The ancient and mystical land of India is home to many cultures, landscapes and climates. When the hot summers have subsided, the cold of winter brings a little magic to several destinations across India.  Here are some of the best places to visit in India during winter and some of the fun things to do there on a little winter holiday.

Winter Holidays in India

1) Winter in Shillong: Boating in Dawki

The capital of northeastern state of Meghalaya, Shillong is an untouched gem and is an under-explored destination in India. ‘Meghalaya’ means the abode of clouds. From the photogenic and ages old tree root bridges to the crystal clear waters of Dawki River, where you can actually see the lake bed from your boat, Shillong definitely has a lot to offer! M

eghalaya is also home to the highest waterfalls in India – the Nohkalikai Falls.

Boating in Dawki, Shillong Dawki River / CC by 4.0 / Vinit Vinay

Hanging Root Bridges Hanging Root Bridges / CC by 4.0 / Anushka Chakravorty

Best time to Visit
Winter is the best time to visit this heavenly location when the temperatures dip and you can see the beauty of this place come alive!
Where to Stay
Getting There
Shillong airport is connected to major airports around the country.

2) Manali: Gateway to the Himalayas

This popular backpacking and honeymoon destination of Manali is known for its beautiful snow-capped peaks, tall trees and overall romantic atmosphere and climate. If you’re an adventure junkie, the Solang Valley here is the place you can head to for a thrilling paragliding experience. If you prefer treks, the Bhrigu Lake trek is a challenging and beautiful experience!

It snows in Manali too – reason enough to make a visit here.

Manali CC by 2.0 / Himanshu JainSolang Valley Solang Valley / CC by 4.0 / Harvinder Chandigarh

Best time to Visit
During winters Manali experiences snowfall and this is the best time to see the beauty of this town.
Where to Stay
You can have an amazing stay at The Himalayan or Hotel Snow Park.
Getting There
Manali is well connected to major north Indian cities via road.

3) Dalhousie: Picture Perfect Town

Dalhousie is a picturesque place among the best places for a winter holiday in India. This town is situated near the Dhauladhar mountain range and is a window into India’s past during the British Raj with colonial-era buildings like the St. Francis and St. John’s churches.

If you are a big fan of nature, a visit to the Khajjiar Lake and the Kalatop Khajjiar Sanctuary is perfect for you! The inner trekker in you will love the trek to Dainkund Peak, and the view from there is to die for!

Dalhousie CC by 3.0 / Jaikumar2000Dalhousie Public School Dalhousie Public School / CC by 3.0 / Sabyk2001

Best time to Visit
During winters, the mercury dips and this makes it a great time to visit.
Where to Stay
You can stay at Aamod Dalhousie or MGM1 Hotel.
Getting There
You can reach Dalhousie by catching a flight to Jammu and then going by road to Dalhousie.

4) Leh: A Paradise for Trekkers

Known for its Buddhist monasteries and arid land with a cold climate, Leh is a cold desert in northern reaches of India. Camping is one fun experience here in the Nubra Valley near the lake. You could also visit the Thikse Monastery or the whitewashed Shanti Stupa. The mystic misty mountains around are a treat to watch. Another thing you should not miss is the centuries-old Leh Palace. A more adventurous trek to the Khardung La Pass will give you splendid views of the region.

Leh Leh / CC by 4.0 / ShivaRajvanshiThikse Monastery, Leh CC by 2.0 / snotch

Best Time to Visit
During the winter season, it snows in Leh and this makes the whole landscape very scenic and surreal. This is the best time to see this location.
Where to Stay
Stay at The Grand Dragon and have a luxurious stay.
Getting There
Leh is well connected by road to Srinagar, the capital of Jammu and Kashmir.

5) Diu: Visit the Longest Beach Festival in Asia

Located on the Diu Island, this coastal town in western India can be accessed via Gujarat. You can find long beaches and old churches reminiscent of the colonial era here. The Portuguese-built Diu Fort will definitely bring out the history lover in you with its bright red sandstone construction.

You could also visit during the Festa de Diu, a 75-day long beach festival, which is also the longest beach festival in Asia running from December to February, and take part in various activities.

Diu beach Diu Beach / CC by 4.0 / Piyush Tripathi

Diu Fort  CC by 3.0 / Mohnish1208

Best time to Visit
The best time to visit Diu is from December to February during the Festa de Diu.
Where to Stay
You can have a grand stay at Apaar Hotel.
Getting There
The closest railway station, Una, is located 12km from Diu. It is also well connected by road.

6) Havelock Island: Gem in the Indian Ocean

Of you live in a cold climate, maybe the best places for you during winter in India is the opposite – somewhere hot.

This island in Andaman group of islands is known for its beautiful beaches and crystal clear waters. You could head over to the brilliant Radhanagar Beach, which is voted as one of the best beaches in the world, and witness the marvellous sunsets there. You will love to see the beautiful corals here on diving. If you like birds, the island’s interior is home to many bird species too, so don’t forget your DSLRs!

Havelock island CC by 3.0 / Vikramjit KakatiHavelock island CC by 4.0 / Subro89

Best Time to Visit
Havelock Island is best visited during winter months between November and February when the climate is pleasant.
Where to Stay

7) Wayanad: Gateway to Nature

If there is one word that can describe this beautiful hill station down south in the state of Kerala, it is heavenly. If you’d like a little green escape during winter in India, head to Wayanad.

Located near the colossal Western Ghats, you can see vast tea plantations here and can trek on its varied landscape. The lush mountains of the Western Ghats can be seen from all around this town, and you can find many species of birds nesting here too!

Wayanad Wayanad / CC by 4.0 / SourceWayanad CC by 3.0 / Stalinsunnykvj

Best Time to Visit
Wayanad is best visited in winter when the mercury dips and the greenery can be enjoyed too.
Where to Stay
You can stay at Sterling Wayanad or Sharoy Resort.
Getting There
You can catch trains to Kozhikode from various parts of the country. From Kozhikode, Wayanad can be reached by road.

Apart from these, you could head over to places like Lonavala, Ooty, Kodaikanal, Srinagar, Shimla and many others where winter’s beauty can be witnessed. India has many sites which have tons of things to explore and discover.