Hill stations offer the perfect refuge from the summer heat. Read
about hill stations in India and the holiday activities they offer.
Summers in India are synonymous with prickly heat, mangoesâ€¦and
holidays. It is the season when we put up a valiant struggle against
the rising mercury levels and gorge on the golden ripe 'king of
fruits'. And it is that time of the year when many of us take advantage
of the vacations to pack our bags and flee to cooler climes in higher
Since the British developed these hill-top towns at higher
elevations to escape the scorching heat in the plains, hill stations
have remained our favourite holiday solution to beat the heat.
The lure of the hills
While the most familiar, and admittedly most dramatic, images that come
to mind are of the Himalayan destinations up in the north, India is
blessed with scores of otherâ€”popular or lesser knownâ€”hill stations.
Himachal Pradesh: Dalhousie, Dharamsala, Kasauli, Manali and Shimla
Jammu and Kashmir: Gulmarg, Pahalgam and Patnitop
Uttarakhand: Almora, Auli, Badrinath Bhimtal, Mussoorie, Nainital and Ranikhet
Apart from a pleasant climate and stunning scenery, hill stations
provide visitors a variety of holiday activities to choose from:
For those of us escaping the drab monotony of life in the
concrete jungle, a mountain holiday offers us a taste of high
Steep rocky cliffs and mountainsides are excellent for this sport which
is as much a test of strength as of mental grit and teamwork. Manali,
Darjeeling, and the Sahyadri hills in Maharashtra offer good climbing
Whitewater rafting: Steep craggy slopes and cascading rapids
provide the ideal arena for whitewater rafting. The thrill of bounding
over the rapids, as the spray hits your face, is complemented by the
gorgeous scenery along the river. River rafting is possible in Himachal
Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Karnataka amongst other states.
Trekking and hiking: Exploring on foot is a great way to
appreciate the natural beauty, and unique geography, flora, and fauna
around the hill stations. Tourists can enjoy easy hikes or plan more
rigorous treks to nearby points.
Paragliding: Suitable altitudes, terrain, and wind currents
provide excellent paragliding opportunities. Himachal Pradesh,
Maharashtra, and the Nandi Hills in Karnataka are excellent locations
Skiing: Gentle, expansive snowy slopes have made some
Himalayan hill stations popular as skiing destinations. Gulmarg,
Manali, and Auli in Uttarakhand are some of the places where this sport
can be practised.
A Sense of History
You have heard the phrase, 'As old as the hills'. Hill stations in
India often resonate with echoes of bygone ages. Caves in Pachmarhi and
Lakhu-Udyar near Almora, have prehistoric wall paintings. Ancient
temples and shrines commonly found in the hills around numerous Maratha
fort ruins in the Sahyadri Hills command panoramic views of the
surrounding plains. Many hill stations were important colonies of the
British Raj and their relicts, in the form of imposing cathedrals or
quaint bungalows, remain a common fixture here.
In India, as around the world, mountains have always been venerated.
Many places have deep religious and mythological significance, and
shrines erected to commemorate them are well visited. Kedarnath and
Badrinath in Uttarakhand are two of Hinduism's most hallowed pilgrimage
towns. Not far from here, Hemkund, with a Sikh Gurudwara and a Lakshman
temple, is equally sacred to the Sikhs and Hindus. Dharamsala in
Himachal Pradesh, home to exiled Tibetan leader, the Dalai Lama, is
visited not just by Tibetan Buddhists but by people from all over the
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- The Indiaparenting Team
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