With over 20 mountain ranges across its length and breadth, India has no dearth of picturesque hill stations. While some are already popular and hence crowded, others are quaint and serene. Out of about 1000 hill stations of the country, this list covers 125, whether crowded, less-explored or totally off the beaten path. Some more have been covered in the pictures only. We hope this list would satiate the travel thirst of our readers by giving them an exhaustive list of hill stations to escape to when they get tired with the din and bustle of city life. Visit these hilly retreats during summer to beat the scorching heat, or go there to enjoy the heavenly beauty during the monsoons or winters to get the best of the ethereal charm.
This hill station in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand is the perfect meeting ground of culture, history, heritage and natural beauty. The dreamy place abodes some important temples like Nanda Devi, Asht Bhairav and Rudreshwar Mahadev Temple and it is a pilgrim site as well. Shaped like a horse shoe, this town is famous for its pre-British period heritage. It was well known as place where people came to gain health.
Yet another sought after hill station of Uttarakhand is Auli. Snow clad peaks, gorgeous views of glaciers and the longest cable car ride in Asia, are what make this hill station special. It is a popular skiing destination as well. Surrounded by coniferous and oak forests and Nandadevi and Nar Parvat mountains, the town is also blessed with other nearby attractions like the Valley of Flowers, Badrinath temple and unique alpine flora and fauna that includes red foxes and snow leopards. One can reach Auli from the nearest airport of Dehradun.
Araku Valley, Andhra Pradesh
This beautiful place in the Eastern Ghats in the Visakhapatnam district is also known as the ‘Food bowl of South India’. Coffee plantations, hills enveloped in green woods, caves, waterfalls and beautiful landscape cut into half by serpentine hill roads makes this a much sought after holiday destination. Tourist attractions like Sangda Waterfalls, Dumbriguda Fall, Katiki Falls, the Ananthagiri hills, the Tribal Museum and Borra Caves are not to be missed here. Vishakhapatnam is the closest Airport and the place can also be reached by road and railways.
Aru Valley, Kashmir
For those who enjoy rural settings of Pahalgam, the sounds of gushing Lidder River and galloping horses, pitching a tent in Aru Valley will certainly amplify pleasure. From waking up amidst misty mountains in the morning and taking an early morning stroll across the valley, to going for horse riding or trekking, there are ample opportunities for pleasure of tourists. Photographers can click photos incessantly here. Nearby tourist attractions include Betaab Valley, Baisaran and Chandanwari. Aru is also the starting point of expeditions to Kolahoi Glacier and Sonamarg.
Andretta, Himachal Pradesh
Located only 17 km from Palampur and 44 km from Kangra, Andretta is a small village in Himachal Pradesh for artists and art aficionados. It was promoted as an artist’s paradise and drew the attention of film makers, painters and other eminent personalities. There is a theatre and a Pottery and Craft Society here. With Dhauladhar Mountains and lush green forests surrounding the place, it is also a perfect destination for nature and bird lovers. There are around 550 species of birds found here. Andretta can be reached by a car from Palampur or Kangra.
Amarkantak, Madhya Pradesh
With an elevation of 1,048 m, Amarkantak is a decent place to visit if you are looking for a hill station. It is however more popular as the meeting point of the Vindhya and Satpura Ranges from where the River Narmada originates. It is a sacred place for the Hindus. The town is also surrounded by rich flora.
If you want to spend your holidays in a hill station on the Indo-Nepal Border, Askot is a good option. Rather lesser known, and hence retaining its pristine beauty, Askot is one of the best destinations Uttarakhand has to offer. Located in the Kumaon region, Askot is blessed with surreal beauty that is composed of emerald mountainous views, rhododendrons, dense vegetation and a wildlife sanctuary that is home to the endangered Musk Deer. While for nature lovers there is so much here, for adventure lovers also there are many interesting activities to engage in. There are extremely challenging trek routes along the Dharchula Range up towards the Kailash and Mansarovar. Askot is also a base point for many short treks that offer spectacular views. The hill station is situated 54 km from Pithoragarh and one may hire a cab from Pithoragarh to reach here.
Aizawl is one of the oldest cities of north eastern India and is culturally very significant. Located at an elevation of 1,130m, the city overlooks the Tlwang and Tuirial rivers. The hill station is an indigenous home to some of the primitive and ethnic groups in North East India. Mizo festivals like Chapchar Kut is a good time to visit the place. It may be noted that even Indians need an Inner Line Permit to visit the state of Mizoram.
Located in the Sahyadri Hills of Western India, Amboli is an eco tourism hotspot with abundance of flora and fauna. The major tourist attractions of Amboli are the ruins of the historic Madhavgadh Fort, Amboli Waterfalls, the Shirgaonkar Viewpoint, the caves and nearby Hiranya Keshi temple. This Maharashtrian hill station is located 690m above the sea level and is tucked away in a remote corner, away from the humdrums of the world. This is the last hill station of Maharashtra and is geographically close to the state of Goa. The best way to reach here is by road or train. The nearest airport is that of Dabolim in Goa which is located only 108 kms away.
Abbott Mount, Uttarakhand
This quaint mountain top hamlet in the Kali Kumaon region of Champawat District of Uttarakhand houses some British style bungalows. The snow-capped cliffs of the Himalayan Range of mountains can be viewed from here. A whiff of fresh air welcomes tourists here. Tucked away in a remote corner of Uttarakhand, Abbott Mount is perfect for a relaxing holiday away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The best way to explore the place is on foot. From this place one can see an ancient cricket in the distance as well as some village in Nepal.