Being summer, it’s quite natural that the most common hill stations, like Shimla, Manali and Nainital would be crowded. But fret not. Here’s a list of offbeat hill escapades that you must visit this summer.
Tirthan Valley, Himachal Pradesh
The next time you take the route towards Manali, don’t travel the entire distance., Instead, take a detour from Mandi — you will reach a hill destination you might not have heard of. Located at a distance of just over 500 km, this place is hidden within the depths of Kullu’s towering mountains. This is one place that will give you the much-needed break, far from the madding crowd. Spend a few days in the company of lush green mountains and snow-capped peaks, accompanied by the gushing sound of River Tirthan. You can either pitch your tents and camp or stay in one of the homestays on the banks of the river. From March to October, trout fishing happens to be a popular activity in this place.
You might have heard of Darjeeling and Gangtok several times. Possibly, you have even been on a trip to Sikkim’s capital city and the places around. But, Pelling is one place you might have missed out on. Although this quaint hill station has been a part of the tourist map, but it hasn’t come under the clutches of overcrowding. Only those with a penchant to explore the mountains would have been to this place. The place offers unparalleled views of Mount Kanchenjunga and other adjacent peaks of the Great Himalayan Range. The tourist attractions of the place include the beautiful and serene Pemayangtse Monastery, ruins of the Rabdentse Palace, and the nearby Khecheopalri Lake.
Kalpa, Himachal Pradesh
Located in the Kinnaur region of Himachal Pradesh, the village of Kalpa often goes unnoticed by the tourists, thanks to its remote location. At 580 km of driving distance from Delhi, it takes more than 15 hours to reach this place. But what one gets to see after covering the distance is unforgettable. Well, there’s no tourist attraction as such. What makes this place worth visiting is its stunning natural beauty. There’s a lush green valley, beautiful apple orchards, snow-clad and cold desert mounts. And of course, there’s peace. The best way to experience this place is to spend a couple of days with the locals in homestays.
You can easily ditch Mussoorie for a trip to this place. Located at almost the same distance from Delhi, Chakrata is a heaven for those who are looking to spend a few quiet days in the lap of mountains. Once a summer retreat for the British, this serene hill station offers some of the most stunning panoramic views. Being a cantonment town, commercialisation hasn’t hit Chakrata — making it better than any crowded and popular hill station. There are plenty of trekking options around the place, while the forest cover is there to make nature lovers and bird-watchers equally happy.
Palampur, Himachal Pradesh
Enough of Dharamshala and Mcleodganj? Head to Palampur instead. If you haven’t been able to make it to Darjeeling for the tea gardens, you can pay a visit to this hill station as well. Unlike its other counterparts in other parts of the country, Palampur is far from being touristy. This place provides stunning views of the entire Dhauladhar mountain range and enough opportunity to soak in the beauty of tea gardens. The place is known for its abundant greenery, which includes a wide variety of floral species, including the beautiful pine trees.