Winters are coming. Oh yes, it’s so. Never mind the memes on the same, or the general assumption that hills are not to be visited in winters.
Ask me and I would say hills in winters are pure bliss, for you keenly await the fog to part and the first ray of sun to pore through your room’s window; for you hop to the garden early in the morning to see dewdrops gliding down the flower petals; for you wait for the evening bonfires that warm up the hillsides.
So, if you ask me, I can write a hundred more reasons of why you ought to visit hills in winters. And with that, a list of 10 amazing hill stations in India that turn all the more blissful when it’s winter time. Pick one or pick all, for winters are here and you ought to travel!
1 Binsar, Uttarakhand
Pack your bags for a spellbinding time at Binsar, that is also much famed as a bird sanctuary. Uninterrupted views of the Himalayas, an interesting insight into the life of Kumaon hills and nights of star gazing. And if it gets too foggy to go star-gazing, light up a bonfire, snuggle into a blanket, grab a book and doze off in the Himalayan warmth. No pun here.
2 Old Manali, Himachal Pradesh
Photo by Artist in doing nothing
If the crowd that throngs to Manali in winters and summers alike has put this place off your list, it’s time to put it back, right at the top of the list. More so if you love food. Comparatively lesser crowded, promising fascinating views of the Himalayas and brimming with cafes, Old Manali is where you’ll fall in love again… with Manali.
3 Wayanad, Kerala
Photo by Sarath.kuchi
Imagine the winter fog parting only to give you a glimpse of freely roaming elephants. If you can imagine that and have fallen in love with your imagination, Wayanad ought to be on your hills-in-winters list. Fascinatingly green and not as bone chilling as the Himalayan hill towns, Wayanad is bliss. More so if you stay in a treehouse!
4 Kalpa, Himachal Pradesh
Photo by snotch
Heaps of snow, Kinner Kailash standing guard, shooting stars in dozens, Kinnaur’s warm smiles, apple wine from the orchards and the promise of solitude at its most solitary. That and more is Kalpa; as near to the heavens as you can get from the Earth.
5. Coorg, Karnataka
Photo by Philip Larson
The only place that can look as gorgeous as Coorg looks in the rains is Coorg in winters! And if you’re planning a trip for the coming winters, Coorg ought to be in your must-visit list. Other than the dreamily rising winter mist, winters also bring more luck if you’re interested in wildlife spotting. Oh yes, there’s the rightly famous Coorg coffee too.
6 Jhaltola, Uttarakhand
If you still haven’t explored Uttarakhand other than the very famous Nainital, Ranikhet, Almora or Kausani, Jhaltola is where you should be headed to. Quite near Chaukori, Jhlatola is a must do for bird-watching and stupendous views of the Kumaon Himalayas.
7 Landour, Uttarakhand
My next mountain love for winters is again in Uttarakhand. And this time I’m talking of the largely unspoken hamlet of Landour. Unspoken, as nobody knows much about this Welsh setting. More so because of its proximity to the very famous Mussoorie. Cobbled walkaways, heritage hotels, quaint homestays, tiny bakeries, region’s best pizzas and the Winter Line phenomenon (Landour is one of the only two places in the world where you can see it happening!). What more can you ask for!
8 Palampur, Himachal Pradesh
If you’re not in much love with the idea of lazy winters, Palampur deserves a visit. Right next to it is Asia’s best paragliding spot, where you can go for a swoop over the mighty Dhauladhars. Or else, gorge over the very delicious Tibetan food. Plus, some fascinating Buddhist monasteries are just around the corner too.
9 Dzongu, Sikkim
Photo by appaji
Okay. So this one isn’t your typical hill town. Reason being Dzongu lies in the buffer zone of the Kanchendzonga National Park and is home to the Lepcha tribe. At some 2.5 hours from Gangtok, Dzongu is an experience you’ll cherish all your life. Check out this complete guide to Dzongu to plan a trip now!
10 Spiti, Himachal Pradesh
If the very gorgeous Spiti Valley sounds like the next cool thing in travel, I’ll make it all the more cooler. Well, if you visit Spiti in winters it turns cooler by many notches, and not just literally. All snowed up, white Spiti is nothing short of a dreamland. Add to it the thrill of visiting centuries old monasteries and frozen lakes. Sounds cool, no?
Now, while I pack my bags for a very hilly retreat, tell me if you too love visiting hills in winters. Leave a comment below, would love to hear of more winter tales.
Till then, happy travelling.
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