Great Imagine waking on a misty morning, wrapping a fog sheet all over, you walk over the lanes just in search of the chill that inscribes- winter is here! There are many among us who just love to hide beneath quilt or enjoy the aroma of a hot coffee during winters but some daring ones pack their bags and head to the place where they can challenge the freeze and enjoy the flakes of snow.
When we talk about winter holidays in India, several eye-catching and picturesque places, common and uncommon, emerge on our mindscape. But why repeat same places again and again. This time do something different to quench your thirst and discover what sets below mentioned names apart from others.
If you like to give your skiing skills a test or are a freaking skiing beginner then Auli is an ultimate stopover. With a deep in temperature, the place comes alive like a dreamland. Known as ‘bugyal’, in local dialect, it lies enroute to Badrinath (just 16 km away from Joshimath). Though Auli is full of panoramic sights, from forest surrounding to lofty peaks, but what makes it one of the best snow destinations in India are its 2500 to 3000 meters high skiing slopes that give tough competition to various international ski places.
Planning a trip to Nainital in winters? A good choice if you want to enjoy the chill factor around Delhi. Lying 274 km from the national capital city, Nainital not only serves as a refreshing weekend escape but is also quite popular among newly-wed couples. But the best time to visit the place is December to January when Nanda Devi Peak looks stunning in a white cover and you can feel the chill in the breeze while following snow-covered trekking routes. A leisure walk along the iconic Naini Lake is also a must thing to do to complete your hoary experience in Nainital.
Nestled on the shores of Goriganga River, Munsiyari is a new discovery for tourists in Uttarakhand. With the name that means ‘place with snow’, it is full of mountains, glaciers, trekking routes and awe-inspiring natural beauty, making it a paradise for explorers, high-altitude trekkers and nature lovers. If you want to explore the richness of Johar Valley then it is the place to throng. Munsiyari is situated 125 km away from Pithoragarh and the enroute is full of beautiful panorama and cascades.
A drive of 24 km from Mussoorie will take you to Dhanaulti, another picturesque hill station of Uttarakhand. Perched high on 2286 meters, the place is known for its tranquility and dark beauty of deodar, oak and rhododendron forests. Though it is a round-the year hangout place but if you really want to enjoy Dhanaulti in its full bloom then winter is the best period. With white carpet below your feet and a canopy of green shade at your eye’s horizon, have some mood-setting snow activities like tic-tac snow or sticky glue.
Yes, the Tungnath temple closes down during the winter but nothing can stop the snow lovers from visiting this beautiful valley in Uttarakhand. Winter on the contrary is an ideal time to climb up to Chandrashila to witness one of the most spectacular views in India. The trek becomes difficult to trudge but is absolutely rewarding. Also, the temple of Tungnath, though closed looks absolutely scenic being covered in snow.
Pahalgam, Jammu Kashmir
Perched at a height of 8,957 ft above the sea level, Pahalgam is one of the pristine snow beauties in the country. Everything about this natural splendor is exciting: riverside location, snow-capped peaks, freezing weather conditions and surrounding calmness as well as skiing. But the real magic of Pahalgam lies within its quiet long treks that provide you a tranquil snowy escape away from the madness of mainland.