When winter comes knocking, all other commitments can be nicely shelved aside. And especially if you enjoy winter sports or simply playing with your snowman. Winters is the most happening time of the year, so don’t limit your winter enjoyment in getting cozy in the quilts or sipping hot coffee. It’s time to do something different and discover the adventurous side of yours. Here are the best destinations to enjoy the winter chill and discover the daredevil in you.
Gulmarg, Jammu & Kashmir: With an unending expanse of land covered in deep snow, there can be no other destination that can beat the winter beauty of Gulmarg. Just 880 KM away from Delhi, the pristine snow beauty with its tall snow-covered pine trees is a wonderful site to behold. Skiing and a breathtaking ride in the world’s highest cable car (Gondola) are not-to-be-missed charms here. However, a trip to Gulmarg is incomplete without savoring the delectable Kashmiri delicacies and a visit to Alpathar Lake and Tangmarg- just 1 KM ahead.
How to reach
By Bus. Gulmarg is well-connected with regular bus services from Srinagar, Sonmarg and other neighboring towns in Kashmir.
By Train. Jammu is the nearest railhead, at a distance of 290 KM
Chopta-Tungnath, Uttarakhand: A winter trekking trip in Chopta is nothing less than a dream come true. Though the famous Tungnath temple closes down during winter, the scenic beauty of Chopta will never disappoint you. On the contrary, winter is an ideal time to climb up to Chandrashila to witness one the most spectacular views of the Himalayas.
How to reach
By Bus: State transport buses ply frequently from Rishikesh and other neighboring towns to Chopta. Private jeeps are also a good and fast means to get to Chopta.
By Train: The nearest railhead is Rishikesh, 209 KM away. After you get off at the railway station, hire a taxi or take a bus to Chopta.
Auli, Uttarakhand: Auli is an ultimate stopover if you happen to be a ski lover. With a dip in temperate, Auli comes alive like a dreamland during winter. Known as ‘Bugyal’ in local language it lies en route to Badrinath. Auli is full of panoramic sights and snow covered forests. Located at a height of 2500 to 3000 meters, Auli gives tough competition to various international ski places.
How to reach
By train: The nearest railhead is Rishikesh, from here one can take a bus/tourist cars to reach Auli.
By Bus: Auli is only 16 km drive from Joshimath. State transport and ply regularly between Joshimath and Rishikesh.
By Cable Car: Joshimath to Auli Gorson ropeway system covers a track distance of 4.15 KM in 22 minutes. The ropeway passes over mesmerizing views and worth each penny. The starting point Joshimath is at an altitude of 6254 ft and Auli is at 9896 ft.
Dhanaulti, Uttarakhand: Another picturesque hill station perched at an altitude of 2286 KM. This place is known for its tranquility and dark beauty of deodar, oak and rhododendron forests. Dhanaulti is in its full bloom during winters with the thick carpet of snow carpet and canopy of green shade.
How to reach: A 25 KM drive from Mussoorie will take you to Dhanaulti.
Katao, Sikkim: Katao is one of the offbeat destination and a great place to plan a day outing from Lachung. Situated at a distance of about 144 KM from Gangtok, this place is a long kept secret of Sikkim. Mostly covered in snow till late March, visiting Katao may require army permit. Voter ID card / Driving License / Similar ID card is required along with passport size photograph to get a permit. Sikkim is very close to the China border, hence it is very difficult to get individual permissions for visiting these areas. Only group permissions are provided under the guidance of the tour operators.
Yumthang, Sikkim: Yumthang valley is another picturesque valley in North Sikkim. With thick rhododendron forests and hot sulfur springs, this valley is worth a visit. The valley gets covered with snow during the winter months providing picture perfect view of the eastern Himalayas.
How to Reach:
By train: The nearest railways station is New Jalpaiguri or Siliguri. From here you can hop into any of the frequently running buses going to Yumthang Valley from Siliguri.
By Bus: Reserved taxis are available from Siliguri to reach Yumthung.
Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh: Winter, probably is the best time to visit Tawang. Covered in the thick sheet of snow, Tawang looks absolutely stunning during winters. The sun rays kissing the snow clad mountains is absolutely stunning to behold. Nature is at its best during winter here. Visit the Nuranang waterfalls or see the Hydel power station, there are multiple things to do here.
How to reach
By Train: Tezpur is the major rail head closest to Tawang. Buses and private taxis are available to reach Tawang.
What are you waiting for? Pack your bags now and experience the winter chill.