Hill stations are serene, high altitude towns that were popularized by the princely states and/or the British army during their rule, as a respite from the scorching heat of the plains. Most hill stations were founded as summer capitals or summer getaways and you would still find the imprint of the time gone by at these locations. The drive up and down the winding road of the hills, surrounded by the greenery make them the perfect road trip destination. We have listed 5 old-world hill-stations the ScoutMyTrip team recommends.
5 must visit Hill Stations this summer
This gorgeous town in the foothills of the Himalayas is also known as the Queen of the Hills. Mussoorie has all the essential attractions of a hill-station – soaring hills that you can trek up, the beautiful Kempty Falls, Mall roads with its local shops and restaurants. When in Mussoorie, you must visit the nearby Landour. Trek up to have breakfast at Char Dukaan, then walk to the nearby Lal Tibba and Sister Bazaar to experience a calmer side of the hill-station. If you are lucky, you might also run into Ruskin Bond.
The breathtaking beauty of Kashmir has inspired awe in the hearts of travelers for eons. The charming baghs (gardens), sparkling glaciers and grand hills make your vacation on this Paradise on Earth truly memorable. Stay in the houseboats on Dal Lake or walk through the lush Aru valley & Betaab valley. Take a Gondola ride in Gulmarg and marvel at the snow-capped peaks. If you are looking for a more adventurous experience, plan for treks on some of the most scenic trails or spend time skiing and sledding down snow-filled slopes. Kashmir truly inspires you to come back for subsequent trips.
Gangtok is nestled in the higher peaks of the Himlayas and is a prominent Buddhist pilgrimage site as well as a centre for the study of Tibetan Buddhist culture and learning. You can immerse yourself in Tibetan culture at the serene Enchey & Rumtek monasteries and the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, try the local delicacies at the eateries along MG Marg and watch over the town from the ropeway cable ride. Adventure enthusiasts must try river-rafting on the Teesta river and paragliding from Luing Resithang. Gangtok can be visited throughout the year due to its moderate climate, but it is an absolute relief from the heat of the plains during summers.
4) Kodagu or Coorg
The Kodagu area on the Western Ghats slopes is famous for its coffee plantations. You could stay at quaint home-stays on these plantations. Some of the popular local attractions are the scenic overlook at Raja’s Seat, the Iruppu and Abbey Falls and the Nagarhole wildlife sanctuary. The Tibetan Buddhist Golden Temple near Bylakuppe gives you a peek into the Tibetan Refugee Settlement in the area. You could also get up close to elephants at the Dubare Elephant Camp on the banks of the Kaveri river. Coorg is at perfect road trip distance from the Bengaluru and other cities in Karnataka.
Kodaikanal, situated on the plateau atop the Palani Hills, is one of the older hill stations of South India. It is primarily famous for the naturally occurring scenic overlooks, splendid waterfalls, clear lakes and interesting rock structures & caves. This is a perfect place to switch off from our busy lives and relax in the verdant surroundings. The artificial star shaped Kodaikanal lake and the nearby meticulously maintained Bryant Park are must-visit places. The Kodaikanal Solar Observatory and the Astronomical Science Museum are fantastic places to interact with some great minds.