A land with humid coasts, dusty plains, lush tropical rainforests, dreamy deserts, and the mighty Himalayas- India has them all. The diverse landscape of this country allows you to partake in a wide variety of adventure sports. Out of them all, it is the immense scope for winter sports that surprises many.
The dizzying slopes of the Himalaya offer some of the best skiing in the world. You can glide down the snow-capped peaks with stunning views of the valleys below. There is no dearth of skiing destinations in the Himalayas. If you are an avid skier or a snowboarder, don’t forget to pack the gear of your choice if visiting India during winter.
For the avid skier or snowboarder, we have handpicked 5 of the best ski resorts in India that should be on your bucket list-
1. Kufri (near Shimla)
Famed for its deep valleys and thrilling slopes,Kufriis the winter sports capital of Shimla. Situated 16 km from Shimla, it is a hub of much activity and enjoyment in winters. Its gentle and smooth slopes make Kufria great destination for beginners. Severaltraining facilities also provideboth training and facilities for skiing.
The Himachal Pradesh department of travel and tourism conducts a winter sports festival every year in February. Apart from skiing, you can also indulge in Tobogganing. The best time to visit this beautiful town for winter sports is from November to March.
How to reach- You can fly from New Delhi to Shimla which is around 16 kilometers from Kufri. Shimla is also well connected with decent roads. Many, however, prefer using the toy train from Kalka to Shimla. The enchanting 6-hour trip takes you through 107 tunnels and lofty arched bridges.
2. Auli, Uttarakhand
Its glittering slopes and clean environment makes Aulia favorite skiing destination for many skiing enthusiasts. Located about 250 Kilometers from Rishikesh, Auli is a piece of paradise on Earth. The snow-covered slopes are covered with evergreen conifers and oak forests.
You can experience breathtaking views of peaks like Mt Nanda Devi Kamet, Mana Parwat, Dunagiri, Beethartoli, Nilkanth, Hathi Parbat, Ghori Parbat, and Nar Parbat.The Gorson Reserve forest is a part of the Nanda Devi National Park and contains some of the rarest of the Himalayan fauna.
Auli offers some of the best skiing in India. What’s more, French and Austrian experts opine that Auli has some of the best skiing grounds in the world. During the summer, this skiing haven has numerous marked walks for trekkers and also mountain bike trails. For winter sports, visit between November to February
How to reach- You can catch a flight to the nearest airport, Dehradun from New Delhi. Besides, Auli is also well connected by roads.
3. Yumthang Valley, Sikkim
Situated in the picturesque state of Sikkim, Yumthangis covered up in a blanket of snow from September until March.Situated at an elevation of 3564 meters, it starts snowing early here! This remote skiing location has slopes for beginners as well as experts. Though this place offers magnificent skiing, it is not as crowded as other popular ski resorts. You can enjoy winter sports in peace!
Besides skiing, the stunning mountainous landscape is great for hiking and mountain biking during the summer. At the onset of summer, you can check out the Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary which has over 24 species of Rhododendron flowers.
You can get there by road from Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim after an overnight stopover at Lachaung. This is because this region is prone to fogs and becomes dark very early. It is recommended that you take a shared or personal vehicle. Its isolation makes it a special skiing destination.
4. Mundali, Uttaranchal
Located in the district of Dehradun, Uttaranchal state, Mundali has dense clusters of evergreen forests. This, however, doesn’t affect the skiers from enjoying the powdery snow during the skiing season. This stunning town is known for its steep gradients. You can enjoy the snow-capped peaks of the mighty Himalayas from the slopes.
Mundali also has a ski school that provides all the necessary ski gear. But bringing your best ski poles would definitely add more fun any other ski gear. The skiing season is from December to February. You can take a flight to Dehradun from any major city and travel by road from there to Mundali.
5. Manali, Himachal Pradesh
Though famous (infamous?) for the best hash in the world, Manali Holiday Packages is a best choice for skiing and other winter sports activities. The Solang Valley, around 12 kilometers from Manali is where people go skiing. Situated in the dizzying heights of the Himalayas, this quaint town has slopes for beginners as well as experts.
The glacial waters of the Beas river offer some of the best white-water rafting in the Himalayas. Added to this, you can visit hot water springs and trek to remote and stunning locations that dot Manali. The best time for skiing in Manali is between December and February. You have a direct flight to Manali from New Delhi and can also travel there by road.
Some parting thoughts
The locations above are only a handful of many other skiing locations in India. There are numerous remote, barely accessible locations wanting to be discovered. If you are an adventurous type, you could plan a visit to one of them.
It is recommended that you finalize your itinerary well in advance and book accommodation close to your preferred destination. All the locations discussed above have good facilities. You could use the services of a local tour operator or check for what’s available online. All the best accommodation places have websites where you can finalize your stay well in advance.