Being home to the Himalayan Mountains, a great number of scenic destinations in India experience snowfall. In addition to making the spot look like a winter wonderland, these snow-covered slopes also offer many exciting adventure activities. From skiing to snowboarding, ice skating to ice climbing, winter is the only time to experience all these adventure sports in India.
Large parts of north and northeast India are covered in snow during the winter months. Most of these destinations are popular hill stations such as Shimla, Manali, Ladakh, Spiti Valley, Tawang, Gangtok, etc. While summer is the preferred tourist season, a winter vacation at one of these destinations also promises to be memorable. For those interested in adventure tourism in India, there is a long list of destinations to choose from. Five of the best are:
It is believed that Gulmarg experiences the first snowfall of the year in all of India. Once the first snowfall happens, winter starts setting in the rest of India. The slopes near Gulmarg vary between 8,700 to 10,500 feet. The valley has a cable car ride available for tourists known as the Gulmarg Gondola which is the highest in Asia. The snow-covered slopes make up a beautiful sight. Gulmarg is a popular adventure spot for skiing, sledging, snowboarding and heli skiing. Gulmarg is the highest skiing destination in India. For adrenaline junkies, the various adventure sports available here makes Gulmarg one of the best adventure destinations in India.
Chadar Trek, Ladakh
Ladakh is one of the best places in India to experience snow. From rugged mountains to high altitude lakes, every corner of the picturesque valley is covered under heaps of snow during the winter months. One of the main highlights of Ladakh in winter time is the Chadar Trek. The Zanskar River gets completely frozen due to the extremely low temperatures of the region. The trekking expedition involves tourists walking over the frozen river that is completely covered in a thick blanket of ice. Since this frozen river trek is basically following the route laid down by the blanket of ice, it is called the Chadar Trek, as chadar literally means blanket. Walking over the ice-covered Zanskar River is one of the most thrilling and gorgeous activities to do for a tourist.
If you want to experience adventure tourism in India during the winter season, this premier skiing/snowboarding destination is a must-visit for you, located in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. The snow-covered hill station provides a beautiful view of Mana Parwat, Dunagiri, Mt. Nanda Devi, Mt. Kamet and Nar Parwat, and visitors can enjoy a luxurious stay at a Himalayan ski resort. The destination of Auli offers a three-kilometer-long slope and a 500-meter ski lift. This is one of the best places in India to enjoy skiing, with pristine slopes and the scenic background.
The Roopkund mystery lake in Uttarakhand is situated at the height of 15,750 feet. Formed out of a mountain glacier, this lake is frozen throughout the year. What makes it so popular among the mountaineering community is the presence of hundreds of skeletons found at the bottom of the lake dating back to the 15th century. The Roopkund Trek is considered to be one of the most difficult trekking tours in India because of the difficult terrain and extreme weather conditions. For adventure lovers and thrill seekers, the trek to Roopkund Lake is bound to be a most cherished experience.
Tsomgo Lake, Sikkim
Located at a dizzying height of 12,313 feet above sea level, the Tsomgo in East Sikkim is a high-altitude glacial lake. The water is crystal clear and pristine blue; and it reflects the different colors of sky with every changing season. During the winter, Tsomgo Lake becomes a frozen marvel. The surrounding mountains covered in snow are reflected back in the lake making it a mesmerizing sight to see. Braving the chilly winds and freezing temperatures to reach the lake is an adventurous trip experience. After the visit to Tsomgo Lake, tourists can also see the Kyongnosla Alphine Sanctuary which is the shelter for Himalayan black bears, birds, Red panda and some rare animals.