As the weather in India continues to be unpredictable with hot days interfering in the cozy winter season, we long for a stable cold climate. While we cannot visit places outside India due to the COVID 19, we for sure can find a weekend’s escape in the hill stations of India. These hill stations with their Swiss-like cold climate and stunning backdrops are a treat to the senses. Given below are hill stations that we have compiled for you to visit for the weekend that will leave you stunned!
Matheran Hill Station, Raigad
Matheran is a hill station, 2500 feet above sea level, near Mumbai in the state of Maharashtra. It has a mild climate and well preserved colonial architecture. What makes it stand out from the rest of the hill stations in India is that motor vehicles are banned there and visitors arrive by a narrow-gauge train which runs from the bottom of the hill or by horse or Hand-drawn carts. Another option is trekking to the top, which is rigorous but also fun.
How to get there: Take a toy train from Neral to Dasturi which is the nearest station. Alternatively, you can rent a taxi or van from Neral to Dasturi. Or take a direct taxi from Mumbai to Dasturi.
Distance from Mumbai: 90 km
Places to visit: Charlotte Lake, King George Point, Echo Point, Louisa Point, Sunset Point, Rambaug Point, Shivaji’s Ladder, Alexander Point, Little Chowk Point and One Tree Hill Point, Prabal Fort and Irshalgad Fort.
Things to do:
- Engage in zip lining for some thrills
- Take a horseback ride to the different points
- Ride in the toy train to the top of the station.
Best time to visit: October to March
Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu
Known as the “Princess of hill stations”, Kodaikanal is one of the famous honeymoon spots in India. It is a lake house resort town with serene climate, misty hillside and waterfalls that make it a perfect weekend getaway. Kodaikanal means “the gift of the forests”. The place is in the slopes of the Palani Hills at an altitude of 7200 feet above sea level. You can relax and connect with nature and de-stress from the rigorous city life.
How to get there: Catch a flight from Bangalore Airport to Madurai Airport, then take a cab to Kodaikanal which takes around 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus or train from Bangalore to Kodaikanal which takes 9 hours.
Distance from Bangalore: 465 km
Places to visit: Kodai Lake, Green Valley View, Bear Shola Falls, Pillar Rocks, Devil’s Kitchen, Thalaiyar Falls, Coakers Walk, Berijam Lake, Dolphin’s Nose, Bryant Park, Silent Valley View, Silver Cascade Falls, Kurinji Temple, Kodaikanal Solar Observatory, Pine Forest, La Salette Church, Kukkal Caves, Moir Point, Fairy Falls, Pambar Falls, Dolmen Circle, Upper Lake View, Perumal Peak, Vattakanal Falls,
Things to do:
- Take part in various treks like Kodai-Palani trek or 80-mile trek,
- Camp out under the stars by camping in an organic farm or hilltop
- Take a forest tour.
Best time to visit: October to March, avoid summer and monsoon months (April to June)
Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh
This birthplace of the 6th Dalai Lama is known for its beautiful monasteries. It is located at a height of 10,000 feet. This breath-taking town will for sure make your trip a beautiful one. The area is renowned out for its many sacred and famous monasteries. This town will mesmerize you with its beauty and spirituality.
How to get there: Take a flight from Kolkata to Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi Airport, from where you can take a car to Tawang.
Distance from Kolkata: 1439 km
Places to visit: Sela Pass, Tawang Monastery, Madhuri Lake, Nuranang Falls, Tawng War Memorial, Gorichen Peak, P.T. Tso Lake, Jaswant Garh
Things to do:
- Go trekking among the beautiful peaks
- Go Rafting in the Kameng River
- Meditate at the Taktsang Gompa
- Shop at the Tibetan settlement market for souvenirs
Best time to visit: All through the year
Dalhousie, Himachal Pradesh
This little Indian Switzerland is located 6,460 feet above sea level. The tiny town is a paradise hidden amongst the hills of Himachal Pradesh. It has mesmerizing landscapes, flower fields, beautiful white rivers and misty mountain tops. The hill station was one of the favourite summer spots for the British during the Indian colonial era. No wonder this town is blessed with Scottish and British architecture which gives a Victorian, old-world charm to the place.
How to get there: Take a train from Delhi to Pathankot Railway station which takes 10 hours and from the station, you can hire a cab to Dalhousie which takes 3 hours. Or you can go by road from Delhi by bus or private car which takes 10 to 11 hours.
Distance from Delhi: 559 km
Places to visit: Panchpula, Khajjiar, St. John’s Church, Kalatop Kajjiar Sanctuary, Satdhara Falls, Dainkund Peak, Ganji Pahari, Gandhi Chowk, Sach Pass, Chamera Lake, Bakrota Walk, Chamunda Devi temple, Subhash Baoli, Chamba, Rock Garden and Garam Sadak
Things to do:
- Enjoy boating at Chamera Lake
- River raft on the River Ravi and Saal
- Hike up to the Kalatop wildlife sanctuary
- Paraglide at Khajjiar
- If you are a nature-lover go on treks, rock climbing, village excursions and nature trails
Best time to visit: If you want to view the snow-capped peaks then the best time to visit would be during the winter months (November to February). Winters are perfect for outdoor activities. You can also visit in the summer months as the weather remains pleasant throughout the year. Monsoon gives moderate rainfalls, so you will not be facing any inconvenience during your trip in this season either.
TFN Recommended Weekend Getaways