During this winter, a captivating array of destinations awaits you, with a promise to make your holiday a truly unforgettable experience. Winter ushers in a delightful mix of snowy mountains, foggy plains, sunny beaches, and mysterious mists in lush surroundings, making it the perfect setting for a memorable holiday in India. Here are some remarkable winter destinations in India, where culture, history, and natural beauty converge to create lasting memories.
1. Gulmarg, Jammu And Kashmir
A vacation to Gulmarg in winter is indeed a unique experience. This small village has considerable snowfall, and the entire area is completely covered by a blanket of white. Tourists from all over the nation come here to enjoy the splendour of the winter season and participate in ski competitions.
Even in January and February, when there may be as much snow as 5 to 6 feet here, the route to Gulmarg is open and travellers continue to come. Gulmarg serves as one of the top ski resorts in our nation during the winter, and there are lots of people there.
With so many activities to do in Gulmarg in winter, the destination draws adventurers and nature lovers from all over the world. You can enjoy the grandeur of Alpather Lake, shoot photographs at the Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve, or go on an exciting pony ride. Skiing, ice skating, Gondola chair car rides, and other winter sports activities are also available. Gulmarg is open all year round for tourism, especially Gulmarg in winter will give you a memorable experience.
2. Auli, Uttarakhand
Auli, set at an altitude of 10000 ft in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, is noted for being a skiing destination. In 2011, the beautiful destination hosted the first South Asian Winter Games and since then it has never been free of tourists and nature lovers.
When in Auli, skiing is the most obvious thing you do! The slopes here are perfect for beginners as well as for pros. Gzorson Bugyal is a beautiful meadow at 3056 m in Auli it is also the highest point of Auli offering gorgeous views of peaks such as Nanda Devi and Dunagiri. The 2-hour picturesque trek takes you through dense oak forest and those who wish can also opt for a pony ride. Also Auli is an important religious spot. It is said that Lord Hanuman rested here for some time when searching for the Sanjeevani booti in the Himalayas for Laxmana, who was injured while fighting. A small temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman was built here where devotees visit and pray.
This winter wonderland in Uttarakhand is easily accessible and has earned the fame of being one of the best skiing resorts in the country. The conifer-lined slopes along with majestic Himalayan views are simply breathtaking.
3. Manali, Himachal Pradesh
Insanely popular tourist destination, overtly commercialized yet serenely beautiful – that is Manali for you in a nutshell. In no other hill station in Himachal Pradesh, besides its equally grandiose sibling Shimla, will you find so many jolly tourists in one go. And while it is commercialized, It doesn’t lose out on its sheen and glory because of that.
Manali tourism offers a wildly exotic and spiritually mesmerizing panoramic view of the Himalayas, with the fast bounding River Beas in the foreground. The far off Dhauladhar and Pir Panjal Ranges are visible from here. It is mountain adventure and romance, all packed into one and this is probably what makes Manali holidays one of the most popular honeymoon destinations in India. Pleasant weather and exotic landscapes make this charming hill station a tourist magnet all through the year. From backpackers to luxury tourists to trekkers, there is something for everyone at Manali.
4. Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
Being in Shimla in winter is an experience to remember. Home to gorgeous views of the lower Himalayas, Shimla has beautiful foliage in the summer, blossoming trees in the spring, but what you behold in the winter is very special. There is frosted expanse for skiing, special foods to warm you up and much more. For a good dose of Shimla in winter, you could plan a day or two by adding a few things to do in your itinerary. Ahead, check out our guide to spending a day in Shimla.
If you can brace the cold weather in Shimla from December to February, visiting Narkanda or Kufri is truly worth it for trying your hand in snow adventure sports. There’s no better place to take in the views of the hill station, and both these places are apt to go skiing when covered in snow. While, Narkanda, the oldest ski resorts in India, is 60 km from Shimla, Kufri is located quite close to Shimla.
A vacation in Shimla calls for a trip to the Mall Road, Lakkar Bazaar, Lower Bazaar, and Tibetan Market Shimla has a few powerful holy shrines that could help to calm your mind, especially if you are visiting the town in winters when it is quieter than usual. Take refuge at the feet of Kamna Devi temple, Dhanu Devta Temple, Sankat Mochan and Tara Devi at their respective temples located in town. The Church on the Ridge is also a noted place of worship in Shimla.
Goa is all about losing track of time. Where you don’t know when the sun goes down and the stars come out as you dance the night away. The throbbing beaches and the cheerful outlook of the many tourists in Goa make you feel like something magical is always about to happen. Goa is in a constant state of excitement. A tropical paradise where night and day merge into a unending journey of relaxation and rejuvenation – almost like a party that everybody has been invited to. However, Goa is also about wandering away from the restless crowds and heading to quaint, unusual cafes to spend some time with yourself or a loved one. It is about stealing away moments and escaping the chatter of the many people around you. In short, Goa is both the calm and the chaos.
Goa has many shades highlighted by its seasons. Which shade you want to witness, is totally your choice. We, at Thomas Cook, will make sure you make the right decision by helping you choose when to take the big step. Each season in Goa has something different to offer.
The clement weather calls for a plethora of activities and festivals, attracting tourists from all over the globe. This is perhaps the most suitable time for you to venture outdoors and acquaint yourself with the surroundings. Gallivant around Goa in the winter season and you will sense celebrations in the air. The many churches of Goa look ever so beautiful, illuminated with pristine lights in the night as the sound of carols echo from their walls announcing the arrival of Christmas. Not just Christmas, Goa also has festivals that are central to its culture and spirit. One of the main highlights of this season is the Goa Carnival held in the month of February. This carnival just has one rule, leave your worries at home and get ready to feast on amazing food, music, dance and have a lot of fun. Not just any other festival, musical parades held in the capital do not fail to catch anybody’s eye. It is also a ritual to take the party to the streets, concluding with the famous black and red dance performed by the Clube Nacional in the state capital.
6. Jaisalmer, Rajasthan
Nestled in the heart of the Thar Desert, Jaisalmer, often termed the ‘Golden City’ of Rajasthan, shines its brightest in the winter months. As the chilly winds sweep across the sand dunes, the city comes alive with tourists, cultural events, and an ambience that’s uniquely its own.
Jaisalmer experiences a desert climate, meaning summers can be scorching. But winter (from November to February) is the polar opposite. Daytime temperatures hover between 20°C and 25°C, making sightseeing pleasant, while nights can get quite cold, dropping to as low as 5°C or even lower. The skies remain clear, offering brilliant sunrises and sunsets over the dunes.
If camping in the middle of the desert has been on your wish list, Rajasthan just happens to be the place for you. The beautiful expanse of the golden desert, air sprinkled with sand and majestic yet humble camels around, set the scene for an exciting desert safari in Jaisalmer, the quintessential city. While it’s known for its rather hot and humid climate through most parts of the year, winters are relatively cool and pleasant enough to spend over the desert and not get sunburned. December – January are the ideals months you should visit Jaisalmer, when the nights are much cooler and days have a winter chill in the air. Along with the exciting desert safari in Jaisalmer, here are some other things you should not miss while you are in Jaisalmer.
7. Munnar, Kerala
Munnar, with sprawling tea plantations, charming towns, winding lanes and exotic flora, is a popular resort town in Kerala. Without a doubt, it is the most visited tourist destination in Kerala. Munnar is the largest tea-growing region and one of the Best Hill Stations In South India. This quaint town, located in the Western Ghats of Kerala is set at an altitude of 6000 feet. Once known as the High Range of Travancore, Munnar used to be the summer resort of the Britishers during colonial times.
Munnar is a spectacular spot in Kerala that is known for its green belt of lush forests and unending expanse of tea estates. It is also known to house some endangered species like Neelakurinji and Nilgiri Tahr. Its pristine valleys, mountains, and exotic varieties of flora and fauna make it the most sought after hill station in Kerala. Mattupetti, Periavaru, and Nallathanni – the three rivers flowing through this region make it even more popular attracting thousands of visitors every year towards it.
Its misty hills, pristine lakes, and rocky terrains have further turned it into a popular trekking and camping site. While trekking or camping, stop at the various viewpoints segregated throughout this region and look at the stunning valleys, alluring hills, and gorgeous rivers.
8. Andaman And Nicobar Islands
Natural beauty of Andaman and Nicobar makes it one of the best tourist places in India. Every year, a large number of tourists visit the union territory to enjoy its scenic beauty.
Located in the Bay of Bengal, Andaman and Nicobar islands comprise of around 572 islands, wonderful beaches and evergreen forests. Though some of the islands have been colonized, few amazing islands offer exciting beach activities. Amid hidden natural beauty of the deep sea, you can explore the deep and clear waters of the islands and the natural beauty of Andaman and Nicobar with fool-proof planning.
Andaman and Nicobar islands are full of marvelous attractions as the islands are blessed with enormous natural resources. Out of many other attractions, one of the amazing features of the island is the beaches. You can visit the famous beaches and major tourist attractions such as the Corbyn’s Cove, the Red Skin Island, Havelock Island, Barren Island, Harminder Bay Beach, Karmatang Beach, etc. These attract a large number of tourists. The tourists can take pleasure in various amusing water-activities like boating, fishing, sun bath and snorkeling. From around the world, a large number of nature lovers, zoologists and botanists too come to the A & N Islands to study the exotic vegetation and striking birds, to enjoy the water-activities and to experience the blissful nature of the islands. The scenic and tropical islands are popular mostly because of their striking beaches and abundant natural beauty which makes you fall in love with the place. Brief information on these natural attractions of A & N Islands is given below in video