India is a country which enjoys all the seasons, be it summers, winters or autumn. One can find best hill stations in India all across the country. Hills and mountains are places where the heart feels alive. People say, going on trips to hill stations changes one’s thought process, and once someone gets drugged by the essence of it, it’s tough to get rid of it. The rolling green carpet of grass not only gives away freshness but also the richness of the place reflects on it. The pleasant breeze, fragrance of wet grass and mud, the sound of people sipping Chai (tea) in the cold weather, the sweetness of newly ripened fruits etc. all tend to blend in perfectly to make up an ambience which is to die for. How beautifully and simply The Mother Nature’s beauty captivates us all. Majority of hill stations in the world can be found in Asia, mostly India. The immaculate beauty of these places, drive thousands of flocking tourists every year to them.
Going back to the British era, where the officers, officials and their families searched for a more relaxed place as an escape from the scorching heat of India. They travelled towards the top to the North and South and created best hill stations in India, which were somewhat, versions of England. To find them an escape, they did Indian’s a favour as these hill stations now work as popular holiday destinations and trekking spots for people, from not only in India but all over the world. The buses and train faculties in these places are so adequate and convenient as well, which makes it easier for anyone to travel.
Mentioned below, in no particular order, are some of the best hill stations in India so far:-
Shimla– The Queen of Hills plays host to a lot of pine, deodar, oak and rhododendron forests. It is also known as the summer capital of India and plays the role of India’s most favourite holiday and honeymoon destination. Some say it works as an alternative to a Switzerland trip but at a lower price. The Mall of Shimla is one of the most preferred shopping destinations in Shimla; it isn’t precisely a mall but a marketplace where many restaurants, clubs, banks and bars are established.
How to reach: There are air, bus, train and the best and preferred road facilities available to travel to Shimla. The Jubarhati Airport is the nearest airport and is just about 23 km from the town.
Darjeeling– Lure of Black Tea, the land of thunderbolt, Little Tibet. This place can be called a lot of names. While most places in India face the unbearable heat in summer, Darjeeling provides its habitats with a refreshing retreat. Originating from two Tibetan words “Dorje” and “Ling” which make up “Land of the thunderbolt”, Darjeeling is home to Self Help Refugee Centre. From Asia’s largest Ropeway to the Toy Train Ride, this place fills up all the gaps a tourist looks for in a best hill stations in India.
How to reach: The nearest airport to Darjeeling is the Bagdogra airport, and then there are train and road facilities as well. There are direct flights available from Guwahati, Kolkata and Delhi.
Lonavala– This is a mainstream weekend spot for Mumbaikars. Some say, visiting Lonavala is like taking a walk above the clouds as they hover just beneath an individual. July and August are the most suitable months for holidaying here, because of the arrival of monsoons. And Lonavala in monsoons is like a Utopia. Its contemporary and peaceful ambience works magic in a traveller’s mind.
How to reach: The best way to reach Lonavala is by road, as it is much more adventurous and gives the real “road trip” feeling.
Shillong– Shillong is an epitome of beauty and embarks a mark inside a traveller’s mind, making him/her visit again. Lying in the lap of Meghalaya, Shillong has a very cool atmosphere throughout the year making it suitable to visit any time of the year. Umian Lake, Botanical Garden, Ward’s Lake, Elephant Waterfalls, Spread Eagle Falls, Mawphlang Sacred Forest are many of its must-visit tourist attractions.
How to reach: There are buses and train services available from Guwahati to Shillong.
Nainital– This jewel of best hill stations in India is filled with green hills, enchanting fresh lakes, and picturesque beauty. There are several mountain peaks and prehistoric temples, which give fantastic views of the mountains in the backdrop. Some famous and most visited places here include China Peak, Tiffin Top and Naini Lake. Close to Nainital are two fine and less touristy hill town of Bhimtal and Naukuchiatal, which are also worth the visit for their beautiful lake and verdant flora. For bird watching enthusiasts, Naukuchiatal is one of the good weekends escapes from Delhi.
How to reach: There are trains available from Delhi and Dehradun. Kathgodam Railway Station is the nearest one.
Araku Valley– Araku in Andhra Pradesh is the perfect escape from the heat in the South because of its subtle and salubrious weather, scenic beauty and breathtaking landscape… Tyda Park, Borra Caves, Ananthagiri, Gosthani River, Tribal Museum, Coffee Plantations, Katiki waterfalls, Dumbriguda Waterfalls, Bheemili Beach, Chaparai Waterfalls are some popular attractions in the valley.
How to reach: The drive to Araku passes through 40 tunnels and many bridges and the 4500 feet ascent and then rolling ride down the valley descending up to 3000 feet is considered one of the most beautiful drives in Southern India. One can either board a train from Vishakhapatnam or take a flight. Or travel by road from Vishakhapatnam.
Aru– Residing in the “Paradise on Earth” Kashmir, Aru caters to the needs of every traveller, family vacation and summer vacation, trekkers, and adventure enthusiasts. The view of the Himalayas and the lush meadows add to the beauty and romance of this place. Trout fishing in Lidder River, trekking and sightseeing with photography are some of the popular tourist attractions. Also summer, in Aru is warm and pleasant making it suitable for summer holidays as well.
How to reach: An individual can quickly get vehicles from Srinagar to Pahalgam and then straight to Aru.
Manali– How can we forget Manali? The most famous, preferred trekking and holiday destination for millennials in India. Its breathtaking landscape, snow-capped mountains, flowery gardens make it a quintessential place for filmmakers to shoot their films, and the first half of the movie “Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani” has been shot initially here.
How to reach:: Fly to Bhuntar airport followed by a 2-hour taxi or bus ride. The Himachal Pradesh State bus from Delhi to Manali (553 km), takes 10 hours to reach and it is also considered as the most convenient option.
Almora, Uttarakhand– Almora’s mountains, horse saddle shaped ridges, pine and fire trees make it the poster perfect holiday destination for many. Dunagiri is one of the most preferred places to go in Almora and offers travellers some individual space. This places houses a lot of temples like the Chitai Temple, Kasar Devi Temple, Katarmal Sun temple etc.
How to reach: Its hassle-free as airways, roadways and railways well connect it. The nearest railway station is Kathgodam, and the nearest airport is Pantnagar.
Bir Billing– Nestled amidst tea gardens and forests in the foothills of Indian Himalayas Bir Billing is famous for adventure sports, which includes paragliding. Just imagine soaring high and enjoying the beauty of the verdant landscapes this place has to offer, then going camping to enjoy the view of Kangra Valley and Beas Valley and then later on visiting the monasteries to get the taste of the renowned culture out there. It sounds like an ideal holiday doesn’t it?
How to reach: Take a flight directly to Dharamshala airport and then carry on with a 45-minute taxi ride. Or take the train to Pathankot followed by a narrow gauge railway to Bir.
Tawang– Situated in Arunachal Pradesh, the beautiful waterfalls and misty rivers give the perfect mystic Tawang feels. Tawang Monastery, Tawang war memorial, the Giant Buddha Statue adds to the beauty of this place and provides justice to the phrase “Mystic Tawang”.
How to reach: Take a flight directly to the Salonibari Airport, Tezpur followed by a 6-hour taxi ride. Or take the train to Guwahati followed by a 13-hour taxi ride.
Mount Abu- It’s being known as the heaven of Rajasthan. Mount Abu is surrounded by Aravali Parvat Mala and greenery all around. There are several places to amaze one, especially Delwara Jain Temple. The stone work on the walls and roof of temple are sufficient enough to make one flabbergast. There are some other attractions are also there like Tad Rock, Mall Road, ancient temples midst Guru Shikhar.
How to reach: Try to reach Udaipur or Jaipur and further take a bus/taxi to Mount Abu from Jaipur or Udaipur.
One of the many charms of the Paul Scott’s novel “Staying on” apart from the mindboggling storyline was the part where Trevor Howard and Celia Johnson decided to stay and retire in an Indian hill station. Worthy of a mention, the couple shared a never-ending love for the country, which was then known as British India.
As we elaborated about the best hill stations to visit in India, while reading about these breathtaking best hill stations in India gives an individual the chills for sure. Just imagine going to these places and experiencing everything with or without family. If one needs a getaway from college life or from boring lifestyle in the city, head to these must-visit places. Waking up to the clear blue sky surrounded by huge but serene mountains and breathing the calm and pleasant, imagines how it will feel? Taking a break, ditching the city is the best advise a traveler can ever give you as it is worth it.