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Off-Season Destinations In India To Visit For Every Month Of The Year

To give you a little headstart on the coming year, here's a curated list of some offbeat destinations in India that are the best off-season places to visit for every month of the year! For travellers who hate landing up in a place full of tourists, you now have a better reason (or season) to travel to your favourite destinations. Tick them off your list, and keep travelling!

Off-Season In January

Photos of Off-Season Destinations In India To Visit For Every Month Of The Year  1/36 by Pritha Puri
Credits: Lille Fro

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.

Photos of Leh 1/1 by Pritha Puri

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.

Photos of Kalimpong, India 1/1 by Pritha Puri

Dzongu is a small town in North Sikkim bordering the Kanchenjunga Biosphere Reserve. It is not the tourist season in January, so you will find Dzongu comparatively empty and accommodations will be easily available. Go for an early morning trek with a local guide, you will be able to see the Kanchenjunga peak and the surrounding ridge line clearly covered with snow. You can go and see the Rongyung Chu River and the Tholung Monastery. There are many other attractions in Dzongu, such as the Lepcha Museum and Tingvong village. Tourists can get a permit from Sikkim.

The nearest airport is in Bagdogra (IXB) close to Siliguri, from there you can hire a taxi up to Gangtok and it takes 5 hours to reach Dzongu from there. The nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri (NJP), and you can take a taxi from there to Gangtok.

Off-Season In February

Photos of Upper Dzongu Forest Block, Sikkim, India 1/1 by Pritha Puri

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.

Photos of Sangla, Himachal Pradesh, India 1/1 by Pritha Puri

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).

Photos of Rann of Kutch, Kutch, Gujarat, India 1/1 by Pritha Puri

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

Photos of Reckong Peo, Himachal Pradesh, India 1/1 by Pritha Puri

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).

Photos of Old Manali, Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India 1/1 by Pritha Puri

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.

Photos of Palampur, Himachal Pradesh, India 1/1 by Pritha Puri

Toothkudi is also known as Tuticorin and is located on the coastline of Tamil Nadu. March-end is when it starts becomes warm in Toothkudi, and the start of an off-season. As the winds are still pleasant in March, you can easily visit the famous ports of the city. The city had beautiful architecture, and the Basilica of a Lady of Snows, is a must visit. You can visit Coratallam, which is called the ‘Spa Of The South’ and is very famous for its picturesque waterfalls. Do not miss the Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park as well. Another addition to one of the most exciting off season places to visit in India roll up.

The nearest airport to Toothkudi is the Tuticorin Airport, which is 14 km away, and the nearest railway station is the Tuticorin Railway Station.

Off-Season In April

Photos of Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu, India 1/1 by Pritha Puri

Considered as one of the best tiger reserves in the country, the Rajiv Gandhi Tiger Reserve is home to the maximum number of tigers in India and also known as the Nagarhole National Park. April is off-season for tourists, because of the increasing humidity and almost a start to the monsoon. However, the nights are very pleasant and cover up for the heat during the day. Tiger spotting becomes easy during this season as tigers come to water resources to quench their thirst. There are many options to stay in and around the tiger reserve.

The nearest airport to the Rajiv Gandhi Tiger Reserve is the Kempegowda Airport in Bangalore (BLR). You can easily reach the reserve by train and the nearest railway station is in Mysore; well connected to both Bangalore and Chennai.

Photos of Nagarhole National Park, Nalkeri Forest, Karnataka, India 1/1 by Pritha Puri

Nicobar is a collection of smaller islands that form Andaman and Nicobar. Surrounded by turquoise beauty all around, Nicobar is home to Olive Riley turtles and is very rich in marine bio-diversity. The best time to visit little Nicobar is during the off season, because the beaches are free for you to explore all on your own. The Great Nicobar island has the best beaches that you will ever come across! You can also see an active volcano from the Barren Island, which is 135 km away from Port Blair. To get to any of the islands in Nicobar requires a ferry ride.

The nearest airport to reach these islands is the Port Blair Veer Sarvakar International Airport (IXZ). You can also reach these islands through sea.

Photos of Nicobar Islands, Nicobar, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India 1/1 by Pritha Puri

Visit Ranikhet just before the tourist season begins because that is the best time to stay in this charming little hill town and unwind without the crowds. Ranikhet has quite a few attractions nearby, such as the Jhula Devi temple, where about a 100 bells are hung on the ceiling and outside the temple. The drive to the Kumaon Museum and the Binsar Mahadev temple is very picturesque.

You can reach Ranikhet by road and rail. The nearest railway station is in Kathgodam (74 km from Ranikhet) and the nearest airport is in Pantnagar (109 km).

Off-Season In May

Photos of Ranikhet, Uttarakhand, India 1/1 by Pritha Puri

The best time to visit Nahan is November to February, and that’s the exact time when the destination is full of tourists, and a reason for us not to go. Out of all the off season destinations in India, this will surely impress you; Nahan is a small, organised little town overlooking the Shivaliks, making it an awe-inspiring site. It is situated very close to Paonta Sahib, and there are many lakes that can be explored. The weather is pleasant throughout the year and you will have a good time chatting with the locals.

The nearest railway station is Barara (56 km) and Chandigarh is the nearest city with an airport (78 km).

Photos of Nahan, Himachal Pradesh, India 1/1 by Pritha Puri

Most people leave Lakshadweep Islands by May because they think it will be too hot or it will be the onset of the monsoons. That, however, is not the case; Lakshadweep Islands have pleasant weather and May is a good time to explore this exotic, off-beat group of islands. This is an off-season destination in India that gives us an excuse in an opportunity to explore some of the most beautiful beaches that our country has. The coastline has a huge variety of flora and fauna, which is untouched and fragile. During your stay, you can take a ferry to the other islands in Lakshadweep; because each island is very distinct.

You can reach Lakshadweep Islands by air or sea. Flights from Cochin take you to Agatti (1 hr 20 min) and passenger ships operate to and fro, from the mainland regularly.

Photos of Lakshadweep, India 1/1 by Pritha Puri

The Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve is probably the best thing that could happen to Kerala other than its backwaters. Nestled comfortably in the mountains of the Western Ghats, the national park has a wide variety of flora and fauna. It will give you the peace and quiet you seek away from your city life, and serve as one of the best offbeat, off-season destinations in India to go to. It is just the beginning of the monsoon, so you will be able to see the jungle in full bloom!

The nearest airport is in Cochin (150 km) and the nearest railway station is in Kottayam which is 114 km away.

Off-Season In June

Photos of Periyar National Park, Mlappara, Kerala, India 1/1 by Pritha Puri

The temples and carvings of Khajuraho will take you on a journey back into history and leave you awe-struck. With the rainy season starting in June, the forts and ruins will all be clean of the summer's dust, and leave a fine print in your memory when you leave. The complex of the Kandariya Mahadev temple has many smaller architectural structures that are 1,000 years old. The Panna National Park is also in close vicinity and worth a visit!

Khajuraho has its own airport called the Civil Aerodrome Airport. The nearest railway station is Mahoba Junction (76 km).

Photos of Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh, India 1/1 by Pritha Puri

Wayanad is an ideal exotic destination on the list. The monsoon arrives in Wayanad in June and keeps the weather fresh and breezy. At night there is a pleasant wind blowing. The beaches will be empty during this off-season destination to visit in India, because of the rains, but give you a better chance of strolling on the sand peacefully. Treat yourself at the beach shacks and restaurants with local delicacies. On the day of your arrival, you can stay in Kalpetta and then explore the town in a planned manner. A visit to the waterfalls is a must!

The nearest railway station is Kozhikode (CLT) and the closest airport is the Karipur International Airport at Kozhikode.

Photos of Wayanad, Kerala, India 1/1 by Pritha Puri

Coorg is a perfect monsoon destination as it receives a good amount of rainfall in June. June is the onset of monsoon in this town and also the best time to see waterfalls in their full flow. The pleasant weather becomes quite cool by night. The Abbey falls are absolutely spectacular! Make sure you do not miss this in the off-season places to visit in India list that has been hanging on your wall for so long!

The nearest airport is Mangalore International Airport (137 km), but you can also reach there by train or bus.

Off-Season In July

Photos of Coorg, Karnataka, India 1/1 by Pritha Puri

Considered as one of the most beautiful wildlife sanctuaries, the Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary has its home in the Western Ghats with a lot of jungle folk. The Top Slip is where the tourist complex is situated and can only be reached by foot. This wildlife sanctuary controls the amount of rainfall in the region, and because of this reason its greenery is very over powering. Popularly known as the Anamalais Wildlife Sanctuary, it is home to indigenous tribes. July being the beginning of monsoon remains an off season destination in India, but keeps the uniqueness of this wildlife sanctuary at its peak.

The nearest airport is in Coimbatore (111 km) and the nearest railway station is in Pollachi (67 km).

Photos of Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary Office, Akilandapuram, Pollachi, Tamil Nadu, India 1/1 by Pritha Puri

While the rest of the country stops in Srinagar in Kashmir, Gurais Valley remains untrodden and exquisite. The off-season is the best time to visit this place, so that you can have a closer look at the natural beauty around. The Kishenganga flows fearlessly across the valley and you can experience tranquility watching the Habba Khatoon peak all covered in pristine white snow! Truly spectacular, this off season place to visit in India, will leave you breathless!

The nearest airport is in Srinagar and you can reach there by hiring a taxi from Srinagar (123 km).

Photos of Gurais Valley, Forest Block 1/1 by Pritha Puri

Jim Corbett is India’s first national park, and continues to be the pride of our country. July to September remains an off-season for the park because of the onset of monsoon in August. But the experience of exploring the jungle never changes! You can hire a tour guide to take you for a safari inside the core areas of the forest. The Devi Mata temple can be easily trekked to, from the hanging bridge providing for an exciting adventure. The Corbett Waterfall and Jim Corbett’s house museum are very intriguing sites, which you have to visit to get a complete experience!

The nearest railway station is in Ramnagar (85 km). You can also drive to Jim Corbett National Park.

Off-Season In August

Photos of Jim Corbett National Park, Ramnagar, Uttarakhand, India 1/1 by Pritha Puri

Away from the hustle bustle of your work life, you can unwind and relax in Auroville this August. Even though Auroville is great all throughout the year, the starting of August is a good time to go because most tourists return after the summer vacations. Auroville is a complete destination in itself; you can volunteer for them or meditate in the ashram with other people as well. This is one vacation, where you should have no plans in mind, and be completely spontaneous!

The nearest airport is Chennai International Airport (MAA), and the closest railway station is the East Coast Junction in Pondicherry (15 km).

Photos of Auroville, Tamil Nadu, India 1/1 by Pritha Puri

Hardly anybody has heard of Nisarga, which is a tiny village on the outskirts of McLeodganj. Surrounded by tall pine trees, unraveling brooks and the horizon lined up with snow-capped ridges of Dhauladhar, Nisarga is a synonym for paradise. One of the most natural off-season places to visit in India, it is beautiful and untouched. The Osho Ashram is located here, where you can go for daily workshops and meditation sessions. For a little more action on your vacation, you can also go to McLeodganj as it is very close by.

To reach Nisarga, you can take a train to Pathankot and then take a bus, or you can take the direct Volvo bus from Delhi to Dharamsala (88 km). The nearest airport is in Gaggal, Dharamsala, where direct flights ply.

Photos of Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh, India 1/1 by Pritha Puri

Just when it starts getting cold and tourists run away, Keylong becomes breathtaking and magnificent. The Kardang Gompa and the rugged mountainscape that paints a picture behind it will give you goosebumps. You should mark Keylong on your ‘Places to visit before die’ list. An off season place to visit in India, this destination is surely going to inspire you to travel more!

The only way to reach Keylong is through road. You can reach by bus or by taxi (430 km).

Off-Season In September

Photos of Keylong, Himachal Pradesh, India 1/1 by Pritha Puri

A sleepy little town with shades of yellow, rust and blue painted across the valley in September, Binsar is quiet and lazy in preparing for the winters ahead. There is not much to do in Binsar other than trekking inside the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary, shopping for fresh jams and juices, and visiting the local temple. The mountain roads are deserted and all the villagers will be very much surprised if you pay them a visit at this off season destination to visit in India, this time of the month! Binsar will not fail to spellbind you.

The nearest railway station is Kathgodam, and from there you can take a bus/taxi to Binsar (108 km).

Photos of Binsar, Uttarakhand, India 1/1 by Pritha Puri

A neighbour of the Great Himalayan National Park is an adventurer’s paradise called Gushaini. Famous for its easy-level treks and hikes, Gushaini has a pleasant aura that encapsulates it. Homestays are the best options for you to stay here. Navigate your excursions by crossing whimsical brooks and streams on your way and take on a fishing adventure. Just when the winters are about to start, the off-season begins and the footfall of tourists is reduced to a minimum. Gushaini is an exotic and wild destination, which will suit all kinds of travellers that set foot on its land. An off beat option to go to on this 'off-season places to visit in India' list.

The nearest airport is Kullu Manali (1 hr 30 min) and the closest railway station is Joginder Nagar Station and the Chandigarh station (267 km).

Photos of Gushaini, Himachal Pradesh, India 1/1 by Pritha Puri

Vrindavan in September is perfect for those people who do not like to be pushed around by the crowds. The temples are open and have few to no tourists at this off-season time. You can very easily explore the Vrindavan Iskon temple, which is considered as one of most beautiful temples in the country. Vrindavan is the city of temples, and also has rich culture. The Pagal Baba temple is also very beautiful, and you must visit it on your trip to Vrindavan. This off-season place to visit in India, will make you spiritual when you leave.

Vrinadavan has its own railway station and the nearest airport is in Delhi, from there you can take a taxi direct to Vrindavan (185 km).

Off-Season In October

Photos of Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, India 1/1 by Pritha Puri

The world’s second coldest inhabited place in the world, awaits your embrace this October. The tourist season is long gone and the winter chill is just about to set in. Though Dras is not encouraged to be a tourist spot due to its close proximity with the border, it is one of the most beautiful panoramic villages that you will come across on the Srinagar-Leh highway. You can drive to Kargil for a day and further to Lamayuru or explore the local eateries within Dras, and interact with the locals. One of the top off-beat spots in our country, that you must visit during the off-season !

The nearest airport is in Srinagar (SRX) and Leh (IXL), and you can also reach Dras by road (141 km from Srinagar).

Photos of Dras 1/1 by Pritha Puri

The National Park is a protected biosphere reserve and has just been opened for a small group of tourists. The magnificent view of the Nanda Devi peak and glaciers is visible, and covered in thick layers of snow! You can plan a trek with the local tour operators and explore the wildlife of the region. The Badrinath, Joshimath and the Nanda Devi Temple are also very close by and you can visit these too. This destination is quite and serene, and best for an off-season getaway.

The nearest airport is Jolly Grant in Dehradun (285 km) and the nearest railway station is Rishikesh (270 km).

Photos of Nanda Devi National Park, Joshimath, Uttarakhand, India 1/1 by Pritha Puri

Yuksom is a refreshing break from the crowded trails that you get during the peak season. Visit this place in the off-season to enjoy its real beauty. Travel to Yuksom, which resides just on top of the Kanchenjunga National Park, from where the trek up to the world’s third highest mountain begins. It is a quiet town that is sure of bringing you peace. You can visit monasteries in and around Yuksom, the nearest is Dubdi Monastery, which was made by the first Chogyal and also the Khehceopalri Lake. November is an off-season here, as it starts getting colder and the weather is fantastic!

To reach Yuksom, the nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri (NJP) (150 km) and the closest airport is in Bagdogra (155 km).

Off-Season In November

A sleepy hamlet on the outskirts of Shimla, Mashobra floats in a British aura with the scent of cedar in the air, and tall pine trees to cast shadows on you. Famous for its apple orchards and endless terrace farms that meet the slopes of the mountains, Mashobra has maintained its old world charm while adjusting to people around. You can explore Mashobra’s forest sanctuary and the jam factories, or drive to Shimla for a day.

The nearest airport is the Shimla airport (12 km) and the closest railway station is the Shimla railway station.

Photos of Yuksom, Sikkim, India 1/2 by Pritha Puri
Photos of Yuksom, Sikkim, India 2/2 by Pritha Puri

This tiny town is slowly picking up pace and becoming known in north-east India. Ziro is all meadows covered with rice, bamboo and wheat fields with the mountains overlooking it. The mist settles in the valley by evening and lifts by early morning, making the scenery look enchanted! To get to Ziro is an adventure in itself; Ziro is remote, exotic and off-beat, rugged travelling! Best for backpackers who are looking for new places to explore.

The nearest airport is in Guwahati and a flight from Guwahati to Lilabari takes one hour. From Lilabari, you can take a taxi to Ziro (123 km). The nearest railway station is in New Jalpaiguri (NJP) (811 km).

Photos of Ziro 1/1 by Pritha Puri

Tawang’s winter just starts to set in by November and attracts only those who can endure the cold. This enthralling hill station is home to the most beautiful monastery in north-east India: the Tawang Monastery. By the time it is November, the crowd that had come to witness the Tawang Monastery festival would have gone back, and you can explore the back alleys of this mountain town in peace! Early November is the best time to go to Tawang because it’s off-season, and there is a transition from the rainy season to winters. You can visit the Sela and the Bumla Pass as they would be open at this time of the year.

Tezpur is the nearest airport and also a major railway head to reach Tawang (323 km).

Off-Season In December

Photos of Tawang 1/1 by Pritha Puri

A white snow cape covers the village of Shoja, which is just a detour from the Manali-Delhi highway you will reach this offbeat hamlet. Shoja is flooded with tourists visiting the Jalori Pass, Tirthan valley and the Serolsar Lake in summer seasons when it is not cold. In December, everything is frozen but Shoja remains open. The Serolsar Lake is frozen and gives you a fantastic opportunity to trek in the Great Himalayan National Park! Do not miss this chance and head for Shoja this December, away from the maddening crowds flocking to summer destinations in winters.

The roads are open in December, and you can reach Shoja by buses that ply regularly from Delhi to Manali to Shoja (503 km).

Photos of Shoja, Himachal Pradesh, India 1/1 by Pritha Puri

Best for those who don't fear the great mountain peaks, and bone chilling winters; Auli is an off-beat destination for all adventure lovers who do not want to be disturbed by tourists on the way. Right before the skiing season starts, and the snowy slopes of the mountains are dotted with people skiing; it is best to visit Auli in December when there is off-season.

Haridwar has the nearest railway station (273 km) from Auli and the nearest airport is the Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun (150 km).

Photos of Auli, Himachal Pradesh, India 1/1 by Pritha Puri

The summit of Trishul, Nanda Devi and Panchchuli will decorate your horizon like snowflakes across the sky and show you the real reason why Britishers made their holiday home up in the hills. The old-world aura continues to surround this town. During the winters, there is heavy snowfall in Kausani and that is the best thing to enjoy. You can explore the local trails around the hill station and go for a day hike, or to the Rudradhari Falls and caves. The Baijnath Temple will be a quaint place to enjoy your daytime.

The nearest railway head is in Kathgodam, and you can take a taxi from there (133 km).

The best way for an enthusiastic traveller to explore, is to travel during a time, when nobody else has the power to influence your surroundings. No tourists blocking your way climbing up a mountain or skiing down the slope, nobody to disturb your peace on a beach either! This collection of off-season places to visit in India has also been made keeping in mind of how less explored they are. These are offbeat and exotic destinations in India.

All distances, unless otherwise mentioned are from New Delhi.

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