When winters knock at your door the adventurous folks know that there’s no better time to head outdoors. Immaterial whether you are a hardcore adrenalin junkie, an adventurous soul looking to explore unknown horizons or just someone who likes the outdoors; the winter brings with it a realm of exciting possibilities to entice the travel bug in you.
Here are the 24 winter destinations in India to enjoy snow, which will surely make your holiday season special.
#1 Patnitop “brings Kashmir to your doorstep”
Just 110 km from Jammu and you enter the Paradise.
This cute little hamlet at the foot of the Kashmir Valley is one of the most peaceful snow places in India. An added bonus is this paragliding destination which only becomes better with the large white expanses of snow in the winter season. People indulge in snowboarding and skiing activities and enjoy to their fullest.
#2 Munsiyari, the Little Kashmir in Uttarakhand with Bonus!
A newly found beauty of Uttarakhand, is slowly making waves and establishing its identity as place full of snow. Revisited by mountaineers & trekkers, it also packs a bonus: Madkot with Hot Water Springs that are bliss in freezing snowy conditions.
#3 Almora, the Snow Haven with Colonial Significance
Picturesque locales, Himalayan views make it a perfect snow haven. Winters in Almora are quite chilly, but the snowfall here makes it worth braving the harshness that accompanies it. Located in Uttarakhand District, it is famous for stunning views, rich cultural heritage and natural scenic beauty.
#4 Gulmarg, the best Skiing Destination
Snow, snow and more snow is what appears at Gulmarg. It is known as the best skiing destination in India. Along with skiing, tourists can also indulge in snowboarding and Gondola ride for viewing from top. Panoramic views of Mt. Kanchenjunga mesmerize all the tourists.
#5 Auli, the Skiing Festival and Championships Capital
Known for its bountiful snow which lasts till early March, it is an ideal destination for skiing.
Auli, the second name for skiing, it is mainly famous for its perfect, snow clad slopes that enhance the snowy experience. Week long and short duration courses make it a perfect skiing destination.
#6 Hemkund Sahib, the treacherous but rewarding Snow Experience
Open for short windows in October and December, this gurudwara at 4,600 meters challenges you to tread the tough climb which is mostly snow laden. The trek through the Valley of Flowers is a huge bonus.
#7 Narkanda & Thanedar for snow & apple orchards!
Not far away from Shimla, the Himachal Capital, Narkanda is the place for snow and hill station ambience. Just 17 kilometers away is Thanedar with juicy apple orchards. The blanketed gentle slopes attract all newcomers for that awesome skiing experience.
#8 Shimla, Synonymous with Snow!
The best known hill station for snowfall, which is easily accessible by air, road and train, is everyone’s favourite. Since many have experienced it in summers, they love to come back and compare the scenery. Picturesque sceneries, familiar city crowd make you enjoy snowy conditions.
#9 Kufri, the Transforming Snow Haven
This quaint little region transforms as a snow haven in winters. The wide slopes get covered with snow gives a refreshing and chilly look. The tall deodars and pines add cherry to the cake.
#10 Manali and Rohtang
Clubbed together as the best places for snow in Himachal Pradesh, they are surrounded by towering Himalayan peaks and gorgeous valleys. Just 14 km away lies the Solang Valley for skiing and snow related adventure activities.
#11 Dhanaulti, the newly found Uttarakhand’s Jewel!
Just 24 kilometers from Mussoorie, this jewel has thick forest cover of rhododendron, oak and deodar. Though visited round the year, the snowfall gives it a totally new look. Perched at a height of 2,286 meters it gets plenty of snow to play with.
#12 Chopta. Simply Awesome!
The breathtaking mountain views and the white carpet in winters make it a picture postcard hill station. Chopta is a totally unspoiled destination in the lap of the Uttarakhand Himalayas offering views of the imposing Himalayan range that includes Trishul, Nanda Devi and Chaukhamba.
#13 Lava, West Bengal
Included amongst the best places for experiencing snowfall, this is the best upcoming snow destination.
After the snowfall, this paradise of tropical deciduous and alpine vegetation turns to a fairyland that matches to any snow lover’s fantasy. An enthralling view of Mt. Kanchenjunga adds to its beauty!
#14 Tawang, piece of Heaven, in Arunachal Pradesh!
At over 3,000 meters Tawang, after snowfall looks like a piece of heaven has fallen on earth. The 400 years old Buddhist Monastery adds a feather in its cap and the overall view.
#15 Katao, Sikkim
This mostly untouched, unexplored and snowbound till March, it is the most non-touristy hill station. Just 144 km from Gangtok it was a well kept secret from the prying tourists’ eyes.
#16 Dalhousie & Khajjiar for discounted Snowy Experience!
When only snow matters, head straight to this lowly priced combo. Not regarded as touristy, accommodations are available easily and cheaply. Standing tall at 2,000 meters there is abundant snow to roll in. Khajjiar is already nicknamed as Mini Switzerland.
#17 Ladakh, One of the Best for Snow & adventure Junkies
The moon-scaped Ladakh is probably one of the best places to witness snow. The whole region doubles up as ideal trekking base when everything freezes to the core. The thick blanket of snow invites everyone to ski, roll and dance.
#18 Sub-Zero Temperatures, Yumthang Valley, Sikkim
Ideally suited for those who like to chill in sub-zero temperatures, this valley opens its arms between October to December. Tourists will enjoy the lazily falling snow flakes covering trees and rooftops.
#19 Mcleodganj, the Honeymooner’s Paradise
Newly-wedded couples flock this paradise to enjoy the cozy warmth inside and snowy conditions outside. The snow blanket is ideal for them to indulge in ball throwing and teasing. Paragliding is also an option that no one misses.
#20 Gangtok, Snow plus White Water Rafting
Snow-clad mountains, chilled environs, fresh air welcomes tourists in February. With plenty of options to chill around including a foreign style market the visitors flock in great numbers. With the option of White Water Rafting thrown in, the reasons to arrive here double.
#21 Kanatal, Overnight Journey from Delhi, Uttarakhand
Just 30 kilometers from Mussoorie and 55 from Dehradun, Kanatal is an easily accessible overnight destination for Delhiites. It offers plenty of snow, best Himalayan views and affordable but luxurious accommodations.
#22 Lachung, Snow and Fruit Orchards
This small but picturesque town of Sikkim enchants the visitors with amazing weather and warm culture. The thick snow cover and vast expanses and sparse population encourage you to roam free. The nearby fruit orchards of peaches, apples and apricots tease you to pluck a few.
#23 Sonmarg, the Golden Meadow
A snow-lovers’ Paradise, Sonmarg often keeps its snow blanket till April. With glaciers, frozen lakes and snow carpets this combo needs to be seen. Kashmir is ranked number one for snow and mountain lovers, the addition of White Water Rafting has just increased a jewel in its crown.
#24 Chota Kashmir / Mini Kashmir / The one and only Bhadarwah!
Fondly called the Chota Kashmir by the locals, Bhadarwah has all the qualities Kashmir has. Just 30 km to the eastern side it has excellent meadows at an elevation of 11,000 feet and a length of 5 to 7 km long. These dimensions are superb for conducting all sporting activities like Paragliding, Skiing, Mountain biking, Paragliding, Trekking and Camping. No wonder tourists have started to flock Bhadarwah in no time.
#25 Nainital, experience snow without harsh temperatures
The Lake District of India, Nainital in Uttarakhand, is the place to experience snow without extreme temperatures. Blessed with immense scenic beauty it is dotted with lakes, viewpoints and exquisite tourist spots.
So what are you waiting for? Hurry to one of these places – winters doesn’t last all year!