When you plan to evolve with love in the lap of unexplored hills, India has a lot to offer.
Hills bring an unwind to our metropolitan trajectory. Unspoiled, unexplored places bring the virgin whiff of their natural landscapes, local meals and warm hill culture from their dwellers. To soak in such places is a couple’s first choice, especially when they want to cherish the memories explored while driving through the scenic vistas. However, what is to be remembered is that we must reserve our footfall at such places with our city-noise to preserve their sanctity. Such places are not for the seekers of luxurious stays but for those wishing to be lost in the whistling woods. A quick quest on a search engine and you’ll be furnished with small hotels and warm homestays.
Chopta, Garhwal Himalayan Range
A trekkers’ delight, Chopta sits in the small region of Uttarakhand at 4,000 metres above sea level. March to May brings the best in the valley, with snow-melts paving the way for a landscape filled with greens, orchids, rhododendrons and pine forests. Milky rivers chess-play the entire region, adding to its hilly charm. As many as 240 species of birds can be found here, including migratory birds such as Himalayan monal, Himalayan swiftlet, Himalayan griffon and several more. What is even more interesting is the fact that Chopta is followed by Ukhimath, another hill station resting in its purity and the divine shrine Kedarnath. It is also popularly known as the heart of the Panch Kedar.
How to Reach: Jolly Grant Airport and Rishikesh are the nearest airport and railway station, respectively.
Peaceful Stays: Shivanandi River Lodge; Chopta Meadows Heritage Camps, Himalayan Resort Chopta, Meraki Chopta Mayadeep
Yet another jewel from Uttarakhand, Chakrata, once served as the summer retreat to the East India Company. At 7,000 metres above sea level, the place is a treat to the eyes and all your senses. Avoid the rainy season, and anytime it is best to visit this majestic place. Feel special with the fact that this place is only open to Indian nationals as no foreign visitors are allowed to visit this place — being a high-security region. Tiger Falls, Lakhmandal Temple and Ram Tal Horticulture Centre remain Chakrata’s famous tourist attractions. The graphite shivalingam at the Lakhmandal Temple is popular among tourists and devotees as it blesses them with a shine once the water is poured over.
How to Reach: Jolly Grant Airport and Dehradun are the nearest airport and railway station, respectively.
Peaceful Stays: Blue Canvas Resort Chakrata, Dopaar By The Brook, Joitaa Kanasar Eco Homestay, Uttarayan
Tirthan Valley, Himachal Pradesh
Named after the only river in the Himalayas that flows free of any man-built dam obstructions, Tirthan is stationed at the Kullu range and home to several endangered species such as snow-leopard, jujuranas (Western Tragopan), birds like Himalayan Griffon, red-billed blue Magpies and many more. Tirthan also nestles a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Great Himalayan National Park. A trek to the source of river Tirthan is mostly enjoyed by those who wish to reach Tirath glacier meandering through the treacherous jungles. If you’re a peace seeker who doesn’t trek, you can well search for your inner truce sitting in peace at the banks of the Tirthan River or at a secret nameless twin-waterfall in the area.
How to Reach: Bhuntar, and Ambala and Kiratpur are the nearest airport and railway stations, respectively.
Peaceful Stays: Kudrat – A Boutique Homestay, ShivAdya Tirthan – Boutique Hotel in Tirthan Valley, The Hosteller Tirthan Valley
Pabbar Valley, Himachal Pradesh
Apples and Himachal Pradesh are synonymous, especially when drawing a green reference to Pabbar Valley. In proximity to the mighty hill destination for residents of Delhi and Chandigarh, Shimla — Pabbar is a region known for its apple orchards and lush greens combed with deodar and oak trees at the Chanshal mountain range. Lambs grazing the lush landscapes is a common site and the one you definitely want to behold with your beloved. The unknown paradise has several picturesque passes and trekking trails to satiate your adventurous souls. Breathtaking views await their visitors at the Chanshal Pass, Pabbar River, Hatkoti, Rohru, Theog, Talra Wildlife Sanctuary and several more.
How to Reach: Shimla and Kalka are the nearest airport and railway stations, respectively.
Peaceful Stays: Shelapani by Meena Bagh Homes, The Pavillion Rohru, Bhramara Orchard Retreat Homestay, Meena Bagh Ratnari