Hill station

A hill station is a town located at a higher elevation than the nearby plain or valley. The term was used mostly in colonial Asia (particularly in India), but also in Africa (albeit rarely), for towns founded by European colonialists as refuges from the summer heat. In the Indian context, most hill stations are at an altitude of approximately 1,000 to 2,500 metres (3,300 to 8,200 ft); very few are outside this range.


British IndiaEdit

Hill stations in British India were established for a variety of reasons. One of the first reasons in the early 1800s, was for the place to act as a sanitorium for the ailing family members of British officials.[1] After the rebellion of 1857, the British "sought further distance from what they saw as a disease-ridden land by [escaping] to the Himalayas in the north". Other factors included anxieties about the dangers of life in India, among them "fear of degeneration brought on by too long residence in a debilitating land". The hill stations were meant to reproduce the home country, illustrated in Lord Lytton's statement about Ootacamund, in the 1870s as having "such beautiful English rain, such delicious English mud."[2] Shimla was officially made the "summer capital of India" in the 1860s and hill stations "served as vital centers of political and military power, especially after the 1857 revolt."[3][4] Racial segregation was a noted feature of Hill Stations.[5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12]

Dane Kennedy, following Monika Bührlein, identifies three stages in the evolution of hill stations in India: high refuge, high refuge to hill station, and hill station to town. The first settlements started in the 1820s, primarily as sanitoria. In the 1840s and 1850s, there was a wave of new hill stations, with the main impetus being "places to rest and recuperate from the arduous life on the plains". In the second half of the 19th century, there was a period of consolidation with few new hill stations. In the final phase, "hill stations reached their zenith in the late nineteenth century. The political importance of the official stations was underscored by the inauguration of large and costly public-building projects."[3]: 14 

List of hill stationsEdit

Most hill stations, listed by region:



Antsirabe, Madagascar


Ifrane, Morocco.





Costa RicaEdit

United StatesEdit



Sajek Valley, Rangamati Hill District, Bangladesh, most popular among the Hill stations and Summer destinations in Bangladesh.


Former residence of King Sisowath Monivong at Phnom Bokor



Platres, Cyprus

Hong KongEdit


Hundreds of hill stations are located in India. The most popular hill stations include:

A beautiful sunrise scene at Munnar.
Tea plantations in Darjeeling, West Bengal, India
Hill View (Munnar - Kerala)


Puncak, West Java, Indonesia


Amadiya in northern Iraq.



Karuizawa in Nagano, Japan





Village of Namche Bazaar in Nepal


Murree, Pakistan's most popular hill station


Baguio, Philippines

Sri LankaEdit

Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka


Bloudan, Syria


Da Lat, Vietnam


Czech RepublicEdit



Mount Macedon, Victoria
Bardon, Queensland
South AustraliaEdit
Western AustraliaEdit
New South WalesEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Dane Keith Kennedy (1996). The Magic Mountains: Hill Stations and the britishBritishRaj. University of California Press. p. 24. ISBN 978-0-520-20188-0.
  2. ^ Barbara D. Metcalf; Thomas R. Metcalf (2002). A Concise History of India. Cambridge University Press. p. 111. ISBN 978-0-521-63974-3.
  3. ^ a b Kennedy, Dane (1996). The Magic Mountains: Hill Stations and the British Raj. Berkeley: University of California Press. Retrieved 19 Aug 2014.
  4. ^ Vipin Pubby (1996). Shimla Then and Now. Indus Publishing. pp. 17–34. ISBN 978-81-7387-046-0. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  5. ^ "'But what about the railways ...?' The myth of Britain's gifts to India". the Guardian. March 8, 2017.
  6. ^ "Racism and stereotypes in colonial India's 'Instagram'". BBC News. 30 September 2018.
  7. ^ https://www.researchgate.net/publication/271900472_Segregation_and_the_Social_Relations_of_Place_Bombay_1890-1910
  8. ^ "Login".
  9. ^ Das, Shinjini. "India's initial coronavirus response carried echoes of the colonial era". The Conversation.
  10. ^ Group, British Medical Journal Publishing (January 26, 1901). "The Prophylaxis of Malaria". Br Med J. 1 (2091): 240–242. doi:10.1136/bmj.1.2091.240. PMC 2400219. PMID 20759409 – via www.bmj.com.
  11. ^ Climates & Constitutions: Health, Race, Environment and British Imperialism in India, 1600-1850. Oxford University Press. 1999. ISBN 978-0-19-564657-3.
  12. ^ "Login".
  13. ^ a b c d Walters, Trudie; Duncan, Tara (2 Oct 2017). Second Homes and Leisure: New perspectives on a forgotten relationship. Abingdon-on-Thames: Routledge. ISBN 9781317400264.


External video
  Booknotes interview with Barbara Crossette on The Great Hill Stations of Asia, August 23, 1998, C-SPAN

External linksEdit

Top Hillstations in India