From Kashmir to West Bengal, take in the beauty of the mountains with these winter holiday destinations that will let you experience snowfall at its best.
If you love the mountains, then there’s no better time than the present to plan a winter trip to enjoy the season at its best. Frolicking in the first snowfall of the season thousands of feet above sea level and taking in the scenic wonder that is the Himalayan range sounds like the perfect holiday for any adventure seeker.
So, if you are looking for places to enjoy snowfall, then here is a list of some of the best destinations in India that need to be on your travel list:
1. Lava, West Bengal
Located in the eastern Himalayan ranges, Lava is a little town in the Kalimpong district of West Bengal. This hilly town is one of the few places in the state to receive snowfall every winter. Perched at an altitude of 7,016 feet above sea level, the hill station is noted for numerous scenic attractions and rich flora and fauna.
Situated close to the famous Neora Valley National Park, Lava also serves as its base. Besides, the town boasts several monasteries and temples. During winters, the sleepy town becomes a paradise with snow-capped trees all around and the majestic view of snow-clad Mt. Kanchenjunga is a sight to behold. Additionally, visitors can engage in activities like hiking, skiing and snowboarding.
How to reach: The nearest airport is Bagdogra airport, around 118 km away, and the nearest railway station is the New Jalpaiguri railway station, around 102 km away.
2. Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh
If you are heading to the northeastern region during the winter, then don’t miss visiting Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh. Known for housing India’s largest monastery, Tawang experiences a beautiful snowfall season every year from November to May.
Located at a height of about 3048m above sea level, Tawang is one of the best places in the country to experience snowfall.
How to reach: The nearest airport is the Salonibari airport, around 322 km away, and the nearest railway station is the Tezpur railway station, around 334 km away.
3. Zuluk, Sikkim
Nestled in the eastern Himalayan ranges, Zuluk is one of the popular winter destinations in the country.
Located at a height of around 10,100 feet on the rugged terrain of the lower Himalayas in East Sikkim, the region experiences snowfall during the winter months of December to February. Zuluk is a small village which was once used as a transit point for the historic Silk Route from Tibet to India. It is also the very first village within the whole Silk Route circuit to offer homestay facilities for tourists.
How to reach: The nearest airport is Bagdogra airport, around 140 km away, and the nearest railway station is the New Jalpaiguri railway station, around 134 km away.
4. Auli, Uttarakhand
Auli in Uttarakhand is another beautiful destination for experiencing winter at its best in India.
Known as a top spot for enjoying skiing and snowboarding in the country, this small town is located in the backdrop of the Nanda Devi and Nar Parvat mountains making it a perfect destination for not just adventure lovers but also for nature lovers.
Snowfall in Auli starts in December and lasts until March. Apart from enjoying snow sports, visitors can also witness the mesmerizing views of the mountain peaks.
How to reach: The nearest airport is Jolly Grant airport, around 279 km away, and the nearest railway station is the Haridwar railway station, around 273 km away.
5. Mussoorie, Uttarakhand
Settled in the Garhwal Himalayan Ranges, Mussoorie in Uttarakhand is also known as the Queen of the Hills. Snowfall in Mussoorie starts in mid-December.
Popular tourist destinations here are Lal Tibba, Gun Hill, and George Everest.
The Mall road in Mussoorie is famous for its picturesque viewpoints providing amazing views of the Doon valley. The entire region looks like a wonderland where visitors can also indulge in activities like snow hikes.
How to reach: The nearest airport is Jolly Grant airport, around 60 km away, and the nearest railway station is the Dehradun railway station, around 36 km away.
6. Narkanda, Himachal Pradesh
A pitstop for several tourists spots in Himachal Pradesh, Narkanda is a beautiful destination to experience snowfall. Surrounded by the Himalayan ranges, it is located at a distance of around 60 km from Shimla. It also serves as a skiing resort during the winter from October to February.
How to reach: The nearest airport is the Jubbarhatti airport, around 155 km away, and the nearest railway station is the Kalka railway station, around 125 km away.
7. Manali, Himachal Pradesh
A popular winter destination in the country, Manali in Himachal Pradesh is one of the best hill stations to witness and enjoy snowfall at its best. The wonderful emerald meadows, the sight of the Beas River, and the chilly winds entrance its visitors.
December to February is the best time to experience snowfall in Manali with several attractions such as the Hidimba Devi Temple, Manali Sanctuary, Mall road and so on.
Besides, the sight of Rohtang pass covered in a carpet of snow is unmissable. Other than the magnificent beauty of the landscape, with snow-capped trees and mountains, the town also offers tourists several snow sports and activities like skiing, snowboarding, heli-skiing, sledging, ice climbing and so on.
How to reach: The nearest airport is Bhuntar airport, around 50 km away, and the nearest railway station is the Jogindernagar railway station, around 163 km away.
8. Gulmarg, Jammu and Kashmir
The centre for adventure sports in Jammu and Kashmir, Gulmarg is visited by lakhs of tourists from across the world during winter. Considered one of the top destinations for skiing in India, the hill station has the best slopes for such snow activities. The beautiful and lush green meadows of the region are blanketed with sheets of snow.
Gulmarg offers breathtaking views of snow-crowned Nanga Parbat, located in Gilgit, Pakistan and of Harmukh, which is located in Ganderbal, Jammu and Kashmir.
How to reach: The nearest airport is the Srinagar airport, around 56 km away, and the nearest railway station is the Jammu railway station, around 290 km away.
Edited by Yoshita Rao