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Top 5 : Honeymoon in the hills

For those of you who like the idea of snuggling under a blanket in the cold with hands warmed on a hot cup of tea or perhaps sitting in front of a roaring fire sipping on a nice wine and chatting about sweet nothings, here are some ideas for cold but fun filled and romantic holiday destinations.
1) Bhutan

Its the last Himalayan Kingdom and Indians do not need a visa to visit!. Start out with romantic misty mornings and crisp sun filled days with panoramic views. End with cuddling by the roaring log fires. Fortresses overlooking terraced valleys, monasteries perched on cliff, enough history and culture for the so inclined and natural beauty provide the best backdrop for hand holding and the trip of a lifetime. Extras: try a traditional hot stone bath in a farmhouse in Phobjikha Valley. 

  • Chomolhari Mountains, Bhutan's Goddess

Weather:  Winter (December, January & February) is sunny, cool and agreeable. Much of the east-west highway remains snowbound during winter though. So you are best off visiting the western districts of Paro, Wangdue, Punakha, Thimphu and Haa. Pack lots of woolens for the perfect cozy holiday.

2) Kathmandu, Nepal

Capital of Nepal, India’s neighbour in the Himalayas. Again, one does not need a visa to visit. It makes for the perfect base for a honeymoon with the best hill resorts at its rim. Nagarkot , Dhulikhel , Godavari and Hattiban Hill Stations are all within an hour’s ride or so. In Kathmandu, explore the Buddhist, Hindu meting pot, visit the Boudhanath Stupa believed to contain Buddha’s bones, Swayambhunath Temple, where monkeys dive into the swimming pool and the Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park for some peace and quiet and medium intensity treks. Or simply drive away to the nearby hill stations for a view of the majestic Himalayan ranges, deep forests and the beautiful Indrawati river. 

  • Nepal Bodhnath Stupa, a buddhist shrine
    Bodhnath Stupa, believed to contain Buddha's bones

Weather:  December is the beginning of winters in Kathmandu with temperature randing between 15 to 4 degree celcius and can get even colder. Nights are chilly with days getting 8-9 hours of sunshine on average.

3) Gulmarg, Kashmir

All flights will take you to Srinagar. Gulmarg is about 40 kms from the state capital. You could stay in Srinangar too but in winters you will see none of the beautiful gardens and blooming flowers that the city is famous for. Dal lake too will be freezing cold ruling out the stay on the houseboat. But Gulmarg will be beautiful with thick dark green Deodar trees and everything else covered with snow. Indulge in a massage at the Khyber spa by L’Occitane or simply hold hands and sip on the Kashmiri Kahwa in front of the fire gorging on delicious food. Else, if you want to wander a bit, visit the Apharwat Peak near Alpather lake for a top of the world feeling, try a cable car ride with breath taking views to the Gulmarg Gondola or try some winter sports. 

  • Dawn in snow covered Gulmarg

Weather: Its cold! The average temperature in winter season ranges between 2° Celsius to 9° Celsius. The temperature can dips as low as -14° Celsius during peak winters. Between January and mid-March, Gulmarg experiences consistent snowfall. Pack thick coats and sweaters.

4) Shimla, Himachal Pradesh

With easy access from Delhi and Chandigarh, the British’s summer capital and now the state capital of Himachal Pradesh, Shimla is one of India’s most popular hill stations. Surrounded by pine, deodar, oak and rhododendron forests with gurgling streams and situated high in the hills and its the perfect place for the newly weds to isolate themselves from the milling crowds. For slipping a little sightseeing between romantic bliss, the town offers splendid colonial buildings, quaint cottages  quiet walks along the Glen and Annadale or noisy walks on the mall where one can go ice skating, watch some theater of simply have a hot steaming cup of coffee. Visit the Vice Regal Lodge,Tara Devi temple, Jakhu Temple or walk to Scandal Point for more. Those wishing to see the snow and ski can go to nearby Kufri about an hour or so away. 

  • Christ Church on the Ridge

Weather: The temperature ranges between 10 and 15 degree celcius in November and December but drops below 3 degrees and sometimes to freezing point in the month of January. Generally, there is no snow (but perhaps you will be lucky) Between February and April, the temperature again climbs up to between 15 degree and 20 degree.

5) Pelling, Sikkim

About 133 km away from Siliguri and 125km from Sikkim’s capital Gangtok, Pelling is famous for magnificent views of the snow-capped Kanchenjunga and its ranges. It is as close as you can get to the peak without leaving the material comforts of a good hotel. The natural beauty of the place makes it the perfect place to connect with your better half. You can also visit the Khangchendzonga waterfalls, known as one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Sikkim or the Khecheopalri Lake deep inside a forest and where it is believed that birds do not permit even a single leaf to float on the lake surface or take a trek to the Pemayangtse Monastery one of the oldest and most important monasteries of Sikkim. 

  • Views of the Mt. Khangchendzonga from Pelling

Weather: In November and December the average weather ranges between 18 to 5 degree celcius with Decmber being colder than November. In January and February, it can get close to 0 degrees but it typically snows only in the higher reaches and not particularly in Pelling city.

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