If lesser crowded destinations carpeted with layers of fluffy snow, is your idea of a perfect winter vacation, then one of these offbeat winter wonderlands of India is where you need to head to this season. By Angira Kar

Offbeat winter wonderlands of India

1. Khirsu, Uttarakhand 

 

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Khirsu isimply magical during wintersAt a chilling 5-degrees Celsius, this hill station located in the Pauri Gharwal range of Uttarakhand, is often counted in the list of some of the best Indian destinations to visit during this season. You can go for trekking or camping in the dense forests, enjoy delicious meals at the local dhabas, walk around to discover local places and practices of the village such as self-farming, and even spot unique bird species in the woods. Full of natural delight, this place is perfect for a laid-back, hassle-free winter holiday, where you can rejuvenate and get a chance to know its people and their lifestyle. 

2. Chopta, Uttarakhand 

 

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Chopta is a small settlement in Uttarakhand that stays blanketed with pristine white snow from the beginning of the winter season till the end of MarchThis quaint little town is perfect to avoid the crowd at any time of the year. Social distancing? Check! The ambience during winter here is pretty picture-perfect; imagine, occasional bouts of snowfall coupled with clear sunny skies, and spectacular views of the mountain ranges! Here, you can visit the Tungnath Temple, which is the highest located Shiva temple in the world; explore the panoramic view of Chandrashila, or trek to the Deoria Tal. Lovingly known as the mini Switzerland of Uttarakhand, Chopta is your best bet for a magical winter trip.  

3. Mayodiya, Arunachal Pradesh

 

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The snow-covered pass of Mayodiya in Arunachal Pradesh is an unexplored treasure of India. Being one of the remotest and least-dense places in the country, the beauty of this serene place still goes mostly unnoticed. However, all this makes it the best winter fairyland for explorers. You can go on a trek through some virgin routes in the forest, plan a bike ride, and also indulge in Arunachal’s famous oranges. Just three-and-a-half hours from here lies another unexplored tow Anini — marked by its pleasant views and calmness. Mayodiya, hence, can be your perfect winter destination to soak in the enchanting beauty of the Himalayas. 

4. Mechuka, Arunachal Pradesh 

 

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Blessed with nature’s bounty, Mechuka is another spellbinding destination of Arunachal Pradesh. Mechuka in local language means medicinal snow water, as it is believed that water formed as a result of the melting of snow from the mountain peaks here, possesses great medicinal qualities. This highly underrated place offers an opportunity to visit the 400yearold Samten Yongcha Monastery and numerous ancient statues that’ll help you delve deeper into the culture, religion and history of this place. Moreover, its alluring landscapes, Tibetan architecture, exotic ancient tribes, glassy lakes and snow-capped mountain peaks will remind you of the beauty of finding yourself in tranquil solitude. 

5. Sarahan, Himachal Pradesh 

 

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The Himachali town of Sarahan is not only a nature lover’s delight in winter but also a place marked with a rich religious history. The Bhimakali Temple with all its mythical folklore makes it a suitable getaway for pilgrims. When here, you can enjoy nature’s abundant beauty in the apple and peach orchards, or take a trip to Sangla Valley to enjoy the ethereal snowy landscapes. With the backdrop of snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas covered with pine and deodar trees, the captivating beauty of Sarahan is a sight you wouldn’t want to miss this winter. 

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