There’s something very dreamy and romantic about winters that make us crave even those dreary cold nights. Indeed, with all things snug and warm that characterise winters, living those days that carry the nip in the air have to be the ultimate comfort life. For nostalgia digging souls who can’t be waiting for winter to set in already, here are 14 coldest places in India that will give you all the chills-
#1 Dras, Ladakh
Being the gateway to the high altitude spanning town of Ladakh, Dras immediately stamps its authority as being also the coldest place in India. Even the conflict zone that this place has been till only some time back could not heat up environs enough to not let us feel the chills. We indeed are mere mortals at nature’s mercy!
At an elevation of 3350 metre,s everything about Dras is very cool and calm. The cold environs is perfectly complemented by the sleepy vibe that characterises the town. A tourist spot catapulted to fame by the Kargil War of 1999, Dras very soon gained on its picturesque and locational advantage to emerge as a place that beckoned with its natural abundance. Dras is in fact not only the coldest place in India, it is also the second most inhabited among coldest places in the world!
The snowy white expanse of paradise that Dras is, the place witnesses considerable tourist footfall who brave the intense cold to seek respite from the scorching summer heat that makes life difficult elsewhere in the country. Also as the place that makes access to other tourist hotspots like Amarnath and Sialkot all the more convenient, Dras is also all things cool and enticing.
Winter temperature (lowest): -45℃
#2 Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh
A cold desert valley at the foothills of the Himalyas, the Spiti valley in Himachal Pradesh gets as notoriously cold as it can to be one of the coldest place in India. At 3,800 meters above sea level, the breathtaking land enchants as much with its surreality as with its profusion of natural exuberance. Literally translating as the middle land, Spiti derives its cool quotient with its locational nestling between two equally cooler lands- Ladakh and Tibet. However, the cold clime isn’t the only inviting thing about Spiti. As a mountainous terrain, Spiti also counts on the thrill of arduous treks to entice adventure enthusiasts to explore its cool terrains.
Winter temperature (lowest): -30°C
#3 Hemkund Sahib
A gurudwara might not be the likeliest of places to be among the coldest in the country but the highest gurudwara in the world is also revered all the more because of this unique distinction. Literally translating as the Lake of Snow, the Hemkund Sahib gurudwara is adorned by a glacial lake and is nestled within seven snowy peaks. Uttarakhand’s 4330 metres above sea level gurudwara inspires awe with the majesty of its view and commands reverence with its innate profoundity of spiritual aura. Accessible only during the summer months when the cold gets a little more bearable, this is one of the coldest place in India that is also pretty much exclusive in the chill quotient.
Winter temperature (lowest): -11°C
#4 Lachen and Thangu Valley, North Sikkim
A spectacular snow capped landscape and a maximum elevation of over 8000 feet makes Sikkim another contender to make you shiver as the coolest place in India. But cold here in the state is so intense that even the contention comes with internal competition from two quarters- North Sikkim and West Sikkim.
Northern Sikkim is home to the twin towns of Lachen and Thangu Valley which counts among the coldest habitable places in India. Sub zero temperatures, considerable altitudes and the rugged terrain makes winters in the region a challenge. But even otherwise, with its tag as being a hilly area, Northern Sikkim remains colder than most of the other places of the country.
Winter temperature (lowest): -40°C
#5 West Sikkim
Bounded by the mighty Kanchenjungas, the western part of Sikkim is a haven of cold climes and freezing temperatures. Snowy expanses and floating clouds serve as the perfect backdrop to the lush green fields and dewy lands. Sizzling in the aesthetics and shivering in the feels, West Sikkim has it all to be the perfect summer detour.
Winter temperature (lowest): -15°C
#6 Siachen Glacier
The Siachen Glacier is still highly restricted territory and still stomps its authority as the highest battlefield in the world. But what makes this glacier unique from other awe inspiring places is also its severely harsh and cold climate. With an elevation of 5400 meters, the glacier is witness to very heavy snowfall- in fact, one of the heaviest in the world. One look at the expanse of snow that this glacier is all it seems and you can’t feel at least a bit intimidated with the vast expanse of nothingness except white. Hostility characterises this highly disputed territory, otherwise guaranteed to be a place of eerie calmness with its dubiously cold distinction.
Winter temperature (lowest): -50°C
#7 Leh- Ladakh
The beauty of Leh- Ladakh isn’t the only enticing aspect about this desert high terrain. With an average altitude of 6000 meters above sea level, it is also the cold confines of the place that invites tourists into its snowy dreamscape. The high rise landscape is characterised by extreme temperatures and bounties of snowfall that further elevate its appeal as a natural haven amply abundant with nature’s grace. Leh- Ladakh however isn’t just the coldest place in India, it also has its claim to fame with its cultural and historical lineage and locational importance. Even without the appeal of the snow though, the region still is an adventurous land that beckons with its must- explore attractions.
Winter temperature (lowest): -28℃
#8 Sela Pass, Tawang
Another of the coldest place in India remains steeped in altitude in the north eastern part of the country. At more than 4000 meters above sea level, the Sela Pass in Arunachal Pradesh is a mountain pass that connects Tawang to Arunachal Pradesh. With a mesmerizing view of the mighty Himalayan vista, the pass beckons beauty within its snowy expanse encompassing the marvel of nature’s steeped glory.
Winter temperature (lowest): -15°C
#9 Munsiyari, Uttarakhand
Munsiyari is that very quaint looking small village hamlet that has that cool, calm vibe to it. Captivating natural beauty done up splendidly by snow capped peaks with the thrill of adventurous treks captures the essence of another of the coldest place in India. With the majesty of the Himalayas as the backdrop, Munsiyari sounds offbeat but is very much mainstream when you get to experience the spine shivering chill in the air.
Winter temperature (lowest): -3°C
#10 Sonamarg, Jammu and Kashmir
Sonamarg, literally translated as Meadow of Gold does not sound like a place of the colds and the chills. But with its elevation of 2800 metres above sea level, this Kashmiri hamlet isn’t the most comfortable of places to be this winter. In fact, winters here are particularly harsh with snowfall characterising the coldest of days. But otherwise the place is a land of verdant greenery and a very beautiful land to visit. Surrounded by mountains nestled in snow makes Sonamarg another enticingly cool place to be in to escape the summer heat.
Winter temperature (lowest): -6°C
#11 Kufri, Himachal Pradesh
As a hill station elevated at a height of 2720 meters, Kufri has to be cold. Nestled within the many hills and valleys of Himachal Pradesh, the tiny town of Kufri is a true nature’s paradise, with natural verdancy interspersed by snow- clad whiteness. In fact, Kufri’s presence in the list of coldest place in India also stems its reputation as a destination best explored for skiing.
Winter temperature (lowest): -10°C
Perhaps among the most well known of pilgrimage sites in India, Amarnath is another place that also counts on its ‘cool’ reputation to draw tourists from all over. The cold terrains perfectly offset the strenuous trek along Amarnath that will bring you to the shrine much revered by devotees of Lord Shiva. However avalanches and snow blockages make this already demanding trek even more challenging. No wonder, with daunting precipes and huge masses of ice and snow, Amarnath makes it to the list of coldest places in India. Drab and dreary, Amarnath is the place for you to go if you seek adventure even in spirituality!
Winter temperature (lowest): – 20°C
#13 Kargil, Ladakh
At 2676 meters above sea level sits the town of Kargil, deep in layers of chill and snow, making it another feature in the list of coldest place in India. The haven of a host of adventure activities, Kargil however dwells in a climate that is cold enough to lend you the shivers. With the Himalayas at and as its beckoning, Kargil is as beautiful as it is cold and sits prettily atop in the northern part of the country.
Winter temperature (lowest): -48°C
#14 McLeod Ganj
The Little Lhasa of India, McLeod Ganj is a hill station that rests at an elevation of 2082 meters above sea level and is famous as being a trekker’s paradise. Pretty and scenic, this peaceful place in Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh owes its winter resplendence to the bounty of snow that capes its many peaks and lands. Among the coldest place in India, McLeod Ganj sure has a charm of its own!
Winter temperature (lowest): -1°C