Winter in India is a time for Christmas and holidays. The festive spirit is enhanced by the delightful chill in the air which is like a blessing in a tropical country like ours. For those who are bitten by the travel bug or suffer from wanderlust, here are five fantastic winter destinations in India for you to have fun.
Shimla: The capital of the state of Himachal Pradesh, Shimla is a classic winter destination. The British used Shimla as getaway during the torrid Indian summer and you can see some excellent examples of colonial architecture here. The people are warm and hospitable. Skiing has become very popular here. Do taste the famous Himachal apples if you can get your hands on some. You can also do a nice bit of shopping for winter apparels.
Gulmarg: Located in the heavenly valleys of Jammu & Kashmir, Gulmarg was once an important centre for learning. Its beauty reaches its peak during spring and summer when flowers bloom in the valley from which it gets its present name (‘Gul’ means flower, ‘Marg’ means valley or meadow). It has been rated highly by international organizations as one of the best skiing and extreme snow sports destinations in Asia. It boasts of one of the best golfing courses in India and one of the highest ropeway systems. The people are extremely nice and friendly. Do try the authentic Kashmiri cuisines like Rogan Josh. Don’t forget to check out the exquisite shawls and carpets of indigenous weaving style and embroidery.
Darjeeling: Located in West Bengal, Darjeeling is a beloved winter destination for the Bengalis. Known for its famous tea and picturesque tea estates, it was also developed by the British as a winter retreat. The magnificent view of the Kanchenjungha peak from Tiger hill and shopping on Mall Road are a must-do. Don’t forget to ride on the famous Toy Train. Darjeeling has been used as a site or shooting many Bollywood movies like Main Hoon Na, Parineeta, Aradhana and Barfi!. Check out the Lloyd’s Botanical Gardens for some exotic plants and some quite time.
Jim Corbett National Park: The oldest national Park in India and renamed after the famous hunter, Jim Corbett, for his contribution to the park’s establishment, it is a haven for endangered wildlife and one of the most beautiful national parks in India. Winter is the best time to visit to see some of the best and rarest wildlife in the region. Tigers, elephants, 580 species of birds and over a hundred species of trees abound in this over 200 square mile of paradise. Don’t miss the elephant safari.
Haflong: Located in Assam, it is one of the most serene hill stations in India. Lush greenery, sparkling streams, gushing waterfalls and the beautiful orchids truly mesmerize the traveler. Haflong Lake is situated in the middle of the town. The azure hills covered in mist in winter is a spellbinding view. Do visit the Orchid Garden for some amazing flowers and the Jatinga orange orchards. We suggest you take a short railway trip around for some excellent views.