The monsoon rains have ended, and the mercury is dropping as winter slowly sets in across India. Diwali is over, but people are already gearing up for Christmas and the New Year. Plus, there are plenty of festivals and events in November 2017 to look forward to. But if you prefer not to head to the festivities and want to experience the winter season at its best, Uttarakhand is the place to head to. Quiet, cool and calm, Uttarakhand has its share of commercial and offbeat destinations. Even with the commercial spots, you’ll find plenty of quiet places to explore. And with the Kumaon and Garhwal Himalayan mountains, you have all the elements for a postcard-perfect winter vacation this season. Here, then, are a few good winter destinations in Uttarakhand to consider.
Jim Corbett National Park
Tiger at Jim Corbett National Park
November 2017 is here, which means that the Jim Corbett National Park will be fully open after months of being shut down for the monsoon. You can go for safaris through all the zones of the park. The forest will be dark and dense and full of life this time of the year, which means that you have fewer chances of spotting the incredible tiger but you can still experience the jungle in all its wild glory.
Morning at Ranikhet
A popular destination among families, Ranikhet has plenty of nature trails where you can take long walks and view points from where you can witness the majesty of the Himalayan mountains around you. The colonial-era charm of this hill station also makes this place a major vacation destination in Uttarakhand for all seasons. Plus, you have paragliding and other adventure activities as well. ALSO READ: Top 10 honeymoon destinations in Uttarakhand where love is in the air
Mesmerizing view of Kamet, Parvati and Neelkanth mountains of Garhwal Himalayas from Kuari pass hiking trail near Auli, Uttrakhand
With the winter season moving in, Auli would soon be getting its first snow, if it hasn’t already. Within the coming weeks, the beautiful winter destination in Uttarakhand will be ready to welcome skiers to its slopes, which rise to heights of 2,500-3,000 meters. Auli’s ski slopes are perfect for every level, from beginner to professional, which is what makes it such a great ski destination.
Mesmerizing view of Panchchuli peaks at Munsiyari, Kumaon region
Speaking of snowy slopes, the town of Munsiyari in Pithoragarh would also be readying itself to welcome skiers and trekkers. The town lies at the base of the Himalayas and offers plenty of activities and adventures for those who seek it. It also helps that this place is off the beaten path and less busy than Auli, which is a popular ski haunt for locals and foreign nationals alike.
Garhwal Himalayas in Chamoli district, Uttarakhand
Want to make the trek up to the Valley of Flowers National Park? Or maybe the Gurudwara Hemkund Sahib that lies along a glacial lake, with the seven peaks of the Himalayas around it? If that’s your plan for the winter, Chamoli is the place to head to. It has adventure, of course, but it also has plenty to offer to the spiritual traveler. After all, Chamoli isn’t called the abode of the gods for no reason. NOW READ: Best time to visit Valley of Flowers in Uttarakhand
Binsar in Uttarakhand
Let’s head to another off-beat destination, this time the town of Binsar, where you can spend days exploring its nature trails and hills and watching the snowy Himalayan peaks around you. The weather is not too cold, the view is incredible and the people are warm and friendly. What more do you need for a quiet winter getaway to disconnect yourself from the rest of the world?
If you want something a little more out of the way than Binsar, there’s always Chopta. The little town has little luxuries, but it is the starting point to two of the most incredible Himalayan treks for beginners: Chandrashila and Tungnath. Head for the multi-day trek from this town or stay inside and experience the quiet life of the small Himalayan town for a few days. NOW READ: 7 lesser explored hill stations in Uttarakhand perfect for your winter vacation!
With snow-capped mountains around you, gushing rivers and the warmth of its people to counter the cold temperatures, Uttarakhand makes for an ideal winter destination this season. So get your tickets booked and pack your best winter jackets, and lose yourself to the beauty of this state.