Best 10 winter escapes in India this year
In this post, I will be talking about just some of the fantastic winter escapes in India. That’s right. It is not all camels and baking sunshine. Here you will learn everything you need to know about making the most out of the surprisingly harsh winter.
It is easy to forget that India is like many small countries all wrapped up inside one border. I know we dont think of this part of the world as cold. In reality, some parts of the county can become completely inaccessible due to massive snowfall, and the people become entirely snowed in until spring.
In other parts of the country, the conditions are at their very best as the monsoon would have receded and things would be just as green as they can be without the torrential downpours. I think it must be screamingly obvious that India becomes flooded with tourists at this time but there are still vast stretches of the country that will be devoid of anyone. No matter what you are looking for on your winter holiday India has you covered.
Top 10 winter escapes in India
Before I start, I would like to point out that India is a vast country, so it is wise not to cram too much into your itinerary, especially if you plan to get off the beaten track. Things run in time rather than on time in much of the country and while this is endearing, it can also be frustrating if you have planned more than is reasonable.
It is very wise to make a coherent plan for while you are away. What do you want from your time and what do you want to see? If you are unsure how to do that, please check out my in-depth blog on how to plan a trip to India in five easy steps. and we can get you travelling like a pro in no time.
Now on to the good stuff. Here are my top ten winter escapes in India. No matter if you have one week or one month, there is something worthwhile that you can invest your valuable time into in this epic country.
Darjeeling is at the top of my list for winter escapes in India if you are on the road over Christmas. Honestly speaking, it is the one place that it will actually feel like Christmas while you travel. We are talking Christmas trees, carols and picture-perfect churches that could easily feature on the front of a biscuit tin. I even managed to get a proper Christmas dinner here. What’s more all of this is under the shadow of the mighty Himalayas. There are endless chances for soul charging walks in the hills, so it is a win-win situation when you decide to come here on your winter break.
Shimla is another incredible place to choose to spend your precious time away during the winter. The centre of town is filled with beautiful architecture that you can while away the hours exploring. It too is in the foothills of the Himalayas, so there are plenty more walking opportunities around here. It can feel like you are stepping into another time entirely, especially when you arrive in Shimla by steam train! Needless to say, this deserves to be at the top of the list.
The town of Gulmarg is in Kashmir. It is not the town that draws in the crowds as much as it is the ski slopes around the area. The skiing industry is much less developed than in Europe, but there are fine stretches of powdery white snow to sink your skies into nonetheless. In the winter, it pays to at least fly into Srinagar as the road to Leh will be frozen solid, and you will have to make the same journey back for hundreds of kilometres if you choose to come. These are slopes reserved for the intrepid, although I still wholeheartedly recommend Gulmarg for the ski enthusiasts among us.
The Chader Ice Trek.
The Chader Ice Trek has to be one of the most challenging treks imaginable. It follows the frozen Zanskar river along its furthest reaches. It is known to be both dangerous and beautiful in the extreme. I had to include it in this post as I know there are a lot of hardcore adventure lovers who read my blogs and I want something in here for everyone. For more information on the Chader ice trek, click the link provided if you think you are tough enough to give it a whirl.
Manali is the adventure capital of India. Every conceivable outdoor activity that does not involve the sea is offered here. From Zorbing to trekking. From Skiing to Paragliding and all in one place. Although the area sits firmly below the snowline, it does not take much to freeze your knickers off in the deep Indian winter if you continue upwards in altitude a little. Manali is famous at any time of the year but in the winter, it draws in ski enthusiasts. The slopes are better run than in Kashmir but nowhere near as dramatic.
So umm 🧐 the deserts around Jaisalmer is probably not what you would expect as a suggestion for winter escapes in India, but indeed it is. Furthermore, it gets pretty cold in the winter, so you will need to wrap up at night. However, it does not take a genius to realise that visiting the desert in the winter has some definite advantages, especially if you want to get a camel into the dunes. This is one of the most spectacular places on the whole subcontinent and not to be missed.
The root bridges of Meghalaya
Well, if going to the desert seems a little strange, then visiting the root bridges of Meghalaya for a winter getaway would seem just bonkers. HOWEVER, these parts are beautiful. The whole area becomes extra special in the middle of winter when the rivers slow to an almost standstill. This creates crystal clear pools in an incredibly dramatic landscape. The bridges themselves look like they were constructed by talking frogs and fairy folk, but they are, in fact, the only sustainable structures ever made by human beings and very much in active use. Once again, to find out more, please hit the link provided.
Trekking Snow Leopards
Trekking snow leopards in the Himalayas is definitely another one for the more adventurous among us. There are a couple of places to do this that really stand out. One is the Markha Valley in Ladakh and the other is around Kibber in the Spiti Valley. Both of these offer a high probability of spotting one of these elusive creatures during the harsh winter when the animals retreat from their lofty homes to a lower and more palatable climate. My definition of “palatable” here is, of course, interprative. 😂 If you decide this is for you, there will have to be lots of preplanning, so this is not one you can rush into.
Keoladeo National Park
Unlike just about any of the other natural spaces in India, Keoladeo National Park is really coming into its own during the winter. Winter is undoubtedly the high season for Indian national parks, but it is definitely not the best time to visit them. The monsoon has recently finished and the landscape is lush and thick. There are also multiple water sources available to the wildlife, making spotting anything near impossible. However, in Keoladeo National Park, this is a good thing as it’s flood land. Any land-loving animals cling onto any little bit of dry they can find making this an excellent choice.
Celebrating the Tibetan new year
How about the idea of celebrating the Tibetan new year? The masked dances are out of this world and witnessing this will surely stay with you forever. Pretty much the whole of Ladakh will be devoid of tourists since everything is frozen solid making this the very best of winter escapes in India. You will, of course, have to fly into Leh, but it is a small price to pay for an authentic experience with the Tibetan monks, right? The dates change every year, but the next is on December the 23rd, 2022.
In summary of my blog on the very best winter escapes in India.
Well, how about that? Most people have India pegged as one big heat fest, but in truth, there are lots of places to get into the cool. If you enjoyed this post, I have plenty more like it, so feel free to browse at your pleasure. India is a fantastic country, and I am not just saying it to sell you something. I have been lucky enough to travel to almost one-third of all the countries on the planet and I can honestly say that no other country gripped me anywhere near as much as India, which is why I have created my site in the beginning.😁
I hope you enjoyed my post on the best winter escapes in India and I know they may not seem conventional. I mean, Jaisalmer is incredibly popular in the winter, but it does not take long to lose the crowds in the dunes.
Some of the suggestions seem to be popular suggestions with other writers such as Manali or Shimla. However, trekking snow leopards in Hemiis national park is a lot more unique. I want to Include all tastes in my work.
If you have any questions or queries, feel free to leave them in the comment section below, and I will get back to you. Well, that’s all for now, guys, so I will see you in the next post.
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