For many of us, November might not sound like an intuitive time
to take a holiday. However, for those planning a holiday in India,
it may well be the best month to discover destinations across the
subcontinent. In the north, it won't yet be time for snow - meaning
you can go on adventurous treks without fear of freezing. In
Rajasthan and the west, the high temperatures of the Thar Desert
will have fallen to more comfortable levels, perfect for
discovering the region's many palaces and forts. And across the
main swath of the country, the monsoons will have passed, meaning
you won't have to pack excessive amounts of rain gear. November is
also a time for festivals and celebrations across the country.
Don't wait, then: head to India in November to discover the country
at its most vibrant.
November is one of the perfect months to visit Goa. The smallest
state in India, Goa hugs the sandy coast of the Arabian Sea - and
mid-autumn is an ideal time to take a dip, after the monsoons have
cleared and the waters have calmed. Opulent resorts cater to
visitors, while smaller boutique hotels provide local charm. If
you're visiting Goa, be sure to pack your bathing suit and a
relaxed attitude: chances are your holiday will involve beach time,
fresh seafood, and refreshing drinks in the sun.
The sandy beaches of Goa are
perfect to relax on in November © Mulecan/iStock/Thinkstock
Visiting India in November is also a great choice if you're keen
to experience some of the many festivals that take place throughout
the month, with a number of cultural and religious occasions held
across the country.
Magical Pushkar draws thousands
of visitors in November © kaetana_istock/iStock/Thinkstock
One of the best known (and most photogenic) is the Pushkar
Camel Fair. Held this year from 26th October to
6th November, the festivities attract large numbers of
visitors and feature over 10,000 camels and other livestock - many
decorated in colourful adornments. Though many animals are bought
or traded, there's also an array of entertainment scheduled, from
bazaars and fairgrounds to competitions and Hindu devotional
events. Come expecting spectacle on a grand scale, and be sure to
bring your camera.
The Pushkar Camel Fair is one of
India's most incredible annual festivals © Nancy Nehring/iStock/Thinkstock
Pushkar is a holy site amongst Hindus and draws many pilgrims,
but it can't compete with Varanasi: home to thousands of temples,
it's one of the oldest and most sacred cities in all of India. In
November, the frenetic and spiritual capital hosts the festival of
Ganga Mahotsav. Rivalling Holi and Diwali for visual wonder, Ganga
Mahotsav will be celebrated this year at the beginning of November.
Right on the River Ganges, pilgrims set afloat thousands of
twinkling clay lanterns. In addition to the lights, visitors should
also expect rich cultural displays, including dance and classical
Ganga Mahotsav is a luminous
Varanasi festival © orange tuesday/Flickr
One final destination that's perfect to visit during the month
of November is Amritsar. In the northwestern state of Punjab,
Amritsar is of central importance to the Sikh faith, with its
famous Golden Temple a major religious site. It's also in November
that the city celebrates the birthday of the founder of Sikhism, a
festival known as Guru Nanak Jayanti. Consisting of processions,
hymns, and a feast open to all, it provides a compelling look into
local culture and traditions.
Huge numbers of the devout
celebrate the Sikh festival of Guru Nanak Jayanti in Amritsar © Sze Fei Wong/iStock/Thinkstock
So while November may not jump to mind as the month for
holidays, it's the perfect time to plan explorations across India.
Whether your interest is cultural or spiritual, urban or rural,
it's time to start thinking about your next adventure.
If planning on travelling the rich culture of Goa, why not
browse our Diamonds
& Dynasties itinerary.