6 Worth Visiting Hill Stations In India
By: Pinki Mon, 04 Jan 2021 2:59:15
India has a varied landscape dotted with snow-covered mountains, lush forests, rolling green hills and scenic lakes. Nestled among these are a host of beautiful hill stations that are a perfect respite from the scorching heat. Here’s our pick of the best hill stations in India worth visiting.
Nestled among snow-capped mountains and oak, pine and rhododendron forests is the picturesque hill station of Shimla, where colonial-era structures and the historic toy train charm architecture lovers and history buffs alike. Founded in the 18th century, Shimla served as the ‘Summer Capital of British’ when they ruled over India. Its legacy is evident with sights like the Viceregal Lodge, a beautifully preserved Jacobethan-style building that houses ancient photographs and artifacts dating back to the British times in India. Other must-visit places include the Neo-Gothic style Christ Church, the Ridge (the hub of cultural and social activities), the Jakhoo Temple dedicated to Hindu deity, Lord Hanuman and the bustling Mall Road, which is dotted with vibrant cafes, restaurants, shopping centres, handlooms and more. Plus, the beautiful landscape also makes it a perfect spot for adventure seekers, who can indulge in recreational activities, like camping, mountain biking, skiing, ice-skating, camping, paragliding and short hikes.
In the outer Himalayas amid the Kumaon hills sit the scenic town of Nainital, which is a paradise for nature and outdoor lovers. From lush forests and the snow-covered peaks of Naina, Ayarpatta and Deopatha, to the picturesque pear-shaped Naini Lake and local wildlife, the town is not only ideal for adventure activities, like trekking, river rafting, camping, kayaking, hill climbing, boating, horseback riding and paragliding, but it’s also a great place for photographers wanting to capture its ethereal beauty. Highlights for tourists include the Tiffin Top, the Mall Road, Snow View Point, Nainital Zoo, Raj Bhavan (Governor’s House), the Naina Devi temple, the Eco Cave Gardens, Bhimtal Lake, Naini Lake and Naina Peak, and a wildlife safari trip in Jim Corbett National Park.
A retreat for those who love to be amid nature, Darjeeling is nestled at an altitude of 2,042 metres in the lesser Himalayas region. Its endless slopes of lush tea plantations and snow-covered Himalayan peaks in the backdrop add to its picture-perfect postcard feel. Visitors can explore one of the many tea estates, trek to Tiger Hill and take in the spectacular vistas of the mountain of Kanchenjunga (world’s third highest peak) and Khangchendzonga, visit Buddhist monasteries and meander through the botanical gardens. Make sure to take the UNESCO World Heritage Toy Train ride traversing through the war memorial and Batasia Loop.
Dubbed the Summer Capital of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, Srinagar is nestled in the Kashmir Valley on the banks of Jhelum River. This ‘Venice of the East’ is not only a delight for the camera, but it’s also brimming with fascinating cultural, historical and recreational sights that make it an ideal spot for travellers and photographers alike. There are historic Mughal gardens, palaces, temples and mosques and an abundance of natural beauty. And, the beating heart of this beautiful hill station is Dal Lake, which is known for its houseboats, floating gardens and floating vegetable market. Visitors can take a shikara ride on the lake and soak in the beauty of the area while watching the everyday life of the locals that are settled along its bank. If visiting during April, be sure to attend the famous Tulip Festival that features over a million blooms and cultural programs, like Kashmiri folk song and dance, traditional Kashmiri cuisine and local handicraft displays.
Surrounded by the Himalayas and lush greenery, and nestled on the banks of the Beas River, its location makes it a prime destination for backpackers and adventurers as there are recreational activities waiting to be had – from trekking to rafting and paragliding to skiing. As for history buffs and culture lovers, the pagoda-shaped Hadimba temple, the Museum of Himachal Culture and Folk Art, Manu Temple and Tibetan monasteries are a must. For visitors who simply want to relax their mind and body, the Vashisht Hot Water Springs is the perfect spot to rejuvenate. Although the town itself has lots to keep visitors busy, wander a few miles out to be engulfed in nature and adventure. The must-visit nearby villages include Naggar, Kothi, Gulaba and Solang.
Kerala’s crown jewel, Munnar is a charming hill station, typified by its sprawling tea plantations, misty hills, winding lanes and gorgeous views of the mountain peaks. Visit the tea plantations and the Tata Tea Museum for an insight on tea processing and sample fresh tea picked straight out of the garden, or wander through the Eravikulam National Park to witness the beauty of lush valleys and rolling hills. For those wanting a bit of adventure, trek to Anamudi, South India’s highest peak, or go paragliding and rock climbing. A short drive from the town is a treat for nature and adventure lovers alike: discover the rose garden near Mattupetty Lake, soak up the beauty of Pallivasal Falls in Pallivasal, trek to the Chinnakanal Waterfalls, explore the spiritual town of Devikulam, and take a stroll along the lush green dunes of spice and tea plantations in Chithirapuram.