Delhi being the capital of India has the dual distinction of a city near the Himalayas, a mighty mountain range. Tourists all across the world flock the city for a brief sabbatical before venturing out towards the many of the hill stations for their final reprieve. Delhi is well connected by rail, road and air transport to almost all the major hill stations of northern India. Amongst a host of hill stations which are accessible from Delhi, Kullu, Manali, Shimla, Nainital, and Mata Vaishno Devi are most sought after destinations for the visitors. Almost all of these hill stations near Delhi find their existence in the Himalayan belt ranging from northern parts of India and venturing into its eastern contours.
Kullu and Manali are the ultimate summer retreat destinations and are located on the banks of river Beas. Also called the “The Valley of Gods”, Kullu and Manali shower the tourists with its wide ranging flora and fauna, not to mention the enigmatic view of the snow covered mountains of Himalayan range. Manali is an excellent honeymoon destination for the newly weds and is resplendent with a variety of tourist places and activities like skiing, trekking, rafting and mountaineering for the adventure enthusiasts. Manali is also famous for its beautiful temples, not to mention the colourful handicrafts which are carefully crafted by local tribal artisans. The Ideal time to visit this beautiful place is between the month of May and October.
Shimla is another town situation in the Himalayan mountain range and is called “Queen of the Hills”. Once the summer capital of the British, It is located at an altitude of 2,100 meters above the sea level. Shimla as a town is bestowed with pleasant weather throughout the year, the only exception being winters, where one can see the snow covered mountains as a white majestic beauty. There are lots of tourist spots which the visitors can treat themselves while their stay in Shimla. The mall road, which is the life line of the city is the main shopping centre in Shimla and has numerous showrooms, restaurants and churches attuned to the British Architecture. The best time to visit Shimla is from April to November. During this period the tourists can be spellbound with various activities the town offers, such as trekking, ice skating etc.
Mata Vaishno Devi is regarded as one of the most prominent religious destinations in India, located in the state of Jammu and Kashmir; it is located at an altitude of 1615 ft on the Trikuta Hills of Shivalik Range near the town of Katra. It is one of the popular tourist shrines and revered place of worship in the Himalayan Kingdom. People from all over the world witness the “Darshan” of holy deity during the “Navratras” (“9 Nights”) festival. Devotees have to trek from Katra, to have a glimpse of the goddess and thereafter trek towards the “Bhaironath” temple to finally complete the yatra. With a religious fervour, Mata Vaishno Devi attracts million of devotees and tourists throughout the year and is always a sought after destination for the spiritually inclined.
Nainital is also one of the prominent hill stations which is quite accessible from Delhi by almost all means of transport. It is famous for its lakes and is often termed as “Lake District” of Uttrakahand, a northern state of India. The small town is a frequented place for the nature lovers and tourists seeking solace in the lap of nature. Once loved by the British, the town boasts of its much talked about lakes, trekking and sightseeing contours.