Posted 01 September 2022

Twenty hill stations in India that are the perfect holiday spots for mountain lovers

The Indian subcontinent, flanked by mountain ranges on almost all sides - the Himalayas, Vindhya and Aravalli ranges is home to a number of stunning hill stations. From Coorg, Chikmagalur, and Ooty in South India to Shimla, Manali, and Leh in North India, there are a significant number of hill stations in India for avid travellers to have their best of times. The Indian hill stations are replete with abundant natural beauty and offer both solace and captivating views to soothe the eyes.

With the best of experiences in its store, why even consider other destinations in India when the serene hill station boasts of mesmerising views of snow-capped hilltops, hypnotising sunrise and sunset and welcoming locales. The depleting heat waves make life in hill stations even more anguishing. So, if you too are sick of scorching summer heat and wish to seek tranquillity in the laps of mother nature then your search ends here.

The below-mentioned list of Indian hill stations is bound to make you go head over heels with its beauty:

Top hill-stations in India that should be on every traveller’s bucket list

Whether you are a solo traveller or are travelling with your family and friends, this list of recommended hill stations is the way to go. So, go through this list and let us know where you plan to travel.

1. Shimla

Recognized as the ‘summer refuge of India’, the capital city of Himachal Pradesh, Shimla is certainly the most sought-after hill station in India. The place remains crowded at all times of the year and even the bone-chilling temperatures during winters don’t prevent tourists from visiting it. Dotted with deodar, pine and fir forests, Shimla surely makes for one of the most picturesque destinations. Do not forget to shop at the famous Mall Road while you are here.

  • Best places to visit: The Ridge, Himachal State Museum, Jakhoo Temple
  • Nearest airport: Shimla Airport

2. Ooty

Affectionately deemed as the ‘queen of Nilgiris’, Ooty is a heaven for nature lovers. Boasting of eye-pleasing natural views and decorated with verdant tea gardens, a trip to Ooty is a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. There are mystic valleys, charming waterfalls, and lush green gardens where tourists can spend a memorable time.

  • Best places to visit: Ooty Lake, Doddabetta Tea Factory
  • Nearest airport: Coimbatore Airport

3. Srinagar

Blessed with a landscape like no other, Srinagar is rightly called heaven on earth. The aura of the place is such that words will fall short to narrate its unparalleled beauty. Just the mention of Srinagar will paint a picture of scattered boathouses in the alluring Dal Lake in your mind. Isn’t it? Do not forget to experience the fun of shikara rides and also shop for the famous pashmina shawls while you are here.

  • Best places to visit: Shalimar Bagh, Dal Lake, Nigeen Lake
  • Nearest airport: Sheikh Ul Alam International Airport

Read more about: Five reasons why you should visit Srinagar - A loved destination for all travellers

4. Coorg

Another hill station nestled in South India is Coorg. This quaint and picturesque city in Karnataka puts on a show of the most beautiful scenery. Snuggled in the Western Ghats, this pristine hill station is a perfect getaway for all those seeking solace and peace. To make your trip to Coorg memorable, there are lush-green and dense forests, meandering rivers, tea gardens and jaw-dropping waterfalls.

  • Best places to visit: Abbey Falls, Raja’s Seat, Mallalli Falls
  • Nearest airport: Mangalore International Airport

Read more about: Six reasons why Coorg should be your next holiday in the hills

5. Mussoorie

Misty mountains, alluring lakes, twinkling landscape, and hearty locales welcome you when you set foot in the tiny hill station, Mussoorie. Out of the best experiences that tourists experience in Mussoorie is boating in the scenic Mussoorie lake, trekking to the top of Gun Hill Point and relishing the local pahadi cuisines such as Garhwal ka Fannah, Chainsoo, Kafuli and so many more. This year-round destination is thus an ideal destination for couples and solo travellers alike.

  • Best places to visit: Kempty Falls, Lal Tibba, Mussoorie Lake
  • Nearest airport: Jolly Grant Airport

Read more about: Top places to visit in Mussoorie, the ‘Queen of the hills’

6. Mount Abu

This hill station in Rajasthan is sure to be a perfect respite from the blistering desert heat and send off your summer blues. Tucked in the Aravalli ranges, Mount Abu is interestingly the only hill station in Rajasthan. The serene atmosphere coupled with views of lush-green surroundings makes this historical city a must-visit for all those who wish to explore something apart from the deserts in Rajasthan. Also, make sure to capture the views of the stunning sunset in your camera lens at the Sunset Point in Mount Abu.

  • Best places to visit: Dilwara Temples, Peace Park, Nakki Lake
  • Nearest airport: Maharana Pratap Airport

7. Leh Ladakh

For a mountain lover, there’s no other place like Leh Ladakh. It is the place where every biker’s dreams turn true and adventure lovers experience the best moments of thrill. Moreover, this is also the place that portrays a medley of Tibetan and Buddhist cultures. From Buddhist monasteries to spell bounding lakes, visitors can expect a lot from this place.

Adding more to the charm of the place is Pangong Tso Lake. Reminded of the 3 Idiots movie? Yes, of course, this is the place when the iconic clips of the movie were shot. So, visit this lake and other tourist attractions to collect a bagful of memories.

  • Best places to visit: Shanti Stupa, Hall of Fame, Pangong Tso Lake
  • Nearest airport: Leh Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport

Read more about: Experience nature’s true beauty and best things to do in Ladakh

8. Spiti Valley

If your definition of an escapade is climbing to the hilltops, strolling through the green environs, visiting local markets, witnessing the unadulterated views of sunrise and sunset, then Spiti Valley is the place for you. So, for spending an uninterrupted vacation in the hills, visit Spiti Valley and be part of its welcoming crowd.

Perched at an altitude of 12,500 ft. the place remains extremely cold during winter, so it is best to visit it during summers. Spiti Valley has the most alluring valleys, snow-crowned hills, and quaint villages that surely makes for the picture-perfect destination for all our amateur photographers cum travellers.

  • Best places to visit: Chandratal Lake, Kunzum Pass, Key Monastery
  • Nearest airport: Kullu Airport

9. Pahalgam

A standout amongst all the destinations in Jammu & Kashmir, Pahalgam is one place where the mesmerising beauty never fails to captivate the tourists. Be it a romantic getaway or an escape to the hilly terrains of India, Pahalgam has everything for all kinds of travellers. Gurgling rivers, misty hills, snow-covered lanes, religious sites and astounding valleys, all of it makes for a fun-filled trip at Pahalgam. Not to miss out is the chance to enjoy the thrill of rafting in the Lidden River and ride through the gushing waves.

  • Best places to visit: Betab Valley, Mammal Temple Tullian Lake
  • Nearest airport: Srinagar Airport

10. Gangtok

To experience the unadulterated beauty of nature, there is no other place like Gangtok. The capital city of Sikkim, Gangtok is one of the most visited places in the North East. Out of all the places in Gangtok, the Nathu La Pass is worth mentioning as it serves as the connecting link between Indian and China. To admire a bird’s eye view of the city, make sure to visit the Tashi Viewpoint which is perched at an altitude of 6,000 ft. Also, relish the mouth-watering momos and thukpa to make the most of your Gangtok trip.

  • Best places to visit: Nathu La Pass, Hanuman Tok, Tsomgo Lake, Rumtek Monastery
  • Nearest airport: Bagdogra Airport

11. Darjeeling

A destination where the lush-green landscape and green valleys usher life - it is none other than Darjeeling. Tucked away in the foothills of the Himalayas, Darjeeling in West Bengal is an ideal destination for mountain lovers. Home to endless tea gardens, the architectural buildings in Darjeeling speak a lot of the bygone era and the present day picture portrays how the place has embraced cosmopolitan spirit. A trip to Darjeeling is surely incomplete without the joyous ride on a toy train, so add this memorable ride to your trip.

  • Best places to visit: Tiger Hill, Batasia Loop, Nightingale Park
  • Nearest airport: Bagdogra Airport

12. Auli

The hub for skiing, Auli in Uttarakhand is way beyond description and transcends natural beauty in all ways. It is a destination that remains pleasurable during the summers and extremely cold during the winters. Auli is also the home to Trishul Peak which is located at a stunning height of 23,490 ft. Offering the experience of Asia’s longest cable ride and thrilling trekking, Auli is truly a destination bestowed with everything for nature lovers. Also, make sure to explore the natural spring at Saildhar Tapovan and click innumerable pictures in the phenomenal background of Auli's landscape.

  • Best places to visit: Auli Ropeway, Auli Lake, Trishul Peak
  • Nearest airport: Jolly Grant Airport

13. Nainital

Laced with a significant number of alluring lakes, Nainital is often called the ‘Lake District '. The city is located by the side of Kumaon Hills and dotted with oak trees, pine and rhododendron forest that grants immense natural beauty to the place. This curious slope station is perfect to beat the summer heat and becomes even more magnificent during the winters with its foggy lanes and misty landscape.

  • Best places to visit: Tiffin Top, Snow View Point, High Altitude Zoo
  • Nearest airport: Pantnagar Airport

14. Dharamshala

If you are still yearning to spend a secluded time in the vicinity of hills, then Dharamshala is the place for you. Be it hippie cafes for foodies, trek trails for adventure enthusiasts or alluring views of natural bounty, Dharamshala has different kinds of experiences to offer to all the travel freaks. The breathtaking views of the Himalayas from here is truly a sight to behold and no less than a visual delight.

  • Best places to visit: Triund Hill, Dalai Lama Temple, Gyoto Monastery
  • Nearest airport: Kangra Airport

15. Lonavala

A popular hill station in Maharashtra, Lonavala is flanked by numerous vantage points, the Duke’s Point being one of them. The city is many times fondly called the “city of caves” and even ‘Jewel of Sahyadri’. From magnificent caves, enchanting waterfalls to vivid valleys, Lonavala has an array of tourist attractions that never fails to impress visitors. The place is thus an ideal escape for Mumbaikars.

  • Best places to visit: Tiger’s Leap, Bhaja Caves, Tikona Fort
  • Nearest airport: Lohegaon Airport

16. Munnar

Another exceptionally spectacular hill station in India is Kerala’s Munnar. Blessed with the largest tea garden in South India, the enthralling beauty of Munnar always falls short of words. The splendid natural vistas, cool weather and welcoming locales together contribute to an awe-inspiring and surreal experience in Munnar. As you set your foot on this dreamy land, the alluring hues of blue sky and green environs truly make for a blissful moment. Just what a nature lover seeks!

  • Best places to visit: Kundala Lake, Rose Garden, Blossom Hill
  • Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport

17. Dalhousie

Right from the majestic views of Dhauladhar ranges, colourful meadows, lush-green valleys to British colonial mansions, there is a surprise that unfolds at every corner of the city. For its inexplicable charm and mind-blowing beauty, the place is rightly called ‘Switzerland of India’. This quaint town in Himachal Pradesh spells of pristine air and cosmopolitan spirit both and is no less than a treat for travellers who want to spend a laid-back holiday.

  • Best places to visit: Panchpula, Sach Pass, Chamera Lake
  • Nearest airport: Gaggal Airport

18. Wayanad

Settled in God’s own country, Kerala, Wayanad is beautified with the neighbouring Western Ghats. Be it the lush-green forests or phenomenal waterfalls, everything seems fascinating about Wayanad and makes it aptly the abode of nature's abode. This picture-perfect destination is also famous for its spices and coffee plantations. Adding to the highlights of the place is Wayanad Wildlife Reserve that is blissful for all wildlife lovers.

  • Best places to visit: Edakkal Caves, Soochipara Waterfalls, Banasura Sagar Dam
  • Nearest airport: Calicut International Airport

19. Mahabaleshwar

Wondering about other hill stations in Maharashtra. If so, then Mahabaleshwar can be your next travel list. Blessed with calm weather, the place is often called the “summer capital of Bombay” and the ‘land of strawberries’. Be it indulging in recreational activities like horse riding and boating, witnessing the views of dusk and dawn from Elephant’s Head Point or capturing the cascading waterfalls in your camera lens, everything seems surreal once you are at Mahabaleshwar.

  • Best places to visit: Elephant’s Head Point, Chinaman’s Falls, Arthur’s Seat
  • Nearest airport: Pune Airport

20. Shillong

Any list of Indian hill stations remains incomplete without a mention of Shillong in it. So, here you go! Rightly called the ‘Scotland of the East’, Shillong is one of those destinations in North East India that remains jam-packed with tourists. This mesmerising destination even served as the former capital of Assam and is home to numerous indigenous tribes such as Khasi, Garo, etc.

From majestic peaks, pine forests, to rolling hills, there’s so much to explore in Shillong. If you are lucky, then you might get the chance to witness light drizzles that add even calmer vibes to the overall environs.

  • Best places to visit: Umiam Lake, Elephant Falls, Laitlum Canyons
  • Nearest airport: Umroi Airport

So, where are you planning to travel and spend a rejuvenating and blissful vacay? Let us know so that we can help you do the planning. Team IndiGo wishes you a memorable vacation in the most astounding hill stations of India!

Read more about: Love the monsoons? Here’s why Shillong is the perfect rainy getaway

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