10 Most Stunning Hill Stations You Should Head to This Summer

From beautiful former hilltop British settlements to lush green tea estates and deciduous forests, here’s our pick of the most gorgeous hill stations in India 

shimla

The capital city of Himachal Pradesh is a popular tourist destination and for good reason. A former British settlement, the city still retains the colonial charm. You will find quintessential European bungalows, picturesque churches, quaint cafes and bakeries. Take walks down the hilly lanes or sit at a cafe and read a book and watch life passing by at a slow pace here.

mussoorie

This tiny hill station in Uttarakhand has generated a lot of interest thanks to Ruskin Bond books. And as he mentions in his work, the place is tranquil yet intriguing, beautiful with a distinct character of its own. Established by the British in 1823, the influence of the ear can be seen in the architecture of the churches, libraries, clubs and some hotels.  Perched on a ridge 2km high, Mussoorie also known as the 'Queen of Hill Stations’, Mussoorie offers stunning views of snow-capped Himalayan peaks the Doon Valley.

munnar

There’s no way you can escape falling in love with the hilly landscape of Munnar, generously dotted with lush tea gardens. The delightfully green hillsides of Munnar speckled with bright poinsettias are very different from the hill stations of the North. If you want to stay away from the crowded touristy hotels, book a place in the midst of a tea plantation, there are plenty of options.

nainital

Situated in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, Nainital is a picturesque hill station that is also home to the famous Naini Lake. The lake surrounded on all sides by majestic mountains looks like a place out of a fairytale. There’s a busy town bazaar which you can explore for knick knacks and delicious food. There are beautiful walking tracks around the forested hillsides for leisurely strolls. And the best part is Nainital is a short distance away from Delhi and can easily be reached via road,

Darjeeling

This hill station is like a place frozen in time. There’s a toy train and a quaint station that transports you back in time to another era.There are emerald-green tea estates, beautiful mountain vistas and incredible hiking trails. In a nutshell there’s everything that you need for a relaxing getaway. FYI, the Tibetan food available here is absolutely delicious and not to be missed.

Manali

Surrounded by snow-clad mountains and pinewood forests, the hilltop hamlet of Manali has been a favourite shoot location for many Bollywood movies. Snow capped Himalayas, charming apple orchards interesting hill treks are some of the major attractions of this hill station. There are also number of adventure sports such as paragliding, rafting and skiing you can do here.

Coonoor

This picturesque hill station located in the Nilgiri Hills is covered in tea estates and is far quieter and prettier than its neighbour Ooty. The place also offers some exciting dining options. Take a ride on the Nilgiri Mountain Railway’s quaint toy train from Coonoor to Ooty to spot some of the most scenic spots of the region.

 

Panchmarhi

A tiny hill station surrounded by the Satpura Mountains, in Madhya Pradesh, has many historic tales associated with it. If you are a history biff, this is the place for you. Pandavs of the Mahabharat were believed to have put up here in a hidden cave for a while. There are some scenic hidden caves to be explored in the region. If you plan to go trekking you can’t miss the mango groves, freshwater lakes and deep canyons around.

 

wayanand

If you are a wild-life enthusiast, then this quiet district in north-eastern Kerala is the place you need to check out. Covered with dense, deciduous forests, the hill station is home to a variety of animals such as elephants, sloth bears and tigers. There are some fascinating tree house accommodations amidst the forest that you can stay in for an offbeat experience.

Gulmarg

This beautiful town in Kashmir is situated on the banks of the Liddar river. The place has something exciting to offer every season, while the white winters are perfect for skiing, gondola rides, sledging and other winter sports, summers mean walking down the river bank and soaking in the beautiful sights of the mountains and the seasonal flowers that bloom in all their glory.