We truly believe that there is no ‘best’ season to visit MQL. Every few months the weather brings different changes to the surroundings which in turn bring different birds and mammals. It is amazing to see the forest change colour with the various seasons and so, we are operational all year round!
After a quiet winter, the forest awakens once again, new leaves start sprouting on the trees. With the onset of spring, the hills turn to a multitude of greens, like nature’s very own shade card. In the month of March the Rhododendron trees start to flower adding a blanket of red to the hills. All this attracts a number of birds and mammals, making it a great time for birding. Many species start coming higher up to Pangot from lower areas as the weather gets warmer. Early spring commands very clear views of the peaks.
In the day one needs a light sweatshirt, however mornings and evenings are still nippy and a thick sweaater/ jacket would be needed.
Sunny afternoons with a cool breeze are characteristic of a summer day here at MQL. The trees start fruiting, calling creatures out to have their fill. The beautiful swallowtail butterflies arrive this time of the year along with a number of other butterflies. It’s the perfect time to come up to the hills and getaway from the scorching temperatures in the plains.
There is still a nip in the air during the morning and evening and one would need a sweatshirt/fleece, however daytime is T-shirt weather..
An absolutely stunning time of the year with the mist rolling in and the forests completely transformed into a thick rainforest like atmosphere. All the streams are gushing with water and small waterfalls form at every corner. A variety of Ferns take over the paths and wild mushrooms (some edible!) start growing out of the cracks. A great time to see a variety of insects and reptiles for those interested in creepy-crawlies! Sunsets during the monsoons are absolutely spectacular as the clouds form dramatic formations in the sky with the most stunning shades of orange and pink. It is mostly misty and cloudy during this time but when the skies do open up - the views are breathtaking and crystal clear!
Mornings and evenings can get quite chilly and one would need a thick jacket, the days are cool - sweatshirt/fleece weather. Just in case you forget, please carry good waterproofs if you visit us in the Monsoons!
The rains have left everything fresh and rejuvenated, it is the clearest time of the year! The Himalayas look spectacular and one can see the entire Uttarakhand Himalayan range stretching from Chaukhamba in the west to Panchachuli in the east, on a good day a few peaks from Nepal can be seen as well! This is also a very good time for birding and the winter migrants slowly start arriving to Pangot from the higher reaches. A great time for viewing night skies, one can go a little crazy trying to count the endless constellations and shooting stars!
It gets much cooler during these months and one would need a thick sweatshirt/fleece in the day and thick jacket at night.
Winters can get very cold here at MQL but there is something equally refreshing about it. Unlike the gloomy winter in the plains, we get strong sun here in the day and it is still very clear. At night the temperatures can go down to negative, but one is usually huddled up around a bonfire looking up at the stunning skies and sipping on their favourite poison to keep them warm. We do get the occasional snowfall in January when the lodge turns into a magical fairyland. One is truly thankful to the bukhari’s in the rooms at this time of the year and don’t be surprised if you find a hot water bottle warming your toes under your blanket at night! Winter commands fabulous views of the Himalayas, the peaks are a blinding white with all the fresh snow on them.
One should definitely carry thick woolens, thermals, jackets, thick socks and a warm cap for winter. It is good to carry your waterproofs at this time as well in case the weather throws a surprise snowfall at us.