8 Under-Rated Places In India To Witness A Magical Snowfall This Winter!

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Photo of 8 Under-Rated Places In India To Witness A Magical Snowfall This Winter! by Palak Doshi

I woke up in the morning, snuggled in my warm fuzzy blanket as the sun rays filtered in from the bedside window.

I rubbed my eyes more out of disbelief than sleepiness, as I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Pearl-white, intricate snow balls dropping down from the heavens, and the green landscape from yesterday had covered itself with a beautiful white blanket just like me.

Snowfall in India is a magical sight to behold. Here are eight lesser crowded places in India where you can relish this enchanting experience in all it’s purity.

Highlights:

The highlights of the village apart from the snow-clad peaks, include a guided tour where visitors can see the border fences, Indian Army bunkers, Pakistan Army bunkers, and Pakistani Flags on the Peaks, as they dominate the heights. Pictures and videos are permitted and authorized by the Indian Army.

The village is a site to behold with apricot, walnut and apple laden trees. From across the border, the village of Phorbu is visible across the LoC. This village is separated from Thang by only landmines.

Best Time to Witness Snow:

Thang witnesses early snowfall with the start of November, which continues till the onset of summers in early May. However, the entry depends on the permission, if granted by the Indian Army.

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Photo of 8 Under-Rated Places In India To Witness A Magical Snowfall This Winter! by Palak Doshi

At an altitude of 8,610ft and located about 118 kms from Gangtok, Lachung in North Sikkim is dotted with snow-capped mountains, flower valleys, dense forests, natural hot-springs and breathtaking views.

This raw off-beat spot has some of the warmest, nicest locals and astonishing snowfalls.

(c) Blo

Photo of 8 Under-Rated Places In India To Witness A Magical Snowfall This Winter! by Palak Doshi

Highlights:

Zero Point is where the civilian road ends and you can't drive any further because it is covered with thick snow, all year.

The stunning Yumthang flower valley houses the Yumthang Hot Spring. This natural hot spring is said to have magical healing and medicinal properties, owing to it’s rich sulphur content. Imagine a soothing dip in a hot spring, in the middle of nowhere, amidst snow-clad mountains in freezing temperatures!

Gurudongmar lake that remains milky in colour throughout the year, is believed to be extremely sacred. A portion of the lake never freezes while everything else around it does.

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Photo of 8 Under-Rated Places In India To Witness A Magical Snowfall This Winter! by Palak Doshi

Best Time to Witness Snow:

The start of December is a great time if you also want to enjoy some of the festivities like the monks performing a traditional mask dance at the Lachung monastery. Marking the last week of December all the way till the end of April, Lachung sits covered in a blanket of snow.

Highlights:

A place like Ladakh that isn't Ladakh can only add intrigue in the minds of explorers and travellers. Nelang is part of the Gangotri National Park in Uttarkashi with the crystal-clear waters of Jadh Ganga keeping it company.

The village hosts two popular festivals, the Ringali Devi and Someshwar Devta temple fair in June every year, that offer a stunning cultural glimpse of the valley. The valley remains largely isolate, making it rich with wildlife. Species like Himalayan blue sheep, snow leopards, and musk deer are present here in abundance. The valley also offers a stunning view of the Tibetan Plateau.

Best Time to Witness Snow:

Snowfall occurs around November and continues till early May. Confirm from DM office, Uttarkashi to confirm that the roads are not blocked.

Highlights:

Walk along the ice-cold river Baspa and soak in some sunshine at the flag-covered bridge straight out of a movie, enclosed by white mountains on all sides. Eat up at the “last dhaba of India” or watch the mountains change colours every minute over a hot plate of Maggi. Make a wish by the banks of the river with the pebble stacks as per the Himalayan legend and hope it comes true!

Best Time to Witness Snow:

Winters in Chitkul may look fascinating but are extremely harsh. Sometimes the path is closed between December to March due to heavy snowfall and it is not possible to reach Chitkul during this period. So, it’s best to check the situation before visiting.

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Photo of 8 Under-Rated Places In India To Witness A Magical Snowfall This Winter! by Palak Doshi

How To Reach:

HRCTC buses to Sangla and Chitkul ply from Delhi as well as Shimla. However, the frequency isn’t regular so it’s best to inquire before leaving. Private Buses, cabs and jeeps are also available from Shimla and Delhi.

Highlights:

Chopta is the base for trekking to Tungnath, one of the holiest temple among the Panch Kedars as well as Chandrashila. And in the winter months, the entire trail remains covered with snow-clad sturdy oaks and undulating valleys.

Trekking through deep snow-covered tracks along with occasional snowfall is a recommended experience.

This quaint little hamlet is a part of Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary where you can spot the rare musk deer. One can also set up tents at the many camping sites here, encircled by enchanting snow-covered meadows. Other experiences to try out are snow-trekking, skiing, yoga and rock-climbing.

Best Time to Witness Snow:

From December to February, Chopta witnesses heavy to moderate snowfall. Fewer tourists are spotted during this time, which makes the place all the more pristine.

How To Reach:

Chopta can be reached by road from Rishikesh. It does not have a railway station. The nearest railway station is at Rishikesh, located approximately 200 km away. One can find many trains to Rishikesh. Tourists can find plenty of government buses and private taxis to Chopta from Rishikesh. The closest airport is the Dehradun airport.

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Photo of 8 Under-Rated Places In India To Witness A Magical Snowfall This Winter! by Palak Doshi

Highlights:

This is an untouched slice of heaven on earth. The landscape and the people both here are breathtakingly beautiful. Your cameras just won’t stop clicking here. There no hotels here, living with the locals at home-stays or guest-houses is the only way to relish Turtuk by exploring the Balti life. Locals at Turtuk are extremely warm and lovable, they have numerous tales about the history of their village to tell and take you around their fairy-like little paradise.

Best Time to Witness Snow:

August, October and November are the ideal months to snowfalls. The winter months from December to March usher in extremely cold harsh weather. Regardless of when you go here, be assured that you will find very few travelers and astounding views of the Shyok River and the Nubra Valley.

How To Reach:

Turtuk village lies in the Nubra valley. To get here, you may either ride bikes or get a private/share taxi from Leh. Cross the villages of Diskit, Hundar, Thoise and drive to Turtuk.

Highlights:

The view from Dhankar gompa - crystal clear water below, snow-capped hills behind, and fluffy clouds above reflecting in the lake. Tabo Monastery which has interiors made of sandalwood. Nako lake is a picturesque backdrop for some amazing photographs. Most of the home-stays and cafes here have terraces, evening on the terraces sipping piping hot tea or a plate of Maggi and watch the sun set.

Best Time to Witness Snow:

Winter in Nako is completely diverse and surreal. Reaching Nako in winter is itself a task. Snow starts falling in Spiti by the end of October, gradually closing the Rohtang and Kunzum passes and making it extremely difficult to reach Nako. However, the best months to relish the snow are late November to February.

How To Reach:

Cabs can be booked from Delhi, Shimla or Manali going up to Reckong Peo. Reckong Peo is just 4 hours away from Nako and there are buses and shared cabs available from there to take you up till Nako. Chandigarh Airport is the nearest major airport.

Highlights:

This is a high altitude trekking spot that leads to various glaciers and base camp for Nanda Devi. Cascading waterfalls at the Birthi falls, and Betulidhar, a colossal natural garden full of scarlet flowers that offers exciting skiing opportunities in winter are other attractions here. Madkot is known for its naturally occurring hot water springs, which are truly bliss in the freezing winters. Thamari Kund, a ravishing natural lake where musk deers are spotted and the holy Nanda Devi temple are other places worth watching.

Best Time Witness Snow:

Munsyari gets plenty of snowfall and sometimes, even receives icicles from December to February.

How To Reach:

Munsyari is connected to many major cities of Uttarakhand. Buses and cabs go from Delhi, but the journey from Delhi to Munsyari is quite long. Hence, it is advisable to break your journey at various stops and finally change the bus from either Almora or Pithoragarh. Kathgodam (275 km) and Tanakpur (286 km) are the nearest railway stations.

So, start ticking off each of these winter wonderlands from your bucket-list if you love snow!

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Enchanting beauty and raw natural surroundings, have given it the title of “Little Kashmir“. A small town at the base of the Himalayas, Munsyari’s name literally translates to being “a place full of snow”.

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Photo of Munsyari, Uttarakhand, India by Palak Doshi

Tucked away in the interiors of the Spiti Valley, a serene and panoramic Nako village lies perched on the banks of the Nako lake.

The finest display of nature’s shimmering blues and greens mixed with the sun’s golden-rays bouncing off the silvery snow mountains.

(c) Wikipedia

Photo of Nako, Himachal Pradesh, India by Palak Doshi

Thang is the northernmost village of India. The village lies a few kilometres beyond Turtuk. To go beyond Turtuk, permission from the Army is needed. It lies very close to the LoC between India and Pakistan and is a visual delight.

(c) Travel The Himalayas

Photo of Thang, Kargil by Palak Doshi

Located at 11,000 ft, Nelang Valley (Nelong Valley) is situated around 100 km north of Uttarkashi town. The valley hosts cold barren deserts and snow-clad high peaks. It is called the Ladakh of Uttarakhand due to the striking resemblance of its topography with Ladakh and Tibet. It is the last point one can travel before the Indo-China borders and lies just 60km from the said border.

(c) Holidify

Photo of Nelang by Palak Doshi

The last inhabited village on the Indo-Tibet border, Chitkul in the Kinnaur valley turns into a winter wonderland in the year end, as a white blanket covers every inch of this valley. The temperature during the winters can fall to as low as -10 degrees Celsius.

(c) Wikimedia Commons

Photo of Chitkul, Himachal Pradesh, India by Palak Doshi

Snuggled in the lap of the Himalayas, offering unobstructed views of Trishul, Nanda Devi and Chaukhamba peaks, Chopta lies at an elevation of about 8,790 feet above sea-level.

(c) India Trip

Photo of Chopta, Uttarakhand, India by Palak Doshi

Pass by the exquisite sand dunes of Hunder, bid good-bye to the fluttering prayer flags and move 200km to the north of Leh arrive at the unbelievably pretty and magical village called Turtuk. Laden with apricot and walnut trees, Turtuk is the last village on Indo-Pak border.

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