9 Popular Hill Stations in India You Should Explore
Hill stations are breath-taking, without a speck of doubt. Witnessing the majestic mountain ranges, steep hills and green-colored canopies is enough to soothe your soul and allow you to get mesmerized by the beauty of the country that is India.
With so many amazing mountain ranges and hill stations in North India, it isn’t surprising that people are often confused about where to go. Sitting at such a height above sea level, hill stations are a perfect getaway from the rough and fast-paced life you are living in the city.
We will explore some of the top hill stations in the Northern part of India that you must explore without fail.
We can’t go wrong with the tourist favorite spot. Manali is a go-to option for every hill station enthusiast. Besides the backdrop of the magnificent Himalayas, what stands out in Manali is the bounty of lush greenery, steep hills, trekking points, and all the adventure that you could think of. While you are planning your next trip, make sure that you don’t skip out on Rohtang Pass, Jog Falls, and Hidimba temples, and explore the local markets for some stunning souvenirs.
Nothing defines the beauty of hill stations better than Kashmir does. The place is a rendition of “heaven on Earth” and rightfully so. From the beautiful backdrop of green, tall mountains and pastoral scenery to the lakes and the gondola rides, nothing should stop you from looking into the best Kashmir tours.
If you wish to further localize your visit, we’d recommend Srinagar as the top choice. It is easier to reach, very accessible and the food is to die for. While exploring Srinagar and Kashmir in general, ensure to splurge out on the boat and gondola rides.
If you are looking to visit something a little more offbeat and out of the way, we’d recommend Spiti Valley. This cold desert mountain valley is breathtaking and perfect for people who want to catch a break and relax. You will find a lot of Tibetan culture and influence in the place, especially due to the immigrated locals. But, the best part of visiting Spiti Valley is its range of adventure sports and activities, including trekking, hiking, rappelling, camping, etc.
Leh and Ladakh
Leh and Ladakh is a solo traveler’s bucket list paradise. Although there are several restrictions and regulations to visiting this hill station, you’d be surprised and people are still willingly visiting just to soak in the beauty of the area. From long and never-ending bike rides to the snow-capped mountains during winter months, Ladakh tours are the epitome of unparalleled explorations.
Bask in the cultural and spiritual ambiance of the place along with the stunning landscapes. If you want to explore some offbeat places, we’d recommend visiting Tso Moriri Lake, Leh Palace, Shanti Stupa, etc.
Another underrated hill station worth exploring in India is Kufri. It is nestled around 10 km outskirts of Shimla, so connectivity shouldn’t be an issue there. This is a very popular spot among newlyweds who don’t want to visit the same two romantic hill stations in India. Very less frequented by tourists, the place is quite popular among people who are on the hunt for a secluded spot to spend their time in. Since it’s quite offbeat, the availability of hotels and transportation is also quite easy and accessible.
While we are talking about individual and unexplored areas, Gulmarg in Kashmir is another popular hill station that should be present on every traveler’s bucket list. More than exploring nature’s beauty, what stands out in Gulmarg is the list of amazing adventure activities like trekking, snowboarding, skiing, etc. If you like exploring different sports that peak your adrenaline, this is a spot you have to add to your list of places to visit.
If you are stressed and tired of the hustle and bustle of the city and want to escape it, we’d highly recommend visiting Kasauli. It is not the most off-beat spot but it’s not overcrowded as well, which is a positive trait. It is a cantonment town that is surrounded by stunning lakes, steep hills, and lush greenery everywhere your eyes can reach. This is perfect for people who want to slow down and relax after a hectic few months. Don’t miss out on exploring the Gilbert trail while you are there.
Believed to be the hometown of the great Dalai Lama, Dharamshala is peace personified. It isn’t a place where you can indulge in a lot of activities but that’s the beauty of this spot. It allows you to slow down, indulge in some peace, and explore the true meaning of tranquillity in nature. The crowd in Dharamshala primarily includes younger people, especially due to the trekking trails around. Besides that, you can find a plethora of monasteries that you can visit and explore.
Last but not least is Shimla. Alluded as one of the most beautiful hill stations in North India, Shimla is a frequented but yet a hidden gem that people unfurl with their travel plans. Besides the majestic mountains and hills in the close vicinity, one thing that stands out in Shimla is the rich impacts of colonial history. Also, while you are walking around exploring the city, don’t miss out on the toy train ride to Kalka. It is a one-of-a-kind experience that takes you on a trip through the towering mountains, making it an experience of a lifetime.
With so many stunning cities, towns, and states in India, there are multiple hill stations across north India that are worth the effort and the money you splurge out on them. However, since north Indian hill stations are often infiltrated by tourists, you must plan ahead of time. The last thing you want is to end up having no hotel rooms or modes of transportation available around. So, plan ahead of time and make the bookings without any delays.