It’s easy to associate the winter months with being cold and gloomy, but a little snowfall can change all of that. Each winter, some of India’s northern states are blessed with a flurry of snow. So, if you’re looking to pack your bags for a quick getaway, we’ve compiled a handy list of places you can fly to.
6 places you can fly to for snow in India
The popular ski resort destination is usually blanketed in snow around this time of the year, offering ideal conditions for skiing. Spend your day on the slopes then cozy up with a hot drink in your hotel. There are lots of snow activities you can indulge in, but we also don’t mind just watching the picture-perfect views from the warm confines of a hotel room. Getting there: fly into Srinagar airport. From there it’s approximately a two-hour drive to Gulmarg.
Connectivity: regular flights to Srinagar from Delhi, Mumbai, Jammu, Lucknow and other cities
Ski enthusiasts looking for an alternate destination can head to Auli in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand. There’s plenty of snow-trekking, skiing, snowboarding and other activities on offer. Cloaked in snow, with the Nanda Devi mountain ranges framing the backdrop, Auli certainly makes for pretty viewing. Several pristine lakes also dot the surrounding landscape and are worth a visit during winter. Getting there: Dehradun (Jolly Grant Airport) is the nearest airport to Auli. From there, the resort town is about 200kms by road.
Connectivity: daily flights to Dehradun from Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh and Kolkata
Manali, Himachal Pradesh
Manali is one of those evergreen destinations that you can’t really tire of. Sitting pretty in the picturesque Beas River Valley, the town is a slice of heaven during the winter months. Soak in the views as you sit by snow-fed streams, and head to the popular Rohtang Pass. There’s also Solang which offers some impressive ski slopes and outdoor adventure activities. Getting there: fly into Kullu-Manali airport in Bhuntar. From there, Manali is located at a distance of 50kms or about an hour by road.
Connectivity: regular flights from Delhi, Chandigarh and Mumbai
Lachung and Zero Point, Sikkim
If you’re looking for something a little less touristy, head to these hidden gems in Sikkim. Lachung is a small hill town that seems straight out of a storybook. The views are especially breathtaking during the drive from Gangtok with the winding Teesta River for company. Zero Point or Yumesmadong as it is locally known, is just ahead of Yumthang valley, which is blanketed in snow almost year-round. It is named Zero Point as there are no civilian roads beyond this point, and it comes to an abrupt end. Perhaps your only company here will be a yak or two. Since it is close to the India-China border, prior permission is needed to visit. Getting there: Pakyong airport is the closest to Gangtok. From there, Lachung is about 130kms away by road and Zero Point about 182kms. Alternately, you can also fly into Bagdogra airport in Siliguri, West Bengal.
Connectivity: regular flights from Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata
This Himalayan destination’s sparse landscape takes on a different hue during the winter months as most of the region is buried under a blanket of snow. Frigid temperatures notwithstanding, the surreal views are quite worth it. Make Leh town your base to explore what the region has to offer — the Tso Moriri Lake or the Pangong Tso Lake are quite picturesque in the winter, as well as Hemis National Park which is your best bet at spotting the snow leopard. Getting there: fly into Leh Airport (Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport). From there, Leh city is just a short drive away.
Connectivity: daily flights from Mumbai, New Delhi, Jammu, Srinagar and Chandigarh
Home to the Binsar wildlife sanctuary, during the winter months this sleepy hamlet is quite literally, postcard-perfect. Nestled in the Kumaon region, it’s often considered a trekker’s paradise. Treat yourself to views of snowy Himalayan peaks as you trek through misty trails and take in the crisp mountain air and old-world charm of this place. Getting there: Pantnagar is the closest airport. Binsar is about 127kms away by road or about five hours from here.
Connectivity: regular flights from Delhi and Dehradun