India is home to many beautiful hill stations, located in the Himalayan, Western Ghats and other mountain ranges. These hill stations offer a perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life and provide a refreshing break amidst nature’s beauty.
Most of the hill stations in India were developed by the British, to get respite from the oppressive summer heat of tropical climate. Most of such hill stations are known for their picturesque views, dense forest and deep lakes. These hill stations are located at all regions of the country. Hill stations in the north have typical alpine temperate climate, while hill stations on the west have tropical forest of western Ghat.
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Hill Stations in India
Hill stations in the south are popular tourist destinations as compared to their other counterparts. Hill stations like Darjeeling in the east too are considered extension of the Himalayan climate. The 10 most popular destinations in India are listed below.
Shimla now the state capital of Himachal Pradesh, used to be the summer capital of the British Raj during colonial rule. The colonial style of buildings, and the mall with decorated fence and the historic railway are the hallmarks of this beautiful hill station. There are plenty of adventure sports activities including pleasurable nature walks are attractions for tourists.
Manali, with its soothing backdrop of the Himalayas, offers a blend of tranquility and adventure that makes it one of northern India’s most popular destinations. Located in the Kullu Valley of Himachal Pradesh, the place is bordered by cool pine forest and the raging Beas River.
Darjeeling, in West Bengal, is also famous for its lush tea gardens. In addition, it’s blessed with a stunning view of Mount Kanchenjunga, the world’s third highest peak. Some of Darjeeling’s most popular attractions include monasteries, botanical gardens and a zoo.
Munnar in Kerala is synonymous with tea plantations. The area is blessed with the natural beauty of lush green vegetation, natural creeks, and forests full of exotic plants and wildlife. Many adventurous activities like trekking and mountaineering are available at the destination.
It was established in the early 19th century by the British as the summer headquarters of the erstwhile Madras Presidency, Ooty is now a soothing place to escape the summer heat in Tamil Nadu. Ooty has its most popular attraction as the 22 hectare Government Botanical Garden, the other attractions include boating on Ooty Lake, and climbing Dodabetta Peak for a view of the Nilgiri hills.
The hill station of Nainital, in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, has been a popular summer retreat since the British period. The place is endowed with unique vegetation around the lake on the hills of Kumaon. The Naini Lake and adjacent The Mall, filled with restaurants, shops, hotels, and markets are the hotspot for tourists.
Present in the Palani hills, Kodaikanal is nestled 120 kilometers from Madurai in Tamil Nadu. Its name in Tamil means “Gift of the Forest”, and one would find many varieties of flora and fauna there. There’s an annual horticultural show organized at the landscaped botanical Bryant Park. Herbs and aromatherapy oils are some of the important things to buy in Kodaikanal, with the eucalyptus oils being particularly popular.
The closest hill station to Mumbai in Maharastra, Matheran offers plenty of walking trails and lookouts. The most unique thing about it and what makes it so special, is that all vehicles are banned here including bicycles.
Mussoorie, located around an hour drive from Derahdun in Uttarakhand, is a popular weekend destination for north Indians, as well as honeymooners. One of the reasons for Mussoorie’s popularity is that it has a lot of facilities developed especially for tourists. Mussoorie also offers a good view of the Himalayas.
Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, delights visitors with its lovely lakes and relaxing houseboats. In fact, lakes and gardens are in such abundance there that Srinagar is often referred to as the “Land of Lakes and Gardens”. In the winter, adventure lovers flock to Srinagar for snow skiing and other snow and mountain based adventure activities. Tourism had a serious threat during later half of 20th century due to insurgency however it is slowly reviving in recent times.