The moderate-intensity quake measured 5.8 on the Richter scale and struck along the border of the states of Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh, an Indian government official who declined to be named, told AFP.
Two people died in landslides triggered by the quake that was followed by a string of aftershocks, the Press Trust of India reported.
Another 69 people were injured including 32 students as schools and other buildings were damaged in the twin districts of Kishtwar and Doda in the Jammu region of Kashmir, the news agency said, quoting officials.
The quake, which sent people across the region rushing into the streets in panic, was also felt in Punjab and Haryana, but there were no reports of any casualties or damage from those two states.
The epicentre was located some 450 kilometers (280 miles) north of New Delhi, according to an official at the Indian Meteorological Department.
The US Geological Survey gave the magnitude of the quake in eastern Kashmir as 5.7. Minor tremors were felt in the Pakistani capital Islamabad.
A powerful earthquake that hit Iran last month also shook buildings in New Delhi, prompting frightened office workers to run outdoors.
India’s capital regularly experiences minor tremors, usually from distant earthquakes in remote areas of the Himalayas.