Nothing brings two people closer together than freezing temperatures and standing at the edge of a cliff that overlooks a gaping abyss. India’s hill stations have long been the first choice for its multitude of married couples that are churned out year after year. And there plenty of hill stations to choose from in this country. From the Western Ghats in the south to the mighty Himalayas up north, India is a land of expansive mountain ranges and rolling hills. But if you want to cut down your choices for the best hill station in India for a honeymoon, here are the 10 best ones. Also Read - On Phone, PM Modi Discusses COVID-19 Situation With French President Macron
Toy Train, Darjeeling
If you time your visit right, Darjeeling can be the perfect romantic getaway in India. The air is pleasantly cold, clear and fresh, and aromatic thanks to the expansive tea estates that surround the bustling town. Despite its business, Darjeeling makes for a perfect escape from the madness of India’s modern metros. Its narrow streets and cafes have a charm to them that can take you back to simpler times in the past. Speaking of the past, Darjeeling’s famous toy train is one ride that must experience. It takes you through some of the best landmarks and sights around Darjeeling. The hill station has several honeymoon-oriented resorts with a view of Mount Kanchenjunga, but adventure-seeking couples can also scratch their itch by taking part in the various rock-climbing and trekking expeditions organised in and around the hill station. Also Read - Are Sanitary Napkins Not 'Essential' Enough to be COVID-19 Lockdown Exception?
Manali and the nearby hill station of Shimla are typically clubbed together for a more wholesome honeymoon experience. Together, they make for a great travel package. Manali is a hub for bag-packers and tourists to explore the valleys and mountains around it. Rohtang Pass is a popular hotspot, which has snow throughout the year and gives you a closer glimpse of the Himalayas. Vashist Hot Water Springs, which is around 5 km away from Manali’s centre, is another popular place for honeymooners, and camper couples can choose to stay beside the Beas River too. Shimla offers the same, but with a lot more British heritage around it. You can take part in rafting, trekking and camping activities, and the streets of the town are perfect for a new couple to get lost in. ALSO READ: 7 lesser explored hill stations in Uttarakhand perfect for your winter vacation! Also Read - Reel Life Ram Arun Govil Watches Ramayan Along With His Grandchildren, Picture Goes Viral
The two places mentioned above are more main-stream, with hundreds of hotels and tours on offer to take you through the beats. For the more off-beat couple, Shillong is the perfect place to explore. The capital city of Meghalaya is also called the Abode of Clouds or Scotland of the East, because of its rolling green mountains blanketed by white clouds. Situated at around 4,900 feet above sea level, Shillong offers a lot to the relaxed honeymoon couple. You can spend your day walking through the beautiful Lady Hydari Park or go boating or kayaking across the serene Umiam Lake. A visit into the depths of Mawjymbuin Cave can also be an interesting way to spend your honeymoon, and you can always spend your evenings at the bustling bazaars of the town.
Khandala, Photograph courtesy: ruben alexander/Creative Commons
The destinations mentioned above may not be the best places to visit during the monsoons. Darjeeling is covered by mist and fog during the monsoon months, and Shimla can be difficult to reach in this season. Shillong is close to some of the wettest places on Earth, so a monsoon visit to this place is reserved for the adventure seekers. But Khandala is a hill station that is at its best in the monsoons. This is when the dusty brown hills turn into a lush shade of green, almost glowing with life. Often referred in the movies, Khandala lies very close to the cities of Mumbai and Pune, making it well-connected and easy to reach. Trekkers can climb up the Lohagad Fort and the nearby Visapur Fort, but you can also explore Tungarli and Lonavala Lake, Kune and Shooting point waterfalls or stop by at the many viewpoints that Khandala has to offer.
Munnar , Photograph courtesy: Nikky Stephen/Creative Commons
Munnar, much like Khandala, is a bustling and popular hill station that has its own glow. But that glow comes from its endless line of tea estates and the forests around it. In fact, Munnar is renowned for its beautiful flora, with the biggest attraction being the Neelakurinji flower that blooms once in 12 years. If you are marrying in time for the blossom, make your honeymoon memorable and visit Munnar to experience this rare phenomenon. Even without this rare flower in bloom, Munnar is rich with natural beauty, with different shades of green around it and the perfect setting to have a cool, quiet honeymoon. From quiet boat rides along Mattupetty Lake to the roaring Power House Falls, you have a lot to explore in this tiny hill station.
On the eastern end of the Indian Peninsula, in the state of Tamil Nadu, there lies Kodaikanal, the Princess of Hill Stations. Although Ooty has long been the favourite hill station of the state, Kodaikanal has a charm of its own that makes it great for a honeymoon spot. The quiet hill station offers gushing waterfalls, steady rivers and, of course, a view from the heavens. It is located on the foothills of the expansive Western Ghats, and it has many trails through its wood forests worth exploring. You can visit the Green Valley viewpoint, Dolphin’s Nose or spend your days at the Bryant Park. The Kodaikanal Solar Observatory also makes for a fascinating visit during your stay at the hill station. You can also go rock climbing and trekking at Kodaikanal with your better half, if thrill is what you seek.
Srinagar, the capital of Jammu and Kashmir, is a world apart from the rest of India, and among the best hill stations in India for a honeymoon. Its rich historical legacy is just one of its draws; Srinagar also offers immense beauty and a wonderfully romantic atmosphere. A ride on or stay within the famous Shikaras on the tranquil Dal Lake is a must, and should be a visit to the botanical garden. Srinagar has many beautiful gardens, in fact, like the Shalimar Bagh, Pari Mahal and Chashm-e-Shahi. Another place that you must visit and explore is the Old City on the banks of the mighty Jhelum. Here, you can find some ancient mosques and heritage sites and buy a piece of Kashmir’s beautiful crafts at the many markets. ALSO READ: 5 best honeymoon destinations in India
Naini Lake – Nainital
The prime hill station of Nainital cover everything you would imagine a perfect hill station would have: a calm lake, surrounded by majestic mountains and dense forests. At the topmost point of Naina peak, the tallest point in Nainital, you can see the plains of Uttarakhand on one side and the foothills of the Himalayas, with the snow-capped mountains across the distant horizon. The hill station is named after the emerald green volcanic lake at its centre, shaped like a pear and said to be one of the eyes of the Hindu goddess Sati. As such, Nainital also makes for a great pilgrimage site, with a number of temples dedicated to the gods and the legend. But spirituality aside, this is also a perfect honeymoon destination in India, with its cool weather and beautiful views of the Himalayas. Nainital is also a bustling town, with busy markets and activities. A boat ride through Naini Lake is a must if you visit here, along with visits to romantic viewpoints like Snow View, Tiffin Top and Hanumangarhi.
Another Nilgiri hill station in Tamil Nadu, Coonoor is actually the second biggest hill stations in the mountain range after the Queen of them all, Ooty. Filled with lush greenery, a tranquil atmosphere and a panoramic view of the Niligiri mountain range as well as the plains below, Coonoor has all the ingredients for a romantic honeymoon getaway in India. Like Munnar and Ooty, Coonoor is also a haven for tea enthusiasts with it sprawling tea estates. You can easily spend days exploring the tea plantations and tasting the best south Indian chai here, but there is also the option to trek up the mountains, travel on the heritage train ride, or visit the Sims Park garden. You can also go bird-watching or walk up and explore the Doorg Fort together. Wellington Lake is another beauty of nature worth seeing, and you can also pay a visit to the All Saints Church.
Ooty, Photograph courtesy: Mo Shine/Creative Commons
Like we mentioned before, Ooty is the Queen of hill stations, though there are some destinations in the Himalayan north that can contend with it. Put aside the ambitious title and the bustle of its city centre, and you get a beautiful hill station that still captivates its visitors. You can find yourself surrounded by beautiful, mist-covered hills and valleys at Ooty, and the well-laid out roads of the hill station are great for going cycling or riding at a whim with your newly-wedded better half. You can easily escape the crowd of the city into the more secluded areas around Ooty, and you can visit the vast Botanical Gardens too. The expansive garden is even more beautiful when its flowers are in bloom, and you can also visit Ooty Lake and Upper Bhavani Lake, along with the Rose Garden. ALSO READ: Best beaches in India for honeymoon couples
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