Most Beautiful Hill Stations Near Delhi
Our national capital Delhi, goes through some pretty hot and intense summers. At such times, a quick escape to the wonderful hills, lush green forests and gurgling streams up north seem to be the only redeeming factor and a welcome one at that! India is blessed with beautiful Himalayan territory in the North and hence, with Delhi being such a busy, populated and congested city, most people take off to these beautiful hill stations to beat the heat. The best time to visit these places is either from March to May, when the weather is cool and pleasant or from November to February when it is cold and in some places, snowing.
Given below are few of the very popular hill stations located within 500 kms from Delhi and easy enough to travel to for a short 3-4 day holiday. Each of these amazing hill stations are easily accessible by bus, train or taxi from Delhi as well as some other cities located close by.
Nestled in Doon Valley on the foothills of the Himalayas, between the river Ganga on the east and Yamuna on the west, Dehradun is a city in the state of Uttarakhand. Formerly known as Dehra during the British Raj, this city is well known for its mild and pleasant climate, as it is located at an elevation of 1434 feet above sea level, as well as it’s scenic surroundings. Located at a distance of about 236 kms from Delhi, Dehradun is well connected to several other tourist destinations in the Himalayas, like Mussoorie, Auli, Rishikesh and Haridwar. At Dehradun, one can enjoy the various picturesque sights, some trekking and several wildlife tours.
Dehradun also has a number of other attractions for tourists, like the Robber’s Cave, Tapkeshwar Temple, Lacchiwala Picnic Spot, the Dehradun Zoo, Rajaji National Park, Central Braille Press and lots more.
Lansdowne in Uttarakhand state is another hill station which is very close to Delhi, at around 250 km and can be reached from there by road as well as by train. This wonderfully scenic location, situated at an altitude of 5,686 feet, is surrounded by oak and blue pine trees and driving through these, is an experience never to forget. Previously known as Kaludanda (black hill in Garhwali), Lansdowne is one of the quietest hill stations of India which is very well maintained by the Government and Garhwal Rifles and has been very popular ever since the British reign. Activities like trekking, bird watching, mountaineering, boating, paddling etc. are very looked forward to here.
Some of the more popular attractions here are the Tip n Top viewpoint, the War Memorial at the Parade Ground of the Garhwal Rifles Centre, the most visited Hindu Temple of Kaleshwar Mahadev, the Santoshi Mata Temple, the Bhullatal Lake, St. Mary’s Church and amazing views of the hills and valleys.
Situated at a distance of 290 km from Delhi, Mussoorie is a beautiful hill station in the foothills of the Garhwal Himalayan range of the northern state of Uttarakhand and just about 35 km away from Dehradun. With an average elevation of 6,580 feet, Mussoorie, also known as the ‘Queen of hill stations’, is blessed with spectacular views of the Himalayan snow ranges to the Northeast and the Doon Valley and Shiwalik ranges to the south. This town with its magnificent and misty hills attracts huge tourist traffic despite its rapid urbanization. Tourists can enjoy trekking, nature walks, sight-seeing or have some fun shopping on Mall Road.
Some of the other attractions in Mussoorie are St.Mary’s Church which is the oldest Christian church in the Himalayas, the spectacular Kempty Falls, the Bhatta Fall, the Mossy Fall surrounded by dense forests, the Nahata Estate which is the highest point in Mussoorie, Gun Hill, Lake Mist, Mussoorie Lake etc. amidst many others.
Nainital is another one of the very popular hill stations close to Delhi, at a distance of about 299 kms and with an elevation of 6890 feet. It is considered one of the shining diamonds of the Himalayan belt, owing to the magnificent landscape and invigorating climate. This city has 3 major lakes which play an integral role in keeping the atmosphere cool and pleasant all year round. With activities like boating in the lakes, horse riding along the ridges, trekking and enjoying the marvelous scenic backdrops, Nainital makes for a very enjoyable and rejuvenating holiday experience.
The other interesting attractions that one can take in are the Naini Peak, Nainital Lake, Tiffin Top, Snow view Point, Cave Garden, Naina Devi Temple, Mall Road, the High Altitude Zoo and plenty more.
A very popular and much-loved hill station in India, Shimla is located in Himachal Pradesh at a distance of around 350 kms from Delhi. Owing to the wonderful and pleasant weather conditions at this location, the British established this city in the dense forested Himalayas after they took control of this area in the year 1815 and declared it as the summer capital. The ancient colonial architecture of the buildings and beautiful churches, historic temples and the general beauty of this city with its lush forests and enchanting hills is a big favourite with tourists from all over and hence populated during the peak summer season. Holiday-goers can enjoy some picturesque sight-seeing, walk along the ridge, hiking, trekking, mountaineering and a delightful ride in the toy train.
Shimla’s famous attractions are the Ridge, Jakhu Temple, Kuthar Fort, Christ Church, Green Valley, Kufri, the Viceroy Lodge, the largest natural Ice Skating Rink, Mall Road and several others.
Earlier known as Bhagsu, Dharamshala is a captivating city in the upper stretch of the Kangra Valley, at a distance of about 475 kms from Delhi and is bordered with dense coniferous forests which mainly include Deodar Cedar trees. The spellbinding beauty, serenity and aura of this place is a huge draw for tourists from all over the world. In fact Dharamshala is the main centre for a major part of the Tibetan population who have made this place their home due to the presence of the Dalai Lama. This city has always been associated with Hinduism and Buddhism through the ages and hence many monasteries have been built here in the past. Dharamshala also has many beautiful tea gardens and is famous the world over for its different types of teas. Besides basking in the peace and tranquility of this place, one can enjoy monastery visits, temple visits, camping, trekking, heritage walks, mountain biking etc.
Dharamshala’s best attractions are the Kangra Fort, the Dalai Lama Temple Complex, Jwalamukhi Temple, Bhagsunag Falls, the Namgyal Monastery, Kareri lake and several others.
Picture Credits: Dehradun – Dehradun Hills Academy, Landsdowne – quora.com, Mussoorie – india.com, Nainital – bucketlistideas.com.au, Shimla – hoteldekho.com, Dharamshala – Travel Triangle