Hills and mountains always mesmerize and leave an everlasting image in human mind. If you want to beat the scorching heat of summer, there is nothing better than visiting a cold hill station in India. The green, lush, beautiful waterfalls and the mysterious rocks and mountains will surely delight you. If you go to North India, you will find peaks and snowfalls, whereas in South India tea and coffee gardens to captivate you. Exploring any of these hill stations of India will give you a lifetime memorable experience.
The Summer Capital of India - Shimla
Shimla is one stop place to for all hill-lovers. It is pleasing to everyone with its cool mountains, snowfalls and famous scenic beauties from a very long time. “The Summer Capital of India” is located at the lap of the great mountain range the Himalayas in Himachal Pradesh. Shimla is also a well known Honeymoon spot in India.
How to reach: The nearest railway station of Shimla is Kalka. It takes around 4-5 hours to reach Kalka from New Delhi. After reaching Kalka cab facilities are available, that will take you directly to Shimla.
Sightseeing: Local sightseeing includes Kufri, Naldhera, Shirigui Temple, Churdhar Sanctuary, Chadwick falls and many more. You can visit Kullumanali, Manikaran from Shimla which requires around 6-7 hours by bus. In Manali, you will get snow point which is an awesome place to enjoy.
Best time to visit: Avoid rainy season because hilly areas can create transportation problem.
The Great Gangtok
The main attraction of the whole Sikkim is Gangtok. The actual meaning of Gangtok is “Hill Top” as the name suggests, you get the spectacular view of the Kangchenjunga mountain from this place. Kanchenjunga is the 3rd highest peak in the world, so you can understand how thrilling the journey will it be. Besides enjoying its serene beauty, there are a lot more activities you can do in Gangtok like river rafting, cable car, enjoy Yak safari, Paragliding etc.
How to reach: The nearest railway station in Gangtok is around 148 km away in New Jalpaiguri in Siliguri. The hill station is well-connected to metro cities like Kolkata and Delhi etc. You will get cabs from New Jalpaiguri to Gangtok or you can go to Siliguri bus stop where you can get state buses that directly go to Gangtok, which will take around 5-6 hrs.
Sightseeing: It will take a few days to explore all the visiting spots in Gangtok. The holy Tsomgo lake is a 3 hrs drive from Gangtok and it is very popular for its scenic beauties. Visiting Nathu La Pass will really be a thrilling experience for you as it is very close to the Indo-Chinese border. You shouldn't miss Hanuman Tok that is 7,200 feet above the sea level. This temple managed by Indian Army. The scenic beauty of Gangtok and the nearby lush green hill is spectacular to watch. Some other spots like Lachung, Lachen, Gurudongmar Lake, Himalayan Zoological Park, Deer Park are also the must visit places in Gangtok.
Best time to visit: Between March to Mid July is the best time to visit Gangtok.
Munnar – Attraction of Kerala
Munnar is a beautiful hill station located in the Idukki district of southwestern Indian state of Kerala. This charming hill station is situated at approximately 1,600 metres above the sea level and guarded by three mountain stream Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala. Munnar has the highest mountain peak in South India, Anamudi, which is over 2,695 meters. This is an ideal spot for trekking.
How to reach: Munnar town is located very close to Aluva (around 110 km). The Ernakulam Railway Station is approx 130 kilometres in distance while the Madurai Railway Station is at a distance of 135 kilometres. From there you can take a taxi or a cab, otherwise can board the state buses or private transport.
Sightseeing: The Munnar tea garden has amazing views. The whole town is filled with tea gardens and greeneries that you will not find anywhere in the whole world. The Mattupetty lake and dam is just awesome to enjoy a picnic. It is situated only 13 km from Munnar. You must explore Pothamedu because of tea, coffee and cardamom gardens. Attukal, located about 9 km from Munnar has cascading waterfalls that rolling from the hills is really a treat to watch. There are many other places also like Rajamala, Eravikulam National Park, Nyayamakad that are really worth visiting.
Best time to visit: You can visit Munnar almost any time of the year, though October to November and January to May is better if you want to explore the whole place. In rainy season also Munnar looks majestic.
Paradise of the Earth - Leh Ladakh
Leh Ladakh often called paradise because of its eccentric natural beauty. This place is culturally and architecturally rich and is the dream destination of a large number of travellers across the globe. Ladakh is one of the top tourist destinations of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Unexplored natural beauty, rich tradition and adventure spots make this place globally acclaimed.
How to reach: You can visit Leh Ladakh from Delhi by road via Leh Manali Highway is around 1011 km and it takes around 24 hours. The nearest railway station is Jammu Tawi that is 700 km from Ladakh which is connected with Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and all other major metro cities. After reaching Jammu Tawi you can take a cab or state bus that directly goes to Ladakh.
Sightseeing: The main attractions of Leh Ladakh are swarming glaciers, snow-covered mountains, vibrant streams and flowing rivers. The place is surely the dream destination of adventure lovers. You can do a lot of fun activities like trekking, jeep safari, paragliding, angling which will be like the icing on the cake. You will find ancient monasteries like the Sankar monastery, Hemis monastery, Matho monastery, which will leave you spellbound. Zanskar Valley is one the best place to visit in Ladakh. This snow covered lake will amaze you with its beauty. There are many other exciting places like Pangong Tso lake (where the movie, 3 Idiots has been shot), Khardung-la pass, Nubra Valley - desert among the snowy hills, magnetic hill etc.
Best time to visit: May to September is the best time to visit Leh Ladakh because in this period of time the weather of Jammu and Kashmir remains charming.
Scotland of India - Coorg
Coorg is one of the favorite hill stations of Karnataka and a perfect place for foodies. Coorg is full of green lands and natural beauties. It situated about 1525 meters above the sea level and people also called this place the “Scotland of India”. Coorg is blessed with dense forest, misty hills and breathtaking tea, coffee and orange plantations. There are many luxury hotels, resorts in Coorg to enjoy the place. If you want more adventure you can book tree houses also. This is why Coorg has become a perfect destination for all travel enthusiasts.
How to reach: The nearest railway station is Mysore, which is around 95 kilometres away. From Mysore you can take K.S.R.T.C deluxe buses that are going to Coorg. You can get buses from Bengaluru also.
Sightseeing: In Coorg you will get panoramic views of lush green hills and valleys and Raja’s Seat is one of them. This place is considered one of best South India’s most scenic spots. You should also visit Omkareshwara Temple, a famous historical place in Coorg. It will be a loss if you don't visit Abbi Waterfalls which is located 5 km drive from the main town. There are other famous places like Talacauvery & Bhagamandala, Cauvery Nisargadhama, Byle Kuppe, Dubare Reserve Forest which are just the ideal destinations for all tourists and travellers.
Best time to visit: October to March is the best time for adventure activities here. So, October to March can be considered as the best time to visit Coorg.