Discover the thrills of skiing in India: From the Himalayas to Gulmarg, explore the world’s 3rd highest ski resort and longest ski slope in Asia for an unforgettable winter adventure.


India, known for its unique cultural tapestry and historic buildings, may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking of skiing activities. However, undiscovered jewels await winter sports aficionados ensconced inside the beautiful scenery of the Himalayas. From the snow-draped meadows of Gulmarg to the difficult slopes of Munsiyari, India offers a variety of skiing spots that promise both thrills and peace. Let's take a trip across India's top 10 skiing spots, where breathtaking mountains meet the thrill of downhill descents. This article discovers the wonderful skiing destinations in India and everything you need to know about it.

What is Skiing? 

Skiing is a popular winter sport and leisure activity that involves using skis to glide over snow-covered surfaces. Skis are narrow, elongated boards with bindings that attach to the feet. Skiers use poles for balance and propulsion as they tackle snow-covered downhill slopes or cross-country tracks. Skiing can be done competitively or recreationally, and it provides an exciting and exhilarating experience in snowy environments.

There are various types of skiing, each unique with its technique and method: 

  • Alpine Skiing
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Freestyle Skiing
  • Backcountry Skiing
  • Telemark Skiing 

Skiing provides a variety of experiences, ranging from the adrenaline rush of slicing down steep slopes at high speeds to the quiet tranquillity of cross-country paths through snow-covered forests. It necessitates a particular level of talent and technique, which may be acquired through instruction and practice.

Top 10 Skiing Destinations in India 2023

1. Gulmarg

The winter months see Gulmarg, known as the "Meadow of Flowers," change into a snowy paradise. This ski resort entices visitors with its unmatched beauty and exhilarating slopes thanks to its internationally known Gulmarg Gondola and a variety of slopes suitable for all ability levels. 

How to Reach? 

The nearest airport is Srinagar, and from there you can take a taxi to Gulmarg. If you want to travel by train, the nearest railway station is Jammu Tawi railway station. 

Best time to visit 

Gulmarg is laden with thick blankets of snow during January and February, but its peak season starts from December to early April for skiing. 

While on your way up to the slopes, you will encounter several small food stalls that offer hot tea and delicious Maggi, which you should definitely try. 

2. Auli

India's skiing capital, Auli, is proudly located high in the Garhwal Himalayas. Skiers of all skill levels can enjoy its beautifully maintained slopes, which offer breathtaking views of the Nanda Devi range.

How to Reach? 

The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun. You can hire a taxi or take a bus to Auli. The nearest railway station is Haridwar. From there, you can continue by road.

Best time to visit

The ideal time to visit Auli would be from January to March. 

The valley of flowers in National Park Auli is a beautiful park known for its diverse and colourful flora along with some beautiful landscapes that you must visit. 

3. Manali 

Manali, already renowned for its beautiful vistas, now has the appeal of skiing. Skiing aficionados are rewarded with an assortment of excitement and breathtaking scenery from the Solang Valley to the Rohtang Pass.

How to Reach? 

The nearest airport is Kullu-Manali Airport (Bhuntar Airport), while the nearest railway station is Joginder railway station. You can choose to take a taxi or bus to continue from there to your destination. 

Best time to visit

Manali is packed with skiers in the months from December to February when the skiing conditions are the best. 

Manali is not only known for skiing but also its paragliding which every adrenaline junkie must try. The winds and the high altitude can get your blood flowing!

4. Kufri

Kufri, which is tucked away not far from lively Shimla, provides an excellent starting point for ski beginners. With slopes that are suitable for beginners, it's a great place to hone your skiing abilities while taking in the beauty of nature.

How to Reach?

Kufri is situated in Shimla; you can reach Shimla by air or by train. Shimla airport and Shimla railway station are the most feasible; from there onwards, you have to travel by road to reach Kufri. 

Best time to visit

The months between December and February are the best to visit Kufri since the slopes are covered in thick snow, and temperatures are in the minus degrees. 

The Himalayan Nature Park in Kufri is very famous for spotting Himalayan species, including snow leopards and brown bears, alongside some rare forest beauty. 

5. Narkanda

Skiers are welcomed to the serene slopes of Narkanda, a lesser-known beauty. Skiers may enjoy the splendour of the Himalayas while carving through the snow with the Hatu Peak as a backdrop.

How to Reach? 

The nearest major airport is Shimla Airport. You can hire a taxi or take a bus to Narkanda. The nearest railway station is Shimla, and you can continue by road, hire a taxi, private vehicle or take the bus to Narkanda. 

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Narkanda is through December and February. 

Narkanda is a beautiful town. After trekking, you can visit the Tannu Jubbar Lake for a peaceful getaway and a serene time for yourself. 

6. Munsiyari 

The isolated treasure known as Munsiyari rewards courageous skiers with steep slopes and breathtaking vistas. For those looking for a more challenging skiing excursion, the Khaliya Top offers an exhilarating experience.

How to Reach? 

To reach Munsiyari, the nearest airport is Pantnagar Airport, and the nearest train station is Kathgodam railway station. You will have to travel by road ahead to reach Munsiyari. 

Best time to visit

Munisyari ski slopes are the best during the months from December to February for skiing.

The Birthi Falls in Munsiyari is a beautiful waterfall located in the vicinity. 

7. Pahalgam

Pahalgam is well known for its summer attractiveness, but its winter attractions are unexpected. Skiers can enjoy heart-pounding descents in the tranquil surroundings of the Aru Valley and Betaab Valley.

How to Reach? 

The nearest airport is Srinagar International Airport. You can hire a taxi or take a bus to Pahalgam. The nearest railway station is Jammu Tawi, and you can continue by road.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Pahalgam is through December and February, when the snow is falling, and the slopes are in the best conditions. 

If you are an adrenaline junkie, you must visit the Lidder River in Pahalgam for adventurous river rafting and some trout fishing. 

8. Dayara Bugyal

A summer sanctuary, Dayara Bugyal becomes a skiing haven in the winter. All levels of skiers find it to be an alluring option because of its wide-open meadows, which offer a canvas for both novices and pros.

How to Reach? 

The nearest airport is Dehradun's Jolly Grant Airport. You can hire a taxi or take a bus to the trailhead. The nearest railway station is Dehradun, and you can continue by road.

Best time to visit

The months between December and February are the best for skiing in Dayara Bugyal. 

If you are opting for the RoopKund trek in Darya Bugyal, then you should not miss out on visiting the Bedni Bugyal, which is a picturesque high-altitude meadow. 

9. Rohtang

Rohtang Pass is a high mountain pass located in the eastern Himalayas in the Pir Panjal mountain range. It is famous for its stunning scenery and is a popular destination for tourists looking for a snow adventure.

How to Reach? 

Rohtang Pass is easily accessible from Manali. To reach Manali, you can either take a flight to Kullu-Manali Airport or a train to Jginder railway station. From there, you can take a taxi or hire a private vehicle to the trailhead. 

Best time to visit

Unlike other skiing destinations, the best time to visit Rohtang would be from May to October, when the roads are clear and open to proceed. 

Rohtang is close to many beautiful hill stations, such as Manali, Kullu and even the Solang Valley. You should try and include any one of these destinations on your trip to Rohtang. 

10. Solang Nala

Solang Valley is a famous destination for adventure sports and winter activities near Manali. It is a popular place for skiing, snowboarding and other snow activities.

How to Reach? 

Solang Nala is also near Manali, so you will have to reach Manali first and then take a road trip to Solang Nala by taxi, bus or private vehicle. 

Best time to visit

December to February is when the valley transforms into a winter wonderland, perfect for skiing and snowboarding. 

Solang Valley offers various adventurous activities like snowboarding, camping, horse riding and even the snow scooter, which you should definitely give a shot!

Ski Industry Statistics 

Skiing has been regarded as a leisurely sport not only in India but globally also. India's ski sector is minor in comparison to other global ski destinations, but it has grown in popularity over the years. Gulmarg in Jammu and Kashmir, Auli in Uttarakhand, and Manali in Himachal Pradesh are popular ski locations in India. Depending on the weather, the ski season in India normally lasts from December to March. 

The global ski sector has a large economic impact, including revenue from ski resorts, equipment sales, lodging, and tourism-related activities. Skiing is a major component of the winter tourism business, with prominent destinations including Europe's Alps and North America's Rocky Mountains. According to the International Report on Snow & Mountain Tourism, worldwide skier visits during the 2021-2022 ski season were anticipated to be over 370 million.

Our top 5 recommended places to Ski in India

1. Gulmarg

In the Pir Panjal range of the Himalayas, Gulmarg is a well-known skiing resort. It provides stunning scenery, immaculate slopes, and a thriving skiing scene. Gulmarg offers attractions besides skiing, such as the Gulmarg Gondola, one of the highest cable cars in the world. You are taken to Mount Apharwat, where you can enjoy sweeping vistas. In addition, the town is home to the renowned St. Mary's Church and a historic golf course.

2. Auli

Auli is referred to as the "Skiing Capital of India." It has well-maintained slopes, breathtaking views of the Nanda Devi range, and a peaceful ambience. In addition to skiing, Auli has one of the longest ropeways in Asia, with breathtaking vistas. The Auli Artificial Lake enhances the appeal. The town of Joshimath, close by, is a gateway to Auli. 

3. Manali

Manali is a well-known hill station that combines natural beauty and adventure. With a variety of skiing opportunities, it is bordered by the magnificent Himalayas. Manali is renowned for its colourful markets, temples (Hidimba Devi Temple), paragliding possibilities, river rafting, and skiing. Winter and summer adventure activities are well-known in the adjacent Solang Valley.

4. Kufri

The charming hill town of Kufri, which is close to Shimla, is transformed into a white paradise in the winter. Beginners can learn to ski in this wonderful location. In addition to skiing, Kufri has the Kufri Fun World amusement park and the Himalayan Wildlife Zoo with unique species. You may reach Mahasu Peak after a short hike and enjoy stunning views.

5. Narkanda

In Himachal Pradesh, Narkanda is a lesser-known treasure for skiing. Its calm slopes make it the ideal vacation spot for beginners and those looking for peace. In addition to skiing, Narkanda has the Hatu Peak, a mountain renowned for its expansive vistas. The tranquil Tannu Jubbar Lake is located there, and the town itself offers a look at local life.

Skiing in Gulmarg: Everything you need to know 

Gulmarg, in India's scenic Jammu and Kashmir region, is a well-known skiing destination that attracts winter sports lovers from all over the world. Gulmarg provides an unforgettable skiing experience with its magnificent natural beauty, ample snowfall, and well-developed skiing infrastructure. 

Gulmarg is known as the "Meadow of Flowers," but during the winter, it transforms into a skier's paradise. The high altitude of the region, ranging from roughly 2,650 metres (8,690 feet) to 3,950 metres (12,959 feet), ensures a long skiing season with plenty of snow cover.

How do you reach Gulmarg? 

The snow-laden city of Gulmarg is situated in the state of Jammu & Kashmir in northern India. There are several ways to reach Gulmarg; if you are planning a trip there, it is best to pre-plan your mode of transportation from the following ways: 

  1. By Air: Srinagar International Airport is the closest major airport to Gulmarg and is well-connected to major Indian cities. You can take a cab or other local transit from Srinagar to Gulmarg, which is around 50 kilometres away.

  1. By Road: Gulmarg is accessible by road from Srinagar. Depending on road conditions, the travel takes between 1.5 and 2 hours. You can take a taxi, a local bus, or a shared car.

  1. By Train: Jammu Tawi Railway Station is the closest railway station to Gulmarg. Gulmarg may be reached via cab or bus from Jammu. The trip is about 290 kilometres long and takes about 7-8 hours by car.

What is the best time to go skiing in Gulmarg? 

Skiing in Gulmarg is ideal during winter when the region receives a lot of snow, and the slopes are well-covered. Gulmarg's ski season normally lasts from December to early April. However, the precise timing will depend on weather conditions, snowfall, and the opening of ski resorts.

Keep in mind that weather conditions in mountainous areas can be unexpected, and factors such as snowfall, temperature, and visibility can all have an impact on your skiing experience. To ensure a smooth and comfortable skiing vacation to Gulmarg, plan your hotels and transportation in advance and stay up to date on weather forecasts.

Reaching skiing spots through the Gondola ride

In Gulmarg, one of the most well-liked and practical ways to access the higher slopes and skiing regions is via the Gondola ride. One of the tallest cable cars in the world, the Gulmarg Gondola transports passengers to greater altitudes while providing stunning vistas. The Gulmarg Gondola consists of two phases: the Phase 1 and Phase 2 Gondolas. Each phase covers a specific distance and elevation, allowing visitors to access different parts of the mountain.

Phase 1 Gondola:

From the base station in Gulmarg, the Phase 1 Gondola transports you to Kongdoori Station, which is on the first level. At a height of roughly 2,730 metres (8,957 feet), Kongdoori Station provides a starting place for a number of activities, including skiing. From here, you may access beginner-friendly skiing slopes as well as choices to rent skis and enrol in lessons.

Phase 2 Gondola:

From Kongdoori Station, the Phase 2 Gondola transports you to Apharwat Peak, which is located on the second level. For intermediate and expert skiers, Apharwat Peak, which is located at an elevation of roughly 3,979 metres (13,054 feet), provides access to more difficult skiing terrain. Apharwat Peak's skiing is renowned for its stunning scenery.

Levels of Skiing

Phase 1 (Kongdoori Station):

  • Beginner to Intermediate level of difficulty
  • In general, beginners and people who are new to skiing will do well on the slopes near Kongdoori Station. Here, the slopes are frequently quite soft, making them an ideal place to develop and hone your skiing skills.

Phase 2 (Apharwat Peak):

  • Intermediate to Advanced level of difficulty
  • In comparison to the lower phase, the slopes around Apharwat Peak are more difficult. Skiers with intermediate to advanced skill levels might benefit most from these slopes. For those looking for more adventure, the terrain could be steeper and more varied, providing a higher level of adrenaline.

Equipments required for skiing in Gulmarg

Skiing in Gulmarg requires the proper equipment to ensure a safe and pleasurable experience on the slopes. Here is a list of the necessary equipment for skiing at Gulmarg:

  • Skis: Select skis that are appropriate for your skill level and skiing style. If you're new to skiing, use shorter, more manoeuvrable skis. Longer skis may be preferred by advanced skiers for increased stability at higher speeds.
  • Ski poles: Ski poles help with balance and propulsion. Check that the poles are the appropriate length for your height and skiing technique.
  • Ski Boots: Ski boots that are properly fitting are essential for comfort and control. They should be snug without becoming uncomfortable. Check that they will work with the bindings on the rental skis.
  • Ski Bindings: Ski Bindings are what connect your boots to your skis. To ensure effective release in the event of a fall, they should be properly adjusted to your weight, height, and skiing skill.
  • Helmet: A ski helmet is strongly advised for safety. It shields your head in the event of an accident and can also act as insulation against the cold.
  • Ski goggles: Ski goggles shield your eyes from wind, snow, and glare. Select goggles with good visibility and anti-fog properties.
  • Ski Gloves or Mittens: Proper ski gloves or mittens keep your hands warm and safe from the elements. Gloves that are both insulated and waterproof are perfect.
  • Ski Socks: Ski socks provide comfort and warmth without being overly bulky. Cotton socks should be avoided since they absorb moisture and can cause cold feet.

Waterproof and insulated ski apparel is vital for staying warm and dry in cold and snowy weather. Look for apparel that is both breathable and moveable. One should also consider carrying sunscreen and lip balm to prevent drying and darkening of the skin. 

Can you rent equipment to ski in Gulmarg? 

Yes, skiing equipment may be rented in Gulmarg. Gulmarg's ski resorts and rental businesses hire out a variety of skiing equipment, making it handy for guests who don't have their own equipment or don't want to travel with it.

It is best to contact the ski resort or rental shops ahead of time to inquire about equipment availability, rental pricing, and any special needs. Keep in mind that during busy skiing seasons, rental equipment may be in higher demand, so make reservations if feasible. 

Gulmarg skiing cost 

Several variables, such as the length of your stay, the kind of skiing package you select, your degree of experience, and the equipment you rent, might affect the cost of skiing in Gulmarg. Remember that rates might change between seasons and years. Here is a general breakdown of possible expenses related to skiing in Gulmarg:

  • Lift Passes: These passes are required to access the ski slopes. You can use the lift as many times as you can on your skier pass. However, the lift passes cost around ₹700 to ₹1,000. 
  • Ski Lessons: If you are a beginner, you might want to learn the basics of skiing before you go down the slopes. The prices of these lessons can vary; however, they might start around ₹1,500 per hour, depending on other factors.
  • Equipment Rental: Renting skiing equipment is quite common in Gulmarg. The equipment cost starts around ₹500 to ₹1,000; it varies on the basis of the type of equipment and duration you wish to rent it for. 
  • Accommodation: Accommodation can cost a very wide range, depending on your lodging type. Luxurious resorts can go on the higher end, while basic cabins and rooms are much cheaper. 
  • Food & Dining: Food is relatively cheaper and per day snacks and meals can cost you around ₹500 to ₹1,500. 

It is best to keep in mind additional costs such as transportation to Gulmarg, other optional activities, or even shopping!


As we near the end of our article on India's greatest skiing spots, one thing becomes clear: these snow-clad havens serve not just as skiing playgrounds but also as windows into the different landscapes and cultures that make India a truly amazing destination for winter sports aficionados. Whether you're an experienced skier or a nature lover, these destinations promise an amazing experience in the middle of the Himalayas' breathtaking grandeur.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Which is the ski capital of India for Skiing?

Gulmarg, situated in Jammu and Kashmir, is known to be the ski capital of India. It is the ideal place for powder skiing due to the fresh snowfall.

  1. Which season is the best for skiing in India?

The best season to ski is the winter months, between November and March, when the ski slopes are covered in thick white snow.

  1. Gulmarg or Auli: Which is better for skiing? 

Gulmarg would be a better choice since Auli has rocky slopes that are better suited for advanced and professional skiers. 

Related articles:
What Is Snow Skiing And What Are Its Various Types?
What is Water Skiing: History, Types, Objective, & Equipment
The Benefits of Skiing
How to Choose a Ski Helmet

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