Booking a tour package or looking for inspirational tourist places in Shimla for the winter season? Keep reading to find out what to wear in Shimla in winter to have an amazing getaway!
There is something about mountains that always intrigues humankind. Is it the enormity of the giant natural structures? Is it the vigor they represent by being ever-present and always constant? Is it the freedom one gets when you visit a mountain and marvel at how great nature is and how extremely insignificant are our problems?
Or is it the strictly appreciative part of our mind that recognizes the beauty of mountains and the freshness only they can provide? Maybe. Wouldn’t that be why many people try to conquer the majestic mountains? More so are the people who try to build or at least vacay in hill stations.
Whatever be the reason, one thing is sure mountains and hill stations have always been a source of constant admiration to us. There is no better example than Shimla to prove how much hill stations intrigue us. The beauty of the place was so captivating that the princes and dignitaries once made this small hill station the summer capital of India. In this blog, I would be taking you through this charming town, its winter activities, and what to wear in Shimla in winter.
What to wear in Shimla in winter: Shimla Winter Packing List
Excited to know more about Shimla and the winter packing list? Here, we go!
Where is Shimla located?
One of the most sought-after holiday destinations, Shimla is the capital of the state of Himachal Pradesh in India. It lies in the valley of the great Himalayas in the southwestern ranges.
Located at an elevation of 2206 meters above sea level, Shimla is a paradise for nature lovers. The dense forest surrounding the city has an ever-present smell of oak, cedar, and rhododendron trees that adds to the quaint vibe of the British grandeur. Shimla is easily accessible through rails, roads, and by air. It is also one of the popular weekend getaways from Delhi, the capital city of India.
The city was developed during the British era, where the rulers got enamored by the beauty of the small hamlets spread across the Himalayan valley. They developed the city as a resort for the scorching heat of Indian summer. The city is built on top of seven small hills popularly known as the 7 hills of Shimla.
Average winter temperatures in Shimla
Shimla enjoys pleasant weather throughout the year with the highest temperature being 31 degrees celsius in the summer and the lowest being 4 degrees celsius.
Summers are moderately warm and last from March to May and winters are colder and lasts from November to February. Autumn and Spring see cool weather with chilly mornings and nights but moderate days.
The average temperature in Shimla across months is shown below.
Things to do in Shimla in winter: Views & tourist attractions
Shimla is blessed with tourist destinations in Winter. Shimla – Manali is one of the most sought-after honeymoon destinations in India for newly married couples. Apart from honeymoon packages, Shimla is a haven for someone who wants a change from the hustle and bustle of life.
If you are someone who prefers to sit in, then you can easily get used to the breathtaking winter morning view with a cup of hot aromatic coffee and your favorite book by the side. And if you are someone who would love to go out and explore the place, you won’t be disappointed either. Here is a list of places and activities for your winter Shimla tour.
Sightseeing tour rides | Horse riding & more
Let’s start with the basics, shall we? No travel plans are complete without the sightseeing tour. And Shimla is blessed with sights to explore.
Whether it is a walk through the pine forests, quick coffee at the Shimla Ridge, panoramic view of the scandal point, marvel at the catholic church, or shop till you drop at the Mall Road. And do not forget to stop at every corner to capture the beautiful moments. Trust me, every place in Shimla is Instagram-worthy.
A site not to be missed, Chadwick Waterfalls in the Glen Forest is straight out of a Disney movie with the sparkling Himalayan water falling from a height of above 5000 meters and the forest surrounding the fall as if to protect it from the rest of the world.
The waterfalls can be reached by hiking, cycling or you can take a vehicle. Camping and trekking near the waterfall is a common tourist activity.
Rashtrapati Niwas (Viceregal Lodge)
Designed and completed between 1880 and 1888, Rashtrapati Niwas, or Viceregal Lodge as it was then called, is a place of immense historical and architectural value. When Shimla was chosen as the summer capital of Himachal Pradesh, the Rashtrapati Niwas was built as a place for the viceroy of the country to come and spend the time. The building is now open to the public.
A lot of explorers come to visit the site not just because of the history it holds, but because of the photographs and documents they store that tell the story of an era bygone.
Shimla Water Catchment Wildlife Sanctuary
The best place to just relax, go for a walk and enjoy nature. If you are with your loved ones or even by just yourself, this wildlife sanctuary would not disappoint you.
The natural trail near the Green Valley is a nature walk with long pathways, beautiful benches to sit, and fresh treehouses to take some rest. Cycling through this park would be another way to enjoy the Himalayan Valley.
Skiing in Kufri
Tired of all the relaxing walks and soothing breeze? In the mood for something adventurous? Then skiing in Kufri is just what you need. These hillocks of Kufri are snow-laden and sparkle in December. Whether you are looking to have a good time skiing or even better, want to try out Heliskiing, then Kufri is the place for you.
Tara Devi Temple
With a legacy of more than 250 years, Tara Devi Temple in Shimla is a gem for spirituality seekers. Rested amid a lush Himalayan valley, blanketed by coniferous trees, the building is made of complete wood that oozes positivity and tranquility. This is one location you should not miss.
Shaily Peak Hike
Last but not the least, hiking through Shaily Peak and experiencing that gorgeous view is something that only Shimla can boast about. The hike is around 8 km long and if you start in the early morning, the view would be something straight out of a fairytale.
You would see green grasslands, clouds touching the mountains far, and a calm breeze. You can even make a picnic out of it for when you reach the top, as this climb – worth it!
Shimla Winter Packing List – Clothes and more
Now that you know about the place, the climate, and the activities, let’s come to the last section. Confused about what to wear in Shimla in Winter? Let us help you out.
Outerwear like puffer jackets and parkas
When planning your winter trip to Shimla, one of the most crucial clothing items you must pack is undoubtedly your jacket. In fact, it’s highly recommended to bring not just one, but two different types of jackets to ensure you’re prepared for various weather conditions and activities.
Quality Fleece-Lined Parka or Puffer Jacket: Your first jacket should be a high-quality fleece-lined parka or a well-insulated puffer jacket. This jacket is your go-to option when you’re braving the cold, snow, wind, and chill of Shimla’s winter weather. Look for one with excellent insulation and waterproofing to keep you warm and dry. It’s essential for staying comfortable while exploring the city, walking through snowy landscapes, or simply enjoying the picturesque views.
Lightweight Skiing Jacket: For those moments when your adventurous spirit beckons and you decide to hit the slopes for skiing or other winter sports, a lightweight skiing jacket is a must-have. These jackets are designed for maximum mobility and protection while engaging in active pursuits. Look for one that is breathable, waterproof, and has adequate insulation to keep you warm on the slopes. Layering up underneath this jacket with appropriate thermal wear will ensure you stay cozy and flexible during your skiing adventures.
Sweaters and Pullovers
Sweaters and pullovers can be of great help during the Shimla winter trip as it can get quite cold and you may not always want to layer up in a jacket but just something that you can remove easily and yet looks stylish.
A cardigan sweater would be a perfect companion to look classy yet warm and the pullover would be your best friend if you are planning on exploring the nooks and crannies of Shimla in the chilly December. Sweatshirts with hoodies can also be used to keep you warm in a cozy yet chic way.
When all the layers try to keep you warm from the outside, the base layer takes a step back and keeps you dry by protecting your body from sweat. It might sound simple, but imagine those times when you were layered up in thick coats and you started sweating.
If you take out the layers, you will start getting cold and if not you will start hovering thanks to your wet T-shirt clinging to your body. This is where the thermal comes in handy. It will be anti-odor, quick moisture-wicking, and temperature regulating.
And thermals like that of Kosha are also lightweight so that it does not restrict you.
Woolen bottoms – Snow Pants
Just like how you use a thermal top, it is also important to use a thermal bottom to protect the lower half of the body from the cold.
Another important layering product that you need to carry is your snow pants. Shimla in winter is a snow wonderland. You would not want your wet pants stuck to your body throughout the trip.
The easiest way to change the look and feel of your outfit is to splash some colors with your cool accessories. Be it your woolen scarf, trendy beanie, or touchscreen gloves.
Accessories also protect your extremities and keep you warm. Since Shimla experiences a lot of snowfall, it is always advised to invest in waterproof accessories, especially gloves.
Warm shoes or snow boots
You require special boots or shoes for a winter journey. When thinking of what to wear in Shimla in winter, one should pay special attention to warm and waterproof shoes that not just keeps you dry but also has a good grip. You do not want to slip and fall in a snow-covered landscape.
Socks are an integral part of your packing list when it comes to packing for your Shimla winter travel. More than half of Shimla tourist destinations are best explored via foot or cycling.
Camping and trekking play a major role in Shimla tourism. It is also one of the best ways to get to know the place better. While engaging in such outdoor activities it is important to warm socks that are not just warm but also have a good cushioning for your feet.
Importance of layering in Shimla in winter
One thing you should always keep in mind while packing your bag for Shimla is that Shimla is a winter destination and you would need layers. But having said that it is not mandatory for someone to pack heavy and have an uncomfortable travel expense even if it is to a sub-zero temperature area. What you need to pay attention to is to layer properly with the correct garments and you can be warm and comfortable.
The first layer would be the thermal or base layer. It is worn over your undergarments and is closest to your body. These garments are usually made of cotton, wool blend, or pure wool. As the quality of wool increases, the warmth it provides increases. Merino wool is the best fabric for thermals.
The next layer would be the mid-layer. All the hoodies, pullovers, sweaters, and sweatshirts fall under this category. They can be worn over your base layer depending on the temperature.
After mid-layer comes to the shell layer. Where the temperature is below 5-degree Celsius or where there are external factors like wind, snow, or rain, it is important to wear your jackets or coats.
The final part of the layering system is accessories. Everything that is used to protect your extremities falls under accessories. Socks, gloves, beanies, mufflers, or caps are all accessories. Depending on the temperature and your needs, you can choose these items.
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Q: What is the weather like in Shimla in winter?
A: Shimla has cold winters, with average temperatures ranging from 0°C to 10°C. Snowfall is common in December and January.
Q: What are the best things to do in Shimla in winter?
A: Popular winter activities in Shimla include skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, and sledding. You can also visit the many temples and historical sites in Shimla, or simply enjoy the stunning winter scenery.
Q: What should I pack for a winter trip to Shimla?
A: Pack warm clothes, including a winter coat, hat, gloves, and scarf. You’ll also need waterproof boots or shoes.
Q: Is it safe to drive in Shimla in winter?
A: Driving in Shimla in winter can be challenging, but it’s possible if you take precautions. Check the road conditions before you go, and drive slowly and carefully.
Q: How expensive is it to travel to Shimla in winter?
A: Shimla can be a relatively expensive place to visit, especially during the winter months. However, there are ways to save money, such as staying in hostels or guesthouses instead of hotels, and cooking your own meals instead of eating out every night.
In conclusion, choosing what to wear in Shimla during the winter months is crucial for both comfort and safety. The cold and snowy weather demands a thoughtful approach to dressing. Layering is key to staying warm, with thermal undergarments, sweaters, and a good quality winter jacket forming the foundation. Don’t forget to accessorize with items like scarves, gloves, and a warm hat to protect your extremities from the biting cold.
Footwear should be insulated and sturdy, as icy and slippery conditions are common. Additionally, invest in a pair of waterproof boots to keep your feet dry. Jeans or thick trousers are ideal for bottom wear, along with thermal leggings for added warmth.
Ultimately, the key to dressing appropriately for winter in Shimla is to be prepared for the unpredictable weather. Pay attention to weather forecasts, and always carry extra layers in case temperatures drop suddenly. By following these guidelines, you can fully enjoy the beauty of Shimla’s winter wonderland while staying warm and comfortable throughout your visit.
For any queries related to wearing thermals, base layers, or winter wear in general, visit Kosha’s store and get a free consultation! While you’re at it, check out Kosha’s website for the wide range of thermals and jackets available at Kosha.