Best Winter Holiday Destinations to Visit in India

By: TM Abbas & Aasiya Mehmood Shaikh

Last Updated: 14- Dec- 2021

Best Winter Holiday Destinations to Visit in India

A shift in the season and a drop in the temperature bring winter! India finds itself bracing for the best seasons to come for traveling across the country. Countless festivities and getaways are lined up during the winter season in India. Local travelers wish to empty their pockets to explore some breathtaking places to visit during the winter in India. As cool breezes caress your cheeks, you start to look for places to relish the weather and indulge yourself in some activities. Snow-capped peaks, tropical beaches, enormous plateaus, deserts have always been a dream to experience for many. Let's witness a few of the most recommended spots to visit in winter.

Shimla and Narkanda 

A hill station, typically blanketed with snow, is famous for its colossal palace and highest cricket ground. Shimla commands a unique view of the snow line, apple orchards, and dense forest. At the same time, Narkanda is quite famous for adventure enthusiasts to witness skiing and winter sports. 


Best Things to Do: 

  1. Skiing in Narkanda: It is amongst India's oldest ski destinations, with a beautiful view of snow ranges and the undulating beauty of nature. Perched at a great height, it is a perfect escape for beginners and experienced skiers. 
  2. Jakhoo Ropeway: A vintage British-era architecture, pleasing with scenic views of the Himalayan landscape through your time in the ropeway cable car. It is one of the safest ropeway rides, rising to 8,054 feet above sea level, leaving you breathless. 
  3. Toy Train Ride: Relish the moment in the Kalka- Shimla toy train, the oldest railway line along the mountains, paints a tranquil picture of the place. Watch the end of the train through the window as the toy train moves like a snake on the curved tracks. 


Top Places to Visit: 

  1. Mall Road
  2. Shimla Christ Church
  3. Naldehra
  4. Tattapani
  5. Chadwick Falls


Gangtok- Sikkim

Year-round, Gangtok is a gorgeous destination to visit, but especially wonderful in winter. A visit to this city promises to fill your bucket with loads of adventure, memories, and wonderful experiences. Gangtok is the capital of Sikkim, a small bustling city that offers tourists to explore and perform a plethora of activities. These activities range from visits to monasteries and engaging in natural spots, also adventuresome trekking, and more. The beauty of Gangtok gets magnified in the winters, making it a place that imprints in your mind with crazy memories. As the cold breeze brushes against your face, you get an experience even more exhilarating.


Best Things to do in Gangtok: 

  1. Walk over frozen Tsomgo Lake: If you manage to walk on the most popular Tsomgo Lake, consider yourself lucky. It is a perfect slice of nature, every tourist visiting here longs for. Tourists also explore the lake through yak rides by the banks of the lake. The moment you see your reflection on the crystal clear lake, it leaves you mesmerized. 
  2. Winter Festival of Sikkim: Sikkim celebrates customs and rituals, traditions through festivities in its unique wat. Winter is the time, festivities make a major tourist pull from around the world. The special occasion is celebrated in major cities across the monasteries with musical shows, traditional dance, cultural clothing. Not just that, you can witness monks performing rituals in the monasteries too. 


Places to visit in Sikkim: 

  1. Goecha La 
  2. Silk Route: A rich opportunity for trade
  3. Rumtek, Pemayangtse monastery
  4. Nathula pass
  5. Banjhakri Falls


Gulmarg- Kashmir

If there is heaven on earth, it is here! Gulmarg is a beauty, with a flavor of lush green landscaped meadows and pastures and the gigantic snow-capped mountain. Gulmarg can fill your bucket list with loads of snow, adventure, excitement, and delicious cuisine. In winter, you get to experience fresh snowfall, worth playing, tasting, and enjoying! Kashmir stands to be a global appeal, indeed for its incredible nature and heaven-like views. Gulmarg is power-packed with opportunities for both nature enthusiasts and adventure junkies.


Best things to do in Gulmarg: 

  1. Gondola Ride: Kongdori Gulmarg Gondola, is the 2nd highest cable-car line in the world, divided into three-phase. The Gondola rides offer you the most spellbinding sights of both Gulmarg and Khilanmarg. Enjoy and relish the breathtaking views of LOC, Nand Devi, and Pir Panjal Ranges.
  2. Pony Ride at Khilanmarg: As adorable as it sounds, a ride on the pony will offer calmness, excitement while you soak the fresh air and gaze at the beauty. Due to the lack of motorable roads, pony rides will take you to new heights and experiences. Enjoying some of the most spectacular views, witness blooming aromatic flowers adding bliss to the valley. 
  3. Explore Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve: To witness the flora and fauna of the region, Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve is the best spot to escape. It is a shelter for many animals like Himalayan Musk Deer, Red Fox, Brown, and Black Bear. Also, it's a paradise for bird watchers, being the second home for many migratory birds.


Must visit places:

  1. Alphather lake
  2. Gulmarg golf course
  3. Children's park
  4. Strawberry Valley
  5. Ningle Nallah
  6. Seven Springs



Insanely popular tourist destination, commercialized, yet serenely beautiful – that is Manali for you in a nutshell. Famous for backpackers and honeymooners, Manali is a getaway destination and renowned resort town in Himachal Pradesh. Take your pick: Adventure tourism, religious tourism, wildlife tourism; it will feed your soul rightly! Manali has got some gorgeous views to offer other than just the snow-covered peaks! Of course, you can not miss out on experiencing hot springs in Manali during the cold season! 


Best things to do in Manali:

  1. Paragliding: A special, unique pleasure, paragliding with love and adventure in the Solang Valley. For wanderlust, soar high in the sky like a free bird, conquer your inner feeling and cherish the moment. You'll witness Himalayan valleys from the top, pleasing your soul. 
  2. Snow activities: Winters in Manali means, too much snow, especially while going to Rohtang pass snow point. You can dive in snow, play by throwing snowballs, making snowmen and so much more. The popular spot to cherish the White Manani is at Gulaba, Marhi, and even Rohtang pass, if it is accessible. Tourists enjoy loads of activities like snow tubing, snow scooter, sledding, zorbing in snow, and more.
  3. Rafting and Camping: The Campside of Manali is nestled on a lush green foothill overlooking the alluring waters of the Beas river covered with snow-capped mountain views. Pass through the turbulent water rapids in rafting activity and witness the iconic beauty of Manali during the adventure.
  4. Igloo Stay: In winter, you can experience something truly novel in Manali- a stay in an igloo. Spend a night inside an igloo, backdrop of the snow-covered mountains, and live your childhood dream. It is no less than an adventure in itself, leaving you goosebumps. You can also enjoy a walk in the snow forest, keep yourself entertained in skiing and snowboarding while clicking memorable pictures.
  5. Ride a Yak: Yak riding is another fun thing to do on the hairy buddies amidst the snow-clad hilly area. Kullu, Kufri, and Solang Valley are a few of the places to relish Yak rides. These animals are short, hairy, and a source of entertainment for the onlookers.


Places to visit: 

  1. Hidimba Devi Temple
  2. Jogni Waterfalls
  3. Rohtang Pass
  4. Nehru Kund
  5. Beas River



The calm, pleasant, and cherishable weather of Dalhousie attracts a large number of visitors every year. The place has a lot to offer, scenic views, picturesque snow-capped mountains, Victorian-style majestic British mansions, and mesmerizing natural beauty. Away from the buzzing cities, you transport to nature's lap and relish the fresh breeze.


Best things to do in Dalhousie:

  1. Boat riding in Chamera Lake: The glistening Chamera lake is a classic escape to treat your soul with shiny and high hills wrapped in greenery. So camp and sit, enjoy some fishing and be at peace with sunrise while the gutless waters and those hills engulf you in their natural beauty.
  2. Hike to Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary: The plethora of wild trees, flora, fauna, grasslands, and views of snow-capped mountains will leave you mesmerized. Trek and embark on this thrilling journey, with a water stream flowing beside you. 
  3. Trek to Dainkund Peak: The lovely breeze, creating musical melodies and keeps you mesmerized in the snow-capped mount views. Trekking isn't that easy, but it gives you a lifetime of experience. Added with adventure, one views rivers, meadows, and waterfalls. Finally, you'll feel full, visiting the charismatic peak, and viewing from the top. 


Must visit places:

  1. Panchpula
  2. Khajjiar
  3. Satdhara Falls
  4. Sach Pass


Important Checklist to Consider on your Winter Trip: 

  1. Carrying an emergency medical kit is a must, which includes balm for headaches, cold syrup, flu medicines, etc. 
  2. Winter winds can be harsh on your skin, a moisturizing lotion will work wonders
  3. It gets darker during winter, and if you carry a handy torch, it might become a necessity
  4. Sensible shoes that have good grip for you to walk on feet is important, not the ones that leave you freezing
  5. Warm woolen clothing involving, gloves, socks, thermal wear, sweater, jacket, scarves, and head cap.
  6. Invest in a good pair of UV sunglasses, it will protect you from harsh winter air and snow 


If you wish to seek more information on winter destinations and traveling, you can speak to our experts. For further inputs and hassle-free winter travel planning, our experts can guide you well! 


Winters are indeed the best time to step outdoors rather than being curled up in the blanket. There are various other destinations to explore in India, but the above list is undoubtedly a must to witness. All these destinations provide a blend of thrill, adventure, serenity, peace, and even excitement. You will have a lifetime of experiencing, doing exciting activities, and living your best vacation!

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