For the majority of us in cities, we tend to associate winter with bleak, grey skies and runny noses. But there's a beautiful side to the season that often gets overlooked. We're talking about gorgeous mountains covered with snow, pristine frozen lakes, and cottages that put Pieter Bruegel paintings to shame. And while we all would love to explore all these destinations, lets walk through some of my favourite winter wonderlands in India from behind our computer screens for some holiday inspiration. So grab a mug of hot chocolate and forget about the concrete jungle for a little while.Auli, UttarakhandThe picture-perfect town of Auli is India's premier ski resort destination. Standing at around 2,800 metres, and surrounded by acres of oak and coniferous forests, Auli offers panoramic views of some of Indias highest peaks, including the second-highest in the country, Nanda Devi. It is also the gateway to the Nanda Devi and the Valley of Flowers National Park, including the Hemkund Sahib gurdwara, and popular trekking destinations such as Gorson Bugyal, Pangerchulla Summit, and Tapovan.BEST TIME TO VISIT:For skiing enthusiasts, January to March is the best time to visit. For nature lovers, October to March is the most appropriate time.Keylong, Lahaul Spiti, Himachal PradeshLocated in the Lahaul and Spiti District of the state of Himachal Pradesh, Keylong is a short detour from the Leh-Manali Highway. A meadow-like town nestled in the middle of snow-capped peaks, this town is your gateway to the alluring vistas of the Himalayas.BEST TIME TO VISIT:Mid-May to mid-October is the best time to visit Keylong as Rohtang Pass is closed rest of the year due to snow fall.Yumthang, SikkimThe Yumthang Valley or Sikkim Valley of Flowers sanctuary, is a nature sanctuary with river, hot springs, yaks and grazing pasture on rolling meadows surrounded by the Himalayan mountains in the North Sikkim district of Sikkim state in India.BEST TIME TO VISIT:The best season for visiting Yumthang valley starts in late February and continues up to mid-June, when thousands of colourful flowers are in full bloom. However, to enjoy a clear sky and brilliant view of snow-capped mountains, the September - December season would be ideal.Tawang, Arunachal PradeshTawang is surrounded by majestic snow-capped mountain ranges on the east and home to picturesque Buddhist monasteries. Embark on an adventure filled with winding mountain passes, including Sela, one of the highest motorable roads in the world.BEST TIME TO VISIT:The best months to visit are March, April, May, June, September and October.Munsiyari, UttarakhandMunsiyari remains snowbound for most of the year, offering pristine landscape bordered by Himalayan peaks. From here, you can get stunning panoramic views of the sun-kissed Panchachuli peaks. Munsiyari is also the base for trekking expeditions to Ralam and Milam Glaciers and the Nanda Devi Peak.BEST TIME TO VISIT:March to June and September to October.Khajjiar, Himachal PradeshVery rightly termed as the Mini Switzerland of India', the sight of snow-capped mountains, the dense green deodars, the bountiful wildlife of the Kalatope Khajjiar Sanctuary and fascinating flora is absolutely breath-taking. The comfortable weather conditions and tranquil environment, take you to another level of serenity.BEST TIME TO VISIT:The town experiences amazing weather throughout the year due to which it is flocked by the tourists all year-round. However, the best time to visit Khajjiar is summer, when the region enjoys pleasant climatic conditions. From March till October, the weather remains comfortable for the vacations.Gulmarg, KashmirNestled in the Pir Panjal Range in a cup-shaped valley, Gulmarg is adorned with lofty snow-capped mountains, lush greenery, small lakes, and a large variety of flowers. A holiday in Gulmarg promises to be a memorable one, with several sightseeing opportunities in tourism places like Khilanmarg, Tangmarg Ferozepur Nallah.BEST TIME TO VISIT:The best time to visit Gulmarg is during the summer season between the months of March and June when the temperature is moderate and apt for sightseeing. The best time to visit Gulmarg for snowfall is just after peak winter January and FebruaryZuluk, SikkimLocated at a height of around 10,100 feet on the rugged terrain of the lower Himalayas in East Sikkim, Zuluk or Dzuluk is a small village beside a winding road. It was once a transit point to the historic Silk Route from Tibet to India. On your trip to Zuluk, take a surreal drive down the loops with 32 hairpin turns for the most jaw-dropping rough ride of your life and capture unreal moments.BEST TIME TO VISIT:The best time to visit Zuluk is during the months of August to September and again from January to April.Theog, Himachal PradeshA quiet escape, Theog in Himachal Pradesh has everything a popular hill station can give you minus the tourist rush. It is also considered one of the most favourite camping site options for campers. The connoisseurs of folk music can enjoy the Pahadi folk music, especially during the Summer Festival which is celebrated here every year.BEST TIME TO VISIT:Theog mostly experiences pleasant weather all around the calendar. Generally, October and November are considered better months to visit as the climate and the hamlet are in its best form then. It gets extremely cold here after November with the mercury falling sharply accompanied by mild or heavy snowfall.