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Shikha Gautam Jul 15 2013

Which are the best places to visit in India in October?

Debangana Sen Jul 15 2013
1 person found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

With two long weekends coming up, we bring you some of the best places to visit in India in October. This is a very sprightly time of the year in India. The festive season is in full swing with back to back festivals like Navratris, Durga Puja, Dussehra, Id-ul-Zuha, and Marwar Festival. Keeping that in mind, you have many holidays to look forward to this month. So why not pack your bags and set off on a new adventure?


Kolkata


With the swaying Kans Grass (Bengali: Kash phool) and the air redolent with smells of the night-flowering Jasmine (Bengali: Shiuli Phool), Kolkata is geared up for the annual visit of Ma Durga to her maternal home with her four children.


Durga Puja celebrations in Kolkata (by Discover India)


The frenzied beating of dhaak drums marks the arrival of Durga Puja--the biggest celebration for Bengalis all over the world. A visit to Kolkata this time of the year is a feast to all senses. Elaborate themed pandals are erected in almost every para (locality) and streets are abuzz with people enjoying the street food, doing last-minute shopping, or simply pandal hopping. Trust us when we say, you do not want to miss out the action.


Goa


Is there any such thing as a bad time to visit Goa? October is one of the best times to enjoy water sports in Goa. Windsurfing, gliding, parasailing, speed boating--take your pick. And if speed is not your thing, you can try riding a dingy or scuba diving or simply while away your time fishing. Don't miss out on the seafood platters offered in the beach shacks. And if in a mood to party, Titos in Baga would be your best bet.


Basilica of Bom Jesus

Basilica of Bom Jesus in Goa (by Sumchamp)


History lovers can explore the town of Old Goa steeped in the Portuguese history with beautiful colonial architecture. Visit the numerous temples, mosques and churches scattered around Goa. The ruins of Cabo De Rama Fort should be are a major highlight.

Get close to nature at the Pascoal spice village or the Arvalem caves and waterfall; or get lost on the endless secluded beaches of South Goa and enjoy one of the most spectacular sunsets of your life. If lucky, you can even watch dolphins somersaulting in the waters.

There’s no dearth of things to do in Goa. So when are you coming to this paradise?



Gulmarg


Talking about paradise, let us give you a glimpse of yet another one. If you are feeling like building a few snowmen or dreaming about skiing down smooth snow-covered peaks, you should probably be looking at Gulmarg.


Snow capped peaks at Gulmarg (by Skywayman9)


A popular hill station in Kashmir, Gulmarg is a favoured spot for winter sports in India. However, it also has a number of sightseeing options. The ride on the Gulmarg Gondola and the trek to Lienmarg or the Alpather lake are highly recommended. October marks the end of the tourist season this year, so you’d better hurry and book your reservations. For more options, please look into our listing of places to visit in Gulmarg.


Jaisalmer


From beaches and snowy mountains, let’s us introduce you to the magnificence of the Thar Desert. The golden city of Jaisalmer is a great option for a vacation this October. Crowned by the sprawling 12th century Golden Fort (Sonar Kella), the town is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Rajasthan. The fort itself is a sight to behold and still houses most of the city’s population.


Jaisalmer with the Golden Fort in the backdrop (by const.crist)


Surrounded by the Thar, there are a number fun desert activities that you can indulge in. For starters, hit the sand dunes on a jeep safari, or go for a more leisurely stroll on a camel. One of the best things to do in Jaisalmer is to spend a night in the desert camps and get a glimpse of the local culture and rituals. And did we mention this also happens to be a great place to shop?


Haridwar


This festive month is a great time to get some spiritual experience as well. And what better place to pay one’s respects to the almighty than Haridwar City--one of the seven holiest places of Hindus.


Banks of River Ganga at Har-ki-Pauri (Livefree2013)


The holy triangle (siddha peeth) of Haridwar--Mansa Devi, Chandi Devi and Maya Devi are the main attraction during the Navaratris. Visitors can opt for the ropeway (Udankhatola) which carries passengers to both Mansa Devi and the nearby Chandi Devi. Make sure to start your day really early to avoid long queues.

In the evenings, you must not miss the Ganga Arti, a beautiful daily ritual followed to pay respects to River Ganga. Sitting on the ghats, listening to the religious chants of the priests and watching them perform the aarti as numerous lamps float by on the holy waters; the smell of flowers and incense wafting in the air--this will be an experience stamped in your memory forever.



Kumarakom


Located close to Kottayam, Kumarakom is set against the backdrop of the largest freshwater lake in Kerala--the Vembanad Lake. A perfect spot for nature lovers, Kumarakom is home to numerous species of flora and fauna. In fact, the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is the number 1 tourist spot in this town, followed by the spectacular Aruvikkuzhi Waterfalls.


Backwaters near the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary (by Sulfis)


The houseboat rides are a must when you come here. You can hire them for an evening or the whole day and enjoy an unhurried leisure trip on the backwaters, with swaying palms and coconut fronds lining the shore (just like the typical Kerala picture postcards). You should also check out the Pathiramanal Island located on the lake. And don’t forget to taste the local delicacy--karimeen polichathu (Pearl Spot fish cooked inside a banana leaf).



Itanagar


Itanagar hardly ever makes it to the vacation list of most people. The capital of Arunachal Pradesh, Itanagar is truly one of the best places to visit in India in October. The whole city is brimming with natural scenic beauty. Also, called mini India, you will find people from almost all regions and communities of India residing here.


An aerial view of Itanagar (by MUKESH JAIN)


Apart from simply strolling along the streets and interacting with the locals, you can explore the ruins of the Ita fort, visit the Buddhist monastery and spend a quiet evening by the picture-perfect Ganga Lake (Gyakar Sinyi). The Jawaharlal Nehru museum provides a colourful kaleidoscope of the whole state of Arunachal Pradesh. You require a tourist permit, available from the Arunachal Bhavan in Delhi/Kolkata/Guwahati. So make sure you have the permit before starting your journey.



Mysore


Make sure you arrive at the Mysore Palace well in advance to see the grand procession of the Mysore Dasara. Dasara is the day when Goddess Chamundeshwari is said to to have killed demon Mahishasura.

Mysore Palace lit at night (by Ananth BS)


The idol of the goddess is taken out on a huge procession around 2:00 PM from the Mysore Palace upto Bannimantap. The evening is quite festive with cultural programmes performed by renowned artists, food festivals and film screenings. And of course, the Mysore Palace is gloriously lit up--a sight worth every rupee you spend arriving in Mysore.


These were a few places to visit in India in October. Think you know a few more that should be on this list? Write to us or comment below.

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