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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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Pahalgam

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.

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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.

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Its beautiful green mountains, clear rivers and silent valleys bring it to the top of our list.

Munnar

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.

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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.

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Voted as the second greatest travel destination in the world by TripAdvisor, Munnar is a hill station in Kerala

Srinagar

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.

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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.

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Dal is a vast sheet of water reflecting the carved wooden balconies of houseboats and the misty peaks of the Pir Panjal mountains.

Dal is a vast sheet of water reflecting the carved wooden balconies of houseboats and the misty peaks of the Pir Panjal mountains.

Ooty

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.

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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.

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Shillong

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.

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Landmark Hills

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.

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Shillong is popularly called Scotland of the East

Kodaikanal

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

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.

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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.

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Kasauli

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.

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Kasauli Castle

Kasauli Castle offers a comfortable setting while in Kasauli. It provides 3-star accommodation with air-conditioned rooms.

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Christchurch

Mount Abu

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.

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Ratan Villas

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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Dilwara Jain temples, Mt Abu

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An architect by profession, Rohit Agarwal is a curious traveller, seeking out the minutest detail about the places he travels to, and that’s what one will find in his writings.

His writings have appeared in various blogs, he’s currently trying to bring forth as many different places a traveller who shares the same level of curiosity like him would like to visit through his writings.

Read more about India through Rohit’s website Trans India Travels. You can follow him on Facebook too.

Photo credits: Featured header image by Chris Ford. Pinterst image of Mount Abu by Chris Ford. Second pinterest image credits: Chris FordNikky 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.

    24 Comments

  1. Who would have thought there were so many hill stations in India? The views are totally stunning too. Ooty is by far my favorite – that reflection shot is out of this world. Thanks to Rohit for sharing some parts of India I’ve never heard of!

    • Isn’t it stunning! The reflection shot is actually of Dal Lake, in Srinagar. Glad we could collaborate with Rohit to introduce you to some new destinations!

      Hope you have the chance to visit a couple of these hill stations soon 🙂

  2. Wow! Honestly, I didn’t know anything about the Hill Stations before reading this. They seem like incredible escapes, and I can certainly see why they are busy during the heavy tourists seasons. I’m not sure which one I’d start in first. Ooty sounds great for off-season to avoid the crowds, but Srinagar sounds fairly magical (and I’d love to spend time with a view of Dal Lake). You’re making me want to go right now!

    • Hi Patricia, I’m glad we could introduce you! Hill stations throughout India definitely make for incredible escapes … but yes, maybe try to hit shoulder season to avoid the crowds of peak holidays 🙂

      Srinagar and Dal Lake are really stunning – if you had to choose only one to visit, that’s a good choice!

  3. These are all really enchanting places to head out too. One finds a lot of solace especially after weeks of being couped up in the concrete jungles of the cities. We are looking forward to heading out to Koadaikanal over the coming weekend. Rains would have enhanced the beauty and we can’t wait to get there. Lovely post with some great accommodation tips too.

    • Absolutely – each of these destinations are wonderful for peace and serenity when you need a break from fast paces life in the city. Have a wonderful time in Koadaikanal this weekend!

  4. For some reason I never thought of India as being romantic – annnd I am wrong. These photos are spectacular!!Munnar especially caught my attention. I am in the process of planning a trip to India and I do believe that deserves a spot on my list of places to visit!

    • I’m glad we could change your perception! And inspire a visit to Munnar – definitely a destination to include in your upcoming trip 🙂 Have a good one!

  5. I had never heard of hill top stations before this post! I love learning new things and new places to go to, each one is and sounds so beautiful. Ooty seems super interesting since it’s on the water like that too! We really have to make it to India, the hardest part would be deciding where to go!

    • I’m glad we could introduce you! Absolutely, India is definitely one of those destinations where the hardest part is figuring out where to start! Ooty is beautiful though, highly recommend reserving a spot on your trip 🙂

      Happy travels!

  6. This is an amazing list. I have traveled a lot within India but have not been to any of them. Some of them have been on my wish list for a very long time – especially Shillong and Kodai Kanal. 🙂

    • I’m glad we could add a couple of new destinations to your list!

  7. These destinations look absolutely stunning! Srinagar is the top of my list out of these gorgeous destinations though. I love the reflection in the lake and the brightly colored buildings and tapestries on the boat. It’s no wonder it’s a great lake destination in Kashmir. Munnar sounds pretty great too since I’ll be traveling with my husband!

    • Maybe you could plan a trip which hops between a few of them! Dal Lake is stunning for sure, so I hope you so have the chance to at least make it to Srinagar 🙂

      Happy travels Paige!

  8. Wow, this is a great collection of some excellent hill stations to visit. My favorite is Mount Abu, simply because you can double it up with some other historical places in Rajasthan.

    • Absolutely re combining Mount Abu and with some other historical places in Rajasthan – it would make for a fantastic trip!

  9. What about the beautiful scenic destinations of North East India?
    The places are so scenic, people very very friendly and the best part is SO VERY SAFE!!!

  10. i have been to Pahalgam,dal lake-srinagar,mount abu in india,this is so peaceful hill stations with beauty all around
    this is amazing list

    you can also cover darjeeling,gangtok,leh ladakh in this list

    • Thanks for the tips on Darjeeling, Gangtok & Leh ladakh – glad to hear you’ve enjoyed the hill stations you’ve visited so far!

  11. This is an insightful read about the lovely hill stations in India. I have been fortunate enough to visit some of these beautiful places. Munnar is my fav. Kasauli in HP is one I would like to explore. Thank you, Rohit, for this and thank you Meg for publishing it. I grew up in Mumbai and remember visiting the hill stations of Lonavla, Khandalla, Mahableshwar & Matheran, all picturesque locations for a long weekend getaway.

    • Glad you enjoyed it Rajesh, and that you’ve had the fortune to visit many of them!

      Sounds like you have very fond memories from your time in the hill stations – Munnar is definitely one I would like to visit when I get the chance to travel to India 🙂

  12. Stumbled upon this post while looking for the hill stations in India for summer. Love this post! We agree totally with the destinations that you have mentioned. And good to see Kausali on the list. Although it is touristy these days, It’s still a destination worth visiting! Thanks for sharing!

    • So glad you enjoyed the post! Did you end up choosing a hill station for the coming summer? Totally agree that Kausali is worth visiting in spite of the tourism 🙂

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