November, the month of utter relaxation in terms of weather stability in India impresses travellers of all classes and tastes to get their back straightened. While northern part of India at this time gets relieved of sweltering summer, the eastern part bids good bye to over pouring monsoon. Walking on the same line both the southern and western part of the country start to cool down and get prepared to welcome their die-hard fans. Due to this comfortable weather, travellers from any part of the globe find November as the best suitable time to travel to India. But exactly where to travel in November is one big query novice traveller would surely love to know. So, to minimise your tussle of finding out the best places to see in November in India, I have penned down this blog.
Photo: Matilde Canosa
A religious town on the heart of Rajasthan, Pushkar blends a perfect combination of old world charm, divine intonation and commercial gigs. The set of bathing ghats, back to back temples, bustling streets and an episodic soundtrack of chanting, drums and gongs generate a mysterious feel among the travellers. Only around 11km from the hallowed city of Ajmer, this small vibrant city is thronged by a huge crowd of hippies and foreign travelers. The best thing to see in Pushkar is the celebrated Camel Fair where around 50,000 camels take part. This camel fair is undoubtedly one of the best things to see in November and claimed to be one of its kinds in South-East Asia. These camels are dressed in colourful ornaments and clothes and are taken to walk in ramp, take part in race and traded as well.
How to reach: The best way to reach Pushkar is by road. Backpackers can simply go for the Rajasthan travel buses which regularly plight from Jaipur, Delhi and other important north Indian cities. Luxury travellers can opt for private vehicles which have good services in Pushkar.
Photo: Abhey Singh
The lake city of Udaipur is another ideal place to travel in November. The royal residences, planned gardens and above all the lake palaces are the centre of attractions of Udaipur. Just like other popular sightseeing destinations of Rajasthan, the city is dotted with gorgeous forts which convey message about the chivalric as well as regale past of the state. Among the must see travel options in Udaipur, City Palace, Lake Palace, Kumbhalgarh Sanctuary are the most famous. Also if you are particular about attending the fairs and festivals of the destination you are heading to, then Muharram or Taziya can be a must attend event in November in Udaipur.
How to Reach: The prominent Indian cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Kota and Indore are connected with Udaipur by rail route. Maharana Pratap Singh Airport is around 20km from Udaipur.
Photo: Sunil Shinde
The resplendent reminiscence of the erstwhile Bijayanagara Kingdom, Hampi is a history buffs’ delight. Located near Hospet town in Karnataka state of South India, this magnificent travel destination has splendid architectural remains, royal pavilions, bastions, royal platforms, treasury buildings and every petty thing associated with royal residence. Undoubtedly, one of the best Indian holiday destinations for backpackers, Hampi is reckoned to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The towering temples of Hampi are surrounded by undulating green fields, jade-green palm groves and wide stretch of banana plantations serving as the background.
How to Reach: Hospet is the nearest rail junction to Hampi. From Hospet regular buses ply to Hampi. Hubli Airport is around 144km from Hampi.
Photo: Shayon Ghosh
Every wildlife enthusiast travelling to India should visit Corbett National Park. India’s very first national park, this wildlife hotspot is located in Nainital district of Uttarakhand and calls globetrotters from across the globe for its tiger population. Divided into four vast zones, the reserve encloses a wide range of flora and provides shelter to extensive varieties of wildlife. There are around 650 species of migratory and resident birds along with 50 species of raptors in this wildlife reserve. The reserve forest can be explored both riding an elephant or a jeep. November is the best time to visit Corbett because it is neither monsoon nor chilly winter in Uttarakhand.
How to Reach: Ramnagar Railway Station is 60km from Corbett. From Ramnagar you will get taxis for Corbett.
Located at a distance of around 25km from Patna, Bihar, Sonepur is an ideal place to head on during November. The reason behind suggesting you to be here is the celebration of Sonepur Cattle Fair which is one of its kinds in the country. The fair takes place on the banks of river Ganga on a huge ground. People of different parts of the neighbouring states assemble here. Sonepur Mela is considered to be one of the largest cattle trade fair is Asia. The fair continues for almost a month when entertainment items like Bhojpuri song and dance performances are arranged.
How to Reach: Sonepur is around 25km from Patna. Regular buses and taxis ply from Patna to Sonepur. Sonepur Jn. is the nearest railhead.
I am sure every avid traveller would agree with me that there is no specific time to visit the hallowed city of Amritasar. But why I am suggesting you to plan in November is because Guru Nanak Jayanti, perhaps the most colourful festival of Amritsar commences on this month only. Even though the festival is celebrated across the state (Punjab), its actual gaiety and lively phase can be seen in the Golden Temple of Amritsar. The day is observed by performing various religious rights. The entire golden temple is decorated with glittering lights and the temple premise is thronged by thousands of believers gathering here from across the world.
How to reach: Sri Guru Ram Das Jee International Airport is around 11km from Amritsar. Amritsar Railway station is the main station in Amritsar. Buses ply from various North-Indian cities like Delhi, Dehradun and Shimla.
Rightly called the abode of clouds, Meghalaya appears to be one of the most fascinating nature getaways in North-East India. Dotted with lush green pine trees, small hillocks and a range of small and huge waterfalls, the state transcends the lovers of nature to a distinct level. But I am telling you to head to the region of Garo Hills of Meghalaya in November. Wangala Festival, one of the most happening harvest festivals of north-east India commences in this month. The festival is also known as the 100 drum Wanagala Festival. Traditional drum beating, blowing horns, and unlimited dance and merry making are a part of this festival.
Photo: Bertrand Linet
How is about the idea attending the festival of a particular region which is already in limelight for its heritage buildings and beautiful landscapes? After all the festival is a bonus. I mean if you are travelling to Hadoti, a region in Rajasthan in the month of November then your bonus will be the Bundi Festival. The festival brings forth the culture, folklore, traditions and craft of the region to focus. The rural turban competition, folk/classical dance and musical events, traditional rural sports are the highlights of this event. Hadoti includes the popular cities of Baran and Kota within its periphery.
How to Reach: Jaipur is the nearest airport. It is connected with the Mumbai-Delhi route via Sawai Madhopur. Regular buses ply from Jaipur to Kota.
Photo: Alex Newman
Varanasi, one of the oldest human settlements of the world receives huge crowd of tourists for its lively river banks, age old temples, ashrams, and most importantly for the divine presence of Holy Ganga. It remains to be the centre of attraction not only for its association with religious sentiments, but for various other cheerful celebrations. One of these vibrant fiestas happens to be the Dev Deepawali or Ganga Mahotsav. The festival of lights, hope and immense joy, Dev Deepawali commences on the month of November during which vibrant cultural events are organised. The last day of this festival marks the most attractive part when thousands of earthen lamps are floated down in River Ganga.
How to Reach: Varanasi has its own airport and a prominent railway station. State run buses ply from the major cities of Uttar Pradesh.
Photo: Tarun Chawla
You don’t need to look for a particular excuse to travel to Delhi if you are travelling here in November. For me it is the best weather to be at country’s capital. November in Delhi is neither extreme hot nor chilling winter. So you can plan here without carrying your heavy woollen products or a sunscreen having SPF 70. Start your day from Akshardham Temple which is in East Delhi and I am sure within 2 – 3 days you can explore most of the famous sightseeing places of Delhi. Dedicate a few more days to taste the street foods or even the multi-cuisine classy restaurants and go back carrying uncountable memories from Delhi.
How to Reach: IGI Airport is the biggest airport in the country. Almost all major Indian cities have direct train connectivity to Delhi.
Photo: Sudeep Mukherjee
If you are committed to art, culture and aesthetics, you should be in Shantiniketan at least once. Literally, the castle of peace, this university town will take you to a romantic era soaking all your exhaustions. The green open lawns, the heritage houses of Rabindranath Tagore, the open classrooms under the trees, small quaint seating places will render an unbelievably peaceful milieu. If you are travelling to Shantiniketan in November you will get the best weather as you will neither be disappointed by typical humid weather nor by chattering rainy season.
How to Reach: Bolpur is the nearest railway station to Shantiniketan. For Bolpur, you will have to board the train from Hawrah. It is advisable to not to travel by bus, as there is no direct buses for Shantiniketan.
Photo: Arup Kamal
As the month of November approaches in eastern part of India monsoon takes its leave and a moderate comfortable weather takes its hold in West Bengal and its neighbouring states. So, I believe this is the best time to embark on a journey to Sundarbans. The dense forest of this mystically beautiful land shelters big cats and turns wilder for its unpredictable tiger attacks on human settlements. Explore the intense parts of Sundarbans over a boat ride and take pleasure of watching the exotic species of birds, salt water crocodile, pangolin, chital, fishing cats and some more. It is claimed that around 400 tigers live in Sunderban today. The mudflats of Sunderban are inhabited by endangered animals like Sea Anemones, Horseshoe crab (Nearing extinction) and small octopus.
How to Reach: Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Airport is around 112 from Sundarbans. From airport, Sundarbans is around 3 hours of road journey and 2 hours of boat ride. There are local trains from Sealdah (Kolkata) to Canning.
Photo: Tejas Soni
The paradise of the birders, Bharatpur turns to be a hotspot of migratory birds in November. As winter approaches, birds from neighbouring countries migrate to Bharatpur. Birds from the countries like Siberia and Central Asia take plights to Bharatpur in this season. Among the most notable species you can see Cranes, Pelicans, Geese, Wagtails, Pipits, Flycatchers, and countless more.
How to Reach: Agra Airport is around 56km from Bharatpur. Bharatpur Railway Station is the nearest railhead.
Photo: Amit Rawat
Lying on the bank of Betwa River, Orchcha, the heritage travel destination of Madhyapradesh calls the history buffs from across the globe. Constructed by Rudra Pratap Singh, in and around 1501, the city was the seat of former princely state of Central India. A few of the temples, forts and palaces of ancient Orcha were built during the reign of Emperor Akbar. Fort of Orccha, Chaturbhuj Temple, Orccha Palace are the best among them.
How to Reach:Gwalior Airport is around 140 km away from Orccha. Barwa Sagar Station is the nearest railhead. There is no direct train from major Indian cities to Orchha.
Well, if you are thinking to taste something more than heritage buildings, temples, or wildlife, plan to embark on Kuari Pass Trek. One of the most popular trekking trails in Garhwal Himalaya, this moderate trek reaches at a height of around 4268m and takes around 3-5 days to complete. The jaw-dropping vistas of snow-clad Nanda Devi, Chaukhamba, Kamet, Dronagiri are seen from this trail. The trek passes through lush green valleys, small villages and thick forests covered with snow.
How to Reach: To join this trek one needs to reach Haridwar. Haridwar to Joshimath by taxi and then trekking starts from here. Haridwar has its own railway station.
Bearing the reminiscence of old world charm, particularly the relics of Portuguese ruling era, Old Goa stands as a heritage lovers’ delight. The age old churches, historical buildings, and moreover the museums resembles the images of colonial era and let one take breath in its fascinating vistas. Though, for travelling to Old Goa you don’t need to look for the best season, yet I tell you to travel to this place in November, as the famous ‘Feast of St. Francis Xavier’ starts in November only. The festival starts with novenas from 24th November and the final feast takes place in 3rd December every year.
How to Reach:Dabolim is an international airport at Goa. Regular domestic connections are available to travel to any part of the state.
Now that I have talked about my list of priorities, I am sure you will add yours ones. I would love to listen from you about your favourite destinations, in case you have explored a few more. Also do not forget to share your feelings about the aforesaid Indian getaways. Happy summer!!