Have you been to India’s hill stations, yet?
India has fascinated millions of people from around the world, a place where many religions were born and flourished. However, it’s the hills that have been successful in holding up the century-old traditions and cultures, by and large. Starting right up from Jammu and Kashmir to down below Tamil Nadu, India is blessed with beautiful hill stations. Visiting these places helps you experience sublime tranquility and mysticism in its truest sense. In other words, it’s a breath of fresh air besides the busy reality. Below are a list of hill stations you MUST consider for your next vacation. Get ready to feast your eyes and set your hearts on top 10 hill stations in India and what makes them special.
10. Mathern, Maharashtra
If you’re stuck in Mumbai, don’t you worry! Pack your bags and grab your itinerary because you have a hill station waiting nearby. Get into a toy train to reach there and enjoy the heavenly scenic beauty. There are plenty of walking trails and lookouts to watch out for! The most unique fact about this place is, vehicles are banned! Yes, you heard that right. Not even a bicycle is allowed for a ride. It’s your one stop destination to unwind before you get back to the busy reality.
9. Shillong, Meghalaya
Meghalaya’s gorgeous capital city is sandwiched between the Khasi hills. This place is paradise to many music lovers. Blues band, Soulmate and the country’s popular blues man Lou Majaw keep this place close to their hearts. That pretty much explains the dynamic music scenery Shillong offers. This delightful hill station is also known for receiving the the highest rainfall in the world. Talk about beauty! The very imagination can perk up any dull mind.
8. Coorg, Karnataka
“Scotland of India” is what Coorg is fondly called as. Spread out on the Western Ghats, Coorg is enveloped in emerald landscapes and acres of coffee, tea and spice plantations. This misty valley attracts tourists not only from the country but around the world. In addition to the rich greenery is the Kaveri river which adds to the mesmerizing sight. Cool yourself near waterfalls like Iruppu, Abbey and Mallalli, and Abbi Falls. After a few days at Coorg, thanks to it well connected roads, take a trip to hot spots nearby like Bengaluru, Coimbatore, Ooty and Mysore. Until then sip a mug of coffee and let the fog roll by.
7. Ooty, Tamil Nadu
Ooty is no stranger to us no matter where we are from the country-east or west, north or south because this magnificent place has always been on the must-see list and go to destinations of a traveler. Packed with homely cottages, thatched roofs, charming flower gardens, the British had nicknamed this summer retreat as “Snooty Ooty”. This green and environmentally radiant hill station is blessed with conifers, pine and eucalyptus trees. Walk out and about and you’ll see quieter places where you can slip into cold, calm and beautiful evenings. There are a good deal of places if you’re willing to explore. Doddabetta Peak, Pykara, Pine forest, Wenlock Downs, Kamaraj Sagar Dam, Mudumalai National Park, Mukurthi National Park, Emerald Lake, Avalanche Lake and Upper Bhavani include a range of amazing spots to visit when you’re in Ooty.
6. Manali, Himachal Pradesh
Manali has given us major travel goals. From movies to books, Manali has piqued the young minds’ curiosity of travel and adventure. This North India’s tourist spot blended with tranquility, offers nature’s unparalleled beauty in the rich backdrop of Himalayas. This remarkable place located in the Kullu valley is bordered by thick pine forest and the Beas river. A packed place for people with affinity for adventure sports, Manali provides rafting, paragliding, skiing and trekking. A couple of kilometers away is the famed Rohtang Pass with astounding view of glaciers, peaks and valleys.
5. Munnar, Kerala
God’s own country needs no introduction. The same goes for its popular sites too! Quick question! Are you a tea lover? Well, you are missing out on something really fascinating then. It’s nothing other than the famous sprawling tea plantations in Munnar. The picturesque villages, abbeys, misty hills will even put a DSLR camera to shame. Visit the Kundala plantations to get a clear picture of how fresh tea is made. From the craft of picking green tea leaves gently to making a hot cup of tea, is a sight to watch. Walk in and around the place and as you explore you will be engulfed by a thousand shades of green. If you’re considering to visit this place, get ready to fall in love. If you want to take a break from the quiet and calm of the place, plan a morning trek to Anamudi, the highest peak in south India, explore Eravikkulam National Park, or go rock climbing and paragliding. It’s a rejuvenating experience to set out on an adventure.
4. Darjeeling, West Bengal
This darling of the west is also famous for its emerald green tea gardens set against the jagged Mount Kanchenjunga. Enjoy a fun ride in the historic toy train, and the Darjeeling-Rangeet Valley Passenger Ropeway cable car which is the longest cable car in Asia. You didn’t know about the last part, did you? What’s more? A visit to the monasteries, botanical gardens, orchards, green plains and the zoo are stunning places to spend a day around this hill station. Walk in and about, let the exquisite scenery sink in, and relieve your body and mind.
3. Coonoor, Tamil Nadu
Brace yourselves because this smaller and quieter neighbor to Ooty snuggled in the Nilgiri mountains are going to knock your breath away. This lesser known hill station is surrounded by hills as well as coffee and tea plantations. You know what the best part is of a majority of hill stations? The toy train rides. Hop onto one of these enjoyable rides as it covers one of the charming locations like the cantonment of Wellington.
2. McLeod Ganj, Himachal Pradesh
Amusing name, isn’t it? However, the place is very much Indian and the home to Dalai Lama. This is a top spot for numerous travelers dropping by the Dharamshala. Take a walk along the temple road, stop by the colorful shops, spin the Tibetan prayer wheels, pop on some steaming hot momos and savor the delicate flavor. Why, you ask? Because you’re worth it. In this rat race to achieving material pleasure, stop a moment, take a step back and revitalize your roots.
1. Mussoorie, Uttarakhand
The land of Mussoorie has always been the happy place of kids’ and grown-ups’ imagination alike, given they grew up reading Ruskin Bond. Phenomenal, marvelous, incredible- the adjectives will go on when describing the beauty that Mussoorie is. The myriad trees and the flowers that decorate this place make for a spectacular view. Furthermore, Snowy mountains that envelops the northeast and the superlative view of the beautiful Doon valley and Shivalik ranges in the south- makes Mussoorie the Queen of the hills.
Now, shut down your laptop and pack your bags right away! Bask in all the glory of nature while traveling to the hill stations and upon reaching them, make your travel goals come true.