Winter has arrived and this time they are making up for the previous years. While most people plan to spend their vacations and vacation weeks curled up in a blanket sipping hot chocolate, there are those, like me, who enjoy exploring new places and enjoying the chilly weather (while sipping hot chocolate, of course). From the magical Himachal Pradesh to the relaxing Kerala, there are many places to visit in India during the winter that will make you want to get out of your warm beds and enjoy the season to the fullest.
Top 23 Places to Visit in Coming Winters in India:
• Rann of Kutch
1. Gulmarg, Kashmir
Gulmarg is first on our list. This hill town in India's northernmost state is magical all year, but its allure is amplified when winter arrives. The snow-covered landscape and frozen lakes make this location ideal for snow activities such as skiing and snowboarding. Adventurers can satisfy their desire for an adrenaline rush by trekking on one of the many trails that become more difficult during the season.
Not to Miss: Cable car ride at Gulmarg
2. Shimla-Kufri, Himachal Pradesh
Shimla-Kufri is undoubtedly one of the most popular destinations in North India for those who enjoy snowfall. Himachal's capital city is surrounded by rolling hills and snow-covered forests, allowing for a variety of adventure activities. The numerous restaurants lining in the Mall road provide the ideal setting for taking in panoramic views of the Himalayas while sipping a cup of hot tea.
Not to Miss: Adventures Ice skating at the open-air skating rink
3. Manali, Himachal Pradesh
Manali, India's favourite winter destination, has towering mountains, deodar trees, winding roads, and heavy snowfall. This Himachal Pradesh hill station is a snow lover's, honeymooner's, and adventurer's dream. Manali will leave you with a memorable experience, whether it is a biking trip to Rohtang Pass, paragliding in Solang Valley, or hiking up to the Jogini Waterfalls.
Not to Miss: Food walk in the Old Manali
4. Auli, Uttarakhand
Want to learn to ski while the majestic peaks of Nanda Devi, Neelkanth, and Mana Parbat watch over you? Then you must travel to Auli, India's best skiing destination! While it has lush green valleys almost all year, visiting during peak winters allows you to see it in a completely different light. The landscape is blanketed in snow, the region's numerous ski resorts are packed with vacationers, and adrenaline junkies are on their way to conquer the snow-covered slopes.
Not to Miss: The National Championship of Skiing
5. Binsar, Uttarakhand
Binsar is a not a very famous name among hill stations to visit in India during the winter. But believe us when we say it's one of the most breathtaking and heartwarming places you'll ever see. It is a charming little hill station in Uttarakhand with breathtaking views of the cloud-touching peaks of Kedarnath, Trishul, and Nanda Devi, making it a photographer's dream. The Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary, which has a wide variety of flora and fauna species, adds to the excitement of this hill resort.
Not to Miss: A memorable trip to Zero Point
6. Dalhousie, Himachal Pradesh
Dalhousie, another hill station in Himachal Pradesh, but unlike any other, is ideal for anyone who enjoys colonial charm. As the temperature drops below freezing and the chilly breeze invites you to come out and have the greatest time of your life, winter brings out the best in this place. Dalhousie hosts the National Himalayan Winter Trekking Expedition in December, attracting a large number of trekking enthusiasts.
Not to Miss: A adventures hike through the Deodar forest
7. Rann of Kutch, Gujarat
Want to camp under the stars in sub-zero temperatures on the world's largest salt sand desert? Then, during the winter, visit Rann of Kutch. This place is really very beautiful, looks like something out of a dream. It is famous for the Rann Utsav, a two-month long cultural festival. Traditional cuisine, authentic handicrafts, desert safaris, and stargazing, all accompanied by a vast expanse of white land, what a sight! The Kutch Festival attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world, so we recommend making your reservations well in advance.
Not to Miss: Camping with friends in Dhordo Village
The arrival of winter signals the start of the party season all over the world. And what better place to begin your New Year's celebrations than Goa, India's party capital? This destination is ideal for a winter getaway due to its pleasant climate, serene beaches, a variety of water sports, throbbing nightclubs, and parties that last until dawn. Aside from that, visitors flock to Goa for the Goa Carnival, Goa Film Festival, and Christmas parties.
Not to Miss: Sunrise and sunset view at one of the many beaches in Goa
9. Wayanad, Kerala
Want to spend the winter vacation in a hill station but can't bear the cold breeze? Travel to Wayanad for a dream vacation in the midst of the Western Ghats. This picturesque town in 'God's Own Country' - Kerala - has everything one looks for on a vacation - food, culture, history, and friendly people. To add to the excitement, Wayanad has several bird-watching spots and trekking trails that draw visitors from all over the country.
Not to Miss: A visit to Edakkal Caves and Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary
10. Udaipur, Rajasthan
Udaipur, also known as the "Venice of the East," attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists from all over the world throughout the year. The reason for this is the magnificent Lake Palace, Fateh Sagar Lake, Jag Mandir, Lake Pichola, and other medieval-era marvels. The number of visitors spikes in the winter, when the lakes and surrounding Aravali hills work together to keep the temperature just right for sightseeing. If you are a fan of traditional performances, plan your trip during the Shilpgram Arts and Crafts Festival.
Not to Miss: Dinner date with your love at the bank of Lake Pichola
11. Jaisalmer, Rajasthan
Although Jaisalmer is hot and humid for most of the year, the winter months of December and January are ideal for visiting this desert city. Desert camping, camel rides, quad biking, dune bashing, parasailing, and other activities keep adventure seekers busy, while the Desert Festival, Nerasi Music School, Kuldhara Village, and Sonar Quila provide a cultural experience.
Not to Miss: A long drive to the famous Longewala Post
12. Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh
Tawang is an offbeat an amazing hill station in the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh. It is, without a doubt, the most difficult place to reach in winter, but once you capture the magnificent views of the snow-covered Himalayas, valleys wrapped in colourful prayer flags, and ancient monasteries, the effort will seem worthwhile. If you want to attend cultural events, go to Tawang in January for the Torgya Festival or in February for Losar.
Not to Miss: A visit to Serene Urgelling Monastery – the birthplace of the 6th Dalai Lama
13. Gangtok, Sikkim
Gangtok, located on the old Indo-China Silk Route, is a one-of-a-kind hill station with something for everyone. Every type of traveller can find an activity that interests them, from Buddhist pilgrims to trekkers, tourists to honeymooners. Rich flora and fauna, tranquil high-altitude lakes, colourful monasteries, and breathtaking views of the Himalayas entice you like nowhere else. While Gangtok does not receive snow, the temperature can reach 4 degrees, so keep this in mind when packing for your trip.
Not to Miss: An Adventures trip to Nathula Pass and Tsomgo Lake
14. Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh
Dharamshala, also known as 'Little Lhasa,' is a small town in Himachal Pradesh's Kangra district. This peaceful town is a quintessential hill station in India, surrounded by the Dhauladhar Range, thick alpine vegetation, narrow streets, and Colonial buildings. Another factor contributing to its popularity is the presence of a large Tibetan community who followed His Holiness The Dalai Lama and made this their home. Their presence has had a significant impact on Dharamshala's food, music, and atmosphere. Although you can visit this popular tourist attraction all year because of its pleasant climate, a visit during the winter is a must.
Not to Miss: A visit to the famous Norbulingka Institute
15. Mussoorie, Uttarakhand
Mussoorie, aptly named "The Queen of the Hills," transforms into a white paradise in the winter due to the heavy snowfall. The snow-covered pine, oak, and cedar trees, as well as the buildings, roads, and mountains, add to the romantic atmosphere of this hill station. Take in the winter scenery from the Lal Tibba Scenic View Point, walk down the snowy Mall Road, or relax with a cup of hazelnut coffee at the Le Llama Café.
Not to Miss: Christmas celebrations at the hill station
16. Jodhpur, Rajasthan
Winter is the best time to visit Rajasthan's 'Blue City,' Jodhpur. With temperatures ranging from 7 to 27 degrees Celsius, you can freely and comfortably explore Jodhpur's famous landmarks. The grand Mehrangarh Fort, the stunning Umaid Bhawan Palace, and the serene Mahamandir Temple are among them.
Not to Miss: Participate in the Rajasthan International Folk Festival and witness the heritage (held in October)
17. Shillong, Meghalaya
Winter is the best time to visit and explore Shillong, Meghalaya's capital city. Because of its colonial heritage, natural beauty, and pleasant weather, it is known as "The Scotland of the East." Lady Hydari Park, Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Cultures, Ward's Lake, and Elephant Falls are among the city's attractions.
Not to Miss: Take a unforgettable trip to the cleanest village in Asia, Mawylnnong
18. Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
Varanasi is one of the holiest places for Hindus to visit. The holy ghats, religious hymns, and ashrams give the city a heavenly and peaceful atmosphere. The highlights of visiting this revered city in the winters include soaking in the sunrise and sunsets, taking a boat tour on the misty Ganges, and sitting by the ghats to witness religious ceremonies.
Not to Miss: Join the Ganga Aarti at the holy Dashaswamedh Ghat
19. Nashik, Maharashtra
Nashik is a wine lover's paradise, with some of India's best vineyards. Along with the stunning scenery, the city has a lot to offer visitors. This includes activities such as white water rafting and trekking, as well as wine, music, and food festivals. As a result, winter is the best time to visit the city.
Not to Miss: Pamper yourself at Nashik's Sula Fest (held in February)
Puducherry, which resembles a French town, is one of the most romantic places to visit in the winter, especially if you come from the colder north. The warm but comfortable weather is ideal for soaking in the tranquil atmosphere of this beach city. There is plenty to do, from tasting French cuisine to enjoying water sports.
Not to Miss: Explore native and migratory birds at the Ousteri Lake
21. Ooty, Tamil Nadu
Ooty is a well-known hill station in Tamil Nadu, surrounded by the evergreen Nilgiris. Ooty used to be a summer retreat for Britishers, and as a result, there are many colonial relics, such as St. Stephen's Church. In the winter, mist covers the town's famous coffee plantations and dense flora, creating a dreamy and romantic ambience.
Not to Miss: A joyful ride on the Nilgiri Mountain Toy Train
22. Coorg, Karnataka
Coorg is another destination on this list that is known as the "Scotland of India" due to its breathtaking scenery. This town in the Western Ghats is popular with tourists looking for peace and solitude. A winter trip to this natural wonderland would not be complete without visiting the coffee plantations, majestic waterfalls, and misty surroundings.
Not to Miss: Explore wildlife at Nagarhole National Park
23. Munnar, Kerala
Munnar, located in Kerala's Idukki District, is known as the "Kashmir of the South" due to its breathtaking scenery. The pleasant winters are also ideal for participating in adventurous activities such as trekking, hiking, rappelling, and so on in Munnar. Picnic at Echo Point, climb the bizarre Anamudi Peak, and sample various tea flavours at the TATA Tea Museum.
Not to Miss: Taste and shop for yummy homemade chocolates
The places mentioned above are some of the best places to visit in India during the winter, but the list is far from exhaustive. If you do not enjoy travelling long distances during the winter, there are many ways to enjoy the season by staying close to home. All you need is the courage to get out of bed and start exploring.