Your travel plan for India is surely going to be a colourful itinerary with so much to see and so much to feel within a limited period. The geographical vastness of this mystical country with the infinite amount of diversity makes it a tedious job for any traveller visiting India as to what to keep in and what to let go. And even after carefully choosing the right spots, there is every possibility that you might be victim to the 'Have I missed that' syndrome!
However, no matter how packed and precise your travel plan might be, you can not give a miss to the beautiful hill stations of Indian territory. And quite interestingly, they are not specific to one particular region as almost all the four geographical direction in India is home to some awesome hills and valleys!
To cut a long extended list short and sharp, here goes the best and most popular of them:
The sheer majesty and beauty of this ethereal place is evident from its location that is graced by the commanding presence of the mighty Himalayas and the Karakoram range. Spread along the valleys where the altitude rises from 9000 feet to 25170 feet, Ladakh is a destination where time stands still and you won't want to come back again to the regular routine. Enjoy life to the fullest among the monasteries, valleys, lakes, glaciers, festivals and the simple locals. The main attractions of Ladakh are Zanskar, Sankar Gompa, Alchi, Baltoro Glacier, Tso Morari Lake, Lamayuru Gompa, Siachen Glacier, Hemis Festival and so on.
This name gets many takers in India for being a signature hill station with cloud covered valleys, wild streams, mesmerizing mountain views and something very unique- the world renowned Toy Trains. Don't skip the opportunity to jump in one of them as it moves in slow pace in the pristine forests on the hills to give you an experience that is hard to replace. Get up at dawn if you want to witness the sun rise from the Tiger Hills and shout out in excitement when the sun comes out from behind the hills and the first rays reflect upon the Kanchenjunga. Other major tourist sites are- Batasia Loop, Botanical Gardens, Rock Garden, Ganga Maiya Park, several monasteries, Chowrasta etc.
Like the former one, this is also synonymous with the Indian hill station phenomena. Situated in the state of Himachal Pradesh. A quintessential honeymoon spot standing at an altitude of 2,050 meter, Manali is a favourite getaway for the young couples. Lapped in the Kullu valley, it is surrounded by towering peaks offering a fine chance for the trekkers. Bisedes it, skiing is also another activity that you can try in the nearby areas like Hanuman Tibba, Rohtang Pass, Deo Tibba and Chanderkhani Pass.
Former summer capital of India and the present capital of the State of Himachal Pradesh, Shimla is perhaps one of the most popular hill stations of the nation. Loaded with boundless natural beauty and scenic landscape, Shimla is an integral part of Indian history and heritage. The city of Shimla is blessed by the presence of seven different hills that houses some of the major tourist spots. Your stay in Shimla will be marked by visits to destinations like- Christ Church, St Michael'S Cathedral, Churdhar Sanctuary, Gurkha Castles, Jakhu Hill etc. It is here where a traveller sees a happy co-existence of the modern facilities with the old charm.
Its proximity to the national capital New Delhi has made it a famous and much more accessible holiday hub. Located in the amazing Himalayan range, at an astounding 2500 meter height from the sea level, Mussoorie offers a happy weekend outing with attractions that keeps the traveller engaged and pre- occupied. The major of them are as follow: Gun Hill trekking, Kempty falls and trekking and a bit of shopping as the markets are full of traditional stuff like the wooden decorative and gift items, brass statues, ceramic vases, Garhwali Dresses and the ethnic Ladakhi Shawls.
Well known as the Scotland of the East, Shillong is a quite and serene destination located in the majestic state of Meghalaya in the North Eastern part of India. Relatively less explored by the national travellers (majority of the tourists in Shillong are from nearby Assam and other neighbour states). Take a trip to the magical hill station to feel the enigma of a ethereal place that flirts with clouds and rain. Prime tourist attractions are- the Shillong Peak, Ward's Lake, the Lady Hydari Park with its 18-hole Golf Course and mini zoo, Butterfly Museum, Crinoline Falls and the nearby Cherrapunji (famous as for world record rain falls). Bring along your guitar as Shillong is a place where you will get music even on the streets!
Another not much heard of but an ideal hill resort, Tawang is a district in the Easternmost state of India, Arunachal Pradesh. Quite aptly called The Hidden Paradise of the Dawn-lit Mountains, Tawang is free from the usual crowds and chaos that you might come across in a season time visit. If you are looking for a highly personalised and off the hook vacation, hit Tawang! The breath-taking mountains, sailing clouds, placid lakes, quaint hamlets and the simple gentle people of Tawang will make your stay memorable and beautiful. The major tourist attraction is the 400 year old Tawang Monastery (locally called Galden Namgyal Lhatse). Other sites include- Takstang Monastery, Sangeshar Lake and Bagga Jang Lake. The life and ways of the local Monpa folks is an interesting aspect of Tawang.
The most familiar name in the South Indian hill stations is undoubtedly Ooty. Nestled in the Nilgiri district and at a distance of almost 100 kms from Coimbatore, Ooty is a typical hill resort with lush green woods, soothing cold breeze and some awesome sights. While your stay here, you must visit the Botanical Gardens, the Government Museum, Kalhatty Falls, Ooty Lake and try some adventure sports as Trekking and Hang-Gliding.
Hills symbolise elevation and upgradation from the normal territory to a higher one. So, come to the nation where salvation comes alive and let the soul sail along the valleys and clouds.