YelagiriLocated just 230 km from Chennai, Yelagiri is the perfect place to go. The climate is cool, and the place itself is still considered off the beaten track. It may not be as developed as some of the more popular hill stations around – such as Ooty or Kodaikanal – but work is ongoing to transform Yelagiri into a haven for adventure sports such as paragliding and rock climbing.
Horsley HillsIt may be a little difficult to get to if you aren’t planning on driving there, but Horsely Hills is one of the least explored hill stations near Bengaluru. Named after the British Collector, WD Horsley, who built his home there in pre-Independence India, the tiny hill station is an oasis in greenery in an otherwise dry and barren area.
LonavalaLook, we know it’s become a bit of a meme these days, but there’s plenty of good reasons why tourists flock to Lonavala from Pune. And one of them is their world-famous chikki. If you don’t have much of a sweet tooth and you’re tired of all the rest and relaxation on offer here, check out Tiger Point – a cliff-top with a sheer 650m drop which offers a stunning view of the surrounding area – or the nearby Bhaja caves, if you’re a history buff.
The Buddhist Bhaja Caves near Lonavala make for a wonderful day trip
Ananthagiri HillsMost Hyderabadis know the place very well as it’s a favourite amongst trekking enthusiasts and nature lovers. While you’re there, check out the Anantha Padmanabha Swamy Temple if you enjoy being around heritage buildings, or trek to the nearby Nagasamudram Lake, which offers stunning views during monsoon.
PanchganiWhat’s so great about Panchgani is that while it remains pleasant through the year, it’s wonderfully chilly in the monsoons. Come afternoon and it will feel like the clouds have descended to Earth as the fog rolls in throw your hotel windows. Founded by a British superintendent by the name of John Chesson in the 1860s, the once uninhabited area in Maharashtra has become one of the most famous hill stations in India. If you’re feeling a bit peckish, take a tour of one of the many strawberry farms which continue cultivations almost throughout the year.
DarjeelingIt’s a bit of a drive at approximately 600km, but Darjeeling ought to be your top choice of hill station if you’re in Kolkata. Famous for its tea and tourism industries, Darjeeling is at a significant elevation above sea level which allows its climate to stay pleasant throughout the year. And if you’re going, make sure you take a ride on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to Ghum, which is India’s highest railway station.
The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is also called the "toy train" for its tiny size