Do you find yourself wanting to see snow every time you watch a movie scene with snow-covered mountains? If yes, you don’t have to wait around to get casted in a movie to enjoy getting showered with snow. India is blessed with a plethora of cool destinations for you to experience a picturesque panorama of it. Let’s take a look at some of these places to explore snow in India that you can add to your bucket list.
It would be a shame to not add Shimla to the list of the coolest destinations to explore snow in India. Set on seven stunning hills with snow-capped peaks, this beauty is covered with lush greenery and full of wanderers looking to escape the scorching heat. Cut away from the noisy traffic of the central town, the hills are ideal for you to go on long walks, and get in touch with the essence of the hills. Apart from hanging out at The Mall road and indulging in the entertainment and shopping zone, you can also try out various adventure sports Shimla has to offer. So if you want to soak in the awe-inspiring snowy sights, go ahead and get your tickets to Shimla.
Accessibility: The Chandigarh Airport is the nearest airport to Shimla, at about 53 aerial km. In case, you’re traveling by train, you can arrive at the Delhi train station or the Shimla railway station which is the nearest local railway station.
Best time to visit for snow: December to January.
Popular cuisine: Meethe Chawal, Madra, Dhaam, Thukpa, Babru, Chha Gosht, Mash Dal, and Chicken Anardana.
Things to do: Engage in activities like skiing, river rafting, ice skating, paragliding, trekking, toy train ride, and camping in the forests of Shimla.
Places to visit: Kufri, Chadwick Waterfalls, Jakhu Temple, Military Museum, Scandal Point, Kuthar Fort, Tara Devi Temple, Water Catchment Sanctuary, and The Glen - a famous picnic spot.
Also Read:Shimla Travel Guide
Manali paints the ideal picture for you to have a bonfire and snuggle in a tent with its beautiful white surroundings and big pine trees. Sounds like a scene from a movie right? Guess what, the movie ‘Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani’ was shot right here. By choosing to stay at one of the hotels or resorts in the Beas River Valley, you can treat your eyes to the glacial River Beas flowing down the slope of the famous Rohtang Pass.
Other than its picturesque views, what makes this town popular, is the rich cultural heritage and age-old traditions. Studded with many popular attractions and winter activities, Manali invites you to come and explore its enchanting beauty.
Accessibility: If you’re traveling by flight, you can arrive at the Kullu-Manali airport which is the nearest airport. However, if you’re looking to relish the scenic views on your journey by train, then you can get down at the Joginder Nagar railway station.
Best Time to visit for snow: February is the best month if you want to experience the chilly winters and snow.
Popular cuisine: Samosas, Khatta, Trout, Sidu, Patande, Bhey, and Babru.
Things to do: Hot air balloon ride, white water rafting, trekking, paragliding, yak riding, shopping at Manu market, skiing, and, riverside camping. If you plan on visiting during the winters, you can also be a part of the Winter Carnival.
Places to visit: Hadimba temple, Solang Valley, Jogini waterfalls, Hampta Pass, Rohtang Pass, Van Vihar, Museum of Himachal Culture & Folk Art, Manikaran Gurudwara, Gulaba, and Bhrigu Lake.
Also Read: Manali Travel Guide
One of the latest obsessions among travelers is Auli, which is situated in Uttarakhand's Garhwal area. Tall oak trees and coniferous forests surround this winter haven, which provides breathtaking views of the Nanda Devi mountains covered with snow. Auli is renowned for its apple orchards, so make sure you don’t miss out on the apples there.
Known for its white slippery slopes, this picture-perfect hill station is a premier destination for skiing. You can also go for a hike in the rich meadows and unwind at one of the many cottages or resorts Auli is dotted with. If you're seeking to recharge yourself by engaging in some fun snowy activities, such as skiing, then this is the place for you!
Accessibility: Located 5 hours away from Auli is the Shimla railway station and further away is the Dehradun railway station. At about 279 kms from Auli is the Jolly Grant airport, which is the nearest airport.
Best Time to visit for snow: December or January
Popular cuisine: Garhwali cuisines like Kachmauli, Bal Mithai, Singhori, and much more.
Things to do: Skiing, ropeway ride, camping, trekking, hiking, and bird watching.
Places to visit: The artificial lake of Gorson, Joshimath, Chattrakund, Chenab Lake, Trishul Peak, Kwani Bugyal, and many others.
Also Read: Valley Of Flowers In Uttarakhand
Blanketed by a cover of snow is this culturally-rich town in the northeast part of India. Situated in Arunachal Pradesh, Tawang is known for its ancient Buddhist monasteries. At Tawang, you will find the perfect blend of culture and nature. Adding to its enchanting natural beauty are the gorgeous glacial lakes in and around the town. Generally in November, when the temperature dips below zero degrees, you will get to experience the cold promising snowfall. If you plan your trip well, you might as well get a glimpse of the local festivals like Losar and Torgya.
Accessibility: Salonibari Airport in Tezpur, Assam is the closest airport to Tawang, at a distance of 317 km. By rail, the nearest railway station is the Tezpur railway station.
Best time to visit for snow: November and December
Popular cuisine: Gyapa Khazi, Momo, and Thukpa.
Things to do: Meditate with a snowy white backdrop, go hiking, spend a day at Shonga-Tser Lake, go shopping, and sightseeing.
Places to visit: Sela Pass, Bumla Pass, Madhuri Lake, Tibetan Settlement market, Tawang War Memorial, Gorsam Chorten, Tawang Monastery, Nuranang Falls, among others.
Also Read: Summer Holiday Destinations In India
Gulmarg loosely translates to “meadow of flowers”, and it truly justifies its name as it has a variety of flowers. Sitting in a cup-shaped valley in the Pir Panjal Range, this serene hill station is truly a piece of heaven on earth. If you’re a daredevil, then you need not look any further, as Gulmarg is known for its thrilling adventure sports like skiing and snowboarding.
This town not just boasts of its effortless beauty and sports, but also houses the world’s largest golf course. A peaceful Gondola ride overlooking the snow-laden mountains awaits you at the fascinating Kashmiri town of Gulmarg.
Accessibility: Gulmarg is easily accessible from the Jammu railway station, at a distance of 290 km. If you’re planning to travel by flight, then you can land at Srinagar airport which is just 56 km away.
Best time to visit for snow: January and February
Popular cuisine: Rogan Josh, Dum Aloo, Yakhni, Haak or Haakh, Guchhi Pulaao, Kong Phirin, and Rista.
Things to do: Skiing, Gondola ride, trekking, snowboarding, golfing, bird watching, and pony ride.
Places to visit: Apharwat Peak, Alpather Lake, Ningle Nallah, Rani Temple, Outer Circle Walk, Golf course, and Strawberry Valley.
Also Read: Things To Do In Kashmir
Lying in the laps of the charming state of Uttarakhand is Nainital, one of the most visited hill stations in India. Known to be a treasure of Kumaon, this alluring town highlights the grandeur of the blooming flora and fauna. Once you’re in Nainital you can’t miss out on the captivating Naini Lake, located right in the heart of the town.
Imagine a sparkling lake, encircled by a dense canopy of trees and mountains with snow-capped peaks. That is one of the best views the lake city of Nainital offers. Bejeweled with plenty of lakes and natural gems, this town extends you a warm welcome or should we say “a cool welcome”?
Accessibility: The Pantnagar airport is an hour away from Nainital, making it the ideal airport to fly into. Kathgodam, Haldhwani, and Ram Nagar are the nearest railway stations to reach Nainital.
Best time to visit for snow: Late December to January
Popular cuisine: Baadi, Bhatt ki Churkani, Aloo ke Gutke, Gulgula, Ras, Bun tikki, Momos and Thukpa.
Things to do: Boating in the lakes, catching the sunrise at Tiffin Top, paragliding, shopping at the Tibetan market, and ropeway ride.
Places to visit: Nani Lake, Jim Corbett National Park, Mukteshwar temple, Naina Peak, Eco Cave Gardens, High Altitude Zoo, and Kainchi Dham.
Pahalgam, once thought to be a humble shepherd's hamlet, is now regarded as one of India's top locations to experience snow. With the vibrant greenery all around and the appeasing river that meanders through the quaint town, Pahalgam offers a scenic view indeed. So if at any point you feel like you’re a part of an aesthetic painting, don’t be surprised!
A jaunting trek to the snowy mountains would definitely help you rejuvenate your soul and find some peace. While you’re at it, you might as well try skiing at the huge skiing scapes there. And, a tranquil stay at one of the hotels near the river would make your trip worth it.
Accessibility: Located at around 218 km from the town is the Udhampur railway station. The closest airport to Pahalgam is the Srinagar airport, about 95 km away.
Best time to visit for snow: January and December
Popular cuisine: Gustaba, Sheekh Kebab, Mutton Rogan Josh, Rista, Nadroo, Tomato paneer, Mutton Pulao, and Tandoori Trout.
Things to do: Camping, Trout fishing, River rafting, Sledding, and Golfing.
Places to visit: Aru Valley, Tulian Lake, Kashmir Valley, Sheshnag Lake, Mamleshwar temple, Chandanwari, Lidder Amusement park, Poshwan Park, and many more.
Also Read: Experience The Ladakh Festival
Nothing can match the serenity offered in the ambiance and topography of North Sikkim, a part and parcel of the small state of Sikkim. This destination is freckled with plenty of waterfalls and lakes, having a spell-binding effect on you. During the winters, when the snowfall accompanies the waterfalls and lakes, North Sikkim turns into a winter wonderland.
You’ll be in for a treat here, as this town is rich with lofty mountains, serene valleys, orchards, charming villages, and ancient Monasteries. Many couples are drawn to North Sikkim by its breathtaking natural beauty. Therefore, if you're considering traveling here for your honeymoon as well, you've made a terrific choice!
Accessibility: 99 km away from Sikkim is the Paro (PBH) airport is the nearest airport. There are two railway stations close to Sikkim Siliguri and Jalpaiguri railway stations.
Best time to visit for snow: Mid-December
Popular cuisine: Momos, Thukpa, Dhindo, Phagshapa, Sael Roti, Sha Phaely, and Gundruk and Sinki.
Things to do: Yak ride, Helicopter ride, trekking, Gondola ride, Handgliding, mountain biking, rafting, paragliding, caving, bird watching, and having fun at the Gangtok festival.
Places to visit: Lachen, Lachung, Nathula Pass, Tsomgo Lake, Yume Samdong, Naga falls, Seven sisters waterfalls, Gurudongmar lake, and many more.
Also Read: Experience The Dzukou Valley Trek In Kohima Nagaland
These are all the places where you get to experience snow in India at its absolute best. They are all blissful destinations and it could be tough to decide where you should head to this winter. Our suggestion is to roll your dice and see which of these locations are you destined to visit first!
Here are some of the places you can visit to explore snow in India - Shimla, Manali, Kufri, Pahalgam, Gulmarg, Sonmarg, Mussoorie, Nainital, North Sikkim, Auli, Tawang, Ladakh, Triund, Patnitop and many more.
No, it does not snow in Ooty. However, being a hill station the temperature of Ooty does drop to a minimum of 5 degrees celsius in the winters.
Yes, Mussoorie does witness snowfall during the year. You can go to experience medium to heavy snowfall there, during the months of December to February.
The first place to receive snowfall during the season is Manali in Himachal Pradesh.
Apart from Shimla and Manali, Auli too receives snowfall during the year. What makes it different is that Auli is new on the list of tourist destinations, and hence a lot of it is unexplored. The best time to visit Auli is between November and March.
Munnar is a beautiful hill station in the Southern part of India. If you’re lucky you might catch a glimpse of the snow in Munnar during the period November to January.
Manali and Auli both come with their own natural beauty and serenity. However, Manali has been a popular tourist destination for decades, and Auli on the other hand is a new one on the maps. Hence, Auli is where you’ll find more peace and a lot to explore.