The warm hearted hospitality amidst snow drizzles and the breathtaking beauty of the Himalayas mark the hill stations of North India. Travelling is liked by all because it is a source of fun, entertainment and relaxation. When it comes to North India, the following are definitely on the list:
Ladakh provides some of the most unforgettable experiences to a traveller. There are many reasons why one must always keep Ladakh on his/her travel destinations. Scenic beauty wouldbe the first reason. Located in the Himalayan range of Jammu and Kashmir, the Karakoram Mountains encapsulate it. The water bodies are crystal blue and variety of vegetation with streams and snow capped mountains engulf this beautiful place.
Moreover, no one can miss out pink tea in Ladakh. It is said that Ladakh is the only place in India where one can taste pink tea. It embodies a mixed taste of Tibetan, Nepali and Indian flavours.
Besides scenery and food, it also hosts a variety of festivals. But the best is the Masked Lamas Dance at Hemis festival. It also provides a lot of outdoor events to enjoy and relish during the stay. Trekking can be to different destinations like peaks and monasteries. The lakes here are extremely serene and breathtaking. View More >
Tawang has some special spots that are a must-go-to destinations. For example, the Tawang Monastery which is Asia’s second largest monastery. Then there is the Sela Pass which is one of the highest motorable passes at an altitude of 13,700 ft. Then, coming to falls, there is the Nurannang Waterfalls which is around 2 km away from the town of Jang.
Another fascinating element to witness is the Monpa Tribe. Food in Tawang is equally famous. It is based on Yak milk, soya bean, buckwheat, maize etc. The local cuisines here are a pure delight. Moreover, fairs and festivals have always been integral in this hill station.
Coming to Darjeeling, one simply cannot turn away his/her eye from the views of the Himalayas. It offers one some breath taking panoramic angles. Moreover one can never deny its charm related to tea. Whether black, milk or any delicate flavour, it has it all. Apricots and toasted nuts add the charm to it.
Darjeeling also provides the essence of Britain. A few colonial style hotels are there that offer traditional British fare like cheese and pickle sandwiches, Victoria sponge and Darjeeling tea. Food here is delicious. Right from Dosa to spectacular salad. However, the common favourite is the Tibetan Thukpa.
Gangtok is a charming hill station. It is surrounded by beautiful scenery as it has the stunning views of the snow-capped Mount Kanchenjunga. It is also a good place to visit the different Buddhist monasteries, high-altitude based lakes as well as passes. Some known monasteries are Enchey and Rumtek.
A famous lake is the Tsomgo Lake located at an altitude of 12,000 feet! Besides, it also has absolutely pleasant weather. The Nathu La Pass is also a famous attraction spot here.
Panchmarhi is the only hill station of one of the most visited travel destinations in Madhya Pradesh. It is mostly preferred by people to be visited in summer and Monsoon season. It has a historical lineage that will boost one up to think of the ancient line. Like it houses one of the tallest waterfalls in India.
There are also ancient caves that were once inhabited by the Pandavas of the Mahabharata fame. Among the falls, Rajat Prapat or Big Fall is Panchmarhi’s tallest waterfall. This 106 m high waterfall is definitely one of the best sightseeing places in Pachmarhi. The Pandava Cave as well as the Bada Mahadev Cave Temple both are also quite well-known.
While the Nanda Devi and the 800 years old Katarmal temple showcase the traditions of the hills, the colourful fairs of Jageshwar and Kasar Devi are reflections of simple yet beautiful lifestyle. While the Govind Ballabh Pant museum is a treasure house of Apen folk paintings, the cave paintings of Phulaseema exhibit the daily chores, dancing human beings, animals and reptiles of the Stone Age.
The pine trees of Simtola or the first rays of the sun over the snow capped Himalayas at the Bright End Corner are emblems of the breathtaking beauty of Almora. Trekking, bird watching, shopping the fur offer Angora clothes are other must do activities here.
While the Naina Devi temple is considered to be the most sacred place at Nainital, the St. John Church in the Wilderness is an example of Neo-Gothic style of architecture with stained Belgian glass windows. Naini Lake, at the heart of Nainital is an ideal picnic spot with its picturesque location and boating facilities.
Witness the sun set behind the mountains, spreading its soft glow over the river here. Naina Peak, at 2615 metres is the highest point in Nainital, offering an awestrucking view of Nainital valley, while the Tiffin Top offers magical views of the snow cladded Himalayas. The Snow View PointBe at the Pt. G.B. Pant High Altitude Zoo to view the endangered species of snow leopards, Himalayan bears and Tibetan wolves, while the Kilbury Bird Sanctuary is home to 240 species of avian life.
Chamba Valley, Himachal Pradesh
While the Shikara temples of Chamba Valley exhibit astonishing stone architecture, the Brajeswari temple narrates the glorious tales of Princess Chamba through colourful paintings.
Visit the Bhuri Singh Museum for classic miniature paintings and murals of Rang Mahal. The Lama Dal is enchanting and sacred, while the Pangi Valley, nestled between the Pir Panjal and the Zanskar Range is the best place to spend some time just by yourself.
Boost your adrenaline with water sports at the Chamera Lake or enjoy picnic with your loved ones near the Katasan Devi temple. The Ghadasaru Lake is another amazing creation of nature with its blue waters.
Kullu-Manali, Himachal Pradesh
Experience a natural bliss with a dip into the holy waters of Jogini Falls or be at the Gauri Shankar temple to feel the tranquillity of nature. Fall in love with nature at the deodar jungles, apple orchards and snow capped mountains of Kullu Valley while the snow blanket of Khoksar fulfils your purpose to be at here.
Step in the dense forest of deodar, maple, fir, walnut and willow trees of Manali wildlife sanctuary, to witness curious herds of musk deer and ibexes, brown bears and snow leopards. The sweet chirps of monal, tree creepers, snow pigeon, kokla and kingfishers break the tensed silence of the woods. If you love thrill, Manali gifts you with water sports, trekking, mountaineering and skiing opportunities.
Mount Abu, Rajasthan
A hill station amidst deserts, Mount Abu is a special creation of nature. The Dilawara styled marble Jain temples of Mount Abu is a Jain pilgrimage, while the Brahma Kumari Spiritual University spreads the message of peace and love worldwide. While interesting legends envelope the Achaleshwar Mahadeva temple, the Adha Devi temple is a treasure of adorable statues. The Nakki Lake and the coniferous trees is a spectacular sight at this barren land.
Gulmarg is a beautiful destination in Jammu and Kashmir which one might visit with family and friends.The upper side of Mt. Apharwat houses the two phases of Gulmarg gondola. There are also three pomas in the same range. You can also find a quad chairlift! The Gulmarg gondola which has recently been constructed within a span of five years is over 20 years old in reality. The cable car ride known as Gulmarg Gondola is the second highest Gondola in the world.
What to say about Srinagar!It is a place of mindblowing beauty! The gardens here date back to the Mughal era, starting from Shalimar Baghto Nishant Mughal Garden. There is also the historic Pari Mahal. We cannot forget the NaseemBagh Garden as well which looks absolutely spectacular during Fall/Autumn. Next are the lakes, whether the Dal or the Nigeen. Enjoying rides on boats in the Shikara is another joyful experience.
The most interesting tourist spot in Pahalgam would be Betaab Valley which was actually popularised by the Bollywood film. It is the best to visit during May when spring plays with its greenery and lushness. Another place would be the Aru village and Valley. It has pony rides available. There can be a number of adventurous rides for example paragliding, river-crossing etc here.
When you speak of Manali, Manali is an entirely new and unique getaway. For all adventurous ones out here, Manali is for you! It lies nestled on the banks of the Beas River in the Himalayas. Skiing and trekking are absolutely central attractions here. Some famous passes like the Rohtang lies here.
Spiti Valley provides stunningly beautiful high mountains. Over centuries, the melting snow has eroded these mountains and created rock structures which are marvellous. The entire valley is a delight for photography and the landscape is unfathomably beautiful.
The Mall Road is Shimla’s main street. It is home to the Christ Church and markets operate from the vintage colonial buildings. There is the Observatory Hill or the old Viceroy Lodge as wll which perhaps is one of the oldest structures in Shimla. No one can miss out Jakhoo Hills, which is Shimla’s highest point with a Hanuman Temple on top. The Heritage Walks in Shimla are also worth experiencing.
Dharamshala is His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s very own place because he made Mcleodganj in Dharamshala his home. When it comes to natural beauty, Dharamshala has heavy snowfall every year. This place is ideal for trekking and rock-climbing. One cannot miss out Mcleodganj when talked of Dharamshala. It is the place that the Great Lama made his home.
Dalhousie is also known as ‘summer retreat of the country’. It is a place of picturesque natural beauty, rich history, sports etc. Some of the getaway spots are Chamera, Panchpula, Khajjiar (the Switzerland of India), Chamba etc.
Kufri is famous for its trekking and hiking trails. Adventure-seeking travellers throng through it particularly in winters to get enthralled by skiing! Mahasu Peak is one important spot here. The Himalayan Nature Park is another important spot which has a collection of animals and birds found only in Himachal Pradesh.
In Kasauli, trekking is very famous. Taking the Gilbert Trail is also very adventurous in Kasauli. Toy Train rides, Tibetan Food and Kasauli Tibetan Market are other important attractions
Mussoorie has tranquil mountains. The scenic views from the top of the Kempty Falls are amazing! They are at an altitude of 4500 feet. Also, Mussoorie is the king of Mall Roads. One can also find the Landour Bazar here.
It is a quiet and less crowded place and a relatively undiscovered hill station. It is one of the closest hill stations from the Delhi NCR region and is a perfect weekend getaway. It has a rich military history and old buildings of British architecture. For its quietness, it is a preferred and perfect destination for a lazy holiday.
Kasauni has all-the-year-round pleasant weather. It also has easy connectivity from Delhi. It is a quick weekend getaway from Delhi and is full of pristine beauty. It is also a trekker’s paradise. When in Kasauni, one cannot fail to camp under the starry skies. Moreover, winter here is like heaven. Lastly, it is also a favourite spot for bird lovers.
Auli is a beautiful spot as a travel destination. It has some famous spots like GursoBugyal, KwaniBugyal, Chenab Lake and Trishul Peak. It is a place of breathtaking beauty where the wind is amazingly soft and weather amazingly pleasant.
In Ranikhet, Jhula Devi Temple and the Ashiyana Park are other popular spots. The temple has some hundreds of tinking bells which arouse you to spirituality! The jungle themed Ashiyana Park is also famous as it is in the heart of the town and is perfect for children to get entertained. It is also called as the Deodhar Udyan.
Bir Billing is famous as the Paragliding capital of the world and for its Tibetan monasteries! There is a huge community of Tibetan refugees in the village. The good thing is that it is not crowded so one can feel the tranquillity about this place! It is also not exploited as Manali, Shimla etc.
So hurry, pack your bags and get out on your journey to any of these beautiful places. Hill stations of North India hence welcome you in a world of sublime beauty, where you will love to stay forever.