Summers are well on their way, and soon the heat in most parts of India will be unbearable. Thankfully, there are places where the infamous Indian summers are not as troublesome. Thinking where? Well, hill stations, of course. If you have a longish stay at a hotel in Delhi or live in the NCR, then you have an extensive list of hill stations to choose from. Read ahead about the best hill towns near Delhi to cool off:
Top 10 Hill Stations near Delhi to visit in this summer:
- Mussoorie ( 279 km)
- Nainital (287 km)
- Bhimtal (296 km)
- Naukuchiatal (306 km)
- Sattal (313 km)
- Ranikhet (338 km)
- Chail (340 km)
- Almora (346 km)
- Shimla (360 km)
- Auli (364 km)
Hill Stations near Delhi within 300 km
Mussoorie ( 279 km)
How can one talk of hill stations and not mention their ‘Queen’, Mussoorie?! Its altitude of more than 6500 feet results in an extremely pleasant summer season with cool breeze, clear skies and sunny days. The town was established by a British officer, who had come here to hunt. Soon, its beauty made it famous throughout the colonial regime, and high-ranking people started frequenting it, especially in the summer season. Several trains run from Delhi to Dehradun, from where the hill station is merely 1 hour 20 minutes by road.
Popular Places to Visit: Mussoorie Lake, Kempty Falls, K Dev Bhoomi Wax Museum, Dhanaulti, Soham Heritage & Art Centre, George Everest’s House, Adventure Park, Christ Church, Bhatta Falls, Mossy Falls, Gun Hill, Lal Tibba, Camel’s Back Road, Jabarkhet Nature Reserve
Things to Do: Boating, trekking, admiring natural scenery, frolicking at waterfalls, rock climbing, wildlife viewing
Nainital (287 km)
An extremely popular hill station near Delhi within 300 km, Nainital needs no introduction. It is located at an elevation of around 6830 feet in the state of Uttarakhand. People from all over the country visit it with their family, friends or partner for a memorable time. The summer temperature rarely goes beyond 25 degrees C. Trains are available till Kathgodam, from where you have to take a bus or taxi. Buses are also available till Nainital from Anand Vihar ISBT.
Popular Places to See: Naini Lake, Naina Peak, Tiffin Top, Snow View, Eco Cave Garden, Bara Patthar, Thandi Sadak, Bara Bazaar, Raj Bhavan, Naina Devi Temple, Pashan Devi Temple, Hanuman Garhi, Observatory, GB Pant High Altitude Zoo
Things to Do: Boating, walking, shopping, photography, rock climbing, rappelling, trekking, ropeway rides
Bhimtal (296 km)
Another great hill station near Delhi within 300 km, Bhimtal is a must visit. Just like Nainital, Bhimtal is also set around a natural lake; the lake here is much larger than in the former hill town. Set around 4500 feet above mean sea level, the town is visited by globetrotters from all parts of the country all the year round. Regular buses and taxi service is available for the town from Kathgodam, which receives numerous trains from Delhi.
Popular Places to Visit: Bhimtal Lake, Bhimtal Island, Bhimeshwar Mahadev Temple, Sayad Baba Ki Mazar, Folk Culture Museum
Things to Do: Boating, light hiking, walking around the lake, shopping on Mall Road
Hill Stations near Delhi within 400KM
Naukuchiatal (306 km)
A hill town with a large lake surrounded by pine trees, Naukuchiatal is perfect for tranquillity seekers. Located at an elevation of roughly 4000 feet, this natural waterbody is said to have nine corners; hence, the name. With the ground more than 40 feet below the surface of the water, Naukuchiatal is the deepest lake in the region.
Popular Places to See: Naukuchiatal Lake, Hanuman Mandir, Jangalia Gaon
Things to Do: Reposing under pines, light hiking, boating, fishing
Sattal (313 km)
Want to be surrounded by shimmering lakes? Then, visit Sattal; its name translating into ‘Seven Lakes’. This photogenic spot, sitting around 4500 feet the sea, is surrounded by pine trees that give off a characteristic scent. Apart from globetrotters, the waterbody and its surroundings are also frequented by birds such as parrots, woodpeckers, pheasants, thrushes, finches, Himalayan griffon vultures, fish eagles, crested serpent eagles, black eagles, mountain hawk eagle and lammergeiers.
Popular Places to See: Garud Tal, Nal Damyanti Tal, Purna Tal, Sita Tal, Ram Tal, Lakshman Tal, Sukha Tal, Subhash Dhara, Butterfly Museum, Methodist Ashram
Things to Do: Nature exploration, light hiking, photography, bird watching, boating
Ranikhet (338 km)
Bring along a camera when you head to Ranikhet as you do not want to miss capturing the views of the snow-clad mountains you get from here. Incredibly green and tranquil, it can be visited for a much-needed break from work or whatever you want a break from. The summers are never warm here, thanks to its elevation of about 6100 feet. Several buses and taxis ply to Ranikhet from Kathgodam, which is connected to Delhi by taxis, buses and trains.
Popular Places to Visit: Rani Jheel, Ranikhet Golf Course, Ashiyana Park, Mankameshwar Temple, Haidakhan Baba Temple, Binsar Mahadev Temple, Bhalu Dam, Tarikhet, Upat Kalika Temple
Things to Do: Golfing, boating, fishing, light hiking, temple tour, admiring scenic vista
Chail (340 km)
Over 7300 feet high, this small hamlet in Himachal Pradesh is home to the highest cricket ground in the world. As it is not too commercialised yet, it is a relatively calmer hilly hamlet than many others in the Himalayas. It is easily reachable by taxis and buses from Chandigarh, which is connected to Delhi by taxis, trains, buses and flights.
Popular Places to See: School Play Ground, Sadhupul Lake, Chail Palace, Kali Ka Tibba, Gurdwara Sahib, Siddh Baba Mandir, Chail Sanctuary
Things to Do: Nature viewing, reposing in the jungle, wildlife spotting, temple tour, frolicking in the lake
Almora (346 km)
About 60 km from Nainital is Almora, another charming town in Uttarakhand. It is not too popular with holidaymakers as compared to the former one, so you can expect to get the peace you have always wanted. Its altitude of about 5380 feet keeps the weather here really mild. Views of snow-white mountains are a plus. You can take trains till Kathgodam and then cover the rest of the journey by bus or taxi from Kathgodam as well as Haldwani.
Popular Places to See: Kasar Devi Temple, Jageshwar Temple, Karbala Graveyard Stone of Swami Vivekananda, Nanda Devi Temple, Chitai Temple, Kainchi Temple, Jakhan Devi Mandir
Things to Do: Admiring views of mountains, light hiking, tasting locally made bal mithai
Shimla (360 km)
Cool weather, lush deodars and colonial grandeur greet you as you arrive in Shimla. The capital of Himachal Pradesh, Shimla boasts an elevation of over 7000 feet above sea level, resulting in a pleasant weather pattern in summers. You can first take a train to Chandigarh, from where buses and taxis are readily available to reach the hill station. You can also reach Kalka by broad gauge train, and then cover the rest of the journey by narrow gauge railway. Alternatively, you can also reach this hill station near Delhi by car as a drive to here is extremely rewarding in terms of the views along the way.
Popular Places to See: Christ Church, Jakhu Hill, Jakhu Temple, Rashtrapati Niwas, Kali Bari Temple, Mall Road, The Ridge, Town Hall, Gaiety Theatre, Bantony Castle, The Glen, Gorton Castle, Annadale, Army Heritage Museum, Johnnie’s Wax Museum, Shimla Heritage Museum, Himachal State Museum, Summer Hill
Things to Do: Admiring mountain views from The Ridge, shopping at Mall Road, enjoying ice skating, riding Kalka-Shimla toy train, light hiking
Auli (364 km)
Thanks to its elevation of over 10000 feet above sea level, Auli is one of the coldest hill stations near Delhi even in summer. Lush grass carpets its slopes during the summer season, which is quite sunny and clear here. Trains and buses are available from Delhi to Haridwar, from where you cover the rest of the distance by road. You can take a bus or cab all the way till Auli or just till the town of Joshimath, from where a cable car connects you to your final destination.
Popular Places to See: Artificial lake
Things to Do: Reposing on grasslands, trekking, nature exploration, gondola ride, seeing snow-covered mountains
Kufri (374 km)
A ski resort in winters, Kufri is a carpet of lush grass in summers. Make it a point to go there whenever you visit Shimla as Kufri is merely 17 km from the hill city. It is more than 8600 feet above the sea level, meaning that the temperature here remains on the lower side even in the height of summers. As it is an extremely popular destination among globetrotters from around India, taxis and buses are available easily to reach it from nearby places like Shimla.
Popular Places to Visit: Indira Bungalow, Mahasu Peak, Himalayan Nature Park, Fun World
Things to Do: Trekking, clicking photos, relaxing under conifers, horse riding, joy rides, go-karting, valley crossing, commando net, Burma bridge
Hill Stations near Delhi within 500KM
Narkanda (420 km)
Another great spot to enjoy the cool mountain weather in summer, Narkanda is also not too far from Shimla; hence, perfect to visit when in the capital of Himachal. It boasts an altitude of more than 9000 feet, so it will be extremely pleasant here even when the rest of the country is reeling under the scorching sun; it is among the coldest hill stations near Delhi in summer. Buses and taxis are readily available from Shimla for Narkanda, considering its high tourist significance.
Popular Places to See: Hatu Peak, Stokes Farm, Mahamaya Temple in Kacheri,
Things to Do: Relaxing on grasslands, paragliding, rafting, mountain biking
Dharamshala (475 km)
Dominated by the around 20000-feet high Dhauladhar Range, Dharamshala is a gem of a place in Himachal. Great place to just sit and look at the scenery. The drive to Dharamshala is quite amazing as the road goes through the scenic Kangra Valley, so make it a point to come to this hill station near Delhi by car. Dharamshala was founded as a military cantonment by the British in the mid-19th century. Pathankot, from where buses and taxis are available for the town, can be reached by trains from Delhi.
Popular Places to See: Chintpurni Mata Temple, Kareri Lake, State Museum, Kunal Pathri Mata Mandir, War Memorial, HPCA Stadium
Things to Do: Relaxing, nature walks, admiring the Dhauladhar Range
McLeodganj (478 km)
If you are heading to Dharamshala, then it only makes sense to cover McLeodganj as well. It is often known as Little Lhasa as the major chunk of the local population is made up of Tibetan refugees. These people left their homeland in 1959, along with the 14th Dalai Lama, the head of the Gelug sect of Himalayan Vajrayana Buddhism. You can reach Pathankot from Delhi by train, and then take a bus or taxi.
Popular Places to See: Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts, Bhagsunag Falls, Bhagsunag Temple, Triund peak, Namgyal Monastery, Church of St John in the Wilderness, Dal Lake, Lahesh Cave
Things to Do: Boating, shopping for Tibetan handicrafts, tasting momos and thukpa, exploring Dalai Lama Temple, light to medium trekking, cave camping
Kasol (521 km)
Nowadays, almost everyone in the 18-30 age group is heading to Kasol. Set at a height of roughly 5180 feet above sea level, it is a favourite of solo travellers, college students and youth in general. After reaching Chandigarh by road, rail or air from Delhi, you can take a bus or taxi directly, if possible. Else, travel by road first to Kullu town, and then change buses or taxis.
Popular Places to See: Coniferous forest, Parvati River, Parvati Valley, Malana, Tosh, Kheerganga, Manikaran
Things to Do: Relaxing in the forest, admiring scenery, bathing in natural hot sulphur springs, trekking, angling
Manali (556 km)
More than 6500 feet above sea level, Manali is one of the quintessential summer getaways from Delhi NCR. The Beas River flowing through the middle and the mountains all around give it a picturesque setting. Families, group of friends, solo travellers and honeymooners throng this town from all parts of India in summers. To reach Manali, you can reach Chandigarh by a flight or train from Delhi, and then take a taxi or bus.
Popular Places to See: Hadimba Devi Temple, Manu Temple, Vashisht hot springs, Tibetan Monastery, Pandoh Dam, Manali Club House, Old Manali, Van Vihar National Park, Rohtang Pass
Things to Do: Shopping, relaxing, admiring mountain scenery, rafting, bathing in natural sulphur spring, taking a trip to Jagatsukh Village, exploring Naggar Castle, fishing
Solang Valley (565 km)
Head to the Solang Valley, merely half an hour’s drive from Manali, if you are feeling adventurous. Its grasslands and wide, open spaces have made it a hotspot for honeymooning couples and families with kids. Most people take a package deal, covering Manali and Solang Valley in a single trip. Lots of private travel agencies offer regular bus and taxi services between these two magnificent holiday destinations.
Popular Places to See: Gulaba, Nag Mandir, Rohtang Pass
Things to Do: Relaxing on lush meadows, trekking, paragliding, zorbing, ATV riding, parachuting, camping, horse riding, gondola rides
Dalhousie (576 km)
Another among the popular hill towns in Himachal Pradesh, it is especially renowned for its charming monuments set in picturesque realms. A trip to this incredible town will definitely refresh you from within. It has a strong association with the British, who established it in 1854 and named it after the then Governor-General of India, the Earl of Dalhousie. Located at around 6460 feet, it draws holidaymakers from all over the country, who come to revel in its scenery and cool weather. The town can be accessed by bus or taxi from Pathankot, for which there are several trains from Delhi.
Popular Places to Visit: Subhash Baoli, Panchpula, Bakrota Hills, Bara Patthar, Dainkund, Ganji Pahari, St Francis Church, Mall Road, Satdhara Falls
Things to Do: Sightseeing, admiring mountain views, light to medium trekking
Khajjiar (589 km)
Often called Mini Switzerland, it is extremely popular among people from across the globe, especially families and newlyweds. A small lake in the middle of lush pastures surrounded by lush deodars….man, I could build a house here for myself if I could. In summers, when the pastures are nice and thick, you would see wild mountain horses feeding on them without a care in the world.
Popular Places to See: Khajjiar Lake, Golden Devi Temple, Kalatop Khajjiar Sanctuary
Things to Do: Trekking, horse riding, nature viewing, relaxing on the grass under deodars, paragliding, zorbing
Unexplored Hill Stations near Delhi
Mukteshwar (333 km)
Mukteshwar is another name which features on the list of the coldest hill stations near Delhi during the summer season. Absolutely green everywhere with the sky-high Himalayan mountains in the distance, it is simply heaven. Plus, it also has a religious significance as well as the name of the town is a reference to Lord Shiva, who is considered to be its guardian deity.
Popular Places to See: Mukteshwar Temple, Chauthi Jaali, Mukteshwar Inspection Bungalow,
Things to Do: Reposing, nature viewing, photography, snow games in winters, hiking
Binsar (355 km)
Located between Nainital and Kausani, Binsar is a great place for wildlife enthusiasts. The sanctuary here is home to animals like Himalayan gorals, red foxes, eagles and Himalayan black bears. So don’t forget to bring your camera because you seriously do not want to miss clicking photos.
Popular Places to Visit: Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary, Khali Estate, Ganaath Temple
Things to Do: Hiking, nature walks, bird watching, wildlife tours, photography
Kausani (394 km)
If you want to see the Himalayas in all their glory without being frozen by extreme cold, then Kausani is one of the best places to visit. The town, also known for its lush tea estates, gives a spectacular view of several peaks, including the mighty Nanda Devi, the highest entirely within India. The best thing about the hill station is that not many venture here, so you are assured of all the privacy you need.
Popular Places to See: Baijnath Lake, Anashakti Ashram, Pant Museum, shawl emporium, Lakhudiyar
Things to Do: Photography, nature viewing, relaxing, light trekking
Munsiyari (541 km)
Located deep in the Himalayas of Uttarakhand, this is one place you might not have heard about. It is an extremely incredible place with cool weather, few people and pretty scenery all around. You take a train up till Kathgodam, and then there is a long, but extremely scenic and visually rewarding bus journey to the town.
Popular Places to Visit: Birthi Falls, Madkot village, potato farms, Darkot village, Betulidhar
Things to Do: Nature viewing, hikes, photography
With so many options to choose from, a trip away from Delhi NCR is bound to be enjoyable. So, where are you heading to? I know exactly where I am. Let’s all have a memorable trip and share our experiences in comments below. Keep tripping!