Choosing top hill stations in India is such a difficult task. There are, after all, several nature rich and beautiful places in the Himalayas, Western Ghats and the Eastern Ghats. Our list, based on the feedback we have received from our guests, the list we have prepared is described below. It will not be surprising to see slightly different lists by other people.
Shimla: Capital of Himachal Pradesh, Shimla, is one of the best hill stations in India. Shimla, which once served as the summer capital of British India, is known for its natural beauty, the UNESCO Heritage listed mountain railway and handicraft shops all along the famous pedestrian avenue, The Mall. Situated at an average altitude of over 7200 feet, Shimla receives fair bit of snow during winters and become a great place to try skiing.
Srinagar: Summer capital of Jammu & Kashmir, Srinagar is famous for its lakes, houseboats, historic gardens and handicraft products. Situated on the banks of River Jhelum, Srinagar is often described as one of the most beautiful places one can see. It is famous for its rich and varied cuisines.
Mussorie: Situated some 35km from Dehradun, Mussorie, often referred to as the Queen of the Hills, offers some splendid views of the distant snow clad Himalayan peaks and Doon Valley. Enjoy walking and shopping on the famous Mall road and do not forget to enjoy some tasty food available in the restaurants. You can also visit Kempty Falls and have a look at the Company Garden.
Darjeeling: Nestled by lush green world famous tea plantations, Darjeeling is one of the most attractive hill stations of India. With the famous Mount Kanchenjunga always visible in the backdrop, Darjeeling is known for its Toy Train, which has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage list. One can get a glimpse of several Himalayan peaks from Tiger Hill, including Mount Everest. One can see colourful sunrises of breathtaking beauty from Tiger Hill. Expect to see old British style heritage buildings along with some old Buddhist monasteries.
Ooty: Ooty, otherwise called Udhagamandalam, situated at an average altitude of 7350 feet, is the most famous hill station of Southern India. Often the location of several film shootings, Ooty is known for its British period train service called the Nilgiri Mountain Railway. Nilgiri Railway is included in the UNESCO heritage list. Ooty is known for its tea cultivation. However, vegetables and fruits, suited for cooler conditions, are grown here in large quantities.
One can stay in Ooty to explore Mudumalai and Bandipur tiger reserves.
Nainital: Famous for pear-shaped Naini Lake, Nainital, situated at an average altitude of around 6850ft in the Kumaon Himalayas, is one of the most frequently visited hill stations in India. Naini Devi Temple, considered one of the shakti peethas, is quite revered by Hindus.
Manali: Situated in the Beas River Valley at an altitude of 6730ft, Manali is a popular hill station of India. Located in Kullu district, Manali is often hailed as one of the most popular places to go for skiing during winters. It is the gateway to Lahul and Spiti and Leh. People come here from all over to see snowfall, and indulge in skiing and paragliding. Manali also has good plantations of apple, pear and plum.
Gangtok: Largest town and capital of Sikkim, Gangtok, situated at a mean altitude of 5410ft, is home to famous Buddhist monasteries like Rumtek Monastery and Enchey Monastery Enchey Monastery. With a view of Mount Kanchenjunga in the backdrop, Gangtok has evolved into a nice clean city where tourists can see different kinds of orchids grown in the state.
Leh: Capital of Ladakh region, Leh, situated at a mean altitude of 11562ft, is one of the popular tourist spots now. The dominant view in the town is that of ruined Leh Palace. The Palace was built exactly similar to Potala Palace, where Dalai Lama used to live before leaving Lhasa in 1959. Leh is the base for exploring the rest of Ladakh.
Pahalgam: A town located 45km from Anantnag town, Pahalgam is situated on the banks of River Lidder. Chandanwari, starting point for Amarnath, is situated in Pahalgam tehsil; just 16km from the town.
Pahalgam, situated at an average altitude of 7200ft, receives quite a bit of snowfall and has evolved into a popular tourist destination. It offers plenty of trekking routes for adventure lovers to explore. Endangered animals like brown bear, leopards, musk deer, and hangul are found in Pahalgam. Ever popular trout fish is also found in river channels here.
Mcleodganj: A suburb of Dharamsala in Kangra district in Himachal Pradesh, Mcleodganj has an average elevation of 6830ft. Situated on Dhauladhar range, Mcleodganj is the headquarter of Tibetan government-in-exile. It has evolved into a popular tourist destination with monasteries and Dalai Lama residence being high in demand among tourists.
Almora: Administrative headquarter of Almora district, Almora town is situated at an average altitude of 6106ft in the Kumaon Himalayas. Almora is immensely rich with 4000 species of plants, thanks to wide diversity in its natural vegetation. It is home to various famous temples which attract religious minded people. Almora is also known for high qualities of handicraft available at various shops in the town.
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