Hill stations in India are towns at a higher altitude than the nearby plains or valleys. While rulers in precolonial times also used to escape the heat and humidity of summer by venturing to higher ground, most hill stations were established during the British Raj as they sought to live in a climate more comfortable and similar to home.
The tourist season for the hill stations generally peaks during the Indian summer. However, they have a different kind of beauty and charm during winter, with many hill stations receiving healthy amounts of snow and offering activities such as skiing and snowboarding.
- 1 Auli. One of the newer ski towns in the country. Surrounded by coniferous forests, it is blessed with great natural scenery suitable for hiking during the warmer months.
- 2 Gulmarg. The winter sports capital of India, Gulmarg is one of the country's best places for skiing and snowboarding.
- 3 Manali.
- 4 Nainital.
- 5 Shimla.
- 6 Chikmagalur. Bucks the trend of other hill stations by having a large number of coffee plantations instead of tea. Also home to many picturesque waterfalls and wildlife.
- 7 Madikeri.
- 8 Munnar. Full of vast tea plantations. Popular place for honeymooners in the south.
- 9 Nandi Hills.
- 10 Ooty.
- 11 Wagamon.
- 12 Daringbadi.
- 13 Kalimpong. Kalimpong was ceded by Bhutan after losing the Anglo-Bhutan War in 1864. The hill station established by the British as an alternative to Darjeeling. India's highest mountain and the world's highest, Kangchenjunga, is visible from the town.
- 14 Darjeeling. Renowned for its prized tea and "Toy Train" steam locomotive still in operation.
- 15 Mirik.
- 16 Tawang. The off-the-beaten-path character of Tawang means that on the one hand, the surrounding scenery is unspoilt and the views are breaktaking but on the other, there is limited development and infrastructure to support visitors staying in the town.
- 17 Yuksom. A town full of Buddhist monasteries that also serves as base camp for the third highest mountain in the world, Kangchenjunga.
- 18 . One of the go-to hill stations for the residents of Mumbai, famous for its chikki (peanut brittle).
- 19 Mount Abu. The only hill station of note in the arid state of Rajasthan. With its lakes, rivers and waterfalls, Mount Abu is aptly described as an oasis in the desert.
- 20 Saputara. Doesn't get overwhelmed with tourists like other hill stations though it gets a healthy number of visitors.
Some hill stations, particularly those in the Himalayas, are prone to avalanches during the monsoon season.