India is a diverse country, hardly surprising when it is home to over one billion people. In addition to a range of cities packed with people, culture and world-class attractions, India also has a beautiful and dense scenic beauty encompassing the landscape of the country.
One feature of the Indian subcontinent are hill stations – small towns in the low mountains of the country, many of which were established by European colonists who wanted a place for respite during the sizzling summer months down in the valleys. If you’re in India, make sure you leave some time for visiting a hill station or two. Here are five of the best.
It goes without saying that the small town of Nainital, which is located in the Kumaon range in Uttarakhand, is worth mentioning. If you are traveling solo, this is one of the best hill stations to visit. Also known as the Lake District of India, travellers can expect scenic beauty and adventure sports such as parasailing, canyoning and kayaking.
Next on the list is the quaint hill station located near Mumbai – Matheran. Aside from its lush greenery and beautiful weather, Matheran is also known for its well-preserved colonial architecture. This place is ideal for those who want to spend a holiday away from the intense hustle and bustle of Mumbai city life. Panorama Point is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Matheran thanks to its spectacular views, while Louisa Point is famed for its beautiful waterfalls. This particular hill station is great if you want a little luxury in the mountains, with a range of quality hotels in Matheran to choose from.
With a breathtaking view of the Doon Valley to the south and the Himalayas to the north, Mussoorie is yet another example of one of India’s hill stations. It is situated just around 34 kilometers away from Dehradun and attracts plenty of tourists every year who want to take in its exquisite scenery. The Mall is one of the most popular places in Mussoorie – the famous promenade which stetched from Picture Palace in the east to the Library in the west. You can also take cable cars up to Gun Hill where picturesque views of the town from Lal Tibba await.
Everyone knows Darjeeling for its tea production, but it is also one of India’s most beautiful hill stations, with some of the most magnificent views of the Kanchenjunga hills as well as its waterfalls and monastery. The toy train ride is one of the things that attracts visitors, while some other popular attractions include the Ghoom Monastery, Senchal Lake and Observatory Hill.
Last but not least is Gangtok, which is in Sikkim. In addition to beautiful scenery including a waterfall, lake and the Nathu La mountain pass, you can also admire beautiful architecture including Namgyal Institute of Tibetology and Hanuman Tok.