From vibrant festivals to serene landscapes, we unveil the best places to visit in India to elevate your travel goals in 2024 — it’s time for a new year and new vibes!
Are you already browsing through possible options for the best places to visit in India in 2024? If not, start right away and take notes from our comprehensive list of stunning destinations across the country.
Finalising the perfect destination for that much-awaited vacation with family or friends is no easy task. However, we have taken on the challenge by curating this list of top places to visit in India in the new year, focusing on colourful festivals, important events and notable recognitions. So, embark on a vibrant journey with us as we share India’s top destinations for 2024.
A fresh start: The best places to visit in India for an unforgettable 2024
Home to the majestic Kanchenjunga mountain range, Sikkim is the best place to visit in India, a distinction acknowledged by its inclusion in The Cool List 2024 by National Geographic. The only representative from India and one of the three Asian destinations on the list that features 30 destinations from around the world, Sikkim promises an unparalleled experience.
From gorgeous views of Gangtok seen through glass walls of cable cars to the misty mornings in Lachung Valley with the Teesta River as a backdrop, and the natural beauty of Pelling, along with the ever-popular Nathula Pass, Sikkim offers endless breathtaking vistas. The state is also dotted with numerous monasteries where you can find much-needed peace and solace. The Tsuklakhang Monastery hosts the Pang Lhabsol festival from August to September, offering a unique perspective to those who visit during this time.
Key attractions in 2024: Sikkim is set to host the National Games for the first time from February 28 to March 12, providing sports enthusiasts with a thrilling experience. Also, with the completion of the Sivok-Rangpo railway project, Sikkim anticipates its first train service in 2024.
Must-visit places: Goechala Trek, Khangchendzonga National Park, Gurudongmar Lake and Zuluk
Best time to visit: March to May and October to December
This vibrant state, home to Kolkata — The City of Joy — is an unbeatable choice for foodies. However, beyond its gastronomic delights, West Bengal unfolds as a melting pot of diverse cultures and geographies. Whether it is the hills and tea estates in Darjeeling, Dooars and Kurseong, the beaches of Digha and Mandarmani, the mangroves in Sundarbans, or the villages in Purulia, there is no dearth of stunning locales in West Bengal.
With Rabindranath Tagore’s Shantiniketan being added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site List in 2023, a visit to West Bengal in 2024 is a must. Timing your visit during Basanta Utsav in March or the Poush Mela in December may be a great opportunity to soak in the rich cultural heritage and experience the magic of baul geet (folk music). For a different world altogether, visit the state during the Durga Puja celebrations from October 3 to 13.
Key attractions in 2024: Soak in the culture and revel in dance, music and festivities at the All India Permit Festival on January 6 and 7 at Nicco Park.
Must-visit places: Howrah Bridge, Gorumara National Park, Bishnupur and Tea Estates in Darjeeling and the Dooars
Best time to visit: October to March
This part of southern India emerges as one of the best places to visit in 2024, notably due to the recent UNESCO World Heritage Site designation for the Hoysala temples at Belur, Halebid, and Somnathpur. Known for their distinct style of temple architecture and intricate carvings, these monuments, protected by the Archaeological Survey of India, add to the state’s cultural richness. Karnataka is also home to two more UNESCO World Heritage Sites — Hampi and Pattadakal.
The state has an abundance of architectural marvels such as the Stone Chariot in Hampi and Durga Temple in Aihole, as well as the natural beauty of places like Coorg and Shimoga, featuring lush greens and waterfalls. For those seeking an urban escapade, the Silicon Valley of India, Bangalore, offers posh hotels and upscale cafes. Witness the traditional theatre of Karnataka, Yakshagana, when here.
Key attractions in 2024: Experience a vibrant cultural extravaganza at the Hampi Festival from October 15 to 24 in Hampi.
Must-visit places: Mysore Palace, Jog Falls and Badami caves
Best time to visit: October to April
If you are a music lover, especially a Lollapalooza fan, Maharashtra stands out as one of the most happening destinations to visit in India in 2024.
Home to the mesmerising Sahyadris, majestic forts, ancient ruins, rolling hills, lush greens, refreshing waterfalls and laid-back beaches, Maharashtra caters to every type of traveller. From Naneghat’s reverse waterfall to UNESCO World Heritage Sites like the caves of Ajanta and Ellora, the state offers an abundance of weekend getaways. Experience the magic of monsoons in India by planning a trip in August 2024, and witness the grand Ganapati celebrations in September.
Key attractions in 2024: Mumbai, the state capital, is hosting the global music festival, Lollapalooza, on January 27 and 28, featuring iconic performers like Jonas Brothers and Anoushka Shankar. Also, attend the leading travel show in Asia-Pacific, OTM Mumbai, at Jio World Convention Centre from February 8 to 10.
Must-visit places: Marine Drive, Shaniwar Wada, Lonavala and Matheran
Best time to visit: October to February and July to August for monsoon
The Desert State of India, Rajasthan, is known for its vibrant culture and colourful festivals, including the Desert Festival in Jaisalmer in February. The Golden City, situated in the heart of the Thar Desert, comes alive with traditional art forms and folk music during this festival. Other popular festivals include the Bikaner Camel Festival in January, the Gangaur Festival in April and the Pushkar Mela in November.
The state is home to nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites including Chittorgarh Fort, Jantar Mantar, Kumbhalgarh Fort and Keoladeo National Park.
Key attractions in 2024: A visit in February can be a double treat, combining the Jaipur Literature Festival (from February 1 to 5), which features an exciting lineup of speakers every year, with the Desert Festival (from February 22 to 24).
Must-visit places: Hawa Mahal, Jaisalmer Fort and Mehrangarh Fort
Best time to visit: October to March
This northeastern beauty is known for hosting over 500 rare species of orchids in its dense jungles. With its border touching China, Bhutan and Myanmar, Arunachal Pradesh stands as India’s remotest state. Also known as the ‘Land of Dawn-lit Mountains’, it is home to 26 major tribes, each with its distinct festivals.
Regional celebrations include Si Donyi festival of the Tagin tribe in Daporijo from January 4 to 6, Shapawng Yawng Manau Poi of the Singpho tribe in Bordumsa from February 12 to 15, Myoko festival of the Apatani tribe in Ziro from March 20 to 25, and Sangken — the water festival of the Khampti tribe in Namsai, a major Buddhist celebration on April 14.
Visit lower Subansiri for angling, enjoy a thrilling session of rafting on the Siang River, and explore the exotic wildlife of the state, including tigers and snow leopards, at its various sanctuaries and jungles. Arunachal Pradesh offers numerous trekking options, with popular routes like Pasighat-Tuting, Daporijo-Taksing and Bomdila-Seppa.
Key attractions in 2024: Although the dates for the immensely popular Ziro Music Festival in September haven’t been announced yet, keep an eye out for this event, promising a star-studded line-up of talented musicians.
Must-visit places: Tawang, Chumi Gyatse Waterfall, Urgyelling Monastery and World War II Cemetery
Best time to visit: All year round except April to June
Uttar Pradesh, home to one of the Seven Ancient Wonders of The World, offers numerous reasons to visit. From temples devoted to Lord Krishna in Mathura-Vrindavan to Fatehpur Sikri near Agra, it showcases a kaleidoscope of various architectural forms and stories dating back centuries.
Lucknow, the capital, tells a different story through its Imambaras and various cultural festivals such as the Mahindra Sanatkada Lucknow Festival (February 2 to 6 in 2024), as well as Repertwahr and Qissagoi sessions. Don’t miss the Ganga aarti of Varanasi when in Uttar Pradesh.
Key attractions in 2024: One of the biggest religious events to take place in the state is the Ram Temple Pran Pratishtha, preceded by the Anushthan from January 15 to 24 in Ayodhya. PM Narendra Modi’s participation is expected on January 22. The annual Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj is scheduled for January 15 to March 8.
Must-visit places: Taj Mahal, Sangam, Ayodhya and Kashi Vishwanath Temple
Best time to visit: October to March
Gujarat hosts two major festivals that exemplify the state’s diversity — the International Kite Festival (in January during Makar Sankranti festivities), which showcases the vibrant spectacle of thousands of colourful kites in the sky during Uttarayan, and the Rann Utsav (from November 2023 to February 2024), which is set amid the dry lands of Kutch and offers a blend of music and dance.
For an authentic Navratri experience, visit Gujarat between October 3 and 13. The state is also home to the tallest statue in the world, the Statue of Unity, standing at 182 metres (597 feet). Monuments such as Rani ki Vav, Adalaj Stepwell, Laxmi Vilas Palace, Sun Temple and Somnath Temple add historical and architectural dimensions to the state.
Key attractions in 2024: The much-awaited Rann Utsav is ongoing and continues until February 25.
Must-visit places: Akshardham Temple (Gandhinagar), Dwarkadhish Temple, Gir National Park and Statue of Unity
Best time to visit: October to February
Madhya Pradesh’s allure has multiplied with Gwalior joining the UNESCO Creative Cities List in 2023 for its rich musical heritage.
Madhya Pradesh is home to many national parks and reserves like the Kanha National Park, Bandhavgarh National Park and Panna Tiger Reserve, perfect for experiencing the wildlife up close. Some of these locations offer night safaris and jungle stays for an adventurous experience. Spiritual seekers should plan a visit to Sanchi for ultimate tranquillity and solitude.
Key attractions in 2024: The five-day Lokrang Festival in the City of Lakes, Bhopal, will commence on Republic Day (January 26). For lovers of dance and performing arts, the Khajuraho Dance Festival is scheduled for February 20 to 26. Held at the Khajuraho Group of Temples, known for intricate carvings featuring erotic statues and other idols of gods and goddesses, this festival promises a beautiful experience.
Must-visit places: Sanchi Stupa, Ujjain, Khajuraho, Orchha, Raneh Waterfalls and Pandav caves
Best time to visit: October to February
Jammu and Kashmir
Kashmir, often referred to as India’s ‘Heaven on Earth’, captivates with its breathtaking vistas, including lush green meadows with snow-capped peaks, the tranquil Dal Lake, and historical sites like the Mughal Gardens. Srinagar, part of the UNESCO Creative Cities list since 2021, adds to the region’s rich cultural heritage.
Jammu and Kashmir is definitely one of the top destinations to visit in 2024, with plans to make Katra a leading destination for religious and eco-tourism. The Kashmir Tulip Festival, hosted in the Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden, named the largest such garden in Asia by the World Book Of Records (London) in August 2023, is a significant attraction.
Key attractions in 2024: The Kashmir Tulip Festival, scheduled to begin on March 19, is a crowd-favourite, so book your tickets right away.
Must-visit places: Vaishno Devi Temple, Gulmarg, Betab Valley and Gurez Valley
Best time to visit: March to August
There are numerous reasons to explore ‘God’s Own Country’, and the recent addition of Kozhikode to the UNESCO Creative Cities list for its contributions in the field of literature stands out. The seventh edition of the Kerala Literature Festival, referred to as one of the most popular literary events in Asia, features around 400 global speakers, including Nobel laureates, Booker Prize winners and literary geniuses. It spans six locations on the Kozhikode beach.
A houseboat stay on the backwaters of Alappuzha and boat rides on lakes in Kollam and Kottayam should be integral to your Kerala itinerary. While winter is the best time for a visit, experiencing the monsoon can reveal the breathtaking beauty of waterfalls like Athirappilly and Lakkam. Don’t forget to visit some of the offbeat hill stations in Kerala like Devikulam and Vythiri. Also, witness the traditional dance of the state, Kathakali, when here.
Key attractions: The 2024 Kerala Literature Festival in Kozhikode, from January 11 to 14, should be on your radar if literature fascinates you. Also, mark your calendar for the 12th edition of the Kerala Travel Mart in Kochi from September 26 to 29.
Must-visit places: Kovalam, Varkala Beach, Periyar Tiger Reserve and Munnar
Best time to visit: September to March
Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Home to the cleanest beach in the country, Radhanagar Beach, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are a must-visit in 2024 for their unspoiled beauty. Pristine palm-fringed beaches with white sand and turquoise waters make it a top choice for beach lovers. Watersports enthusiasts can experience marine life up close through scuba diving and snorkelling, with options like glass bottom boat rides and jet skiing for adventure seekers.
Andaman hosts numerous festivals, with the Island Tourism Festival in Port Blair in January being the most popular. Traditional music, dance, and various competitions bring the otherwise calm beaches to life during the festivities.
Key attractions in 2024: For a different take on your beach vacay head to the Island Tourism Festival to be held from January 5 to 15. Other festivals to look out for include the Beach Festival in April and Christmas Celebrations in December.
Must-visit places: Cellular Jail, Ross Island, Neil Island and Havelock Island
Best time to visit: October to April
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Which are the best places to visit in India for family vacations in 2024?
Agra, Jaipur, Gandhinagar, Orchha and Varanasi are some of the best places in India for a family vacation.
Which are the best adventure destinations in India for 2024?
Adventure lovers can consider visiting Goa for beach activities, Bir for paragliding and various places in Maharashtra for trekking in 2024.
Which are the best destinations in India for honeymoon-goers in 2024?
Honeymoon goers should visit places like Kerala, Kashmir, Sikkim and Andamans in 2024 for a wonderful time with each other.
Which are the best destinations in India for nature lovers in 2024?
Nature lovers can visit Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand for its mountains, Meghalaya for its valleys and waterfalls, and Madhya Pradesh for its forests and wildlife.
Which are the best places to visit in India for a solo trip in 2024?
Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Pondicherry are some of the best places to visit in 2024 for solo travellers.
Which are the most budget-friendly destinations in India to visit in 2024?
Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh are some of the most budget-friendly destinations in India.
Source : Travel Leusure