Summer is on and no matter how much we would like to go and bath under the sun to get that perfect tan and swim at the beach, we do get tired after a while. In moments like that, everyone loves to go off on vacations in countries that are colder. You have to know that if you are one of those people who need that kind of a holiday right now, India should be in your list. So to beat this sweltering heat, I have rounded up some of the top hill stations of India for you.

1. Shimla, Himachal Pradesh

Valleys of Shimla
Valleys of Shimla. Photo by Prashant Ram.

Shimla is the capital of Himachal Pradesh, and it’s the perfect place to go off for a vacation in summer. Shimla was the capital of the British during the summer season back in the colonial period.

Located at the height of 2200 m, Shimla is surrounded by ice-capped mountains and forests. But that does not mean that you will be devoid of any facilities whatsoever. It is by far, one of the cleanest cities in India. There are all kinds of shops here, even some famous brands like Woodland. Honeymoon couples and tourists swarm the city, and thus, there are a large number of accommodations available. So you can look forward to having a comfortable stay here.

There are a lot of things to see in Shimla besides enjoying the cold breeze and breathing in that fresh air. There are many temples here, some even older than a century. There is also a toy train going from Shimla to Kalka which you should board because the scenic beauty on the way is pleasing to the eyes.

2. Mussoorie, Uttarakhand

Hills in Mussoorie
Hills in Mussoorie. Photo by Paul Hamilton.

Mussoorie, also known as the Queen of the Hills, is situated in the foothills of the Himalayas, 2000 m above sea level. The place is truly resplendent.

Once you reach there, you will feel like you’re in a dream. Mountains and valleys surround you. There is a huge variety of flora and fauna in this city which only adds to its exquisite beauty.

There are a lot of things that you should check out when you visit this place. Some places that you cannot miss here include the Gun Hills which is the second highest hill here. You can also get a ropeway ride which will give you a bird’s eye view of the city. There is a beautiful resort called Cloud’s End which is made in the midst of thick deodar forests and attracts a lot of tourists. Other places of interest include Kempty Falls and Jharipani Fall.

3. Leh-Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir

If you want a hill station filled with adventure and adrenaline, look no further than Leh-Ladakh. Ladakh is a region in the state of Jammu & Kashmir, and Leh is a city in it but for almost a decade now, both the places have become synonymous with each other.

Leh-Ladakh is one of the coldest deserts in the world. Surrounded by the Himalayas and Tibetan monasteries set in the rugged mountainous areas, the place will not disappoint anyone who is a true adventurer at heart. There are many treks, trails and valleys here for you to explore. The lakes in this region with a deadly gorgeous view of high mountains in the background make it hard for any passer-by not to stop and take pictures.

It is the favourite destination for people who like to go on long road trips. So grab a bike or car and embark on a journey of your lifetime.

4. Manali, Himachal Pradesh

Manali is a valley located in the northern part of Himachal Pradesh. It is set on the Beas river, and just like Shimla, the place is full of natural magnificence. It is the hub of honeymoon couples and foreign tourists.

Manali is probably more visited than Shimla simply because it’s landscape makes you spellbound. It has a charm to it that will linger with you forever. One of the most visited places in Manali is Rohtang Pass which is a high mountain pass connecting two valleys. It is covered with snow throughout the year and thus, becomes the ideal place to visit in summer.

Besides this, Manali is famous for water sports like rafting, trekking, paragliding and zorbing. The city is also famous for its temples just like Shimla. A famous temple in Manali is the Hadimba Temple which was supposedly built in the early 14th century. Lately, there has also been news that you can now rent and stay in an igloo in Manali. How cool is that?

5. Nainital, Uttarakhand

Naini Lake
Naini Lake. Photo by Ankur Gulati.

Nainital is a popular hill station in India. Just like all other hill stations, Nainital is famous for its beautiful mountains and greenery. But it’s not just that which attracts tourists to this place.

Nainital is extremely famous for its lake. This lake, called as the Naini lake, is visited by hundreds of tourists every day. Seven hills surround the lake, and this makes it look like a piece of heaven. Besides this, the Naina Devi Temple in Nainital is also well-known. It is built at the top of a hill and dates back to many centuries.

There are heritage homes as well as hotels in the region where you can comfortably stay. For a calm and undisturbed getaway, Nainital is the place for you.

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