Change, as they say, is the only constant of life. Traveling is no exception here. Be it the style of traveling, the motto, the means of it, or the destination, everything changes with time. As the tradition states, occasional tourists practise what frequent travelers preach. One such trend set by these travellers is, off-season travel.
For those who don’t know, a year can be divided into 3 major time frames in relation to travelling, that is: peak season, off-season and shoulder period. The peak season is the time period when a certain place is most travelled to, off-season being the least travelled to period of that place, and shoulder period is the transition period from off to peak or vice versa, experiencing moderate crowd.
Off-season does have a lot of advantage like less cost, less crowd, higher availability, less hassle and planning requirements and so on. But people have started following this change so religiously that they have forgotten that there are certain places that exercise there charm only during the peak season and if you do not visit during this period, you might as well not visit.
Also, never forget that there is always a reason why it is the off-season. The weather conditions may be harsh, or the attractions closed. Therefore, sometimes it is better to visit during peak season, than not able to enjoy at all.
So, go through to get an idea of a few places in India that you should not be visiting during off-season
1. Cherrapunji, Meghalaya
Receiving an insane amount of rainfall and that too throughout the year makes Cherrapunji one of the wettest place in the world. As logic would suggest, the off-season for this location is July-August, when monsoons in the subcontinent are at zenith. Continuous rainfall would make it impossible for you to travel around and explore the places you wanted to see. So, basically you end up paying thousands just to stay indoors praying for the rains not to flood the town again! Although some people love the rain and wouldn’t mind braving the rains and still going about the place, so it wouldn’t be much of a problem for them. Then again, if dense monsoon showers are not your cup of tea, then opt out of the plan ASAP!
So, never follow this off-season trick here and experience the lullaby in the lap of nature in the early months of summer or during winters.
2. Puri, Odisha
This city, which would seem to resemble Athens if thought of artistically, is famous for being the city of Lord Jagannath. Not only do people long to visit the auspicious shrine (which, by the way, has many interesting facts about itself that might actually render it magical!), but also the beach here is just fantastic. Although not like the ones you would see in Goa or Pondicherry, but definitely more calm and peaceful to relax at. Another extremely famous thing about Puri, as you would guess, is the Rath yatra celebration, which is probably the grandest here in the whole of India. The streets are filled with devotees in complete submission to the infectious happiness in the air, with them dancing and singing like there is no tomorrow. Not only is this energy crazy, the food you get during this celebration is delicious too! No wonder people from all over India come to witness this. Now imagine being here during the off-season and missing all of it. Would the benefits of off-season be really worth it?
3. Kolkata, West Bengal
Yes, the City of Joy is probably the worst choice you can make for exploring during off-season, not because of what might trouble you (the city is still lovely) but because of what all you will be missing!
Famous for the festival of Durga Puja, the entire city transforms into a surreal stairway to heaven. The whole city illuminates to celebrate Navratri by worshipping goddess Durga for nine auspicious days. The dates change every year within October to November, depeding upon the Hindu calendar. The whole city is decorated with colourful fairy lights, music is present everywhere, every person seems to have taken to the streets and this otherwise un-nightly city turns into a nocturnal delight. Plus, it is the time when you will fall in love with the delicious Bengali cuisine, available on the street corners and restaurants 24*7. The description of everything would take pages and ages, so in short, you cannot make a worthwhile off-season visit to Kolkata.
The very thought of visiting Goa during off-season sounds absurd in my ears. I mean, what about beach parties, shack parties, crowd enthusiasm, madness in the air, love in the air and everything else Goa is meant for? Goa is THE place to be at if you want to just pause your life and take a well-deserved break. Let loose on all the social obligations and once and for all give yourself away in the moment and party like never before. And to visit such a place when there is no crowd to lose yourself in is futile. Goa should be visited only when you want to get lost in the energy and craziness of the place. Do not spoil your ticket to freedom of soul by visiting this “nature’s recreational room” during off season.
5. The Whole of Uttarakhand
Well, this is except Auli obviously. The whole of Uttarakhand is basically a very religious place with few of the holiest places for Hindu pilgrims. But here is the deal, the major temples here are closed and remain closed through the majority of off season because of heavy snow and cold. The weather of the state is unpredictable and can turn out to be harsh. Therefore, as much as it is advised to visit Uttarakhand at least once in a lifetime, planning an off-season trip here might turn out dire.
Summing up, although it is good to go for out of-the-box and new ideas and styles like travelling off season, somethings are best done the mainstream way!
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- 5 places in India you should not visit during off-season - 10th June 2017