The hills have been successful in holding up the century-old traditions and cultures that have prospered the lives of the people in Incredible India. India has fascinated millions of people from the various geographical locations of the world. There are numerous tourist destinations in the country. With “Athiti Devo Bhava” (Guests are Gods) as the prime lesson being taught in each household. The Nation is dotted with the awe-inspiring hills all over the country starting right up from Jammu and Kashmir to Tamil Nadu, encapsulating over 20 mountain ranges. There are many hill station tours in India to choose from, but the problem remains which one to select. Here is a list of the popular hill stations in India categorized by the part of the country you decide to visit.
1) Darjeeling, West Bengal
Darjeeling is also known as the dreamland of the east. It is located at 6,800 feet above sea level, with picturesque tea plantations all round. The queen of all hill stations,famous for its natural beauty, clean fresh air,year round plesent weather and above all, the ever smiling and welcoming local people. The hill station has many exotic waterfalls, hills blossoming with flowers of every shade, and the tea gardens. The Darjeeling Tea is one of the most popular teas in the world.The spectacular sunrise and sunsets are unforgettable sights at Darjeeling India. The hill resort has attracted botanists, ornithologists, trekkers, photographers and holidaymakers alike. Darjeeling is famous for the magnificent mountains of Kanchenjunga, Lhotse, and Makalu.
2) Gulmarg, Jammu & Kashmir
Gulmarg’s legendary beauty, prime location and proximity to Srinagar naturally make it one of the premier hill resorts in the country. Gulmarg or “Meadow of Flowers” is nothing less than a fantasy place coming straight out of your dreams. The valley is 3km long and a kilometre wide. It is filled with beautiful blueberries, daisies and many other flowers that lighten up your mood. It also has a popular golf resort and renowned as a prime skiing destination.
3) Ooty, Tamil Nadu
Ooty or Ootacamund is the capital of the Nilgiris. Located in the Western Ghats at a height of 7,500ft. Ooty is known for its extraordinary scenic beauty and salubrious climate amidst the “Nilgiri’s” or “Blue Mountains”.It is famous for the picturesque picnic spots, but; still the chief attraction remains the mile long tea gardens. Whether you are a kid or an adult, nobody skips the Nilgiri Toy Train ride. It takes you along the picturesque topography of the Nilgiris.Ooty is the only hill station in India, which attracts visitors during all seasons.
4) Manali, Himachal Pradesh
Manali, with its soothing backdrop of the Himalayas, well known for its bewitching beauty and numerous adrenaline pumping activities that makes it one of northern India’s most popular destinations. It has a varied diversity of everything. Manali is also renowned as the “Prime Honeymoon destination”, of India. You can do as little or as much as you want there. Located in the Kullu Valley of Himachal Pradesh, it’s a magical place bordered by cool pine forest and the raging Beas River, which give it a special energy.
5) Nainital, Uttarakhand
Based in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand surrounding the volcanic lake Nani, Nainital is adored by millions and is often referred as the ‘Lake District’ of India. It is a destination for all, whether you are looking for a perfect family outing, or a romantic getaway. It is well connected by the major cities and offers a lot to rejuvenate your body and soul. Nainital Mountaineering Club; the name is enough to cheer the adrenaline seekers. With the variety of treks and the picturesque locations, many forest walks, explore the surrounding area on horse back, or relax on a boat in the lake. Nainital is surely a must visit location.
6) Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir
A beautiful hill station in Jammu and Kashmir, Srinagar is located in the heart of the Kashmir Valley in the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir. The town is located by the river Jhelum which is a tributary of the river Jhelum and is placed at an average elevation of 1600 meters above sea level. Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, delights visitors with its lovely lakes and relaxing houseboats. In fact, lakes and gardens are in such abundance there that Srinagar is often referred to as the “Land of Lakes and Gardens”.You’ll find Asia’s largest tulip garden in Srinagar, with a tulip festival held every April. Srinagar is a great place to come if you’re a golf enthusiast, as there are a number of courses there The town contains a rich historical past and several breathtaking natural attractions that make it one of the most visited hill stations in India.
7) Shimla, Himanchal Pradesh
Situated at an altitude of 2159 meters above the sea level, Shimla is a popular tourist destination in India for a splendid summer vacation. Shimla used to be the summer capital of the Britisher before freedom. Now it’s the state capital of Himachal Pradesh. This wonderfully cool and charming town sprawls along a mountain ridge, enveloped in oak, pine and rhododendron forests. A heaven for adventure seekers who wish to indulge in adventure sports and activities like river rafting, angling for trout trekking and rock climbing and those looking for a quieter holiday with friends and families may settle for camping and golfing. . It’s quite famous for its colonial style buildings and historic railway.
8) Matheran, Maharashtra
The closest hill station to Mumbai in Maharashtra, Matheran offers plenty of walking trails and lookouts.It is Asia’s only automobile free hill station, providing the cleanest and freshest air and atmosphere to dwell in. The most mesmerizing part of the trip is the toy train ride from Neral to Matheran that covers the entire topography of the hill station.
9) Mussoorie, Uttarakhand
Mussoorie, located around an hour from Derahdun in Uttarakhand, is a popular weekend destination for north Indians, as well as honeymooners. Mussoorie is famed as the “Queen of Hills”. It is an extremely beautiful hill station to explore.One of the reasons for Mussoorie’s popularity is that it has a lot of facilities developed especially for tourists. Take a cable car to Gun Hill, enjoy a beautiful nature walk along Camel’s Back Road, have a picnic at Kempty Falls, or ride a horse up to Lal Tibba (the highest peak in Mussoorie). An evening walk on the Mall Road is enough to entangle you to get “relocated to Mussoorie” and cherish long-lasting memories. The travel destinations near Mussoorie are Dhanaulty, Dehradun, Rishikesh and so on.
10) Munnar, Kerela
Munnar, located in Kerala, is one place known for its well-preserved natural beauty of the virgin forests. The environment and climate of Munnar are very salubrious that compels you to just chill and relax. There are waterfalls, coffee gardens and scenic valleys where you can stroll and have the ultimate time of your life. The Kundala Tea Plantations, which border a picturesque lake, offers the best opportunity to see the tea being picked and processed, and to try fresh tea straight from the gardens. The area is blessed with the natural beauty of winding lanes, misty hills, and forests full of exotic plants and wildlife. Adventure enthusiasts can trek to Anamudi, the highest peak in south India, explore Eravikulam National Park, or go rock climbing and paragliding.
11) Auli, Uttarakhand
This hill station, Auli, is situated in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand at an altitude of 2,500 meters. One can get the magnificent view of the snow capped Himalayan ranges. The soft snow laden slopes are apt for skiing. There are wonderful opportunities for trekking and nature walks in the nearby places. Known as one of the ‘hottest’ new ski locations in India. The hill station is accessible all year round with winter months being more popular due to the possibility of winter sports. The skiing spots, lakes, views of the surrounding peaks, pilgrimage spots, trekking and adventure spots etc. have made Auli grow tenfold in the recent years.