Winter Destinations For Snow Lovers In India

When it comes to seeking relief from the hot summer and transition months, Indians mostly look for destinations like hill-stations where the air is much cooler than that of the packed, polluted cities. Winters in India occur from November to March, with December and January, mostly being the coldest months. However, if one wants to experience a true winter and a white one at that, North India is the place to travel to where the elevated regions receive sustained winter snowfall.

Assuming you are able to tackle the dry, cold, chilly weather and looking for a little more adventure in the form of snow flakes, snow balls, snow carpets and snow men……..we have listed a few of such places in India for you. So get out your woollies, thermals and snow boots and get going!

Himachal Pradesh

Shimla

Winter Destination ShimlaThe summer capital of British India in earlier years, Shimla is now the capital of the state of Himachal Pradesh and one of the most popular and commercialized hill stations of the north. This destination is very popular right through the year as a summer retreat because of its high altitude and cool weather. However, Shimla is at its best and transforms completely during the winter months, especially from somewhere around mid-December and January when the city gets covered with snow. The pine and deodar forests are a sight to behold during this time.

How to reach :

By Air – Flights from Delhi and Chandigarh can be taken to the nearest airport Jubarhati, which is approx. 23 kms from town.
By Train – The nearest railway station to Shimla, which is connected to Delhi and Chandigarh is at Kalka. From here one can take the toy train to Shimla, which covers the distance in about 7 hrs.
By Bus – There are plenty of bus services offered by Himachal Road Transport Corporation as well as private bus operators from all major cities in the North to Shimla.

Kufri

Winter Destination KufriA small hill station located at a height of almost 9000 feet, just 20 kms away from Shimla, Kufri and other nearby hill stations also experience up to moderate snowfall during the winter months. Besides boasting of a Himalayan Wildlife Zoo, which hosts rare antelopes, felines and birds, this locale also offers a ski track which just ups the fun quotient.


How to reach :

By Air – Kufri does not have an airport. The nearest airport is at Chandigarh.
By Train- Nearest railway station is at Shimla.
By Bus – There are no direct buses to Kufri from other cities. The nearest bus stand is at Shimla which is approx. 11 to 12 kms away.

Narkanda

Winter Destination NarkandaAnother picturesque locale, especially during the snowy winter season and situated very close to Shimla is Narkanda. Famous for its apple orchards, this destination lets you experience the beauty of snow-capped mountains and lovely dense forests besides offering you wonderful skiing opportunities in its thick snow clad hills.


How to reach :

By Air – Bhuntar Airport at Kullu is the nearest airport.
By Train – The nearest train station is at Shimla. There is no direct train to Narkanda.
By Bus – There are bus services available from most of the major cities in the North to Narkanda.

Manali

Winter Destination ManaliSituated at a distance of 270 km from Shimla, Manali is another very famous hill station of Himachal Pradesh, nestled in the Beas river valley. This valley is loved for its snow clad mountains, crystal clear rivers, apple-pear and plum orchards, skiing and ice skating opportunities.


How to reach :

By Air – One can take a flight from Delhi or Chandigarh to Bhuntar Airport which is the closest to Manali and then take a taxi, but weather conditions there do make the flight schedule erratic.
By Bus – Manali is well connected with a good network of state-run as well as private buses to several places in the North like Kullu, Shimla, Leh, Dharamshala, Delhi etc. However, booking  the Volvo buses would be much more advisable owing to the nature of the long journey.

Uttarakhand:

Auli

Winter Destination AULIThis exciting winter destination is everything a snow lover can ask for. Surrounded by oak and coniferous forests, this place offers a spellbinding view of the lofty Himalayan peaks and some wonderful slopes at a height of 2500 to 3000 metres for skiing. This locale for skiing can be compared to one of the best the world over. Both professionals as well as novices can enjoy and enhance their skiing skills here. Winter sports competitions are held here regularly. Another must-experience opportunity is the chair-lift/ ski-lift/ cable car which can compare to nothing, while you look down on carpets of snow, interspersed with cotton-topped trees and bushes.

How to reach:

By Air – The closest airport to Auli is the Jolly Grant Airport at Dehradun, which is well connected to major cities in the country. Thereafter cab services can be hired to reach Auli.
By Train – Travelling by train is probably the most comfortable, with the nearest stations located at Dehradun, Rishikesh, Haridwar and Kotdwar. From here, one can hire cabs or opt for Asia’s longest cable car ride to Auli.
By Bus – The nearest bus station for Auli is at Joshimath, which has a good network of state run and private buses from Delhi, Rishikesh, Haridwar and some other neighbouring states.

Munsiyari

Winter Destination MunsiyariMunsiyari is located at the base of the Himalayan mountain range at a height of 7200 ft and is the starting point of several treks going deep into the range. The word ‘Munsiyari’ means ‘place of snow’ in the local dialect. This place is situated on the banks of the Goriganga and as of now, is not as widely publicized as a tourist destination, hence its pristine beauty and peaceful atmosphere is still intact. It is mostly frequented by trekking enthusiasts, mountain and glacier climbers and nature lovers, who use it as their base camp.

How to reach:

By Air – The nearest airport to Munsiyari is Pantnagar Airport at Nainital which has several flights coming in from Delhi and Chandigarh. From here, taxis can be hired to reach Munsiyari.
By Train – Nearest railway stations to Munsiyari are Kathgodam and Tanakpur. Taxis can be hired from here on to reach your destination.
By Road – Munsiyari is well connected to Uttarakhand and other northern states by motorable roads. Buses and Taxis are available from various destinations to this location.

Dhanaulti

Winter Destination DhanaultiThis is another beautiful destination in Uttarakhand, close to Mussoorie, that is still not popularized and so one can rejoice in its sleepy, calm and serene environs. Dhanaulti in winter is dreamlike, with a blanket of snow and a great place to just relax with the family and bond with nature. It’s alpine forest cover of oak, deodar and rhododendron trees is a great site for camping and sports activities like mountain cycling, mountain climbing, rappelling and snow-boarding are very enjoyable here.


How to reach:

By Air – Jolly Grant Airport at Dehradun is the closest airport to Dhanaulti from where taxis are easily available to reach your destination.
By Train – The nearest railway stations are at Rishikesh and Dehradun which is well connected to other major cities by a good railway network. These cities also have good motorable roads leading to Dhanaulti.
By Bus – Buses and taxis to Dhanaulti are readily available from several cities in Uttarakhand and well connected with motorable roads.

Gulmarg

Winter Destination GulmargThis world-class ski-destination in Kashmir with its picturesque landscape is what paradise is all about! Equipped with amazing golf courses and lovely green meadows of flowers like buttercups, daisies and forget-me-nots, this whole terrain gets submerged with snow during the winters and becomes an ideal place for winter sports like skiing, tobogganing, heli-skiing and snow-boarding. A definite must-do is a ride in the Gulmarg Gondola which gives you an enchanting view of the snow covered city.

How to reach:

By Air – The nearest airport is at Srinagar which is well connected to several major cities in India. Prepaid cabs or share cabs can be hired from here to Gulmarg.
By Train – Jammu is the nearest railway station to this destination which is well connected by a good railway network to many major cities across the country.
By bus – Government and private bus services to Gulmarg are offered from Srinagar, Sonmarg and other neighbouring towns in Kashmir.

North-East

North Sikkim

Winter Destination North SikkimThis heavenly place is quite unlike any other in the country. Luring you with a beautiful view of Mount Kanchenjunga, the fragrance of beautiful flowers, the transparent lakes and flowing rivers, this place seems even more unreal with the winter snow which is there almost through the year. But this destination is not for the faint-hearted, because of its very high altitude and so it is necessary to acclimatize yourself before travelling there.


How to reach:

By Air – The nearest airport from Sikkim is Bagdogra Airport which is connected to quite a few major cities in the country. Taxi services can be availed from here to reach your exact location.
By Train – The nearest railway heads are at Jalpaiguri and Siliguri, which is well connected to major cities and towns across the country. One can opt for buses or taxis from here to take you to Sikkim.
By Bus – Several Government and Private bus services connect Sikkim to other neighbouring towns and cities.

Tawang

Winter Destination TawangThis destination in Arunachal Pradesh is truly blessed with nature’s beauty. Dense forests, spectacular waterfalls against frozen mountains and an unbelievable atmosphere is home to the Tawang monastery. Believed to be the biggest monastery in the world, besides Lhasa, Tawang lets you experience something magical and lets you get closer to the Buddhist philosophy. This marvelous locale is an ideal destination to reflect and introspect on one’s life.


How to reach:

By Air – The nearest airport is located at Tezpur which is directly connected to Kolkata and Guwahati. Helicopter services started by the Arunachal Pradesh Government, from Guwahati to Tawang, are offered twice a week.
By Train – Rangapara Railway Station is the closest to Tawang, at a distance of approx.. 385 kms. This station is well connected to several other cities and towns in North East India.
By Bus – The Arunachal Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation and other private companies offer regular bus services from Itanagar, Tezpur, Nagaon, Missamari and several other towns and cities to Tawang.

 

 

 

Picture Credits :  Shimla – Magzter.Com,  Kufri – India Today,  Narkanda – Allaboutwomen,  Manali – Travel Triangle,  Auli – Dream Mountain,  Munsiyari – Holiday Travel.Co,  Dhanaulti – Cleartrip,  Gulmarg – Sand Pebbles Tours,  North Sikkim – Tripbeam – WordPress.Com,  Tawang – Pinterest.Com

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