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25 Best Places for Winter Holidays in North India

Like the aureate dim in the dawning sky, the outside world has from time immemorial been irresistibly attracted to India, the exotic land of history, wilderness, spiritualism and naturalism.

Timeless cities, temples, ancient Hindu and Tibetan Buddhist Kingdoms reveal the unrehearsed intimacy. With such natural and cultural diversities up for grabs, your holiday to North India during the winter will excite you, footing up the North Indian hospitality, spicy cuisines, marvelling handicrafts and celestial hamlets.

Travelling along the belt may include your itinerary the bustling city of New Delhi and centring it the Kumaon and Garhwal of Hills of ambrosial Uttarakhand or the Royal Heritage of Rajasthan and the lofty niche of the Himachal or the heavenly values of Jammu and Kashmir.

Here is a comprehensive list of places in North India for a breath-taking winter vacation.

From the Times Immemorial

  • New Delhi
  • Agra
  • Jaipur
  • Jaisalmer
  • Udaipur

From the Hills to Mind Haven

  • Manali
  • Dalhousie
  • Kasol
  • Kasauli
  • Dharamshala
  • Shimla
  • Mussoorie
  • Nainital
  • Ranikhet
  • Kausani
  • Lansdowne
  • Rishikesh
  • Auli
  • Srinagar
  • Gulmarg
  • Pahalgam
  • Patnitop

From the Nature that Breathes Wild

  • Jim Corbett National Park
  • Ranthambore National Park
  • Hemis National Park

Popular Recommended Tour Packages

New Delhi

Delhi Red Fort

The capital city of India- New Delhi, with the fusion of age-old history and varied cultural diorama, is one of the bustling tourist destinations in North India during the winter season. The city with its quaint charm that is said to be dating back to the Pandava era is one of the significant historical cities in India. The city is home to several ancient monuments, forts and churches that delineate the chapters of Indian history. Delhi’s monuments will tell you the stories of various powerful empires.

Top Sightseeing Attractions in Delhi

  • Purana Quila, Qutub Minar, Jantar Mantar, Red Fort, Jama Masjid and Humayun’s Tomb holds special tourists’ interest.
  • The ruins of Tughlaqabad Fort, Lotus Temple and Lodhi Garden and its monuments are some other heritage attractions in New Delhi.
  • The India Gate, which is close to the Parliament and Rashtrapati Bhavan, is yet another popular tourist attraction that stands as a memorial to all the Indian soldiers who lost their lives during the Indian Freedom Movement, Indo-Pak Wars and Sino-Indo Wars.
  • Rajghat, which is yet another memorial, holds a national significance and attracts tourists from all over the world.
  • Being in the city you can’t escape from the quaint charm of Chandni Chowk and the colonial ambiance of Connaught Place.
  • Chandni Chowk is one of the oldest and congested areas of the city that is noted for its multiple arrays of shops dealing in jewellery, antiques, garments and street food, ‘Parathe Wali Gali’ is a must visit place when you are in Chandni Chowk.
  • Connaught Place, which acts as a bridge between Old Delhi and New Delhi, is a popular hangout in the city with numerous multi-cuisine restaurants, pubs, shopping arcades and hotels.
  • The Akshardham Temple, which is the largest Hindu Temple in the world, exhibits a detailed picture of Indian culture and religion… thus making it another best tourist attraction in New Delhi.
  • Don’t miss out on the light and sound show. If you are travelling to New Delhi at the time of Republic Day then you must catch a glimpse of the parade in front of the Red Fort.
  • Shopaholics have a whole lot of options. S.N. Market, Lajpat Nagar, Janpath, Sadar Bazar and Palika Bazar are some of the notable shopping areas in the city where arrays of shops from garments to handicrafts and antiques to electronic goods can be found.

Temperature During Winter: 3°C to 22°C

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Agra, Uttar Pradesh

Agra - Taj Mahal

Home to one of the seven wonders of the world- the Taj Mahal, which is a marble monument built by Shah Jahan and often dubbed as a ‘symbol of love’, the mediaeval city of Agra is yet another good pick from the bucket of destinations to visit in North India during the winter. Agra dilates an eminent chapter of the Golden Era of the Mughal Empire. During the winter Agra is packed with tourists from all over the world but the marvellous sight of the Taj Mahal once you get hold of it leaves you in a state of solitude… no matter whoever knocks you from behind. The city hosts several other historical ramparts including the Agra Fort and other monuments and palaces. It is also noted for its traditional culture, architecture, marble crafts, leather products and cuisine.

Top Tourist Attractions in Agra

  • Fatehpur Sikri, which is famed for its Buland Darwaza, is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India, and is a must visit place for travellers having an interest in Indian mediaeval history.
  • The Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary makes for a refreshing getaway from Agra.
  • Jama Masjid also known as Friday Mosque, was built in the 17th century and is an outstanding example of royal magnificence. It is one of the must-see attractions in Agra.
  • Visit Sikandra Fort, tomb of Emperor Akbar. The intricate carvings on the wall of this red stone structure will surely take your breath away.
  • Jodha Bai Ka Rauza is dedicated to Akbar’s beloved wife Jodha Bai who was also his first Rajput wife. It is located in Fatehpur Sikri. The beautiful blend of Mughal and Rajput architecture makes this place one of a kind.
  • What are you doing in Agra without shopping? If you haven’t seen rare handicrafts and amazing souvenirs then you must check out the bazaars in Agra. Subhash Bazaar, Kinari Bazaar, Raja ki Mandi and Sadar Bazaar are some of the best shopping places in Agra.

Temperature During Winter: 7°C to 25°C

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Jaipur, Rajasthan

Jaipur Rajasthan

The only planned city of its time, Jaipur the capital city of royal Rajasthan still beats in its fairy tale palaces and rugged fortresses perched on hills. Today it is a blend of tradition and modernity but the colour pink is still associated with hospitality in Jaipur. Being of historical importance, the city is one of the most popular tourist destinations in North India during the winter. It is a city where a traveller can participate in a lot of activities like heritage tours, shopping traditional items and jewelleries.

Top Tourist Attractions in Jaipur

  • The City Palace, Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar, Lake Palace and Amber Fort are the major heritage sites in Jaipur.
  • In the outskirts… the Nahargarh Fort and Jaigarh Fort are the two notable heritage sites.
  • The city hosts several Hindu and Jain temples; of them the Birla Mandir, Narayan Temple, Galtaji, Choolgiri Temple, and Govind Devji Temple are the notable ones.
  • Ram Niwas Bagh, Dolls Museum, B.M. Birla Planetarium and Ghat Ki Guni are some other tourist spots in Jaipur.
  • Well, don’t miss out on the light and sound show at Kesar Kyari in Amber Fort. It is held every evening.
  • Chokhi Dhani will reveal the traditions and culture of Rajasthan in a very colourful way. Magic Shows, puppet shows, folk dances, acrobatics, boating, elephant rides and many more fun-filled activities will definitely make your day here.
  • Jeep Safari in Ranthambore National Park is one of the best things to do in Jaipur. If you have more time then also enjoy Leopard Safari at Jhalana Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • Trek to Bhuteshwarnath Mahadev Temple in Jaipur to seek divine blessings to Lord Shiva.
  • Picnic with family and friends in Jaipur at Ramgarh Lake would be the most memorable moment.

Temperature During Winter: 7°C to 25°C

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Jaisalmer, Rajasthan

Jaisalmer Fort

The remote fort city of Jaisalmer, which is located in the midst of the Thar Desert in the incredible state of Rajasthan, is yet another popular winter getaway in India. It attracts all travellers including honeymoon couples, and other leisure travellers. Wherever you set your eyes you will witness magical golden sand, Jaisalmer is one of the most beautiful destinations to visit in Winters. Rajasthan is known for its grand historical palaces and monuments; Jaisalmer is no different. This enchanting city is known for Jaisal Fort which looks mesmerising in the rays of sun.  Tourists from all across the globe come to Jaisalmer to get the feel of Arabian nights through camel rides amidst the golden desert. The city is also noted for several architectural buildings belonging to former rulers. The beauty of Jaisalmer will be etched on your memories for a long -long time.

Top Tourist Attractions in Jaisalmer

  • The Jaisalmer Fort, which is also known as ‘Sonar Quila’, housing several havelis and Jain temples, is one of the beautiful examples of craftsmanship exhibiting the rich Rajasthani style of architecture with intrinsically designed walls, carved windows and facades.
  • The Nathmalji-Ki-Haveli, Patwon-Ki-Haveli and Salim Singh-Ki Haveli are the major tourist sites that elaborate the intricate architecture and sheer craftsmanship.
  • The Gadisar Lake with numerous beautiful shrines, and Bada Bagh housing several cenotaphs are some of the best tourist places in Jaisalmer.
  • In the outskirts of Jaisalmer City, the ruins of Kuldhara village, Barna village, Khuri Desert, Moolsagar Palace and Ram Mandir are must visit places that leave travellers spell bound.
  • How can you escape from Jaisalmer without a camel safari in the SAM Dunes? That’s the only way to explore the vast stretch of the Thar Desert. The best time to visit the SAM Dunes is during the Jaisalmer Desert Festival, which is held in the month of February. It is the best way to get acquainted with Rajasthani folk culture.
  • Don’t forget to visit Tanot Mata Temple which is very close to the India- Pakistan Border. It is said that in the war of 1965 the bombs fell near the temple didn’t diffuse. Locals believe Mata Tanot herself protected the temple.
  • Akal Wood Fossil Park is another amazing tourist attraction in Jaisalmer which dates back to the prehistoric period.

Temperature During Winter: 3°C to 25°C

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Udaipur, Rajasthan

Udaipur Rajasthan

Udaipur during the winter season pulls in travellers from all over the world. Like any other cities in Rajasthan, Udaipur also comes with its own legends and much of its history is clearly visible from the picture-perfect gallery hosting palaces, gates, temples and quaint alleys. Each and every turn and bricks are preserved with heroism, valour and chivalry. Yet the city turns out to be one of the honeymoon destinations in India during the winter. It is one of the historic cities in India that is famous internationally as the most romantic destination in the world, partly because of the influence of the Lake Palace Hotel located in the middle of the placid water of Lake Pichola.

Tourist Attractions in Udaipur

  • The major attractions are the Lake Palace, Lake Pichola, City Palace, Fateh Sagar and Monsoon Palace.
  • In Udaipur you will also witness the world famous Gulab Bagh, Ahar, Pratap Memorial, Saheliyon Ki Bari, Jagdish Temple and Bhartiya Lok Kala Mandir. These are some of the best places to visit in Udaipur.
  • Ahar Museum in Udaipur would surely captivate your mind. It has a very good and rare collection of earthen pottery. It also houses a metal figure of Buddha which dates back to the 10th century.
  • If you are interested in knowing about folk art, culture, songs and festivals of Rajasthan then you must visit Bhartiya Lok Kala Mandal. It is one of the best places to know about Rajasthani artefacts in Udaipur.
  • If knowing about cars excites you then Udaipur is also blessed with a Vintage Car Collection located in Lake Palace that has awesome vintage car collections like Cardillac, Chevrolet, Morris etc.

Other Options: Close to Udaipur, Mount Abu is the only hill station in Rajasthan and is worth a visit during the winter.

Note: Other excursions on your Udaipur tour can be Kumbhalgarh, which is approximately 84 kilometres away, and Ranakpur, which is approximately 90 kilometres away.

Temperature During Winter: 7°C to 25°C

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Manali, Himachal Pradesh

Manali Snow Winter

That’s my favourite pick any time of the year and during the winter when you catch the glimpse of snowfall early in the morning… holding a cup of hot coffee in your hand, your partner being cosy with you at the same time and the stunning views of far-fetched snow-capped mountains blazing with intimacy… Ah! Nature here herself showers romanticism. I feel like rolling over the bed once again and pouring some more lovely moments into my winter trip to Manali. “WINK” but now it’s time to grab nature at her best. Manali is one of the popular hill stations in India where tranquillity dwells even in the midst of tourist crowds throughout the year.

Top Attractions in Manali

  • Nature here hosts an amazing alpine forest of Pine and Deodar trees dotted with several fruit orchards and cattle farms.
  • Manali is also a gateway to several trekking destinations in Himachal Pradesh. During the winter season you can go for some short treks in Manali like the Bhrigu Lake trek and Beas Kund trek.
  • Other popular treks around Manali are the Malana Valley and ChandraTal trek, but during winter these treks are difficult to access. Rohtang Pass, which is at an altitude of approximately 4,000 metres, is a popular tourist destination in Manali being the highest point on the Manali-Keylong road. Although access to Rohtang Pass during the months of December, January and February becomes impossible due to heavy snowfall, some crazy trekkers do make it to the point. Are you one of them?
  • Besides its breath-taking natural beauty, Manali is also notable for housing a rich and indigenous Indo-Tibetan culture.
  • The Gadhan Thehchoking Gompa and Nyingamapa Gompa are the two popular Buddhist pilgrimage sites that pull in several tourists from all over the world.
  • The quaint ambience of Vashisht village, which is approximately 3 kilometres away from Manali, is also worth a visit on your winter trip to Manali.
  • The village is far-famed for hosting several hot springs and stone houses with beautiful carvings.
  • Apart from all… the cultural clamour can be witnessed thoroughly when you visit Old Manali. The Hadimba Temple and Manu Maharishi Temple are the notable attractions here.
  • Some other beautiful places to visit around Manali are Katrain which is popular for its apple orchards and trout hatcheries; the temple town of Naggar; and Manikaran- which is an important Hindu and Sikh pilgrimage site.

Other Options Around Manali: An hour’s drive from Manali to Solang Valley, which during the winter season turns out to be one of the popular ski resorts in India, one can exploit nature with several adventure activities like skiing, zorbing and paragliding. Well… the temperature over here throughout the winter remains freezing and hence it is recommended to carry proper woollen garments if you are planning to go paragliding in Solang.

Temperature During Winter: -2°C to 15°C

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Dalhousie, Himachal Pradesh

Dalhousie Himachal

The name itself throws a distinct colonial charm. It is a place you should not miss to visit in Winters. Named after the 19th century British Governor General Lord Dalhousie, the scenic hill station in Himachal Pradesh, Dalhousie houses some of the most beautiful churches of North India. Decked with soothing snow-clad Dhauladhar Mountains, lush green emerald valleys, breath-taking Pine and Deodar Trees, pristine lakes and waterfalls, there is no chance that Dalhousie will disappoint you in any way if you are a nature lover or a couple.  Scenic natural vistas will always give refreshing vibes to a toil weary soul. It is also a place where River Ravi flows with a soothing rhythm.

Top Tourist Attractions in Dalhousie

  • The St. Patrick’s Church, St. Francis Church, and St. Andrew’s Church are the most notable ones having rich architectural work of their own with stone carvings, glass and wooden structures.
  • Besides the colonial diorama, the town’s varying altitude spreading out over the Kathlog, Potreys, Tehra, Bakrota and Balun hills is dramatically set with a dense grove of pines, deodars, oaks and rhododendrons… which almost remains covered in snow during the winter. Yes! Snowfall in Dalhousie during the winter season is the major attraction.
  • Winter is the best time to frame the panorama of the breath-taking countryside from Panchpula, Bakrota Hills and Dainkund.
  • Approximately 10 kilometres from Dalhousie, Kalatop is yet another scenic spot that also houses a wildlife sanctuary.
  • Close to Kalatop, Ahla village is one of the notable pilgrimage sites in and around Dalhousie.
  • Built in the 10th century, Laxmi Narayan Temple is one of the finest specimens of ancient architecture in Dalhousie. Talking about antiques… you must pay a visit to Satdhara, which is a stupa dating back to the Murya and Sunga period.
  • Dakshina Murti, Shivkul and Norwood Paramdham are some other cultural hubs in and around Dalhousie.
  • Also witness the beautiful blend of British and Mughal architecture Rang Mahal. Its wall paintings tell the story of life and times of Lord Krishna.
  • Mall Road and Tibetan Market in Dalhousie is an awesome place to spend quality time with family and friends and to buy amazing Himachali goods and souvenirs.

Temperature During Winter: 1°C to 10°C

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Kasol, Himachal Pradesh

Kasol, Himachal Pradesh

One of the least tapped winter destinations in Himachal Pradesh that is nestled in the luxuriant greens of the thick pines in Himachal’s Parvati Valley, Kasol during the winter season truly offers a quiet weekend getaway. The small town on the bank of River Parvati with patches of small villages in the midst of dense pinewood is a hideout ideal for an impromptu nature holiday in the Parvati Valley.

Let’s give you a visual glimpse-

Top Tourist Attractions in Kasol

  • The trek to Malana Village, which is one of the strenuous treks in Himachal Pradesh, is a good option for an adventure trip during the winter.
  • A visit to the nearby Tosh village allows you to get acquainted with the Himachali folk culture where people are extremely hospitable.
  • Kasol is well known for trout fishing and hence travellers dreaming of fishing and angling holiday in the Indian Himalayan region may whizz to Kasol in the winter months.
  • Kheerganga Trek is a must not miss trekking opportunity, the soul soothing vistas of snow-clad mountains will seduce your eyes and senses.

Other Options Around Kasol: Manikaran Sahib is one of the best places if you are looking for a peaceful and surreal destination around Kasol. It is just 6km from Kasol. Taking a holy dip in the serene hot springs of the Gurudwara is auspicious. It is believed that holy dip will wash away all the sins. You can also head to Tirthan Valley which is also one of the best nature escapes around Kasol.

Temperature During Winter: 5°C to 20°C

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Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh

Kasauli Himachal

Amid the quaint colonial ambiance, Kasauli unwraps rejuvenating elements of nature with the panorama of sprawling plains of Punjab and Haryana. The moment might drop your jaws when you catch sight of the blazing carpet of light as darkness falls. Kasauli is one of the best winter destinations in India. The cool escape from the city dust to the refreshing atmosphere that is cuddled with thick forests of pine, oak, and chestnut trees is soul pleasing.  Its colonial ambiance is reinforced by stretches of cobbled roads, shops, houses with charming facades and scores of neat little gardens and orchards.

Top Attractions of Kasauli

  • The ‘Monkey Point’ is one of the must visit places in Kasauli, which is an important pilgrimage site.
  • The Baba Balak nath Temple and Sai Baba Mandir are also two other religious sites in Kasauli, the serenity and tranquillity is just beyond words.
  • Other attractions in Kasauli include the St. Patrick’s Catholic Church that was built in 1847 AND Sunny Side, which is the oldest cottage in Kasauli, built in 1848.
  • The beauty of Gilbert Grape is one of the best things to see in Kasauli. Blend with nature to refresh your mind, body and soul completely.
  • Sunset Point of Kasauli will melt all the tiredness of the day. Just come here once.

Temperature During Winter: 3°C to 15°C

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Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh

Dharamshala-McLeodganj

Extolled as one of the picturesque hill stations in India that lies on the spur of the Dhauladhar Range and dotted with thick groves of Oak and Conifer trees, Dharamshala is no doubt a great escape during the winter season. It’s not just about the distinct culture of the Indo-Tibetans that has helped Dharamshala gain fame internationally as “The Little Lhasa in India ”, being the seat of His Holiness The Dalai Lama… BUT the traditional fusion of several tribal communities makes Dharamshala one of the important cultural hubs in Himachal Pradesh. It is indeed one of the best places to visit in winter.

Top Tourist Attractions in Dharamshala

  • Step into the Kotwali Bazar, which is a good shopping area, and McLeod Ganj, which has arrays of shops selling Tibetan handicrafts.
  • During the winter season the international cricket stadium overlooking the mighty Dhauladhar mountains is one of the spectacular sights that remain covered with thick patches of snow.
  • The Serene and soothing vibes of Namgyal Monastery will take all your worries and is one of the major tourist attractions in Dharamshala.
  • Kangra Art Museum, War Memorial showcases the objects of Buddhist and Tibetan culture. It also houses modern paintings and sculptures, fabrics, weapons, utensils, statues that will amaze your senses.
  • Kunal Pathri Temple, St. John’s Church, Aghanjar Mahadev Temple and Kangra Chamunda Devi Temple are some of the very popular religious places to see in Dharamshala.
  • Mansoor Rock cut Temple in Dharamshala has a great universal value. It dates back to the 8th century. The 15 monolithic temples of Indo Aryan architecture are the centre of attraction.
  • Escape from the chaos of the world and leave all your tiredness in Naddi Village. It is a hidden piece of nature near Dharamshala.

Temperature During Winter: 1°C to 12°C

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Shimla, Himachal Pradesh

Shimla Himachal Pradesh Feature

Even though it remains one of the bustling hill stations in India throughout the year, Shimla during the winter season turns out to be a fantasy world. Nature herself boasts off a scenic spectacle with layers of snow bedded over the thick alpine forest AND the panorama from the Ridge of snow-capped mountain ranges engulfed in the beauty of nature is worth a capture. Colonial charm and traditional Himachali setup makes Shimla a very beautiful place for photography. The lofty hills, Himalayan Oak Trees, Rhododendrons, stunning Cedar and Fir trees, clouds resembling white cotton candy above the hills are some amazing scenes to die for.

Top Tourist Attractions in Shimla

  • It is the best time, especially in the months of December and January, to go for a forest trail that runs towards the villages of Kamina and Pabo. If you are lucky some bird species can also be sighted.
  • A short trek to Tattapani is also recommended as one of the adventure activities in Shimla during the winter season.
  • Further, if you are looking for some more adventure then just whizz your wheels an hour snaking through the mountains to Kufri, which lies at an altitude of 2,622 metres and is one of the notable skiing destinations in the Indian Himalayan region with varying slopes.
  • Just when you find the temperature dipping and you run out of warm garments, check out some quality woollens, jackets and shawls arrayed down the mall, which is one of the longest stretches of pedestrian shopping in the world. It also has arrays of hops dealing in traditional handicrafts, miniature paintings, jewellery, metal wares, rugs and carpets.
  • Close to the Mall is the Himachal State Museum, which is one of the finest examples of craftsmanship from the colonial era. It exhibits a huge collection of coins, photographs and handicrafts.
  • The Gaiety Heritage Cultural Complex, which is another colonial architecture built in a Gothic Victorian Style; Shimla State Museum built in 1974; George Castle are some of the prominent tourist attractions in Shimla.
  • The temperature might get very freezing during the winter, BUT one must step into the Christ Church that was built by the British in 1857 in the Neo-Gothic style of architecture and is one of the long-lasting legacies of the British Raj.
  • On the other hand, the Jakhoo Temple, which is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman, is one of the important Hindu pilgrimage sites in Shimla AND one can even get hold of beautiful views of the Shivalik mountains and the nearby town of Sanjauli. Other popular religious sites are Tara Devi Temple and Sankat Mochan.
  • A visit to Naldehra which hosts India’s oldest nine-hole golf course and Chail which holds the unique distinction of being the highest cricket pitch in the world… completes your tour to Shimla during the winter season.

Temperature During Winter: 1°C to 12°C

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Mussoorie, Uttarakhand

Snowfall in Mussoorie

With green rifts of the Doon Valley at an altitude of 1,880 m, Mussoorie takes one back to the colonial past through its tralatitious appetising cuisine and magnificent architectures. With an abounding trekker-friendly area, stunning chatoyant natural panorama and glistering lakes, Mussoorie is also dotted with slushing waterfalls and shrubby forest. No doubt why this serene and surreal destination is one of the most visited hill stations in India during winters. This Hill station was discovered by Captain Young in 1825.

Top Tourist Attractions in Mussoorie

  • Mussoorie is a paradise for hikers. Lal Tibba Trek is one of the most popular treks you can indulge in to get the most beautiful vistas of the city from the hills. It is the highest point in the city.
  • Kempty falls on the way to New Tehri is the most popular tourist destination. Majestic mountain ranges and scenic waterfalls will add delight to your winter trip.
  • Among the several other tourist spots, Sir George Everest House is often visited by tourists.
  • Jharipani Falls will absolutely calm your inner chaos and give you serene vibes if you are a nature lover.
  • Boating in the Lake mist is one of the best things to do in Mussoorie with your loved ones. You can also visit Mussoorie Lake which is one of the best picnic spots to spend some fun filled moments.
  • Camel’s Back Road in Mussoorie is an interesting sightseeing place as it resembles the hunched back of a camel. Dotted with lush greenery around, it is quite blissful to walk here.
  • Cable Car Ride in Mussoorie is one of the most alluring experiences to get in Mussoorie. It starts from Jhula Ghar to Gun Hill.
  • If you are an adventure lover then Mussoorie Adventure Park is a perfect place to be in. You can enjoy Zip lining, trekking, camping and skywalks to taste the pleasure of thrill.

Temperature During Winter: 5°C to 20°C

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Nainital, Uttarakhand

Nainital Snowfall Destination

Located in the Kumaon region, Nainital, popularly known as the Lake District in India, is the weekend gateway for domestic tourists and a beguiling sashay for foreign tourists round the year. It is a very peaceful and relaxing retreat to spend your summer as well as winter holidays in India. Refreshing natural vistas surrounded in lofty mountains lures the travellers. Nainital becomes delightfully chaotic in the evening due to the hustle and bustle of tourists in Mall Road. You will be able to witness the local lifestyle, enjoy amazing street food and just walk around the scenic Naina Lake. The entire experience of travelling in Nainital is amazing to cherish for a lifetime.

Top Tourist Attractions in Nainital

  • At a height of 1,938 m, Naini Lake, holding a perpetual Hindu myth, is a summer retreat in the heart of Nainital.
  • A pony ride or a very short trek up to the Naina peak, en route through shrubby forests, at an elevation of 2,615 m, which is the highest point in Nainital, offers a panoramic view of distant snow-clad peaks like Nanda Devi, Trishul and Nanda Kot. These peaks can also be clear-sighted from Snow View Point.
  • Orienting towards a quest for more natural virtue Nainital is bonded with hermit destinations like Mukteshwar, offering an unhindered view of majestic Himalayan range; Bhimtal Lake, which is larger than Naini Lake; Sat Tal, a cluster of seven small interconnected lakes in the mystic oak forest; Khurpa Tal, and a trowel lake; NaukuchiaTal, a nine-cornered lake.
  • Kilbury is a weekend picnic spot popular for its flora and fauna and Pangot, a thick forest of oak, bamboo and deodar is a sight you must visit to soothe your soul.

Temperature During Winter: 2°C to 15°C

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Ranikhet, Uttarakhand

Snowfall in Ranikhet

The “Queen’s Meadow” with lush green conifer forests, hearty ambience, placid surroundings, emerald green valleys and ancient temples is for sure making it a year-round destination for tourists. In Winter Ranikhet looks fantastic. Ranikhet– the tiny hill paradise, is just a couple of hours drive from Nainital. It is a small and scenic hilly cantonment town with very soothing vibes. Lush green mountain sides, the beauty of which would be highlighted by dense fog hovering over it and the entire surroundings will be the centre of attraction.

Myth: It is said that Rani Padmini who was a wife of Raja Sukherdev was mesmerised by the alluring beauty of Ranikhet. She desired to live in Ranikhet forever. King Sukherdev fulfilled her wish and built their residence at this place. Hence this place is known as Ranikhet – Queen’s Meadow.

Top Attractions to See in Ranikhet

  • Surrounded by the lofty Himalayan mountains, Ranikhet houses one of the highest golf courses in Asia. If you enjoy this spot you can surely visit Gold Ground in Ranikhet.
  • Nature walks at Chaubatia Garden and witnessing amazing Peaks like Nanda Devi, Trishul and Nilkanth from here will make your day in Ranikhet.
  • Rani Jheel at ranikhet is a wonderful place to spend some fun moments with loved ones. It is a great picnic spot.
  • Bhalu Dam is an amazing place to seduce your senses with beautiful nature views and bird watching in Ranikhet.
  • Sunset Point and cool Himalayan breeze, no one should miss that in Ranikhet.
  • Seek divine blessings from Maa Manila in Manila Devi Temple if you are in Ranikhet. The breath-taking views of mountains and lush greenery makes this place worth a visit.

Temperature During Winter: 7°C to 20°C

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Kausani, Uttarakhand

Kausani

Yet another spectacular hideout in the hills of Garhwal, Kausani in winter elaborates a striking environment with the Someshwar Valley on one side and Katyuri Valley on the other. The landscape is dotted with dense pine trees and shadowed by the scenic spectacle of Himalayan peaks like Trishul, Nanda Devi and Panchachuli… can’t be compared with any other hill stations in the Garhwal region. The quaint hill station with its picture-perfect ambiance has been a favourite place for several notable personalities like Mahatma Gandhi and Sumitranandan Pant. The chir and blue Pine forests, breathtaking Himalayan Peaks, beautiful sunrise, gorgeous creeks, sweet chirping of around 50 indifferent species of birds makes this place more beautiful than heaven. It is one of the best places to visit in winters.

Top Tourist Attractions of Kausani

  • The Anashakti Ashram, where Gandhi spent some days and wrote his commentary of Anashakti yoga, is one of the major attractions in Kausani.
  • The ancient Baijnath Temple, which dates back to the 12th century, and the Someshwar Temple, which was crafted by the Chand Dynasty, are the major pilgrimage sites around Kausani and are considered historically significant.
  • The Rudradhari Mahadev Temple on the way to the Adi-Kailash trek is yet another spiritual site near Kausani.
  • During the winter, the Kausani Tea Estate turns into a must visit place. It is spread over an area of 208 hectares and stretches from an elevation of 1,200 metres to 1,800 metres.

Temperature During Winter: 2°C to 15°C

Other Interesting Blog to Read

Lansdowne, Uttarakhand

Bhula Tal Lansdowne

One of the quaint winter destinations in the Garhwal Himalayan region- Lansdowne despite being a popular weekend getaway from nearby cities is remote in its own way. The colonial atmosphere surrounded by the pristine environment that is thickly bedded with oak and pine forest represents a fusion of history and nature. During the winter season the salubrious weather leaves an indelible impact on the tourists. It is the perfect place where you can indulge in several recreational activities like birding, boating and hiking.

Top Attractions in Lansdowne

  • The grand view of the Himalayan ranges from Tip-In-Top simply makes your trip to Lansdowne a memorable one. It is worth capturing the panorama of India’s highest peak, Nanda Devi, and its surrounding peaks from this point.
  • Close to Tip-In-Top, the St. Mary’s Church is one of the finest examples of the rich architecture from the colonial era that attracts several tourists.
  • The Garhwal Rifles Regimental War Memorial, Garhwali Mess and St. John’s Church are some other major attractions in Lansdowne.
  • Bhulla Tal is another popular tourist spot having historical significance. It is one of the best picnic spots in Lansdowne. Boating is the best thing to do here.
  • A short trek to Hawaghar that passes through Khyber Pass is recommended for those looking for some adventure activities during the winter season in Lansdowne.

Temperature During Winter: 5°C to 17°C

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Rishikesh, Uttarakhand

Rishikesh-Weekend Destination

“The yoga capital of the world”, Rishikesh, solitude of meditation and yoga, solenoid for aesthetics, is in the foothills of Himalaya. The religious town, in other words, is also far-famed for white-water rafting and gateway to hazardous trekking destinations. Moreover, it is the most visited place in India as it is the starting point of holy Char Dham Yatra, the journey is very sacred in Hindu culture. It is decked with numerous temples and Yoga ashrams. Those who want to dive deeper into spirituality and self-introspection must visit Rishikesh.

Top Attractions of Rishikesh

  • Laxman Jhula (hanging bridge) above the River Ganga is one of the major attractions in Rishikesh.
  • Seek divine blessings from Lord Shiva in Neelkanth Mahadev Temple.
  • Holy dip in the Triveni Ghat and witnessing Ganga Aarti in the evening is one of the best things to do in Rishikesh. The vibe here is ethereal.
  • Visit Beatles ashram for its serene surroundings and stunning natural vistas. It is named as Beatles ashram because the Beatles Band once visited here for self- introspection.
  • Neel Garh Waterfall will leave you spellbound with its beauty near the gorgeous Laxman Jhula.
  • Kaudiyala is the best place to try rafting if you are an adventure lover in Rishikesh.
  • An integral part of the divine Raghunath Temple, the Pond of Sages – Rishikund is a great place to seek peace in Rishikesh.
  • The symmetric architecture and blissful vibes of Tera Manzil Temple will leave you awestruck in Rishikesh.

Temperature During Winter: 7°C to 20°C

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Auli, Uttarakhand

Auli, Uttarakhand

It is the perfect haven during the winter season for adventure lovers. Over the years Auli has gained prominence as one of the best ski resorts in India and is a gateway to numerous trekking destinations in the Garhwal Himalayan region. The majestic view from the cable car of the lofty Himalayan peaks like Trishul, Mana, Kamet and Nanda Devi undoubtedly leave you in a ‘Peace of Mind’. Treks like Auli – Gorson, Kuari Pass and Tapovan further allow you to get acquainted with the snow-laden wilderness of the Garhwal Himalaya during the winter.

Top Attractions to Visit in & around Auli

  • Auli is entirely covered in snow during winters. Skiing is the best thing to do here for the most wonderful travel experience in North India. You will witness gorgeous Mt Nanda DeviKamet, Mana Parwat, Nilkanth, Beethartoli, Hathi Parbat and Ghori Parbat.
  • Camping amidst the lofty mountains dotted with forests and star laden sky would please your soul.
  • Cable Car Ride to witness lofty Himalayan Peaks would leave you in a blissful trance forever.
  • Enjoy the amazing wildlife of Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve.
  • Witness the breath-taking beauty of Chatra Kund Lake.
  • Shopping at Joshimath Market will never make your day boring in Auli.

Temperature During Winter: -4°C to 14°C

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Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir

Dal Lake Srinagar Snow Tourist Place

Come hell or high-water Srinagar with its sparkling Dal Lake, colourful gardens and picturesque nature has always attracted travellers since time immemorial. But if you are travelling to Srinagar in winter… then you will find much of its natural beauty dressed in snow. The Dal Lake remains frozen almost from December to February and hence there is least possibility that you can go for a shikara ride. Don’t worry… you have much to explore in the city even during the winter. Many travellers travel to Srinagar during the winter just to experience the snowfall. Perched at an elevation of 1,585 meters in the landlocked territory of Kashmir, the city is largely influenced by the predominantly Muslim culture that reflects from the several monuments including tombs and mosques.

Top Attractions of Srinagar

  • The Hazratbal Shrine, Jama Masjid, Aali Masjid, Stone Mosque, tomb of the mother of Zain-ul-abidin and tomb of Pir Haji Muhammad are the major tourists’ attractions in Srinagar.
  • The traditional Kashmiri handicrafts – pashmina shawl, silverware, brassware, wooden furniture, carpet and rug – simply capture the imagination of travellers seeking the cultural essence of the Kashmiri people.
  • The Arts Emporium and SPS Museum are the best places to visit in Srinagar where arrays of traditional Kashmiri handicrafts are on display.
  • The Pari Mahal overlooking the Mughal Garden, Nigeen Lake and Royal Springs Golf Course are some other major tourist attractions in Srinagar.
  • The Old City of Srinagar having a quaint charm holds travellers’ minds.
  • The Hari Parbat is one of the major attractions in the old city of Srinagar. Ah! Don’t forget to spend a couple of nights in a houseboat… that’s one of the few luxurious activities in Srinagar WORTH experiencing.

Temperature During Winter: -5°C to 15°C

Also Read: Shikara Ride in Kashmir

Gulmarg, Jammu and Kashmir

Gulmarg Snow Tourist Places

When the sprawling green meadows of Gulmarg are bedded with thick layers of snow… it seizes the mind of some adventurous pioneers who cool their heels the entire year just for a thrilling winter holiday in Gulmarg, Kashmir. It sounds like I’m talking about some crazy skiers sliding down the mountain slopes and shearing through the ice, which is no doubt an attraction if you are a spectator. But when you are on the ski the story is a bit different. Gulmarg at an elevation of 2,690 metres is one of the popular skiing resorts in India and also an ideal winter getaway for leisure seekers.  It is one of the best snowfall destinations to visit in India during winter.

Top Attractions of Gulmarg

  • The breath-taking view of the Himalaya from the ‘Gulmarg Gondola ‘, which is one of the highest cable cars in the world, reaching approximately 4,000 metres, is another major tourist attraction in Gulmarg.
  • The Alpathar Lake, which remains frozen during the entire winter season; Baba Reshi Shrine, which is dedicated to a Muslim scholar and saint Baba Reshi; and St. Mary’s Church, a lively and religious heritage from the colonial era are other tourist spots in Gulmarg.
  • Travellers seeking for more adventure may go for short hikes OR treks. Gulmarg-Khilanmarg, Gulmarg-Apharwat in Gulmarg-Alpather trekking trails are very popular among the trekking enthusiasts.
  • Majestic views of Nanga Parbat, enchanting snow-covered valleys and dense forests makes a traveller’s adventure holiday in the Indian Himalayan region rejuvenating one.

Temperature During Winter: -3°C to 19°C

Also Check Out: Gulmarg Tour Packages

Pahalgam, Jammu and Kashmir

Pahalgam Snow Tourist Places

Pahalgam is a haven for leisure capers even during the peak winter season when the entire mountain range as well as the rough terrain is perfectly layered in snow. It is one of the popular hill stations in North India and is perched at an elevation of 2,740 metres in the breath-taking Kashmir Valley. With its rich flora and fauna and snow-clad mountains, Pahalgam makes for a perfect countryside winter escape from Srinagar. The Betaab Valley having vast natural exposure, which is approximately 15 kilometres from Pahalgam, is another beautiful place to visit for travellers. Horse riding is one of the must-do things when you are in Pahalgam.

Adventure activities in Pahalgam also include the trek to Sheshnag Lake and river rafting in the River Lidder. Aru Valley makes for another beautiful excursion from Pahalgam during the winter season. It is noted for its scenic meadows and sparkling alpine lakes.

Top Attractions of Pahalgam

  • A gorgeous and peaceful abode of Lord Shiva near the Liddar River known as Mamal temple is a must visit place here.
  • If you want to make your day in Pahalgam more exciting with adventures and fun filled moments then don’t forget to visit Liddar Amusement Park with your family and friends.
  • Ancient ruins of Avantipur Temple near Srinagar- Pahalgam highway will blow your heart away.
  • Chandanwari is a visual treat for travellers in Pahalgam. It offers snow clad mountain vistas and breath-taking waterfall views. It is a starting point for the holy Amarnath Trek.
  • Cascading waterfalls, enchanting treks, alluring rivers makes Lolab Valley one of the soothing places to visit near Pahalgam.

Temperature in Pahalgam: -3°C to 12°C

Also Check Out: Pahalgam Tourism Packages

Patnitop, Jammu and Kashmir

Patnitop Jammu Kashmir

It is another amazing snowy hub you have picked; Patnitop is an amazing winter destination in North India. It offers stunning views of the Pir Panjal range and hosts several adventure activities like paragliding, trekking, hiking, camping and rock climbing. Paragliding in Patnitop becomes a bit tough during the winter season because of the freezing temperature, BUT if you are prepared then that’s going to make your holiday in Kashmir more exciting. Further, camping and scenic nature walks in the vicinity of Sansar Lake, which is approximately 20 kilometres from Patnitop, are two major activities worth a try for leisure travellers. Small villages like Kud and Batote near Patnitop, surrounded by thickly wooded Cedar and Pine forests, allow you to soak in the charming Kashmiri culture.

Temperature in Winter: -3°C to 18°C

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Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand

Jim Corbett National Park Tiger

Home to several animal, bird and plant species, the Jim Corbett National Park in the foothills of the Kumaon Himalaya is one of the refreshing and thrilling winter escapes in North India. The breath-taking environment of hills, waterfalls, rivulets and dense forest teeming with many rare species of plants simply makes it a haven for naturalists.

It is the oldest national park in India and is also the first Tiger Reserve. The Jim Corbett National Park is spread over an area of 521 square kilometres and is home to several animal species like tiger, leopards, jungle cat, fishing cat, leopard cat, barking deer, sambar deer, hog deer and chital, Sloth and Himalayan black bears, Indian grey mongoose, otters, yellow-throated martens, Himalayan goral, Indian pangolins, and langur and Rhesus macaques. Amongst the bird species… the crested serpent eagle, blossom-headed parakeet and the red junglefowl are the major attractions.

During the winter season the Jim Corbett National Park becomes one of the busiest wildlife safari zones in India. Thousands of wildlife enthusiasts from all over the world pay a visit to get hold of the lush green laden wilderness on their wildlife safari tour in Jim Corbett National Park.

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Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan

Ranthambore National Park

Located approximately 150 kilometres from Jaipur, the Ranthambore National Park is one of the popular national parks in India in the incredible state of Rajasthan. It is the largest home of tigers in India and also houses several other animal and bird species.

Amongst the animal species… leopard, nilgai, wild boar, sambar, hyena, sloth bear and chital are the common attractions whereas Greylag Goose, Woodpeckers, Common Kingfishers, Bee Eaters, Cuckoos, Parakeets, Asian Palm Swift, Owl, Nightjars, Pigeon, Dove, Crakes, Sandpipers, Great Crested Grebe, Eagles, Egrets, Herons, Ibis, Pelicans, Storks, Cuckoo-Shrikes, Minivets, Flycatchers, Wagtails, Munias, Bulbul, Mynas, Falcons etc. are common sights amongst the bird species.

The national park covers an area of 392 square kilometres and comprises dry deciduous forests sprawling over an undulating terrain across the Aravalli and Vindhya ranges.

The lovely Jogi Mahal and ruins of Ranthambore Fort are the two heritage attractions inside the park. Besides, Padam Talab, Rajbagh and Milak Talab are the three most jaw breaking sites where you can catch a glimpse of several species of animals and birds including tigers on your wildlife safari tour in Ranthambore National Park.

During the winter season the park remains a hot spot for several wildlife lovers as it is the best time to see nature and wilderness at its best. Some other attractions around Ranthambore National Park are Khandar Fort, Mansarovar Lake, Bhoori Pahari Sand Dunes, Soorwal Lake, Chauth Ka Barwara and Karauli. Don’t forget to shop for some “Khas” products, especially perfumes.

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Hemis National Park, Ladakh

Hemis National Park

When time knocks your mind to do some crazy adventure activities in the peak of winter. All of a sudden you see yourself in the snow-laden wilderness of Hemis National Park. Located in the catchments of Markha, Sumdah, Rumbak and parts of the Zanskar Range in the state of Ladakh, the Hemis National Park is the largest national park in India that stretches across approximately 4,000 square kilometres of land ranging from a height of 3,500 metres to 6,000 metres.

During the winter season… the Snow Leopard in the Rumbak catchment area is the major attraction. Nonetheless, it is a home to several other endangered species of animals and birds that include the Tibetan Wolf, Eurasian Brown Bear, Red Fox, Golden Eagle, Lammergeier Vulture and Himalayan Griffon Vulture. The high-altitude national park in India is also a home to Argali, Bharal, Shapu and Asiatic Ibex. Access to Hemis National Park during the winter season becomes a bit difficult because of its altitude and extreme cold climate. Hence it is recommended only for travellers having prior high-altitude experiences during the winter.

Also Read: Wildlife Tourism in Ladakh

One winter in a year yet there is so much to see and do. Even things about travelling to these destinations makes us feel so excited that we can’t express it in words. If you feel the same right now then this blog will definitely help you in planning an amazing winter trip in India. Do share your feedback and valuable comments in the comment section of this blog. There are so many places if we have missed any please tell us. We will be delighted to hear from you.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q.How does the weather remain in Northern India during winters?

No doubt it is universally acknowledged the real bliss of winters can only be felt in north India because Why not? It is decked with lofty Himalayan Mountains which makes the weather chilled. At some places in North India the weather in winter is quite moderate to enjoy sightseeing but most of the places are covered in thick blanket of snow which makes North India the most preferred region to enjoy winter holidays in India. Some places even touch -0-degree Celsius. Normal winter temperature is around 6 degree to 10-degree Celsius in North India.

Q.What are the top places to visit with family in winters in North India?

  • Auli
  • Gulmarg
  • Srinagar
  • Nainital
  • Mussoorie
  • Dalhousie
  • Shimla
  • Manali
  • Kausani
  • Jaipur
  • Mount Abu
  • Kinnaur
  • Kasol
  • Munsiyari
  • Udaipur
  • Ranikhet
  • Delhi

Q.What are the top destinations to visit in North India to enjoy the Snowfall experience?

  • Auli
  • Gulmarg
  • Sonmarg
  • Manali
  • Ladakh
  • Patnitop
  • Narkanda
  • Shimla
  • Dalhousie
  • Almora
  • Tawang
  • Mussoorie

Q.What are the top destinations for honeymoon couples to visit in North India?

  • Gulmarg
  • Sonmarg
  • Srinagar
  • Patnitop
  • Mussoorie
  • Shimla
  • Manali
  • Kullu
  • Tawang
  • Ladakh
  • Udaipur
  • Jaipur
  • Jaisalmer
  • Almora
  • Ranikhet
  • Munsiyari
  • Nainital

Published: 29 Dec, 2021

About the author

Swairik Das

Brought up from the cultural capital of India, Kolkata, Swairik Das is a passionate traveller who seeks to travel and explore the length and breadth of the country. He is also a dedicated travel writer, blogger and photographer who by heart is also an adventure freak. His focus is mostly into exploring and writing on trekking, jungle safaris and several adventure activities; religion, festival, heritage, people and cuisine.