Today’s life is full of stress and so under such circumstances, a perfect getaway destination to relax your mind, soul, and body is required. And there is no better way to relax than to travel to a hill station. In India there are a number of wonderful hill stations and most of them are either located in the Himalayas or in the Western Ghats.
So let us now analyze the top 10 hill stations located in the Himalayas.
- Gulmarg: Is a beautiful hill station named in honour of Goddess Parvati and located in the Baramula district in Jammu and Kashmir. This hill station was renamed as Gulmarg which means meadow of flowers during the 16th century by Sultan Yusuf Shah of the Chak Dynasty. This scenic hill station is popular for its golf course and ski resort during winter. It is also popular for breathtaking views of the ridges and forests that eventually pave way to the snow clad slopes of the Khilanmarg and the Nanga Parbat peak. Major tourist attractions in this hill station include adventure sports like trekking and water rafting.
- Sonamarg: Is a beautiful hill station that is located in the Ganderbal district in Jammu and Kashmir. It is famous for providing a beautiful view of the countryside. It is also surrounded by beautiful mountains and pine forests and is located at about 84 km from Srinagar. It is famous for providing a perfect trekking track up to Thajiwas, a small valley located at the foot of the Sonamarg glacier.
- Srinagar: Is the largest city in Jammu and Kashmir and according to folklore means city of prosperity. This city is famous for its houseboat, canals, and Mughal Gardens. The popular Mughal Gardens are Shalimar and Nishat. Dal Lake is also a major tourist attraction in this city. Other popular tourist attractions in this city include Shankaracharya Hill, Hazaratbal Mosque, Hari Parbat Fort, etc.
- Ladakh: Is a region that is administered by Jammu and Kashmir and is commonly known for its extreme scenic beauty. It is located at an altitude of about 2500 to 4500 meters above sea level and is well known for its natural beauty. The landscape in Ladakh is also ideal for adventure activities and hence is famous for trekking, mountaineering, camping, water rafting. It is also known for its rich flora and fauna. Since the culture in Ladakh is closely linked to Tibet this region is also famous for wonderful Buddhist monasteries.
- Shimla: Is a beautiful hill station named after a Hindu goddess called Shyamala Devi, an incarnation of Kali and, is located in Himachal Pradesh. It is known for its all round natural beauty. It is also known for beautiful green pastures with snow clad mountain peaks in the background. Major tourist attractions in this quaint hill station include Mall, Christchurch, Narkanda etc.
- Kullu: Is a beautiful hill station located on the banks of the River Beas in the Kullu Valley. It is well known for its natural beauty. Some major tourist attractions include Kali Bari temple (dedicated to goddess Shayamala) and Raghunath temple which is dedicated to Lord Ram. This hill station is also known for shopping with Akhara Bazaar and Bhutti Weavers Colony being popular for it.
- Manali: Is an extremely scenic hill station that lies in the Kullu Valley at an altitude of 2,050 meters above sea level. This hill station is surrounded by magnificent mountains. It is also well known for its beautiful apple orchards. It is also an ideal spot for trekking.
- Dharamsala: Is a beautiful city/hill station located in the Kangra Valley in Himachal Pradesh. It is renowned for its picturesque beauty and as a result attracts a large number of tourists every year. It is surrounded by beautiful pine trees and deodar forest which only adds to its “old world charm”. A few major tourist attractions include colourful temples and Gompas.
- Nainital: Is a hill station located at Uttarakhand that was founded in 1841 by a sugar trader P Barron. It is surrounded by beautiful mountains on three sides. It is also known for magnificent landscapes.
- Darjeeling: Is a beautiful hill station located in West Bengal. It is renowned for its natural beauty. It is known for the spectacular view of the Kangchenjunga, the world’s third highest mountain peak. Additionally, it is also famous for the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway.
In conclusion, it would be safe to say that all the hill stations mentioned above are equally popular and, so which destination you should visit is eventually a matter of choice you have to make.