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North India – Top 10 Incredibly Scenic Hill Stations

The eastern strip of North India lies on the foothills of the Himalayas. It is a region of pristine beauty. Snow capped mountains, glacial lakes, and stunning valleys are the prime attractions that have attracted tourists from far and wide. While winters are often snow-covered, the summer months bring a splash of colors in the verdant valleys. North India is dotted with numerous hill stations where you can explore and absorb this gift of nature. These hill stations attract visitors of all ages and interests — backpackers, families, and honeymoon couples. In this blog, we will list 10 of the most popular hill stations of North India.

 

10. Nainital

Nainital

Nainital is located in the North Indian state of Uttarakhand. It is situated in the Kumaon Foothills of the Himalayas, at an elevation of 2084 m above sea level. The name Naini comes from the Naina Devi Temple; tal in the local language means lake. It is in reference to the pear-shaped lake that forms the prime attraction of the region. The lake is surrounded by mountains on all sides thus creating a stunning view from the top. While most people enjoy boating on the lake, the more adventurous venture out trekking on the surrounding mountains. Nainital is also considered one of the most revered places of pilgrimage by the Hindus.

 

9. Haridwar

Haridwar

Haridwar is located in the North Indian state of Uttarakhand. This holy site of Hindu pilgrimage is situated at an elevation of 314 m above sea level. Although its attracts a large population of pilgrims for its religious significance, Haridwar is also one of the most vibrant and colorful hill stations of India. It is dotted with numerous Hindu temples buzzing with activity throughout the year. The evening prayers are especially colorful and a photographer’s delight. Every twelve years it is the venue of the Kumbh Mela — the largest religious festival in the world. The last Mela in 2003 had a footfall of 70 million visitors! Visit Haridwar not only to enjoy its scenic beauty but also to have a feel of traditional India.

 

8. Rishikesh

Rishikesh Yoga Camp

Rishikesh is located in the North Indian state of Uttarakhand. It is situated at an elevation of 372 m and nicknamed Gateway to the Garhwal Himalayas. Rishikesh is not only a place of scenic beauty but also a major site of Hindu pilgrimage. So do not be surprised to see throngs of Hindu pilgrims praying and meditating all over. Along with neighboring Haridwar, Rishikesh is a popular tourist destinations for many Indians. Rishikesh is also termed the Yoga Capital of the World attracting yoga enthusiasts from all corners of the globe. Adventure lovers can indulge in trekking, camping, bungee jumping, cliff jumping, and whitewater rafting in Rishikesh. Rishikesh is considered a holy town and prohibits non-vegetarian food and drinking alcohol.

 

7. Shimla

Christ Church in Shimla

Shimla is the largest city and capital of the North Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. Situated at an elevation of 2276 m above sea level, it is one of the most popular hill stations in India. However, it is not only the mountain scenery that makes Shimla so special. It is also dotted with  stunning Victorian architecture — reminiscent of it being the summer capital during the British Raj. You can take a leisurely walk and see most of Shimla on foot. The surrounding landscape is ideal for trekking.

 

6. Manali

Manali

Manali is located in the North Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. It is situated in the Kullu Valley, at an elevation of 2050 m above sea level. Manali gained prominence in the medieval days as the starting point of the trade route to Ladakh and subsequently Karakoram Pass and the Tarim Basin. However, presently, it is one of the most popular hill stations in India, and a favorite with honeymooners. Manali has a number of Hindu and Tibetan temples along with several waterfalls and hot springs. It is also the gateway to the very popular and scenic Rohtang Pass.

 

5. Dharmasala

Cricket Stadium at Dharmasala

Dharmasala is the second capital of the North Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. It is situated in the Kangra Valley at an elevation of 2352 m above sea level. Dharmasala is popular as a hill station for its stunning views of the snow-capped Himalayas. It also has international attention as the exiled home of Dalai Lama. Dharmalsa is the starting of several trekking trails of the Himalayas, especially those leading to Chamba district and Ravi Valley.

 

4. Pahalgam

Pahalgam in Summer

Pahalgam is situated in the Lidder Valley of Kashmir. It is at an elevation of about 2740 m above sea level. While the winter months are often snow covered, Pahalgam is an excellent place for trekking in the summer months. The verdant valley and tranquil ambiance will give you the perfect opportunity to soak in the beauty of this place. Those who are not much into walking can rent a pony to move around.

 

3. Gulmarg

Gondola Lift in Gulmarg

Gulmarg is situated in the Pirpanjal Range of the Himalayas. It is located about 56 km from Srinagar at an elevation of 2650 m above sea level. Gulmarg has been a favorite with royal families since the 15th century. It got its name Gulmarg — meaning meadow of flowers — for its wide variety of colorful wild flowers. Gulmarg is one of the prime skiing and snowboarding destinations of India. The cable-car gondolas will not only take you back and forth from the ski slopes— they will also give you a bird’s eye view of this picturesque hill station.

 

2. Srinagar

Boating in Dal Lake

The summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir has been a staple feature in many Indian movies for its exquisite beauty. Srinagar is most renowned for its beautiful Dal Lake and tulip gardens. The Dal Lake ,with its colorful houseboats, is a must-see attraction for every tourist in Kashmir. The India Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden, spread over 30 hectares, is the largest tulip garden in Asia. Srinagar is dotted with many more gardens all over the city. Of special mention are the three Mughal Gardens. While you can go for boating in the Dal Lake, the more adventurous can try paragliding near the Harwan Gardens.

 

1.Leh

Pangong Tso Lake in Leh

No matter how many photos or videos you see of Leh, it will not prepare you for the first sighting of this place. Considered to be one of the most pristine hill stations in the world, Leh has a magic of its own. It is located in Ladakh in the state of Kashmir at an altitude of 3524 m above sea level. Due to the high altitude of Leh, it is strongly advised to acclimatize yourself and not to venture out walking on your first day. One of the most recognized images of Leh is that of the scenic Pangong Tso Lake. Leh can be reached from Srinagar or Manali. The Manali-Leh Highway is considered to be one of the most scenic road trips in the world.

Originally posted 2017-04-24 06:09:15.

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