Travel: Most of the hill stations in India were developed by the British, around a central mall, to get respite from the oppressive summer heat. Many have picturesque lakes as their focal point, making them excellent places for boating activities. One thing is for sure, you won't be short of things to do at any of the hill stations in India. And to add to the adventure, it's possible to take a toy train ride up to some of the hill stations. You'll find hill stations all over India.
Darjeeling, West Bengal
Surrounded by infinite slopes of emerald-green tea plantations and set against a backdrop of jagged white Himalayan peaks, Darjeeling is nestled away in the northern regions of West Bengal. A journey on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway fondly known as the ‘Toy train’ is a great way to explore and soak in the magnificent surroundings of this hill station.
The capital city of Meghalaya, Shillong sits amidst the Khasi Hills. One of the most charming hill stations of India, it’s famous for receiving the highest rainfall in the world and for its dynamic music scene—being home to the country’s favourite Blues band, Soulmate and India's most popular blues man, Lou Macaw.
Spread out on the Western Ghats, the misty valley of Coorg is enveloped in emerald landscapes and acres of coffee, tea and spice plantations. Fondly referred to as the ‘Scotland of India’ due to its verdant beauty and pleasant weather conditions, Coorg is a major centre for spice and coffee production. So, just back and watch the fog roll by.
Ooty, Tamil Nadu
Established as a summer retreat by the British and nicknamed ‘Snooty Ooty',Ooty is a visual delight filled with pretty cottages, fenced flower gardens, thatched-roof churches and terraced botanical gardens. Venture a few kilometres out and you'll find yourself surrounded by greener, quieter areas dotted with an abundance of pine trees.
Mcleodganj, Himachal Pradesh
Mcleodganj, the home of Dalai Lama is the destination for many travellers visiting Dharamshala. Walk along the Temple road, hop into one of the many colourful shops, spin the Tibetan prayer wheels or simply devour steaming hot momos—there are a lot of charming things packed in just a couple of blocks.
Sprawling tea plantations, picture-perfect vistas and winding lanes make Munnar a favourite amongst Indian hill stations. Although the town itself is forever alive with activity, wander a few kilometres out and you’ll be engulfed in a thousand shades of green.
An erstwhile summer retreat of the British, Nainital is a small town settled amidst Uttrakhand’s Kumaon range. There’s a busy town bazaar and a web of walking tracks around the forested hillsides, which have enticed travellers since pre-independence days to retreat to Nainital.
Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir
The scenic splendour of Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir has attracted people to this hill station since time immemorial. Famous for its charming houseboats, historic gardens and a mild summer climate, Srinagar rests in the Kashmir Valley along and around the banks of the Jhelum River.
Offering stunning views of the green Doon Valley and the distant white-capped Himalayan peaks, Mussoorie—located 34 km from Dehradun—is popularly known as the ‘Queen of the Hills’. You can walk up and down the famous Mall road, or sit and admire the mist-covered hills from Mussoorie’s highest point called Lal Tibba.
Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh
A heady mix of religion, history and nature, Tawang is one of the least discovered towns in Arunachal Pradesh. Dotted with Buddhist monasteries and mystical gompas on one end and a war memorial on another, it begins to work its magic on travellers the moment they ascend the hills.