India's mystical mountains, referred to as the Abodes of the Gods, are popular with visitors for their crisp fresh air, spiritual influences, and exciting adventure travel opportunities . The mountains also provide a wonderfully refreshing escape from the sapping summer heat that blankets most of India during April and May.
- Spend some time in the state of Himachal Pradesh, with its eternal snow capped peaks, and you'll find it hard to believe that you're still in India. The communities exiled from neighboring Tibet have made their new homes in India's mountains, bringing with them their culture and prominent Buddhist influence. The towns of Dharamsala and McLeod Ganj, headquarters of the Tibetan community, are sought after traveler hangouts. People flock there in particular to study Buddhist philosophy and Vipassana meditation. Shimla is an appealing romantic retreat, while Manali is enticing for adventure lovers.
- The state of Uttarakhand, divided by some of India's most sacred rivers, is distinctly more Hindu. Haridwar and Rishikesh are amongst the most holy cities in India, and are popular places to study yoga. The Valley of Flowers National Park, with its bright floral carpet, is a top trekking destination.
- Far flung Leh and Ladakh offer unforgettable barren alpine desert beauty, and are ideal for Himalayan trekking.
- India's West Bengal hills, Sikkim, and remote north east region (such as Assam and Arunachal Pradesh) also have spectacular mountain scenery. Darjeeling is a picturesque hill settlement, known for its tea plantations. However, the more adventurous travelers head to the pristine, less visited areas further out, many of which require permits.
- If you can't make it to the northern reaches of India, southern India also has some enchanting hill stations, such as Kodaikanal and Ooty in Tamil Nadu.