A Cooler Escapade To The Hills
While the summer has already knocked the door and the temperature is rising inch by inch in the due time, it’s time to plan the summer holidays. Laced with pleasant weather and unparalleled natural beauty, the hill stations in India serve as perfect escapade in the scorching heat. From Himalayan peaks in the north to rolling hills in south, the geography of India is blessed with ample places to beat the high temperature.
So, be ready to ease yourself in the some of the coolest places in India during summer:
Dubbed with title of ‘Little Tibbet’, Ladakh is known for ancient gompas, snow clad mountain peaks, pristine beauty, lovely lakes and stunning views. The twisty-curvy path leading to the place is one of the famous road trips of the country which every adventure junky wants to take at least once in a lifetime. The untouched charm of the place can be experience in the glimpses of Bactrian camels, monks clad in red, antique monasteries and flocks of mountain goat. The place appears pleasing even in chilling cold of winters when it gets covered with white layers of snow.
Places of Interest – Pangong Lake, Zanskar Valley, Nubra Valley, Tsomoriri Lake.
How to reach:
By Road – The best way to reach Manali is by hitting the road as it will give you the opportunity to behold the stunning scenery in the maximum possible way. The road route of Leh Ladakh is also considered one of the most adventurous road trips of the country. The distance from Delhi to Leh Ladakh by road via Leh Manali Highway is around 1011 Km. You can also arrive at the place by bus, as there are direct state buses (Himachal Road Transport Corporation) available from Delhi to Ladakh via Manali.
By Train – There is no direct train to Leh, Ladakh. The nearby railway stations to the place are Jammu Tawi, Jammu and Chandigarh.
By Air – Now, how to reach Leh Ladakh from Delhi by air? There are direct as well as regular flights available from Delhi to Ladakh.
Located in the north east of the country, Sikkim is one of the best places to spend the summer vacation. This smallest state of India is loaded with abundant natural beauty which lies in its mountain peaks, glaciers, high altitude lakes, hot springs and streaming rivers. Due to its picture perfect beauty the place is often called ‘Switzerland of the East’.
Places of Interest – Tsomgo Lake, Nathula Pass, Pelling, Teesta River, Rumtek Monastery, Do-Drul Chorten and Zuluk.
How to reach:
By Air – The major airport nearest to the capital city of Sikkim is Bagdogra, West Bengal. You can reach Gangtok from the airport by hiring a shared taxi/private vehicle or helicopter services provided by Sikkim Tourism Development Corporation.
By Train – The closest railway station to the capital city of Sikkim is New Jalpaiguri, 117 km away. The station is well connected to major cities of the country like New Delhi, Kolkata.
By Road – With regular Sikkim State Transport Bus service, you can travel to any part of Sikkim via road. You can also opt for private bus/jeep/taxis from the capital city to other parts of Sikkim. Gangtok, the main city of the state is well linked to major nearby cities with regular bus service.
Sandwiched between the Pir Panjal and Dauladhar range of the Himalayas, Manali is perfect for vacationers as well as adventure seekers. The famous Solang Valley of the place not only offers stunning views, but also is absolute to indulge in a wide range of adventure sports like paragliding, zorbing.
Places of Interest – Rohtang Pass, Solang Valley, Hidimba Temple, Van Vihar, Old Manali and Beas Kund.
How to reach:
By Air – The nearest airport to Manali is Bhuntar, 50 km away. It is well connected to Delhi and Chandigarh with regular flights.
By Train – Joginder Nagar Railway Station, 143 Km away is the nearest railway station from Manali.
By Bus – The hill station is well connected to all the nearby major cities like Shimla, New Delhi, Dharamshala, Leh, Kullu with regular bus service.
Can Kashmir be left while we are listing the summer destinations of the country? Undoubtedly, the picture perfect beauty of the place pulls large tourist crowd during summertime. From time immemorial it is known for its stunningly beautiful valleys, enchanting lakes, Mughal gardens and natural charm of the place.
Places of Interest – Srinagar, Dal Lake, Shalimar Bagh, Nishat Bagh, Phahalgam and Gulmarg.
How to reach:
By Air – Sheikh ul Alam Airport is the international airport of the state situated in Srinagar. Located 15 Km away from the centre of the city, it is well linked with major cities of the country like Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh with regular flights.
By Train – Jammu Tawi and Udhampur railway stations are two major and nearest railway junction to Srinagar. One can reach the main city be hiring taxi/ government buses / private buses.
The famous Himalayan hill station of West Bengal – Darjeeling is the most sought after tourist spot of the state. Whether, it is the mist clad verdant valleys or a Buddhist monastery, the place has always stolen the attention of the travellers for its captivating beauty. The hill station is one of the most visited places in north east India and is renowned for its tea gardens. One can also have the splendid view of the Kanchenjunga peak from here. Now what else do you need for a perfect summer vacation trip.
Places of Interest – Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, Tiger Hill, Observatory Hill, Japanese Peace Pagoda, Happy Valley Tea Estate, Neora Valley National Park and Batasia Loop.
How to reach:
By Air – The nearest airport to Darjeeling is 95 Km away at Bagdora. There are direct flights available from several cities like Kolkata, Delhi and Guwahati to the place. From airport one can reach the city by hiring taxi.
By Train – New Jalpaiguri is the nearest railway station to Darjeeling which is well connected to all major parts of the country like Kolkata, Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Bhubaneswar and Kochi.
Shimla crowns to be one of the coolest places to visit in summer in entire north India. Whether you are honeymooner, bag packer, with your gang or solo traveller, the enchanting hill station gives a perfect hideaway in the lap of nature. Situated in the Indian state Himachal Pradesh, the pleasant climate, twisting paths amidst the mountains and the British charm of the place allures a number of travellers all-round the year. Apart from it, the place has religious attractions too for the holy shrines located around the hill.
Places of Interest – Jakhoo Hill, The Ridge, Shimla State Museum, Daranghati Sanctuary, Christ Church, Summer Hill, Kufri and Chail.
How to reach:
By Air – The nearest airport from the Shimla town is Jubbarhatti, 23 Km away. The airport is linked to Delhi and Chandigarh with regular flights. From airport the town can be accessed by hiring taxi.
By Train – To take rail route is perhaps the best way to soak in the beauty around the hill station. There is a small railway station in Shimla located 1 Km away from the main town. The famous toy train of Shimla connects Kalka and Shimla covering a distance of 96 Km.
By Road – There are several bus services operating between Shimla and major cities of north India, including Himachal Road Transport Corporation as well as privately run buses. The place can be easily accessed from all the nearby major cities of north India, Delhi being 343 Km, Chandigarh 117 Km and Manali 260 Km away. If you are plying from the capital city, then you can take an overnight bus from ISBT Kashmiri Gate.
Strikingly beautiful, the hill resort of Munnar is ideal to enjoy the pristine beauty of nature. The winding paths amidst the verdant tea gardens, the aroma bringing out from the tea plantation make the place an ultimate escapade during summer vacation. For its blessed climate and picture perfect beauty, it has been famous summer destination from the British era.
Places of Interest – Echo Point, Elephant Lake, Tata Tea Museum, Mattupetty Dam, Top Station, CSI Church and Rajamalai National Park.
How to Reach:
By Air – Cochin International Airport, Kochi in Kerala is the nearest airport to Munnar. It is located 106 Km away from the hill resort. From airport, Munnar can be reached by taking taxi or bus.
By Train – The nearest railway station to Munnar is located at Aluva, 108 Km away. The station is well linked to major cities of the country. From station the hill resort can be easily reached by taking taxis or buses.
By Bus – With Kerala State Road Transport Corporation buses, Munnar is well connected to the nearby major cities and towns and neighbouring states. Besides buses taxis/jeeps can also be hired to reach the hill resort.
Located in the Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu is basically a tea plantation. At a distance of just 19 Km from the famous hill station Ooty, Coonoor is for those who seek something different while searching for the perfect summer destination. Perched at an height of 1800 meters above the sea level, the hill station got more popular after being featured in recently released movie ‘Kapoor & Sons’. The place also serves as a base camp for a number of trekking trails into the Nilgiris.
Places of Interest – Dolphin’s Nose, Lamb’s Rock, Hidden Valley, Droog Fort, Sim’s Park and Laws Falls
How to Reach:
By Air – Coimbatore International Airport is the nearest airport to Coonoor. Located 79 Km from the hill station, the airport is well connected to the major domestic cities as well as a few international cities.
By Train – Coonoor rail stop falls between the Nilgiri Mountain Railways operating between Ooty and Mettupalayam. The Nilgiri Mountain Railway is the oldest mountain railways in India.
By Bus – One of the Nilgiri Ghat Roads connects Coonoor to Mettupalayam and further moves to Ooty.
Coorg, one of the most romantic destinations in south India is known for its eternal charm. The lush greenery, panoramic sights of valleys, forested mountains and many cascading waterfalls makes the place perfect to spend summer time. The rich biota, scenery, attractive village and picturesque spots of Coorg can make anybody fall in love with it. Although, the place is an all year round destination but summer is ideal to escape the rising heats of the plains.
Places of Interest – Raja’s Seat, Madikeri Fort, Somwarpet, Gaddige, Abbey Falls, Omkareshwara Temple, Barapole River and Bylekuppe.
How to Reach:
By Air – Mangalore Airport, around 135 Km from the city is the nearest airport to Coorg. It is well connected with flights from major cities of the country.
By Train – The nearest railway stations to Coorg are at Mysore, Mangalore and Hassan. These railway junctions are well linked from the rest part of the country with regular trains.
By Bus – There is well developed road network connecting the beautiful hill station to the rest part of the country. Regular bus services are available from nearby cities including Mysore (120 Km), Hassan (115 Km), Mangalore (136 Km) and Bangalore (256 Km).
Located on the Palani Hills, near Madurai, Tamil Nadu; Kodaikanal is a small yet well-known hill station of India. Often dubbed as ‘Princess of Hill Station’, Kodaikanal is striking for variety of trees, serene lakes and captivating waterfalls. Due to soothing climate and temperature ranging between 20°C to 11°C during March to May, Kodaikanal is one of the coolest places in India during summer. Perched at a high altitude of 2,133 meters, the place is also famous for its fruit plantation especially plums and pears. Kurinji flower is the most distinguished feature of Kodaikanal, which blooms once in 12 years giving unparalleled beauty to the place.
Places of Interest – Berijam Lake, Kodaikanal Lake, Coaker’s Walk, Kurinji Andavar Temple, The Boat Club, Bryant Park and Shenbaganur Museum.
How to Reach:
By Air – Madurai Airport is the nearest airport to Kodaikanal. Located 120 Km from the hill station, the airport is well linked with regular flights from Chennai and Coimbatore.
By Train – The nearby railway stations to Kodaikanal are Palani Railway Station (64 Km north), Kodai Road Station (80 Km south east) and Dindigul Railway Station (100 Km east).
By Bus – Kodaikanal is well linked by road network to nearby major places like Chennai (520 Km), Ooty (264 Km), Coimbatore (175 Km) and Madurai (120 Km). Regular buses ply from these places to the hill station.