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Travel news The 5 best places to see snow in India

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The 5 best places to see snow in India

What if we cannot travel to places with magical snow right now? Well, we don’t have to stop dreaming about it! We’ve chosen the top five places to see snow in India, plus how to get there and what you can do in each destination – so when the time is right, bundle up and enjoy the snow!

1. Gulmarg

One of the standout destinations of Jammu and Kashmir, Gulmarg is a popular one with tourists who want to see staggering views of snow-carpeted hills around. It lies about 9,000 feet above the sea level, making it a definite choice for winter travel and skiing. A large number of local and international tourists visit here to learn how or hit the slopes to ski.

Top things to do in Gulmarg

The top things to do in Gulmarg comprise of gloriously winter-themed activities, such as winter sports, gondola rides and visiting the highest golf course in the world. There is also a small shrine at the edge of the main arrival point, which is immortalised by the Bollywood song, ‘Jai Jai shiv Shankar’.

Best time to visit Gulmarg

While Gulmarg is an all-year-round destination, it is most spectacular in the winter. The snow-clad vast mountain range in front set the scene, and is best viewed from the gondola. Gulmarg is the most popular skiing destination of India, which therefore puts it high on the travel map in India.

Getting to Gulmarg

Srinagar is the closest air junction from Gulmarg. From here, cabs are available to reach the base, Tangmarg. The road winds up along the hillsides, until you hit a vast plateau. The journey is incomplete until you take the gondola up to Aparwath and Kungdoor.

2. Manali

Pine trees in Manali, India covered in snow

Thronging with visitors in the summer, Manali does not lose its sheen during wintertime either. In fact, it is one of the most feted towns to see snow in India. Not only is the main town covered in a carpet of snow in winter, the higher passes close by, especially Rohtang, become the central draw for snow-themed recreational sports.

Top things to do in Manali

There are a number of things you can do in Manali, but a day trip to Rohtang Pass should be on your list. You can roam the streets of Old Manali, visit the Naggar Castle 24km away or even sit by the edge of River Beas close to town. The river is famous for rafting, but during winter, it’s best to sit back and enjoy the blanketed view.

Best time to visit Manali

Perennially pleasant to travel to, Manali has a special draw in the winter. The streets are covered in snow, and even if it fails to be snowy during your visit, a short drive to the higher altitudes lands you amidst snow-covered hills. The summers are therefore a good time to visit, too, as Manali stays cool and offers respite from the blazing heat of the plains.

Getting to Manali

The closest airport to Manali is situated about 50km away in Bhuntar. Ample cabs are available to cart you to Manali from here. Most people like to take the overnight buses from Delhi that take over 12 hours to reach, but they tend to be convenient.

3. Leh

Leh single-handedly headlines as the leading tourist destination of Jammu and Kashmir. It is accessible in the winters only by air, as the town lies 13,000 feet above sea level. Winters here are surreal. There are few visitors, and you therefore get to see a new dimension of Leh up close and personal.

Top things to do in Leh

Leh is often the base town to travel to many thrilling places in the Ladakh region, but in winters the travel radius needs to be trimmed. You can take a wonderful heritage walk in the old town, climb up to the Shanti Stupa and also visit the Leh Palace. And, of course, enjoy the magnificent snow-covered views.

Best time to visit Leh

While visiting during the summer means Leh is easier to access and offers relief from the summer heat, the wintertime is an idyllic escape and makes the journey worth every minute.

Getting to Leh

Though the three-day Manali-Leh drive is popular with travellers from across the world, accessibility in winters is only by the air. The Leh airport is well connected to Delhi.

4. Auli

Staggering views of the Himalayas from any point in Auli, plus an opportunity to learn how to ski make this one of the best places to see and enjoy snow in India. Come winter, and oak and deodar trees get covered in a sheet of white, making the whole topography magical.

Top things to do in Auli

From learning how to ski from qualified instructors, hiking to sprawling meadows and even peeping down a man-made lake called Gorson, Auli has ample things to do for a few days of vacationing. Just sitting and gazing at the Himalayan mountain range, especially Nanda Devi, keeps you tethered to view points and happily occupied.

Best time to visit Auli

Auli is a world-class destination for skiing, ensuring that it gets steady footfall from visitors in the winter. However, it’s equally charming in the summertime to beat the heat.

Getting to Auli

Dehradun is the closest airport to Auli, but the drive from here takes a good seven hours, even though the distance doesn’t seem so much. If you’re connecting via rail, then Haridwar is a good base point.

5. Mussoorie

Looming over the Dehradun valley, Mussoorie is one of the most charming hill stations and best places to see snow in north India. Located at the foot of the Himalayas, it gets snow only in the deep winter, but it’s worth your while to travel there for a glimpse.

Top things to do in Mussoorie

Home to legendary authors and thinkers, Mussoorie resonates an easygoing vibe. The only buzz is felt on the main Mall road where you can visit a high plateau called Gun Hill. A famous waterfall, Kempty Falls, is a massive draw in the summers. The Jawalaji Temple, Nag Tibba and Sursingdhar are other places of interest close by.

Best time to visit Mussoorie

Mussoorie is one of finest family destinations in India. It is a well-known hill station for the summer, but the winters are equally beautiful.

How to get to Mussoorie

The closest airport to Mussoorie lies in Dehradun, and it is also well connected by train to major cities in India. North Indian towns have bus services to the hill station as well. Otherwise, Dehradun is a veritable base that offers regular car and bus service to Mussoorie.

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