Summer is upon us in full force. Even venturing out of the house becomes a chore in the unbearable heat. We are always looking to escape the peak summer months of April and May, isn't it?
Since the kids are on summer vacation, and the heat gets unbearable; hill stations are a favourite choice of holiday during summers. Hill stations are high-altitude towns developed by the European colonialists, as a summer retreat.
North India is famous for many hill stations. You might want to consider some of them. In particular, the states of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh are known for their beauteous summer havens. The entire state of Jammu and Kashmir is very much like a hill station.
The North-East part of India also has some famous hill stations. Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Assam are pleasingly glorious in their own right. Nature pleasing the eyes, cool days with no humidity or sweat, endless cups of tea, warm socks, friendly people, etc., are some of the virtues that accompany a holiday in the hills.
So, read on to know more about some of the best hill stations in North India that you can visit with your friends & family this April-May.
Known as the Lake District of India, Nainital owes its moniker to the 60 lakes that it houses. It is a small town in Kumaon Hills, surrounded by mountains on three sides. It is located at an altitude of 2615 metres above the sea level. The life of Nainital is the lake Naini.
Nainital is famous for extraordinary education institutions and research facilities. It is around 300 km from Delhi. One of the highlights of Nainital is Mall Road - known for various shopping options.
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A well-known hill station in Dehradun district of Uttarakhand, Mussoorie is called 'Queen of Hill Stations' and rightly so. It is situated in Garhwal mountains at an altitude of 1880 metre above the sea level. Mussoorie is known as the Gateway to Gangotri and Yamunotri.
Some of the places in Mussoorie where one can do touristy things are Kempty Falls, Camel's Back Rock, Cloud's End, Benog Wildlife Sanctuary, Nag Devta Temple, etc. You can also indulge in various adventure sports like Paragliding, Night camping, Safari, Valley Crossing, Zip Swing, etc.
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Manali is a stunning hill station nestled in the Himachal mountains near the Kullu valley. Located at an altitude of 2050 metre above the sea level, and spread along the rims of the River Beas, Manali is referred to as the "Valley of the Gods".
Manu Temple, Hidimba Temple, Vasisht Hot Springs, Solang Valley, Rahala Waterfalls, Rohtang Pass, etc., are some of the places in Manali that are absolutely not to be missed.
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A spectacular hill station in the Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh, Dalhousie lies at an elevation of 1970 meters above the sea level. Dalhousie is named after Lord Dalhousie who vested this town as a summer retreat in 1854.
Dalhousie tenders to a lot of activities for adventure lovers. Garam Sadak, Moti Tibba, Sach Pass, etc., are fantastic places for trekking lovers. Other places to visit in Dalhousie are Chamera Lake, Satdhara Falls, Panchpula, Subhash Baoli, and Salooni.
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Almora is a panoramic hill station in Almora district of Uttarakhand. It is a part of the Kumaon Hills and lies at an altitude of 1651 metre above the sea level. Almora is considered one of the least expensive hill stations in India. It is known for its striking views of the Himalayas, and rich Kumaon cultural heritage.
Nanda Devi Temple, Banari Devi Temple, Govind Vallabh Pant Museum, Almora Fort, Katarmal Sun Temple, Bright End Corner, etc., are some of the important attractions in Almora.
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Well known as Little Lhasa because of the large population of Tibetans and Monasteries, Dharamsala is one of the most popular hill stations. It lies in the beautiful Kangra Valley in Himachal Pradesh at an altitude of 1475 metre above the sea level. Upper Dharamsala, also known as McLeod Ganj, is the seat of the spiritual leader - the Dalai Lama.
Some of the important and famous trekking trails like Triund Hill, Bhagsu Falls, Bhimghasturi Pass, etc., lie in Dharamsala. Chamunda Temple, Namgyalma Stupa, Norbulingka Institute, Gyuto Monastery, Indru Nag, etc., are some of the must-visit places here.
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A famous ski destination located in the Baramula district of Jammu & Kashmir, Gulmarg is situated in the Pirpanjal range of Western Himalayas. Some of the places of interest here are Khilanmarg, Wular Lake, Alpather Lake, Nanga Parbat, Haramukh and Manasbal Lake.
The cable car ride, Gulmarg Gondola, is one of the highest cable car rides in the world. The world's highest 18-hole green golf course lies in Gulmarg. It is also the highest skiing location in India.
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8. Mount Abu
Located in Sirohi district of Rajasthan near Gujarat border, Mount Abu is a rather cold place for being in the deserts. It has served as a popular retreat from the sweltering sun of Rajasthan and Gujarat for ages. Mount Abu has many tourist attractions like Dilwara Jain Temple, Guru Shikar Peak, Achalgarh Fort, Nakki Lake, Durga Temple, Gaumukh Temple, Sri Raghunathji Temple, and the Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary. Mount Abu is also the spiritual headquarters of the well-known cult Brahmakumaris.
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Srinagar is the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir. Known for houseboats, lakes and gardens, Srinagar is set around the gorgeous Dal lake. The summers are pleasant and inviting. The major tourist attractions are Shalimar Garden, Dachigam Wildlife Sanctuary, Nishat Garden, Cheshma Shahi, Pari Mahal, and Shankaracharya Temple.
Kashmir silks and shawls are very well-known and it might be a good idea to buy a few of them from here as well. With its serene beauty, Srinagar is one the most popular summer destinations in India.
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Ladakh is a place where time stands still. Zanskar, Sankar gompa, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri, Siachen Glacier, Lamayuru Gompa, Stok Palace Museum, etc., are some of the main attractions of Ladakh. Ladakh is a cold desert. Nubra Valley in Ladakh has beautiful sand dunes and double-humped camels. You can hop on a camel and enjoy the safari in the cold desert. Many people prefer Ladakh as a destination for long bike rides.
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The capital city of Uttarakhand is a famous hill station in the Himalayas. It is bordered by the rivers Ganga and Yamuna. It provides a gateway to popular hill stations like Nainital and Mussoorie; and to pilgrim centers like Haridwar and Rishikesh.
Some of the must-see places in Dehradun are Sahastradhara, Tiger Falls, Robber's Cave, Tapovan, Mindrolling monastery, Tapkeshwar Temple, Rajaji National Park, and the Asan Barage Water sport Resort.
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Literally meaning "Queen's Meadow", Ranikhet is a quiet tourist spot in Almora district of Uttarakhand. It is a cantonment town and is home to Kumaon and Naga contingents of the Indian Army. Some of the famous attractions in Ranikhet are Chaubhatia Garden, Upat Golf Course, Bhalu Dam, KRC Museum, Jhula Devi Temple, Katarmal Sun Temple, Binsar Mahadev Temple, and Mankameshwar Temple. The forests are thick and covered with pine and oak trees.
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Known as "the Abode of Clouds", Shillong is the capital of Meghalaya. It is home to some pristine lakes, beautiful golf courses, and gorgeous mountain peaks. Shillong is famous for music and many music festivals keep happening here all round the year. Some of the must-visit places are Elephant Falls, Umiam Lake, Mawlynnog, Ward's Lake, Mawphlang Sacred Forest, Lady Hydari Park, and Sweet Falls. David Scott Trail is a famous trekking trail here.
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The capital of Himachal Pradesh lies at an altitude of 7250 feet above the sea level. This was the summer capital under the British rule. The amazing part is that traffic is banned in the Central part of Shimla, which makes it pleasant and welcoming to walk. Jhakoo Temple, Mall Road, Himachal State Museum, Viceregal Lodge, The Ridge, Gaiety Theatre, Gorton Castle, etc., are some of the must-visit places in Shimla.
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