In this post, I’m going to talk about the 11 best hill stations in India, which you can visit in 2020 for a soothing mountain trip.

If you love mountains, hiking, fresh air, and picturesque locations, these hill stations are the best place you can visit to add new experiences to your travel diaries.

All these hill stations are the best honeymoon destination, hiking destination and these hill stations are the best places to refresh your mind and the fresh natural environment will help re-energize your life.

Let’s dive right in.

Manali, Himachal Pradesh - The Valley of Gods

1. Manali, Himachal Pradesh – The Valley of Gods

Manali is one of the best hill stations in India and it’s one of the highest hill stations in India. It’s known for its breathtaking views, and it’s a great honeymoon destination.

Manali is one of the favorite places for Bollywood Movie shooting. Jab We Met, Bang Bang, Roja, Tubelight and lots of other Bollywood movies were shot in Manali.

Spots like Rohtang Pass, Hadimba Devi Temple, The Mall, and Solang Valley, vastly used as shooting locations for most of the Bollywood movies.

Manali is a resort town located in the mountains of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh (Kullu district) near the northern end of the Kullu Valley in the Beas River Valley.

Manali is one of the most popular hill stations in India. With breathtaking views, dense and fresh green forests, gushing blue streams, carpeted with charming flowers, a fairy-tale-like mist lingering in the air, and a never-ending fragrance of pines and freshness –  Manali has been blessed with remarkable scenic beauty.

Best experiences: If you want to explore Manali, visit the Rohtang Pass, the highest point on the Manali-Keylong Road. Some of the other great spots here are Vashist Hot Water Springs, Jogini Falls, Kalath Hot Water Springs, and Solang Valley.

How to reach Manali: Fly to Bhuntar airport followed by a 2-hour taxi or bus ride. Also, you can take the Himachal Pradesh State bus from Delhi to Manali (553 km) which takes 10 hours.

Best time to visit: October to June

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Ooty, Tamil Nadu - Queen of the Nilgiris

2. Ooty, Tamil Nadu – Queen of the Nilgiris

Ooty is a popular and the most visited hill station located in the Nilgiri Hills. Local Residents call it Blue Hills.

Ooty (short for Udhagamandalam) is amongst the best hill stations in south India. It is a popular tourist destination for anyone looking for a picturesque place to relax and those who seek the beauty of nature and take part in activities that could add new experiences to their travel diaries.

Best Experiences: If you want to explore the beauty of Ooty, explore the cozy cottages and go for trekking along with the plantation sites for breathtaking views. You could indulge in adventurous activities like angling and hand gliding too.

How to reach Ooty: The Coimbatore international airport is the closest. Nilgiri Express leaves from Chennai to Mettupalayam near Ooty. Buses and shared taxis are available.

Best time to visit: Throughout the year

Darjeeling, West Bengal - Queen of the Hills

3. Darjeeling, West Bengal – Queen of the Hills

Darjeeling is located in the Lesser Himalayas at the height of 2,050 meters above sea level. It is also a popular hill station and tourist destination in India.

Darjeeling is famous for its tea industry, its views of Kanchenjunga, the world’s third-highest mountain, and the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (also known as Toy Train), a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Mesmerizing sunrises of Kanchenjunga, the untouched beauty of the hills, and the welcoming smiles of the local people, all these things make Darjeeling one of the most beautiful hill stations in the Eastern part of India.

This scenic hill station is a perfect romantic honeymoon destination and is just around 60 kilometers away from Siliguri, West Bengal.

Best Experiences: If you want to get the best out of your Darjeeling trip, visit a tea estate such as the Happy Valley Tea Estate, take a toy train ride through the Batasia Loop and War Memorial, visit Buddhist monasteries in Ghum, watch the spectacular Kanchenjunga from the Tiger Hill.

How to reach Darjeeling: Take a flight directly to the Bagdogra Airport followed by a 4-hour taxi ride. Or take the train to New Jalpaiguri followed by a 4-hour taxi. Also, you can take a 2.5-hour bus or taxi ride from Siliguri to reach Darjeeling.

Best time to visit: February to March, September to December

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4. Gangtok, Sikkim – The Gateway to Sikkim

Surrounded by the dense green forests, Gangtok is a must-visit hill station while visiting the Shivalik Hills and beautiful North-East India.

Gangtok is the capital city and the largest town of the Indian state of Sikkim. Just like Darjeeling, Gangtok can also give you a spectacular view of Mt. Kanchenjunga. Within the higher peaks of the Himalaya, majestic locations and pleasing climate, Gangtok is at the center of Sikkim’s tourism industry.

So, if you’re a nature and an adventure lover, Gangtok is the must-visit hill station you can visit to add new flavor to your adventurous life and to refresh your mind.

Best Experiences: Visit Tsomgo Lake and Gurudongmar Lake, the two most scenic and highest mountain lakes in the world, making this one of the best hill tourist places in India.

Also, you can visit the historical Nathula Pass. Some of the other must-visit tourist attractions of Gangtok are Fambong La Wildlife Sanctuary, Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary, Rumtek Monastery, and Tashiding Monastery, and Enchey Monastery.

How to reach Gangtok: Take a flight directly to the Bagdogra Airport followed by a 2.5-hour taxi ride. Or take the train to New Jalpaiguri followed by a 2.5-hour taxi ride.

Best time to visit: Throughout the year

Mussoorie, Uttarakhand – The Queen of Hill Stations in India!

5. Mussoorie, Uttarakhand – The Queen of Hill Stations in India!

Mussoorie is among the best hill stations in India to visit. It’s a famous hill station in the Dehradun District of Uttarakhand.

The hill station is in the foothills of the Garhwal Himalayan range. Mussoorie, also known as Queen of The Hills, stands at an altitude of 7000 feet above sea level and has a cool, pleasant climate throughout the year.

Its pleasant weather, tranquil hills, and natural beauty make it a top choice for couples and that’s why it’s a great honeymoon destination.

Best Experiences: Visit the churches, shop woolen clothes at Mall Road, visit and take a cool bath at Kempty Falls, Mussoorie’s most popular tourist attraction.

How to reach Mussoorie: Dehradun Airport is the nearest airport. One can also drive from the nearest metros via Dehradun city.

Best time to visit: September to June

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Shimla, Himachal Pradesh – One of the most famous hill stations in India – The Queen of Hills

6. Shimla, Himachal Pradesh – One of the most famous hill stations in India – The Queen of Hills

Probably the most popular hill station in northern India, Shimla is the capital city of Himachal Pradesh famous for its Mall road, the Ridge, toy train, etc

Shimla is famous for its colonial heritage buildings and British architecture. This combined with the natural beauty makes it a perfect destination for a summer trip in North India.

Shimla has been a very popular hill-station among honeymooners and Indian families for the last 50 years.

Best Experiences: Enjoy a quiet picnic at the Glen next to a captivating stream and the beautiful Dorje Drak Monastery. See various species of birds at the Himalayan Aviary. Other prominent sites include Jakhu Hill, Darlaghat, Scandal Point, Solan Brewery, Kamna Devi Temple, and Gurkha Gate.

How to reach Shimla: Take a flight directly to Jubbarhatti in Shimla. Or take the train to Kalka followed by a 2-hour taxi ride.

Best time to visit: October to June

Munnar, Kerala - Best hill stations in India

7. Munnar, Kerala – Kashmir of South India

Munnar is a town and hill station located in the Idukki district of Kerala. Munnar is known as the “Kashmir of South India” and is a popular honeymoon destination.

Munnar is famous for its tea estates and exotic lush greenery, located in the Western Ghats. In addition, Munnar has many protected areas that are home to endemic and highly endangered species like the Nilgiri Tahr and the Neelakurinji – a rare flower species that blossoms only once in 12 years.

Munnar is full of green and romantic locations that can capture your heart. It is ideally suited for honeymoon gateways.

Best Experiences: You could engage yourself in rock climbing, trekking, yoga, and boating. With so much to offer to tea lovers, nature lovers, and thrill-seekers, Munnar is definitely among the best hill stations in India to visit.

Also, you can visit Eravikulam National Park, Anamudi, Pothamedu, Mattupetty Dam, Tea Museum, The blossom International Etc. 

How to reach Munnar: The nearest airport is Cochin International Airport, which is about 110 km from Munnar. The nearest railway station is at Aluva, at a distance of 110 km. Local transportation services – bus and cab are available to reach Munnar.

Best time to visit: September to May

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Coorg, Karnataka - The Scotland of India

8. Coorg, Karnataka – The Scotland of India

We were first introduced to Coorg when we were in the 10th standard. Our English textbook had a dedicated chapter featuring the beautiful Coorg, its rich culture, and its glorious history.

Located within captivating mountains in Karnataka with an eternal misty landscape, Coorg is the best place to be for all nature lovers.

This popular coffee producing evergreen hill station is not only popular for its beautiful green hills and the streams, but It also stands as a popular destination because of its rich and unique culture and the Kodavas, a local clan specializing in martial arts, are especially remarkable for their enthusiastic hospitality.

Best Experiences: The beautiful scenery, mountain ranges with a spectacular view, warm hospitality of people can fascinate you towards the hill station. The other attractions include Abbey falls, Churches, Forts, and Nagarahole (Wild-life sanctuary).

How to reach Coorg: The nearest railway station is at Mysore which is about 100 km away from Coorg. Buses are frequently available to take off to Coorg on a 4-5 hours comfortable journey.

Best time to visit: October to March

Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu – The Princess of Hill Stations

9. Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu – The Princess of Hill Stations

In the Tamil Kodaikanal means “The Gift of the Forest”. Kodaikanal is referred to as the “Princess of Hill stations” and has a long history as a popular tourist destination.

Kodaikanal stands at an altitude of 7200 feet above sea level and has a cool, pleasant climate all year round.

Located in the state of Tamil Nadu, Kodaikanal is one of the most famous honeymoon destinations in India. Kodaikanal is famous for its wonderful climate, cloud-capped mountains and beautiful lakes and valleys.

Best Experiences: Go for a boat ride in the Kodaikanal lake and trek to the Pillar rocks for scenic views. Also, visit the parks and nature walk in the Pine Forests.

How to reach Kodaikanal: Closest airports are at Trichy, Madurai, and Coimbatore. The nearest railway station is at Kodai road which is 100 km away from Kodaikanal. One can travel by road to reach Kodaikanal.

Best time to visit: September to May

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Nainital, Uttarakhand - Lake District of Uttarakhand

10. Nainital, Uttarakhand – Lake District of Uttarakhand

Nainital is a popular hill station in the Indian state of Uttarakhand.

It’s one of the most beautiful tourist destinations in Uttarakhand, Also famously known as ‘City of Lakes’, with its tranquil lakes, snow-capped hills it can be called a picturesque paradise for mountain lovers and backpackers..

Situated at an altitude of 1938 km above sea level, Nainital has a pleasant climate all year round.

The lush green oak, rhododendron, and pine forests make it a perfect destination to relax and refresh your mind.

Best Experiences: Go for a picnic at the beautiful Kilbury or The Tiffin Top. Visit the Land’s End to enjoy the mesmerizing views of Khurpatal Lake and trek the Naina Peak, the highest peak of Nainital.

How to reach Nainital: Take a flight to Pantnagar (72 km) followed by a 1.5-hour taxi ride. Or take the train to Kathgodam (41 km) followed by a 1-hour taxi ride. Buses from ISBT Anand Vihar run to Nainital in 9 hours.

Best time to visit: Throughout the year

Tawang_Gate - Best hill stations in India

Tawang Gate – Image source – Dhrubazaanphotography / CC BY-SA

11. Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh – The birthplace of Dalai Lama

Situated at an elevation of approximately 3,048 meters, Tawang is one of the coldest places in India.

Tawang is a town in the North-East Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, known for many important and beautiful monasteries and is famous as the birthplace of the 6th Dalai Lama, Tsangyang Gyatso.

Tawang is a place that will fascinate you with its natural beauty wrapped in the fragrance of spirituality. Breathtaking valleys, misty rivers, and stunning waterfalls give you the ultimate experience in the mystical Tawang.

Best Experiences: Visit the snow-clad Sela Pass for a spectacular view and visit the beautiful Paradise Lake on your way there. Make a trip to the Tawang Monastery, the largest monastery in India. Other destinations are Gorichen Peak, Tipi Orchid Sanctuary, the Shonga-tser Lake, Teng Tso Lake, Bap Teng Kang Waterfall, Pankang, and Nuranang Waterfalls.

How to reach Tawang: Take a flight directly to the Salonibari Airport, Tezpur followed by a 6-hour taxi ride. Or take the train to Guwahati followed by a 13-hour taxi ride.

Best time to visit: September to March

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Final thoughts: 11 Best Hill Stations in India in 2020 for a Soothing Mountain Trip.

Manali, Shimla, Mussoorie, and Nainital are among the most popular hill stations in north India. Kodaikanal, Munnar, Coorg, Ooty and are the most popular hill stations in South India. Gangtok, Darjeeling, and Tawang are the lesser crowded but well-known hill stations in North-East India.

With pleasant weather, all these hill stations are full of natural beauty, picturesque locations, evergreen forests, spectacular views of beautiful mountains, and these hill stations are some well-known honeymoon destinations and best places to refresh your mind and body.

Visit these hill stations to add new experiences to your travel diaries.

Now It’s Your Turn

Hey, I hope you enjoyed reading this list of the 11 Best Hill Stations in India in 2020 for a Soothing Mountain Trip.

Now I would like to hear from you:

What’s your favorite hill station from this list and which are the hill stations that you want to add to your bucket list?

Let me know in the comment section below right now!

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This article is edited and co-authored by Inu Etc.