Shimla Or Manali? This Guide Tells You Where To Witness Snow This Winter!


Come December, we're all looking at pictures of snow-laden mountains spread across our social media feeds. Every year as the temperature dips, and these gorgeous images take over our minds, all snow enthusiasts find themselves dreaming of a white Christmas, snow angels, and winter sports!

But, with so many options to choose from, it may get confusing to choose that perfect destination, where you want to see the magic of fresh falling snow unravel before your eyes! Worry not, this guide will help you do exactly that.

Exploring the good, the bad and everything in between - this comparison guide will let you make an informed decision for your upcoming snowcation.


Although both the destinations sit atop Himalayas as its precious gems, Shimla and Manali have different things to offer to travellers. While Shimla is dotted in oak and deodar trees, that is a sight to behold especially when covered in snow, Manali at 6200 feet offers the gorgeous gift of rivers and waterfalls that are amiss in Shimla!

Photo of Shimla Or Manali? This Guide Tells You Where To Witness Snow This Winter! 1/5 by Himani Sahni

Things to do


Photo of Shimla Or Manali? This Guide Tells You Where To Witness Snow This Winter! 2/5 by Himani Sahni

When it comes to casual shopping sprees, while Manali's sleepy cafes and cozy lanes incite all kinds of travellers, Shimla's good old Ridge romance in winters is a tough one to beat! If a little local buying is on your list, consider:

Shimla for: Buying the best kind of woolens, that perfect cup of hot chocolate and Christmassy vibes, wooden handicrafts from lakkar bazaar and the post-colonial charms of the Ridge road.

Manali for: Accessories, t-shirts and hippy woolen clothes like harem pants and poncho from Old Manali Market. Jams or pickles primed in ethnic style from the Mall road, and cafes that make you lose track of time, literally!


Photo of Shimla Or Manali? This Guide Tells You Where To Witness Snow This Winter! 3/5 by Himani Sahni

Undoubtedly the best way to explore the raw beauty of these two Himalayan destinations is trekking through its gorgeous trails. However, here are few options to consider while deciding which ones are for you!

Shimla for: Churdhar trek (3647 m), the highest peak of Shivalik range, flourishing with a wide range of flora and fauna, Karol Tibba (2240 m) trek offering a panoramic view of Churdhar ranges and the quaint towns of Solan and Shimla or the less-visited but insanely stunning Hatu Peak (3400 m).

Manali for: Lamplugh trek beginning at the famous old temple dedicated to sage Manu, Beas-Kund trek, a popular winter trek surrounded by snow-capped mountains, grasslands and the gurgling river Beas or the Deo Tibba trek, one that will test your mountaineering skills with its tough terrain at 3,000 ft.


Photo of Shimla Or Manali? This Guide Tells You Where To Witness Snow This Winter! 4/5 by Himani Sahni

Fresh snow sees skiing enthusiasts rushing to the mountains for some quality snow sports! If you want to turn this winter into a fun-filled adventure, choose the right skiing destination for your type:

Shimla for: Every skier's paradise Kufri that comes alive with ardent snow at 2622 meters or the less crowded and unexplored slopes of Narkanda, one of the oldest ski resorts in India.

Manali for: Rohtang Pass and Solang's hefty amount of snowfall that make for the perfect slopes for skiing or learning grounds like Himalayan Adventurers, Vajpayee Institute and Iceland Solang for short term courses.


Photo of Shimla Or Manali? This Guide Tells You Where To Witness Snow This Winter! 5/5 by Himani Sahni

Both the mountain destinations offer a plethora of stay options ranging from budget hotels to lavish resorts and even cottages and homestays. However, if accommodation is what you want to base your decision on, here are a few recommendations:

Shimla for: Snow Valley resorts, The Oberoi Cecil, Silicon Inn, Honeymoon Inn, and Shimla Havens Resort. Find top and affordable recommendations here.

Manali for: Top rated cottages like Foghill Manali Cottages, Snow Range Resorts & Cottages, Retreat Cottages, Apple Bud Cottages and Sylvan Woods Cottage and Homestay. For more options, click here.

Duration & budget

If you want to make the most of the winter months, it's better to plan a long vacation and go for slow travel than a quick escapade. With 'work from hills' quickly taking over 'work from home', there's hardly a better work view than soft snowflakes falling over the window panes next to your desk. While duration of your snowcation depends on your availability, the budget at both Shimla and Manali seem to lie within the following ranges:

For Budget Travellers: Rs 800-1,200 a day

For Mid-range Travellers: Rs 1,500-3,000 a day

For Luxury Travellers: Rs 4,000 and upwards

For affordable workation packages in the snow, you can check out Tripoto's safe and sanitised getaways.

Now that you have all that you need to know about witnessing snow in the best way possible at both these destinations, decide which one is for you, pack your woolens and get going!

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