When it comes to traveling in India, you have plenty of options. Whether you are traveling in summer or in winter, the country will not disappoint you. Whether you are an adventurous type, quiet type or a religious person there are hundreds of places you can visit. This article is the best winter destination in India which is crafted to give you all necessary information on the sites you can visit alone with your family.
Winter in India
India is a vast country with fluctuating temperatures, there is no match of the climate in winter of Rajasthan with Sikkim or Himachal. Depending upon your choice, you may go to the beaches across the coastal region for an exotic holiday, or enjoy the hill stations and snow-capped mountains, or simply explore the temples across the southern part of India unaffected from the cold wave.
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The cold months in India start from the end of October and remains until February. The last three months, i.e. December-February is the coldest. The Himalayas and the surrounding regions- Ladakh, selected parts of Kashmir, Sikkim, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh are covered with thick sheet of snow. The temperature in Leh-Ladakh and Jammu & Kashmir may go down to -300 Celsius to -500 Celsius. The Himalayan valleys in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh become chilly in winter, and selected parts experience the temperature below 00 Celsius with snowfall. If you are winter-sports person, you can go skiing and snowboarding in these locations.
The temperature in the western parts of India- i.e. Rajasthan and Gujarat do not suffer from snowfall. I happen to go to Rajasthan many times in winter and found that the temperature is chilly in the late night-early morning, which I really enjoyed. It is also foggy in the morning, with the sunlight the temperature gradually becomes hotter but remains pleasant. You can explore the Rajput havelis, palaces, temples and the Thar Desert in Rajasthan. Gujarat offers you the best of all Rann Ustav in Kutch.
The states of Peninsular India and the Deccan region do not become cold and remain pleasant throughout winter. The Arabian Sea in the west, the Indian Ocean in the south and the Bay of Bengal in the east has surrounded other half of India. The coastal regions across the southern half, encompassing south-western and south-eastern coastal regions all have similar climatic conditions. Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamilnadu, Andhra-Pradesh and Orissa give you ample options to explore the heritage sites, temples and rock-cut caves as well as the serene beaches and exotic seafood.
Each place is distinct and has its own characteristics in terms of weather and climate. This article tells you about different destinations in India with unmatched quality and varying climatic conditions in winter.
Pahalgam, Jammu & Kashmir
Located at an altitude of 7200ft (elevation: 2740m) in Anantnag district of Jammu & Kashmir, Pahalgam gives a breathtaking view of the snow-capped mountains. It is a premier location for winter sports like skiing, snowboarding, paragliding and whitewater rafting. If you are a winter sports enthusiast but lack the dexterity, you can shun your skills at The Jawahar Institute of Mountaineering and Winter Sports (JIM&WS). The popular hill station is also famous for Betaab Valley and Aru Valley for their spectacular landscapes, rich wildlife grasslands and thickly wooded forests.
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Kufri, Himachal Pradesh
A picturesque hill station at the lap of the Himalayas, Kufri reserves a top seat on our bucket list. It is located in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh. The charm of Kufri lies in the pristine ambiance and breathtaking steep slopes of the Himalayas. It is one of the most popular skiing locations in India. The green lush at the Himalayan Nature Park soothes your eyes and relaxes your soul. Pump up your adrenaline and take part in trekking, or peacefully lie down on the velvety soft grasslands and gaze at the mountains and the blue sky.
Gulmarg, Jammu & Kashmir
The Meadow of Flowers, Gulmarg in the Baramulla district of Jammu & Kashmir, is a lifetime destination for nature lovers, wildlife enthusiasts, and adventure seekers. The large snow covered valleys with beautiful flowers are adored by the visitors who consider it heaven on earth. The pleasing view of the long straight roads and the tall trees on both sides covered with snow creates a magnanimous feeling in our hearts. Skiing, trekking, mountain biking are famous sports activities in Gulmarg. If you are seeking a panoramic view of the Himalayan valley, Gondola rides are the best.
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Auli is situated in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. It has been bestowed with the exhilarating international standard ski slopes sprawling below the gorgeous snow-clad Garhwal Himalayan ranges. It is often compared with the world’s best skiing destinations attracting the professionals for a thrilling experience. The wilderness tempts the national and international adventurers, trekkers, peace seekers, lovers, couples and everyone else to come and visit Auli.
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Yumthang Valley, North Sikkim
Sikkim, Valley of Flowers Sanctuary or Yumthung Valley in North Sikkim is widely popular for its exotic sanctuary. The place is going to take your breath away with its serenity, purity and beauty. The blooming rhododendrons, iris, poppies and primulas flowers; cosmic green meadows to carpet the valley; hot springs at the Yumthung River and the grazing yaks fill your heart with a sense of contentment. The splendid sight of the cascading streams and waterfalls and soaring mountain peaks wrapped snow and complimented by the clouds delight our souls. You can enjoy a peaceful winter vacation in this quiet valley.
Solang Valley, Himachal Pradesh
The stunning view of the surroundings from an 8400ft height will definitely give you goose bumps when you reach Solang Valley. Quietly nestling on the top of Kullu Valley, Himachal Pradesh, Solang Valley is one of the best ski resorts in India. Skiing, skating, horse riding, parachuting, paragliding are the best winter sports offered here. The annual Ski Festival in Solang Nala attracts the tourists from all over the world.
Goa is one of the best national and international tourist spots in India. Whether you are an outgoing party animal, a voracious sea-food lover or sea surfer, Goa has it all! Goa hosts famous music and dance festivals on the occasion of New Year. Sunburn, the Asia’s largest premier Electronic Dance Music festival is held in Goa every year. The culture in Goa has a mixed European and Latin taste, the reason behind this is Goa was once a Portuguese enclave. The heritage buildings of Goa reflect an amalgamation of the Portuguese, Mughal and Indian architecture style. The Baroque style Catholic churches during the Portuguese regime always hold a special place in the hearts of the tourists. Se Cathedral, Reis Magos Fort and Basilica of Bom Jesus are one of the best examples. Anjuna, Baga, Colova and Calangute beaches are the best locations for partying or for simply enjoying the fresh air. The food you get in Goa has a typical exotic blend of Indian herbs and spices and European cuisine.
Ladakh is a popular tourist destination during warm seasons, but visiting this place in winters has its own charm. This is the only time when you can enjoy the coldest temperature in the Himalayas and enjoy a jaw-dropping scenic view of the Himalayan ranges from the top. In addition to these, you will be able to take part in the New Year celebration known as Ladakhi Losar. The other famous festivals, such as Stok Monastery Festival, Thiksay Gustor, Spituk Gustor, Matho Monastery festival, and Dosmoche are celebrated only in winters. Many international visitors enthusiastically join the festivity fervor in the coldest months. All the rivers freeze when the temperature drops to -300 Celsius; therefore, it is the best time for Chadar Trek. The picturesque view of the frozen lakes and rivers are noteworthy achievements. It is the cheapest during the winter season and you can enjoy a homestay with the locals and authentic dishes.
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The temperature in Kerala during winters is pleasant and warm. God’s Own Country, Kerala is one of the top travel destinations of India. Adoor Gajamela Festival, Ernakulathappan Utsavom and Pongal are the major festivals celebrated in winter. Kerala is covered with leaf-carpeted woody heavens, stunning backwater, hill stations, sun-kissed beaches and wildlife centers. Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Thattekad Bird Sanctuary, Eravikulam National Park and Silent Valley National Park are a nature lover’s paradise. If you looking for a place situated far away from the noise and pollution, you can go to tranquil hill stations at Munnar and Vagamon. Kerala is famous for Ayurveda. Rejuvenate your soul with the help of the best Ayurvedic treatment and massages in Kerala. The beautifully decorated backwater houseboats in Alappuzha are extra perks. The majestic barges or Kettuvallams take you to a different world, and therefore, considered one of the best things to do in Kerala with your loved ones.
The temperature in the capital of India, New Delhi becomes chilly during winters. Tourists visit here throughout the year but I still consider winters are the best time to visit. It is simply because it is far better than the scorching heat in the summers. The state is full notable examples of Muslim architecture. The foggy mornings at the India Gate or the rioting flowers at the gardens you will never run out of options in Delhi. The Red Fort, Qutab Minar, Humayun’s Tomb, Lodhi gardens and several other locations are awaiting your visit!
October to March mark winter season in Udaipur and it is the best time to visit here. The grandeur of Udaipur lies in the perfect mélange of historical traditions and culture. The rich architecture of the royal households silently speaks many untold stories of the brevity of the past rulers. City Palace, Lake Palace, Lake Pichola and Kumbhalgarh Fort are one of the fewest tourist destinations in Udaipur.
Pink City, Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan. The state capital is truly remarkable for its comprehensive nine-grid pattern architecture which is considered to be lucky by the astrologers. The founder of the city was Jai Singh II, and the city was planned by chief architect Vidyadhar Bhattacharya in 1927. The richly decorated sandstone palaces still delight the travelers and tourists. Hawa Mahal, Amer Fort and City Palace are the major attractions.
The Golden City of India, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, is remarkable for its ravishing palaces and splendid haveils. Jaisalmer Fort, Patwon Ki Haveli, Salim Singh Ki Haveli, Nathmal Ji Ki Haveli and Mandir Palace are remarkable for their elaborate carving and decorations. You can enjoy the desert wildlife and ecosystem at the Desert National Park or visit the mysteriously abandoned village in Kuldhara. The Jain temples of Jaisalmer demonstrate the beliefs and customs of the past rulers.
I happen to visit Kutch for no less than four times and I still find it amusing. The warm-hearted villagers in Kutch would always welcome you with a frivolous smile. Apart from its main town, Bhuj, you can go to more popular destination in winter- Rann of Kutch. Rann means salt marsh. Both the Great Rann of Kutch and Little Rann of Kutch are located in the Thar Desert bordering Rajasthan. The sandy desert Rann is famous for its vibrant Rann Utsav in the winters. You will enjoy staying in the typical mud houses or in the camps during this festival and listen to the sonorous folk songs and see folk dancers clad in traditional costumes.
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Mahabalipuram is an old town in Kanchipuram district, Tamil Nadu. The beautiful temples of Mahabalipuram are a testimony of its rich in culture and history. The Pallava dynasty who ruled the town during 7-8th Centuries erected famous rock-temples which have been collectively declared as World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The temperature remains pleasant during winter because of its closeness to the sea. Descent of the Ganges, Shore Temple, Pancha Rathas, Varaha Cave Temple and Thirukadalmallai are magnificent creations of the Pallava rulers.
Konark Town in the Puri
Konark needs no introduction to us. This small town in Puri district in Orissa (Odisha), is world-famous for its Sun Temple. The temple is a stupendous mélange of artistic imagination and creation. The erotic sculptures, the exquisite chariot of Sun god and the astounding wheels of Konark Sun Temple have interested the travelers and history lovers all over the world. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh
Khajuraho is famous for its group of temples. It is located in Jhansi district, Madhya Pradesh. Khajuraho Group of Monuments is also declared as World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Kandariya Mahadeva Temple is decorated with profused sculptures marked by intricate patterns and symbolic ancient Indian art. The Lakshmana Temple. Vishvanatha temple, Chitragupta temple, Brahma temple, Chaunsat Yogini temple are other important places or interest. The temperature is moderate in winter and the place is well-connected by state bus, trains and nearby airports.
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Mysore or Mysuru is a city in the state of Karnataka. Winter is brief and is considered as the best time for visiting. The famous Mysore Palace flaunts an elegant Indo-Saracenic architecture style which was originally built in the 14th century for the residence of the Wodeyar Royal Family.
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Agra, Uttar Pradesh
Who doesn’t know about Taj Mahal? Taj Mahal in Agra, Uttar Pradesh is an all-time favorite tourist spot. An emblem of love still standing tall, the ivory-white mausoleum will always amuse the people. Shah Jahan, the fifth Mughal Emperor erected Taj Mahal for his favorite wife, Mumtaz. Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore described it as, “the teardrop on the cheek of time”. Agra in winters is fun for its chilly weather.
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The Queen of Hill Stations is Darjeeling. Winter is the best season for visiting Darjeeling. The temperature is very cold and you may experience snowfall if proved to be lucky. The view of the rising sun from the Kanchenjunga Mountain, panoramic view of the Everest and sunset at Tiger Hill is worth your efforts and time.
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