Known For : Dras War Memorial Minamarg Matayen
Dras is a lonely town in the infamous Kargil district of Jammu and Kashmir, popularly known as 'The gateway to Ladakh'. Dras is the coldest place in India and often touted as second to the coldest place inhabited on Earth. Dras is a convenient staging point for treks to Amarnath, Suru valley and Sialkot. On an average during the freezing winters, the temperature can drop down to a bone-chilling -45℃. The lowest temperature to have ever been recorded here was in the winter of 1995 when the temperature fell down to -60℃.
Best Time: June to September
Known For : Mulbekh Monastery Drass war memorial Kargil main street
Making news more often than not, the town of Kargil is one of the coldest places in India. It is situated along the banks of Suru river (Indus) and perched at an altitude of 2,676 m. The temperature here often drops to as low as -48°C in winters. Closest to Kargil at distance of 15 kms from it is a historic town of ruins of castles on hillocks called Pashkum. A little further is an interesting small Buddhist village called Mulbek on the Kargil-Leh road.
Best Time: June to September
Hemkund Sahib, also known as Gurudwara Sri Hemkund Sahib Ji is a Sikh pilgrimage located in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. The place adorned by a glacial lake is surrounded by seven snow-clad peaks, each bearing a Nishan Sahib. At an astounding altitude of 4,362 m, Hemkund Sahib attracts a great number of tourists every trekking season. It is only accessible during summer as it is totally snowbound during the winter season. During the coldest months, the temperatures can dip to as low as -10°C to -11°C .
Known For : Pangong Lake Khardung La Nubra Valley
The capital of the ancient kingdom of Ladakh, Leh is a very popular tourist destination. As much as it is rich in culture and history, it makes an ideal place to visit in summer in India where a temperature of 7°C is nothing extraordinary. Shanti Stupa, Leh Palace, Pangong lake and a multitude of other lakes and monasteries make Leh a must visit. The average minimum temperature in the region is between -20℃ to -15℃. The lowest temperature ever recorded at Leh-Ladakh is generally around -28.3 °C.
Best Time: Jun to Sep
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Known For : Gurudongmar Lake Lachung Yumthang Valley
A district in the popular state of Sikkim, North Sikkim is home to one of the tallest peaks in the world, Kanchenjunga. With the temperature dropping to as low as -40°C in the extreme winters, North Sikkim place is one of the coldest places in India. Thick vegetation all the way up till alpine heights before disappearing into Tundra and numerous waterfalls only make it the most picturesque place. Zero points, Yumthang valley, Lachung monastery, Crows lake and the list doesn't seem to end. Go here to make the most of your summer vacations.
Best Time: April to June, October to December
Known For : Chandratal Lake Key Monastery Kunzum Pass
A valley so surreal and strangely enchanting that it is hard to believe it exists, just like any other place. Spiti means the 'Middle land' i.e. the land that lies between India and Tibet. It is famous for its rich Buddhist culture similar to what is found in Tibet and Ladakh. Kaza, which is the sub-divisional headquarters of Spiti is perched at an altitude of 3,800 m on the lofty Himalayas. As much as it is known for its unique Yak momos, it is also quite popular for its monasteries, Ki and Tabo being one of them. A lesser-known cousin of Leh-Ladakh, this is one of the best summer holiday destinations. Spiti Valley is one of the coldest places in India with temperatures dropping to -30°C in the winter months.
Best Time: Mid May to Mid Oct
Located in the Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh, Selang is a high altitude pass which connects the Buddhist town of Tawang to Tezpur and Guwahati. It remains snow clad throughout the year making it ideal for aesthetes. Sela Pass sits high in the mighty Himalayas at a height of 4,170 m and the temperature here can drop to as low as -15°C in winter. There is also a tremendous number of lakes around it which are revered to Buddhists. Take a beautiful, spiritual journey to one of the best summer holiday destinations in India.
Known For : Birthi falls Maheshwari Kund Panchachuli Peak
A small village with an awe-inspiring panorama of snow-capped Himalayan Range; Munsiyari is located in the Pithoragarh District. Offering splendours of natural beauty in their most captivating form, this place is famous for its some highly adventurous and nerve-wracking trekking trails. In terms of the coldest months, the winter months can see temperatures dropping to as low as -3° C.
Best Time: April to June, October to November
Known For : Amarnath Cave Amarnath Yatra Baltal
What's better than a long summer trek across cold mountainous terrains and valleys that lead to a huge rocky cave known for its icy stalagmites? Beats the summer fatigue, doesn't it? Amarnath is as good for us peripatetics as it is for the devotees of Lord Shiva. Although it is a very cold place in India, this pilgrimage site is thronged with devotees. It is only open during the summer for 45 days when tourists are welcome to spectate the marvellous ice Lingam which is considered to be miraculous and holy. Amarnath Yatra starts from the picturesque Pahalgam. The lowest temperature in Amarnath can go down to - 20°C. A temperature of 7.5°C in peak summer season is but natural here.
Best Time: May to September
Known For : Dal Lake Shalimar Bagh Mughal Garden Shikara Ride
Famously known as ‘Heaven on Earth’, Srinagar is every bit the epitome of paradise on earth. As picturesque as the most stunning painting to ever be painted, Srinagar, the capital of Jammu and Kashmir, lies on the banks of the Jhelum river, and has a cool, pleasant climate for most of the year, contributing to the perpetual influx of tourists visiting this city which offers a plethora of gorgeous scenic vistas.
During the coldest months, temperatures can average a from -3°C to 0°C. The lowest temperature ever recorded in Srinagar in recent years was -7.6°C.
Best Time: April to October
It's a favourite among trekkers due to its high elevations with Geyzing, Pelling and Jorethang among popular towns of this district. At an altitude of about 3,800 m, it experiences a temperate climate. Khecheoperi lake, Dubdi monastery and Rabdentse palace are among the many attractions. The minimum temperatures in the winters drop to around 0°C to -1°C in the low lying regions. The higher regions, however, experience chilling temperatures of -15°C and below.
We all have visited Manali in our summer vacation but what really deserves a visit to Rohtang Pass which connects Kullu valley with Lahaul and Spiti valley. Located at an altitude of 3,978 m and snow clad in the most picturesque way almost throughout the year. Especially since it is a tourist destination, it is widely regarded as one of the coldest places in India and it is infamous for unforeseen snowstorms and blizzards. The coldest months are December and January. In these months, on an average, the temperatures can dip down to around -5°C to -6°C.
Known For : Kinnaur Kailash Trekking to Chakka Suicide Point
Kalpa, the main village of Kinnaur, in the Sutlej River Valley is a place to remember and cherish. Known for its many beautiful temples and monasteries, this town is also famed for its apple orchards. The majestic Kinnaur-Kailash range peeking from across the Sutlej River makes for a blissful break.
The lowest temperature recorded in Kalpa in recent years was -15°C making it one of the coldest places in India.
Best Time: March to September
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