Unusual, Less Crowded Summer Escapes in North India

by Jane Sophia
Trishul peak

Here are several Less Crowded Summer Escapes in North India that are very less crowded, affordable and easily accessible. Alternative hill stations to Shimla and Manali

Less Crowded Summer Escapes in North India

So, the crowds, at all the most popular hill stations in North India, especially near Delhi are unmanageable so much so that they are sent back by the hotels, resorts, and valley-view hotel rooms in Manali, Shimla, and other highly frequented North Indian hill stations.

Nevertheless, some smart holidaymakers are unaffected because they have other options to spend at least a weekend in unusual, less crowded, and cheaper Himalayan hill stations in places near Delhi, and Chandigarh.

After my article on “Cool Unknown Cheap Summer Escape near New Delhi”, I have received numerous emails requesting me to feature 6 more less crowded summer escapes in North India that can accommodate quite a lot of tourists all through the week.

They have reduced my work load quite a bit as I didn’t have to spend back-bending hours to research the web for summer getaways in North India that are largely unknown but are cool beautiful weekend vacation destinations.

9 Unusual, Less Crowded Summer Escapes in North India

Here we go, exploring the smaller cool hilly places near Delhi and other less crowded summer escapes in North India.

  1. The Best Less Crowded Summer Escapes in North India: Shoghi, Himachal Pradesh

No, you may not get much information about this little-known summer escape near Chandigarh and Delhi. I suppose that’s why it is a little-known summer escape in North India.

Have you ever gone in a car or by train to Shimla, Ooty, or Nainital? If so, on the way, you might have noticed small railway stations that are located on the Himalayan hilly slopes with cattle lazily grazing on the meadows.

Well, you can stop your car at your whims, or simply get down from your train at any one the offbeat hill stations. Ask around for a farm stay or home stay facility and settle in.

You will enjoy the most peaceful and serene weekend during summer. Shoghi is such a summer escape that you will stumble onto, on your way to Shimla, the queen of Himalayan hill stationa in North India.

Shoghi summer getaway is located 32 km before Shimla on the Chandigarh Shimla highway. The drive up to this less-known summer escape near Delhi is spectacular through the Himalayas.

If you happen to ride on the toy train to Shimla from Kalka railway station, you can get down at Shoghi train station.

Alternatively, if you are starting your journey from Delhi in your car, you will have to drive nearly 9 hours to cover 325 km.

What to do in Shoghi, the less crowded summer escapes in North India?

Trekking through the deserted trails on the Himalayan hills is nothing but exhilarating. The surrounding snow-capped mountains and the deep gorges can urge you to go on and on.

Attractions in Shoghi include:

  • Chadwick waterfalls
  • Tara Devi temple
  • Kandhaghat village
  • Bird watching tour-spot and identify birds such as Winged Tit Winged TitLooks more like a bulbul to me,

Brown-fronted woodpecker,

Red-billed Blue Magpie,

Red-billed Blue Magpie

Black-headed jay

Black-headed jay


  1. Parwanoo, One of the Best Less Crowded Summer Escapes in North India

I deliberately placed the above video before I described this cool less crowded summer escapes in North India that few people visit or even aware of. The video depicts the path of Gilbert Trail, a picturesque walking trail in Parwanoo.

I think you are nodding your head in agreement.

Parwanoo is a small hilly town in Solan district near Klaka, the gateway to Shimla and Manali. It is again located on the Chandigarh-Shimla highway. Yes, you can visualize a cool and almost deserted summer escape near Chandigarh where you can stay in your own canvas tent and no one will raise their eyebrows.

Parwanoo hill town is more of a commercial center. It is where large quantities of Himalayan fruit juices and jams are manufactured.

Since Parwanoo is situated on the Himalayan hill but well away from the maddening crowd of Shimla and Manali, birds of beautiful colors and heads flock the flowers and insects of the Himalayas.

If you like to have a bird’s eye view of this smack summer escape in North India, hop on a cable car known as ‘Timber Trail’.

Timber Trail Less Crowded Summer Escapes in North India

How to reach Parwanoo, the less crowded summer escapes in North India Delhi?

Car is the best option to reach Parwanoo. The distance from Delhi is 280 km. The nearest airport is located in Chandigarh city.

  1. Auli,Less Crowded Summer Escapes in North India

Auli,Less Crowded Summer Escapes in North India

Auli is a snow-clad ski resort cum weekend holiday summer getaway in North India near Delhi. Since it slightly off the track, it is not visited by many tourists. However, its ski resort is quite well known to ardent skiers, both from India and abroad.

Auli’s low number of visitors is also due to the fact that it is on the way to Badrinath, India’s topmost visited Himalayan pilgrim place.

I had been to Auli. I reached by riding on a cable car. The ride itself is spectacular with snow-covered mountains on sides and the apple orchards below the valley.

Auli,Less Crowded Summer Escapes in North India

The cable car ride is rather slow giving you enough time to take pictures and videos.

Once you reach the top, the entire scenic Himalayas is all yours. You can scream in joy to hear your echo. You can jump around, climb up and down the slopes, drink piping hot tea or even eat a plate of just made masala dosa in tent converted temporary restaurant.

Unusual, Less Crowded Summer Escapes in North India

Location of Auli hill station near Delhi.

Auli is a less crowded summer escapes in North India that is situated at an altitude of 8200 feet!

The distance from Delhi is 470 km by road. Both Delhi and Dehradun airport can be convenient to access Auli by car.

If you cannot endure the 12-hour drive by car to Auli, you can reach Rishikesh railway station from Delhi. From Rishikesh, the only way to reach Auli is by car and the distance is whopping 270 km on winding mountain road.

Auli and its nearby attractions:

  • Auli is a ski resort that you can go up and see.
  • Joshimutt has a famous temple.
  • Vishnu Prayag

This breathtaking less crowded summer escape in North India is where two thundering rivers Alaknandha and Dhauliganga meet. This river confluence is considered very sacred to the devout Hindus.

  • Gorson Bugyal-a hiking trail overlooking a picturesque Himalayas measuring 3 km long. The view of Nanda Devi peak is your less crowded summer escapes in North India. Another stupendous view is the Trishul peak.
  • These sightings will lay etched in your memory forever. You will never get another chance in your life to view the snowy peaks. Therefore, do not miss out on Gorson Bugyal. Identy oak, pine, and rhododendron tress on your hiking trail touch them lovingly and seek their blessings. You will do this if you love trees.
  • Kuari Pass-trekking path

  • Tapovan
  • Chenab Lake
  • Cable car ride

Auli’s cable car base is located about 7 km from Joshimutt, the gateway to Badrinath. It is where all the pilgrims stop overnight before leaving for Badrinath in the morning.

  • Auli Lake

Auli Lake

Auli lake is a mussee attraction in Auli. It is an artificial lake intended to promote tourism.

  • Valley of flowers

Accommodations in Auli

A handful of resorts run both by the Government agency named GMVN (Gharwal Mandal Vikas Nigam) and by private hoteliers, the notable among them being Blue Poppy Resorts that offers stunning views of snow-clad mountains.

Food in Auli will be predominantly vegetarian. Tea drunk in gallons by the locals.

  1. Kanatal

Kanatal is a little known stop on the way to Mussoorie from Dehradun. Your hill station stay need not be always in well-known cities and towns that include Mussoorie, a very crowded summer escape that is very near to Delhi. It is 300 km only.

However, the well-known Dehradun, the gateway to Mussoorie is 80 km away. If you drive about 75 minutes from Kanatal, you will reach Mussoorie hill station.

Kanatal may be largely unkown summer getaway in North India but it certainly is near to several highly popular tourist attractions that include:

  • Tehri Dam-it harness two big rivers namely Bhagirathi and Bhilanga
  • Kodia Forest
  • Chamba viewpoint
  • Sunset viewing platform
  1. Dhanaulti

Dhanaulti Less Crowded Summer Escapes in North India

What a beautiful and serene place! The sun is shining gloriously on the green meadows of Dhanaulti, a small summer escape in North India, that can be reached from Kanatal in about 30 minutes.

Look at this eco-park in Dhanaulti. What else can beckon you than this stunning natural attraction near Delhi?


  1. Tabo

Tabo Less Crowded Summer Escapes in North India

So, Shimla is housefull and so too Manali and Kullu Valley. Is there any alternative less crowded summer escapes in North India for these main hill stations in Himachal Pradesh?

Yes! There is Tabo located off Spiti District of Himachal Pradesh. It is right on the banks of the Spiti river and you can image how scenic it can be.

As Tabo is located on an alpine altitude of over 10,000 feet, there is not much green. Nevertheless, due to an ancient Buddhist monastery in Tabo, it is looked upon very sacred even by the Dalai Lama.

Accommodations in Tabo.

A handful of hotels scattered on the hill. The most recommended place to stay in Tabo summer getaway is Banjara Camps retreat. If it is beyond your budget, look into other hotels in Tabo that include:

  • Menthok Dumra
  • Tashi Gangsar

In addition, if you can accept the Buddhist monks’ way of living, you can approach the monastery run guest house.

  1. Nalagarh

Nalagarh is another less crowded summer escapes in North India from Delhi that is located about 300 km. The Nalagarh can be certainly considered as an alternative hill station to Manali and Shimla by the people of Delhi.

  1. Chopta

The famous Kedarnath wildlife sanctuary is part of this summer weekend destination near Delhi (400 km), alternative Shimla or Mussoorie.

This off the beaten path hill station Chopta has a very pleasant climate and peaceful also because it is definitely not well-known.

Instead of driving the long distance from Delhi, travel in a train up to Rishikesh. From Rishikesh, Chopta summer resort is only 165 km.

  1. Pangot

Nainital, the very popular hill station near Delhi can be crowded at any given time of the year. In addition, the hotels are very expensive and beyond the means of budget travelers.

For them, there is an alternative less crowded summer escapes in North India near Nainital. It is Pangot that is located at over 6500 feet and thus offering chilly weather.

Pangot may be new to most of us as a less crowded summer escapes in North India but not to the bird watching tourists as it is said to be a wonderful habitat for several hundred species of colorful Indian birds.

How to reach Pangot:

It is very less arduous to reach Pangot than all the other alternative summer escapes to Shimla and Manali.

The nearest railway station Kothgodam is only about 50 km away.

For staying in Pangot, you have several options. I gove below the names of some of the best hotels and resorts to stay in Pangot:

  • Hidden Valley camp
  • Pangot Himalayan View
  • Kampland Nature Resort

So, that’s all about the less crowded summer escapes in North India near to Delhi that can be your ideal alternative to the crowded and expensive Shimla, mania, and Kullu Valley.

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