TOP 10 HILL STATIONS IN INDIA THAT YOU MUST VISIT THIS SUMMER

top 10 hill stations in india

Hill stations in India are known for their varied landscapes and topography. Be it the dramatically mesmerizing terrains of Ladakh in north or the rich biodiversity of Western Ghats in the South, one cannot get enough of these in just one trip. 

Along with the natural beauty, and favorable weather conditions, these hill stations also provides a wide range of adventure activities for adventure seekers which attracts a lot of tourist influx all year around.

If exploring a hill station is also enlisted in your summer vacations list this year then,

Here is our list of top 10 hill stations in India which will give you a perfect glimpse of India’s diverse landscape.

Darjeeling

darjeeling, hill station of West Bengal

Located in the steep mountain ridges of lesser Himalayas, at an altitude of 7100 ft, the majestic town of Darjeeling surely leads the list of top 10 hill stations in India.

While the majestic landscape and untouched beauty of the mountains is surely an attraction of this famous hill station in India, but acres of lush green tea plantations, along with cool climate for traveling all year around, is something which adds an appeal to the overall charm of this majestic hill station of West Bengal.

What’s fascinating about Darjeeling?

  1. The untouched beauty of lesser Himalayas, majestic landscapes and cool climate all year around making it the king of hill stations in India.
  2. Lush green tea plantations and exotic tea flavors.
  3. Rich flora and fauna with tons of different varieties of Himalayan species.
  4. Majestic Sightseeing with a Toy train ride which is a UNESCO World Heritage.
  5. Old world charm of the town and the architectural style.
  6. Diverse cultural impact.
  7. Mesmerizingly beautiful and utmost sacred Buddhist Monasteries.
  8. Cable car ropeway for the picture perfect view of the valley and the peak of Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world. 
  9. The travel friendly vibe of the place makes it one of the best hill stations in India to visit with family.
Best time to visit Feb-March
Nearest Airport Bagdogra Airport, West Bengal (67 km/2.5 hours)
Best way to reach Train, and Flight are the best way to reach Darjeeling (depending upon the commuter’s preferences)

New Jalpaiguri Railway station, West Bengal is the nearest railway station to Darjeeling, located at a distance of 70 km.  This railway station is connected to all the major cities of India via Indian railways. From the New Jalpaiguri Railway station, you can take a taxi/bus or shared jeep to Darjeeling.

You can also take a flight to Bagdogra Airport and then hire a taxi to Darjeeling which is roughly around 2 hours 30 minutes drive from the airport. 

What to See Ghoom monastery, Tea estate, Heritage toy train ride experience, Snow leopard breeding centre, Japanese peace pagoda, Tiger hill.
Where to Stay Lodges, Home stays, Hotels, Cottages
Adventure Activities Paragliding, Whitewater rafting, Trekking, Kayaking, Mountain biking, Zorbing, Camping

Manali

manali, hill station in Himachal Pradesh

Nestled in the snow capped peaks of Pir Panjal and the Dhauladhar ranges, Manali stands taller as one of the top hill stations in India, attracting tourists from all over the country.

Encircled by the lush green pine forests, with sprawling soft meadows underneath feet, and gushing white water streams around, this small mountain region has sweet persistent lingering aura of freshness to itself. 

Featuring such scenic beauty, the small town of Manali is also considered as best hill stations in India for honeymoon.

What’s fascinating about Manali?

  1. Infinite Beauty of Himalayas along with snow-capped peaks and rich nature making it one of the best hill stations in north India.
  2. The beautiful local village life showcasing rich cultural heritage and age old traditions is a dreamy affair to behold.
  3. Being one of the highest hill stations in India, Manali features a cool climate making it absolutely comfortable for tourists to go for local sightseeing.
  4. Manali is also one of the famous hill stations in India known for its long list of adventure activities. Be it a bewitching trek to Bhrigu Lake, or Skiing at Solang Nullah, you name it and Manali has got it.
  5. You can also experience the breathtaking view of mountain sunrise, dotted with terraced fields all around.
  6. The panoramic view of magnificent landscapes with serene lakes, waterfalls and streams are certainly not to be missed.
  7. Being one of the top 10 hill stations in India, Manali offers the best of staying options like hotels and cottages, for serving the higher influx of tourists.
  8. Rohtang Pass- Situated in the Manali Leh route- This is a must to cover for bike trip enthusiasts.

Note: When it comes to Manali this queen of hill stations in India has a lot to offer other than these 8 points. Only when you get there you will discover.

Best time to visit November – March
Nearest Airport Bhuntar Airport (Kullu Manali airport) (50 km/1.5 hours)
Best way to reach The best way to reach Manali is via road and flight.

If you are coming from Delhi then, you can start your trip from Delhi via road, NH-44 and154.

If you are taking a flight to Manali then the nearest airport is Bhuntar airport. From there you can avail a taxi towards Manali. 

What to See Hidimba temple, Solang valley, Rohtang pass, Manali sanctuary, Mall road, Jogini falls, Gadhan thekchhokling Gompa monastery
Where to Stay Lodges, Home stays, Hotels, Cottages
Adventure Activities Rafting, Camping, Trekking, Paragliding, Skiing, Mountain cycling, Snowboarding, Cable car ropeway, Zip lining, Rock-climbing

Gulmarg

Gulmarg, hill station in India

Situated at an altitude of 2730 m above the sea level, Gulmarg is one of the top 10 hill stations in India known for it’s enchanting beauty of nature and enthralling adventure activities.

Being one of the top hill stations in India, Gulmarg attracts thousands of tourists from all over the country, especially during the winter season.

Here are a few attractions of the place which makes the region one of the best hill stations in India.

What’s fascinating about Gulmarg?

  1. Being one of the highest hill stations in India, Gulmarg features some of the most panoramic view of Himalayas, sprawling meadows and gushing water streams, encircled by lush green forests, providing some of the most surreal experiences.
  2. Rich Biodiversity: For wildlife enthusiasts, this highest altitude hill station in India, provides an excellent opportunity to experience some of the most indigenous and endangered species of flora and fauna through Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve.
  3. Cable car ride in Gondola at Gulmarg, is the biggest tourist attraction. This highest ropeway ferry takes you through the panoramic views of Aparwath peak, from Gulmarg to the Seven Springs in Kongdori, providing a bird eye view of the enchanting snow capped peaks of the valley.
  4. Amongst all the famous hill stations in India, the region of Gulmarg is widely recognized for its adventure activities like skiing.
  5. For trekking enthusiasts, Gulmarg is the best hill stations in north India to explore. A 13 km trek to Alpather lake or the Frozen lake is one such high altitude trek which takes you through the bewitching beauty of this place.
  6. The valley of Khilanmarg which offers an enchanting and serene view of the valley.
Best time to visit December – March
Nearest Airport Srinagar Airport (56 km/2 hours).  
Best way to reach   The best way to reach Gulmarg is via flight to Srinagar and then driving to Gulmarg.
What to See        Gulmarg gondola ride, Skiing, Alpather lake
Where to Stay        Lodges, Home stays, Hotels, Cottages
Adventure Activities    Skiing, Trekking, Golfing, Bird watching, Gondola ride, Paragliding

Leh

Leh-Ladakh, hill station in India

Adorned with the surreal landscapes of nature, Leh is one of the top 10 hill stations in India known for its rugged terrains and wide range of adventure activities.

What’s fascinating about Leh?

  1. Leh is one of the top hill stations in India known for its dramatically mesmerizing landscape and raw nature’s beauty.
  2. A bike trip to Leh is one of the most enthralling journeys among bikers and adventure enthusiasts, for which it is also listed among the best adventure destinations of India.
  3. Being a highest hill station in India (3500 m), with the highest points of human residential settlement, the region of Leh features some of the most stunning views of the Suru and Zanskar valleys.
  4. This highest altitude hill station in India is also known for its rare species of twin humped camel of the Bactrian camel species found at Nubra Valley.
  5. The mystical magnetic hill of Leh located at Leh-Kargil-Srinagar route is also one of the special attractions of the place. Located at a height of 11000 feet above sea level and around 30 km drive from Leh, this place gives you an illusion of vehicle drifting upwards due to road alignment.
  6. Located at an altitude of 10,000ft, the Hundar desert of Leh, is a also one of the major attractions of the place. The region is also famous for Bactrian camels which are a special charm of the place.
  7. Perched at a height of 14,270 ft above sea level, the pristine Pangong Tso Lake is also one of the wonders of the place. Recognized as one of the highest brackish water lakes in the world, the scenic beauty of Panging Tso is quite a sight to behold.
  8. Amongst all the famous hill stations in India, the region of Leh is also known for its highest motorable roads like Umling La and Khardungla, which is a paradise for adventure enthusiasts.
  9. The rich cultural heritage of the place beaming through the colorful festivities of Losar, royal palaces and the great Buddhist monasteries are also
  10. Leh is also one of the best hill stations in north India which is widely recognized for its bountiful adventure activities. The Chadar trek at Leh is one such adventure trekking experiences, which takes you through the most enthralling journeys of a lifetime.
Best time to visit June – September
Nearest Airport Leh Airport (Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport) (5 km)
Best way to reach The city of Leh is well connected with flight and road. The easiest way to reach Leh is via a flight.

The city of Leh is also well connected to Manali and Srinagar via road. You can take Manali – Leh route, for which the distance would be around 427 km.

What to See Pangong lake, Khardungla pass, Magnetic hill, Nubra valley, Rso moriri lake, Lamayuru monastery, Diskit gompa, Shanti stupa, Shey monastery, Stok palace
Where to Stay    Home stays, Hotels, Camps
Adventure Activities Trekking, Camping, Rock climbing, River rafting, Quad biking

Kodaikanal

Kodaikanal, hill station of Tamilnau

Located in the slopes of Palani hills of Tamilnadu, Kodaikanal is recognized as one of the best hill stations in India to visit with family.

The place is popularly known for its scenic views of Kodai Lake encircled by the lush green forests, along with several other natural panoramic views of the valley, making the aura of the place even more mesmerizing.

What’s fascinating about Kodaikanal? 

  1. Brimming with the endless charm of nature, Kodaikanal is one of the best hill stations in south India, known for its rich treasure of flora and fauna.
  2. Adorned with a wonderful climate, cloud-capped mountains and beautiful lakes and valleys, Kodaikanal is considered as one of the top hill stations in India for honeymoon.
  3. A misty boat ride in the Kodai Lake is a special attraction amongst tourists. You can also indulge in some cycling here.
  4. A stroll through Coaker’s Walk pathway will help you get a better view of this scenic hill station in south India.  
  5. A small hiking to one of the vivid peaks known as Dolphin nose. The trek features some of the stunning views of the Kodaikanal landscape.
  6. The dark and mysterious Guna caves formed by the pillar rocks are also a major attraction.
  7. Kodaikanal is amongst the top 10 hill stations in India known for its natural waterfalls and gushing water streams which forms a major part of the overall natural charm of the place. Some of these beautiful waterfalls are: Bear shoal falls, Silver Cascade Waterfall, Liril Falls, Fairy Falls, Pambar Falls, and Thalaiyar Falls.  
Best time to visit March – May
Nearest Airport Madurai Airport (120 km/3 hours)
Best way to reach The best way to reach Kodaikanal is via road and flight depending upon commuter’s preferences.  

Kodaikanal is well connected to the major cities like Coimbatore, Bangalore and Chennai. If you coming from nearby cities then you can take road route.

If you are coming from far then you can take a flight to Madurai and then drive towards Kodaikanal.

What to See    Green valley view, Kodaikanal lake, Bear shoal falls, Pillar rocks, Coakers walk, Silent valley view point, Pambar falls
Where to Stay Lodges, Home stays, Hotels, Cottages
Adventure Activities Hiking, Camping, Paragliding, Rappelling, Rafting

Ooty

Ooty, hill station of Tamilnadu

Surrounded by the grandeur of Niligiri hills, Ooty is one of the most popular hill stations in south India known for its sheer natural beauty and beautiful landscapes.

With all its mystical charm of towering mountains, sprawling tea gardens and splendorous gift of greenery all around, this small hilly region of Tamilnadu promises a unique and lively experience worth a lifetime.

What’s fascinating about Ooty?

  1. Shrouded with mystical beauty of nature, along with the infinite magnificence of Niligiris, the hilly town of Ooty is widely recognized as one of the best hill stations in India for honeymoon.
  2. A toy train ride between Mettupalayam and Ooty, by the Nilgiri mountain railways which is a UNESCO world heritage site, is a must to do activity in Ooty. This 45 km ride takes you through the picturesque valleys, deep tunnels, steep mountain curves, beautiful bridges and the lush green ribbons of Nilgiri Mountains providing one of the best experiences worth cherishing a lifetime.
  3. Ooty is also listed amongst the top hill stations in India for its adventure trekking trails. One such trekking adventure featured by the place is Doddabetta peak trekking, which encompasses some of the most fascinating views of the surrounding Nilgiri area.
  4. The hilly region of Ooty is also home to some of the most ethereal lakes of Niligiri hills. Some of these lakes to explore are Ooty Lake, emerald lake, upper bhavani lake, and Pykara Lake. Some of these lakes also offer boat ride experiences which are also a fun experience.
  5. If you also a wildlife enthusiast and ready to capture some of the exotic species then Ooty is amongst the best hill stations in India to explore. The place provides enough sights for bird watching which is quite an attraction among tourists.
  6. Another destination for wildlife enthusiasts is Mudumalai wildlife sanctuary. The sanctuary mainly hosts the elephants along with other species wildlife.
Best time to visit September – November
Nearest Airport Coimbatore Airport (88 km/2 hours)
Best way to reach Ooty is well connected through flight, railways and road.

The nearest railhead to Ooty is Mettupalyam, at a distance of 40 kilometre. If you are coming from nearby big cities like Bangalore, Chennai, Mysore then you can take a train towards Mettupalyam and then drive towards Ooty.

If you are coming from other parts of India then you can take a flight towards Coimbatore Airport and then take a road trip to Ooty. 

What to See Nilgiri mountain train ride experience, Ooty lake, Botanical gardens, Emerald lake, Rose garden, Doddabetta peak   
Where to Stay Lodges, Home stays, Hotels, Cottages
Adventure Activities Camping, Trekking, Wildlife photography, Mountain biking

 

Shillong

shillong, hill station in India

Popularly known as the Scotland of East, Shillong is one of the best hill stations in India to explore.  Encircled by the tall pine trees this beautiful capital city of Meghalaya is known for its picturesque landscapes and traditions. Plus the appropriate climate of the place makes the joy of visiting this hill station even better.

Adorned with the crystal clear lakes, misty mountain peaks, waterfalls, and dewy forests, the ethereal beauty of Shillong is truly unmatched making it a clear claimant of the top 10 hill stations in India.

What’s fascinating about Shillong?

  1. Also known as Barapani, Umiam Lake is a major attraction of this famous hill station in India. Encircled by lush green East Khasi hills, the sunrise at the lake is a treat to watch. The panoramic sights of nature and other adventure sports provided, also add a specific charm to the place.
  2. The other sight of the ethereal charm of this beautiful place which makes it a clear standout amongst the top hill stations in India is the Elephant Falls. Amidst the serenity of nature and sweet trickling of crystal clear water, the Elephant falls provides a sense of absolute tranquility for its visitors.
  3. When in Shillong a visit to the cleanest village of India, Mawlynnong is a must. Located at a distance of 2 hours drive from Shillong, the village of Mawlynnong features abundant natural beauty, along with pleasant weather making it easier for tourists to explore more of this cleanest hill station in India.
  4. The cleanest village of India, Mawsynram is also one of the top excursions of Shillong. The place is recognized as the wettest place in India, along with the breathtaking views of nature and staggering waterfalls, carving out some of the longest natural caves of Asia.
  5. For couples the region of Shillong is one of the best hill stations for honeymoon providing ample opportunities for fun and adventure activities. Camping on the mountains of Khasi hills along with night star gazing and local sightseeing of picturesque hills of Shillong are some of the experiences worth exploring.
Best time to visit March – June
Nearest Airport Umroi Airport, Shillong (30 km/1 hour)
Best way to reach The best way to reach Shillong is via flight. Also the city has been well connected with other major cities of the country.
What to See Elephant falls, Shillong peak, Umiam lake, Don bosco museum, Laitlum canyons, Mawlynnong village, Spread eagle falls
Where to Stay Hotels, Lodges, Home stays
Adventure Activities River canyoning, Archery, Trekking, Mountain biking, Cave exploration

 

Gangtok

Gangtok, Sikkim, hill station in India

When it comes to experiencing the perfect vastness of India’s varied topography, Gangtok is unarguably amongst the top 10 hill stations in India to explore.

Also recognized as the centre of Buddhism, this charming hill station is surrounded by the scenic beauty of nature and striking views of Mount Kanchenjunga providing tourists with some of the most stunning locations and terrains to explore.

With all its ethereal charm of nature and paradisiacal beauty, Gangtok is considered as one of the best hill stations in India, attracting thousands of tourists from all over the country. 

What’s fascinating about Gangtok?

  1. Located in the lap of eastern Himalayas, Gangtok is one of the famous hill stations in India known for its scenic landscape and amazing terrains. Being one of the few highest altitude hill stations in India, Gangtok features several beautiful lakes, passes and several other interesting places to be explored.
  2. Perched at a height of 12400 ft above sea level, Tsomgo Lake in Gangtok is one of the few high-altitude lakes in India, known for its mesmerizingly alluring beauty and thus a part of every tourist itinerary.
  3. The Rumtek Monastery which is one of the largest and most significant monasteries of Sikkim and a center of Buddhist culture.
  4. Himalayan zoological park which is a home to a wide range of flora and fauna species. The park also provides an amazing view of Mount Kanchenjunga.
  5. Reshi hot water springs known for its medicinal properties.
  6. Seven sister waterfalls comprising of seven amicably arranged waterfalls which is a major attraction point of this top hill station in India. The site is located at the Gangtok-Lachung Highway.
  7. Nathula pass, one of the high altitude mountain passes.
Best time to visit      March – June
Nearest Airport Bagdogra Airport (124 km /3 hours)
Best way to reach The best way to reach Gangtok is via flight to Bagdogra airport and then drive to Gangtok.
What to See Nathula pass, Rumtek monastery, Tsomgo lake, Namgyal institute of tibetology, Seven sister waterfalls
Where to Stay Hotels, Lodges, Home stays
Adventure Activities Rafting, Paragliding, Caving, Trekking, Rock climbing

 

Spiti

Spiti, hill station in India

Popularly known as “Little Tibet”, the valley of Spiti is widely recognized for its fascinating valleys, rugged landscapes, quiet villages, and adventure activities.

Long winding roads of this valley featured with the unforgettable glimpses of the cold desert and snow-crowned mountains has always been a paradise for adventure seekers especially bike trip enthusiasts.

With all its natural wonder and the amount of tourist’s influx received, the valley of Spiti has been listed as one of the top 10 hill stations in India.

Being one of the top hill stations in India, Spiti draws in a large number of individuals consistently towards its intriguing magnificence and unadulterated climate.

What’s fascinating about Spiti?

  1. Located at an altitude of 4300 mt above sea level, the crescent shaped chandratal lake is one of the noteworthy experiences of Spiti.
  2. Set amidst semi-frozen rivers of Pin Valley, the pin valley national park is home to the rare species of famous Himalayan snow leopard. It is also famous for its incredible trek which is a delight for all its visitors.
  3. Located at an altitude of 4,166 metres above sea level, the astounding Key monastery is a must visit place in Spiti.
  4. The valley of Spiti is also considered as one of the best hill stations in India to have a large number of highest motorable roads and passes, which is quite a fascination among adventure seekers. Kunzum la is one such high altitude pass which serves as a gateway to the beautiful Spiti valley.
  5. Another cultural gem of this highest hill station in India is Tabo Monastery. Located at a dizzying height of 10,000 feet, this is one of the oldest monasteries of India.
Best time to visit March – June
Nearest Airport Kullu Airport (227 km)
Best way to reach The best way to reach Spiti is via road from Shimla which is located at a distance of 415 km from the Spiti valley.
What to See Chadratal lake, Key monastery, Kunzum pass, Pin valley National park, Suraj taal
Where to Stay Hotels and Homestays
Adventure Activities Star gazing, Camping, Trekking

 

Kufri

Kufri hill station in india

A heaven for nature enthusiasts and wildlife lovers, Kufri is one of the best hill stations in India to explore.

Situated amidst the snow-capped mountains of infinite Himalayas, the region of Kufri is known for its natural beauty, enjoyable weather and vast range of adventure activities.

Kufri is also famous for its nature parks and picnic spots, making it one of the most preferred locations for couples and families alike.

What’s fascinating about Kufri?

  1. Kufri is one of the famous hill stations in India which is also recognized as the winter sports capital of Shimla. With the first snowfall in the valley the adventure sport of skiing starts which attracts a lot of tourists to Kufri.
  2. Being a town situated in the lap of Himalayas, Kufri features a lot of trekking opportunities for tourists like Khuwalia peak trek, and Mahasu peak trek.
  3. Being one of the top hill stations in India, Kufri offers a lot of paragliding opportunities which is quite enthralling.
  4. The yak ride at Kufri is also quite famous among tourists. 
Best time to visit Nov – March
Nearest Airport Shimla Airport (22 km)
Best way to reach The best way to reach Kufri is via road from Shimla which is located at a distance of 15 km.
What to See Skiing, Mahasu peak, Yak ride
Where to Stay Hotels, Lodges, Home stays, Cottages 
Adventure Activities Camping, Trekking, Paragliding, Cycling, Ziplining, Ice skiing, Rafting