Thoothukudi Tamil Nadu Photo: Dave91/Stockimo/Alamy Stock Photo
March in India heralds the start of summer, as the weather turns a little warmer. Snow-covered landscapes begin to turn shades of green, the beaches are perfect for sunbathing or a dip in the sea and the jungles are alive with activity. Make the most of your travel plans with a quiet retreat in the hills, a relaxing beach vacation or go wildlife spotting in the country’s national parks. We’ve rounded up a list of destinations across India that you can visit this month. Do note: covid travel guidelines are being updated across the country. Look up the region you’re visiting before planning your getaway.
10 places to visit in India this March
Rejuvenate yourself at the International Yoga Festival from 1-7 March, where globally renowned yogis and yoginis will teach, practice and create awareness about yoga. The festival kicks off with a havan at the Ganga Ghat each day, after which various yoga sessions, cultural programmes, and preachings from the likes Sri Sri Ravishankar, Gaur Gopal Das, Jonty Rhodes and Anuradha Paudwal take place. For yoga enthusiasts or anyone who wants a revitalising escape, the holy destination of Rishikesh is for you. Website
Dibang Valley, Arunachal Pradesh
This picturesque district located in the northernmost part of Arunachal Pradesh derives its name from the Dibang River. The landscape is quite scenic where you will be treated to views of rugged mountains, winding rivers, waterfalls, lush green valleys and forests rich in biodiversity. It’s a great place to surround yourself with nature and soak in the local culture. But the biggest draw here is the seven-lake trek, as you make your way to an elevation of almost 4,000 meters to see the glaciers that feed these lakes. It’s worth noting that if you’re visiting Arunachal Pradesh, domestic tourists must obtain an Inner Line Permit and tourists from other countries are required to obtain a Restricted Area Permit. Both documents are official permits to allow tourists to enter a place falling under the category of a restricted area.
Mathura, Uttar Pradesh
Celebrating Holi with the locals in Mathura and Vrindavan is an experience like no other. Places like Nandgaon, Barsana, and Braj are a riot of colour, with celebrations lasting several days. The fun-filled Lathmar Holi celebrations, based on the stories of Radha and Krishna, involving the men from Nandgaon playfully applying colour to the women in Barsana, who drive them away with sticks, are unique and a joy to witness. Of course, thandai and sweets are a given and there is a lot to feast on whilst you’re here.
If you want to experience the vibrant Sikh festival of Holla Mohalla, then the best place to witness this is in Anandpur. Watch the local community display their martial skills, partake in mock battles and gather in colourful processions along with showcasing their fighting prowess. Devotees from across the country throng this three-day long annual festival, which usually falls close to Holi, and camp in Anandpur, along with being a part of the daily rituals. Community meals or langars are an important feature here, and you can also visit various other food stalls organised by the locals.
Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan
One of the country’s largest national parks and home to a sizable tiger population, Ranthambore is located a few kilometres away from the city of Sawai Madhopur. Book yourself into one of the many safari lodges here, where you can bed down in tented camps and enjoy all creature comforts. Head out for daily safaris to spot the elusive tiger and observe other wild animals in their natural habitat. The national park is also home to an ecosystem of more than 500 species of flowering plants and more than 300 species of birds, making it perfect for avian enthusiasts.
This quaint cantonment town adjoining the hill station of Mussoorie is a charming getaway in the hills, with its colonial-era homes and churches. Make the most of the waning winter as you warm up in front of cozy bonfires, trek the hills and take in the quaint architecture by staying in one of the many Victorian-style cottages that double as homestays. The town is also home to renowned writer, Ruskin Bond. Stop by the Landour Bakehouse for warm, baked goodies or a slice of cake with a hot coffee, or enjoy light bites at Char Dukan. The scenic views of the Doon Valley coupled with the majestic Himalayas make Landour an ideal getaway in the North.
Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh
Lying in the scenic Kangra Valley and overlooking the Dhauladhar range of the Himalayas, Dharamshala makes for a blissful escape if you’re looking for some peace and quiet. With the Kotwali Bazaar on the lower end and the township of McLeodGanj (sitting at an elevation of over 2,000 meters) on the upper end, you get a mix of hip food joints, local markets and peaceful monasteries, giving the town its unique character. Dharamshala also boasts of a strong Tibetan influence, so you can relish Tibetan delicacies at the many eateries that dot the markets here. Visit the Namgyal Monastery, trek to the Bhagsunag waterfall or pay a visit to the Kangra fort—there’s plenty to see and do in this quaint spot in the Himalayas.
A getaway to Goa any time of the year sounds like a great idea and while the sunshine state may be warmer in March, that shouldn’t deter you from getting that perfect beach tan. Spend your days indulging in meals at beach shacks or one of the many hip restaurants and bars that call Goa home. Sundowners are especially pretty from the cliff-top restaurants that dot the landscape here. When it comes to accommodation, you’re spoilt for choice, be it a quiet homestay in the rural parts of Goa, beach hotels or a boutique property overlooking paddy fields.
Stay in a cozy tree house among the landscape dotted with tea and coffee plantations at this popular hill station. The town is one of the most scenic getaways, with its steep hills, waterfalls, and diverse wildlife. Go sightseeing to Madikeri Fort or simply enjoy the pleasant weather as you walk along the coffee plantations filled with the refreshing aroma of coffee.
Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu
Relax on a beach or surf the waves in Thoothukudi. This port town in the southernmost parts of Tamil Nadu, about 600 kilometres away from Chennai has some of the most inviting beaches with lots to offer, from surfing to fishing and snorkelling. When you’re not exploring the shores, you can indulge in local specialities like Ramassery idlis and Thoothukudi macaroons, specially made with cashews, or visit the stunning temples sprawled across the region.