Chandigarh serves as the capital for the states of Haryana and Punjab and was formed on November 1, 1966. Designed by the famous French architect, Charles-Edouard Jeanneret, known as Le Corbusier, Chandigarh is the first planned Indian city post-Independence. The city is surrounded by greenery and is famous for its gardens. Traveling around Chandigarh does not take very long. Rock Garden, Sukhna Lake and the Zakir Hussain Rose Garden are the three most important places to visit here. And they can easily be covered in a single day.

Chandigarh is however surrounded by several beautiful hill stations. From the popular (Shimla) to the understated (Parwanoo), there’s a lot you can do around Chandigarh rather than in it.

Here are five hill stations to visit around India’s first planned city!

1. Parwanoo

Photograph courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Photograph courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Parwanoo is one of the nearest hill stations from Chandigarh, 35 km north-east. Close to nature, the town is best known to be a horticulture district. It is a haven for those who love jams, marmalade, jellies and absolutely anything related fruits. Though most travelers treat this town as a layover, the scenic beauty of Parwanoo is definitely worth your time. You can visit Subathu, to see the remains of Gurkha Fort and visit Pinjore to see sculptures dating back to the 12th century. Kasauli, the more famous hill station, can be your next stop.

2. Kasauli

24 km north of Parwanoo is Kasauli. Known for its churches and dense forests that border it, Kasauli is also home to quite a few species of endangered Himalayan flora and fauna. Pleasant climate and snow-clad mountains in the backdrop, what else do you need for a peaceful time? Visit Solan next!

3. Solan

Photograph courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Solan is located about 20 km east of Kasauli. The Habban Valley, Kuthar Fort and Shoolini Mata Temple are places you must visit here. Solan is a base for several treks. You can pick any trail according to your convenience. It also houses Mohan Meakin’s Brewery, one of India’s oldest breweries, set up in 1855.

4. Chail

Photograph courtesy: Utsav V/Creative Commons

Photograph courtesy: Utsav V/Creative Commons

After Solan, visit Chail which is around 37 km north-east of Solan. Chail is located in the Shivalik region of Himachal Pradesh and is a splendid getaway. Chail, Kufri and Shimla form the Golden Triangle of Himachal Pradesh. As the former capital of the princely state of Patiala, Chail has a royal history connected to it. Visit the Chail Palace, the Gurudwara Sahib and the Chail Wildlife Sanctuary for an overall experience of the town. Head towards the final destination, Shimla!

5. Shimla

Shimla is located 45 km north-west of Chail. And though the hill station doesn’t need an introduction, the Summer Capital of pre-independence India is the most-loved vacation spot in the country. The town serves as a base to a lot of trekking trails and is perfect for skiing during winters.

If you (and we’re sure you will) fall in love with these destinations, don’t hesitate before you extend your trip to places like Kufri or Manali.