The first time feels like magic. I’m talking about a moment from the past when I experienced snowflakes melting into my skin in Himachal Pradesh’s Spiti Valley. If you’re a snow maniac like me too, or someone who hasn’t had any luck experiencing snowfall yet, then you’re reading the right piece. Witnessing life’s first snowfall is an out-of-the-world experience. Club it with hot chocolate and burnt marshmallows, some warm blankets to bury yourself in, and some good films to watch, and life becomes a Christmas movie.
You don’t always have to head to a Gulmarg, Manali, or Ladakh to make a snowman or slide through thick blankets of snow. Instead, visit these 10 offbeat places across Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh, and West Bengal, to have your first tryst with snow!
Places To Visit For Snow In Himachal Pradesh:
This tiny hamlet shot to fame from 2018 onward, thanks to the budding experiential hostels and homestays in the area, that provided employment to the locals there. Come November end, the whole valley is covered in thick snow. This sleepy village, located in Banjar Valley, in the Kullu district of Himachal has quite a few tourist spots for you to explore. But come here mainly for having a peaceful getaway from the bustling city life, and to do the famous Jalori Pass trek, which shot to fame after Bunny and Naina from Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani were shown trekking here. We have your attention now, don’t we?
Move over Manali and its neighboring town Sissu. Not saying they aren’t great places. But literally, everyone’s skiing there. Do something different instead and head to Kufri. This one’s a small hill station situated near Shimla, and also a great alternative to it. And being situated in the southern part of the state of Himachal Pradesh, Kufri is extremely famous for its thick snow covers and ambrosial beauty. Snowfall here is something every traveler must witness at least once. Kufri is also a paradise for Skiing lovers and at the peak of winter, this place is full of skiing enthusiasts.
Also read: Best Places To Visit In Himachal Pradesh
Places To Visit For Snow In Uttarakhand:
Another popular destination for skiing, if you’re doing Uttarakhand, is Auli. Imagine watching the magnificent peaks of Nanda Devi, Neelkanth, and Mana Parbat and skiing in the white snow while you’re at it. A total paisa-vasool, no? The word Auli refers to a meadow, and this hill station is located in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. You can camp and ride the gondola when you visit Auli, apart from just indulging in skiing, snowboarding, or snow trekking here.
Known as ‘The Little Kashmir’, Munsiyari is situated in the Pithoragarh district of the state. This scenic hill station experiences beautiful snowfall and becomes a winter wonderland. It is home to breathtaking views of the Panchachuli Peaks which include Nanda Devi and Nanda Kot. Apart from being an ideal destination for nature lovers, it is a place for those seeking some adventure in the Kumaon Hills. One can even go for an exhilarating Snow Leopard Trek in the winter season here. Make sure you take a local guide with you though!
Also read: Uttrakhand: The Land of Gods
Places To Visit For Snow In Kashmir Valley:
Winter vacation in Kashmir will be a lot more fun if you visit Sonmarg, fondly known as the meadow of gold. Beautiful snowy mountains in the background, mesmerizing Sindh river, a pony trip to Thajiwas Glacier, beautiful views of Kashmir countryside, and clear white blankets of snow will make your day here. It is the best place for sleigh riding which you can try at Zero point. Sonmarg is also a base point for starting the Amarnath Yatra, one of the most important pilgrimage journeys for devotees. The Dachigam National Park located here is home to the critically endangered hangul or the Kashmir stag. Whether you like to quietly admire nature or get active and go trekking, Sonamarg is the place for you!
Also read: Kashmir- The Paradise on Earth
Known as the ‘Anand of Kashmir’, or the ‘Delight of Kashmir’, this small yet scenic town is famous for its waterfalls, natural springs, apple orchards, and historical attractions that will make your days worth spending here. During winters, the entire land is decked in white glittery snow. The delightful picturesque mountains all around and scenic vistas of waterfalls and the grandeur of historical places make Pulwama a one-of-a-kind destination to visit in Winter. Go here if all you want is peace of mind!
Places To Visit For Snow In Arunachal Pradesh:
If you want to skip Himachal and Uttarakhand to give the North Eastern States a chance during snowfall season, then start with Arunachal Pradesh’s Bomdila. Inhabited by the major tribes of Arunachal Pradesh, Bomdila is one of the least-explored places in Northeast India, despite possessing breathtaking beauty during the winter season, when you can see each and every place elevated with the presence of snow, adding on to the existing glamor of the place. It is a quaint town boasting of vibrant Tibetan heritage and culture. Also, if you want to see the apple orchards then this is the time to visit Bomdila.
Even after being a green valley most of the time during the year, the actual beauty of Mechuka Valley comes to life during the winter season, when the rooftops get covered with snow and window panes are adorned with a thin layer of frost. For winter lovers, this place is no less than a haven. Fondly called Magical Mechuka, or the Shangri La of India, this valley sounds true to its name. Mechukha is known for both its religious and historical significance. The 400-year-old Samten Yongcha monastery of the Mahayana Buddhist sect is located here too!
Also read: Best Places To Visit In Arunachal Pradesh
Places To Visit For Snow In West Bengal:
The highest peak in West Bengal, offering majestic views of the Kanchenjunga range from its unprecedented height, Sandakphu is a trekker’s paradise. The trekking experience here is something that will be quite memorable. Yes, you can actually hike through the snow. Local sherpas here take you to this 5-nights and 6-day trek, through the Singalila national park. And it is quite adventurous (also a once-in-a-lifetime experience) If you’re visiting West Bengal, make a pitstop in Darjeeling, and then finish this beautiful snow-capped trek!
Lava is a quaint little hamlet which is located in the Kalimpong district of West Bengal. This sleepy and calm village falls on the trade route of Bhutan and is adorned with pine forests and coniferous trees. Surrounded by the cold misty clouds of the mountains, this exotic and rustic Lepcha village folded in the mountains of the Himalayas will leave you smitten by its beauty and charm. Lolegaon is another quaint village that is only 24kms away from Lava and offers an equally glorious view of the majestic Kanchenjunga. If you are one of the few lucky ones and the weather permits, then you can see the snow-clad peak of Mt. Everest from here.
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