Best Hill Stations to Escape the Indian Summer

by Akhil Kalepu

Apr 29, 2017

Tea Plantation in Munnar, India © Dmytro Gilitukha | Dreamstime

Trends / Unique Itineraries & Tours

If you made the mistake of visiting India in the summer, take it as an opportunity to visit one of the country’s many hill stations, historic mountain towns popular for quick getaways. Several of them were sovereign princely states, temporary summer capitals or outposts of the British Raj, making them well connected by rail and plane. Here are six of the best ones to visit.


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Munnar, Kerala

This is a must see for tea enthusiasts. A longtime favorite, Munnar is known for its rolling hills filled with tea, originally planted nearly two centuries ago as part of Britain’s plan to break the Chinese monopoly.



Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir

Located in India’s northernmost state, Srinagar is called “The Land of Lakes and Gardens,” many designed by Mughal emperors. Lounging in a houseboat is a common weekend getaway for Indians, and if you’re a golfer, the town has several courses.



Darjeeling, West Bengal

Darjeeling is another center of tea production most known for the historic Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. Known as the “Toy Train,” this vintage railway is an intrinsic part of the region’s identity and a quintessential way to see India’s countryside.



Ooty, Tamil Nadu

This hill station was established as a summer retreat for British administrators, earning it the nickname “Snooty Ooty.” Today, it’s one of the most popular destinations for local travel for its expansive botanical gardens.



Manali, Himachal Pradesh

This breathtaking mountain town is located on the foothills of the Himalayas. Adventure tourists and backpackers should make this their basecamp before venturing out to see the glaciers, mountains and valleys.



Nainital, Uttarakhand

Nainital is located on a beautiful, emerald-color lake in the outer Himalayas. Relax among its natural splendors during the day and enjoy the restaurants and shopping along “The Mall” at night.



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