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Best Places to Ski in India

By Joshua Wood, LPC

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Summary: Are you eager to hit the slopes in India? Our detailed guide showcases the best places to ski in India. From the most thrilling runs for avid skiers to welcoming family areas, and from dining options to additional leisure activities, we cover it all for the ultimate ski trip.

Living in India - Best Places to Ski in India

As an expat or digital nomad, embracing the adventurous spirit of India can lead you to some of the most exhilarating ski destinations in the world. The country's diverse terrain offers a unique blend of cultural experiences and thrilling slopes. Whether you're a seasoned skier or a beginner looking to carve your first tracks, India's ski areas provide a perfect backdrop for both adventure and exploration. Here are the best ski areas in India that promise an unforgettable experience amidst the majestic Himalayas.

Gulmarg

Ability Level: All ability levels.
Location: Jammu and Kashmir
Family Friendly: Yes

Gulmarg is renowned for its powdery snow and is often considered the heart of skiing in India. With the highest gondola in the world, it offers runs for beginners, intermediates, and experts. The Apharwat Peak provides challenging terrain for seasoned skiers, while the gentle slopes of the outer circle walk are perfect for novices. Families can enjoy not just skiing but also snowboarding, tobogganing, and gondola rides.

We Recommend: After a day on the slopes, warm up at the Highland Park Restaurant, known for its cozy ambiance and delicious Kashmiri cuisine, offering a taste of local flavors with a stunning view of the snow-clad mountains.

Auli

Ability Level: Beginner and intermediate.
Location: Uttarakhand
Family Friendly: Yes

Auli is a picturesque ski destination with clean, crisp air and a panoramic view of the Himalayan range. It's a great place for families and beginners to learn skiing, as the slopes are not as intimidating as those found in other regions. The ski resort is equipped with a ski lift and a chair lift, along with instructors available for lessons.

We Recommend: Visit the Cliff Top Club for a meal with a view. It's one of the highest located restaurants in the world and offers a range of cuisines to satisfy your appetite after a day on the slopes.

Manali

Ability Level: All ability levels.
Location: Himachal Pradesh
Family Friendly: Yes

Manali is a beloved destination for both tourists and ski enthusiasts. The Solang Valley, near Manali, is particularly popular for its winter sports. With ski slopes suitable for different skill levels and ample opportunities for snowboarding and paragliding, it's a haven for adventure seekers. The ski season here runs from January to March, offering a perfect winter getaway for families.

We Recommend: The Johnson's Cafe in Manali is a local favorite, offering a cozy environment and a mix of Italian and continental dishes, complemented by live music in the evenings.

Narkanda

Ability Level: Beginner and intermediate.
Location: Himachal Pradesh
Family Friendly: Yes

Narkanda is a serene ski town that transforms into a winter sports hub during the season. It's an ideal spot for those looking to escape the more crowded ski resorts. The slopes here are surrounded by dense forests, and the area is known for its natural beauty and tranquil atmosphere, making it a great family retreat.

We Recommend: The Negi Dhaba is a must-visit for its authentic Himachali cuisine, offering a homely dining experience that's both affordable and satisfying.

Kufri

Ability Level: Beginner and intermediate.
Location: Himachal Pradesh
Family Friendly: Yes

Kufri is another gem in Himachal Pradesh, known for its beginner-friendly slopes and beautiful scenery. It's a great place for families to enjoy skiing and other activities like tobogganing and snow scooter riding. The ski season here is from December to February, and the area is also home to the annual Winter Sports Festival.

We Recommend: The Chini Bungalow in Kufri is not only a historic landmark but also offers a quaint cafe where you can enjoy local snacks and a hot cup of tea with a view.

Dayara Bugyal

Ability Level: Beginner and intermediate.
Location: Uttarakhand
Family Friendly: Yes

Dayara Bugyal is one of the most beautiful meadows in India and turns into a ski slope during the winter months. It's less commercialized than other ski destinations, offering a peaceful and natural environment for skiing. The area is also known for its trekking routes, making it a perfect spot for adventure-loving families.

We Recommend: For a truly local experience, try the village homestays where you can enjoy traditional Garhwali meals prepared by the locals.

Munsiyari

Ability Level: Intermediate and expert.
Location: Uttarakhand
Family Friendly: No

Munsiyari is a lesser-known ski destination, offering pristine and challenging slopes for more experienced skiers. The area is also a starting point for several treks, making it a hub for mountaineers and nature enthusiasts. Due to its remote location and difficult terrain, it's less suitable for families with young children or beginners.

We Recommend: While there aren't many upscale dining options, the local dhabas serve hearty meals, with the Zara Cafe being a popular choice for its fresh, home-cooked food.

Remember, when planning your ski trip in India, always check the current weather conditions and the availability of ski equipment and instructors. Happy skiing!

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.


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