Hill stations are small towns established by English colonialists in Africa and India at a higher elevation than the surrounding valleys. Many times, hill stations were used as vacation homes or a way to escape the oppressive heat of these regions. India is blessed with plenty of hill stations, which are extremely popular for tourists. 

In fact, they still act as refuges from the scorching heat of the sun because of the cool and pleasant weather experienced due to higher altitude. Because of the nearby, treacherous landscapes, life at a hill station is very different from the cities. They allow you to get away from vehicles, the noisy neighborhoods and roads, and the big stores where items are easily available. These hill stations in India come as a relief to mind, body, and soul.

hill stations in india vijay s
Photo by Vijay S.


Ooty, also known as Udhagamandalam, is a scenic spot in the Nilgris district of Tamil Nadu. Unlike other places in Southern India that are hot and humid, Ooty is extremely pleasant and cool throughout the year. It is located in the blue mountains of the Western Ghats and attracts large numbers of admirers every year. Whether you are searching for diverse wildlife, soothing lakes, traditional houses, lush mountains, colorful flowers, or tea plantations, this hill station has everything you need for a great vacation. 


Shimla is known as the “Queens of Hills” and was once used as a summer capital in colonial India. In the present day, Shimla is the capital of Himachal Pradesh territory. Shimla has some awe-inspiring architecture, including the beautiful Viceregal Lodge. The local markets nearby are considered some of the best in the entire country. During the winter, the entire hill transforms into an ice rink. From snowball fights to ice skating to making a snowman, you can still experience the joys of winter even in the normally hot weather of India.  

tea plant sazeed taj
Photo by Sazeed Taj.

Shillong and Gangtok

Both Shillong and Gangtok are located in northeast India and are the capitals of Meghalaya and Sikkim, respectively. They are well-known for being some of the most breathtaking hill stations in India. Shilllong is often called the “Scotland of India” and has numerous lakes, rivers, and waterfalls to visit. It is also referred to as the “Abode of Clouds” since the clouds here touch the hill tops and make you feel as though you are in a fantasy world.  

Gangtok, on the other hand, offers one of the most picturesque views in all of India. The high, snow-capped peaks of Kanchenjunga are visible, and it’s a spot where you can sit and take a deep breath or two while you enjoy the natural splendor. 

lake sandeep kr yadav
Photo by Sandeep Kr Yadav.


“Wow” is probably the only word the can define Ladakh. Classified as a cold desert, it is the highest plateau in the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir. The cultural lifestyles of the people here are influenced by Tibet more than those from southern India. Ladakh is without any doubt one of the most stunning areas of India. The mountain ranges and the crystal clear lakes are sights to behold. Leh is the most famous town in Ladakh and Kargil, which is where the Kargil War of 1999 took place. Most of all, Ladakh acts as spiritual center for locals, an adventure-filled location for hikers and bikers, and a lovely beach holiday destination for families, couples, and individuals. 

Lonavala and Khandala

Lonavala is a hill station located in the Pune district of India. Khandala, another hill station nearby, and Lonavala are often called “twin sisters” since they are similar in design. The many forts and caves in the area suggest that an ancient civilization might have called this place home at one time in the far past. Because of its proximity to Mumbai, many photography and film shoots take place here. 

Thinking about taking a vacation in India? Here are some regions you might want to consider visiting.

Header photo by Srivatsan.