15 Best Hill Stations In India - Beat The Heat This Summer

By Amandeep June 05 2024
5
2015

India has always wooed tourists from across the globe with its unique and diverse landscapes. The mystic country boasts some of the most enchanting hill stations in the world. From snow-covered mountains in North India, rolling hills in the East to elevated landscapes in western ghats, the hill stations in India cater to all types of travellers. 

Whether you are a solo traveller, backpacker, soul searcher, or digital nomad, you’re likely to feel refreshed and rejuvenated in nature’s lap.

Did you know? ‘India has been ranked 34 in the Travel & Tourism Report by the World Economic Forum in 2019.’

The hill stations located in North India specifically in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh are worth visiting to soak in the tranquillity of nature and beat the scorching heat in summer.

Ready for a perfect escape from the chaos of daily life? Here’s a list of the 15 best hill stations in India showcasing beautiful architectural gems, shimmering lakes, evergreen forests, and breathtaking landscapes

15 Must Visit Places To Visit In Hill Station In India

1. Manali- The Valley of Gods

ManaliManali

Ask anyone about the must visit hill stations in India, and Manali is the first place that comes to mind. Known for its scenic beauty, chilly winters, adrenaline-rush adventure sports, and yummy cuisines, Manali is no less than a paradise on Earth. It’s the inimitable hill station in India that every traveller admires to visit again and again. One can easily be astounded by Manali's magnificent nature, vibrant culture, and pristine location. 

Located at an altitude of 2.050 m in the north of Kullu, Manali is often called the Valley of Gods. Manali has everything to offer from nature’s divinity to adventure sports to woo all types of travellers. Embrace the unparalleled beauty of Manali flaunting fruit orchards, extensive meadows, ancient temples and milky white waterfalls this season with your friends or family. Ensure to include Manali, the stunning hill station in your Himachal tour packages for an enthralling experience

  • Best Places to Visit in Manali: Hidimba Devi Temple, Shiva’s Mandir, Vashisht Ashram, Manu Temple, Rohtang Pass, Solang Valley
  • Exciting things to Do in Manali: Paragliding, horse riding, mountain biking, skiing, camping, trekking, river rafting, trying local cuisines.
  • Best Time to Visit in Manali : October to June
  • Nearest Airport: Bhuntar Airport (51 km) 
  • Nearest Train Station: Joginder Nagar Railway Station (144 km)

2. Gulmarg- Meadow of Flowers

GulmargGulmargLocated in Kashmir Valley, Gulmarg is a fairytale land covered with deep white snow. Unlike hill stations in North India, Gulmarg exhibits a unique combination of nature, recreational activities, and strategic location. The snowy land of Gulmarg during winter transforms beautifully into a meadow of flowers in summer. 

Gulmarg’s tranquil landscape is characterized by dense alpine forests, and vast meadows, against the backdrop of the Pir Panjal range. Perched at an altitude of 2,730 m, it is one of the premier skiing destinations in the World, offering access to the high altitudes of Mount Apharwat. The other major attraction is Gulmarg Gondola, Asia's highest cable car. Gulmarg is a most sought-after destination for honeymoon couples and friends. 

The place is easily accessible from Srinagar. The less commercial and serene surroundings make Gulmarg a unique, and appealing hill station.

  • Best places to visit in Gulmarg: Khilanmarg, Alpather Lake, Gulmarg Gondola, Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve, Seven Springs, Maharani Temple etc.
  • Things to do in GulmargSkiing at Gulmarg Backcountry Ski Lounge, snowboarding at Apharwat Peak, camping at Ningle Nallah etc.
  • Best Time to Visit in Gulmarg: April to June
  • Nearest Airport: Srinagar International Airport
  • Nearest Train Station: Jammu Tawi Railway Station (290 km)

3. Shimla- The Capital City of Himachal Pradesh

ShimlaShimla

Nestled in the Himalayas, Shimla is among the best hill stations in North India exhibiting architectural gems of the Colonial era, dense pine, deodar, and oak forests. Known for its exclusive toy train from Kalka station ( UNESCO World Heritage site) takes you through the beautiful Nilgiri hills. Jaku Hill, Mall Road, Christ Church, and Chadwick Falls are among a few major attractions of Shimla. 

Be it summer holidays, a friend's getaway or a family get-together, North Indians simply love to visit Shimla. This quintessential hill station also receives occasional snowfall in winter, making it perfect for ice skating. The cool and pleasant weather of Shimla makes it an ideal destination for nature walks, adventure sports, mountaineering, and trekking.

  • Best places to visit in Shimla: Jakhoo temple, Kalka-Shimla railway, Rashtrpati Niwas, The Ridge, Himachal State Museum, Christ Church etc.
  • Things to do in ShimlaShopping at Mall road, hot pool bath and river rafting at Tattapani, paragliding, camping, heli-skiing at Narkanda and Kufri etc.
  • Best Time to Visit in Shimla: May to June and December to January
  • Nearest Airport: Jubarhatti Airport (17.7 km) 
  • Nearest Train Station:Kalka Railway station (96 km) 

4. Mussoorie- The Queen of Hills

mussoorieMussoorie

Nestled in Uttarakhand, Mussoorie is recognized as one of the top hill stations in India. Words won’t be sufficient to describe the magnificent beauty of Mussoorie. Located amidst the Garhwal mountains, Mussories is a natural retreat for tourists offering majestic views of the Doon Valley, and the Himalayas. This popular hill station in India also offers adventure sports like trekking, paragliding, rock climbing, and horse riding. 

You can easily rent bikes to visit Mussoorie’s top attractions like Company Garden, Mall Road, Kempty Falls, and Mussoorie Lake. What makes Mussoorie one of the best hill stations in India is its location, the blend of colonial buildings, nature, and vibrant culture. Whether you are a honeymoon couple, friends on vacation or family with kids, Mussoorie won’t disappoint you.

  • Best places to visit in Mussoorie: Mall Road, Kempty Falls, Dalai Hills, Gun Hill, Jharipani Falls, Cloud’s End, Jwala Devi Temple, Benog Wildlife Sanctuary, Lake Mist 
  • Things to do in MussooriePlanning a trip to Landour town, enjoying panoramic views from Lal Tibba, trying local cuisine, trekking, paragliding, rock climbing, and white-water rafting 
  • Best Time to Visit in Mussoorie :April to June 
  • Nearest Airport: Dehradun’s Jolly Grant International Airport (61 km) 
  • Nearest Train Station: Dehradun Railway Station (34 km) 

5. Nainital- The Lake District of India

NainitalNainital

Frustrated with roasting summers or planning an escape in winter from the hustle-bustle of daily routine? Situated in Uttarakhand’s Kumaon region, Nainital is a flawless destination dotted with spellbound views, ancient temples, and serene lakes. Sattal, Bhimtal, and Naukuchiatal are the nearby lakes that add to the charm of alluring Nainital. 

It is home to the oldest national park in India, Jim Corbett National Park where you can indulge in adventure activities or explore caves. Make sure to pay a holy visit to the historic Naina Devi temple which is one of the top attractions of Nainital. The crescent-shaped Naini Lake is the center of the attraction surrounded by lovely hills. The stunning reflections in freshwater are worth watching. If you are seeking a scenic and peaceful holiday destination, Nainital is a go-to place for you!

  • Best places to visit in Nainital: Tiffin Top, Mall Road, Kainchi Dham, Hanuman Garhi Temple, Cave Garden, Khurpa Taal, High Altitude Zoo, Kilbury Bird Sanctuary 
  • Things to do in NainitalTaking a stroll at Tandi Sadak, trekking, boating, and horse riding, taking a ropeway ride, shopping for local souvenirs at Tibetan and Bhotia Market 
  • Best Time to Visit in NainitalMarch to June 
  • Nearest Airport: Pantnagar Airport (59 km)  
  • Nearest Train Station: Kathgodam Railway Station (26 km) 

6. Kasol: Backpacker’s Heaven

KasolKasol

Located on the bank of the Parvati River, Kasol is popular for its laid-back hippie culture. Kasol is also popular among international tourists as ‘Mini Israel’. Parvati River, Malana Village, and Tirthan Valley are some of the must-visit tourist attractions in Kasol with several bohemian shops and cafes to laze around. Surrounded by towering Himalayan peaks, dense forests, and the holy Parvati river, Kasol is a heaven for nature lovers. 

Besides admiring its scenic beauty, Kasol also serves as a base for famous treks such as Tosh Valley Trek, and Kheer Ganga Trek. Many international artists and tourists visit Kasol to attend music festivals and boho- parties. You can also plan to visit Manikaran Sahib which is located quite close to Kasol. It is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful hill stations in India, captivating visitors with its natural beauty.

  • Best places to visit In Kasol: Gurudwara Shri Manikaran Sahib, Thakar Kuan, Kheer Ganga Peak, Raghunath Mandir, Malana Village Tirthan Valley, Parvati River etc.  
  • Things to do In KasolTrekking at Chalal Trekking Trail, bath in Manikaran Hot Water Pool etc. 
  • Best Time to Visit In Kasol :March to June 
  • Nearest Airport: Kullu Manali Airport  
  • Nearest Train Station: Joginder Nagar Railway Station

7. Mcleodganj, Himachal Pradesh- The Little Lhasa

McleodganjMcleodganj 

Mcleodganj is home to the 14th Dalai Lama and is also the headquarters of the Tibetan government. Bhagsunag waterfall, St. John Church, Dalai lama’s complex, Buddhist monasteries, and Tibetan markets are the top attractions of Mcleodganj. Being the nearest hill station, tourists from Punjab and Delhi love to visit this place with pleasant weather. 

Influenced by Tibetan & British culture, Mcleodganj displays snow-capped mountains, shimmering waterfalls, and scenic views of the Dhauladhar range. You’ll find several yoga, meditation, and Ayurvedic healing centers. Mcleodganj has always managed to attract tourists from around the world because of its spiritually enriched environment. 

  • Best places to visit in Mcleodganj : Tsuglagkhang Complex, Kareri Dal Lake, St. John in the Wilderness, Tushita Meditation Centre, Kalachakra Temple, Tibetan Mini Market, Kangra Fort 
  • Things to do in McleodganjLearning about Tibetan culture at Namgyal Monastery, trekking and camping, exploring bars and cafes, buying Tibetan handicrafts, singing bowls, and carpets, relishing delectable Tibetan cuisine 
  • Best Time to Visit: March to June 
  • Nearest Airport: Kangra Airport (18 km) 
  • Nearest Train Station: Pathankot Junction (90 km) 

8. Shillong- The Capital City of Meghalaya

ShillongShillong 

Shillong is popular for its scenic hills and aromatic flowers. Nestled in East Khasi hills, this hill station is a must-include place for newly-wed couples. Shillong is one of the most beautiful hill stations in India featuring mesmerizing rolling hills, swaying palm trees, beautiful colonial buildings, waterfalls, and numerous vantage points. 

During British-era, Shillong was also named ‘The Scotland of the East’.  Mawsynram and Cherrapunji are the nearest towns that you can plan for a day-trip visit from Shillong. Due to its comfortable weather conditions throughout the year, modern amenities, and cultural richness, Shillong has always been a tourist’s top hill station in India.

  • Best places to visit in Shillong : Umiam Lake, Ward’s Lake, Elephant Falls, Nohkalikai Falls, Lady Hydari Park, Shillong Gold Course, Ka Phan Nonglait Park, Butterfly Museum 
  • Things to do in ShillongVisiting parks and waterfalls, trying the local cuisine, exploring museums, shopping for souvenirs 
  • Best Time to Visit in ShillongMarch to June 
  • Nearest Airport: Guwahati’s Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport (115 km) 
  • Nearest Train Station: Guwahati Railway Station (96 km) 

9. Pelling, Sikkim- Gateway to Kanchenjunga

PellingPelling 

Nestled in the west of Sikkim, Pelling is a hidden gem displaying rich cultural heritage and spellbound views of the Himalayas. The snow-capped peaks of Kanchenjunga (third highest peak in the world) during sunset and sunrise are worth watching. Pemayangtse Monastery, Singshore Bridge, sacred Khecheopalri Lake, and Rimbi waterfalls are some of the top attractions of Pelling. 

Pelling is also a base for adventure activities like trekking, mountaineering, mountain biking, and rock climbing. Skywalk with glass floors is another famous thing to do in Pelling. Pelling is also known for hosting Bumchu and Losar festivals showcasing local dance forms, and artifacts. 

  • Best places to visit in Pelling: Sangachoeling Monastery, Singshore bridge, Pemayangtse Monastery, Rimbi Waterfall, Kanchenjunga Waterfall, Kanchenjunga National Park etc. 
  • Things to do in PellingHike to the nearby village of Darpa, have a picnic at Sewaro Rock Garden, attend Maghe Purne Festival celebrated at the delightful Khecheopalri Lake, explore the verdant meadows of Kaluk village etc.  
  • Best Time to Visit in Pelling : March to May and from September to November 
  • Nearest Airport: Bagdogra Airport 
  • Nearest Train Station: New Jalpaiguri railway station 

10. Kalimpong- The Nursery of West Bengal

KalimpongKalimpong

The charming hill station location in West Bengal is sure to mesmerize you with its scenic beauty, flower nurseries, monasteries, the gurgling sound of the Teesta River, and rich cultural diversity. Kalimpong is full of nature, and a haven for tranquillity seekers. Plan a trip with your better half to indulge in the peaceful aura of Kalimpong. 

Deolo Hill (the highest point of Kalimpong) is a perfect spot to try paragliding or plan a picnic with your loved ones. You can also visit Neora Valley National Park (home to red pandas)  to witness the rich fauna and flora of the region. Be it observing wildlife, bird watching, and nature walks, Kalimpong has everything to offer for nature admirers.

  • Best places to visit in Kalimpong: Sangachoeling Monastery, Singshore bridge, Pemayangtse Monastery, Rimbi Waterfall, Kanchenjunga Waterfall, Kanchenjunga National Park etc. 
  • Things to do in KalimpongDiscover the enigmatic Buddhist culture, visit and indulge in nature photography at Neora Valley National Park, hike to Deolo hill and enjoy activities like Paragliding and horse riding, shop for lovely Tibetan handicraft items etc. 
  • Best Time to Visit in Kalimpong : March to May and September to November
  • Nearest Airport: Bagdogra Airport 
  • Nearest Train Station: New Jalpaiguri Railway Station (NJP) (70k) 

11. Chopta, Uttarakhand- Mini Switzerland of India

ChoptaChopta 

Although small in size, Chopta has always managed to draw the attention of millions of tourists with its unspoiled natural beauty. The mini hill station in Uttarakhand is surrounded by snow-clad Himalayan ranges, verdant meadows, and lush green forests. Snow trekking is the popular thing to do in Chopta during winter.  

Whereas Bugyals or lush green grasslands make it even more stunning in summer. Tungnath Temple is the center of attraction in Chopta. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this ancient temple is not only the highest Shiva temple in the world but also a part of Panch Kedar temples. 

Many adventure enthusiasts prefer trekking from Tungnath temple to Chandrashila peak (perched at an altitude of 4000 meters). Chopta is an eco-tourism hill station in India encouraging travellers to preserve wildlife and adopt sustainable practices.

  • Best places to visit in Chopta: Tungnath Temple, Chandrashila Peak, Deoria Tal, Kanchula Korak Musk Deer Sanctuary 
  • Things to do in ChoptaTrekking, Camping, Photography, Bird Watching 
  • Best Time to Visit in ChoptaApril to June and September to November 
  • Nearest Airport: Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun (221 km)  
  • Nearest Train Station:Rishikesh Railway Station (202 km) 

12. Palampur- Tea Capital of North India

PalampurPalampur

Located in Himachal Pradesh, Palampur is another perfect place for nature admirers to enjoy breathtaking views of the Dhauladhar mountain ranges. This small yet lovely hill station features several tea gardens, streams, brooks, tall pine trees, and water bodies. Millions of pilgrims visit Baijnath temple (an architectural marvel) which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Neugal Khad and Bir Billing are the nearby tourist spots to try paragliding, trekking or camping. Travelers especially from North India prefer to visit Palampur due to its delightful weather throughout the year. 

  • Best places to visit in Palampur: Bundla Tea Estate, Gopalpur Zoo, Shobha Singh Art Gallery, Tea Garden, Tashi Jong Khampagar Monastery, Birni Devi Temple etc. 
  • Things to do in PalampurTrekking, Camping, Photography, Bird Watching 
  • Best Time to Visit in Palampur :April to June and September to November 
  • Nearest Airport: Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun (221 km)  
  • Nearest Train Station:Rishikesh Railway Station (202 km) 

13. Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra

MahabaleshwarMahabaleshwar

Mahabaleshwar (refers to the great Plateau) is valued as one of the most beautiful destinations in India settled in the Satara district of Maharashtra. Its distinctive features like evergreen forests, rolling hills, cascading waterfalls, and several vantage points have convinced us to add Mahabaleshwar to our list of top religious hill stations in India. 

Besides being a hill station, the town is home to many sacred temples including Mahabaleshwar, Panchgani, Krishnabai, and others. Due to its scenic location on the Sahyadri ranges, the temperature in Mahabaleshwar hovers around 20 to 22 degrees throughout the year. Man-made Venna Lake and Strawberry farms are among the attractive features of Mahabaleshwar. The place offers abundant opportunities for adventure seekers and naturalists.

  • Best places to visit in Mahabaleshwar: Elephant’s Head Point, Chinaman’s Falls, Dhobi Waterfall, Arthur’s Seat, Wilson Point, Mahabaleshwar Temple, KrishnaBai Mandir, Lingmala Falls . 
  • Things to do in MahabaleshwarEnjoy mesmerising views from different vantage points, try delicious berries, jams, and jellies at Mapro Garden, visit Panchgani, boating, trekking, and photography 
  • Best Time to Visit in MahabaleshwarMarch to June 
  • Nearest Airport: Pune International Airport (130 km) 
  • Nearest Train Station: Wathar Railway Station (64 km) 

14. Coorg, Karnataka- Scotland of East India

CoorgCoorg

Asks the tourists who have ever been to Coorg, nobody has ever wanted to come back from Coorg. It is among the must visit hill stations in India exhibiting stunning rolling hills, and lush green forests. Also called Kodagu, the Charismatic Coorg has always attracted tourists with its blue skies, exotic fauna and flora, yummy cuisines, and misty hills. Coorg is also known for its rich Kodava culture, aromatic coffee plantations, and eucalyptus. 

The ultimate place is home to Nagarhole National Park and Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary. Abbey Falls, Dubare Elephant Camp, and Talkaveri are the most recommended places for a perfect escape to nature. Coorg is also well-known for its warm hospitality and nature’s inspired lifestyle. Coorg is one of the most visited hill stations in India with a myriad of opportunities for venturesome, photographers, and nature, and wildlife enthusiasts.

  • Best places to visit in Coorg: Raja’s Seat, Abbey Falls, Namdroling Monastery, Iruppu Falls, Talakaveri, Madikeri Fort, Omkareshwara Temple, Honnamana Kere Lake, Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary 
  • Things to do in CoorgRiver rafting on Barapole River, trek to Pushpagiri, Brahmagiri, and Tadiandamol Peak, take a jeep safari at Mandalpatti, quad biking amidst coffee plantations, go for an ayurvedic massage 
  • Best Time to Visit in CoorgOctober to March  
  • Nearest Airport: Mangalore Airport (143 km); Bangalore Airport (242 km) 
  • Nearest Train Station: Mysuru Junction (117 km) 

15. Almora

AlmoraAlmora

Almora is a gorgeous yet least expensive hill station in India perched at an altitude of 1651 meters. The hill town is so inspiring that even Swami Vivekanand and Mahatma Gandhi have stated the beauty of Almora in their books. You can explore the popular Almora Fort, Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary, the Chitai Temple, and the Nanda Devi Temple enveloped at the top of the Himalayas. 

Numerous yoga and meditation centers are available for a rejuvenating experience. Immerse yourself in serene surroundings, and panoramic valley views of Almora this season. Almora’s interesting history, rich cultural heritage, and spiritual aura makes it India's most visited hill station.

  • Best places to visit in Almora: Binsar wildlife Sancturary, Jageshwar, Kasar Devi Temple, Chitai Temple, Zero Point, Katarmal Sun Temple etc. 
  • Things to do in AlmoraTrekking at Ranikhet road or at Almora-Jageshwar, explore painted rock shelters, visit Deer Park etc. 
  • Best Time to Visit in Almora : Between March and May 
  • Nearest Airport: At Pantnagar (125 km) 
  • Nearest Train Station: Kathgodam (81 km) 

Wrapping up!

We have hand-picked these 15 hill stations in India that promise to deliver inner peace, romantic vibes, and a myriad of adventure activities. All these recommended holiday destinations are ideal for taking a break from a boring and fussy lifestyle. 

Whether it’s chilly winter or sunny summers, Himachal Pradesh tourism gives you the perfect opportunity to explore the most beautiful hill stations in India.  

Now stop overthinking, and plan a vacation with your family or friends. It’s time to pack bags and book your favourite hill stations in North India or others with BookYourOwn at affordable prices.

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