Beyond the likes of quintessential hill escapes like Shimla, Ooty and Khandala are 5 lesser explored hill stations in India. If you’re a mountain goat who finds solace in the hills, these hidden gems promise both serenity and scenery. Check them out on your next holiday!
Nestled in the Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh, Tirthan Valley stands a little over 5,200 feet and is home to the recently inducted UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP). Tirthan Valley is blissful and breathtaking with its dense forests dotted with glacier waterfalls. Between quaint villages are interspersed with fruit orchards. The Tirthan River has a bounty of trout and makes for great fishing. The next time you’re looking to go camping or trekking amidst nature’s best, Tirthan Valley is where you should be headed.
Northeast India remains one the lesser explored parts of the country. However, those who visit are taken in by its scenic vistas and promise to return. Assam’s only hill station, Haflong, at a height of 3,170 feet is where you’ll find lush green hills, meandering brooks and cascading waterfalls. The landscape is pristine and the air is pure; both reasons enough to appreciate and explore. In and around Haflong is a treasure trove of sights including Jatinga with its prolific avifauna and Haflong Lake where you can get some of the prettiest views of your surroundings.
For staggering 360 degree views of the Himalayan mountain range and snowclad peaks like Trishul and Nanda Devi, Chopta delivers and then some. Located in Uttarakhand, this hill hamlet at over 8,700 feet is absolutely wondrous in both summer and winter. While in warm weather, its meadows are carpeted with flowering blooms, in colder months, snow blankets its deodar and pine forests. It’s probably for this reason then that Chopta is fondly known as ‘mini Switzerland’.Popular with trekking enthusiasts, Chopta is nature at its most spectacular.
Another gem in northeast India, Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh is bordered by Bhutan and Tibet and is one of India’s least explored hill stations owing to the fact that all visitors need to procure an Inner Line Permit before entering the state. While its beauty at over 11,400 feet is unmistakable with vistas of the Gudpi and Chong-Chugmi ranges and the flowing Tawang Chu River, Tawang is also deep-rooted in history and culture. A center for Buddhism, amidst the hills and valleys with glacial lakes are ancient monasteries and temples. Its accessibility issues aside, Tawang is one of the most sought-after destinations for trekking.
Central India isn’t really known for its hill stations but the one and only one in Madhya Pradesh, Pachmarhi, tells a different story. Located at 3,280 feet in the Satpura Range, its forests are strewn with streams and waterfalls and afford considerable wildlife. However, the main attraction within the wooded wonderland are the historic Pandav Caves, which are five rock-cut Buddhist caves dating back to the 6th century. Pachmarhi also has some remarkable vantage points including Forsyth Point and Dhoopgarh.
Author: Devika Khosla
With the inability to sit still, she’s always going ‘somewhere’. Foodie, spa junkie, animal lover and traveler. That’s Devika’s story.