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, but also in Africa (albeit rarely), for towns founded by European colonial rulers as refuges from the summer heat, up where temperatures are cooler. In the Indian context most hill stations are at an altitude of approximately 1,000 to 2,500 metres (3,500 to 7,500 feet); very few are outside this range.
- 1 History
- 2 List of hill stations in the world
- 2.1 Africa
- 2.2 Asia
- 2.3 Europe
- 2.4 Oceania
- 3 References
- 4 Bibliography
- 5 External links
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Hill stations in India were established for a variety of reasons. After the revolt of 1857 the "British sought further distance from what they saw as a disease-ridden land by escape to the Himalayas in the north and Nilgiri Hills in the south", a pattern which started even before 1857. 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, "such beautiful English rain, such delicious English mud." 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.":2
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.":14
List of hill stations in the world
Most hill stations are located in Asia:
India is home to hundreds of hill stations. The most popular hill stations include:
- Darjeeling, West Bengal
- Lonavala - Khandala
- Mount Abu
- Ootacamund ('Ooty')
- Cameron Highlands
- Fraser's Hill
- Genting Highlands—founded following Malaysian independence
- Maxwell Hill
- Penang Hill
- Namche Bazaar
- Gorkha Bazaar
- Namche Bazaar
- Dunai, Nepal
- Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: Most of the hill stations of the KP are in the Galiyat region, which also extends into the Murree Tehsil of the Punjab province.
- Punjab: All the hill stations listed here are in Murree Tehsil of the Punjab province. The largest hill station is the town of Murree.
- Sindh: Gorakh Hill
- Balochistan: Ziarat
- Gilgit Baltistan: Hunza Valley, Skardu, Astore Valley, Gilgit, Khaplu Valley
- Bado Hill Station
- Barbara D. Metcalf; Thomas R. Metcalf (2002). A Concise History of India. Cambridge University Press. p. 111. ISBN 978-0-521-63974-3.
- Kennedy, Dane (1996). The Magic Mountains: Hill Stations and the British Raj. Berkeley: University of California Press. Retrieved 19 Aug 2014.
- Crossette, Barbara. The Great Hill Stations of Asia. ISBN 0-465-01488-7.
- Kennedy, Dane. The Magic Mountains: Hill Stations and the British Raj (Full text, searchable). Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996. ISBN 0-520-20188-4, ISBN 978-0520201880.
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