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10 Hill Stations In India That Britishers Set Up

Britishers converted several small hamlets and towns into hill stations and retreat centres to escape the summer heat. Read on!
  • Krati Purwar
  • Editorial
Published -23 May 2022, 12:17 ISTUpdated -23 May 2022, 15:33 IST
best hill station in india

Hill Stations: India boasts mesmerising hill stations, where not only natives but travellers from abroad like to explore. However, only a few know that many of those popular destinations were established by Britishers after they colonised our country.

Let’s explore why and how these hill stations were set up by the British Government.



mussoorie history

War broke out between the British and Gorkhas around 1814 in Mussoorie. It was the first hill station where the Britishers established their first resort around 1825. Kempty falls was the spot where once British officials set up camps on their way from Mussoorie to Chakrata. 

The Cloud End bungalow, now hotel, and Woodstock School also trace their roots back to the colonial era. What is the best time to visit Mussoorie? The months from April to June are the best to enjoy the beauty of the hill station.


darjeeling history

After winning the war over Gorkhas, the British government started interfering with the territorial matters of the hill station. It served to be the perfect place for army soldiers to recuperate. 

They became fond of the environment and started converting it into a resort. They constructed roads, built schools and made the hill station a popular tourist destination. Why is Darjeeling famous? Beautiful houses, mesmerising beauty and panoramic landscape make the hill stations famous among travellers.



gulmarg history

Gulmarg, a hill station in Kashmir, became a retreat for Britishers in the 19th century. They established a ski club and hosted events during celebrations of Easter and Christmas. 

They built St Mary’s Church which boasts colonial architecture. Britishers also started the Gulmarg Golf Club in 1911 and used it as a holiday resort. Why is Gulmarg famous? It is one of the most popular destinations for skiing in India. 



Located in the Naramadapuram district, Madhya Pradesh, Pachmarhi is called Satpura ki Rani. Britisher set up the cantonment here and developed it into a sanatorium and hill station for the troops. What is the best time to visit Pachmarhi? The best time to visit the place is between October and March. 


shimla history

During the colonisation of India, Shimla (things to do in Shimla) became the summer capital for the officials to escape the heat of the northern plains. It was merely a hamlet before Britishers took control of it in 1815. They built schools, churches and bungalows.

The Kalka-Shimla Railway line was developed by the British government. Why is Shimla famous? The colonial architecture spread around the capital of Himachal Pradesh makes it one of the most attractive hill stations in India. 


kodaikanal holiday

Initially, Kodaikanal belonged to the Palaiyar tribal community. However, British bureaucrats converted it into a refuge to escape the heat waves in the summer season. 

In the 20th century, the rich Indians realised the beauty of the hill station, and it became a popular tourist destination. What is the best time to visit Kodaikanal? The months between June and September are the best to visit the hill station and explore the green beauty.


matheran holiday

Matheran is a popular hill station in Maharashtra. Britishers developed it to relax and enjoy temperature dips in the summers. Why is Matheran famous? Travellers can witness old colonial architecture preserved around the hill station. It is also Asia’s first and only hill station that is free from the automobile.



dehradun holiday

Garhwal were the rulers of Dehradun before the Britishers captured it in 1816. Why is Dehradun famous? The hill station is famous because notable celebrities and people were born, studied and worked here. Britishers also developed a railway station here by 1899. Khalanga War Memoria and Forest Research Institute have connections with colonial times.


Ooty Tourism
ooty holiday

The first mentions of Ooty are found in the Madras Gazette. It was called Ottakal Mandu, and the name changed from Udhagamandalam to Ootacamund under British rule. Later, people shortened it to Ooty.

It was a summer resort that Britishers visited to escape the heat of the plains. Britishers built Nilgiri Mountain Railway station in 1908. What is the best time to visit Ooty? The hill station experiences pleasant temperatures from April to June and September to November.


Maps Of India
nainital holiday

The Kumaon Hills came under British rule between 1814 and 1816. They converted the area into a hill station of Naini Tal by 1841. It was a recuperating centre for colonial officials and troops. 

Why is Nainital famous? The station is famous for schools and buildings built by the colonial government. Jama Masjid and Nainital Yacht Club have associations with colonial times.