Coldest Places in India
India is known for its diverse climatic conditions. The plains are usually hot during summer, coastal regions are relatively humid throughout the year while the hilly areas tend to remain cold for most of the part of the year. There are also certain places in India where the temperature goes below 0 degree centigrade and tends to remain cold almost throughout the year and thus are perfect places for a white vacation in India. Some of the famous cold places in India are listed below.
Top ten coldest places in India:
Dras is the world's second coldest inhabited place located at Kargil town in Ladakh. It is located at an altitude of 3280 meters above the sea level and is counted among the coldest places in India.
It is also known as the 'Gateway to Ladahk' and is also the starting point or serves as the trekking base for the pilgrims travelling to visit Amarnath cave and Sialkot. Besides this, it is also a famous tourist attraction as it offers scenic landscapes, ridges, snowy mountains to the tourists that are strong enough to withstand the bone-chilling cold of this region. Besides this, the tourists can also view tiger hills, tololing from Dras. The Dras War Memorial is also built in the memory of Kargil war martyrs at Dras.
It is located on the Srinagar Leh highway. The temperature in winter drops as low as minus 45 degrees centigrade, so the best time to visit this place is from June to September. The nearest airport to Dras is Shaikh ul-Alam in Srinagar, India.
2) Siachen Glacier
Siachen Glacier is the coldest place in India. It is located in the northern Karakoram range at an altitude of 5,753 meters because of that its temperature may dip down as low as minus 50 degrees centigrade in January. Even in the summer, the temperature remains around minus 10 degree Centigrade. It is the coldest place in the entire world in a non-polar region.
It is a part of disputed territory between India and Pakistan and is one of the most hostile places in the world. Only army personal can be seen at this place that are provided with special clothing and equipment to withstand the cold. Even then thousands of military personnel of both the countries have died so far at this place due to harsh climatic conditions such as heavy snowfall, snowstorm and avalanche.
3) Sela Pass, Tawang
Sela Pass is located between Tawang and West Kameng districts of Arunachal Pradesh. It is rich in natural beauty and is popularly known as the icebox of India. It is located at an altitude of 4170 meters and links Tawang to Tezpur and Guwahati. It is a lifeline for Arunachal Pradesh's people as it is the only route that links Tawang district to other parts of the country.
It remains covered with snow and offers a picturesque view of the eastern Himalayas. It also houses the Sela Lake, which is one of the beautiful lakes in Tawang. The temperature in winter falls as low as minus 15 degree Celsius.
It is a sacred place for Tibetan Buddhists as there are 101 sacred lakes in its premises. In recent years, tourists started visiting this place and thus it became a famous travel destination.
4) Lachen and Thangu Valley, North Sikkim
The towns of Lachen and Thangu valley are the coldest places in North Sikkim, India. It is located at an altitude of 2500 meters above sea level. The temperature in winter hovers around minus 10 degree centigrade at this region.
The valley consists of alpine meadows bordered by River Teesa and wooden houses and offers a picturesque view of mountains. During summer, the weather is pleasant as the temperature hovers around 10 degree centigrade. Yak race is also held in this region during summer which is liked by tourists very much. It also has the world's highest motorable road, iconic Magnetic Hill, the turquoise coloured Pangong Lake, and highest passes, and more.
From Lachen, you can go to see Gurudongmar Lake, which is a beautiful lake that freezes in winters. This valley is a perfect place for tourists, however, during winter, the climate here becomes hostile and experiences heavy snowfall.
5) Leh Ladakh
Ladakh is a union territory in India in the northernmost part of India close to Himalayan mountain ranges. It is located at an altitude of 6000 meters from the sea level that makes it one of the coldest places in India where the temperature in winter varies from minus 12 degree centigrade to minus 2 degree centigrade.
Leh is a town in Ladakh. Both the places are blessed with unique landscape, various natural attractions and amazing people and culture. It is home to Tibetan Buddhist monasteries and stupas and mesmerizing locations. The place is hostile during winters due to heavy snowfall and temperate falling as low as minus 35 degree centigrade. The tourists can enjoy climbing, jeep tours, high-altitude trekking and rafting at this place. Tourists travelling by road can reach here from Manali or Srinagar.
6) Munisiyari, Uttarakhand
Munisiyari is one of the coldest tourist destinations in India. It offers a perfect setting for thrill-seekers and nature lovers. It is a hill station located in the Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand at an altitude of 2500 meters above the sea level. The weather of Munisiyari tends to remain dry and cold throughout the year. The temperature falls up to minus 10 degree centigrade in winters.
It is home to icy lakes, snow-covered mountains and migratory birds. So, it is also referred to as 'Little Kashmir'. It also offers adventurous trekking trails and a mesmerizing view of Panchchuli peaks (a group of five peaks).
It serves as a base for trekking to the Namlik, Ralam and Milam glaciers and other parts of Kumaon Himalayas. It is also called as 'Gateway to Johar Valley'.
7) Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh
Spiti Valley is a cold desert mountain located in the Himachal Pradesh. The meaning of 'spiti' is middle land likewise it is situated between India and Tibet. Spiti is also called as 'little Tibet' as its climate, vegetation and topography resembles a lot with Tibet. The temperature in winter drops as low as minus 30 degree centigrade. However, in summer the temperature rises that makes the climate pleasant.
It is located at an altitude of 2745 meters above sea level. On the northern part, it is bordered by Ladakh; on the East by Tibet; on the south-east by Kinnaur and on the North, it shares the border with Kullu valley. So, it is surrounded by snow-covered peaks that offer a perfect setting for adventure seekers that can enjoy camping, trekking, and paragliding at this place. Spiti is also home to numerous Buddhist monasteries and scenic natural sites. The jagged landscape of the valley is cut by the Spiti River that flows through valleys and deep gorges.
8) Sonamarg, Jammu & Kashmir
It is a famous hill destination located at the Ganderbal district in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, India. The meaning of Sonamarg is 'the meadow of gold'. It is situated at the base of the Zoli La Pass that leads to Ladakh.
It is a cold place in India as the temperature here can dip as low as minus 6 degree centigrade. It is located at an altitude of 2800 meters from the sea level. In winters, it experiences heavy snowfall, so, summer is the best time to visit this place.
It is situated amidst snow-covered mountains and icy lakes and close to the famous Amarnath cave. So, it also serves as a base for starting the yatra (journey) to Amarnath cave. It offers various trekking and hiking tracks for the tourists to the Himalayan lakes. It is well connected to Srinagar by road and the nearest airport is also located at Srinagar.
9) Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir
Srinagar city is located in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. It is located in the Kashmir valley on the banks of Jhelum River at an altitude of 1585 meters above the sea level. The temperature in winters reaches around minus 3 degree centigrade. Snowfall is common in winters with occasional cold waves.
It is a famous tourist destination in India as well as in the world. It is blessed with natural beauty, lakes, gardens, houseboats and food and culture. The beautiful Dal Lake is also located at this place. In Dal Lake, tourists can enjoy Shikara (gondola-type-rowboats) rides. Besides this, the city also has Mughal-age gardens such as Shalimar Bagh, Chashm-E-Shahi, and Nishat Bagh. It is also referred to as 'Heaven on Earth'. Summer is the best time to visit this cold place in India, however, you can visit it in winter, if you can withstand the chilly weather.
10) Rohtang Pass, Manali
Rohtang Pass is a high mountain pass located at the eastern end of the Pir Panjal Himalayan Range at a distance of 51 km from Manali. It links the Kullu with the Lahul and Spiti valleys of Himachal Pradesh. It is also known as Rohtang La. The meaning of 'Rohtang' is 'ground of corpses'. It got this name because a number of people lost their lives while crossing this pass.
It is located at an altitude of 3980 meters above the sea level and thus offers various picturesque views of the Himalayan peaks, glaciers, Lahul valley and the Chandra River.
It is well connected by road to Manali. So, the tourists who come to Manali also visit this place. Only tourist visit this pass, people don't live here. Due to heavy snowfall, it becomes difficult to cross this pass in winters. So, the govt. of India has created 8.5 km long Atal Tunnel to bypass this pass.