the tea capital of north India and is located at a convenient distance of the Dhauladhar ranges in the Kangra valley. The best thing to do in Palampur during off season is to explore the tea gardens and indulge in paragliding. Palampur is considered as the best paragliding spot in India and we should completely make use of it! You can visit the Chamunda Devi Temple and the Bajinath temple. Palampur suits all those people looking for a pristine getaway, far off from the flocks of tourists.

The nearest airport is the Kangra Airport, 40 km away from Palampur. You can also reach this destination by rail and road; the nearest railway station is in Pathankot.

1. Rajasthan

Why Rajasthan: Because the 'Land of Kings' is full of stunning palaces and royal hilltop forts outlined against an incredible countryside.

Why During Off-season: When the rain comes down on the shining sandy desert, it’s not only the surface that turns green but also the joy on the face of the locals will fill you with awe. So, visit Rajasthan during July - September.

Photo of Palampur, Himachal Pradesh, India by Gunjan Upreti

Credits: Tim Moffatt

Photo of Off-Season Destinations in India to Score Ridiculous Discounts by Gunjan Upreti

Credits: Tizi

2. Kerala

Why Kerala: Because Kerala boasts of being one of the 13 paradises on earth. An equable climate, beautiful and serene beaches, peaceful stretches of backwaters and canals, Kerala is certainly a wonderful place to visit.

Why During Off-season: Because of Onam festival. During Onam, you will be able to savour the rich cultural heritage of Kerala through dance, martial arts, traditional games and elaborate feasts. Also, fewer tourists and great discounts! visit Kerala during the Monsoons, i.e from June - September.

Photo of Off-Season Destinations in India to Score Ridiculous Discounts by Gunjan Upreti

Credits: Sarath Kuchi

Photo of Off-Season Destinations in India to Score Ridiculous Discounts by Gunjan Upreti

Credits: Navaneeth Ashok

3. Coorg

Why Coorg: When a place is referred to as the Scotland of India, it needs no further introduction.

Why During Off-season: Because the beauty of Coorg is certainly enhanced during June-August. One will find Coorg filled with the aroma of coffee blossoms and the coffee plantations are undoubtedly quite a fascinating sight.

Photo of Off-Season Destinations in India to Score Ridiculous Discounts by Gunjan Upreti

Credits: Navaneeth KN

4. Ooty

Why Ooty? Because everyone deserves to witness a stunning vista with a soul-stirring experience.

Why During Off-season: To avoid the honeymoon couple who flood the place during peak season.

It gets quite cold in the winter months from December to February, but beautiful and worth going if you enjoy the clouds and the mist floating into your face.

Photo of Off-Season Destinations in India to Score Ridiculous Discounts by Gunjan Upreti

Credits: Ramkumar

Photo of Off-Season Destinations in India to Score Ridiculous Discounts by Gunjan Upreti

Credits: Sarith C

5. Nainital

Why Nainital: A beautiful emerald lake surrounded by green hills, quaint old cottages and markets, and a web of walking tracks. Need more reasons?

Why During Off-season: Plan a trip between December-end and January because during this time Nainital is covered in a misty charm with the coldest days seeing the temperature dipping to zero degree Celsius.

Photo of Off-Season Destinations in India to Score Ridiculous Discounts by Gunjan Upreti

Credits: Aman Arora

6. Goa

Why Goa: Because whenever things are not working out for you and life seems to be on a downward spiral, a visit to Goa will give a new perspective to.

The months between May and September are considered off season. But this is when you can get great deals on hotels, especially the upper-end boutique hotels. With its rice paddies and streams, the countryside is mesmerizingly pretty and the few tourists add to its charm.

Photo of Off-Season Destinations in India to Score Ridiculous Discounts by Gunjan Upreti

Credits: Umesh Bansal

Photo of Off-Season Destinations in India to Score Ridiculous Discounts by Gunjan Upreti

Credits: Sergi Hill

The benefit of traveling in the off season is that it'll work out cheaper – including large purchases such as plane tickets or activity packages. You're likely to find great deals on accommodations, too.

But before you start planning anything, double check the weather conditions, especially if you're considering exploring the hills during off season. 

11 Comment(s)
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Your article is very bright and colourful. I just wish you had spoken about a few more places along with these too. There are really so many famous places in India to go and get enchanted. Moreover, the subject you have chosen is really a good one.
Sun 01 10 16, 21:34 · Reply · Report
I am just smitten with the pictures you have chosen for your article. These are just so attractive that anyone will feel like just packing the bag right now. It is good that you have pointed out the fact that off- seasons are also good times to visit the best tourist places in India.
Sun 01 10 16, 20:08 · Reply · Report
I loved reading the whole article of yours. It seems you have successfully managed to put the beauty of almost the whole country over here. The way you have chosen the tourist places in India will inspire a lot of travellers to come and stay here for sure.
Sun 01 10 16, 18:02 · Reply · Report
First of all, I must say that you write really well. I second you on the matter that the places you have mentioned in this write- up are definitely some of the best tourist places in India. The photographs you have attached are extremely well- clicked and clear.
Sun 01 10 16, 17:47 · Reply · Report
Being a traveller myself I can vouch on the fact that tourism is India is way better than many other places. The beauty and service our country has in store for tourists is simply unmatchable. So much diversity in culture, language, people, cuisine and nature is surely something.
Sun 01 10 16, 12:59 · Reply · Report
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