Other than the festive 10-day Christmas and New Year period, along with areas within a 200 km radius of Tier 1 cities, tourism in the hills of North India sees a dip between the months of November to February. The only winter destinations in India that do see an influx are the ones already on the tourist map for decades.
In this list below, we’ve compiled an offbeat version of the best places to visit in winters in India, suggesting places only within a 1-hour drive radius of existing mainstream hubs.
1. Ramgarh – Nainital
Mainstream Tourist Hub: Nainital - 40 minutes drive
Best known as the fruit bowl of Kumaon, the quaint town of Ramgarh is a paradise for those looking for quiet and quick getaways from Delhi with the option of experiencing a bit of the tried and tested endearments of Nainital as well. Less than 45 minutes from the lake town and district capital, Ramgarh is a must-visit for bird and nature lovers and those wanting to take things a wee-bit slow on their travels.
Unbound Specials – Click Here to read about the how Ramgarh came to be regarded as the Late Rabindranath Tagore’s second home and a not-so-sneak peak on why Unbound recommends this as one of the best places to visit in winters in India.
Tourist Hub: Almora – 50 minutes drive from Binsar
Staying with Kumaon, though Binsar and its surrounding area is best known for religious reasons, being the last stop before the famous Jageshwar Dham, the place is yet another Kumaoni paradise for flora & fauna lovers and also plays host to a local gem – The Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary, home to a mesmerizing variety of birds and local animal species, thus finding its way to this list of the best winter destinations in India.
Unbound Specials – Click Here to know about an obscure cave temple, 20 km from Binsar.
Tourist Hub: Kasauli – 20 minutes drive | Shimla – 130 minutes drive
Known for two things oddly keeping travellers away from this low-lying hidden Himalayan Gem, Dagshai is identified firstly with its Cantonment Area, one of the oldest British ones at that, and secondly as a haunted Himachali hill town. A deeper exploration, however, opens door to one of Himachal’s most accessible, historically rich and visually delightful destinations.
Whether it is treks across rivulets or a toy train ride from Dharampur on the UNESCO World Heritage commended Kalka – Shimla Railway, a visit to the open British Era Jail (whose last prisoner happens to be a certain Nathuram Godse) or a visit to the St. Patrick’s R.C. Church, Dagshai is the closest thing to an open history museum, midway between Chandigarh and Shimla.
Unbound Specials – Click Here to know more about why Dagshai was once the Kalapani of the North for the East India Company.
Tourist Hub: Mussoorie – 30 minutes drive from Landour
While the Garhwali hill station of Mussoorie continues to be one of North India’s most crowded destinations during peak season, November to February is possibly the best to visit its rather cute, slow-paced and enchanting neighbour – Landour. An erstwhile British cantonment, it has maintained an unmistakable charm while still managing to stay away from hordes of crowds. Peppered with small yet delightful cafes and B&Bs run by local Tibetans, the place is a quick drive from Mussoorie and thus gives its visitors enough options to engage in mainstream as well as offbeat experiences,
making Landour and Mussoorie one of India’s best places to visit in winters in India.
Unbound Specials: Click Here for an exhaustive Travel Guide on Landour & Mussoorie, and why the place is home to the aptly titled – Happy Valley.