Winter has arrived at several scenic spots in the country and it is accompanied by mesmerising mist and snow. In fact, December is the right time to plan a quick trip if you want to make the best of the cold season. Here are some great places to visit during winters in India.
There are several locations in the state of Uttarakhand where you can enjoy snow but the village of Chopta offers one of the best experience. Termed 'Mini Switzerland,' Chopta is a favourite destination among adventure travellers.
Situated in Rudraprayag district, Chopta is a part of the Kedarnath wildlife sanctuary. Attractions at the place include the Tungnath Temple and Chandrashila Peak nearby which would be fully covered with snow during the months from December to March.
At an altitude of 8,790 ft above sea level, Chopta is surrounded by hills and the Himalayan mountain ranges, too, can be seen from the village. The route to Chopta passes along three confluences of rivers. They are Devprayag, where the rivers Alaknanda and Bhageerathi merge; Rudraprayag, the meeting point of Alaknanda and Mandakini and Karnaprayag, where Pindar joins Alaknanda.
A good option to enjoy the scenery of Chopta is to travel by bus through Garhwal region. Showers of snow greet visitors at Chopta during winter and a white blanket covers every path, hill as well as valley.
A trek to the Chandrashila peak is another big draw at Chopta. In fact, there are a number of other trekking spots in Chopta, including Tungnath and Deoria Tal. Chopta is a favourite among birdwatchers too.
A must-see destination during winter, Thajiwas glacier is located near Sonmarg in Kashmir. This place witnesses the onset of snowfall in Kashmir and can be reached only by trekking 7 km from Sonmarg.
Severe cold is experienced in Thajiwas during winter as the mercury falls to sub-zero temperatures. The biggest attraction for tourists at the place is sledge riding.
The most popular destination in India during winters, Dalhousie in Himachal Pradesh has many unique features. During British rule, the place was one among the hill station cantonments of the army.
Dalhousie can be reached by travelling through a picturesque 75-km road from Pathankot railway station on the Punjab-Himachal Pradesh border. The hill station stands in Chamba district at an altitude of 2,036 km from sea level.
A cold weather prevails at Dalhousie throughout the year and in December extreme conditions exist. Five different mountains come together at the place, which has some historic places of worship such as St Patrick's Church, St Andrews Church, St Francis Church and St John's Church.
Severe cold weather is experienced in Gangtok, which is part of Sikkim in India but lies at the meeting point of three other countries – Nepal, China, and Bhutan.
A number of noted mountain peaks are situated close to Gangtok, making it a big tourist attraction. The most scenic area in Gangtok is the Tsongmo Lake, which is surrounded by mountains on all sides. The lake, which is 12,000 feet above sea level, is a sacred spot for the residents of Sikkim.