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What is winter line? Why is the winter line phenomenon visible only from Mussoorie & Switzerland?

Updated: Jul 15, 2021

Our world is full of mysteries and uniqueness. The Himalayas spread across the subcontinent region have always been attracting explorers from all over the globe. Sunset in the mountains is the first love of every mountain lover. There are some places on earth that offer a unique view of the sunset, especially in winter. One of such rare phenomena is the formation of a waterline which can be viewed from only two locations on earth, Switzerland, and Mussoorie.

Mussoorie, popularly known as the queen of the hills is a hill station just 34 km away from the capital city Dehradun. A very popular honeymoon destination in India, Mussoorie has a lot to offer to its visitors. Winterline is formed during the time of sunset in Mussoorie. In general, winterline appears from the months of October to February in winter. So plan your trip accordingly so that you can cover all the attractions of Mussoorie and can have a glimpse of the winter line too.

What is winterline?
Credit: Unplash

What is winterline?

Winterline is a very rare phenomenon on earth and only gets formed in two places namely Switzerland in the Alps mountains and Mussoorie in the Himalayas.

Winterline is the phenomenon of the formation of a line as a secondary horizon during the time of sunset in Mussoorie. This hoax horizon formed during the time of winter is called winterline. Winterline in Mussoorie is one of the major attractions of tourists visiting this hill station in Uttarakhand.

How is a winterline formed? Theories behind the formation of a winterline.

Many theories have been prescribed by scientists about the formation of a winterline. One school of thought says that a winterline is formed when the hot air comes in contact with the cold air at the top of the icy mountains. Mussoorie temperature is comparatively lower than the temperature of Dehradun. When the hot air from Dehradun meets the cold air coming from the icy mountains in Mussoorie, a winterline is formed. The lower portion of the winter line is dark in colour and the upper portion is light in colour. This hoax horizon is always present there but comes into life during the time of sunset.

The other school of thought says that a winter line is formed due to refraction at dusk which is visible from only certain parts of the world.

When the dust particles, smog, and moisture from the valley meet the cool air from the mountains, a secondary horizon is formed due to refraction. This secondary hoax horizon is known as a winterline.

Some spots to watch the winter line in Mussoorie:

Lal tibba:

Lal Tibba is the tallest point in Mussoorie. There is a telescope at the top of Lal Tibba. The Kedarnath, Badrinath mountain peaks can be viewed from here. It's considered as one of the best spots to view the winter line during sunset.


Landour is a very small mountain town near Mussoorie. It's an out-of-the-world experience to witness the sunset with the winterline while walking on those narrow mountain roads.

George Everest Peak:

As per locals, this is the most beautiful and picturesque spot in Mussoorie to witness the winterline. Photographers love this place. This place is very calm and full of greenery. Watching the sunset from a serene, calm environment like this is a dream of many.

Mall road:

The vibe of the Mall road cannot be explained in words. This is the most happening spot in Mussoorie with all the fancy stores along with the street food stalls. There is a viewpoint pointing towards the mountains near the Library Chowk. This is considered one of the best spots to watch the winterline. The view of the sunset along with the winterline with the city of Dehradun at the bottom creates an excellent view altogether.

Why you shouldn't miss the sunset in Mussoorie!

The formation of a winterline during the sunset in Mussoorie is a very rare phenomenon. Mussoorie weather is also perfect. In winter, the temperature often falls down to -ve. If you are visiting Mussoorie for the first time, don't miss it. Except for Mussoorie, you can witness this phenomenon in the Swiss Alps mountains.


We are very fortunate to be born in a country like India. There is no other country in the world as vibrant as India in terms of culture and even in terms of nature. Whether it's the sunset in the Thar desert in Jaisalmer or the sunset in Mussoorie with the formation of a winterline, every part of this country is very unique and totally different from one another. Winterline formation is a very unique phenomenon and definitely shouldn't be missed at all if you are visiting Mussoorie this time.

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