India is considered to be a country where it is always hot. This is one of the biggest myths about the country. Indian terrain is as diverse as its culture and its people. While it is true that the plains are generally hot and the coastal regions are quite humid, India is also home to some hilly regions where it can be colder than some of the most renowned winter destinations. There are several places in India where the temperature drops quite low. However, these places are also at their natural best during the winters and are worth a visit. The white blanket of snow and the cold weather makes these places extremely romantic. They also serve as great places for a white vacation with snow and adventure all around. Here are the top 10 coldest places in India that are worth visiting at least once in a lifetime.
India is home to the world’s second coldest inhabited place. Yes, that’s right. The village of Dras located in the Kargil district of Jammu and Kashmir is known for its cold weather. Temperatures here drop to as low as -22 degree C. India’s coldest inhabited place, Dras is often called the ‘Gateway to Ladakh’. Its unparalleled natural beauty makes it an excellent holiday destination. Its picturesque surroundings and lovely summer weather are worth checking out to experience India’s beautiful north terrain which is rugged yet enchanting.
Kargil, which became popular during India’s war with Pakistan in 1999, is located just 11 km from the Indo-Pak border. It is a popular base for adventure activities like mountaineering, high altitude trekking, camping, river rafting, etc. in the Himalayas. at an altitude of 2676 m, Kargil becomes quite cold during the winters with temperatures dropping to – 48 degree C. However, the Kargil War Memorial and the scenic backdrop of mountains and clear blue skies make Kargil a destination worth visiting at least in a lifetime.
One of India’s famous pilgrim spots, Hemkund Sahib or Gurudwara Sri Hemkund Sahib is known for its glacial lake and surrounding snow-clad peaks. Located at an altitude of 4,362 m, Hemkund Sahib will take your breath away with its beautiful surroundings and cold weather. It is accessible only during summer via a 13 km trek or a pony ride.
And then there is Leh in Jammu and Kashmir which is known as a biker’s paradise. Leh is accessible via the Leh-Srinagar and Manali-Leh highways only during the months of June to September as the highways are closed on account of snow during the rest of the year. Even during summer, the temperature goes as low as 7 degrees C. However, the beauty of this rugged terrain against the backdrop of clear blue skies makes it worth a visit. The riding route is as adventurous as it gets and places like Pangong Tso offer a slice of nature like nowhere else in the country.
Home to the Kanchenjunga which is one of the tallest peaks on the planet, North Sikkim is one of the coldest places in the country with temperatures dropping as low as – 40 degrees C. However, the scenic beauty of places like Zero Point, Yumthang Valley, Lachung monastery make it totally worth a visit. The alpine forests all around clubbed with the occasional waterfalls and lakes will leave you speechless.
Spiti in Himachal Pradesh is one of the most beautiful yet underrated places to visit in India. Located between India and Tibet, Spiti is rich in Buddhist culture and natural beauty. Its green valleys, emerald lakes and lip-smacking food are too good to resist. Monasteries like Ki and Tabo give you a sneak peek into the culture of the region and also its historic architecture.
Located in the Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh, the Sela Pass is at an elevation of 13,700 feet. It connects the Buddhist city of Tawang Town to Tezpur and Guwahati. Temperatures here can drop down to – 10 degrees C in winter. Its lakes and surrounding snow-clad peaks make Sela Pass an extremely picturesque place worth visiting in northeast India.
Located in the Pithoragarh district in Uttarakhand at an elevation of about 2,200 m, Munsiyari is known to be a great trekking destination. Temperatures during winter drop to – 10 degree C. However, the snow-clad peaks surrounding this place make it a great holiday spot for the summers.
Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir receives heavy snowfall during winter and the temperature often drops below – 5 degree C. However, it is one of India’s most picturesque places to visit. Its lakes, mountains, people and food make it an extremely alluring holiday spot.
Made extremely popular by the Golden Temple, Amritsar in Punjab is a major pilgrim destination. Temperatures often drop to single digits during winters here. However, Amritsar is a must-visit on account of its rich cuisine, sacred temples, folk art and culture.