Winter season has its own joys and challenges. This season has to be experienced in the natural world. Getting outside in winter has special considerations but it can and should be done. It is a great season to visit hill stations in Northern parts of India. Get outside for a nature walk, go skiing, ice skate on the pond – simply avail the opportunity of enjoying holidays on a dreamy hill spot. So, bundle up, put on several layers and wear a warm cap and a pair of woollen socks, gloves and high shoes. This is the best way to make the most fun out of this month of vacations.
Travellers have an insatiable hunger for adventurous getaways. It is the once-in-a-lifetime experiences that make exploring new destinations so exciting. The geographic terrain of Northern India is rich and diverse, filled with majestic mountain peaks, beautiful rivers, lush green forests, scenic lakes and mosaic of grasslands. It packs an assortment of treasures for nature lovers. Hill stations in Northern India still retain their spotless beauty and attract a lot of tourists in the winter season. The mere mention of them fills every Indian with pride.
If you are in for adventure and snow does not deter you, then it is the best time to visit seven most famous hill stations this winter holiday season. They will stay with you forever.
Kashmir: For obvious reasons Kashmir is at the top of this list because of the unparalleled beauty that will catch your eyes. You will realise how fortunate you are to be here in the real paradise of earth. The opportunity to stay in a houseboat, ski in Gulmarg, visit tulip gardens and horse riding in the beautiful valley might give you an experience for which you cannot be thankful enough to Mother Nature.
Places of interest: Srinagar, Gulmarg, Sonmarg, Yusmarg, Pahalgam etc.
Activities of interest: Horse riding, staying in a houseboat, skiing, golfing, trekking etc.
Manali: Manali is quite an obvious pick for this list as the place is amazingly beautiful and has many attractions that might interest you. A drive to Rohtang pass and further to Leh is a thrilling experience. If the weather permits, you can enjoy snow scooter, skiing and mountain biking. Paragliding can also be enjoyed here at Solang Valley but in summer.
Places of interest: Rohtang Pass, Solang Valley, Rahala Waterfalls, Hidimba Temple, Vashisht Temple and Hot Springs.
Activities of interest: Paragliding, trek to Vashisht Temple, skiing etc.
Mussoorie: When you are in a holiday mood, nothing comes close to a dreamy relaxation with fun in Mussoorie. It promises the chilliest holidays as you go out making memories in the Garhwal Himalayas. You may explore popular market here including Kurli Bazaar, Landour Bazaar and Library point. All three boast of antique shops, handcrafted wooden accessories, decorative souvenirs and popular eateries in the town. A casual stroll on the Mall Road is another prime attraction to visit this place. You may also visit the Central Methodist Church at Kurli as the place bustles with a fine crowd at the time of dusk. Another most popular tourist destination here is Kempty Falls where you can get drenched and be little playful. The waterfall is a delight for the eyes. You may enjoy the magnificent top view while riding in a cable cart from Jhula Ghar to Gun Hill. The lush greenery of Doon Valley and charming landscapes leave onlookers bewitched. Watching the sun going down, painting the sky in hues of deep red and orange is just mystical.
Place of interest: Happy Valley, Benog Wildlife Sanctuary, Laal Tibba, Mussoorie Lake, Lake Mist, Kempty Falls.
Activities of interest: Cable cars, sky bridge, mountaineering, paragliding, rafting, hiking and camping, roller skating etc.
Shimla: Winter season makes the town a winter wonderland. The temperature drops to a minimum of – 2-degree c, making the air all cool and pleasant for people to rejoice. If you love the chill in the hills, Shimla is a snowy-magical land. Be it stepping out and playing in the snow or admiring the beauty of the white flakes with your family and friends from the hotel room, a holiday here is like none other than dream come true. December-January is ideally the best time to visit Shimla to witness snowfall. The mesmerising views of the snow-covered peaks and gorgeous landscapes are worth watching. Apart from winter sports, other major attractions of the town are Christmas and New Year Eve celebration. The town organises a winter carnival every year in this holiday season where a large number of people come together to have fun in the snow.
Places of interest: Ridge Road, Tara Devi Temple, Shimla State Museum, Kali Bari Temple, Mall Road, Narkanda Skiing Resort, Himalayan Bird Park, Christ Church, Vice Regal Lodge, Johnnie’s Wax Museum, Jakhoo Temple etc.
Activities of interest: Ice skating, heli-skiing, toy train ride, snowman making etc.
Auli: The beauty and landscape of Auli hill station increase many folds during winter. In the month of December and January, it becomes white heaven after the snow spells its magic on this hilly destination. It is a great attraction for the winter sports enthusiasts due to heavy snowfall which makes it ideal for winter games. In these months, Auli will receive you with a fairy tale like setting. The splendid view of the surrounding peaks create an ethereal ambience over the vacation spot and tourist attractions nearby add to its sheer beauty.
Places of interest: Gurso Bugyal, View Points, Kwani bugyal, Trishul Peak, Chenab Lake.
Activities of interest: Trekking, skiing, sunset and sunrise viewing, 360-degree view of the Himalaya and Nanda Devi.
Mcleodganj: It is a popular hill station nestled in the sublime hills of the Dhauladhar Range. It is home to charming monasteries, spellbinding waterfalls and the trendiest of cafes. The town is the perfect blend of Tibetan culture with some British flavours. With temperatures dipping below – 1-degree c, this captivating hill station is ideal for those people who find delight in the white magic of snowfalls. The snowfall of this hill station is famous for its scenic beauty.
Places of interest: Namgyal Monastery, Kangra Fort, Bhagsunath Temple, St. John’s Church, Masroor Temple.
Activities of interest: Triund trek, bonfire at Lake Glacier, meditation in Dharamkot, sightseeing, boat ride in Dal Lake, trek, hike and camp, discovering serenity at Kora Circuit, yoga sessions, spa therapies.
Dalhousie: Dalhousie is a stunning hill station that is embraced in the beautiful mountain ranges of Himachal Pradesh. Best time to visit this place in winter (December-January) if you want to witness the eerie snowfall. During these months beautiful snow clad peaks will greet you. Though the cold weather can make it difficult to handle the real beauty around you the fun of being in the snow makes it worth it! This gorgeous place provides you with a fun-packed getaway experience.
Places of interest: Khajiar, Dainkund peak, Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary, Satdhara Falls, Bakrota Hills, Panch Pulla.
Activities of interest: Trekking, river crossing, river rafting.
The bottom line is that hill stations are truly a place to see in India especially in winter season. You deserve to see the different hues of these iconic hills. Travelling here with friends and family can be more fun. So, do not lose out on so much fun that these beautiful mountains have to offer to you. Make the moments spent here last forever.
Holidays mark the advent of exciting adventures and a lot of relaxation!