The hill stations are high-altitude towns used, especially by European colonialists, as a place of refuge from the summer heat. They are prevalent in Southeast Asia and the Indian Subcontinent, particularly India.
The Indian subcontinent has seven principal mountain ranges and the largest of all is the Himalayas that lies in the northern part of India. The famous peaks and ranges include the Kangchenjunga range in the Eastern Himalayas which frames the hill stations of Darjeeling and Gangtok as well as the Nanda Devi in Uttarakhand. Then there is the Shivalik range that also lies within the same region has some famous hill stations that include Dalhousie, Kullu, Shimla, Nainital Sahyadri range and much more.
Most of the hill stations in India were developed by the British, around a central mall, to get respite from the oppressive summer heat. Many have picturesque lakes as their focal point, making them excellent places for boating activities.
Most of the hill stations in India are located in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Meghalaya in the Himalayas and in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala in the Western Ghats. Some of the hill stations in India are listed below by state.
Since all these hill stations are world-famous they are frequently visited by tourists on a summer vacation tour. Due to this almost all of the above hill stations are well connected by rail, road, and air services to major Indian cities.
The British Raj, and in particular the British Indian Army, founded perhaps 50 of the 80-odd hill stations in the Indian subcontinent; the remainder were built by various Indian rulers over the centuries as places of leisure or even as permanent capitals. They established the stations to escape the blistering heat of the long Indian summer.
Several hill stations served as summer capitals of Indian provinces, princely states, or, in the case of Shimla, of British India itself. Since independence, the role of these hill stations as summer capitals has largely ended, but many hill stations remain popular summer resorts.