7 Best Hill Stations Near Delhi to Experience True India

Written By: Umang Trivedi

India is a land of picturesque beauty that attracts people from far and wide. Despite the mammoth growth in tourism, there are hill stations near Delhi that are still hidden gems and have managed to remain untouched by the stress of commercialization.

I have compiled a list of lesser-known 7 hill stations that might not appear in other lists of popular hill stations near Delhi but these will certainly add a rustic flavor to your India trip.

Hill Stations Near Delhi India

I have added a couple of mainstream destinations as well as they are totally worth a visit.

1. Kanatal, Uttarakhand State

hill stations near Delhi - Kanatal
Kanatal is one of the hill stations near Delhi

The Uttarakhand State is dotted by quaint villages, hidden away from the tourist circuit.

Shadowed by the more popular destinations, these villages still boast of untouched nature and serenity. One such destination is Kanatal.

Known for Eco-Friendly Homestays

Best known for the lovely resorts and eco-friendly homestays, Kanatal can offer an experience which perhaps, popular destinations cannot.

Hikes through deodar trees and bathing in streams can conjure breathtaking memories for you.

The best thing about exploring Kanatal is the absence of touts trying to take advantage of tourists.

The gorgeous snow-covered Himalayas visible from almost every corner of Kanatal town offers you a constant opportunity to drift in oblivion.

The resorts here have been focusing on helping out the local villagers. The villagers are glad to offer you a scrumptious lunch at a very minimal charge.

The country chicken marinated in the local spices can make you forget about all the luxurious meals you had at boutique resorts. Kanatal is a truly worthy destination to spend a weekend or more.

Essential info

Highlights in Kanatal: Rustic Village experience, Lovely Resorts overlooking lush green valleys, Untouched Nature
Distance from Delhi: 8 Hrs, 320 km
Recommended Mode of Transportation: Direct Cab

2. Mcleodganj, Himachal Pradesh State

hill stations near Delhi - Mcleodganj
Mcleodganj, a Delhi hill station with Tibetan culture

Situated in upper Dharmasala, Mcleodganj will leave a lasting impression on your memory.

Named after the former Governor of Punjab, here you can witness the convergence of Buddhist dharma and Tibetan culture.

Located at an elevation of 1,700m in the state of Himachal Pradesh, the region is enriched with monasteries, ancient temples, and mesmerizing art edifices.

Known for Tibetan Buddhism

Tsuglagkhang is the main temple enshrining Padmasambhava, Avalokitesvara and Sakyamuni Buddha.

The ambiance of this temple resonates with Buddhist lifestyles and practices.

Art-loving tourists can visit TIPA, or the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts, to unravel the culture, history and art forms that depict the magnificence of Tibet.

You can also enjoy a surreal trek to Triund which is a delight for nature lovers. You get to camp in front of snow-clad mountains which will engrave a picturesque frame in your mind.

Essential info

Highlights in Mcleodganj: Tibetan Colony, Trek to Triund, A Relaxed ambiance and plethora of cafes
Distance from Delhi: 9 Hrs, 478 km
Recommended Mode of Transportation: Overnight Bus from Delhi

3. Bir – Billing, Himachal Pradesh State

hill stations near Delhi including Bir
The hill town of Bir near Delhi is known for paragliding

Head to Bir, another hill station near Delhi, for a thrilling experience amidst lush greenery!

This offbeat destination is known for treks into the wild and adventure sports such as paragliding.

Bir is known as the 2nd best site for paragliding in Asia and hosts international paragliding contests.

The morning sky in Bir is dotted with colorful specks representing the paragliding enthusiasts, practicing their amazing skills.

Known for Meditation and Outdoor Adventures

Apart from the adventure quotient, the offbeat township serves as a center for meditation and spiritual studies as well.

Influenced by Tibetan culture, the town has abundant opportunities for indulging in adventure activities.

Lose yourself in the quaintest routes you would ever find in Himachal Pradesh while in Bir.

There is so much to explore and experience while staying in this exquisite little settlement.

Essential info

Highlights in Bir – Billing: Paragliding, spiritual indulgence, rustic homestays and unexplored hiking terrains
Distance from Delhi: 10 Hrs, 515 km
Recommended Mode of Transportation: Overnight train from Delhi to Pathankot & subsequent cab from Pathankot to Bir. Cabs are available for hire at Pathankot station.

4. Mukhteshwar, Uttarakhand State

One of the most popular destinations in Uttarakhand is Nainital.

exploring Delhi hill towns
Explore one of the many interesting hill towns near Delhi

Located near the border of Jim Corbett National Park, Nainital attracts hordes of travelers in the summer season, so it becomes quite crowded. Mukhteshwar, nestled in the lush green landscapes, appears as a savior here.

At a distance of 47 km from Nainital, Mukhteshwar is more suited if you are looking to escape the vacationing crowds from Delhi.

Know for Homestays

There are some very beautiful homestays in Mukhteshwar where you can look upon never ending valleys from your balcony and read your favorite novel.

A great destination for relaxation, Mukhteshwar also offers plenty of hiking opportunities.

If you are visiting Mukhteshwar, do visit Sitla as well, which is a great picnic spot near Mukhteshwar.

Essential info

Highlights in Mukhteshwar: Sitla spot, hiking trails
Distance from Delhi: 8 Hrs, 348 km
Recommended Mode of Transportation: Delhi to Pantnagar by train or flight. From Pantnagar, you can book a cab to Mukhteshwar or opt for public transport.

5. Twin towns of Sangla & Chitkul, Himachal Pradesh State

Delhi hill stations - village of Sangla
The Delhi hill town of Sangla is near the Chinese border

I visited Sangla when I went for a trek in Higher Himalayas. The lovely village is as picturesque as you can imagine.

Located 20 km away from Sangla is another gem called Chitkul. Both these villages are very close to the Chinese border, just 30 km.

Popular with Tourists

The popular tourist circuit ends at Shimla in Himachal Pradesh state.

But these twin towns, tucked another 200 km away, create a great spot to spend an extended weekend.

Due to its distance from Delhi, I would not recommend these hill stations for a weekend.

Club the public holidays and plan a trip to Sangla & Chitkul.

There are very few resorts near these villages. You will have to stay in homestays or lodges.

Essential info

Highlights in Sangla & Chitkul: Offbeat attractions, crystal clear rivers, proximity to Chinese border
Distance from Delhi: 14 Hrs, 580 km
Recommended Mode of Transportation: Delhi to Shimla or Chandigarh by flight or train and then cab to Sangla.

6. Rishikesh, Uttarakhand State

hill stations near Delhi - Rishikesh
The Delhi hill town of Rishikesh is perfect for thrill-seekers

Though most of the Delhi hill stations on this list are offbeat and lesser-known, I have to recommend visiting Rishikesh despite it being very popular.

Due to the multitude of adventure activities offered here, Rishikesh is a lovely spot for an excursion.

Known for Adrenaline Activities

Spend a week in Rishikesh and indulge in awesome adventure experiences. The 83-meter high bungee jumping experience was the highlight for me.

You can also enjoy ziplining across the tumultuous Ganga River in Rishikesh.

Best known for River rafting, Rishikesh cannot possibly disappoint an adventure junkie.

The rapids in Ganga river can go up to grade 4, offering a great thrill and adrenaline rush.

You can also indulge in some yoga retreats in the quaint town.

Another recommended experience in Rishikesh is the morning or evening prayers offered to the Holy Ganga River.

Essential info

Highlights in Rishikesh: River rafting, Bungee Jumping, Camping, Yoga Retreats
Distance from Delhi: 7 Hrs, 245 km
Recommended Mode of Transportation: Direct over night bus from Delhi to Rishikesh

7. Fagu, Himachal Pradesh State

hill stations near delhi

Located 20 km from Shimla, Fagu is best known for the lovely fruit orchards covering a sprawling area with apple or orange plants.

A great collection of orchard stays await your arrival in this adorable town.

If you seek some adventure while staying in Fagu, you can head to Chaba, a spot from where river rafting begins on the Satluj River.

Known for its River Rafting

A 12 km stretch from Chaba to Tattapani will leave you exhilarated.

Post monsoons, the river rafting on Satluj can beat the rapids of Rishikesh! In fact, the river rafting on Satluj River is banned right after monsoons to prevent thrill-seekers from suffering injuries.

Chaba is located only 45 km from Fagu, making it a great day expedition while staying amidst fruit orchards.

Essential info

Highlights in Fagu: Fruit Orchards, River Rafting on Satluj river, offbeat attractions
Distance from Delhi: 8 Hrs, 359 km
Recommended Mode of Transportation: Direct train or flight till Shimla or Chandigarh and subsequent cab till Fagu.

Read Next: Best Places to Visit in Karnataka

If you want to explore the regions around Delhi but avoid the crowds, check out these 7 hill stations near Delhi to experience true India and its cultures.

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About Umang Trivedi

Umang is an Indian travel blogger who captures his travel stories on the canvas of Travelmax. He writes about adventure, offbeat destinations, and experiences. He also compiles travel tips and itineraries to help his readers travel better! Follow Umang at TravelMaxIn / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter

Leave a Comment

26 thoughts on “7 Best Hill Stations Near Delhi to Experience True India”

  1. I’m planning to go there for next month if everything goes alright. thank you for sharing this on google . it really help me. I’m form Sri Lanka .

    Reply
  2. Thanks for the curated list. My list of best hill station would be like

    – Kalpa, Kinnaur
    – Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh
    – Dalhausie, Himachal Pradesh
    – Harsil, Uttarakhand
    – Rohru, Himachal Pradesh

    Reply
  3. Thanks for giving your valuable time and sharing this very important post for making trips at hill stations near Delhi comfortable and convenient.

    Reply
  4. Hi Umang,

    Nice article. I have never heard of some the hill stations you have mentioned in the article. Will be planning to visit it soon. Thanks for sharing this great info.

    Reply
  5. Astounding, folks! You’ve unquestionably demonstrated an alternate side to India that doesnt get depicted so frequently as the flavor showcases and stuffed urban communities. Its ideal to see the mountains and open space in this stunning nation. A debt of gratitude is in order for sharing!

    Reply
  6. Wow, awesome content. Thanks for sharing it though. Btw there some more hill stations which I was expecting to be on the list like, Jim Corbett, Auli, Nainital, etc……

    Reply
  7. This Capital city of Incredible India has amazing places nearby and Hill stations are the best way to relax and energize your mind. Few I have enjoyed and few yet to be explored. Thank You for sharing this amazing list.

    Reply
  8. Thanks for sharing this amazing list. In delhi, finding a hill station is very dragestic step. your list help me now i have a list to choose best place.

    Reply
  9. This Capital city of Incredible India has amazing places nearby and Hill stations are the best way to relax and energized your mind. Few I have enjoyed and few yet to be explored. Though little confused about which one would be the next, but know I know where I have to go.. 🙂

    Reply
  10. DELHI IS REMARKABLY KNOWN FOR IT’S TOURIST DESTINATION, IT IS SAID THAT DELHI HAS A MASSIVE COMMERCIALIZATION OF HILL STATIONS IN INDIA.

    Reply
  11. I had visited in Rishikesh in the last month, It is very beautiful place. It’s like a heaven on Earth. I saw all places in Rishikesh like Ram Jhula, Lakshman Jhula, Shooping Mall. Me and my friends also crafting in the Ganges River. I had also bath in the river Ganges. https://goo.gl/GWKKsR

    Reply
  12. Awesome article .after reading your blog i m so much excited to go to these places with my family.
    i m fond of rafting , seeing this pictures and ideas you share through this article is really fantastic.
    now we make a plane in these holidays with my family. Thank you for sharing so much impressive
    information with us.

    Reply
  13. Great article… There are some more hill stations near Delhi like Shimla, Mussurrie and Nainital and these are famous as well. Hope you will visit next time.

    Reply
  14. Great place, Delhi India is the Awesome place and there are many hill stations near Delhi , your post is so helpful and interesting about Delhi tour , thank you for sharing the post.

    Reply
  15. I love India. These places shown above are very beautiful. Thanks for sharing this amazing blog. I will surely explore these places.

    Reply
  16. I have had a plan simmering to take my girls to India, before the leave the nest. This will be a good starting point for the plan to evolve!

    Reply
  17. Amazing, guys! You´ve definitely shown a different side to India that doesnt get portrayed so often as the spice markets and overcrowded cities. Its nice to see the mountains and open space in this gorgeous country. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  18. This is serendipitous. I was cruising around this morning reading blogs and you guys have a new post on India… I’m just starting to plan a visit to northern India and enjoyed your words. It’s nice to see people starting to explore areas of the country off the tourist trail!

    Reply