20 Offbeat Hill Stations in India

As summer approaches we start looking for options to get relief from the heat. Most of us make plans to visit the hill stations to get away from the sweltering heat of the plains. However, most hill stations like Ooty, Shimla, Mahabaleshwar, and Manali are over-crowded during this season as these are the most well-known and popular hill stations. So where do you go when you want to escape the heat, but you also want to get away from the crowds? Here is a list of 20 offbeat hill stations that are not overrun by holiday crowds and are a must visit.

1. Kasol:

On the way to Manikaran, the pilgrimage spot, you can find this hill station. Kasol is situated in Parvati Valley, 42 km from Kullu. This beautiful hill station in the state of Himachal Pradesh is located at a height of 1640m. Here, you can enjoy trekking, hiking and river rafting while basking in the natural beauty of this area.

2. Chamba:

This is another spectacular hill station located in Himachal Pradesh. Placed at the union of the rivers Ravi and Sal, this town experiences extremely cold winters and pleasant summers. Chamba has a number of beautiful temples and other sights that tourists can visit.

3. Yercaud:

Yercaud is a hill station in Tamil Nadu, which does not have a lot of tourist footfall, making it the ideal destination for those who are looking for some peace. Situated in the Shevaroy hill range of the Eastern Ghats, this place is endowed with scenic beauty and blessed with lovely weather. It can be a good place to visit during the summer as well as winter.

4. Tirthan Valley:

Tirthan Valley is a lesser known hill station that you can visit instead of Manali. Hidden within the high mountains of Kullu, this city offers some scenic views of green mountains, snow-covered peaks and the sounds of the Tirthan river. You can enjoy camping or stay in homestays near the banks of the river.

5. Jawhar:

This is one of the most offbeat hill stations in Maharashtra. Situated near Thane, Jawhar is surrounded by lush green hills and gushing waterfalls. You can also see several historical sites like Jai Vilas Palace and Shipramal. It is also famous for incredibly beautiful Warli Paintings, which is a beautiful folk art.

6. Pelling:

When it comes to visiting North-Eastern parts of the country, most of us only think about Darjeeling or Gangtok. However, there is so much more to see in the North East than just these two places. Pelling is situated in the state of Sikkim. Here, you can get a beautiful view of the majestic Kanchenjunga and a few other peaks. Other places you can visit at Pelling are the ruins of Rabdentse palace, Khecheopalri Lake and the beautiful Pemayangste Monastery.

7. Kalpa:

Kalpa is a hill station in Himachal Pradesh that is rarely visited by tourists as it is situated in remote areas of the Kinnaur region. It is almost 15 hours by road from Delhi, but the experience is incredible. It is endowed with snow-covered mountains, lush green valleys and beautiful apple plantations. You should stay at a homestay in Kalpa to get a real feel of this place.

8. Chakrata:

Instead of going to Mussoorie, you should plan a trip to Chakrata in Uttarakhand, this time. The place is a treat for those who want to spend some relaxing time amidst the mountains. It is a cantonment town and hence less crowded. It offers the most amazing views, giving you the opportunity to click a lot of pictures. You can also enjoy bird-watching along with trekking in this lovely hill station.

9. Ponmudi:

Ponmudi is situated in the Trivandrum district of Kerala. You should plan your next holiday here, just to enjoy the pleasant weather and scenic beauty. There are activities like jungle safari, boating, hiking and trekking in which you can participate if you are interested. If you are a wildlife lover, Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary is the ideal place to visit to appreciate the large variety of flora and fauna.

10. Araku Valley:

This is a peaceful hill station in the state of Andhra Pradesh, which is famous for its pastoral beauty. It is a perfect honeymoon destination. The Tribal Museum, Katiki waterfalls and Padmapuram Botanical gardens are the major tourist attractions at the Araku valley.

11. Sirmaur:

Sirmaur is situated in the Southern parts of Himachal Pradesh, just 150 km from Shimla. It is also famous for the cultivation of peaches. You can enjoy the beauty of blooming flowers in the month of June. It is also a great trekking destination.

12. Peora:

Peora is a serene village near Mukteshwar in Uttarakhand. You can holiday here relaxing amidst the beautiful Himalayan Mountains, enjoying the beauty of the forests and experiencing serenity among the simplicity of the village.

13. Pabbar Valley:

This is a hill station situated just 130 km from Shimla. Here, you can have the best summer holiday enjoying the pleasant weather along with breathtaking views of the Pabbar river. You can go for walks around the lush green meadows, serene forests, and apple plantations. If interested, you can also go fishing in the river. This hill station can be a perfect replacement for Shimla if you are looking for a similar place, minus the crowds.

14. Sarmoli:

This remote village in Kumaon region of Uttarakhand is a great place to visit for its astounding natural beauty. It often surprises travellers because of the easy availability of international cuisine and people’s approach towards adopting technology, giving importance to fitness and several other things. You can have a good time with the locals here that you will cherish for years.

15. Kokernag:

When we think about Jammu and Kashmir, the places that first come to mind are Srinagar, Pahalgam and Gulmarg. However, just 60 km from Pahalgam is the rarely visited hill station of Kokernag. The biggest garden in Kashmir is in Kokernag, and it also has Asia’s largest fishery. It is a wonderful family holiday destination in Kashmir.

16. Sanasar:

Sanasar is the kind of place where you can relax on a warm afternoon surrounded by lush green meadows. Situated in Jammu province, Sanasar has a number of meadows and is also home to the Sanasar Lake. It also has a golf course and is the ideal destination for a quiet vacation. You can enjoy trekking and paragliding here; and you can also spend some time with the locals, getting to know their culture.

17. Chatpal:

Chatpal is another beautiful hill station you can visit in Jammu and Kashmir. If you are looking for a place where you can just relax and enjoy the weather, Chatpal is the place for you. However, you can go for trekking if you are interested.

18. Kurseong:

This is a serene hill station located in the state of West Bengal. There are many options for sightseeing here and you can even enjoy nature walks in the tea gardens. The place witnesses cool winters and pleasant summers, making it a great holiday destination in both these seasons. In fact, if you are looking for a place that is less crowded, then you can visit Kurseong instead of Darjeeling.

19. Raithal:

Instead of travelling to over-crowded hill stations during the summer, you can visit this offbeat hill station in Uttarakhand. Raithal is a small village situated in the Garhwal Himalayas. You can enjoy your holidays watching the awe-inspiring mountains, lush green forests and tiny mud houses. You can also opt for a homestay to learn more about the rich local culture.

20. Koroli:

Situated near Nashik, Koroli is a lesser-known hill station in Maharashtra. You can spend a relaxing holiday here amidst gorgeous valleys, lush green fields, pleasant weather and the delightful tranquillity. It is an ideal place for trekkers, nature lovers and photographers.

Now that you know about these offbeat hill stations, plan your next holiday to one of these places, instead of visiting the crowded destinations frequented by everyone. You are sure to have an amazing experience that you will remember for long.

You may also like to read about: 10 Spectacular Hill Stations Near Shimla