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#BestOf2020: Top 10 Snowfall Experiences In India We Missed Out On

Celebrating the #BestOf2020 might seem like an anomaly for many, especially for a travel lover. But keeping the spirits up and soaring, we’ve decided to take you on a visual journey, where—had things not been unusual—we would have visited first-hand, and soaked in all its goodness. One such ‘bests’ are India’s countless snowfall destinations, each of which radiate unparalleled charm. By Bayar Jain

Picture this: a sweater-covered version of you walking through fluffy carpets of snow, with a cup of hot cocoa in hand. In the distance, footsteps sinking into the whites grab your attention, only to end at a bonfire’s red and yellows swaying in cool winter breeze. As night falls, the dark echoes pave the way for a fresh blanket covering the spaces, courtesy white snowflakes cascading from the heavens while you sleep snuggly in layers of quilts.

The charm of visiting snow-laden destinations is irresistible, and under regular circumstances, 2020 too would have seen a wave of tourists flocking to these abodes at the drop of a hat. But all hope is not lost. We’ve curated a visual journey for you so you can enjoy the #BestOf2020 and explore these destinations from the comforts of your home. Let’s go!

It’s only natural for Kashmir to top the list. Every year, Gulmarg—renowned as the country’s finest skiing destination—finds itself buried in layers of snow, often resulting in the closure of roads.

A more accessible destination, however, is Himachal Pradesh’s Manali. No stranger to tourists, snowfall in this resort-town often makes headlines. And justifiably so! After all, its arrival also marks the onset of amateur skiing, snowboarding, snow mobiles, and lot more!

Higher up in the Himalayas lies Spiti Valley, often touted as a cold desert owing to its sub-zero temperatures. Come winter, and the countless monasteries, temples, and stupas of Spiti Valley’s untouched beauty lend themselves to a picture-perfect view.

Painted with a similar Buddhist tinge is Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawang. Every year, December brings with it bouts of snowfall, which often extends till April. During this time, the hill station frees itself from tourists, allowing any traveller to experience the destination’s slow-paced life to the T.

As snowfalls begin in India, animals gone into hiding throughout the year seem to resurface post the first shower. In Sikkim’s Yumthang Valley, strong yaks start to meander through the streets, bracing the winter chills in all their might. In the past few years, Sikkim Mountaineering Association (SMA) also introduced skiing opportunities in the valley so humans can make the most of the white season too!

During the months of December to March, Uttarakhand’s Auli also finds itself blessed with snow. A dreamy vibe takes over the spaces, while the quaint streets double as the ideal spots to sip on hot coffee.

One can sense a similar aura when heading to Chopta, also in Uttarakhand. Rightly dubbed as Mini Switzerland of Uttarakhand, the otherwise lush green meadows and forests of the picturesque hamlet convert to white, while the crimson-hued sunrise continues to cast a spell behind the Himalayan ranges. During this time, the otherwise bustling Tungnath temple here, a revered Hindu pilgrimage site, closes temporarily. The liveliness of the locals, however, continues to linger.

What truly makes snowfall in India magical, however, is the frozen lakes and waterfalls. The most striking of which is visible at Ladakh’s Chadar trek. Popularised as extremely difficult trail to conquer—owing to the harsh climate—the once-in-a-lifetime experience is known to lure adventure tourists from all around the world.

Straying away from the immense popularity is a hidden gem in West Bengal’s Sandakphu. Despite being the highest peak in the state, the unconventional trek often gets blindsided by tourists. In effect, its snow-laden spaces coupled with the gurgling water of the nearby river Teesta make for a winter wonderland like no other.

While this year may not have been ideal to witness the white magic up close, the snow-infused charm continues to shine bright as ever. Like every snowflake that falls on Earth, these tough times shall melt away too.

Related: #TNLVirtualTour: Skiing On Dreamy Snow-Ladden Slopes

Bayar Jain

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