The top hill stations in India you should not miss is filled with beautiful hills and valleys, tea plantations and coffee bushes, the ones that are covered by snow and also the ones that are so rocky that they look like white deserts. India is known to have different types of soil and hence different kinds of hill stations.
Auli (Uttarakhand): Auli is a new-comer to the list of popular hill stations in India. It receives heavy snowfall from December to February whereas April to September experience more comfortable temperatures. Auli offers one of the best ski resorts in India and is a great place to go trekking or to just experience the breathtaking views of the great Himalayan ranges. The best time for Auli holiday packages is May to October and December to march to feel the snow.
Coorg (Karnataka): Coorg is all about green hills, green-carpeted valleys, and numerous plantations of coffee, vanilla, pepper and ginger. The local food is really delicious but a little spicy. Wildlife and waterfalls in Coorg rank high on the popularity index with tourists.
Darjeeling (West Bengal): Darjeeling, is located in the Himalayan ranges. People visit Darjeeling for its world-famous teas and to spot Mount Kanchenjunga, the world's third-highest peak. Darjeeling gets snow-fall every winter.
Munnar (Kerala): Munnar is one of the most captivating places to visit in India. At Munnar, you will be surrounded by endless hills covered with bright green tea bushes, with women picking tea leaves. Munnar is very popular for its elephants, lakes and waterfalls. It gets pretty cold in winter.
Gulmarg (Kashmir): The 'Path of Roses', Gulmarg is very popular with tourists because of its scenic beauty and winter sports. With lots of gentle, snow-covered slopes to go around, skiing and snowboarding are the favourite activities here. Gulmarg gets very cold in winter. However, summer temperatures are very comfortable and the area gets covered by many species of wildflowers, adding to its Beauty.
Nainital (Uttarakhand): Nainital is also referred to as the Lake Capital of India. Nainital is famous for its boating exploration in many lakes, treks like Nainital-Binyak trek and Nainital-Kainchi, ropeway rides and zoos. Shopping in Mall Market and Tibetan market is a unique experience, one that is filled with shawls, woollens, wooden wares and candles.
Shimla (Himachal Pradesh): Shimla has been the most classic hill station in India since time immemorial. With its British colonial charm with ancient stone buildings and cafes that serve coffees and baked treats, Shimla doesn't fail to delight its visitors. One of the best things to do in Shimla is the Shimla-Kalka toy train ride.
Dalhousie (Himachal Pradesh): Dalhousie is an integral part of the foothills of the Himalayas. The town has an impressive British as well as Tibetan influence and its charm enhances with the food, culture and architecture. Some of the best tourist spots in Dalhousie include Khajjar, Chamera Lake, Ganji Pahari, Kalatop Wildlife Reserve and Chamba town.
Shillong: Shillong is a brilliant burst of colours, a town located in the North-east of India. With some of the most amazing waterfalls called the Elephant Falls, and a lake that is right out of fairytales. You must visit Shillong Peak, Laitlum Canyon, Ward's Lake, Lady Hydari Park and churches.
Ooty: Ooty, a hill station in the state of Tamil Nadu, is a fusion of tea gardens and lakes. Lake Ooty, the most famous lake here is a manmade marvel. There is also Pykara Lake, Glen Morgan Tea Estates, Doddabetta Peak and Toda village for visitors to see. Treks and hikes up in the hills of Ooty are quite famous. A ride on the Nilgiri toy train is a must and also a visit to the Government Botanical and Rose Garden.
Manali: This could be one of the first names to come to mind when thinking of hill stations in North India. Manali is a very popular destination. With its grasslands and forests, flowers rolling down valleys and drizzle insight. Tourists prefer the hill station for honeymoons, summer getaways as well as for further treks up the many mountains that surround it.
And even if you just plan to chill and go around town, there is plenty to do. From ancient mountain temples, from viewpoints to mild trek, market cafes to romantic restaurants, Manali offers you all.
Leh-Ladakh: Leh is the capital of Ladakh, India's northernmost state that is now a Union Territory. With the rough rocky terrain and white deserts, Buddhist monasteries, Leh is a hill station like no other. It might not fulfil the usual criteria of "lush greens" and "pleasant colourful mountains," but is a unique hill station on its own. Leh has stunning landscapes that are as beautiful as they are barren, lakes that are crystal clear, and so blue that the sky reflects in it. You can have bowls of thukpa and momos and Maggi in the cold weather.
Mussoorie: Located in the Garhwal of Himalayas, Mussoorie is the gem of Uttrakhand that offers some of the most scenic landscapes. It is lovingly termed as the queen of hills and shows you a good time in whichever month of the year you choose to visit. Honeymooners visit here, especially during the December to March wedding season. But there are also families, couples and friend groups on a getaway in summer, explorers visit to enjoy the natural beauty and photographers come to capture the magnificent Himalayas.
Mcleod Ganj & Dharamsala: Mcleod Ganj & Dharamsala is a blend of British and Tibetan cultures. Dharamsala hosts tourists interested in the mountains and mountain towns as well as those who are curious about the Tibetan culture. Mcleod Ganj is a great place to get yummy English, Italian, Continental and French food, watch Indie bands perform in unusual cafes. Dharamsala has many Tibetan museums, markets, shops etc. Both towns become the base for higher trekking.
Kasol: Situated on the bank of River Parvati, Kasol is a newly emerging hill station in Himachal. It is so pleasant and scenic in the natural element that many call it the 'Amsterdam of India.' So if you are looking for a far-out hill station to holiday then Kasol is your answer.
Lonavla: Lonavala is a hill station that is crowded with tourists all year round. Lonavala is known for its Lion and Tiger Points, its Bushi Dam, luxury resorts and the world-famous chikki. The crunchy candied snack is made in a variety of nuts like cashews, peanuts, almonds etc. Some old mountain temples, hills around also gives trekking opportunities. Lonavala is also actively busy during the monsoon months.