India is geographically such a diverse nation that from North to South we have so much variation not only in culture and cuisine but also naturally and meteorologically. However, most of the population being concentrated in warmer areas and at low altitudes means that the majority of us have never experienced snowfall or bone-chilling weather.
If you happen to be one of these, then it is time to change that; armed with our list of places to see snow in India, there is no need to wait any longer. Grab your woollies and head for the hills to see what all the fuss is about.
Snow Places In India
Sonamarg, meaning gold meadow, is a treasure located within the Kashmir valley at an altitude of over two and a half thousand meters. Covered in a thick blanket of snow in the winters, this place has become popular with visitors from all over the country wanting to get a firsthand experience of the extreme cold. Enjoy skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling and much more at this tourism driven town.
- Tips: Snow can be experienced here as late as mid-April
2. North Sikkim
Bordering China and Nepal, Sikkim is one of the snowiest places in the country. With the area getting covered in a white carpet of snow from as early as November, access during the peak months can be restricted with road closures due to the harsh weather.
If you are interested in doing a trek into the mountains then this is one place you have to visit but come prepared as Mother Nature can be as unforgiving as she is beautiful in these parts.
- Tips: Check weather forecast everyday before you head out trekking
One of the most famous hill stations in India, visited by not only nationals but many from all over the globe, Manali gets its fair share of snowfall each year. Surrounded by the Himalayas in the distance, this town in Himachal Pradesh is beautiful during the cold months and host to many winter sporting activities and events.
If you plan on visiting the popular Rohtang Pass while in Manali, then be sure to before January as road can get inaccessible after.
- Tips: Head to Solang Valley for some fun activities
Easily one of the most popular places to visit in the summers to get away from the heat, Gulmarg is a winter wonderland in the cold season. Serving as base camp for the hundreds of mountaineers that visit each year, this North Indian hill resort town is filled with activities like snowboarding, snowmobiling and skiing too.
- Tips: Be sure to ride in the Cable Gondola
At an altitude of almost two thousand meters, Nainital, also known as the city of lakes, is situated in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand. A former British Raj resort village, the place has become a hot spot for skiers and mountaineers looking for more than just a novice experience.
Summers here are extremely cool and pleasant though winters can be harsh and snowfall can be unforgiving at time so come early or at the end of winter if you want to see the best of both.
- Tips: The ropeway cable car takes you to Snow Point
If snow is what you want to see, then head up to Ladakh during the winter but be warned, that is probably all you will witness during this harsh time of year. Popular all the same, Ladakh in the winter attracts a different type of tourist; adventurers that are looking to push themselves to the limit and if you happen to be one these admired few, then pack your gear and set out on the journey of a lifetime, checking the most coveted trails off your list.
- Tips: Take the challenging 9 day trek across the frozen Zanskar River
This little hill station town has always been known for its religious tourism on account of the numerous holy sites in an around the area; however, over the recent years it has come to be equally famous for its perfectly snow covered slopes – ideal for skiing. A number of national and international competitions are hosted here too, resulting in the place being very conducive for visitors.
- Tips: January to March is peak season on the slopes
Nestled in the Shiwalik ranges of the Himalayas, Patnitop is a peaceful and lazy little hamlet. Dense evergreen forests surround the village making for some amazing trekking and exploration. A great place to not only see but actually experience a white winter as there are plenty activities here too such as paragliding, snowboarding, skiing and sledding.
- Tips: Be sure to book a room before going
At 2700 meters above sea level, the Narkanda hill station, close to Shimla, is a great place for fun in the snow. Some of the most forgiving slopes here are ideal for novices to learn skiing and snowboarding with numerous places offering gear on hire as well as classes. The surrounding forests and apple orchards are also best visited in the winter months as they add a kind of magic to this spectacular scenery.
- Tips: Make a trip to Jalori Pass nearby
The Roopkund area in the Garhwal Himalayas is covered in snow most of the year but offers a chance to go on an expedition that needs not only endurance but nerves of steel. The trek along the frozen Roopkund lake is exciting and eerie as is the quiet and dense snow covered forest. Not for the faint hearted or inexperienced, if you have what it takes to complete the 9 day journey be sure to make a booking in advance.
- Tips: Summers here are less intense but equally beautiful with some snow
An absolute favorite place for Indians to visit in the summer to beat the city heat, Shimla is even more spectacular and fun during the winter months. If you have never witnessed snow before then this has to be the place you go first. An absolute holiday destination, the once summer capital for British officers is now a first class hill station resort with easy and fun snow filled activities.
- Tips: The colonial architecture is well worth exploring
Part of the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, Munsiyari is a little village situated at the foothills of the Himalayas. The name literally translating to “place with snow” means that you will definitely find a lot of if it here. Also fondly called Little Kashmir, Munsiyari is equally scenic and offers visitors a chance to experience the heavy snowfall of the region in the security of this town that acts as basecamp to many mountaineers.
- Tips: The weather here is severe so come prepared
Located within Himachal Pradesh, Dalhousie was once the summer retreat town for English bureaucrats during the British raj. Nowadays, the hill station is frequented not only during the summers but even when it is snowing as this has become a great attraction for the majority of Indians that have never experienced snow. Covered in a white carpet, the place offers a lot of winter activities as well as great tours.
- Tips: Travel packages offer great activities and sightseeing
Close to Ranikhet, Almora is another famous hill station in the Uttarakhand region of North India. With a rich culture of its own as well as many colonial influences, the diversity in this hilly town can be experienced everywhere from the architecture to the food. Mostly visited during the summer to escape the hot cities in the surrounding districts, Almora is a winter wonderland in the cold season and see people visiting from all over the globe looking to get away and chill out.
- Tips: Kausani and Ranikhet nearby are great to see snow too
Better known as the Switzerland of Sikkim, Katao is a magnificent hill station about 150 kilometers from Gangtok. Plan a day at this place if you happening to be visiting the state capital during the winter and you will see some of the most spectacular winter scenery imaginable. A snowy paradise, the area is under heavy army surveillance which is redistricting but reassuring at the same time.
- Tips: Some areas require a permit issued by the army at check posts
A gem in the North East, Tawang is a mystical and serene place; snow covered mountains in the background, lush evergreen forests and gushing waterfalls all make this a wonderful experience and if you happen to be looking for some snow then come during December and January. Surrounded by not only natural beauty but also history and culture, be sure to explore this cool town.
- Tips: Be sure to visit the Sela Pass
With so many snowy options to go to all you now need is to pack your warm clothes and make your way to the hills with this list.