Let your this summer vacation be away from the madding crowd – where there is only solitude, peace, nature and you.
1. Tirthan Valley, Himachal Pradesh
Perched at an altitude of over 1600 meters above sea level, the riverside retreat of Tirthan is an adventure-centric getaway blessed with a wealth of nature’s treasures. Located in the Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh, Tirthan Valley derives its name from the Tirthan river, which winds its way through it. River crossing in the Tirthan Valley is an adventure sport for people who are looking for some adrenaline rush in the quiet valley. It is a place that will quench your thirst for amazing wildlife and fishing.
2. Chikhaldara, Maharashtra
Chikhaldara in Maharashtra is pretty and interesting, a more relaxing and practically unexplored, hidden hill station destination instead of exhilarating like Tawang or even Pelling. Places of interest include Kitchakdari and Shakkar lakes, Gawilghur Fort, the temples around, the wildlife museum and of course, the view points. There’s also a tiger sanctuary.
3. Auli, Uttarakhand
Auli is one of the less explore hill stations in India. Auli, located in the northern state of Uttarakhand, is a new entrant in the tourist map of India. Located in the cradle of snow-capped mountains, Auli is one of the very few places in India where skiing is a major pastime. Gradually Auli is growing like other hill stations in India. The bitter cold winds, the vast snow-covered landscape, the sylvan mountains, all add up to make Auli a skier’s paradise.
4. Pelling, Sikkim
Nestled in nature’s lap, in West of Sikkim, Pelling is a cultural extravaganza and a serene hideout at the same time. It is a lovely hill station that must feature in your Sikkim tour itinerary. Take out a day or two to explore its beauty and attractions. Pelling is base camp for a number of interesting trekking routes, so it sees a fair share of mountaineers. But other than that for the regular visitor to a Sikkim hill station, there is the monastery, a couple of really pretty waterfalls and of course the famous Khecheopalri Lake.
5. Barog, Himachal Pradesh
Amidst the mighty Himalayan ranges, away from the crowd and hustle bustle of famous destinations lies a quiet little village called Barog. It is regarded as one of the most scenic hill stations in Himachal Pradesh. With a small population and less tourists, this place is the best getaway! Barog’s attractions include the railway station (4 km) which is perhaps the most attractive one on the kalka Shimla Railway line and also has the longest tunnel which is over a kilometer long.
6. Kausani, Uttarakhand
Kausani is a hill station and Village situated in Bageshwar district in the state of Uttarakhand, India. It is famous for its scenic splendour and its spectacular 300 km-wide mesmerizing view of Himalayan peaks like Trisul, Nanda Devi and Panchchuli. Mahatma Gandhi called this place the ‘Switzerland of India’ due to similarity in landscapes.
7. Yercaud, Tamilnadu
Yercaud is a beautiful hill station in Salem district of Tamil Nadu and is located in the Shevaroy range of hills in the Eastern Ghats at an altitude of 1515 m. This is one of the less explored hill resorts and also cheaper summer destinations among the Hill stations of South India. Some of the best places to visit in Yercaud are Emerald Lake, Anna Park, Lady’s Seat, Shevaroy Temple, Small Lake, Pagoda Point, Killiyur Falls and Botanical Garden. Yercaud is a picturesque hill stations on the Eastern Ghats and trekking here can be one of the most pleasurable experiences.
8. Agumbe, Karnataka
Agumbe is a hill station located in the Shimoga district in the state of Karnataka where you can experience wonderful sunsets, verdant village vistas, glistening streams, and lofty hills. Agumbe is one of lesser known hill station in India. If you are and about thrill and adventures, then Agumbe is the perfect destination for you with fascinating trekking routes. It is also known as ‘Cherrapunji of South India’ due to heavy rainfall. Sunset point, Kunchikal Falls, Barkana Falls, Onake Abbi Falls, Jogigundi and Kodlu Theertha Falls are the major attractions in Agumbe.
9. Chikmagalur, Karnataka
Chikkamagaluru (also known as Chikmagalur) is one of the cute hill stations in Karnataka state. It lies at an altitude of 3,400 feet at the foothills of Mulliyangiri range in the south-western part of Karnataka and the city belongs to the Malnad region of Karnataka. The Yagachi River is originated from the surrounding hills. It is one of the most amazing tourist places in Karnataka. It is also famous for coffee and is known as the coffee land of Karnataka. It is the place where coffee was cultivated for the first time in India. It is very less visited compared to Coorg and mostly attracts trekkers due to several beautiful peaks spread around the region.
10. Idukki, Kerala
Idukki is one of the most beautiful districts in south India, but it still hasn’t been overrun by tourists, so you can get there ahead of the crowd. The views are great, you get there by driving through forests – there will be signs telling you to watch out elephants by the side of the road – and of course, there is the dam and lake once you get there apart from the general scenic beauty.
11. Daringbadi, Odisha
Daringbadi of Kandhamal district in Orissa is a region of rich cultural heritage. Its historical background can be traced from the fact that the travelers of medieval history were very much familiar with the Ghats of Kandhamal. It is widely known as “Kashmir of Odisha”, situated at a height of 3000 ft or 915 m in Kandhmal district,the place has pine jungles, coffee gardens and beautiful valleys. Daringbadi is set in a beautiful spot surrounded by thick rain forests with wild animals, and is a popular summer resort.
12. Ponmudi, Kerala
A shutterbug’s dream, Ponmudi looks like it’s straight out of a postcard! Famous for its dramatic sunrises, the hills around Ponmudi complete the perfect picture. Located in the Thiruvananthapuram district, this little hill station is over run by tea gardens. The river Kallar, with its crystal clear waters, runs through the town, its fresh water springs topping the must-do charts. There’s also a deer park, a wildlife sanctuary and a biological park for your amusement. A short excursion and you’re at Meenmutti Falls, perfect for a picnic day out.
13. Khati, Uttarakhand
One of the least known summer holiday destinations in India, Khati can be reached by trekking. Plush greenery, quaint locales and sparse population makes this small hamlet a paradise of untouched natural beauty. Khati village is located on Pindari Glacier Trek and it is the last inhabited village on the way to Pindari Glacier. Kharkiya is the last road to Khati and one needs to trek from here. The trail is lined with beautiful blend of rhododendrons and oak forests.
14. Chopta, Uttrakhand
Uttarakhand is known for its best hill stations in India, but Chopta is not the most popular among them. This is good for those who want to be far from the madding crowd. Chopta is an excellent destination for those who like serious trekking – it serves as base for treks to both Tungnath and Chandrashila. You can expect the same views that you would from the better known hill stations, but without the annoyances. Sounds good, doesn’t it!
15. Coonoor, Tamil Nadu
Coonoor is one of the three Nilgiri hill stations – Ooty, Kotagiri and Coonoor – that sit high above the southern plains. Smaller and quieter than Ooty, it has some fantastic heritage hotels and guesthouses, from which you can do exactly the same things (hike, visit tea plantations, marvel at mountain views) you would do from bigger, busier Ooty.