When the scorching summer heat is taking a toll on you, the ideal way to beat the heat is to plan a trip to the cool climate of a hill station which will offer you the much needed respite from the burning heat. The following adage sheds light on the beauty of these hill stations: “Never lose opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful; for beauty is God’s handwriting – a wayside sacrament. Welcome it in every fair sky, in every fair flower and thank God for it as a cup of blessing”. The most popular hill stations replete with beautiful locales and offering host of adventure activities to opt for are listed below:
This picturesque hill station in the state of Himachal Pradesh is surrounded by five hills, its breathtaking views simply being a treat to the eyes. The landscape with ice-covered mountain tops and lined with stately grooves of oak, deodar, pine and rhododendron trees gives you the much needed break from your routine life and the sweltering rays of the sun. The bungalows and the magnificent churches are masterpieces of Scottish and Victorian architecture, with this place having served earlier as a summer getaway for the British officials during the British reign.
9. Mount Abu:
Mount Abu is the only hill station in the deserts of Rajasthan located at a height of 1164 meters on the Aravalli hill range. This hill station has earned worldwide recognition for the Dilwara Jain temples which act as a major crowd-puller to the place. Mount Abu with its streams and exotic waterfalls offers you unparalleled views of the spectacular scenery, which will leave you awe-struck.
This hill station located in Karnataka in South India is nothing short of a paradise with lush greenery all around and waterfalls making the landscape charismatic. You cannot help spending hours reveling in the beauty of this place which lets you forget all the stress and makes you cheerful and happy. It is positioned on a plateau at an altitude of 1525 meters. Owing to its luxuriant green cover, it is also called ‘Scotland of India’ and ‘Kashmir of South’.
Ootacamund, better known as Ooty is one of the most popular hill stations in South India. Perched on Nilgiri hills in Tamil Nadu, it offers you a panoramic view replete with waterfalls, tea estates, rocks and streams which will keep you captivated for a long time. At Ooty, you can also get to see and click beautiful pictures of the sunset at dusk and the well-known botanical gardens. What will make your trip to Ooty complete is the ride on the Nilgiri Toy train which acquaints you with the topography of the Nilgiri hills.
Gangtok, the state capital of Sikkim in the North-East is located at an altitude of 5500 feet above sea level. This small hill town promises you mesmerizing sights of the Himalayas, pristine streams and structures of utmost historic and religious significance. Gangtok’s conducive environment and unspoiled natural sights help you unwind and lose yourself in the nature’s splendour and glory. From Gangtok, you can also catch a glimpse of the five peaks of Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain range in India, which is truly majestic. Here, you can indulge in adventure activities such as trekking with the hill station offering some of the best trekking routes.
Shillong, the state capital of Meghalaya is a hill town in the North-Eastern part of India situated at an altitude of 1496 meters above sea level. It is one f the best places to visit, away from the oppressive summer heat. Shillong enjoys a pleasant weather throughout the year and is better known as ‘Scotland of the East’ owing to its pollution free environment coupled with enchanting waterfalls and streams, dense pine tree cover and hill tops. This town also owns the privilege of having India’s best golf course where you can get a world-class experience of golfing. The other activities that you can enjoy here range from trekking to immersing yourself in water sports such as kayaking, river canyoning and scuba diving.
Darjeeling in West Bengal is one of the ideal getaways with its mountain peaks, tea plantations, enchanting waterfalls and pristine beauty spreading out for you to immerse yourself in it. One of the major attractions of this place is the tiger hill at an elevation of 2590 meters above sea level. Tiger hill offers you unmatched views of the sunrise as the dawn breaks over the Kanchenjunga and other surrounding peaks shrouding them in an orangish glow. If you are a lover of wildlife, the Himalayan Zoological Park gives you an opportunity to see some of the endangered species such as res Panda, Snow Leopard, Siberian Tiger and Tibetan Wolf. You can revel in the picturesque locales of this place on board the Darjeeling Toy Train which takes you through the lower stretch of the Eastern Himalayas to the expansive tea estates of the town.
Srinagar, the capital city of Jammu and Kashmir in North India is one of the most beautiful hill stations. Its natural beauty is glorified manifold by the presence of the Dal Lake on which you can enjoy a shikara ride which is an altogether different experience. Staying on a houseboat will make your trip to Srinagar compete, and will promise you an enjoyable experience to cherish always. It is also called as ‘Switzerland of India’ as the place brims with natural splendour and magnificence.
This beautiful hill station in Himachal Pradesh is a visual treat with its apple orchards, grooves of deodar and pine trees, lakes and waterfalls lending it a heavenly feel. Manali is a hot favourite among adrenaline junkies as it is well-known for adventure and thrilling activities which include skiing, mountaineering, trekking, rock climbing, heli-skiing, paragliding and hiking among others. On your trip to Manali, you must visit Rohtang Pass which gives you a scenic view of the mountain ranges, ice sheets, dense forest cover and water bodies.
Shimla, the capital city of Himachal Pradesh is a hill station, replete with tranquility and serenity. You can take in the scenic landscape and natural beauty of this place which is well-known for its colonial structures by simply strolling along the walkways in the city. It also gives you an opportunity to indulge yourself in thrilling activities such as ice-skating and fishing.