India is endowed with 4 seasons. Therefore it’s a blessing to witness winters in India. In India itself, there is variability in the way winters befall. The Himalayan region witnesses snowfall below freezing temperatures whereas the plain areas experience cold seldom below freezing point. The south on the other hand has a different story altogether due to its continental and coastal location. This provides us with a lot of options for vacation spots that are a must-visit during this time. Herein in this article, we will discuss the top 15 destinations to visit in India during Winters that are a must.
1. Nainital, Uttarakhand
Thinking about the best view of snowfall in winters then I guess this is the destination you are looking for. Nainital, also known as the Lake District of India because of its topography. Adorned with the purity of nature, it is a scenic beauty. It is home to some of the beautiful lakes at this elevation like Sattal, Bhimtal, Naini Lake, Tallital, Mallital, etc.
Apart from the lakes, the city is also home to temples like Naina Devi temple; ropeways and Snow View; hilltops like Dorothy Seat and Tiffin Top, Naina peak; etc. The most sought-after winter destination is the Jim Corbett National Park. It is 118 km from Nainital and provides safari rides for visitors to enjoy the exotic wildlife in their habitats. The city also hosts adventure sports like Canoeing, Kayaking, Paragliding, Hot Ballooning, Mountaineering, Rock Climbing, etc.
2. Mussoorie, Uttarakhand
Located nearby the capital, Dehradun is a luscious green district of Mussoorie. Established during British rule, it has always been a popular hill station. The Hill station has its popularity among the tourists especially during the winters because it shows a splendid view of the snow-decked Himalayas. It has the distinction of the ‘queen of hill stations for its serenity. The different hilltops are vividly visible from Mussoorie like the Badrinath, Kedarnath, Bandar-Poonch, etc. The visitors can enjoy a sunset at Camel’s Back Road, a Ropeway ride to Gun Hill, Trekking at Nagtibba and Bhadraj temple, etc.
3. Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
The capital city of Himachal Pradesh, and also the former summer capital of British in India. It’s an eye-pleasing destination. The city is at its best in the winters as the temperature is almost below freezing and one can witness snowfall pretty easily. The snowfall makes it delightful and inviting especially during Christmas and New Years’. Hence ice skating, winter carnival, toy train ride, paragliding, and sightseeing are something that attracts tourists. Kufri, Narkanda, Mashobra are the winter spots of Shimla that enchant people by their exquisiteness.
4. Manali, Himachal Pradesh
Similar to Shimla is Manali, a popular destination among tourists and travellers. Chilly winters can be a joyous experience when in Manali for its pleasant natural landscape. It is high in demand among filmmakers as well because of the picturesque location. Although it is winters one can very well enjoy the hot springs of Vashisth or a ride to Solang valley for skiing. Even the delicacies give a wintery vibe with trouts and Tibetan cuisine.
5. Gulmarg, Jammu & Kashmir
As artistic and poetic it sounds, the place is much more for visitors. Kashmir is a perfect example of heaven on earth. To top it all this place is most visited during winters because of its snowfall and scenery. Tourists are welcome here for trying out various adventure sports like skiing courses, snow cycling, sledging, etc. The people can also be spectators at the Gulmarg Snow Festival which undertakes a no. of winter sports.
6. Leh, Ladakh
It’s a perfect destination for those planning on taking a solo trip full of adventure. It is a wonderland in India, especially in winters. The city provides spectacular views of the Himalayas. As the lakes are mostly frozen, winter sports become accessible. A drive within the city between the hills gives a cinematic experience. Its beauty lies not just in the chilly weather but also in the aesthetics of the monasteries, valleys, cold deserts, etc.
7. Jaisalmer, Rajasthan
Rajasthan, although, remains hot and warm for most of the year but it is the winters that attract more tourists because of the cool weather and chilly nights. It is during this time that people prefer visiting the hottest places like the Thar desert and the palaces. In fact, a lot of weddings take place in these regal palaces at this time of the year. Fun-filled activities can be ventured like camel riding, star gazing, and even the authentic Rajasthani cuisine is like a cherry on top when in Rajasthan.
8. Udaipur, Rajasthan
While enjoying the camel rides in Jaisalmer, one can also visit Udaipur. The historic city has been often called the most romantic spot in India. Seven lakes surround the city hence the name city of lakes. The city largely depends on tourism as it can provide a panoramic view of its heritage and culture. The royalty of the city can be seen in the palaces like City Palace, Lake Palace, Jag Mandir, etc. The lakes are a treat at this time with boat rides and sunset sites. The cultural aspect of the place can be very well explored through the festivals like Navratri, World Living Heritage Festival, World Music Festival, etc.
9. Kutch, Gujarat
The city has a desert landscape which quite cold in the winter months and this for sure makes it a pleasant destination for a holiday. The Rann of Kutch is predominantly a salt marsh, is one of the largest salt deserts in the world. The temperature here drops to around 15 degrees in the winter. The place is particularly known for the RANN UTSAV that takes place from November to February. It is an experience of a lifetime as it celebrates the culture and heritage of Kutch.
10. Agra, Uttar Pradesh
Apart from the hilly areas the plains also have a huge footfall during winters for example the historically significant ones like Agra. The city is beautified with buildings like the Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri, Agra Fort, etc. During winters it is easier and comfortable to visit these places instead of the scorching heat of the summer. Early morning sightseeing in chilly weather is perfectly apt for a holiday. During February, the city holds a ten-day festival called Taj Mahotsav showcasing the works of local artisans and various other activities.
11. Darjeeling, West Bengal
The city brings the joys of Christmas and New Years’ to a whole new level with a festive mood throughout December. The possibility of snowing is not much though still if one goes to higher altitudes like Tiger Hill they might be lucky. The city has its serenity in its clear skies and cold weather. The Cafes and bakeries are a treat for people at this time of the year with everything Christmassy.
12. Shillong, Meghalaya
Also known as the Scotland of the East, Shillong is the capital of Meghalaya and a great tourist attraction. The city embraces mother nature most purely in the form of Umiam Lake, Elephant Falls, etc. It is considered an ideal location for stress-free holidays. It welcomes tourists for adventure sports like trekking, caving, camping, etc.
13. Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh
Planning to visit the northeast then this is an apt location and that too in winters. The city witnesses snowfall during November itself. The place treats the visitors with scenic locations and mouth-watering delicacies. The mountains of Arunachal speaks of their tranquillity. An experience of ultimate calmness and peace of mind awaits when in Arunachal Pradesh.
The state on the whole has a different vibe even in winters. It is a top-rated place not just for tourists but even for filmmakers. The reason being its cool and casual culture that almost makes one feel like a small Europe in India. It’s not just the youthful ambience one enjoys but also the natural physiography of the place. The state is located in the coastal area, experiences mild and moderate weather thereby inviting people to cherish the happening life. Not only the beaches and water sports are a great attraction among tourists but also the age-old churches.
15. Munnar, Kerala
Munnar, in Kerala, is a hill station in south India. It is the most sought-after place for tourists. For someone who absolutely loves nature in its original form, greenery and hills then this is the place is must visit. Tea plantations are a major part of the city’s economy and tourism. Other than that the tourists also throng the city for Valara waterfalls, Viewpoint, Echo point, etc.
These were the top 15 places that cannot be a miss during winters. Plan a holiday with your family and friends and do take a trip to these exotic locations in India itself.