The summer heat in Delhi and other north Indian cities gets unbearable in the month of May and June. The temperature rises and goes up to 44-46 Celsius in most of North India. Summer is that time of year when most of the Indian plains get unbearably hot. Everyone wants to take short weekend breaks or long holidays in Hills, where the temperature is much lower than plains. I searched for best possible weekend trips to hill stations near Delhi to escape the scorching heat and humidity.
Also, read Offbeat and Peaceful Places in Delhi
There are some of the popular and offbeat places within 250 to 550 Km from Delhi. Most of these places can be explored over a weekend or extended weekend and also ideal for long stays.
Read more about Naturally Beautiful Places in India
The are many hill stations near Delhi and all of them are very well connected from Delhi by road. The train connectivity is not good because of mountain terrain. Most of the places are very well connected with Volvo and other comfortable bus services. Government bus service is also available for almost all the places. Driving down is best and easiest option for travelers. Below are some of my favorite in north Indian hills to escape from Delhi’s high temperatures.
This is one of the less spoiled and less commercialized hill stations in Uttranchal. It is one of the best hill stations from Delhi. It is less crowded and not so touristy like many other places in the north of India. Britishers developed this small town during their rule on India. Lansdowne is command office of the Garwhal Rifles, most parts of town and forest area are maintained by them.
The market area in Lansdowne is small and there are few hotels here. It is better to stay in the hotels or resorts outside the town on hills near valleys to get peaceful experience in the middle of nature.
The main attractions of the Lansdowne are the Garhwal Rifles Regimental War Memorial, Bhulla Tal, Bhairav Garhi temple, Regimental Museum, Tip-n-Top, and Church Point.
Summer Temperature ranges from 28-30 Celsius during the day and 15 Celcius at night.
Transport – There are regular and AC buses available to Kotdwar from ISBT Kashmere Gate. Kotdwar is 50 Km from Lansdowne and one can hire a taxi or share jeep for Lansdowne.
Read more about Lansdowne Weekend Trip
It is also known as the queen of hills and is most popular hill station in the north of India. It was the summer capital of Britishers before independence. Shimla is throughout the year is thronged by tourists from all parts of India. The main mall road is full of tourists.
The mall road is the main tourist area in Shimla and there are many restaurants on upper and lower mall. The main places to visit in Shimla are the mall road, Jakhoo hill & temple, Christ Church and Shimla Ridge.
Kufri and Mashobra are only 15-17 km from Shimla. Both towns are much quieter and better natural surroundings in comparison to Shimla. These are good for a day or half day trip or one can stay here if like to stay in the middle of nature in peace.
Summer Temperature ranges from 20-30 Celsius during the day and 15 Celcius at night.
Transport – There are direct regular and AC buses from Delhi to Shimla. There are trains from Delhi to Kalka and from here small toy trains run between Kalka to Shimla. These trains are slow but the journey itself is an experience to cherish. There is an airport in Shimla and every day direct flights operate between Delhi and Shimla.
Read more about A trip from Delhi to Shimla
This small town in Himachal Pradesh is a part of Dharamshala and earlier known as Dhasa. It was an important center of trade for Kangra estate pre-independence.
In 1960 Dalai Lama made Mcleodganj his home in exile and set up his government here. It is the biggest settlement of Tibetan refugees in India. Now due to Dalai Lama, it is an important pilgrimage for Buddhists.
Mcleodganj also attracts tourists from all over the world for meditation, spirituality and Yoga experience.
The main places to visit in Mcleodganj are Bhagsu fall & trek, Triund trek, Namgyal Monastery, Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts and Norbulingka Institute.
The food scene is very interesting here with vibrant cafes serving cuisine from all over the world.
The Mcleodganj Central Square, Kotwali Bazar, and Jogiwara Road are popular market areas. These markets are shopaholics paradise but negotiate the prices before buying.
Summer Temperature ranges from 28-30 Celsius during the day and 15 Celcius at night.
Transport – There are direct regular and AC buses from Delhi to Mcleodganj. There are no direct trains and closest railway station of Pathankot is 85 Km. The closest airport of Gaggal is 15 km.
The name Mukteshwar came from the famous Shiva temple on the highest point here. It was one of those places, where Jim Corbett stayed and killed the dreaded man-eater tigers.
Mukteshwar is very peaceful and less crowded in comparison to popular hill stations near Delhi. There are forests and high mountain peaks, which gives the feeling of staying in the middle of the jungle.
The Chauli Ki Jali is one of the best places to visit in Mukteshwar because of its unique geographical formation. From the highest point, we saw the 360-degree view of Himalaya. Zipline facility is also available here.
The other places to visit in Mukteshwar are Bhalu Garh waterfalls, Mukteshwar Dham temple and Inspection Bangalow where Jim Corbett stayed.
It is one of those places if you want to spend some time in the middle of nature and wants to get away from hustle and bustle.
Summer temperature ranges from 22-28 Celsius during the day and 12-15 Celcius at night.
Transport – There are no direct buses between Delhi and Mukteshwar. The nearest bus depot is in Haldwani, which is 29 Km. There are no direct trains and closest railway station of Kathgodam is 26 Km. It is better to travel by train, outside the railway station with lots of taxis available and some of them go on sharing basis also.
Read more about A Spiritual Experience at Satkhol Himalayan Ashram
This lesser known hill town of Uttranchal is one of the most peaceful places located in upper parts of Dehradun.
The places to visit in Chakrata are Chinta Haran Temple, Tigar Falls, Vyaas Shikhar from Deo Van (Ved Vyas wrote Mahabharata), a gorge carved by the Gwasa Gaad stream, and Kimona Fall. On a clear day, snow-capped Himalayan ranges can be seen from here.
Chakrata is also popular for its treks and trails, there are many easy jungles treks in the middle of Deodar trees for a beginner.
Another popular activity in Chakrata is caving, there are beautiful Limestone Krast deposits. There are many caves here but Bhuder Caves are the most popular. These caves have 3 lakh (0.3 Million) year old stalagmite deposit and also considered the highest in Asia.
Summer temperature ranges from 22-26 Celsius during the day and 18-20 Celcius at night.
Transport – There are no direct buses from Delhi to Chakrata. The regular and AC buses are available until Dehradun & Massorie from ISBT Kashmere Gate. The taxis are available from bus depots of Dehradun & Massorie on hire and sharing basis. There are no direct train connections also and closest railway station of Dehradun is 96 Km. Jolly Grant airport in Dehradun is 125 Km.
Kasol is situated on the banks of Parvati River in the Parvati Valley of Himachal Pradesh. This small hill town became a popular tourist destination in recent years.
The places to see near Kasol are Manikaran Sahib Gurudwara, natural hot water spring & pool, Chala trek and Parvati River. Kasol is also base for Malana, Tosh, and Kheerganga treks.
It is also popular among backpackers for easy availability of cannabis.
There are many cafes in the small market area of Kasol. They serve European and Israeli cuisine, other than Indian food.
Kasol is also known as Mini Isreal as many young Israelis come here and stay for longer durations. There are many shops and cafes with Hebrew inscribed signboards.
All said and done Kasol has an abundance of natural beauty and Parvati River add to the charm of this small town.
Summer temperature ranges from 26-30 Celsius during the day and 12-15 Celcius at night.
Transport – There are no direct buses from Delhi to Kasol. Take a bus from Delhi to Kullu and get down at Bhuntar, which is 30 km from Kasol. From Bhuntar buses and shared or taxis are easily available. The Bhuntar/Kullu airport is the closest to Kasol.
Dalhousie and Khajjiar
As the name suggests British Governor General Earl of Dalhousie established the town of Dalhousie. This small town is spread around Mall Road, Subhash Chowk to Gandhi Chowk.
The Panchpula is a popular sightseeing place and this small waterfall with water-streams is the main source of water for Dalhousie. The other places of interest in Dalhousie are Kala Top Wildlife sanctuary and St John’s Church.
Visiting Chamba is an interesting day excursion from Dalhousie. My favorites on the way are spending some time on the banks of Ravi River and a Camera project on the way. In Chamba, there is an old Chamunda Mata Temple, Champavati Temple, and Akhand Chandi Palace.
Its twine town Khajjiar is situated at the foothills of Dauladhar Mountains. The lush green meadow surrounded by deodars and pines trees are characteristic of Khajjiar. The Khajji Nag Temple dedicated to serpent god is the main attraction here.
Summer temperature ranges from 24-28 Celsius during the day and 15-18 Celcius at night.
Transport – There are direct buses of Himachal Road Corporation from Delhi to Dalhousie. The nearest train station of Pathankot is 70 Km and from here buses, as well as taxis, are available for Dalhousie. Khajjiar is 22 Km from Dalhousie and taxi are the best possible mode of transport.
It is situated in Almora district of Uttrakhand near peaks of Trisul, Nanda Devi, and Panchchuli. Kausani is also associated with Mahatma Gandhi, who stayed here for some time in 1929.
The most interesting places to visit in Kausani are Anashakti ashram (Where Mahatma Gandi stayed), tea gardens, Rudrahari waterfalls, and Stargate Observatory for watching Milky Way.
Baijnath is 17 Km from Kausani and it is a good day trip to see beautiful temples.
Kausani is still untouched and there is very less tourism in this area. This makes it a perfect destination to spend few days in the middle of nature.
Summer temperature ranges from 22-26 Celsius during the day and 10-14 Celcius at night.
Transport – There are no direct buses from Delhi to Kausani. The buses go till Nainital and Almora, from here local buses and shared taxis are available. The nearest train station of Kathgodam is 135 Km and from here buses & shared taxis are easily available.
These are some of my favorite hill station near Delhi for the weekend and longer trips in summer months. Please add your favorite places for weekend trips from Delhi in summers.