Are you a first-time traveler and planning a trip to a hill station in India to escape the scorching summer heat? Then you have plenty of options to choose from, as India is blessed with many hills and mountains. Whether it’s the Himalayas in the north or the Nilgiri Mountains in the south, India is a country where finding a hill station isn’t a difficult task at all. Here are the 6 beautiful hill stations in India where you can spend an awesome vacation while observing the beauty of nature.
Top Hill Stations in India For Beginners
Situated in the foothills of the Himalayas, Shimla is the capital city of Himachal Pradesh. It is one of the few famous hill stations in India where you can get there by train. A train journey from Kalka to Shimla, along with the tall Himalayan mountains, will give you many unforgettable memories that you will cherish forever.
Shimla was also the summer capital of British India and has huge historical significance. You will encounter many old landmarks and buildings which date back to the 19th and 20th centuries. An evening stroll on Mall Road, which is also the main shopping area located in the center of the city, will amaze you with its glamorous vibes.
There are many sightseeing options as well, which you can visit while you are in this amazing hill station. Some of them are Kufri, Jakhoo Hill, Christ Church, Green Valley, etc.
Located in the Indian state of West Bengal, Darjeeling is a majestic hill station that will astonish you with its aesthetic beauty. It is also home to one of the world’s best tea gardens. If you are a tea enthusiast, then visiting the tea gardens in Darjeeling can be a worthwhile experience.
You will get to know a lot about tea plantations. Darjeeling is well connected with other major Indian cities. The nearest airport is Bagdogra Airport, which is around 70 km from Darjeeling. You can also reach here via road, as buses and cars are frequently available from all the nearest cities.
But if you want to experience something awesome, then taking a toy train ride from New Jalpaiguri Junction Railway Station to Darjeeling is a must-do activity. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, which operates between New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Every year, hundreds of thousands of tourists experience this incredible train journey. Tiger Hill, Peace Pagoda, Batasia Loop, Ghoom Monastery, and Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park are the major tourist attractions that you should explore during your time in Darjeeling.
Known for its captivating natural beauty, Nainital is one of the most romantic hill stations in India. This majestic town is located in the Indian state of Uttarakhand’s Kumaon Division. Apart from the tall green mountains, lakes are the major attractions in Nainital. You will find seven astonishing lakes that will blow your mind with their natural beauty.
Whether enjoying a bird’s-eye view from a ropeway or riding a boat on the Naini lake, you will make many invaluable memories during your stay here. It is also regarded as one of the best hill stations in India for honeymoons. So, if you are a newly married couple, then Nainital can be a great choice for your honeymoon as well.
Shillong is the capital city of Meghalaya and one of the most visited hill stations in northeast India. Home to many astounding waterfalls, Shillong’s natural beauty is breathtaking. Some of the tourist attractions in and around the city include The Cathedral of Mary Help of Christians, Don Bosco Museum, Laitlum Canyon, Umiam Lake, and Elephant Falls.
Relishing an aerial view from Shillong View Point is a must-have activity as you can capture most of the city in a single frame. It also has an airport, which is around 30 km away from the city center. Cherrapunji and Dawki are the two most visited destinations which you can explore from Shillong on a day trip. Cherrapunji, a town which is situated around 54 km from Shillong, is renowned for its heavy annual rainfall.
Dawki, on the other hand, is a small town located near the India-Bangladesh border. It is located roughly 82 km from Shillong and is famous for the Dawki River. Having a boat ride on the Dawki River while enjoying its crystal-clear water is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you can’t afford to miss.
5. Kodagu (Coorg)
Popularly known as the “Scotland of India”, Kodagu is a picturesque district in Southern Karnataka. Situated in the Western Ghats, it is one of the prettiest hill stations in South India. Nature has gifted this place with an abundance of greenery, which attracts thousands of tourists all around the world. Kodagu is also one of the most coffee-producing districts in the country.
So, visiting a coffee plantation estate is a must-do activity while you are in this enchanting land. Raja’s Seat, Abbey Falls, Madikeri Fort, Mandalpatti View Point, Iruppu Falls, and Mallalli Falls are the few sightseeing options you should visit. It is well connected with other cities in Karnataka. The nearest major city, Mysuru, is around 115 km, whereas the state capital, Bengaluru, is around 250 km.
Another amazing hill station in the state of Himachal Pradesh, Manali has all the amenities to make your visit a memorable one. Known for its stunning landscapes, it is one of India’s most renowned hill stations for tourists who want to enjoy a perfect holiday in the Himalayas.
Located approximately 250 km from the state capital, Shimla, this beautiful hill station is easily accessible by cars and buses. If you are an adventure sports lover, then having a holiday in Manali will bring added advantages for you. It is situated on the banks of the Beas River, which makes this place a perfect spot for river rafting. Paragliding in Manali is also popular as you will get to enjoy an unforgettable bird’s-eye view of the Himalayas.
Apart from rafting and paragliding, Manali is a heaven for skiing lovers as well. Whether you’re an experienced skier or want to try it for the first time, skiing in Manali is something which you should experience once in your life. Old Manali, Jogini Falls, Solang Valley, and Rohtang Pass are some of the must-see sightseeing locations to explore during your time in this wonderful hill station.
As mentioned earlier, finding a hill station in India isn’t a difficult task at all. You will find many other spectacular hill stations in India which are not on this list but are equally charming and captivating. So, pack your bags, escape the summer heat, say goodbye to your busy city life, and embark on a journey to experience nature at its best.
Ranajoy is pursuing a master’s degree currently and has a passion for travel writing. He has started travel writing as he thinks words are a very powerful tool and he can share travel stories through them.