There’s no better way to beat India’s sweltering summer than to escape to the mountains. It’s no wonder that hill stations across the country have been popular holiday spots for generations of Indians. Imagine spending your afternoons in the embrace of magnificent mountains, surrounded by the silver waters of swift-flowing rivers and the swirling sounds of lush green trees. We’re sure that’s an experience you cannot resist. Given its location in the north of India, Delhi has the luxury of being surrounded by many popular hill stations. But these hill stations near Delhi are also easily accessible from any part of the country. So, here’s a list of the best hill stations near Delhi to visit this summer.
1. Lansdowne, Uttarakhand
Formerly named Kaludanda or Black Hills due to its appearance, the British created this modest hill station for the Garhwal Rifles unit in 1887. It is named after Lord Lansdowne, the British Viceroy of India at the time. Unlike other hill stations, Lansdowne is well-linked, peaceful and undiscovered. It is also one of the closest hill stations to Delhi. Given that this is a cantonment town, it is clean and well-kept. While staying amid the mountains in Lansdowne, you will enjoy walking, bird viewing, paddling, and boating in addition to the spectacular sunrises and sunsets. Don’t forget to visit the Tarkeshwar Mahadev and Bhairav Garhi temples.
2. Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
Shimla is one of India’s most popular hill stations and the best hill station near Delhi. Boasting a rich colonial history, Shimla is not only a present-day favourite but has been loved since the time of the British and before. Sitting 2,200 metres above sea level, Shimla was a favourite with British colonial rulers thanks to its picturesque landscape. The hill town attracts both honeymooners and families alike throughout the year. Some of the must-visit tourist attractions are Kali Bari Temple, Annandale, the Viceregal Lodge or Rashtrapati Niwas, Jakhu Temple, Mall Road, Tara Devi Temple and Christ Church. Aside from being the best summer getaway, Shimla is also an excellent location for adventure sports. You can try one of the hikes to the Kullu valley, trout catching at the Pabbar River, skiing in Narkanda and Kufri, as well as golf at Naldehra.
3. Kasol, Himachal Pradesh
Kasol is among the best hill stations near Delhi. It is particularly popular with travellers looking to get away from the city’s hustle and bustle. This little town sits on the banks of the Parvati River and is often called the "Amsterdam of India”. Most visitors come here to relax and simply enjoy the beautiful landscapes, but you can also hike to Kheerganga, Sar Pass, Yanker Pass and Pin Parvati Pass. While you’re in Kasol, the nearby Malana, an ancient village, is worth visiting. Gastronomes will fall in love with Kasol’s local cafés, some of which serve the most wonderful Israeli cuisine and breathtaking views. Don't forget to stop by the flea market to pick up some souvenirs.
4. Rishikesh, Uttarakhand
The religious significance of Rishikesh is well-known. Besides its own important Hindu sites, the city is also the gateway to the Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri Temples. But it’s The Beatles that put Rishikesh on the global map. The iconic English rock band had travelled to the town to meet their teacher, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and lived with him to learn meditation. Just five hours by road, this is one of the closest hill stations to Delhi. Rishikesh is also known as the "Yoga Capital of the World” as it is a centre for many spiritual pursuits. Besides peace, travellers will also find many adventure activities in Rishikesh, such as rafting, hiking, mountain climbing, and bungee jumping.
5. Nainital, Uttarakhand
Nainital is one of the best hill stations near Delhi. The resort town welcomes you with magnificent lakes, vast hills covered with thick trees and pure blue skies. There are many ways to reach Nainital from Delhi. The nearest railway station, Kathgodam, is 23 km away. You will find direct buses from the Anand Vihar ISBT in Delhi. Meanwhile, the nearest airport is Pantnagar Airport which is 72 km away. The beautiful weather all year round allows you to experience the destination fully. The major attractions to explore include Naini Lake, Tiffin Top, Raj Bhavan, Naina Peak, Snow View Point and Bara Pathar.
6. Auli, Uttarakhand
India's most popular ski resort destination, Auli is a small yet picturesque hamlet. The ski slopes at Auli, which were initially created as a paramilitary outpost, are popular with visitors and professionals. Auli is a must-visit during winter for its variety of snow adventure activities. Auli hill station’s distance from Delhi is around 500 kilometres by road. Almost 3,000 metres above sea level, Auli is surrounded by acres of oak and coniferous woods. The Himalayan ski resort offers panoramic views of some of India’s tallest mountains, including the nation's second-highest peak, Nanda Devi. Auli is also the entrance to the Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks, the Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara, and notable hiking locations like Gorson Bugyal, Pangarchulla Summit and Tapovan.
Words and pictures are not enough to describe the grandeur of these hill stations near Delhi. So, we recommend packing your bags and planning a trip immediately!