"I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately; I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life; to put root to all that was not life and not when I had come to die, discover that I had not lived." - Henry David Thoreau
India is home to not one or two mountain ranges, but seven, which makes it a remarkable place of having several captivating hill stations. It all begins with the poised enchantment of the Western Ghats, which take you up to the magnitude of the Himalayas.
Hidden away in these towering beauties are the many soul-soothing hill stations. The modernised hill stations in India host travellers, adventure seekers and city dwellers who are looking for a break from their monotonous lifestyle.
The hill stations are a retreat in themselves and also form the base for exploring the uninhabited mountains. These base camps offer a refuge from the mayhem of city life, each one more beautiful than the other.
We bring you ten such hill stations that could be the perfect detox you are looking for, so pack your bags and start scaling these heights.
The natural abode for rock climbing and trekking, dharamsala offers a lot for the adventure junkies to look forward to. Dharamsala is home to the Dalai Lama, and it looks magnificent with its scenery comprising of dense coniferous forests and snow-clad peaks in winter.
The Dalai Lama's home is 3 km up the hill in Upper Dharamsala, which is also known as McLeod Ganj that is where most of the visitors make a beeline for.
"Meadow of Flowers" is the translation of Gulmarg. It gives its visitors a view which looks as if straight out of a fairytale story. It is an eye-catching valley of flowers that comes into life during the peak of spring and summer.
During winter, the hill station transforms itself from the valley of flowers into the valley of winter sports. It boasts the world's second highest cable car, a golf course and the Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve.
Also known as the Scotland of India, Coorg lies gracefully amidst the Western Ghats or the Sahyadri range. The hills covered with mist encompass lush evergreen forests, acres of tea and coffee plantations, bunch of orange groves, gentle flowing streams and strikingly beautiful waterfalls, which makes it all an unforgettable memory.
A scenic train journey from Vishakhapatnam would take you to this place where nature has painted the landscapes in all possible shades of green. Placed in the eastern Ghats, this hill station forms an ideal getaway from the cities of Hyderabad and Vijayawada.
At the very sight of the valley, one would feel the valley resembling a huge painting with only the colours of green and patches of gold.
This legendary town has always attracted tourists from across the country. Known for its misty green hills that are shrouded with legends, many places in this town are considered to be haunted, but it does not keep away people from visiting this mysterious hill station in Madhya Pradesh.
The rolling hills of Lonavla have always been the favourite place of visit during summer for the Mumbaikars. This little town offers you a delightful experience with thousands of shades of green in a single panorama.
It is surrounded by hills and valleys, and this small retreat promises an uninterrupted vacation in the lap of mother nature.
In the confines of the Aravalli range, lies the only hill station of Rajasthan. It is a retreat from the sweltering heat of the desert. The patch of green amidst the Thar desert is not only a hill station for enjoyment, but it also happens to be one of the most important pilgrimage centres for the Jains.
The beautiful Delwara temples is an added attraction to Mount Abu.
PC: Lens Naayak
A tourist hotspot in the North Bengal, Kalimpong is simply beautiful to get away to for a week or two. The weather remains constantly cool throughout the year and it also gives a spectacular view of the mighty Kanchenjunga Peak.
The marketplace is always filled with stalls that sell local stuff. A must try here is the titora - dried fruits in chilli and tamarind powder, Nepali alu dum and sel roti and, not to forget, the piping hot momos.
Surrounded by the breathtaking Himalayas, and a generous supply of tea gardens, Darjeeling is known as the 'Dreamland of the East'. The place is blessed with waterfalls and a beautiful terrain that are enveloped by the mountains.
When in Darjeeling try the food at Glennarys and Keventers, as these places are iconic and have always been a paradise for the foodies since decades.
A mysterious place filled with a number of temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu, Chamba Valley in Himachal is often seen as the paradise for those who love to identify themselves with nature.
Chamba provides an amazing view of all the mountains around the valley. The Akhand Chandi Palace, Rang Mahal and the temples of Chamunda Devi and Champavati are a must visit here.