14 best places to visit in India this January

Explore the golden landscapes of Jaisalmer in the chilly January weather. This is the ideal time to set out in the desert on a camelback—a cool breeze manipulates the dunes and the sun isn’t as harsh on the back. You can also book an overnight camel safari for a curated experience spread across multiple nights. Spend chilly nights camping under the stars and wake up to a crisp morning for a new adventure. During the day, head to the Bada bagh ruins which stand as sentinels of a royal past in the midst of the Thar desert.

Bikaner, Rajasthan

The annual Camel Festival of Bikaner (11 and 12 January) attracts a host of local and international tourists every year. Expect folk dances, musical performances, craft stalls and more, all in celebration of the desert animal. This is where you can learn all about camels, witness Rajasthan’s culture and make the most of desert winters. Take part in local sports, turban-tying contests and water pot-balancing, and gorge on local fare while you’re at it. 

Kolkata, West Bengal

Head to Kolkata to catch the Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival make an offline comeback (12-15 January). Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker, Vir Sanghvi and Shobhaa De are among the 100 speakers attending the event. The three-day affair will show you the best of books, art, music and films. 

Birbhum, West Bengal

Leonid Plotkin / Alamy Stock Photo

The best way to catch a glimpse of India’s hyperlocal culture is to attend one of its festivals. In Kenduli village near Birbhum in West Bengal, for instance, local artists celebrate the Kenduli Mela (14 January) with music performances on their ektaras. These artists mainly come from the Baul community of musicians, which has over the years managed to put India on the world stage for its music. There’s a merry-go-round and various handicraft sellers dotting the streets. A celebration with colours marks the end of the event. 

Mumbai, Maharashtra

January is a month of headliner events for Mumbai. The city’s most popular race is back. The Mumbai Marathon (15 January) will host a full and a half marathon along with shorter events and events for senior citizens and persons with disabilities. For those seeking something new, book your tickets for Lollapalooza (28 and 29 January), a multi-genre music festival featuring artists such as Prateek Kuhad, Diplo, Madeon and more. 


The view from Thalassa Beach

Shilarna Vaze

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