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 stations near Delhi to cool off:
Hill Stations near Delhi:
1. Mussoorie (Distance of hill station from Delhi: 279 km)
How can one talk of hill stations near Delhi 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.
- Popular Places to Visit in Mussoorie: 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 in Mussoorie: Boating, trekking, admiring natural scenery, frolicking at waterfalls, rock climbing, wildlife viewing
- How to Reach Mussoorie from Delhi: Several trains run from Delhi to Dehradun, from where the hill station is merely 1 hour 20 minutes by road.
- Best Time to Visit Mussoorie: April-June and October-November
2. Nainital (Distance of hill station from Delhi: 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.
- Popular Places to See in Nainital: 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 in Nainital: Boating, walking, shopping, photography, rock climbing, rappelling, trekking, ropeway rides
- How to Reach Nainital from Delhi: 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.
- Best Time to Visit Nainital: October-June
3. Bhimtal (Distance of hill station from Delhi: 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.
- Popular Places to Visit in Bhimtal: Bhimtal Lake, Bhimtal Island, Bhimeshwar Mahadev Temple, Sayad Baba Ki Mazar, Folk Culture Museum
- Things to Do in Bhimtal: Boating, light hiking, walking around the lake, shopping on Mall Road
- How to Reach Bhimtal from Delhi: Regular buses and taxi service is available for the town from Kathgodam, which receives numerous trains from Delhi.
- Best Time to Visit Bhimtal: October-June
Hill Stations near Delhi within 400 KM
4. Naukuchiatal (Distance of hill station from Delhi: 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 in Naukuchiatal: Naukuchiatal Lake, Hanuman Mandir, Jangalia Gaon
- Things to Do in Naukuchiatal: Reposing under pines, light hiking, boating, fishing
- How to Reach Naukuchiatal from Delhi: You can take a train from Delhi to Kathgodam and then complete the rest of the journey by buses or taxis.
- Best Time to Visit Naukuchiatal: October-June
5. Sattal (Distance of hill station from Delhi: 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 in Sattal: Garud Tal, Nal Damyanti Tal, Purna Tal, Sita Tal, Ram Tal, Lakshman Tal, Sukha Tal, Subhash Dhara, Butterfly Museum, Methodist Ashram
- Things to Do in Sattal: Nature exploration, light hiking, photography, bird watching, boating
- How to Reach Sattal from Delhi: Sattal is easily reachable from Kathgodam by buses and taxis. Several trains are available for Kathgodam from Delhi.
- Best Time to Visit Sattal: October-June
6. Ranikhet (Distance of hill station from Delhi: 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.
- Popular Places to Visit in Ranikhet: Rani Jheel, Ranikhet Golf Course, Ashiyana Park, Mankameshwar Temple, Haidakhan Baba Temple, Binsar Mahadev Temple, Bhalu Dam, Tarikhet, Upat Kalika Temple
- Things to Do in Ranikhet: Golfing, boating, fishing, light hiking, temple tour, admiring scenic vista
- How to Reach Ranikhet from Delhi: Several buses and taxis ply to Ranikhet from Kathgodam, which is connected to Delhi by taxis, buses and trains.
- Best Time to Visit Ranikhet: October-June
7. Chail (Distance of hill station from Delhi: 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.
- Popular Places to See in Chail: School Play Ground, Sadhupul Lake, Chail Palace, Kali Ka Tibba, Gurdwara Sahib, Siddh Baba Mandir, Chail Sanctuary
- Things to Do in Chail: Nature viewing, reposing in the jungle, wildlife spotting, temple tour, frolicking in the lake
- How to Reach Chail from Delhi: It is easily reachable by taxis and buses from Chandigarh, which is connected to Delhi by taxis, trains, buses and flights.
- Best Time to Visit Chail: October-June
8. Almora (Distance of hill station from Delhi: 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.
- Popular Places to See in Almora: Kasar Devi Temple, Jageshwar Temple, Karbala Graveyard Stone of Swami Vivekananda, Nanda Devi Temple, Chitai Temple, Kainchi Temple, Jakhan Devi Mandir
- Things to Do in Almora: Admiring views of mountains, light hiking, tasting locally made bal mithai
- How to Reach Almora from Delhi: You can take trains till Kathgodam and then cover the rest of the journey by bus or taxi from Kathgodam as well as Haldwani.
- Best Time to Visit Almora: October-June
9. Shimla (Distance of hill station from Delhi: 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.
- Popular Places to See in Shimla: 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 in Shimla: Admiring mountain views from The Ridge, shopping at Mall Road, enjoying ice skating, riding Kalka-Shimla toy train, light hiking
- How to Reach Shimla from Delhi: 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. Read also – Shimla Toy Train
- Best Time to Visit Shimla: October-June
10. Auli (Distance of hill station from Delhi: 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.
- Popular Places to See in Auli: Artificial lake
- Things to Do in Auli: Reposing on grasslands, trekking, nature exploration, gondola ride, seeing snow-covered mountains
- How to Reach Auli from Delhi: 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.
- Best Time to Visit Auli: October-June
11. Kufri (Distance of hill station: 374 km from Delhi)
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.
- Popular Places to Visit in Kufri: Indira Bungalow, Mahasu Peak, Himalayan Nature Park, Fun World
- Things to Do in Kufri: Trekking, clicking photos, relaxing under conifers, horse riding, joy rides, go-karting, valley crossing, commando net, Burma bridge
- How to Reach Kufri from Delhi: 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.
- Best Time to Visit Kufri: October-June
Hill Stations near Delhi within 500 KM
12. Narkanda (Distance of hill station: 420 km from Delhi)
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.
- Popular Places to See in Narkanda: Hatu Peak, Stokes Farm, Mahamaya Temple in Kacheri,
- Things to Do in Narkanda: Relaxing on grasslands, paragliding, rafting, mountain biking
- How to Reach Narkanda from Delhi: Buses and taxis are readily available from Shimla for Narkanda, considering its high tourist significance.
- Best Time to Visit Narkanda: October-June
13. Dharamshala (Distance of hill station: 475 km from Delhi)
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.
- Popular Places to See in Dharamshala: Chintpurni Mata Temple, Kareri Lake, State Museum, Kunal Pathri Mata Mandir, War Memorial, HPCA Stadium
- Things to Do in Dharamshala: Relaxing, nature walks, admiring the Dhauladhar Range
- How to Reach Dharamshala from Delhi: Pathankot, from where buses and taxis are available for Dharamshala, can be reached by trains from Delhi.
- Best Time to Visit Dharamshala: October-June
14. McLeodganj (Distance of hill station: 478 km from Delhi)
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.
- Popular Places to See in McLeodganj: 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 in McLeodganj: Boating, shopping for Tibetan handicrafts, tasting momos and thukpa, exploring Dalai Lama Temple, light to medium trekking, cave camping
- How to Reach McLeodganj from Delhi: You can reach Pathankot from Delhi by train, and then take a bus or taxi.
- Best Time to Visit McLeodganj: October-June
15. Kasol (Distance of hill station: 521 km from Delhi)
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.
- Popular Places to See in Kasol: Coniferous forest, Parvati River, Parvati Valley, Malana, Tosh, Kheerganga, Manikaran
- Things to Do in Kasol: Relaxing in the forest, admiring scenery, bathing in natural hot sulphur springs, trekking, angling
- How to Reach Kasol from Delhi: 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.
- Best Time to Visit Kasol: October-June
16. Manali (Distance of hill station: 556 km from Delhi)
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.
- Popular Places to See in Manali: 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 in Manali: Shopping, relaxing, admiring mountain scenery, rafting, bathing in natural sulphur spring, taking a trip to Jagatsukh Village, exploring Naggar Castle, fishing
- How to Reach Manali from Delhi: To reach Manali, you can reach Chandigarh by a flight or train from Delhi, and then take a taxi or bus.
- Best Time to Visit Manali: October-June
17. Solang Valley (Distance of hill station: 565 km from Delhi)
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.
- Popular Places to See in Solang Valley: Gulaba, Nag Mandir, Rohtang Pass
- Things to Do in Solang Valley: Relaxing on lush meadows, trekking, paragliding, zorbing, ATV riding, parachuting, camping, horse riding, gondola rides
- How to Reach Solang Valley from Delhi: Lots of private travel agencies and Himachal Pradesh government offer regular bus and taxi services between these two magnificent holiday destinations.
- Best Time to Visit Solang Valley: October-June
18. Dalhousie (Distance of hill station: 576 km from Delhi)
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.
- Popular Places to Visit in Dalhousie: Subhash Baoli, Panchpula, Bakrota Hills, Bara Patthar, Dainkund, Ganji Pahari, St Francis Church, Mall Road, Satdhara Falls
- Things to Do in Dalhousie: Sightseeing, admiring mountain views, light to medium trekking
- How to Reach Dalhousie from Delhi: The town can be accessed by bus or taxi from Pathankot, for which there are several trains from Delhi.
- Best Time to Visit Dalhousie: October-June
19. Khajjiar (Distance of hill station: 589 km from Delhi)
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 in Khajjiar: Khajjiar Lake, Golden Devi Temple, Kalatop Khajjiar Sanctuary
- Things to Do in Khajjiar: Trekking, horse riding, nature viewing, relaxing on the grass under deodars, paragliding, zorbing
- How to Reach Khajjiar from Delhi: You can first reach Pathankot by train and then take a bus or taxi to complete the rest of the journey.
- Best Time to Visit Khajjiar: October-June
Unexplored Hill Stations near Delhi
20. Mukteshwar (Distance of hill station: 333 km from Delhi)
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 in Mukteshwar: Mukteshwar Temple, Chauthi Jaali, Mukteshwar Inspection Bungalow,
- Things to Do in Mukteshwar: Reposing, nature viewing, photography, snow games in winters, hiking
- How to Reach Mukteshwar from Delhi: Several trains run from Delhi to Kathgodam, from where you can either take a bus or taxi directly till Mukteshwar or reach Bhatelia and then change over there.
- Best Time to Visit Mukteshwar: October-June
21. Binsar (Distance of hill station: 355 km from Delhi)
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 in Binsar: Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary, Khali Estate, Ganaath Temple
- Things to Do in Binsar: Hiking, nature walks, bird watching, wildlife tours, photography
- How to Reach Binsar from Delhi: You can take a train first to Kathgodam and then a bus or taxi till Almora before changing over for Binsar.
- Best Time to Visit Binsar: April-June and October-November
22. Kausani (Distance of hill station: 394 km from Delhi)
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 in Kausani: Baijnath Lake, Anashakti Ashram, Pant Museum, shawl emporium, Lakhudiyar
- Things to Do in Kausani: Photography, nature viewing, relaxing, light trekking
- How to Reach Kausani from Delhi: Kausani can be reached from taxis and buses from Kathgodam, which is itself connected to Delhi via trains
- Best Time to Visit Kausani: October-June
23. Munsiyari (Distance of hill station: 541 km from Delhi)
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 in Munsiyari: Birthi Falls, Madkot village, potato farms, Darkot village, Betulidhar
- Things to Do in Munsiyari: Nature viewing, hikes, photography
- How to Reach Munsiyari from Delhi: Reaching Munsiyari from Delhi in a single day is nearly impossible. So, you can first reach Kathgodam via train and then take a bus or taxi to Pithoragarh for an overnight stay. You can cover the remaining distance by bus or taxi the next morning
- Best Time to Visit Munsiyari: April-June and October-November
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!