Be it to beat the sweltering summers or just to get away from your mundane daily life, an escape to a hill station is an ideal journey for more reasons than one. While the popular hill stations are fast losing their charm due to overcrowding and the resulting environmental damage, there are many hilly destinations in our country which can not just provide you with a rejuvenating experience, but also offer you the peace which any commercialised tourist destination may seldom be able to.
Here are ten such hill stations in India which remain untouched by commercial tourism and flourish in their natural beauty and grace.
The sole hill station in Assam, Haflong is a realm of verdant green hills, majestic waterfalls and flowing streams. Among the principal attractions here are the Haflong hill and Haflong lake. Haflong hill is a perfect spot to have family picnics or just roam around with your fellow travellers. A place close by called Maibong is recognised for its Hindu Temple of Ramchandi.
Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh
This lovely town in the Himalayas is a home to the second-largest Buddhist monastery in the world. From hiking in the cool mountain breeze and seeing some of the most breathtaking views or strolling around the grand glacier lakes or praying at the 400 years old Tawang Gompa to relishing true Tibetan specialities, Tawang promises a marvellous and memorable vacation.
This town in Karnataka is home not only to several waterfalls, trekking gorges, mountains and scenic beauty but also to wildlife. Hence, it can be regarded as a photographer’s utopia. Sightseeing spots not to be neglected are Jog Falls, Varadahalli, Ganjur Dam, Thirthalli, Agumbe (Cherapunji of Karnataka), Linganamakki Dam, Kodachadri mountain, Sharavathi Wild Life Sanctuary and Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary.
About 62 km north-east of Thiruvananthapuram, lies the captivating beauty of a hill station which is prized for the tea gardens and the pristine Kallar river, surrounded by lush greens. The town is a paradise for trekkers. While here, do not skip the Freshwater springs of Kallar, Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary, Lion and Deer Park, Golden Valley and Meenmutti Falls which lie near this hill station.
This serene town offers you a panoramic view of the Himalayan Range. While it is pleasant in the summertime, the winters get very chilly. One can witness a picturesque view of the Nanda Devi Biosphere from a range of 300 kilometres. Sites to tour in and around Kausani are the Gandhi Ashram, Baijnath Temple, Shawl Factory and Girihas Tea Factory.
A surreal stop, Turtuk is located on the bank of Shyok River. It is encompassed by the peaks of Karakoram Range and embellished with barley fields and stone houses. The destination is excellent for anyone with a wish to see early Tibetan and Indo-Aryan civilisations. There is a small gallery in Turtuk where several relics like an old snow leopard snare and a lapis lazuli encrusted sword from the Yagbo Dynasty of Baltistan province can be viewed.
Sani Village, Ladakh
A tiny village, Sani is close to Padum, the headquarters of Zanskar district of Ladakh. At Sani you can experience cordial hospitality in the homes of the locals. They also offer you a comfortable stay at a minimum expense. You get to be a member of their celebrations and are offered their locally fermented rice beer as a sign of welcome. The life here is quiet, but it leaves you with everlasting memories of simplicity and natural beauty.
Pabbar Valley, Himachal Pradesh
Ditch the packed Shimla and drive some 131 kilometres to Rohru in Himachal Pradesh. Imagine, the foaming Pabbar river carrying on its journey into a lush valley with fields, woodlands and apple orchards. The river is replete with trout fish, and thus a great destination for those who like to go fishing. You would love the Chanshal Pass Trek and Kuper Valley Trek that converge on the most wonderful places in Pabbar. The three notable places to see in Pabbar are Rohru, Hatkoti, and Jubbal.
Peora is a quaint hamlet near the popular hill station of Mukteshwar in Uttarakhand. Dak Bungalow, which is considered to be the best accommodation to stay here, is a significant attraction in Peora. Also, birdwatchers will adore this place as it provides you with a sighting of diverse species of birds. The village and its neighbourhood are replete with sal, pine, oak, kaphal and rhododendron trees. Locally grown apples, plums, peaches and apricots are found here. Peora is about basking amidst the splendid Himalayan mountains. And appreciating the beauty of rich green forests while being serenaded by the purity of the place.
Saumya Rastogi is an intern with SheThePeople.TV