Top 10 Famous Hill Stations in India

 Top 10 Famous Hill Stations in India

India’s hills and mountains are home to some of the most scenic destinations perfect for rejuvenating holidays. The verdant valleys, cool weather, mountain trails and breathtaking views attract tourists from far and wide. From the Himalayas up north to the Western and Eastern Ghats, India boasts of diverse hill stations for all interests. Here is a list of the top 10 most famous hill stations in India that should be on your travel bucket list:

1: Shimla

The Queen of Hill Stations, Shimla is one of the most popular tourist destinations in North India. Situated at an altitude of 2200m in Himachal Pradesh, Shimla enchants with colonial architecture, pine forests, cool weather and snowy views. Take a walk down the bustling Mall Road and shop at Lakkar Bazaar. Ride the UNESCO-listed toy train and visit Viceregal Lodge. Trek through pine forests to reach Jakhoo Temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman. Don’t miss trying chocolate momos unique to Shimla.

Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year except monsoons

2: Manali

Nestled in the mountains of Himachal at 2050m, Manali offers breathtaking views of snowy peaks and lush forests alongside adventurous activities. It serves as a base for skiing in Solang Valley and trekking to Hampta Pass and Beas Kund. Visit Hadimba Temple surrounded by towering cedar trees and Vashisht Village known for its hot springs. Take a day trip to Rohtang Pass for gorgeous mountain vistas. You can also visit Naggar Castle and go paragliding in Solang Valley.

Best Time to Visit: October to June

3: Ooty

    Ooty or Udhagamandalam is the most popular hill station in South India, famous for its tea estates and rolling hills. Located in the Nilgiri Hills of Tamil Nadu, Ooty offers stunning views of forests, lakes and valleys. Hike up to Doddabetta Peak for panoramic views and see manicured botanical gardens. Go boating in Ooty Lake or toy train ride on the Nilgiri Mountain Railway. Trek to Pykara Waterfalls or let loose at the chocolate factory and rose garden.

    Best Time to Visit: October to June

    4: Darjeeling

    Darjeeling fondly called Queen of the Hills is known for its tea gardens and views of Kanchenjunga peaks. Take a joyride on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, a UNESCO site winding through the mountains. Watch the sunrise at Tiger Hill or trek to Sandakphu for majestic Himalayan views. Visit monasteries like Ghoom and Bhutia Busty. End your day with a cup of Darjeeling tea and momos as you take in the town’s old-world charm.

    Best Time to Visit: October to December, March to May

    5: Coorg

    The coffee capital of India, Coorg is dotted with sprawling coffee and spice plantations along with lush forests and streams. Also called Kodagu, it offers many trekking trails for adventure junkies along with architectural wonders. Visit golden-roofed Madikeri Fort, Omkareshwara Temple, and Abbey Falls. Go rafting in the raging rapids of Barapole River. Don’t miss authentic Kodava cuisine like pandi curry, akki roti and kadumbuttu.

    Best Time to Visit: October to March

    6: Mussoorie

    Mussoorie in Uttarakhand is renowned for its green rolling hills enveloped in thick mist. Perched at 1880m, it offers enchanting views of Garhwal Himalayan ranges from points like Lal Tibba and Camel’s Back Road. Take a walk down the bustling Mall Road and enjoy activities like zip-lining. Visit Kempty Falls, Cloud’s End and Bhatta Falls on the outskirts. The pristine natural beauty and old churches lend Mussoorie a quaint charm.

    Best Time to Visit: March to June

    7: Nainital

    The gem of Uttarakhand, Nainital is centered around its pear-shaped emerald green lake surrounded by hills. Go boating on the Naini Lake or shop your heart out in Mall Road dotted by restaurants and stay in heritage hotels. Trek to viewpoints like Tiffin Top and China Peak for great views. Visit eco-friendly destinations like Bhimtal and Naukuchiatal, home to unusual sights like a lake with nine corners.

    Best Time to Visit: March to June

    8: Shillong

    Known as Scotland of the East, Shillong is famous for its pristine landscapes and rich tribal culture. Located at 1496m, it serves as the gateway to Meghalaya. Explore museums to learn about the history and culture of native tribes or enjoy boating in Umiam Lake. Visit Elephant Falls, Shillong Peak, Wards Lake and Don Bosco Museum. The city’s golf courses, cafes and markets add to its old-worldly charm.

    Best Time to Visit: October to April

    9: Gangtok

    The capital of Sikkim, Gangtok is a colorful hill town nestled in the Himalayas at 1670m. Gangtok is renowned for Buddhist monasteries like Enchey and Rumtek representing Tibetan culture. Go on short treks like Tashi Viewpoint or buy souvenirs at Lal Bazaar. Relish authentic momos, noodle soup and other Tibetan dishes. Visit during festivals like Losar and Losoong to see Gangtok in all its cultural splendour surrounded by snowy peaks.

    Best Time to Visit: March to June

    10: Kodaikanal

    Kodaikanal is a serene hill station situated at 2133m in Tamil Nadu’s Palani Hills. Translating to ‘Princess of the Hill’, it offers scenic views from Coakers Walk and Bryant Park. Go boating in Kodaikanal Lake, see pillars of Mother Nature in the Devil’s Kitchen and explore Guna Cave. Visit the famous Kurinji Andavar Temple and Berijam Lake, home to endangered wildlife. Indulge in home made chocolates, eucalyptus oil and cheese.

    Best Time to Visit: September to May

    India’s hill stations from up north to down south provide that much-needed break from daily chaos. Their cool climes, lush forests, tea estates and stunning views will help you relax and rejuvenate amidst nature. So next time you plan a vacation, be sure to include one of these famous hill destinations in India for an epic holiday. Let us know your favourite hill station!

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