Carved out from 14 hilly districts of former Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand is the 27th state of India. A land blessed with celestial beauty and the grace of Gods, Uttarakhand is often referred as the "Land of Gods". The state is nestled at the foothills of the mighty Himalayas in the northern part of India, and as a result, there are several hill stations in Uttarakhand dotting the landscape. Explore the Uttarakhand Hill Stations to enjoy an offbeat vacation amidst unexplored hills.
Most of the northern parts of Uttarakhand are part of the Greater Himalaya Ranges, covered by mighty snow-capped peaks and glaciers. Nanda Devi, standing majestically in the district of Chamoli, at an altitude of 7,817m above sea level, marks the highest point in the state. The Uttarakhand Hill Stations offer breathtaking views of the majestic Himalayan peaks.
Most popular among the Hill Stations in Uttarakhand are Nainital, Bhimtal, Ranikhet, Mussoorie, Almora and several others. Thousands of holiday makers flock to these hill resorts in order to relax and rejuvenate in the lap of nature. The picturesque Uttarakhand Hill Stations are salubrious retreats from the heat and dust of the plains, and the clean and fresh air of these idyllic destinations would soothe your mind completely.
The beautiful green surroundings of the Hill Stations in Uttarakhand will transport you to a heavenly world of their own. The hotels and restaurants at these enchanting destinations offer the best in terms of comfort and luxury. The Hill Stations in Uttarakhand are sure to throw various delightful options to you - you can relax in the cool environs prevailing here; wander through the wooded slopes; watch the mist rise above the snowy peaks; and breathe cool refreshing air on your delightful holidays.
The hill stations in Uttarakhand promise to be an ideal getaway, for those craving for an invigorating yet peaceful holiday, away from the mundane city life.
List of the 18 best Hill Stations in Uttarakhand
Nainital Hill Station
When Popular Hill-stations of India is the topic of discussion, the name of Nainital surely pops about. Such is the charm of this city. Nainital, with its pear-shaped lake, is located on the foothills of Himalayas offering spectacular view of green valley around. The reason behind the christening of Nainital is associated with 64 shakti peeths where various body parts of Goddess Sati fell. Here, according to legends, is where the eyes (nain) of Goddess Sati. Thus, on the banks of the lake is where you can find the revered Naina Devi Temple dedicated to Goddess Sati. Boating on this lake is a favorite tourist activity, as this enables a person to relax and hail Mother Nature.
Another popular attraction of Nainital, Nainital Zoo is home to snow leopard, steppe eagle and Himalayan black bear among others. Naini Peak, Snow view point, Tiffin top and Sattal. Being an important tourist spot, there are many options for accommodation matching different budgets. Along with being a tourist hot-spot, Nainital has gained popularity due to its educational institutes of European eras, such as All Saints’ College, St. Joseph's College and Sherwood College. Even for the bibliophiles there are various classic libraries like Durga Lal Shah Municipal Public Library and Uttarakhand Academy of Administration, Library and Documentation Center. Nainital is a place which experiences a pleasant and chilly weather all around the year. So, it can be visited at any time of the year.
Mussoorie Hill Station
Mussoorie is often known as the Queen of Hills and is just 35 kilometers from Uttarakhand’s capital Dehradun. This popular hill-station of India is situated at an altitude of 2005 meters. The reason behind its naming is the availability of shrub mansoor in large quantity here. In 1825 a shooting lodge was commissioned by a British military officer and superintendent of revenues of Dehradun here, after which Mussoorie came into limelight.
This blend of nature’s beauty and British charm has made Mussoorie a beloved tourist attraction of India. Be it foreign or Indian tourists this hill-station hosts a myriad of visitors. Another reason for it being popular is the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, the training center of Indian Police Service and Indian Administrative Service.
There are a number of tourist attractions in Mussoorie, like the Mall Road, which is dotted with shops, institutes and hotels. The road extends from West to East, i.e. Cloud’s End to Rockville, overlooking beautiful view of the Himalayas. For an even better view of the mountains, it is ideal to enjoy ropeway on the Gun Hill, the second highest peak of Mussoorie. Kempty Falls and Jahripani Falls are two popular waterfalls of Mussoorie, which also is the gateway to Gangotri and Yamunotri.
Mussoorie has much to offer opportunity to adventure enthusiasts. Some popular activities that tourists can enjoy at the hill station include trekking, rock climb and hiking. Climate throughout the year stays pleasant and snow falls during the period between End of December and Mid February. However, the best time to visit Mussoorie is March to June and September to November.
Auli Hill Station
Auli is considered among the best skiing destinations of India. In 2011, Auli hosted the SAF Winter Games and is often compared to some of the best skiing resorts of the world as its slopes are perfect for novices and experts alike. If you are a novice and hold special interest in skiing, it is recommended to enroll in the skiing courses (7 days- 14 days) conducted by GMVN. Miles and miles of this hill-station is sprinkled with meadows and in winters it turns into sheer white beauty. Auli is located in the Garhwal Hills of Uttarakhand, with elevation ranging between 2519 and 3050 meters. Lower and upper slopes are connected via chair-lift and ski lift.
Other than skiing, Auli is known for its temples too, like Mana Paravat, Kamat and Nanda Devi. Best time to visit Auli is off course between the months of December and March. However, the climate stays pleasant all throughout the year, so you can visit Auli anytime during the year, except monsoons.
Ranikhet Hill Station
A cantonment town cum a hill station, Ranikhet in the state of Uttarakhand, is a lush green abode in the Himalayas. Blessed with an alluring topography, the hill station has been an all season destination. Legends has it that once the queen of the Kumaon region, Padmini visited this place. the beauty of the land left such an impression on her, that her husband dedicated this region to her and named it ‘Ranikhet’, which means the queen’s meadows.
The scenic beauty of the present day hill station rightly justifies the story. For the city dwellers, who are usually deprived of the charm and beauty of nature, Ranikhet has natural treks, that lead to enchanting peaks and valleys. One of the most prominent is the Nanda Devi trek, which passes through coniferous forests, meadows and overlooks numerous snow covered peaks in the region. Others excursions from Ranikhet include that to Almora, Sitalakhet and Dwarahat. Besides being a place for adventure enthusiasts, Ranikhet is also a haven for leisure travelers. Major tourist attractions for them include Chaubatia gardens, Army museum, Jhula Devi temple, Bhalu Dam, Majhkhali and Ram Mandir.
Binsar Hill Station
Binsar in Uttarakhand nestled amidst the beautiful Himalayas is every tourist's dream destination. A few kilometers away from Nainital, Binsar surrounded by Alpine forests, rhododendron trees is your idyllic place for that perfect serene mountain retreat. Once the empire of Chand kings of 7th century, Binsar is the land of solitude and peace. It has a beautiful forest reserve and bird sanctuary which boasts of a rich variety of flora and fauna.
One of the most beautiful forest resort amidst the Kumaoun Himalayas, Binsar is the perfect destination where along with lush acres of greenery you can also spot important Himalayan peaks like Nanda Devi, Kedarnath, Chaukhamba, Trishul, Panchchuli and Nanda Kot. You can feel you can almost touch the snowy Himalayas as it appears so close to your eyes.
Kausani Hill Station
One of the most beautiful hill resorts near Nainital, Kausani is one of the most scenic places which is every tourist's dream destination. Far away from the fast paced life of the scorched plains, Kausani is the idyllic retreat for all you nature lovers, who wish to spend a few days in the lap of nature.
Nestled in the Kumaoun Himalayas, Kausani in Uttarakhand is one of the serene locales of Uttarakhand. Located at a height of 1890 meters above the sea level, Kausani is surrounded by lush acres of greenery and dense woodlands. During 1929, Mahatma Gandhi spent a few days in Kausani and to commemorate his memory, the Gandhi Ashram has been built here.
From Kausani you can see the snowy peaks of the Kumaoun Himalayas and you can also spot important Himalayan peaks like Nanda Devi, Kedarnath, Chaukhamba, Trishul, Panchchuli and Nanda Kot. You feel you can almost touch the snowy Himalayas as it appears so close to your eyes. The sunset and sunrise are important events. You can watch how the rays of the setting sun paint the snowy peaks of the mighty Himalayas, and forget about the material pleasures of your life.
Wake up with the chirping of birds, smell the wild flowers and watch the crimson rays of the sun paint this little hamlet of Uttarakhand with its own hues. If rustic charm and tranquil isolation is what you are looking for, then plan a tour to Kausani this season.
Lansdowne Hill Station
If you are in search of some glorious isolation, Lansdowne is the place to be. Settled at an altitude up to 1700meters above the sea level, Lansdowne hill station is a perfect retreat, away from the hustle-bustle of city life. The picturesque beauty and tranquility of the place beckons travelers not only from India but also from abroad.
Enjoy the impeccable scenery formed by oak and blue pine forests and majestic Himalayas. The exotic site is flocked by both leisure lovers and adventure lovers. As Lansdowne is well-connected by motorable roads, numerous bikers visit the place just for adventure. Visitors can enjoy the spectacular views of setting sun. Apart from just strolling around, you may also indulge in thrilling outdoor activities such as trekking, boating, paddling and bird-watching. Also, the hill station offers salubrious weather all the year long, so you can plan a trip to Lansdowne any time.
Lansdowne in Uttarakhand paints a picture of remarkable history. It is majorly inhabited by people who follow different culture and tradition. The first troop of Garhwal rifles moved from Almora to Lansdowne on 5th November, 1887. And as soon as the city became popular, number of people gathered here to do business.
Lansdowne is named after the Viceroy of India during 1888-1894, Lord Lansdowne. Moreover, the historic buildings and churches here mark the old world charm dating back to pre-independence era. The hill station is home to the command office of Garhwal Rifles division of the Indian Army.
Chopta Hill Station
On the lap of unspoiled environs, Chopta is a rather peaceful hamlet mostly visited by offbeat travelers. It is perched at an elevation of 2680 meters and overlooks popular Himalayan peaks such as Chaukhamba, Trishul and Nanda Devi. This also happens to be the starting point of trek to Tunganath. Thick woods of rhododendrons, pine and deodar are profusely scattered throughout the valley.
The mornings are commenced with sweet chirps and cool breeze. Though Chopta is an offbeat destination but availability of accommodation is not a problem here. This is a year-round destination. In summers it saves you from scorching heat of other North-Indian cities, in monsoon it looks even greener and beautiful and with the rise of winter Chopta gets carpeted with snow. However, try to avoid visiting Chopta during heavy snowfalls as it further leads to blockage of routes.
Best time to visit Chopta April till June and Oct till Dec. Tourists love to snow and want to experience trekking in Chopta then Jan to March are the best months to visit in chopta.
Harsil Hill Station
Nestled amidst the beautiful Kumaoun Himalayas Harsil in Uttarakhand is the ideal destination if you want to experience serenity and solitude amidst the lap of nature. Located at a distance of 73 km from Uttarkashi, Harsil is an excellent mountain resort which is still unexplored. Tucked away amidst green valleys, sleepy meadows this little hamlet of Uttarakhand is situated at an altitude of 7,860 feet. One of the most beautiful mountain resorts amidst the Kumaoun Himalayas, Harsil is the perfect destination if you are looking for serenity and solitude in the lap of nature.
Wake up with the chirping of birds, smell the wild flowers and watch the crimson rays of the sun paint this little hamlet of Uttarakhand with its own hues. The rustic smell and the serenity is what you are looking for this season then plan a tour to Harsil.
How to Reach Harsil
Harsil in Uttarakhand is located at a distance of 480kms from Nainital in Pithoragarh.
Nearest Airport :- Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, which is 235 km from Harsil.
Nearest Railhead :- Rishikesh Railway station is 218 km away from Harsil.
Tourist Attractions of Harsil
Sattal :- A few kilometers from Harsil, Sattal is a cluster of seven lakes which is surrounded by breathtakingly beautiful surroundings. You can take a 7 km trek from Harsil. The journey is simply beautiful and you will feel that nature welcomes you at every turn of the road.
Gangotri :- Located 24 kms from Harsil, this is an important religious place for the Hindus. On the banks of the River Ganges, the Gangotri Temple was built by Gorkha General Amar Singh Thapa.
Bhowali Hill Station
Bhowali in Uttarakhand nestled amidst the green and beautiful Himalayas is one of the beautiful mountain resorts. A few kilometers from Nainital, Bhowali is famous for its beautiful fruit market which offers to the tourists, rich variety of fruits. This hill fruit mart is not just famous for its scenic beauty but it also has a Sanotorium here which was built during the British period for people suffering from tuberculosis and lung problems. Bhowali located at a distance from Nainital is the perfect destination to spend your idyllic retreat amidst serenity and peace. Bhowali is located at a distance of 11kms from Nainital near Bhimtal on the Haldwani Road.
Lohaghat Hill Station
Situated along the banks of river Lohawati in Uttarakhand, Lohaghat is one of the most scenic destinations in the state. Filled with pine and oak forests, the hill station offers natural beauty in abundance.
The hill station of Lohaghat does not awestruck with its scenic attractions, but it has tales of history and mythology to narrate to its visitors. Owing to this, the hill station’s claim to fame has been its fascinating temples, Ashrams and historic structures. Justifying the iconic image of Lohaghat are its popular tourist attractions, which include Advait Ashram, Mayawati Ashram, Mount Abbot, Banasur Fort and Pancheshwar.
As Lohaghat resides on the banks of Lohawati river, tourists can also visit the temple of Rikeshwar Mahadev, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. This sacred temple is located just outside the town, on the banks of the pristine Himalayan river. Besides sightseeing, Lohaghat is also suitable for trekking to the further high altitudes of Uttarakhand.
Ramgarh Hill Station
Ramgarh is one of the most serene locales in Uttarakhand which is still unexplored and retains its rustic flavor. Far away from the fast paced city life, spend a few days amidst the beautiful mountain resort of Ramgarh. Ramgarh is an idyllic retreat for tourists who are looking for serenity and peace, in the lap of nature.
From Rabindranath Tagore to Narain Swami, all have been mesmerized by the beauty of this sleepy little hamlet of Uttarakhand called Ramgarh. Plan a trip to Uttarakhand to see the unspoilt beauty of Ramgarh, its dense woodlands and lush acres of greenery etched on the backdrop of the snowy Himalayas. In the night, you can see the clear night sky embellished with the stars, while early in the morning, you get to see the famous snow capped peaks of Himalayas.
Walk through the orchards of Ramgarh and taste the flavors of the juicy Himalayan fruits, which will surely satiate your gastronomic desires. The beauty and serenity of Ramgarh will refresh your senses and rejuvenate your soul. Not quite popular as it should be, on every tourist's itinerary, Ramgarh will give you a unique experience of exploring a completely different place which is off the beaten track and away from the crowd.
How to Reach Ramgarh in Uttarakhand:
Nearest Airport :- Pant Nagar Airport
Nearest Railhead :-Kathgodam Railway Station
Spend a few days in the lap of nature amidst serenity and solitude and bring home the memories of a beautiful retreat.
Mukteshwar Hill Station
Settled at an altitude up to 2285m, Mukteshwar is a perfect retreat for those who are in search of some alone-time. The enchanting hill-station is known for its natural beauty and tranquility. In 1893, Mukteshwar was established by British rulers as an education and research institute (IVRI).
Surrounded by fruit orchards and coniferous forests, Mukteshwar offers eye-catching 180 degree views of Himalayas. Enjoy the rising sun and the bright rays falling on the peaks. Spot some avifauna and discover short trekking routes. Visitors can also enjoy views of notable peaks Nanda Devi, Nanda Kot, Trishul, Panchachuli and Nandaghunti.
Mukteshwar in Uttarakhand is famed for its 350-year-old holy shrine of Lord Shiva, Mukteswhar Dham; after which the hill station has been named. The temple is not only visited to seek blessings, but also to enjoy the surrounding and the scenic views of Himalayan range. The temple is infused with purity, peace and serenity. Locals here believe that it was this place where a demon was killed by Lord Shiva and later, was given mukti. You can enjoy sightseeing in Mukteshwar all year long as the weather here is pleasantly cool all the time. Mukteshwar forms one among the major attractions in Uttarakhand, there are a number of luxury hotels and hotels that come in your budget, to choose from. Visitors can also experience camping, arranged by some hotels.
Munsiyari Hill Station
Set at an elevation of 2200 meters above sea level, Munsiyari is a popular hill station located in the Kumaon Himalayas in the Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand. One among the list of newly discovered hill stations in India, this beautiful destination is stuck right between the India, China and Nepal borders.
A paradise for nature lovers and photographers, Munsiyari is all around surrounded by thick green forests. These thick green Himalayan forests are home to a wide variety of birds and animals like wagtail, whistling thrush, and hawk cuckoo, falcon and serpent eagle, and leopard, mountain bear and the musk deer.
The hill station offers a breathtaking view of the snow capped Himalayan Peaks. Munsiyari is a popular base camp for mountaineers and glacier trekkers.
There are numerous places of interest near the hill station. Regular jeep safaris are conducted to places of interest that are located nearby like Madkote (22km), Baneanani and Jaulijibi (66 km) and Birthi Falls (31 km). Other attractions include treks to other glaciers such as Milam and Ralam in which Munsiyari serves as a base camp.
Munsiyari has much to offer to adventure enthusiasts. Some popular activities that visitors can enjoy at the hill station include river rafting, trekking and hiking.
Bhimtal Hill Station
Named after one of the five Pandavas of Mahabharata, Bhim, Bhimtal is a beautiful town, high up in the districts of Nainital in Uttarakhand. Being associated with the legendary Bhim, the hill station holds a significant value. It is said that in the ancient times, he constructed a temple, which today is renowned as Bhimeshwar Mahadev temple.
The present day construction of the temple was done under the rule of King Baz Bahadur of Chand dynasty. It is located on the banks of Bhimtal lake, which, along with the lake is counted amongst the popular tourist attractions in the region. Besides this temple of Lord Shiva, Bhimtal region speaks highly of other temples and lakes as well in the vicinity. Owing to the abundance of lakes, boating is one of the most preferred activities at the hill station. One can also indulge in adventure sports activities in uttarakhand such as trekking, paragliding and rappelling.
Chaukori Hill Station
A hilly village in the district of Pithorgarh in the Uttarakhand state, Chaukori is a lesser known tourist destination. Perched on a valley and surrounded by the high mountains of the Kumaon region, this village features nature's blissful landscapes, unpolluted and quiet. Chaukori is located at the Indo-Tibetan (in the north) and Indo-Nepal (in the south) boundaries. The scenic Greater Himalayan peaks of Nanda Kot, Panchchuli, Nanda Khat and Nanda Devi are visible from here.
Chaukori is nothing like a typical hill station as there are no sightseeing spots inside the village, except for the panoramic and breathtaking Himalayan views, and no market place either. All you can expect is to relax for a few days taking long walks amidst the forest of deodars, rhododendrons, spruce, oaks and pine trees, listening to the chirping of the birds and feeling the fresh air.
Aside from this, Chaukori is in the vicinity of Gangolihat that is known for its Hindu temples. These temples have historical as well as spiritual significance. A drive to Chaukori on the hilly roads and passing through dense alpine to temperate forests is enthralling. The mountainous terrain is a perfect location for trekkers, nature trailers and skiers. The snow covered peaks look attractive from the village during the sunrise and sunset. The Mahakali River in the east of the village is a great site for river rafting. Pilgrims who visit Gangolihat, 35 km from Chaukori, also prefer to make a stop at the village for a night or two to feel rested before beginning their journey to return home.
Pithoragarh Hill Station
Bounded by Tibet in the north and Nepal in the east, Pithoragarh is the easternmost district of Uttaranchal state in northern India. The place is fondly referred to as Little Kashmir as it has been blessed with exotic natural beauty in abundance.
5 km in length and 2 km in width, Pithoragarh is a tiny valley that is placed at an altitude of 1650 m above the sea level. The locals mainly speak Hindi, Kumaoni and English. The Kumaon region of Uttarakhand has town as well as district with the same name, Pithoragarh.
Pithoragarh is also known for its historical significance. It was one of the strongholds of the Chand Rajas of Kumaon during their reign. Pithoragarh hill station is the base for journey to important Hindu shrine of Kailash Mansarovar. When here, treat your eyes to the picturesque views of snow-clad mountains of Nanda Devi, Panchachuli and Appi of Nepal from Chandak Hill.
The hill station of Pithoragarh is home to a number of tourist attractions. One of them is the wonderful Pithoragarh Fort that was erected in the 18th century by the Gurkhas. The other popular attraction is Kapileshwar Mahadev. This cave temple is placed on the town’s outskirts and is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Admire lovely views of Soar Valley and the adjoining Himalayan peaks. The place is also known for offering viewing of several hills such as Nanda Devi West, Nanda Devi East, Hardeol, Trishul, Nandakhat, Rajrambha, Bambadhura, along with the Panchchuli group. Balati, Ralam, Namik, Milam and Meola are the important glaciers of Pithoragarh. Do not forget to get your hands on lovely souvenirs such as handicrafts, wooden items and woolen.
Pithoragarh has been blessed with a pleasant weather all round the year. If you are looking for a peaceful rejuvenating vacation, visit this place that is away from the stressful life of the city. Pack light woolens in summer months and heavy ones in winters.
Dhanaulti Hill Station
Placed at an altitude of 2286 m above the sea level, Dhanaulti hill station is placed on the Mussoorie-Chamba Road. Located in Tehri district of the Uttarakhand state, the place is known for offering picturesque views of the surrounding Himalayan peaks. Because of its loveliness and serenity, Dhanaulti is slowly becoming a popular weekend getaway from nearby destinations such as Delhi. Mussoorie has now become slightly crowded and if you are looking for some alone-time, Dhanaulti is the place to be as it is still away from the rush of the tourist activity and thus it allures peace-seekers.
Dhanaulti lies amidst thick oak, alpine and rhododendron forests and is close to a number of popular tourist spots such as Mussoorie, Kantal, Tehri and Chamba. Unlike other hill stations, Dhanaulti is much calmer and its scenic beauty is still untouched. It is also quite close to Dehradun.
The weather of Dhanualti remains salubrious all round the year and thus tourists can visit it any time. If you are fond of snow, visit Dhanaulti during the winter months and if you wish to explore its lush green surroundings and visit its tourist attractions, come here in the summer months. The woody slopes, pleasant climate, peaceful ambiance and panoramic views of the snow-clad peaks are slowly alluring a decent number of tourists to Dhanaulti.
As Dhanulti is untouched by urbanization, there are no swanky restaurants or fast food joints. However, the resorts and hotels in Dhanaulti have multi-cuisine restaurants that serve sumptuous delicacies. You must try the lip-smacking dishes of local cuisine at the eating joints here.
When in Dhanaulti, do not forget to indulge in shopping. You can buy stoles, shawls and scarves here. All this is made from eri silk, wool, pashmina and natural dyes here. You can also get some nice handicraft items here.