New Year’s Eve: Four cool snowscapes to ring in 2013| Last Updated: December 28, 2012 at 1:42 PM
With just days remaining to say goodbye to 2012, many of us have made up our travel plans for New Year’s Eve. Some might be heading to the sandy beaches of Goa, while others might have planned to spend New Year’s Even sailing the backwaters of Kerala.
Do something different this time. Head to the Himalayas to ring in the new year. Travel.india.com has put together four winter destinations to welcome in 2013.
If it’s truly a winter wonderland you’re hoping to spend your New Year, Auli will seduce you on first sight. Literally ‘Meadow of Flowers’, Gulmarg is at its best this time of the year.
About 52 km southwest of Srinagar, Gulmarg has been a popular holiday destination since Mughal times. Gulmarg’s beauty, location and proximity to Srinagar makes it one of the foremost hill stations in the country.
A popular walking resort in summer, Gulmarg is a busy ski resort in winter. It has the highest golf course in the world. Gulmarg also has the country’s premier ski resort which has earned it the sobriquet ‘heartland of winter sports in India’.
True, Manali has lost much of its original charm. Commercial tourism and the tourists that descend in hordes have caused irrepairable damage to Manali. However, Manali still boasts of breathtaking scenery.
Manali is a popular honeymoon destination and Mecca for adventure sports enthusiasts. Indians flock to the town even in winters lured by its snow covered peaks and slopes.
One of the advantages of being a tourist hotspot is the fact that tourist facilities are well developed. Manali offers wide range in accommodation which includes luxury resorts, river-side cottages, deluxe hotels and 3-star budget properties. Manali also offers home stays which are a good option to enjoy nature and culture of the locals.
Winter temperatures here plunge to frigid negative numbers, but that shouldn’t deter you. You can choose between hitting the slopes, taking in the sights, indulge in a friendly match of throwing snowballs or cozy up in front of the fire.
Kanatal isn’t for tourists in a hurry. The little hill station tucked inside Uttarakhand’s rolling hills compels you to slow down and savour in nature’s sights and sounds.
Narrow, zigzag roads surrounded by deodar, rhododendron and pine trees lead you to the lesser known hill station. Kanatal is a place unlike any you might have visited. Unlike other hill stations in Northern India which are plagued by overcrowding, unchecked urbanization, rampant pollution and commercialization, Kanatal’s USP is its pristine beauty.
There is nothing much to do in Kanatal. Your itinerary is likely to include playing in the snow, skiing or just sitting inside your cottage wrapped in blankets and drinking that mug of hot chocolate.
Situated in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, the hill station of Auli has often been compared to the best ski resorts in the world. Unlike other popular holiday destinations like Gulmarg, Shimla and Manali, Auli doesn’t witness hordes of tourists allowing you to enjoy a peaceful holiday.
Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam (GMVN) organises ski adventures at the Auli Ski Resort. GMVN also provides modern equipment and amenities to travellers.
First Published: December 28, 2012 at 1:19 AM