Outlook Traveller's New Year's Bucket List for 2022

As the year comes to a close, team OT picks destinations to leave the past behind, cherish the present and embrace the future
Shri Bhimakali Temple at Sarahan
Shri Bhimakali Temple at Sarahan


It is a nature lover&rsquos paradise with wildflowers, apple orchards, and snow-clad peaks.&nbspBy mid-December, the temperature drops to -9 &degC due to snowfall.

This Himachali hamlet is surrounded by snow-covered meadows, apple orchards, silent forests, and the gushing Sutlej river. Sarahan is also a breeding place for jujurana - the so-called &lsquoking of birds&rsquo which is the state bird of Himachal Pradesh and an endangered species. The surrounding snow-capped mountains are famous among adventure enthusiasts and it is a nature lover&rsquos paradise with its wildflowers and guzzling streams. It lives up to its name - gateway to Kinnaur Valley.

The famous Bhimakali Temple here is one of the fifty-one Shaktipeeths.&nbspHire a local guide for the trek to Bashal Peak as it passes through dense forest with wild animals and involves some steep ascents.



Nestled on a ridge, this town got its name from &lsquoAssi Kot&rsquo, meaning eighty forts, that once reigned here.&nbspDuring December, the higher areas of the sanctuary are covered in snow.

At an elevation of approximately 3,629 ft, with Panchuli and Chiplakot as a backdrop, Askote is the starting point for the annual Kailash-Manasarovar pilgrimage. It is famous for the Askot Musk Deer Sanctuary, home to the endangered musk deer. Askote is also known for some of the best skiing ranges, which are among the most highly recommended. This hamlet alongside the Kali river is a haven for nature lovers to pause, unwind and repeat.

Travellers here will also find extensive rhododendron trees.



A perfect getaway offering mysterious sea and lush green palm trees with a clear, blue sky in complete sync. One can also engage in water sports here.&nbspDress in comfortable shoes and clothes as the heat can be scorching during the day, even during winters.

The calm sea, golden sands, and cool breeze make Devbagh a perfect getaway destination. Also famous for thrilling adventures like kayaking, parasailing, water-scooter, snorkelling, dolphin watching, this can be your choice among unconventional destinations to celebrate New Year&rsquos in India. While in Devbagh, you might also want to visit the Sadashivgad Fort, set amidst dense forest, and the 1,000-year-old Shejjeswar temple.

The jungles near Devbagh offer an excellent opportunity for bird sightings.



Also called the Kashmir of Odisha, this beautiful valley can surprise you with snowfall in winters.&nbspDo not miss out on the pepper and coffee gardens here.

Named after a British officer, Dering, who was the first to make this place his summer place, Daringbadi was initially known as Deringbadi (Dering&rsquos village).  Surrounded by lush green valleys, dense mountain forests, birdsongs, exotic plants, coffee plantations, pine trees, this off-beat location offers the ideal setting for relaxation and uninterrupted solace especially near the Doluri River.

Discover the various tribal villages nestled in the forests during your trek.&nbspDon&rsquot miss the Singari nacha by Kutia Kondhas, where the boy sings and dances to persuade his partner, and she answers through her performance



Covered by mist and surrounded by hills of the Western Ghats, the surreal beauty of Kodagu has to be seen to be believed. Do not miss out on the local delicacies while here.&nbspWith mist setting in, visibility is reduced and driving can be challenging after 3 pm during winters.

Winter brings with it a calming silence and tranquility to picture-perfect Kodagu, the Scotland of India. Visit Talakaveri, located in the Brahmagiri hills, which is said to be the birthplace of the sacred river Kaveri. Here, Kaveri emerges as a perennial spring, before disappearing underground. Any trip is incomplete without a journey to Madikeri, the district&rsquos picturesque capital, and lush, green Kushalnagar, the hub of the coffee processing industry.

Using plastic bags or even carrying them is prohibited in Kodagu.



Also known as Dakshin Kashi, it is a beautiful coastal hamlet with seaside cliffs and serene beaches. Varkala is also home to various up and coming health resorts.&nbspThe Papanasam (destroyer of sins) beach is also known for its natural spring, said to cure the soul of all impurities

With its calm beaches lined with palm trees and red cliffs, Varkala is among the leading destinations to celebrate New Year&rsquos in the country. The only place in Kerala where you can find cliffs next to the sea is Varkala beach, also known as Papanasam beach. During winters the destination also becomes a surfer&rsquos paradise, offering smaller waves for beginners to learn to surf on. On the northern cliff, the promenade is vibrant with flea markets, handicrafts, cafes, and restaurants.

A must-try in Varkala is the cardamom coffee, a strong coffee infused with cardamom flavour.



An ideal houseboat cruise holiday on the backwaters, Alappuzha is also known as the Venice of the East. It has a network of lagoons and canals worth exploring.&nbspDon&rsquot miss the Alappuzha beach festival held every year during the New Year.

Alappuzha, or Alleppey, has innumerable canals, beautiful temples, churches, and serene beaches. While here, meander in houseboats through the paddy fields and villages and simply soak in what your surroundings have to offer. Surrounded by nature in its purest form, Alappuzha is one of the best destinations to celebrate New Year&rsquos in India. Alappuzha beach, with its local markets and food also offers a radically different experience.

Carry a dhoti (a long white cloth with a border) as it is mandatory to cover one&rsquos legs while entering a temple.



Famous for trekking, Yelagiri can be reached through the ghat roads with 14 enthralling hairpin bends.&nbspDon&rsquot miss the musical fountain in the middle of the Punganoor Lake in the evenings.

The approach to Yelagiri is as pretty as the hill station itself. A paradise for nature and adventure lovers alike, Yelagiri is famous for its parks, lakes, waterfalls and a now-closed telescope observatory that provides stunning views of the hill and its environs. Plan a trip to the Jalagamparai Waterfalls, where the river Attaru breaks and plummets into a scenic waterfall. Or you can enjoy boating or a leisurely walk around the magnificent man-made Punganoor Lake.

Trek to the peaks of Yelagiri forest hill, camp in tents amidst the sprawling wilderness, and wake up to a mesmerising sunrise.

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