One of the biggest myths surrounding India is that there aren’t any places for skiing, as it still remains an unfamiliar and unexplored adventure sport in India. However, the northern region of the country has some of the ultimate mountain ranges on the planet. Whether you choose to blame it on expensive travel packages or a dearth of ideal climatic conditions for skiing, the majority of the population is still far from skiing down the slopes of India.
However, with a little research, you can hit the road and be in the mountains in no time! If you’ve been aching to race through the mountains in the snow, there’s no better way than a pair of skis! With winter around the corner, it’s time to begin planning your bucket list adventures in these magnificent destinations:
Unique characteristics: Pahalgam has always been as a favoured holiday paradise for Indians and international travellers. The slopes of this Himalayan range are gentle and forgiving, making it the perfect destination for beginners who would like to give this sport a hand. For budget-friendly stays, you can stay in one of the local lodges in Pahalgam, which also provides a homely atmosphere. Gently swaying deodars, pines, and the popular Pinaceae of the Western Himalayas add to the magnificence of this snow-covered land, making it one of the best places to ski in India.
Location: A popular ski destination in India, Pahalgam is situated in the Anantnag district of Jammu & Kashmir.
Best time to visit: March to November
Unique characteristics: Gulmarg stands in the 7th place in the list of top ski destinations of Asia, and is often also referred to as the ‘Mecca for professional skiers’. Gulmarg translates to a path of roses and is known as the heartland of winter sports in India with several snow-based adventurous sports. It is definitely one of the best places to ski in India. For experienced skiers who are on the lookout for steep slopes, the Gulmarg Gondola cable car service is a great option. It helps skiers reach Mt. Apharwat with ease as it is two and a half kilometres at an elevation of 1280m.
Location: Gulmarg is just 54 kilometres from Srinagar, which is the capital of J&K. For travel, you can take a bus from Srinagar to Tangmarg from where you can hire a jeep or a chained jeep to ride safely on the icy roads during winter to reach the top. You can also book a Savaari cab from Srinagar to Gulmarg, which will take you safely up the hill. For those travelling from Delhi, a cab from Delhi to Katra can help you hit the base of Jammu.
Best time to visit: December and March
Solang Nala, Himachal Pradesh
Unique characteristics: Covered in glistening snow, Solang Nala is definitely a delight for skiers. It is not just a mere ski destination but this place is also a hot spot in summer for many adventure activities like paragliding, hot air ballooning, zip lining, etc. If you are a beginner and wish to learn more about this sport, you can also enroll yourself for a professional course conducted by experienced ski agencies here.
Location: You can reach Solang Nala in a 2-hour drive from Bhuntar Airport to Manali in Himachal Pradesh.
Best time to Visit: December to February
Unique characteristics: Auli is definitely one of the most underrated ski destinations in India, but over the past few years, the vast inflow of tourists to this place seems to have created a massive shift. The slopes and the gentle inclines make Auli one of the perfect ski locations. The Uttarakhand government has also enforced a plastic ban in the state, to protect and preserve the natural beauty. The promise of rejuvenation away from the confines of bustling city life is what draws the crowds here. Read this detailed travel guide to know more about Auli.
Location: Nestled in the lap of Uttarakhand, around 250 km from Rishikesh, Auli is another hotspot for winter sports in India. A car rental in Dehradun can help you reach Auli in under 3 hours.
Best time to visit: December to March
Narkanda, Himachal Pradesh
Unique characteristics: Narkanda has gain gained popularity for snowboarding and skiing over the years. It is also one of the offbeat destinations near Shimla that is not overcrowded. So, if you wish to avoid the tourist rush head to Narkanda, you certainly won’t be disappointed. The slopes here have a long tradition of snow sports that dates back to the 1980s and are perfect for beginners and experienced skiers. Today, it is one of the most well-known ski resorts in India.
Location: A quaint little town located 2 hours from Shimla makes Narkanda a beautiful ski destination in Himachal Pradesh.
Best time to visit: December to March
Make sure you schedule your visit in the mornings so that you can reach Shimla by sundown. One can even stay in Kufri or Mashobra, as there are plenty of great homestays and hotels here. Further, travellers from Chandigarh should book an affordable taxi to Shimla, that can navigate the mountainous terrain.
From the water to the snow, India has not left any stone unturned when it comes to paving the path to greater adventures. The country is full of undiscovered destinations for adventure junkies, especially those who are excited to be knee-deep in snow and cherish nothing more. Pack your winter clothes and head out on a ski trip this year. You can also, check out this article to learn more about the other winter destinations in India.
Last Updated on December 1, 2022 by