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iXiGOers Apr 16 2013

Which are the popular hill stations in North India?

Ravinder Malik Apr 16 2013
2 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

Clear blue skies, bright shining sun and the sweet summer air. Yes, it’s that time of the year again. Reminiscent of childhood memories, summer prompts the beginning of umpteen vacation plans, numerous itineraries, sugary anticipation and unbound excitement. But, if you are still twiddling thumbs about an awesome vacation plan, you could give these destinations a look.

Shimla (Chail/Kufri)

Touted as the ‘Queen of the hills’, the charming hill station of Shimla still tops the list of popular summer getaways. Marked by colonial architecture, archaic churches, tiny bazaars and an old world allure, Shimla is certainly a wonderful option. 

The hill station has gradually climbed the charts as a crowded, touristy destination yet it has managed to retain some of it’s untouched and unexplored beauty with elan. From scenic walking trails, challenging trekking expeditions to lovely picnic spots, the town is perfect for a relaxing vacation. Summer hill, lakkad bazaar, mall road, lower bazaar are some of the places you can explore in Shimla itself besides heading out to nearby places. Laidback yet lively, you’ll find the perfect mix of quiet, uncharted spots and touristy hangouts. Holidaying in Shimla offers you everything you may need. If a quiet holiday is on your mind, you could settle in a cosy guesthouse and let the beauty of nature charm you. If on the other hand, an action packed holiday is on your mind, you can set out to explore neighbouring areas like Kufri, Chail, Naldera, Tattapani, Sangla Valley et al. A long holiday in fact would be apt to explore Shimla, Kufri and Chail. A day or two in the picturesque towns of Kufri and Chail promise you a whirlwinding journey back into history. From the highest cricket ground in the world in Chail to the fun yak rides in Kufri, you’ll not be short of things to do. With so much to do and see, the erstwhile summer capital of the British promises to be an enchanting and unforgettable summer retreat.


Situated elegantly between Chandigarh and Shimla, the serene hill station of Kasauli is the perfect place for a relaxing holiday. Majestic mountains, abundant greenery and the colours of nature creating havoc all around is nothing less than a postcard. If you are looking for an action packed holiday, Kasauli may not be the best option. Calm and quiet, it is the perfect retreat for backpackers, trekkers and wanderers. A visit to Monkey point, Christ Church and the local bazaar spread across a few days makes it for a slow and leisurely holiday. If you have a few more days in hand, you could take a short trip to Shogi, Shimla or Chail depending on the time you have.


Narrow winding roads, majestic mountains and the swiftly flowing Beas make Manali one of the most beautiful hill stations in India. Though, the town has slowly become quite popular as a summer retreat and an adventure hotspot, it still maintains it’s reputation as a peaceful summer getaway. If you are looking for trekking opportunities, camping or adventure sports, Manali doesn’t disappoint. From trekking to Nehru Kund to rafting and camping at Kullu, the town is heaven for adventure buffs. Be it the white wonderland of Rohtang or the untouched district of Raison, Manali indeed is a bundle of surprises. When in this charming town, don’t forget to take a look at the apple orchards and carry back some fruitful memories.


Located near Bhimtal, Sattal derives its name from the phrase ‘Seven lakes’. Surreal beauty and absolutely mesmerising landscape make this unexplored town one of the best places for a summer retreat. Dense oak and pine forests, unspoilt beauty and an untouched aura of calm and quiet offer you a respite from the chaos of cities. If you are looking for a long, peaceful holiday, Sattal doesn’t disappoint. Though, the town isn’t dotted with umpteen sightseeing spots, it has its fair share of intriguing hideouts to keep you busy. Trekking, bird watching and walking are some of the things you can do here when you aren’t soaking in the warm sunshine and the cool breeze. The best way to explore this small town is on foot. Traverse craggy, rocky paths, sit by the lake bank or simply settle in with a lovely book at this heavenly hill station.


Away from the furore and chaos of cities lies the quaint town of Lansdowne. Reminiscent of the British era, this town in the Pauri Garwhal region gets its name from Lord Lansdowne. The picture perfect town with its dense pine and oak forests, surrounding majestic mountains and refreshing greenery makes for an enthralling summer retreat. Laid back and leisurely, time simply flies in Lansdowne. From scenic walks to challenging treks, there is much you can do here yet be equally content doing absolutely nothing at all. The town’s irresistible charm and simple way of life makes it all the more appealing for a vacation.


A small detour from the Kullu Manali highway will take you to the small district of Kasol. Never ending narrow roads, overwhelming mountains and the Parvati River swiftly flowing below, Kasol truly is another world. A small market, a few cafes and numerous trekking trails are all that you’ll find here. An old world charm with a strong Rasta culture makes Kasol radically different from other hill stations. You can spend days to weeks to months here without a care for city life. Slow, leisurely and laidback, time simply seems to stop here. Head here if you want a break from the mundaneness of daily life.


Slowly becoming a popular tourist destination, Leh in Jammu and Kashmir is best described as an abode of the Buddhist spiritual aspirants. White dunes, archaic Buddhist monuments, cascading mountains and the deep blue water take you to a different world altogether. The splendid beauty of Leh is unlike any other. If you do plan a holiday to Leh, make sure you have ample time in hand to explore its tiny villages, mesmerising landscape and intriguing Buddhist culture. Promising you a memorable vacation, Leh is certainly a delight to discover. Offering you something different each day, the land is truly dazzling.


A much needed change from the usual crowd and noise of touristy spots, this almost forgotten hill station is a treat to explore. Packed with trekking trails, wildlife sanctuaries and unexplored enthralling beauty, Dalhousie is a bundle of surprises. Nature lovers and adventure buffs can have a wonderful time trekking, camping, picnicking or simply re discovering the charm of Dalhousie. Tranquil, surreal and peaceful, Dalhousie truly takes you away from the humdrum of daily life. If you have a long vacation in mind, you could head to Chamba, Mcleodganj or Khajjiar for an action packed holiday.


Pahalgam is a hill station located in the Anantnag district of the state of Jammu & Kashmir. It is a beautiful summer retreat consisting of beautiful meadows, valleys, lakes and dense woods teeming with wildlife. There are three main places to visit in this region, viz. Chandanwari, Aru valley and Betaab valley. The beauty of Pahalgam can be testified by the number of Bollywood films shot here. The best way to get around is on foot, though ponies and taxis are also available. Adventurous souls can try the different treks starting from this place. The most famous is the trek to the Kolohoi Glacier. White water rafting is yet another adventure sport that takes place at the Lidder river. The holy Amarnath yatra also begins from Pahalgam every year.


Famously christened as the “Switzerland of India” by none other than Gandhiji himself, Kausani is a breathtaking little hill station in the Almora region of Uttaranchal. Why Switzerland you ask? Take a small trek on a clear day, you’ll get a spectacular view of the majestic Himalayan range, as perfect and pristine as the Swiss Alps. The hill station also shares its legacy with Gandhiji, who is believed to have lived here for a short span, during which he also wrote his famous “Anashakti Yog”. There is a Gandhi Ashram to this effect, carrying forward his legacy in Kausani. Gandhiji’s disciple, Sarlaben also initiated an ashram for the upliftment of Kumaoni women here, running till today as Lakshmi Ashram. A popular trekking destination, Kausani acts as a base camp for several important treks that go towards Bageshwar and beyond. Orchards and dense forests abound, this beautiful destination calls out to those seeking the perfect sense of nirvana.


Escape into the Tibetan, Buddhist world at Mcleodganj, the capital of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile in Himachal Pradesh, India. With monasteries and meditation centres dotting this beautiful hill town, a spiritually uplifting experience is only a wish away. Coming close to this nirvana experience is the delightful food here. Indulge in the authentic Tibetan cuisine, apart from menus from across the world at the small and large cafes and restaurants that you’ll find in abundance. There are plenty of shopping options for the shopaholic in you, particularly Tibetan knick-knacks, silver jewellery and “Free Tibet” merchandise. Take a trek up to the serene Bhagsu Falls, or a more adventurous one to Triund, walk around the Namgyal Monastery or admire the beauty of Dharamkot village - whatever you do, there’s a lot of peace and happiness in store for you.


One of the most favourite honeymoon destinations of North India, Mussoorie wears the crown of the Queen of Hills. Located in Uttarakhand, this lovely hill town has been popular weekend getaway from cities like Delhi, Meerut and Dehradun. With a big and vibrant mall road, the hill station balances the serenity of the hills with the excitement of shopping and food. Buy little knick-knacks, wooden items and the famous “aam-papad” (candied mango), while you feast on delicious shakes and Chinese cuisine. And when you’re walking up and down the Mall Road, you might even want to stop for some balloon shooting, arcade games, air hockey or those soft-toy grabbers and win yourself a tiny fortune! Head to the famous Kempty Falls or enjoy a touristy boat ride. For a quieter experience, head to Landour and make sure to stop on the way at Char Dukan for some Maggi and tea. With Mussoorie, you get to choose whether to be laid back or jump in for some fun!

With so many exciting options, holidaying in the North can be anything but boring. Yet, if you'd like to explore your options, give these hill station in the South, West and East of India a look.

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