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Visit to a Hill Station

Discussion in 'Travel advice' started by Manju, Jul 23, 2016.

  1. Manju

    Manju New Member

    My relatives are coming from abroad to India, and they would like to go to a hill station. They have never been to a hill station and have always just heard about them from the movies and want to know and experience what it's like being at a hill station.

    We live in Delhi and want some recommendations to visit a hill station which our relatives would like. We have no restrictions on where to go in India, so all hill station suggestions are welcome.

  2. Dhruv

    Dhruv Member

    You have mentioned that there are no restrictions on where you can travel to, but some idea would be good. You are from Delhi so it would be a good idea to give some indication to how far you are willing to travel?

  3. arunava basu

    arunava basu New Member

    You can go for famous hill stations like Ooty or Kodai kanal or simla, Kullu nad Manali and even almora or ranikhet etc. but I wold say you visit lesser known places like kalimpong, which is just in the laps of mount Kanchenjangha and Lava and Lolegaon, two beautiful and serene hill resorts are very close o Kalimpong. It will be a different experience and I assure you it will be a trip of a life time. Mount Kanchenjangha is visible 24*7 from kalimpong. You can reach here from Siliguri or new jalpaiguri via Kolkata. Anither place you can opt for is a trip to Bhutan. It will be the ultimate experience.
  4. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello, @Manju! Welcome to the forum!

    There are many hill stations in India. On one side, you have the popular ones and on the other, the lesser known ones. Hill stations are a popular summer getaway to escape the heat of the cities in the country. Aside from that, there are lots of things you can do in these hill stations. Alternatively, you can just enjoy the view and relax on your next hill station destination. Here's a list of the most popular hill stations in India:

    1. Shimla - There's no better way to start this list than with the "Queen of Hill Stations." That is Shimla, the largest city in the state of Himachal Pradesh. The British were so captivated by this hill station's beauty that they made it their summer capital. It's no wonder why, with its pleasant climate all-year round and the alluring beauty of its landscapes. Here are some of the best attractions in Shimla:
    • Jakhoo Hill - This is the highest peak in Shimla, at about 8,000 feet above sea level. It is located just 2 kms away from the city centre. You can also find the Jakhoo Temple in here, which houses a large statue of Hanuman. The trek to reach the peak is about 30 minutes long so bring your own water and snacks before hiking the mountain.
    • The Ridge - This is located in the heart of Shimla so you won't have a problem going here. This place is best known for its fairs and festivals. The best known festival here is the Summer Festival held annually during the month of April or May. The Christ Church is another famous attraction here. It has a Neo Gothic style of architecture. Aside from that, The Ridge connects the city to other attractions far from the hub of the region.
    • The Shimla State Museum - This museum can be found at the top of Mount Pleasant. This contains not only the artefacts of the state of Himachal Pradesh, but also of the other regions in the country.
    • Summer Hill - This is about 5 kms from Shimla. It is part of the seven hill cluster and offers picturesque views of the surroundings. Apart from that, the Indian Institute of Advanced Study and Himachal Pradesh University can also be found nearby.
    • Annandale - This is about 4 kms from Shimla. This used to be the grounds for cricket and polo watching by the British. Now, it's where sports and army parade activities are done.
    • Chadwick Falls - This is located about 7 kms from Shimla. The falls are at a height of 1,586 metres above sea level. From Summer Hill, you can walk to the falls, for about 45 minutes. All around the falls, there are thick Deodar and Pine trees which add to the freshness of the location.

    2. Ooty - You can find this in the Nilgiri mountain range in Tamil Nadu. This is also one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. Just because of that, the centre of this hill station is in bad shape and can get super crowded. It's still worth a visit though, especially if you plan to visit its most remote attractions:
    • Botanical Gardens - You can find this in the slopes of Doddabetta Peak. There's a lot of walking involved if you visit this garden so be prepared for that. However, the wide variety of plants and flowers in the gardens make up for it.
    • Avalanche Lake - This is about 28 kms from the centre of Ooty. All around the lake, you'll see flowers like orchids, magnolias and rhododendrons. You can try boating here or even angling. For the more adventure tourists, they set up their own tents and stay for the night in the banks of the lake.
    • Government Rose Gardens - You can find this in the slopes of Elk Hill. There's about 20,000 varieties of flowers in here. You can even find roses in unusual colours here like black and green.
    • Mudumalai National Park - Several endangered animal species like the Indian elephant, Bengal tiger and gaur reside in this sanctuary. This also has the highest tiger density out of all the national parks in the country. You can spot 1 tiger for every 8.67 square kilometres.

    3. Darjeeling - This hill station is located about 2,050 metres above sea level. It's probably best known for its tea estates scattered all around the region. Some attractions here are:
    • Singalila National Park - This national park houses several endangered animals like the red panda and Himalayan black bear. Bird watchers can also enjoy this national park for the wide variety of birds here. You can even opt to stay in the park as they offer lodging facilities for guests.
    • Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park - This is the largest high altitude zoo in the country, at about 2,134 metres above sea level. This park is also well-known for its conservation programs for the red panda and the snow leopard.
    • Tiger Hill - This is one of the few peaks in the country where you can see the peak of Mount Everest. Aside from that, you can also see the peak of the Kanchenjunga Mountain here. En route to the top, you'll pass by a lot of tea plantations.
    • Near Valley National Park - The endangered red panda resides in this national park. Aside from that, the elusive snow leopard also lives in here, though it might be hard to spot them.

    4. Kodaikanal - This is dubbed as the "Princess of Hill Stations." The rare Kurunji flower can be spotted in this hill station. Some attractions here are:
    • Berijam Lake - You would need a permit to enter this lake. And aside from that, only a limited number of visitors are permitted to visit each day up to 3:00 pm. This is the home to a wide variety of plants and animals. That's why there's a curfew to what time the visitors can visit as snakes, panthers and bisons reside nearby the lake.
    • Coaker's Walk - The phenomenon called "Brocken Spectre" can be seen here. It's where your shadow is cast on the clouds that surround the area. It's a one kilometre walk so even the elderly can enjoy it.
    • Kodaikanal Lake - This is a star-shaped lake with boating facilities for guests. You might also be able to spot some migratory birds near the lake.
    • Bryant Park - With its wide variety of flowers, this is a relaxing park in Kodaikanal. About 740 species of roses and 340 species of trees can be found here.

    5. Munnar - This hill station is located about 1,700 metres above sea level. The entire hill station is full of lush greenery, tea plantations and even protected areas. Some attractions here are:
    • Atukkad Waterfalls - This is about 2 kms away from the centre of Munnar. You'd have to drive through narrow roads to reach the falls though. It's worth it once you reach the waterfalls and get to enjoy its cold water and beautiful surroundings.
    • Eravikulam National Park - This is the first national park in Kerala. The largest population of the Nilgiri Tahr, about 750 in numbers, reside here. Leopards and tigers also reside in the park. Just recently, a new species of frog was found here named the "resplendent shrub frog."
    • Echo Point - Aside from being the home of the rare Kurunji flower, there's also a phenomenon here where you can here your own voice after shouting, hence the name.

    Now, here are some offbeat hill stations in India:

    1. Chikhaldara - This unknown hill station is found in the Maharashtra state. Here, there are a lot of national parks and sanctuaries to explore. It's also important to note that the coffee industry here is thriving. Some attractions to see are:
    • Gugamal National Park - This national park is part of the Melghat Tiger Reserve. The Bengal tiger resides here as well as the Indian leopard. Other species of animals living here are: sambar, gaur and sloth bear.
    • Chikhaldara Wildlife Sanctuary - There are about 750 species of plants alone in this sanctuary. Panthers, sambars and sloth bears are common sightings here as well.
    • Gavilgadh Fort - This fort was featured in the Mahabharata, it's where Bheema killed Keechaka and then threw him into the valley. Now, it's a part of the Melghat Tiger Reserve.
    • Panchbol Point - From the name, voice here echoes five times. It's one of the most popular attractions in Chikhaldara.

    2. Chopta - This is about 40 kms away from Gopeshwar. It is located about 2,900 metres above sea level. Some attractions here are:
    • Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary - The endangered Himalayan musk deer can be found here. This is also the largest protected area in the Western Himalayas. Other animals you might spot here are: the Himalayan black bear, yellow-throated marten and jackal.
    • Kanchula Korak Musk Deer Sanctuary - The Himalayan musk deer also resides here. You might also see the wide variety of plants around the sanctuary.
    • Tungnath Shiva Temple - This is the highest Shiva temple in the world. This is also over 1,000 years old already and has some relations to the Pandavas. It is very small in size and can accommodate 10 people or less only.

    3. Kalimpong - Perhaps this is one of the quietest hill stations you might encounter. Here, you'll find the best nurseries producing orchids, gladioli and other varieties of flowers. Some attractions in the region are:
    • Durpin Dara and Durpin Monastery - The monastery is located in the Durpin Dara hills. On the peak, you'll see the amazing views of the valley below. The Durpin Monastery was constructed in 1972 by Dudjum Rimponche. Inside, you'll find the are Buddhist manuscripts called the Kangyur, which were given by the Dalai Lama himself when he visited the monastery.
    • Mangal Dham - This temple is dedicated to Guruji Shri Mangal Dasji Maharaj. There's a samadhi of Guruji Shri Mangal Dasji Maharaj in the ground floor of the temple.
    • Deolo Hill - There are several viewpoints here to see the Kanchenjunga Range. You can also enjoy the restaurants as they serve delectable food. There's also some lodging facilities here for guests.
    • University Nursery - This is located about 3 kms from the city centre of Kalimpong. Some of the plants seen here are: Cactus, Orchids, Amaryllis and Succulents.

    There you go. I hope this little list helps! Let me know if you have any more queries. Good luck!
  5. rootle

    rootle Member

    There are several hill stations near Delhi. Mussoorie and Nainital are both pretty good and close to Delhi. The others that are mentioned by other people are also pretty great. One that wasn't mentioned is Gangtok in Sikkim. I went there once and though I don't hear of people going there often, it's pretty great. There's a lot of amazing scenery and trekking to do nearby. There are some Buddhist monasteries you can visit nearby as well. Since your relatives are coming from abroad, they may be more interested in going to a Buddhist Monastery than the colonial buildings you find at most hill stations.
    If you don't mind travelling far, Ooty and Munnar are great options in South India.