Authored by Rohit Agarwal
India is a land of remarkable diversity, though where nature lovers and romantics are concerned, its dramatic terrain is breathtaking, and we recommend heading for the hills.
There are many hill stations throughout India; towns located at a higher elevation than the nearby plain or valley. Most were established by European colonists escaping the summer heat (temperatures in the hills are much cooler), and with over 20 mountain ranges, today they are spread all across India.
With awe-inspiring access to nature, and a romantic seclusion that modern cities rarely offer, choosing a hill station can be a very challenging task. But if you’re a nature lover or looking for a romantic escape, we’ve narrowed your list down to 8.
8 Romantic Hill Stations in India for Nature Lovers
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Two and a half hours from Srinagar in the beautiful state of Jammu and Kashmir, Phalagam is a delight for nature lovers. Its beautiful green mountains, clear rivers and silent valleys bring it to the top of our list.
There is a lot to do in this small hill town. You can visit the beautiful Aru Valley or be mesmerized in Chandanwari (starting point for the Amarnath Yatra pilgrimage described below). Visitors enjoy adventure sports like white water rafting, and there are numerous trails for walks and treks.
The Amarnath Yatra is a yearly pilgrimage to Amarnath cave, known as Lord Shiva’s abode. The cave is the holiest of all Hindu shrines, and hundreds of thousands of pilgrims take on the challenging mountainous terrain to see the almighty linga, which is an ice stalagmite formed inside the cave.
Hotels in Pahalgam
Hotel Senator Pine-n-Peak Pahalgam, Pahalgam, India
The hotel is a short walk from Pahalgam Golf Course and offers a sauna and games room. It provides 3-star accommodation with air-conditioned rooms.
Hotel Heevan Pahalgam, Pahalgam, India
Hotel Heevan Pahalgam is situated in Pahalgam with river views and offers complimentary Wi-Fi. It also provides meeting rooms, a 24-hour reception and 24-hour room service.
This small hill station in Kerala is famous for its enchanting green hillocks, tea plantations, and pristine natural beauty. Boating, cycling, and walking amidst the clouds on the way to a tea estate are all activities you can do.
It’s an unforgettable walk as you make your way to Kolukkumalai Tea Estate. Perched high on the hill, it’s as if you’re walking through the heavens with clouds at eye level paving your way.
You can also stay in old world bungalows at Chithirapuram; an amazing place for a weeklong getaway, and incredible romantic if you’re traveling with your loved one.
Hotels in Munnar
Munnar Tea Country Resort
Munnar Tea Country Resort is situated in Munnar and offers free wireless internet. The various amenities this modern resort features include a 24-hour reception, meeting rooms and a coffee bar.
The Silver Tips Munnar
The Silver Tips Munnar offers 4-star accommodation in Munnar. It also has a rooftop terrace and a sauna. The rooms feature vistas of the city and provide tea and coffee making facilities, a refrigerator and a mini bar. All offer bottled water, a kitchenette and movies-on-demand.
Srinagar is the summer capital of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. The Mughal Gardens, Nishat Bagh, and the Shalimar Bagh all provide stunning views of the Dal Lake.
Dal is the second largest urban lake in the State, a vast sheet of water reflecting the carved wooden balconies of houseboats and the misty peaks of the Pir Panjal mountains. If you get up early, you can paddle out to see the floating flower and vegetable market: a colourful spectacle, but one where you can expect plenty of attention from souvenir vendors.
Chashmashahi and Pari Mahal are must visits in the city, Pari Mahal a seven terraced garden located at the top of Zabarwan mountain range over-looking the city and Dal Lake. Paragliding and trekking are popular among the outdoor adventure scene.
Hotels in Srinagar
The Lalit Grand Palace Srinagar
Opened in 1910, The Lalit Grand Palace Srinagar is set in Srinagar and offers 24-hour room service, valet parking and free Wi-Fi. It provides 5-star accommodation with air-conditioned rooms.
New Jacquline Heritage Houseboats
Rooms at New Jacquline Houseboat are well-appointed and offer tea and coffee making facilities, internet access and a refrigerator. They each have a ceiling fan, a DVD player and an in-room safe.
Though admittedly overcrowded in peak season, Ooty is still a must visit hill station in Southern India. Located in Tamil Nadu, this is a honeymooners’ paradise; a combination of forests, temples, and lakes, with beautiful gardens, and charming Raj-era bungalows (which provide its most atmospheric accommodation).
The journey to Ooty on the celebrated miniature train is romantic and the scenery stunning. The railway is a UNESCO World Heritage Site; a 46-kilometre journey that starts from Mettupalayam and goes through tunnels, curves, bridges and beautiful scenery for 5 hours before arriving in Ooty. If you sit on the side that looks out in to the valley you’ll have the best views on the way up.
When you make it to Ooty, make sure you visit Doddabetta peak and tea gardens, along with the local botanic gardens and Ooty Lake.
Hotels in Ooty
Savoy Hotel Ooty
Savoy Hotel Ooty provides modern 5-star accommodation with a fitness centre, as well as a kids club, valet parking and free Wi-Fi. Buffet breakfast is provided each morning at Taj Savoy Hotel’s restaurant.
Accord Highland Hotel Ooty
Accord Highland Hotel Ooty provides a modern setting with 5-star accommodation and air-conditioned rooms. The resort provides free wireless internet in public areas, as well as a garden for guests to unwind in. There is also a barbecue area on-site for guests to use.
Popularly called Scotland of the East, Shillong is Meghalaya’s capital city. The city is located at a high altitude and features many lakes, waterfalls, and valleys. Shillong is known for the huge man-made Umiam lake which hosts a large watersports complex.
A picnic near Elephant Falls will make any romantic getaway a memorable one. This is a three tier waterfall fed from 3 different rivers. The British named it Elephant falls after they saw a rock which resembled as an elephant, though this was destroyed in a subsequent earthquake.
Shillong Peak, Wards Lake, and Lady Hydari Park are other well-known tourist attractions in Shillong.
Hotels in Shillong
Hotel Polo Towers
Hotel Polo Towers offers 3-star accommodation in Shillong. The multiple amenities this stylish hotel has to offer include free Wi-Fi, a tour desk and a car rental desk. There are 50 modern rooms at the hotel, each offering all the necessities to ensure a comfortable stay.
Landmark Hills is located in Shillong and is close to St. Anthony’s College. It provides conference rooms and room service, and is a brief stroll from Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium Shillong.
Kodaikanal is a hill station in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. This hill town is known as the ‘Princess of hill stations’ and proudly boasts the presence of Neelakurinji flowers on its enchanting hill tops (a beautiful blue and purple flower which bloom once in twelve years).
Kodai lake is at the center of town and is well-loved among tourists in Kodaikanal. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can take a trek from Dolphin’s nose to Echo Point (a scenic reservoir where you can create and listen to your own echo).
For a romantic atmosphere, you can drive to Berijam Lake. This is a scenic freshwater reservoir that is hidden amidst dense forests in the upper Palani hills.
Hotels in Kodaikanal
The Carlton provides 5 star accommodation with complimentary wireless internet and a gym. It is conveniently positioned for those wanting to visit the area’s popular attractions and has a day spa with a variety of massages and body treatments.
JC Residency Kodaikanal
JC Residency Kodaikanal is situated in Kodaikanal and is close to the area’s popular attractions. It also features free Wi-Fi and a fitness centre. There is a range of breakfast options on offer every day.
Kasauli is one of the most beautiful hill stations in Himachal Pradesh. But despite its bewitching magnificence, it’s not yet made a name for itself on the tourist trail. It is a paradise for nature lovers, with scenic valleys and great opportunities for a trek. And it’s an amazing place to visit if you need to escape the crowds.
Of the must visit spots in Kasauli, be sure to visit Sunset Point and Monkey Point for beautiful scenic views. Sunset point is famous for a beautiful sunset between the Kasauli Hills; Monkey point for being the highest point in Kasauli (with hopping monkeys).
Christ Church should be another stop on your trip. One of the oldest churches in India, and certainly the oldest in Himachal Pradesh, this picturesque structure attracts tourists from all over India. The historic landmark is dedicated to St. Francis and St. Barnabas, designed in the emblematic Gothic style architecture.
Hotels in Kasauli
Moksha Himalayan Spa Resort
Featuring a shuttle to Chandigarh Airport, plus complimentary wireless internet, Moksha Himalayan Spa Resort is a convenient place to stay in Kasauli. It also offers a sauna, an outdoor pool and a Jacuzzi.
Kasauli Castle offers a comfortable setting while in Kasauli. It provides 3-star accommodation with air-conditioned rooms.
Mount Abu is the only hill station in the north-western state of Rajasthan. The town provides people of this desert state with rejuvenating weekend getaways in the summer heat.
The ancient Dilwara temples is an incredible attraction. These are the finest Jain temples in the world, built in the 11th and 13th centuries AD, world famous for their extraordinary architecture and stunning marble carvings. Some experts even consider it architecturally superior to the Taj Mahal.
The Achalgarh fort of Mewar is another attraction worth noting. The fort dates back to 1452, and while it’s in run down condition now, there are many Jain Temples inside the fort. Also visit the Nakki lake, Toad rock, and Honeymoon point. If you had to choose a single reason to go to Mount Abu, it would be the mesmerizing sunset here.
Hotels in Mount Abu
Hotel Silver Oak Mount Abu
Hotel Silver Oak Mount Abu has 20 trendy rooms that are accompanied by a variety of essential amenities to ensure guests have a comfortable stay. It is also set just moments from Dilwara Temples.
Ratan Villas offers a luxury setting when in Mount Abu. It provides 3-star accommodation with air-conditioned villas. Ratan Villas provides easy access to Achalgarh Fort.
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Photo credits: Featured header image by Chris Ford. Pinterst image of Mount Abu by Chris Ford. Second pinterest image credits: Chris Ford, Nikky Stephen &, Prabhu B Doss. Pahalgam by Saad Akhtar. Munnar by Nikky Stephen. Dal Lake by sandeepachetan.com via Flickr. Dal Lake by Prabhu B Doss. Shillong by Masrur Ashraf. Christ Church, Photo by Anurajsibia. Dilwara temples by Rakhee.