Top 10 hill stations in India

Summer is here. Now is the time to plan a trip to the hills. India has numerous hill stations. Escape to one of them this summer.

Most hill stations in the country have beautiful lakes ideal for boating activities. The misty hills, lovely lakes and exotic flora and fauna make India’s hill stations a traveler’s delight. Some hill stations also have facilities for a toy train ride. Here are the most popular hill stations in India.nainital-lake

Srinagar

Srinagar is the summer capital of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Srinagar is famous for its lovely lakes and the houseboats that cruise them. There are numerous gardens and lakes in Srinagar. The gardens of Srinagar remind one of the Mughal era because they were built by them and their influence is quite visible. Asia’s biggest tulip garden is in Srinagar. Srinagar also hosts a unique tulip festival every April. Interested in golf? Srinagar won’t disappoint you. There are plenty of golf courses here.

Read about skiing in Kashmir here.

Manali

Located in the Kullu Valley of Himachal Pradesh, Manali lies in the lap of Himalayas. It is also one of the most popular hill stations in India. Manali offers both peace and adventure. It is a great place to connect with your inner self. Pine forests abound here. The mighty Beas River flows through Manali and gives it boundless energy.

Nainital

Naini Lake in NainitalWhen the British ruled India, Nainital was one of their favorite summer retreats. This hill station is in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand. In Nainital, the chief attraction is the emerald Naini Lake. Tourists enjoy boating in the lake. There are very many things to do in Nainital. You can go for a forest walk or explore the hills and valleys on a horse back. Nainital has a street called The Mall. It is full of restaurants, hotels, markets and shops. Pangot (15 kilometers to the north) and Jeolikot (15 kilometers to the south) are other tourist attractions near Nainital.

Mussoorie

Mussoorie viewsMussoorie is only an hour from Dehradun in Uttarakhand. Mussoorie is a well-developed tourist destination and offers plenty of facilities for visitors. It is a popular destination for honeymooners. From Mussoorie you will get a brilliant view of the Himalayas. Tourists can take a cable car to Gun Hill. Camel’s Back Road is perfect for enjoying a walk.

Shimla

When the British ruled India, Shimla was their summer capital. Now it is the capital of Himachal Pradesh. Shimla is a cool and beautiful town covered in pine and oak forests. Shimla still has plenty of colonial style buildings. Tourist attractions here include the old Christ Church, the historic railways and the Viceregal Lodge on Observatory Hill. You will be able to see most of these historic buildings on a walking tour. If you are into adventure sports, Shimla is a great place to spend this summer. Shimla also has several hikes on offer. There is a toy train to Shimla. Read about the top 11 tourist attractions in Shimla.

Munnar

Munnar_hillstation_keralaMunnar is the finest hill station in Kerala. It is famous for its lush tea gardens. Munnar has beautiful lakes, misty hills and waterfalls. Eravikulam National Park is in Munnar. It is famous for its population of the endangered Nilgiri Tahr. Anamudi, the highest peak in South India, is also in Munnar. Tourists can trek to Anamudi or try paragliding and rock climbing.

Ooty

Ooty is another hugely popular hill station in India. Its huge popularity also makes it one of the most crowded hill stations in South India. Ooty is famous for its sprawling Botanical Gardens. Every May the government organizes a flower show here. Dodabetta Peak offers beautiful views of the Nilgiri hills. Boating is another popular activity with tourists. The toy train ride from Metupalayam to Ooty is highly enjoyable. Coonoor which is about 17 kilometers from Ooty is famous for its tea plantations. Read about the top 6 tourist attractions in Tamil Nadu.

Darjeeling

darjeeling-toy-trainDarjeeling is a popular hill station in West Bengal famous for its tea gardens. Tea plantations aren’t the only reason to visit Darjeeling. From here you will get a stunning view of Mount Kanchenjunga, third highest peak in the world. Darjeeling has plenty of tourist attractions including monasteries, the toy train, zoo and botanical gardens. The Passenger Ropeway cable car connecting Darjeeling and Rangeet Valley is the longest cable car in Asia. Darjeeling is a beautiful place to walk around and when you are there be sure to explore the tea gardens, markets and villages. Darjeeling should be visited during summer. As it is one of the wettest places in India, avoid this place during the monsoons.

Kodaikanal

Kodaikanal is a secluded hill station about 120 kilometers from Madurai. It is famous for its exotic flora and fauna. There are numerous walking trails here. You will also enjoy the scenic waterfalls. Explore orchards of pear trees. If you visit in May you will be able to enjoy the horticultural show at the Bryant Park. Kodaikanal is a great place to buy aromatherapy oils and herbs.

Matheran

Matheran is only a few hours from Mumbai. Actually, it is the closest hill station to Mumbai. Matheran is famous for its walking trails. Also, it is perhaps the only hill station in India where all vehicles are banned. Because of its proximity to Mumbai it attracts thousands of visitors. There is a toy train to Matheran.

Read about seven weekend getaways near Mumbai.

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