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Uttarkashi or Kashi of the north is a town located in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand. It is a town known for its spiritual aesthetic and adventure tourism. Surrounded by rolling green hills and some of the most splendid views the eye can see it truly is a must-visit town nestled in the Garhwal Himalayas. Uttarkashi is situated on the banks of the river Bhagirathi at an altitude of 1160 meters above sea level which makes it a much colder town than most, and along with trekking and pilgrimages, people flock to this town to experience Uttarkashi in winter sports and activities.

The Climate Of Uttarkashi In Winter

A snowy weather in Uttarkashi in Winter

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Statistically, it has been noticed that winter is the best time to visit Uttarkashi. The winter season in Uttarkashi mostly begins during the month of October in the latter part of the year and continues all the way till March of next year. The average temperature during these months ranges from 22*C at its peak and drops all the way down to sub-zero temperatures at its coldest. Climate and weather charts of the area show the coldest months to be December, January and February and it is during these 3 months that there is a high chance of snowfall.

Must Read: Chaukori In Uttarakhand

Things To Do In Uttarkashi In Winter

A snow-clad mountain next to the Bhagirathi River valley

Image Source:Pxhere

Although the winter brings with it raspy weather that is hard to handle, it also enhances the scenic beauty of this lovely little hill station. All through these winter months the snow covers all that you can see, turning this otherwise colourful land into a snowy white heaven. The winter season also unlocks a variety of winter sports such as snowboarding, skiing, snow treks, and much more that will certainly make the cold weather well worth it.

  • Treks in the winter months reveal a whole different side to the landscape of Uttarkashi. The snow-covered hilltops, wilted trees and meadows are sights to behold in these cold months. Two of the notable treks to consider are the Dayara Bugyal trek and the Dodital trek, which take you through relatively untouched meadows and towards frozen lakes that are a rare sight to see in our country.
  • This weather is a welcome sign for many migratory birds and some mountain animals that come down from their hilly homes to explore the colder forests and meadows at lower altitudes. This weather also helps in the cultivation of certain fruits and plants that need much colder temperatures to grow and thrive such as strawberries, peaches and even oranges.
  • The arrival of snow allows adventure enthusiasts to enjoy skiing and snowboarding on the frozen slopes of the snow-clad hills. The snow-covered slopes of Dayara Bugyal are perfect for these winter sports and are lovely picnic spots for visiting families.
  • Temples in the winter are a stark contrast to the summers cause of the fewer visitors and the cold weather adds an extra layer of serenity and spirituality to these temples. The Gangotri temple is dedicated to the goddess Ganga and the Kashi Vishwanath temple are 2 world-famous temples in the town of Uttarkashi.
  • Although not preferred by most and mostly done by extreme adventure enthusiasts, the trend of snow camping has been coming up in the recent past. It is a much more extreme form of normal camping and should only be done if one has proper knowledge of the area or at the least is accompanied by someone who does.

Things To Keep In Mind During Your Visit To Uttarkashi

Tips to know before visiting Uttarkashi in Winter

Image Credit: Sharada Prasad CS for Wikimedia Commons

Clothing: Pack warm clothing, including thermal wear, heavy jackets, gloves, hats, and scarves. Layering is the key to staying warm in fluctuating temperatures. Always carry extra layers of clothing as well just in case. Blankets will be provided at all hotels but carry one just in case you deem it necessary.

Footwear: Sturdy, waterproof boots are essential for trekking and walking in snow. Even for normal use in these cold conditions, leather boots with a layer of socks are advised to keep your feet warm and moving.

Accommodation: Choose hotels or guesthouses with good heating facilities. Some remote areas may have limited amenities, so do some prior research and try getting in touch with these hospitality companies directly to clear your doubts and queries.

Health and Safety: Be mindful of altitude sickness, especially if trekking to higher elevations. Certain exercises can be done in these conditions to prevent loss of breath and to maintain mobility in all your joints, especially if going on camping trips and long treks. Carry necessary medications and stay hydrated.

Transportation: Roads can be slippery and challenging due to snow and ice. If you are travelling in a personal vehicle make sure it is equipped to tackle these mountain roads with snow tyres, extra fuel and proper spares if necessary. It is advised to hire a local driver who has experience in such roads and conditions.

Further Read: Things To Do In Uttarkashi

Uttarkashi is a one-of-a-kind hill station that is a perfect blend of nature and spirituality at its best. And during the winters, you can get to witness this gorgeous little town in its most raw and visceral form that somehow has a beauty of its own. Do keep in mind the above-listed points before planning your trip to Uttarkashi.

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Cover Image Credit: rakesh bishnoi for wikimedia commons

Frequently Asked Questions About Uttarkashi In Winter

Is Uttarkashi too cold to visit in the winter?

With temperatures that drop below freezing on certain days, the weather in the wintertime will certainly not be for everyone. But with the proper clothing and prior preparations, it can be quite an enjoyable experience for those willing to tackle it.

How to reach Uttarkashi?

The best and only way to come to Uttarkashi is by road because of the absence of any railway stations or airports in the nearby vicinity. The closest railway station is Rishikesh which is over 200km away. From Rishikesh, you can hail a local cab for a fixed rate of 3000Rs.

Is skiing equipment available for rent at Uttarkashi?

Yes, the local government has taken measures to promote these winter sports and does offer such gear and equipment for rent through local companies.

Are there any places to ice skate in Uttarkashi?

No, there aren't. Some people might consider ice-skating on frozen lakes, but it is not advisable as you can never know the thickness and stability of the ice at those places.

Is the Gangotri glacier accessible from Uttarkashi?

The Gangotri glacier does come in quite close proximity to Uttarkashi but it is not advised to trek up there as it is a very dangerous route.

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