Skiing is by far the most popular winter sport in the entire world, so much so that ski enthusiasts wait all year long for the perfect stretch of snow terrain on which they can ski to their heart’s content. The snow-bound mountains and the icy cold climate provides for the perfect skiing environment for a wonderful and adventurous experience. The prime ski season in India is from December to March when most of the hill stations receive heavy snow which provides the perfect snow cover required to ski. If you the love snow and enjoy skiing, we recommend these top skiing destinations in India that promise you a wonderful and adventurous experience. Scroll below and read on.
Welcome to the most preferred winter sports destination in India, Auli. It is one of best skiing destinations in the country and is situated in the lap of beautiful Uttarakhand. It is the most preferred skiing hub for the simple reason that it is a well-maintained, pristine retreat away from the confines of a bustling city life. Auli has also got the honour of hosting the first SAF Winter Games in India in 2011 and ever since this place has gained immense recognition in the winter sports world. The skiing slopes here range from 2000m to 3000m with just the perfect amount of snow on them. There is also a 500m long ski-lift and 800m long chair-lift for the skiers to get to the top of the mountains. Like Solang Valley, Auli has a Skiing Institute that runs skiing classes.
When to Visit: The best time to visit Auli for skiing is obviously the winter months of December to February.
Gulmarg will remind you of a Swiss village right here in India. One of the top skiing destinations in India, Gulmarg is a place laden with snow in the winters and a perfect place to enjoy the sport amid paper-white snow and the mountains. Gulmarg is also popularly known as the heartland of winter sports in India. You can commence skiing from two points in Gulmarg – Kongdori and Aparwahat Peak. You can either ski on the 450m slope of Kongdori or challenge yourself by skiing the 800m ridge at Apharwat Peak. Both the points provide you with an exhilarating experience! Gulmarg is known for offering the best skiing in India and it ranks as the 7th best skiing destination in Asia. In Gulmarg, you can also ride the high cable car ride called the Gulmarg Gondola.
- Best time to visit Gulmarg for skiing: December to March
- Reaching Gulmarg: You can reach Gulmarg via air, rail and road. Via Air: Srinagar is the nearest airport to Gulmarg and a 90-minute ride in a taxi or cab will get you to Gulmarg from the airport. Via Rail: Jammu or Udhampur is the nearest railway station and from there you will have to hire a cab or taxi. Via Road: Board a bus or cab from Srinagar and you can reach Gulmarg while enjoying the pristine landscape of Kashmir along the way.
3. Kufri, Himachal Pradesh
Kufri is a beautiful hill station of Himachal Pradesh. Known as the winter sport capital of Shimla, the slopes of the beautiful hill town is at a distance of 13 kilometers from the Himachali capital. Nestled at an altitude that reaches 2622 meters, Kufri is a skier’s paradise. Snow changes the beautiful landscape as the playground of sports. The forests of pine and cedar and the lush environs remains charming throughout the year. Kufri attracts ski enthusiasts from all over the world during winters. From the first snowfall to the time comes for the snow to melt. People seeking to enjoy the white snow are seen in the quaint hill town. The otherwise quaint slice of heaven becomes vibrant and thrilling. From a beginner’s run to an advanced slope and slalom run, Kufri offers excellent skiing opportunities for both novice as well as experienced people. The slopes of the hill station are full of adventures. A little above the hill station, Mahsu ridge also offer excellent slopes to ski.
Best time to visit: The best time to visit Kufri for skiing is from December to February. The snow is thick and perfect for adventure. Early Decembers and late February snow is not thick enough for adventure. Make plans for skiing after a fresh bout of snowfall.
4. Yumthang Valley
Sikkim nestled in the lap of Eastern Himalayas have scenic valleys blessed with beautiful views and exciting snow adventures. Yumthang is located in North Sikkim, 150 kilometers from the capital city of Gangtok. Located at an elevation of about 3575 meters, this beautiful setting not only has blessed with breathtaking views but exhilarating adventures of skiing. The valley is surrounded by towering mountains which seems to rise upto the heavens. The beauty of Yumthang Valley in Sikkim is that it changes its look with the change of seasons. The unexploited haven is a pleasure to view all seasons. In the summer months, its nature’s very own garden with blossom all around and in winters, it is draped in powdery snow. From November to March, Yumthang is all white and a perfect site for skiing. The natural slopes of the valley create perfect skiing opportunities for experts as well as the beginners of the sport. Sikkim Mountaineering Association (SMA) has recently introduced this sport when thick carpet of snow settles in the valley.
- Where to go: The entire Yumthang Valley offers beautiful snow draped slopes in the winters. The Sikkim Mountaineering Association (SMA) has recently organized skiing for tourists in the valley. The natural slopes have the requisites of exciting skiing. Beginners can get the hang of the sport and experts can indulge in the thrill.
- Best time to Visit: Yumthang Valley receives snow in winters. The snowfall starts from December. January to March is the best time to indulge in the winter sports. After a fresh snowfall you are likely to have the most fun.
Munsiyari is another well-known skiing destination in India which is located at the entrance of the Johar Valley. When translated into English, the name literally means ‘a place covered with snow’. Munsiyari is blessed with a climate and terrain that makes it a go-to haunt for mountaineers, glacier enthusiasts and high altitude trekkers. The snow-clad slopes also offer a great opportunity to check your skiing skills. The place is often used by trekkers as a base camp for their trek to Khalia. Munsiyari is located by the Goriganga River.
- Best time to visit Munsiyari for skiing: October to February
- Reaching Munsiyari: You can reach Munsiyari via air, rail and road. Via Air: Pantnagar Aeroplane Terminal is the nearest airport to Munsiyari from where you will have to hire a cab to travel 300kms to reach here. Via Rail: If you are taking a train, you will have to travel up till Kathgodam Railway Station which is 280kms away and then take a taxi from there to reach Munsiyari. Via Road: In order to reach Musiyari, you will have to reach Pithoragarh and from there take a bus or cab and reach here.
6. Dayara Bugyal
Dayara Bugyal is one of the most scenic skiing spots in India. It is located in the state of Uttarakhand. Dayara Bugyal has lush grasslands and steep snowy slopes. It is situated amid two snow-clad peaks – Bandar Poonch and White Peak. Although Dayara Bugyal is a lush green meadow in summers, it turns into an amazing skiing destination in the winters as it is completely covered in thick snow, ideal for the best skiing experience. Dayara Bugyal overlooks the snow-laden Himalayan peaks such as Draupadi ka Danda, Srikanth, John Lee and. The place also has the Barnala Tal lake which makes for an excellent camping spot.
- Best time to visit Dayara Bugyal: Mid October to January
- Reaching Dayara Bugyal: You can reach Dayara Bugyal via road and rail. Via Road: You can take a bus from other cities and reach Barsu and from there reach Dayara Bugyal. Via Rail: Reach Haridwar via train and from there you can take a bus or cab to Barsu.