With the cold winters comfortably behind us and the scorching summers yet to come, it might be a good time to chalk out some travel plans for the impending heat that engulfs the plains in the hot summer months.
Indians are only spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing a hill station. After all, the country is dotted with hills from Kashmir to Kerala. If there’s the picturesque Gulmarg in the north, Munnar stretches its arms for anyone looking to have a good time in the lap of nature down south.
Here’s a quick look at some of the most popular hill stations in India you must visit for some respite from the summer heat.
One of the most beautiful hill stations in the northeast, Shillong definitely deserves a spot on your vacay list. The capital of Meghalaya, Shillong has a number of attractions – such as Elephant Waterfalls, Mawlynnong Village, Ward’s Lake and more. The climate is mostly cool, landscape stunning and the local culture will lull you into having a good time.
And a trip to Police Bazaar is a must for the shopping enthusiasts. While the local wares will make you want to shell a lot of money, don’t forget to bargain and bargain hard!
Boating in Lake Naini is one of my most vivid childhood memories. I am sure such is the case with a lot of people who, at some point or the other, would have definitely been to Nainital.
If not, this summer is the ideal time to take a trip there. Why? Azure sky, picturesque lakes, lush greenery are just a few of the many baits that summon you to this Kumaoni town. Some of the other attractions include the Cave Garden, Nainital Zoo, Governor’s House. Besides, the sunset at Hanuman Garhi is a sight worth capturing.
If you are a foodie, a walk down the Chandani Chowk area in the Mall Road is a must.
One of the most popular hill stations in north India, Kasauli is ideal for a short vacation in the hot summer months. The idyllic scenic views are to die for and offer a perfect foil to the chaotic city life.
Some of the places to see in Kasauli are the Kasauli Brewery, Nahri temple, Krishna Bhawan Mandir, Christ Church, to name a few. Some of these attractions date back centuries and are repositories of our rich heritage. Not just sight seeing, Kasauli also offers ample avenues of trekking, shopping and gorging on delicious local food.
A long walk along the Gilbert Trail is another must-do.
Another beautiful hill station in the northeast is Gangtok – the capital city of Sikkim which became a part of India only in 1975. A holiday in Gangtok will take you closer to nature with gushing waterfalls, pretty hilltop hotels and lustrous lakes in abundance.
More than sightseeing, we’d recommend you indulge the adventure junkie in you. From Yak Safaris to cable rides, paragliding and river rafting, there is a lot to do. Also don’t forget to gorge on the lip-smacking local delicacies such as dim sums, momos, kachis, etc.
Don’t forget to stroll through the very famous Laal Bazaar which houses authentic local artisans, ethnic wares and more.
One of the prettiest hill stations in south India, Coonoor certainly deserves a spot in your travel bucket list for summers. Rich in flora and fauna, Coonoor is the second largest hill station in the Nilgiri Hills after Ooty.
Some of the most popular tourist places in Coonoor include Dolphins Nose, Sim’s Park, Lambs Rock, St Catherine Falls. You can get a panoramic view of the tea and coffee plantations from Lamb’s Rock, post which you can move to Lady Canning's Seat to get a spectacular view of the Nilgiri Hills.
If you happen to visit Coonoor in May, you may also get to be a part of the annual fruit and vegetable festival which draws a huge crowd every year.
Head to Coonoor to switch off from the hustle and bustle of your dreary life and relax in the lap of nature.