Now that the sweltering summer days are gone giving way to the season of the red nose, you have the chance to sing the white winter hymns in some of the Indian dreamy destinations. Ideally, you’d witness some people choosing famous tropical places in the country that are far from the cold weather for their winter vacation. But for those who prefer to capture the perfect Instagrammable moments with the backdrop of the Himalayan white wonderlands, you’d probably get enticed by the surreal beauty of the northern hilly states in India. In fact, in this blog, we have a treat for you as we present the 12 best winter destinations you cannot afford to miss. So, get your backpacks ready and go build snowman and snow-angel this winter holiday.
Kalpa: hides amid mighty mountains of Himachal Pradesh
The teensy town in Himachal, Kalpa is one of the best places you’d probably want to visit time and again. Located very close to its district headquarters, Reckong Peo, Kalpa can be expected to be dressed in white during the winter season in India. Since Kalpa is situated at a high altitude, this place becomes fluffier with snow in the months between November and March. This small town is considered to have the cleanest air in India, and since it is away from all that rush of tourist destinations in Himachal Pradesh, it looks no less than a land from the fairytale when it comes to winter. Apart from this, small Buddhist monasteries, Hindu temples and the traditional houses and rich culture are the main attractions of Kalpa.
Zuluk: A Surprise on the Hairpin Route of Sikkim
A small Sikkimese village of Zuluk as unusual the name may sound, the place offers a riveting ambience for winter adventures. Although the roads here may challenge you during winters making it slippery but once you reach your destination, you’ll thank God for creating such a masterpiece kind of a place. Basically, this hilltop tourist place is a transit point within the Silk Route offering a sight of the 32 dramatic hairpin turns. Most tourists visit Zuluk to catch a glimpse of it and of course experience a ride on this famous road. An ideal place to get a panoramic view of the roads and mighty Kanchenjunga is from Thambi viewpoint. Also, this rare destination is home to one of Sikkim’s sacred Kupup lake and Nag Temple which look dreamlike when covered in snow during winter.
Mechuka: The Forgotten Valley of Arunachal Pradesh
Gradually turning into a popular tourist destination, Arunachal has a lot of beautiful places to visit, one such destination is Mechuka. This amiable valley is surrounded by wavering lush greenery for the rest of the year while during the winters, it turns into a surreal destination with snow blanketing everything. The attraction to visit in Mechuka is the 400-year-old Gumpa also known as the Samtem Yongcha. And since it is situated atop a hilltop, you can get a 360-degree view of the entire valley. For adventure lovers, you can hire a local guide to take you for a hiking tour to the villages of Singbir, Galling to explore the local lifestyle of the people living in the extremely cold places of Arunachal. There is also a small Gurudwara, a little away from Mechuka.
Sonamarg/Sonmarg: Kashmir’s Very Own Winter Paradise
Sonamarg or Sonmarg is extremely scenic during winters, think of the movie the Chronicles of Narnia, yes…that pretty. It’s be a shame if you didn’t visit this famous destination that displays wide wavering ranges of the Himalayan snow-clad peaks. And if an endurance traveller you say you are, drive on the roads towards Sonamarg during winters, it can get pretty slippery but the picturesque surroundings can really take your breath away. Though the heavy snow can make your trek slow to the nearby destinations, you may be able to trek (3km) to the frozen lake of Vishansar. Basically, it can be considered a day trip to explore the scenic mountains, a frozen lake and just be there in the moment.
Zanskar Valley: It is where Adventure gets its Definition
Looking for an adventure of a lifetime? Visit Zanskar for some winter action amid the snow-coated mountains and frozen lakes. This fabulous destination is one of the best winter places to visit in Ladakh and while here you can delve into the many attractions it possesses. Besides visiting the beautiful Buddhist monasteries, trekking is the best thing to do here in winter and it is ventured by both domestic and international tourists who make reservations for the famed Chadar trek in advance. Ideally, Chadar Trek is can only be done in the chilly winter months, it passes over Zanskar River which remains stone-cold frozen, from a teensy village of Chilling. Zanskar trek is also a famous trek in Ladakh where wildlife enthusiasts may catch a glimpse of snow leopards.
Tawang: A Place that Transports You to a Land of Your Dreams
Somewhere around 3048 metre high, this paradise-like destination of Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh offers a spirit-lifting ambience. It may be one of the coldest places in India but everybody wants an experience of it. Here, one can witness the mash of Indian and Chinese influence surroundings and of course the Buddhist monasteries that appear to look even more appealing during winters. The major attraction in Tawang is probably the second largest Buddhist monastery in the world, which looks incredibly gorgeous in the winter season. And a sight not to miss is the 8 m tall statue of Sakyamuni Buddha located inside the monastery. The Sela Pass Trek from Tawang is widely anticipated by adventurers throughout the year, especially during the winters. It’s fascinating to witness the Sela Lake completely frozen during the month of January and the views from the pass are just bewildering, overlooking the mountaintops.
Nelong Valley: A Hidden Treasure Chest in Uttarakhand for Thrill Seekers
The winters in Nelong Valley can be harsh and difficult but guess what, no one can stop the endurance travellers, can they? This almost unexplored destination in Uttarakhand falls under the Gangotri National Park and it is rather famous for the bone-rattling bridge attached to the walls of the mountain some 3666 m above the mean sea level. Other factors that make Nelong a must visit place is for having a resemblance of the climate and landscape of that of Ladakh and it is a treat for the wildlife and landscape lover as it provides a 360-degree view of the Tibetan plateau and some endangered wildlife species like bharal, snow leopard, musk deer and the Himalayan blue sheep.
Manali: Cliched but Still an Unbeatable Winter Destination in Himachal Pradesh
It may not need any introduction because it’s Manali after all, the favourite place for holidayers as well winter lovers in India. This destination receives heavy footfall all year round especially during winters because it offers a myriad of adventure activities to be done on snow. The things you can probably get your hands on are skiing, snowboarding, and sledging. The winter months also gives an opportunity to witness the culture of Manali in its Winter Carnival. It is held in every February offering delicious Himachali cuisine, folk dances, plays and lots of music to the visitors. If you are willing to do something out of the ordinary, try heli-skiing that required you to jump from a helicopter sliding straight down on a snowy slope. Besides, a visit to Marhi in winters will certainly bowl you over.
Gulmarg: The one and only Winter Sports Capital in Kashmir
Kashmir can be an irresistibly good destination to plan a holiday during winters and one of the popular hill stations is Gulmarg, which is looked up to. It is an ideal and rejuvenating weekend destination that treasures luxurious high-end resorts and amazing winter sports. In Gulmarg, you will be offered a plethora of sports and one that will surely be available is skiing. A cable car ride is another major attraction in Gulmarg, as it is truly an incredible experience getting a panoramic view of the surroundings. Hot air ballooning is also an added bonus during your Gulmarg tour. and similar to Manali, you can also find heli-skiing options here as well.
Khati Village: Last inhabited Village in Uttarakhand and a perfect place to find solace
Need an offbeat winter holiday? Visit one of the least travelled yet beautiful destinations in Uttarakhand, Khati Village. Ideal for peace and solitude lovers, it is accessible only through a trek via Dhakuri Pass. In fact, it is the last inhabited village that can be traversed while trekking to Pindari Glacier in the Kumaon Region. The winter vibe of the trek is all about the snow-covered trails with tiny winter flowers and forests covered with sunrays, offering a picture-perfect setting. Besides, the stone houses of the village simply add charm to it. If you are looking for a visit to Khati, go for Pindari Glacier or Sunderdhunga Glacier Valley trek that will pass through dramatic mountain slopes and lush forests covered in snow.
Munsiyari: Perfect Place for a solitary stay amid snow and nature
The charm Munsiyari in Uttarakhand offers is beyond words; visit and you’ll find out. It offers a pleasant weather year round but the winter months are simply bewitching – thick layer of snow, perfect to build castles and snowman. Like any other hill stations, Munsiyari too is filled with many things for adventure and trekking lovers. There may not be winter trekking options to high altitude places like Namik Glacier but there may be a few available short treks options to Thamri Kund. It is a 3 km trek from Ganesh Temple after you drive 7 km from Munsiyari. A trek to this freshwater lake is quite easy and for wildlife enthusiasts, you can also encounter musk deer. Other tourist spots in Munsiyari are Kalamuni Top, Birthi Falls, Maheshwari Kund etc.
Pelling: Sikkim’s Ultimate Trekking and Backpacking Paradise
The closest view you can get of the Kanchenjunga is from this major tourist destination of Pelling unless you’re going to the Kanchenjunga National Park. But if you’re visiting Pelling during winters you can expect a different ambience. The winter trekking routes remain open offering different trail guides to some of the popular attractions. Village tours are mainly opted by travellers to Yuksom which requires you to traverse the milky falls of Kanchenjunga. Also, visits to some of the grand monasteries like Sangachoeling and Pemayangtse are not to be missed. Since it is quite close to Dzongri, a lot of adventure seeking travellers visit Pelling before going to the base camp situated in Yuksom. What’s best is that the Khangchendzonga Festival falls during December making it a great excuse to visit Pelling.
While some readers are still picturizing the places mentioned in the blog, you can make plans to any of these 12 destinations to have a white winter vacation in India. You can plan a tour with us because we offer the best packages and travel itinerary to make your holiday the best. Simply dial +91-9212553106 or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your budget and available days and we’ll get back to you in no time.
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