October brings out the romance in us—there’s festivities in the air, the weather across the country is pleasant with sunny days and slightly cold evenings.
As the barrage of festivities begin, life slows down. Everyone spends more time with their families, or plans vacations, making use of the many holidays. October is a great time to visit historically rich areas which are too hot in the summer. The past few months have been tough on everyone, and a break is surely in order.
If you’re looking for such a culture-soaked getaway, we have five top picks right now: New Delhi, Gwalior, Bhubaneswar, Hyderabad and Bundi.
All accessible by train, these cities do not mandate a negative COVID-19 test report as an absolute policy for domestic arrivals. Read on for trip planning ideas!
Please note: State guidelines are subject to change on short notice. Before making your IRCTC booking, do confirm the latest rules with local authorities to ensure smooth travel!
October is the perfect month for leisure visits to Delhi. For historic sites, your list should include the Red Fort, Humayun’s Tomb, Jantar Mantar, the Qutub Minar and the lakeside Hauz Khas Complex.
Since the weather is neither too hot nor too cold, you can pack in visits to vibrant green stretches like Sunder Nursery, Lodhi Gardens and Sanjay Van, coupled with a lazy breakfast somewhere in Connaught Place. Crispy ram laddoos and kurkure momos are a monsoon staple in Delhi, so you have to get a piping hot serving to munch on!
COVID-19 travel restrictions: None for train travellers.
October is a pleasant time to explore Odisha’s state capital. Often called the ‘Temple City’ of India, Bhubaneswar boasts magnificent Kalinga architecture and is a melting pot of Hindu, Buddhist and Jain cultures. Top picks for a quick getaway include the Lingaraja Temple, the Udaygiri and Khandagiri Caves, and the Mukteswara and Rajarani Temples.
You’ll also get the best sampling of Odia food here, so make sure to try thalis at local canteens. Sweets like chhena poda and rasabali are must-buys.
Combined with Puri and Konark, Bhubaneswar is part of the ‘Golden Triangle’—one of eastern India’s most popular tourist circuits. After your initial train ticket booking, you may feel the itch for a road trip 😉
COVID-19 travel restrictions: Train passengers arriving with a valid vaccination certificate (two doses) into Odisha don’t need to carry a negative RT-PCR/Rapid Antigen test report.
When someone says ‘Gwalior’, you immediately think of the Fort, right?
No doubt, the city’s imposing hilltop monument, built as an impenetrable fortress, deserves the attention. But there are plenty of other tourist sites here to be excited about!
Take the ornate tombs of Tansen (yes, that Tansen) and his guru, Mohammad Ghaus. Or the European-styled Jai Vilas Mahal, which is a museum today. Or the 15th-century Man Singh Palace, which features stunning tile work on its walls. We could keep going, but you get the drift. A guided history tour in Gwalior is perfect for family vacations.
Gwalior’s October temperatures are in the 19–34ºC range.
COVID-19 travel restrictions: None for train travellers entering Madhya Pradesh. Symptomatic passengers will be tested on arrival.
Set along the banks of the River Musi, Hyderabad’s cultural legacy under the Qutb Shahi and Nizami rule is famous across Southeast Asia. Top places for tourism here are the Golconda Fort, the Charminar, the Chowmahalla Palace, and the calming Hussain Sagar Lake.
A hub for royal food traditions, handicrafts and literature, Hyderabad is also the only Indian city recognised as a ‘creative city of gastronomy’ by UNESCO. So naturally, you must try local eats like biryani, pesarattu (green gram crepes), marag (mutton soup), haleem and khubani ka meetha (apricot dessert). Follow them up with biiiig naps.
COVID-19 travel restrictions: None for train travellers entering Telangana.
This ‘City of Stepwells’ is straight out of a medieval fairytale. An underrated gem four hours from Jaipur, Bundi is dotted with beautifully designed palaces and forts, and is surrounded by fragrant fruit orchards and the Aravalli Hills.
Top places to visit here are stepwells like the Raniji Ki Baori and the Dabhai Kund; the Garh Palace; the Jait Sagar Lake; Saar Bagh and the lakeside Sukh Mahal Palace.
The October weather in Bundi clocks in at about 30ºC. As a plus point, you’ll be happy to know that older buildings in Bundi were designed with a noticeable bluish hue, which keeps houses cool during hot weather.
COVID-19 travel restrictions: Train travellers arriving with a valid vaccination certificate (single or double dose) into Rajasthan don’t require a negative RT-PCR test report for entry.
That’s it for this list, but let us know if you want more suggestions. A great vacation is just one train ticket booking away!