With the winter season going on, the urge to get away for a snow-filled vacation only gets stronger, yet it is also what everyone else is thinking. India might not be a country where it snows all around, but there are many tiny, tucked-away hill stations that are the perfect winter wonderlands to hide away this winter vacation with a blend of comfort, beauty, and food.
Here are the 50 best places to visit in India in winter:
Gulmarg is a small, breathtaking hill town situated in Kashmir, which is a famous vacation spot to experience the beauty of the valley all year round. It is situated 49 km from Srinagar, and the best time to visit is between the months of October and March. There is snowfall in January and February, with several places to visit, like Aparwat Pal, Rani Mandir, and Kongdori, and numerous activities to participate in, like skiing, trekking, photography, and more.
Auli is a beautiful Himalayan ski resort and hill station located in Uttarakhand. It is well known for its breathtaking views of India’s highest peaks, including the Nanda Devi, as well as its skiing activities, which are enjoyed by both tourists and professionals. The best time to visit is from January to March when it is covered by a layer of snow. One of Auli’s main attractions is its manmade lake, which is the highest in the world with crystal-clear turquoise waters, making it look out of this world.
In an unpopular opinion, Ladakh is best visited in the winter despite the harsh conditions. For people who do not have an issue with extremely cold conditions, they have an opportunity to see a completely different side of Ladakh with crimson-colored trees, shining frozen rivers, bare poplars, and extraordinary valley views that truly transform the place into a haunting winter wonderland. Some notable attractions are the monasteries of Alchi and Likir and Basgo Fort, along with walks on frozen lakes.
Snowfall hits the beautiful valley of Chopta as soon as November arrives. Located in Uttarakhand, Chopta is a small region of the Kedarnath wildlife sanctuary and is mostly known for the trek to Tungnath, which is the third temple of Panch Kedar. It’s at an elevation of 2600 m, with snowfall throughout the winter season, making it the perfect place to visit as it’s not very crowded. With wildlife and greenery all around, Chopta is mainly known for its snow-covered caps and famous temples such as Shree Madmaheshwar Temple, Kartik Swami Temple, and more.
Manali is one of the most popular destinations to visit in the winter due to its scenic views, the presence of Rohtang Pass, and the wide variety of activities available such as skiing, paragliding, rafting, trekking, and more. It’s located on the Beas River, which greatly adds to its charm, and has a wide number of attractions to visit, such as the great Himalayan National Park, Bhrigu Lake, Nehru Kund, the museum of Himachal culture and folk art, and more. The best time to catch Manali in its snow season is between December and February.
Sonamarg, which literally means “Valley of Gold,” is a breathtaking hill station located in Jammu and Kashmir, which is one of the best places you can visit in India for such beautiful scenes and views of a winter wonderland. The Sindh River flows through the valley, which complements the snowfall that occurs from November to April.
Yumthang is known as the ‘Valley of Flowers,’ which is a major attraction. This hill station is located in Sikkim and is filled with hot springs, green pastures, and a variety of flowers, along with a sanctuary. It snows here from October to March, making it an ideal winter getaway for a tranquil vacation.
Munsiyari, which translates to “the place with snow,” is a small village in Uttarakhand located between the snow-capped mountains of the Himalayas. It’s also the base of many famous glaciers and offers trekking opportunities for extremely adventurous people. Its picturesque beauty, along with the area’s natural attractions, has led to people calling it “Little Kashmir.”
Yet another hill station in Uttarakhand, Almora, is mainly known for its culture, delicious variety of cuisines, and beautiful handicrafts. It has a lot of cultural history, with many temples situated there, and is covered in snow throughout the months of December to February.
Shimla is undoubtedly one of the most famous winter destinations people escape to, but it is worth the hype with its crystal beauty, variety of activities, and the weather both in winter and summer. It’s located right on the foothills of the Himalayas and is the perfect place to get away to experience snow, food, culture, and serenity all at once.
11. Rann of Kutch
With a perfect blend of culture, wildlife, and natural beauty, the Rann of Kutch is a must-visit destination for any traveler. During the winter months, the temperature in the Rann of Kutch drops significantly, creating a crisp and refreshing atmosphere that is perfect for exploring the area. Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities, such as camel rides, cultural performances, and stargazing, as well as witness the famous Rann Utsav, a vibrant festival that celebrates the local culture and traditions.
With the snow-capped Himalayan peaks in the distance and the Naini Lake partially frozen, Nainital is a sight to behold in winter. The temperature drops to sub-zero levels, making it the perfect place to snuggle up by a warm fire and enjoy a hot cup of tea or coffee. Winter sports like skiing and ice skating are also available in the nearby areas. Overall, Nainital in winter offers a unique and unforgettable experience for anyone looking for a peaceful and serene getaway in the midst of the natural beauty of the Himalayas.
Goa is a popular destination for tourists during the winter months, which lasts from November to February. With pleasant weather and unique festivals during Christmas and New Year’s, Goa is an ideal getaway from the colder parts of the world. The beaches are a major draw, with their golden sands and blue waters providing the perfect setting for sunbathing, water sports, and beach parties. Goa in winter offers a perfect combination of relaxation, entertainment, and cultural experiences.
The misty hills, lush green tea plantations, and picturesque landscapes are a treat to the eyes, and the winter season offers a chance to witness the blooming of the Neelakurinji flower, which only blooms once in 12 years. Apart from the natural beauty, winter also offers opportunities for adventure sports such as trekking, camping, and mountain biking. Overall, Munnar in winter is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts alike.
15. Andaman and Nicobar
Winters, from November to February, is considered the best time to visit these islands. The weather in these months is pleasant, and the sea is calm, making it perfect for water sports like scuba diving, snorkeling, and sea walking. The clear turquoise waters, white sandy beaches, and dense forests offer an opportunity to witness the diverse flora and fauna of the region. During winter, the islands also host several cultural festivals and events which showcase the local culture and traditions.
16. Vaishno Devi
Vaishno Devi can be a great destination for a winter vacation for those seeking a spiritual and adventurous experience. The pilgrimage site is located in the northern Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, and during the winter months, the scenic beauty of the area is enhanced with snow-capped mountains and valleys. While the weather can be harsh and chilly, the spiritual energy and the breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains make the journey to the temple a rewarding and unforgettable experience.
This is located in the foothills of the Himalayas and has stunning views of the snow-capped mountains during the winter season. The cold weather is perfect for exploring the town’s many attractions, such as the Dalai Lama Temple Complex and the Bhagsunath Temple, and for indulging in some warm and hearty local cuisine. Dharamsala’s cozy guesthouses and cafes make it a great place to relax and unwind during the winter season.
Shillong, in winter, is a great destination for nature lovers, adventure enthusiasts, and people looking for a peaceful and scenic getaway. It has lush green hills and forests, which turn even more beautiful during the winter months, with mist and fog adding to the scenic beauty. The town is also famous for its carnivals and local cuisine, which includes steaming hot momos, soups, and other delicacies that are perfect for the chilly weather.
In the city of lakes, the days are sunny, and the nights are cool, making it perfect for sightseeing and exploring the town’s many attractions, such as the City Palace, the Lake Palace, and the Jagmandir Island Palace. The town also hosts numerous festivals during the winter season, including the Mewar Festival and the Rajasthan International Folk Festival. Visitors can also indulge in a variety of activities, such as boating, trekking, and exploring the local bazaars. Overall, Udaipur in winter is a delightful experience for travelers who wish to explore the town’s rich history, culture, and natural beauty in comfortable weather conditions.
Humpi is a world UNESCO site that is surrounded by natural beauty, including hills, rivers, and lush greenery, that can be enjoyed through activities like trekking and rock climbing. Humpi in winter is a cultural and historical delight for travelers looking to explore ancient India and indulge in outdoor activities amidst a picturesque natural setting.
Binsar, located in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, is a charming winter vacation spot that offers breathtaking views of the snow-capped Himalayas and tranquil natural surroundings. It’s known for its picturesque landscapes, dense forests, and diverse wildlife, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts and wildlife photographers.
Gokarna, located in Karnataka, is like the knockoff but a cheaper, prettier, and much more serene version of Goa which is just 3 hours away. The town is known for its pristine beaches, tranquil ambiance, and ancient temples, making it a popular destination for one seeking a peaceful and introspective holiday experience. Visitors can indulge in many activities, such as beach hopping, trekking, and exploring the town’s cultural heritage. Gokarna’s laid-back vibe and friendly locals make it an ideal destination for solo travelers, couples, and families alike.
Ooty is well known as one of the most famous and fun hill stations in India but mostly for its boarding schools. It offers a range of activities, including trekking, boating, and exploring the town’s colonial heritage, such as visiting the famous Ooty Botanical Gardens or taking a ride on the Nilgiri Mountain Railway. The town also offers an opportunity to indulge in tea-tasting sessions and relish the local cuisine.
Located in Northeast India, Imphal is known for its rich cultural heritage and is dotted with ancient temples, historical monuments, and museums that showcase the region’s rich history and traditions. Imphal also offers an opportunity to explore the natural beauty of the region, with its picturesque landscapes, scenic hills, and cascading waterfalls.
Mussoorie is located in the foothills of the Garhwal Himalayas and has amazing paragliding and skiing spots that will transport you to another world. The stunning place is known for its scenic beauty, serene ambiance, and pleasant weather, making it a perfect destination for a winter getaway.
Alibaug has trekking as well as beaches for people who want to experience both spectrums of weather in a single place. Located in the Konkan region of Maharashtra, it is a popular winter vacation spot that offers a perfect blend of culture, history, and nature.
A vacation and wine are two words that are incomplete without each other. Nashik, located in Maharashtra, has scenic vineyards and picturesque landscapes where you can relax while trying out different kinds of local and unique wine flavors. With its serene beauty, rich cultural heritage, and an array of activities to indulge in, Nashik is a perfect destination for people seeking a unique and offbeat winter vacation experience.
If you’re up for a bit of fun and adventure, Darjeeling is the perfect winter vacation spot to add to your list! This is a town that offers breathtaking views of the Himalayas and a quirky blend of British colonial charm and modern-day chaos. It is known for its tea plantations, toy train, and the infamous “Darjeeling smile,” which is often mistaken for a friendly gesture but is actually a result of the town’s quirky weather conditions.
Rishikesh, the land of yogis, is a winter vacation spot that offers a unique blend of spirituality and adventure. The town is known for its ashrams, yoga studios, and the occasional celebrity sighting during the International Yoga Festival. But don’t let the town’s serene ambiance fool you – Rishikesh is also a hub for adventure activities like white-water rafting, bungee jumping, and zip-lining, making it the perfect destination for adrenaline junkies looking to balance their chakras while getting their thrills.
So, if you are in the mood for a little humor and a lot of nature, Wayanad is the winter vacation spot for you! Keep an eye out for that elusive Yeti. The town is known for its tranquil backwaters, lush forests, and occasional sightings of the elusive “Wayanad Yeti,” which is said to be a creature that roams the forests and enjoys a good cup of chai. Visitors can explore the town’s natural beauty by taking a dip in the nearby waterfalls, embarking on a wildlife safari, or just simply enjoying the magic of nature.
If you want to experience a unique blend of Indian with French culture, Pondicherry is the place to visit! With its French colonial architecture, pristine beaches, and serene atmosphere, it is a perfect destination for a relaxing and rejuvenating holiday. The winter months of December to February offer pleasant weather and are the best time to visit Puducherry. The town is dotted with several tourist attractions, such as the Aurobindo Ashram, the French War Memorial, and the Promenade Beach.
The annual Mysore Dasara festival, which takes place in October or November, is the best reason to plan a winter vacation in Mysore. The city’s picturesque gardens, including the Brindavan Gardens and Lalbagh Botanical Garden, are also worth exploring during this time of year. Visitors can indulge in local delicacies, shop for traditional handicrafts, and enjoy traditional dance performances.
Imagine the gigantic, beautiful Taj Mahal with its marble walls in the winter months. Visitors can also explore the Agra Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah, which is also known as the “Baby Taj.” Agra is also known for its delectable cuisine, which includes Mughlai dishes such as kebabs and biryanis.
34. Fatehpur Sikri
Fatehpur Sikri was once the capital of the Mughal Empire and is home to several magnificent structures, including the Buland Darwaza, Jama Masjid, and Panch Mahal. Visitors can also explore the Fatehpur Sikri Fort and the Diwan-i-Khas, which is a stunning palace made of red sandstone. The city’s rich history and beautiful architecture offer a fascinating glimpse into India’s past, especially in the winter months.
Gangtok, a city nestled in the hills of Sikkim, India, is a unique winter vacation spot that promises to leave you in high spirits! The cold weather here is perfect for snuggling up in cozy blankets and enjoying a hot cup of tea or coffee. Visitors can take a cable car ride and enjoy stunning views of the snow-capped Himalayan range or try their hand at skiing and snowboarding at the nearby slopes along with a vibrant nightlife.
A perfect escape from the chilly weather, the warm and sunny weather in Allepey is perfect for soaking up some vitamin D and relaxing by the beach. Visitors can enjoy cruising the serene backwaters on a houseboat, which is like a floating hotel room with stunning views. The city’s famous attractions, including the Alappuzha Beach and the Krishnapuram Palace, offer a glimpse into Kerala’s rich cultural heritage.
Jaisalmer will take your breath away, quite literally, since it’s surrounded by deserts. The cold desert air here is perfect for pretending you’re a character straight out of a Bollywood movie. Visitors can explore the city’s magnificent sandstone fort, which looks like something out of a fairytale. The city’s famous attractions, including the Patwon ki Haveli and the Gadisar Lake, offer a glimpse into Rajasthan’s rich cultural heritage. Visitors can also try their hand at camel riding or dune bashing, which is like a rollercoaster ride on the sand.
The chilly weather in Cherrapunji is perfect for cuddling up in warm blankets and enjoying hot cocoa while marveling at the town’s famous living root bridges. Visitors can also explore the town’s many caves, including the Mawsmai Cave, which is like a natural wonderland of stalactites and stalagmites. The city’s famous attractions, including the Seven Sisters Falls and the Nohkalikai Falls, offer a glimpse into Meghalaya’s stunning natural beauty.
For lovers of seafood, this is the place to be. Mahabalipuram, a small coastal town located in Tamil Nadu, India, is a winter vacation spot that looks like something out of a whimsical fantasy world. Visitors can also try their hand at surfing or paddleboarding and visit the city’s famous attractions, including the Shore Temple and the Pancha Rathas, which offer a glimpse into Tamil Nadu’s rich history and architecture. They can also try the town’s famous seafood, including delicious prawn masala and spicy fish curry.
This place can be entirely responsible for turning you into an ocean lover over mountains. The warm weather here is perfect for soaking up the sun and swimming in the clear blue waters of the Arabian Sea. Visitors can also try their hand at parasailing or windsurfing, which is like a thrilling ride on a magic carpet over the waves. The city’s famous attractions, including the lighthouse beach and the Samudra Beach, offer a glimpse into Kerala’s stunning natural beauty.
Kalimpong is known for its breathtaking views of the Himalayan Mountain range and its rich cultural heritage. The town is home to several monasteries, including the famous Zang Dhok Palri Phodang, which is a must-visit attraction. Kalimpong is also famous for its exotic flowers, which are exported all over the world.
Nagaland is a perfect vacation spot for those who are interested in exploring offbeat destinations. The state is home to many indigenous tribes, each with unique customs, traditions, and festivals, making it a fascinating destination for cultural enthusiasts. Nagaland is also known for its breathtaking landscapes, with lush green hills, waterfalls, and forests, especially in chilly winters.
The weather in Puri during winter is pleasant and mild, making it a perfect destination to escape the cold winter chills. The famous Puri beach is the main attraction of the town, where one can relax, sunbathe, and enjoy water sports like swimming and surfing. The Jagannath temple, located in the heart of the town, is another popular attraction that draws devotees from all over the world.
44. Bodh Gaya
Bodh Gaya is home to many temples, monasteries, and meditation centers that offer spiritual solace to visitors. The town’s local market is known for its handicrafts and souvenirs, making it a perfect place for shopping. The winter months from November to February are the best time to visit Bodh Gaya, as the weather is pleasant and mild, making it an ideal destination to escape the cold winter weather.
This town is known for its tranquil backwaters, lush greenery, and unique birdlife. The winter months, from November to February, are the best time to visit Kumarakom, as the weather is pleasant, and the natural beauty of the place is at its peak. Overall, Kumarakom offers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and relaxation, making it an ideal winter vacation spot.
Khajuraho is a popular winter vacation spot located in the northern state of Madhya Pradesh, India. It’s known for its ancient temples that showcase the finest Indian art and architecture. The temples are adorned with intricate carvings, sculptures, and frescoes depicting various deities, celestial beings, and scenes from Indian mythology. The winter months, from November to February, are the best time to visit Khajuraho, as the weather is pleasant, and the natural beauty of the place is at its peak.
47. Mount Abu
It’s a beautiful hill station that offers a rejuvenating escape from the scorching heat of the summer months. The winter months from November to February are the perfect time to visit Mount Abu, as the weather is cool and pleasant. Visitors can relish the scenic beauty of the place, including the Nakki Lake, Guru Shikhar, and the Dilwara Temples, known for their intricate architecture and stunning carvings. Overall, Mount Abu offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, adventure, and relaxation.
In Varanasi, you can explore the narrow lanes of the old city, visit the numerous temples and ghats along the river, and attend the Ganga Aarti, a spectacular evening ritual that involves the lighting of lamps and chanting of prayers on the banks of the river. The town’s local market offers an array of items like textiles, handicrafts, and souvenirs, making it a perfect place for shopping. Varanasi offers a unique and unforgettable travel experience steeped in culture and tradition, making it an ideal winter vacation spot.
The winter months, from November to February, are the best time to visit Aurangabad, as the weather is pleasant, and the natural beauty of the place is at its peak. Visitors can explore the magnificent Ajanta and Ellora Caves, ancient rock-cut temples and monasteries, and the iconic Bibi ka Maqbara, a mausoleum built in memory of Aurangzeb’s wife. The town’s local market offers an array of items like textiles, handicrafts, and souvenirs, making it a perfect place for shopping.
Well, Tawang is a beautiful winter vacation spot in Arunachal Pradesh, India, but be warned – it’s not for the faint-hearted! The temperatures can drop drastically, and you might find yourself shivering like a penguin in the Arctic! But hey, that’s what makes it so much fun! Just imagine you and your friends bundled up in layers of warm clothes, playing snowball fights, building snowmen, and making snow angels. Just make sure you pack enough warm clothes and blankets, or you might end up looking like a human popsicle!
Each place has its own charm, beauty, and beautiful attractions, but what they all have in common is the ability to transport us into a beautiful snow-filled winter dream, which mostly comes around only this time of the year. We all deserve to end and start our years in a place that feels like a dream, and these places serve the purpose!