As the warmth of summer spreads throughout India, most of us long for a chilly getaway. There are numerous destinations that offer enjoyable experiences, but to beat the heat, a cool and misty hill station is your best bet.
Tired of visiting the same old destinations? Perhaps it’s time to explore the unexplored. Forget Manali or Ooty and make your way to some offbeat hill stations. All the way from Himachal Pradesh to Tamil Nadu, these treasures dot the length and breadth of the country; discover them during your next great escape.
Here’s a list of offbeat hill stations to check out this summer:
1. Yelagiri, Tamil Nadu
Situated 3460 feet above sea level and easily approachable from Bengaluru and Chennai, Yelagiri is renowned for its cool climate and enchanting beauty. Making your way to Yelagiri by road will be an adventurous experience – as you ascend, the hairpin bends lead you through some magnificent mountain landscapes to eventually reach the rose gardens and orchards this place is famous for.
An added bonus is the town’s adaptability to welcome all types of vacationers – from families to honeymooning couples to adventure enthusiasts to nature lovers. Spend some time exploring the gardens, enjoy boating in the calm Punganoor Lake, go trekking in the Swami Malai hills, watch the cascading Jalagamparai waterfalls, or just ramble at your own pace through mango and jackfruit orchards.
2. Mashobra, Himachal Pradesh
A tiny hill town in Shimla district, Mashobra is a blend of apple orchards, pine forests, glistening streams, ancient temples, colonial architecture, and utter seclusion. If you look around you will see thick coniferous trees and the mighty snow-covered Himalayas hiding behind a thick layer of mist most of the year. You get to enjoy serenity and seclusion all through your trip. It’s not only about the greenery; this sleepy hamlet comes with a lot of history as well. `xApart from the stunning and picturesque views, the town offers a lot for adventure enthusiasts too. Trekking, camping, rappelling, mountain climbing, and fishing are some activities you can indulge in. The finest ingredients – adventure, nature, and solitude – combine to form the perfect vacation destination. Mashobra is indeed a dream destination.
3. Chikhaldara, Maharashtra
This hill station boasts of both extravagant natural beauty and a significant connection to mythology. Its association with mythology is derived from the Mahabharata. The town is said to have been named after a character called ‘Keechaka’, a demon who was killed by one of the Pandavas (Bheema). Located at an altitude of 1118 metres, the area receives plenty of rainfall.
The climate and topography contribute to the lush greenery; with every nook of the hill station displaying vibrant shades. Hiding under the canopy of the treetops are cascading waterfalls, azure lakes, and vast stretches of flowering meadows. In the midst of such greenery, animal life is sure to thrive. You can spot panthers, wild boars, sambar deer, wild dogs, sloth bears, and a variety of birds.
4. Binsar Valley, Uttarakhand
Perched high in the spectacular Himalayas, with breathtaking views in all directions, Binsar is your go-to place when you wish to escape to the mountains. You can spot some famous Himalayan peaks – Kedarnath, Nanda Devi, Nanda Kot, and Panchchuli, among others. Serenity and mountains go hand-in-hand, and a trip to Binsar ensures ultimate peace and solitude. But adventure aficionados need not be bored, for where there are mountains there are ways to get your daily shot of adrenaline. You can trek, go mountain climbing, rappelling, bird watching, horse riding etc. Nestled in this region is a forest reserve and bird sanctuary that’s home to a host of flora and fauna.
So don’t overthink; simply pick a day, pack your bags, and set out! Rest assured, you will go back rejuvenated.