Coldest Places in India: Explore the Cold Wonders of Winter

Coldest Places in India: Explore the Cold Wonders of Winter

Explore the enchanting landscapes of the Coldest Places in India, where winter casts its mesmerizing spell. These chilling destinations, like Leh-Ladakh, Kargil, and Dras, showcase nature’s frosty marvels. 

Venture into the heart of Keylong’s icy realm in Himachal Pradesh or discover the snowy wonders of Gulmarg in Jammu and Kashmir. Auli in Uttarakhand beckons with its pristine white expanses, while Manali and Shimla in Himachal Pradesh offer winter escapes draped in snow.

Top Coldest Places in India Along with Their Approximate

Winter Temperatures

Here is a list of some of the top coldest places in India along with their approximate winter temperatures in a tabular form:

PlaceStateWinter Temperature Range
DrasJammu and Kashmir-20°C to -45°C
LehLadakh-15°C to -30°C
KargilJammu and Kashmir-15°C to -35°C
KeylongHimachal Pradesh-10°C to -30°C
PahalgamJammu and Kashmir-8°C to -20°C
GulmargJammu and Kashmir-7°C to -10°C
AuliUttarakhand-4°C to 10°C
ManaliHimachal Pradesh-7°C to 10°C
SrinagarJammu and Kashmir-2°C to 10°C
TawangArunachal Pradesh-6°C to 10°C

Please note that these temperatures are approximate and can vary each year. Additionally, temperatures can drop significantly during peak winter months.

Embark on an unforgettable journey through the coldest places in India, where each destination narrates a unique story of winter’s embrace, making it a dreamland for cold weather enthusiasts. This Winter let’s explore the top 5 chilling destinations of India.

1. Dras, Among the most Coldest Places In India

Coldest Places in India

Dras, a breathtaking town in the Kargil district of Ladakh, stands as the second coldest inhabited place on Earth. Nestled in the high Himalayas, it boasts a stunning landscape surrounded by majestic mountains.

Dras is renowned for its extreme winter temperatures, often plummeting well below freezing, transforming the region into a winter wonderland.

Tourist Places In Dras

1. The Dras War Memorial 

The Dras War Memorial commemorates the sacrifices of soldiers during the Kargil War, adding historical significance to the area. 

2. Dras Valley

Visitors are captivated by the picturesque Dras Valley, meandering rivers, and vibrant apricot orchards, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking both natural beauty and historical resonance at this coldest places in India.

Temperature of Dras

  • In Winter:  -15 to -20 degrees Celsius (5 to -4 degrees Fahrenheit). 
  • In Summers: 15 to 20 degrees Celsius (59 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit).

How to Reach Dras

Dras, nestled in the picturesque Kargil district of Ladakh, offers a unique and serene destination for travelers. While tourism infrastructure may be basic, the stunning natural beauty and historical significance make it a worthwhile visit. To reach this coldest places in India is quite challenging.:

1. By Air:

The nearest airport is in Srinagar, approximately 160 kilometers away. From there, travelers can hire taxis or use bus services to reach Dras.

2. By Road:

  • From Srinagar: Dras is accessible by road from Srinagar through the Srinagar-Leh National Highway (NH1).
  • From Leh: Travelers can also reach Dras from Leh via the NH1, providing breathtaking views of the Himalayas.

Shared taxis and buses operate on the Srinagar-Leh highway, offering cost-effective transportation options for tourists.

Best Time to Visit Dras:

The summer months (May to September) are ideal, as winter brings harsh weather conditions and road closures due to snow.

Dras captivates with its scenic landscapes, the Dras War Memorial, and the tranquil Dras River, making the journey to this coldest places in India a memorable experience for adventure seekers and history enthusiasts alike.

2. Leh, Second Most Coldest Place In India

Coldest Places in India

Leh, the capital of Ladakh in the northernmost part of India, is a mesmerizing destination renowned for its stunning landscapes, monasteries, and vibrant culture. Leh  Located at a high altitude in the Himalayas, 

This coldest places in India offers a unique blend of natural beauty and rich heritage. Leh holds strategic importance due to its proximity to the borders of Pakistan and China, adding historical and geopolitical significance.

Tourist places in Leh: 

Leh attracts tourists with its mesmerizing Landscapes and Monasteries. Here are some tourist places in Leh, the second coldest Places in India.

1. Monasteries:

  • Leh is home to historic monasteries such as Thiksey Monastery, Hemis Monastery, and Shey Monastery, each showcasing Buddhist art, culture, and spirituality.

2. Leh Palace:

  • The iconic Leh Palace, a medieval Tibetan-style palace, stands as a symbol of Leh’s royal history and offers panoramic views of the town.

3. Shanti Stupa:

  • The Shanti Stupa, a white-domed Buddhist stupa, provides a peaceful retreat and panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.

4. Nubra Valley and Pangong Lake:

  • Leh serves as a gateway to breathtaking destinations like Nubra Valley, known for its sand dunes, and Pangong Lake, famous for its changing hues.

Temperature of Leh

  • In Winter: -5 to -15 degrees Celsius
  • In Summers: 15 to 25 degrees Celsius

How to reach Leh

Reaching Leh involves navigating challenging but scenic terrain, often by air or road, depending on the traveler’s point of origin. Here are the common ways to reach to this one of the coldest places in India:

1. By Air: Flight to Leh

  • Leh Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport (IXL): The airport in Leh operates domestic flights, connecting it to major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, and Srinagar. Flights operate seasonally due to weather conditions, with the summer months (May to September) being the primary travel window.

2. By Road:

  • Srinagar to Leh: The Srinagar-Leh Highway (NH1) is a popular route, typically open from May to October. The journey offers breathtaking views but involves challenging road conditions.
  • Manali to Leh: The Manali-Leh Highway is another scenic route, generally open from June to September. This road trip takes travelers through high mountain passes and diverse landscapes.

Travel Tips:

  • Acclimatization: Due to Leh’s high altitude, acclimatization is crucial. Spend a day or two resting upon arrival to avoid altitude sickness.
  • Permits: Certain areas in Ladakh, especially border areas, require permits for tourists. Check and obtain necessary permits in advance.

3. By Bus:

Government and private buses operate from Srinagar and Manali to Leh during the tourist season. The journey may take around 24 hours or more, depending on road conditions.

By Motorcycle:

Adventure enthusiasts often choose to ride motorcycles to Leh, enjoying the scenic beauty and challenging terrain. However, this requires careful planning, preparation, and acclimatization.

Travel Note:

As Leh is the Second most coldest places in India  Road access to Leh is limited during winter due to heavy snowfall, and the availability of flights may be restricted. It’s advisable to check weather conditions, road status, and flight schedules before planning the journey for Leh.

Related Article: 26 Best Winter Tourist Destinations in India for a Relaxing Holiday

3. Keylong, The Third Most Coldest Place In India

Coldest Places in India

Ranked as the third-coldest places in India, Keylong stands as the administrative center for Lahaul and Spiti in Himachal Pradesh. Positioned along the Manali-Leh Highway, Keylong is celebrated for its mesmerizing landscapes, pristine valleys, and distinctive cultural heritage.

Situated at an elevation of approximately 3,080 meters (10,100 ft) above sea level, Keylong experiences the effects of a high-altitude climate.

Tourist Places In Keylong

 Here are a few tourist destinations in India’s coldest region:

1. Monasteries: 

The town has hosted a number of Buddhist monasteries, which shows diversity in culture. Shasur and Kardang Monastery are among them.

2. Lahaul Valley:

 Keylong is the entry point to the stunning Lahaul Valley, which is renowned for its pure rivers, historic cities and alluring scenery. 

3.Lahaul Festival:

Every year, Keylong becomes the vibrant stage for the Annual Lahaul Festival, featuring traditional dances, music performances, and cultural displays.

4.  Bhaga River

Keylong’s allure is complemented by the flowing Bhaga River, which in winter transforms into a captivating frozen spectacle, enhancing the town’s natural beauty.

Keylong Climate:

During winter, Keylong experiences notably low daytime temperatures, frequently dropping below freezing. Conversely, visitors will appreciate its pleasant locale during the warm summer months.

  • Keylong Winter Temperature: Ranges from -5 to -15 degrees Celsius.
  • Summer Temperature: Varied between 10 and 25 degrees Celsius.

How to Reach Keylong

Keylong is accessible through the picturesque yet difficult Himalayan landscape. Keylong is reachable by road, and the bus and private car are the main forms of transportation. The following are popular routes to Keylong, one of India’s coldest locations:

1. From Manali via road:

The most popular route is the roughly 117-kilometer trip from Manali to Keylong. The Manali-Leh Highway provides stunning views as it winds its way through the mountains and takes approximately six to seven hours. Due to weather conditions, this route is typically accessible from June to October.

 2. By Bus:

Throughout the tourist season, there are scheduled bus services connecting Manali and Keylong.The buses offer a cheap mode of transport and can be run by the government or by a commercial company. Passengers may also choose to ride in personal or public taxis.

Travel Advice:

Weather conditions can have an impact on road accessibility, particularly in the winter. It’s a good idea to research road conditions before making travel plans.

Because Keylong is so high above sea level, acclimatization is necessary. Resting for a day or two after arrival can help avoid altitude sickness.

Travelers are rewarded for their daring journey to Keylong with breathtaking vistas of the Himalayas and the distinct cultural charm of the Lahaul and Spiti region.

Also Read: 22 Best Trekking Places in India You Must Do in 2023

4. Kaza, The Fourth Most Coldest Place In India

Coldest Places in India

Kaza, positioned in the Lahaul-Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh, India, serves as the sub-divisional headquarters for the Spiti Valley. Nestled along the Spiti River, Kaza is celebrated for its breathtaking landscapes, ancient monasteries, and unique cultural heritage.

Situated at an elevation of around 3,800 meters (12,467 feet) above sea level, Kaza exhibits a unique climate and topography.

Tourist Places In Kaza

 Below are some of the tourist destinations in Kaza:

1. Spiti River: 

The town’s location beside the Spiti River enhances its natural attractiveness. The Spiti Valley’s untamed scenery is traversed by the river.

2. Key Monasteries:

Key Monastery (Ki Monastery) and Tabo Monasteries are two of the major monasteries in Kaza. These monastic structures showcase the essence of Tibetan Buddhist art, culture, and spirituality.

4. Local Culture: 

The distinctive culture of Spiti Valley has evolved from Tibetan customs.Local festivals, as well as traditional dance and music, are available to visitors.

5. Kibber Village: 

Kibber, one of the world’s most populous villages, is accessible from Kaza & is renowned for its rustic mud-brick homes and scenic surroundings.

6. Dhankar Village and Monastery: 

Famous for its old monastery built on a steep cliff, Dhankar is located close to Kaza. Beautiful views of the Spiti Valley can be seen from the village.

Kaza Weather

Ranked as the fourth coldest places in India, Kaza experiences extremely cold weather, especially during winter when temperatures often plummet below freezing.Summer is the main travel season because of its warmer temperatures.

Travelers looking for an unusual and thrilling experience in the heart of the Himalayas are drawn to Kaza by its unique charm and breathtaking scenery.

Temperature in Kaza

  • Temperature range in the winter: -5 to -15°C.
  • 10 to 25 degrees Celsius in the summer.

How to get in touch with Kaza

These are the common routes to reach Kaza, the coldest places in India, located in the Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh.

1. By Road:

From Manali: Manali to Kaza is a very popular route. TThe journey covers a distance of approximately 200 kilometers, taking 8 to 10 hours. The route traverses through elevated mountain passes, including Kunzum Pass and Rohtang Pass. Subject to weather conditions, this route is typically accessible from June to October.

From Shimla: Shimla offers an additional path to Kaza. Over two days, the road trip covers a distance of around 450 kilometers. There are also amazing vistas of the Himalayas from this route.

2. By Bus

Throughout the tourist season, there are regular bus services connecting Manali and Kaza, offering an affordable mode of transportation, including both private and government-operated buses. 

Shared and private taxis are also available for passengers.

3. By Air:

Bhuntar, which is close to Kullu, is home to Kaza’s closest airport. Travelers have the option to reach Kaza from Bhuntar by hiring a taxi or taking a bus to Manali

Travel Advice:

Before undertaking a journey, ensure to assess the road conditions, especially during winter when substantial snowfall might lead to the closure of certain routes.

Because Kaza is thousands of feet above the ground, acclimatization is essential. After arriving, take a day or two off to recover from altitude sickness.

It can get chilly, especially in the evenings and at night, so bring warm clothes.

Also Read: Wildlife Wonders: 20 Best Jungle Safari in India

5. Srinagar, The Fifth Coldest Place In India

Coldest Places in India

The enchanting city of Srinagar, located in India’s northern region, serves as the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir. Situated in the Kashmir Valley, Srinagar is known for its captivating beauty.

 The valley is well-known for its breathtaking scenery, calm lakes, and extensive cultural history. These are a few Srinagar tourist attractions.

Tourist Places in Srinagar

1. Dal Lake: 

Srinagar is well-known for its immaculate Dal Lake, where guests can take shikara rides and spend time in houseboats, sometimes referred to as “floating palaces.”

2. Mughal Gardens: 

The city is home to stunning Mughal gardens with well-kept lawns and elegant Mughal architecture, including Shalimar Bagh, Nishat Bagh, and Chashme Shahi.

3. Shankaracharya Temple:

 Offering expansive views of Dal Lake and Srinagar, the temple is perched on a hill. It is a prominent location for Hindu pilgrimages.

4.Nigeen Lake:

 Offering serene surroundings and houseboat rentals, Nigeen Lake stands as a breathtaking alternative to Dal Lake, providing a more peaceful experience in Srinagar.

5. The Palace of Pari Mahal:

The “Palace of Fairies,” Pari Mahal, is a historical site with a terraced garden that provides expansive city vistas.

6. Floating Vegetable Market:

 Witness the unique spectacle of Dal Lake’s floating vegetable market, where local farmers trade their produce directly from boats

7. Handicrafts and Shopping: 

Srinagar is renowned for its exquisite handicrafts, including Pashmina shawls, carpets, and papier-mâché items, among others. The city’s markets offer a diverse range of traditional Kashmiri crafts.

8. Char Chinar: 

A popular spot for boat excursions and picnics, Char Chinar is an island in Dal Lake adorned with chinar trees.

Srinagar Weather:

 With pronounced seasonal fluctuations in temperature and weather throughout the year, Srinagar has a four-season climate.

Srinagar temperature:

  • Winter temperatures in Srinagar range from -6 to 2 degrees Celsius.
  • 15 to 30 degrees Celsius during the summer

Ways to Get to Srinagar

A well-liked travel destination in northern India, Srinagar has good air, road, and, to some extent, train connections. The following are typical routes to go to India’s coldest location:

1. By Air:

Srinagar International Airport (SXR) provides convenient access to major Indian cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore. With direct flights, air travel to Srinagar is a seamless and accessible choice.

2. By Road:

Jammu to Srinagar: National Highway 44 links the two cities. It takes eight to ten hours to go by car from Jammu to Srinagar, depending on the state of the roads.

From Delhi: Srinagar is almost 850 kilometers away from Delhi. Traveling by car from Delhi to Srinagar is rather popular; the trip takes 20 to 24 hours, depending on the route and traffic.

3. Via Bus:

There are frequent bus services that run between Srinagar and Jammu. Bus services, operated by both private and government entities, offer a range of transit classes.. The drive offers breathtaking views of the Himalayas.

4. By Rail: 

The nearest railway station to Srinagar is Srinagar Tawi Railway Station. Road travel is an option from Jammu to Srinagar. The drive takes eight to ten hours.

Travel Tips:

  • Road Conditions: Ensure assessment of road conditions, especially during winter when heavy snowfall might pose challenges in traversing certain routes.
  • Air travel: It’s best to reserve travel and lodging well in advance of the busiest travel seasons.
  • Rail Travel: While there is no direct train connection to Srinagar, a common practice is to take a train to Jammu and proceed by car from there.

Discovering India’s coldest location reveals an enthralling world of wintry delights and frosty vistas. Every location narrates a unique winter tale, from the serene valleys of Leh-Ladakh to the snow-clad expanses of Gulmarg and the frozen splendor of Dras.

For those seeking the exhilaration of intense cold, these frigid destinations provide a surreal experience along with breathtaking views of the Himalayas.

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