Shillong is also popularly known as “Scotland of East” due to its thick forests, scenic landscapes and blanket of sweet-smelling flowers. It is the capital of Meghalaya, and it derives its name from the idol of Lei Shyllong that is worshipped at Shillong peak. It is replete with crystal clear lakes, cascading waterfalls and magnificent landscapes.
Some of the most scenic destinations over here are Mawsynram which is the wettest place in this world, World’s lake a renowned artificial lake and David Scott Trail that offers an unparalleled trekking experience. The city also has few museums that unveil the rich history and culture of this region. The pleasant climate over here makes it an ideal tourist destination all year long.
Best time: September to May
Why visit: Elephant Falls, Umiam Lake, Mawlynnong
This emerald green hill station situated in the middle of the eastern Himalayas offers the breathtaking panorama of the snow-capped Kanchenjunga mountain. It is one of the most sought after hill stations of Eastern India where you indulge into multiple things to make your trip a memorable experience.
You can immerse into the serene view of the gushing waterfalls and lakes and you can have a birds-eye view of Gangtok by enjoying the cable ride. Some of the most picturesque places to visit in Gangtok are Nathula Pass, Tsomgo Lake, Banjhakri Falls and Rumtek monastery. It is also the home to some of the most renowned Buddhist monasteries that attract devotees from all across the world.
Best time: September to May
Why visit: Nathula Pass, Tsomgo Lake, Banjhakri Falls and Rumtek monastery
This is the most popular hill station in the list of hill stations in north east india. Known for an endless carpet of the tea estate and snow capped peaks Darjeeling is definitely a heaven on Earth. It is a quaint hill station in West Bengal flanked with waterfalls, gigantic Himalayan peaks and mesmerizing lakes that offer you an ultimate refuge from the hustle and bustle of the city life.
Some of the most notable attractions of Darjeeling are Senchal Lake, Observatory Hill, Darjeeling zoo and Ghoom Monastery. It is also famous for its scenic trails that make it a haven for the trekking enthusiasts. You can also try famous adventure sports over here like paragliding. Your visit to Darjeeling cannot be complete without sampling steaming cup of internationally acclaimed Darjeeling tea.
Best time: October to mid-December
Why to visit: Senchal Lake, Observatory Hill, Darjeeling zoo and Ghoom Monastery
This is a magnificent hill station in Sikkim that offers the breathtaking view of Kanchenjunga and the Himalayas. It brims with the verdant beauty of nature and is, therefore, emerging as the most splendid hill stations in northeast India. This beautiful town is sited at 6800ft height and is covered with thick forests that serve as a home to many indigenous animals including Wildman.
It also has some of the most exquisite sites for rock climbing, mountain biking, trekking and village tours that makes this scenic town the best holiday destination for the adventure lovers and nature enthusiasts. From adventurous activities to spiritual retreats there are all kinds of interesting activities that you can enjoy in Pelling
Best time: September-May
Why to visit: Pemayangtase Monastery, Rabdentse Ruins, Khecheopalri Lake, Kanchenjunga Falls
Considered as the second wettest place on this Earth Cherrapunjee is a scenic hill station in Meghalaya that receives rainfall all through the year. There are countless tourist spots in Cherrapunji that offer you an opportunity to rekindle your adventurous streak. It is endowed with some of the vast stretches of nature such as scenic forest trails, double-decker living root bridges and highest waterfalls.
The living root bridges are the incredible mix of natural wonder and human innovation. Cherrapunjee still retains the exquisite charm of being a British retreat with dilapidated bungalows and colonial churches. Out of the most splendid spots that this hill station harbours Nohkalikai Falls, Mawsmai Cave and Thangkharang Park are the must-visit destinations.
Best time: October to May
Why to visit: Dainthlen Falls, Mawsmai Cave, Wakaba Falls, Thangkharang Park
This quaint town in Arunachal Pradesh bestowed with the marvels of nature is the best hill station in north east. Situated at about 10,000 feet above sea level this place has earned the tag of “new Ladakh” for all the adventure enthusiasts as you can try many thrilling activities over here like hiking and paragliding.
It is also renowned as the birthplace of the famous spiritual leader the Dalai Lama and boasts of some of the most splendid monasteries and religious spots. This place is replete with thriving biodiversity, orchid sanctuaries and colourful flowers blooming everywhere.
The best thing is that this spot is inhabited by twenty-six major tribes including Takpa, sherdukpen and many more that live in perfect unison giving a taste of their distinct culture and tradition. The dominant group among these tribes is Monpa that are scattered in a huge number over here.
Best time: September to March
Why to visit: Tawang Monastery, Nuranang Falls, Jaswant Garh, Urgelling Gompa
This hill station is known for its expansive greenery, gently rolling hills with tea plantation and thriving biodiversity that makes it one of the best hill stations in northeast India. This quaint town located at a distance of 115 kilometres from Itanagar represents the splendid mosaic of the northeastern tribal culture.
From the five hundred years old Cave Temple to the lush pine grove and Tarin Fish Farm Ziro is flanked with the greatest bounties of nature. It is also known for its scenic trails that can satiate the adventurous desires of the hiking enthusiasts. The beautiful Apatani handloom and bamboo and cane items of Ziro are the best in the entire region, and you should definitely buy them during your trip to Ziro.
Best time: March to April
Why to visit: Cave Temple, Kile Pakho, Ziro Puto, Dolo Mando
This is a peaceful little town in north east is flushed with winding trails and small hillocks where you can enjoy tons of adventurous activities like mountain biking and hiking. The traditional dance, food and amazing culture of this offbeat destination further attracts the tourists towards it.
Aizwal is also the religious and cultural capital of Mizos who have invaded this region since ages. It has also been shortlisted as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO due to the picturesque landscape and scenic grandeur. It hides in its folds many enticing trekking trails that offer the instant adrenaline rush to the adventure seekers.
Best time: October to March
Why to visit: Mizoram State Museum, Durtlang Road, Bara Bazar, Solomon's Temple
This is the fourth largest district of Mizoram known for its surreal beauty, exquisite landscape and dense forest. It offers a splendid gateway amidst nature lushed with soaring high mountains and magnificent waterfalls. Some of the most breathtaking spots to visit at this tranquil hill station are Dampa Wildlife Sanctuary, Kanghmun, West Phaileng and Pukzing.
The accommodation options are a bit scarce over here, but you can set up a camp to enjoy the bliss of nature in the most unadulterated form. Be it striking lakes, serene forest area, stunning waterfalls or mighty hilltops; Mamit ceases the visitors with its immense natural glory. This is definitely the most beautiful and magnificent hill station in north east.
Best time: November-March
Why to visit: Dampa Wildlife Sanctuary, Kanghmun, West Phaileng and Pukzing
This hidden treasure of nature is a splendid natural hideout for those who seek refuge from the hustle and bustle of the city life. It is one of the most beautiful hill stations in northeast India known for its waterfalls, temples and Buddhist gompas.
It is also known as the land of white orchids due to the blooming of orchids everywhere in the winters here. It is also flanked with some of the most amazing aerial viewpoints, tea gardens and temples that can make your trip completely memorable. So make sure to visit this scenic spot that marks a prominent place in the list of hill stations in northeast India.
Best time: March-June & September to December
Why to visit: Eagle’s Crag, Ambotia Shiv Mandir, Deer Park, Forest Museum
This is a mesmerising hill station located in Khasi Hills pushed with rolling green mountains, enthralling waterfalls and blooming orchids. It is known as the wettest place in this entire world as it experiences incessant rainfall all round the year. It receives 12 meters of annual rainfall and you’re bound to be greeted by unexpected rainfall during any time of the year.
The villagers use a thick layer of grass to sound-proof their rooms from the rain. The most popular tourist spot over here is the botanical garden where you can spot indigenous varieties of plants and exotic bird species. Overall this is one of the must-visit hill stations in northeast India.
Best time: April to June
Why to visit: Botanical Garden, Mawsmai Caves, Nohkalikai Falls, Mawlyngbna
This iconic hill station in north east is also revered as Lanka by the localites and is an epitome of nature’s grandeur. It is a quaint gateway where people often come to seek solitude and tranquillity. It offers countless hiking and trekking trails and is therefore touted as the best natural hideout for hikers and trekkers.
The visitors coming to this place can savour the most alluring form of music, dance and art of this place it is home to around twenty ethnic tribes of northeast. The enchanting landscapes and mesmerising lakes further make it a popular honeymoon destination for romantic couples.
Best time: October-May
Why to visit: Lokchao Wildlife Sanctuary, Moreh, Tengnoupal
Daporijo is literally a paradise on the face of the Earth for all nature lovers. It is flanked with paddy fields, lush forests and bamboo trees that make it one of the most picturesque destinations in the northeastern region. It is also famed for its rich biodiversity, national parks and tea estates that truly make it the best hill station in north east.
Some of the most popular sites that you must visit over here are Karbi Anglong, Siloni Picnic Spot, District Museum and Botanical Garden.
Best time: December-February
Why to visit: Kamala Reserve Forest, District Museum, Meghna Cave Temple
This picturesque hill station is nestled amidst the hills at a distance of around 213 kilometers from Guwahati. It is replete with several parks and botanical gardens where you can spot a wide range of flora and fauna. You can relax and unwind amongst the surplus bounties of nature over here or you can even pace up your adventurous streak by opting for trekking or hiking in the rocky terrains and scenic trails that Diphu offers.
It is also home to some of the ethnic tribes of northeastern India such as Dimasa Boro, Karbi and Garo. This popular tourist destination also displays the wonderful mosaic of various cultures and traditions.
Best time: August-December
Why to visit: District Museum, Arboretum, Marat Longri Wildlife Sanctuary
The list of hill stations in North India is incomplete without the scenic hamlet of Mokokchung that is still an unexplored gem for most of the tourists. It is one of the most picturesque districts in Nagaland dotted with natural landscapes and heritage monuments.
It offers the most adrenaline rushing adventure options such as trekking and hiking. The vast mountain peaks guarding in the backdrop of this hill station with green meadows entice you to stay here forever. Some of the most popular spots that you must visit over here are Longkhum, Ungma, Aliba Village and Mopungchuket.
Best time: Mid-September to November
Why to visit: Longkhum, Ungma, Aliba Village and Mopungchuket.