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10 Most Loved Hill Stations in South India

Posted by Kalyan Jee Jha on 21/03/2017
Yercaud-Hill-Station

I have been a seasoned traveler for decades and have seen almost everything in India but to speak my mind, South India has won my heart in every way. Though the landmass of southern India is covered by waters on three sides, it is also known for its beautiful hill stations. What makes it special for me is, it is not snow covered. Hills without snow might not appeal to everyone but it is simply, heaven for me. From my travels, I have listed the 10 most loved hill stations in South India. Go through my experiences, for your travel plans.

Here is the list of 10 most beautiful hill stations in South India by IndianHoliday.com :

1. Ooty

When you think of hill stations in South India, Ooty is an absolute favorite. Snuggled in the Blue Mountains of Nilgiris, this beauty steals your heart in few seconds. The former summer headquarters of the British Raj in Tamil Nadu has multiple allures. The pleasant all-round weather enhances its charm. You can spend days exploring the colonial relics, embark on trekking, chocolate making and the pleasures of being amid pure natural bliss.

Ooty-Hill-Station
photo credit: wikipedia.org

What to do?

  • Visit Coffee gardens, tea plantations, botanical gardens.
  • A fun Toy Train Ride in Nilgiri Mountain Railways.
  • Trekking and Camping at Avalanche Lake.
  • Enjoy a game of golf at the Golf Course.      
  • Picnic at the Emerald Lake, Kamaraj Sagar Dam, etc.
  • Shop for delicious chocolates.
  • Marvel at the Doddabetta Peak for an exceptional view of the Nilgiri hills.

 

Best time to visit

October to June.

How to reach?

The best way to arrive to Ooty is the Nilgiri Mountain Railways chugging through the Blue Mountains. Tamil Nadu State Road Transport Corporation (TNSRTC) and many private bus services operate buses on regular basis. The nearest airport is Coimbatore Airport 95 km from Ooty.

2. Munnar

One of the best hill stations in India, Munnar is a haven in Kerala, God’s Own Country. The laid-back little town amid the Western Ghats is famous for its sprawling tea plantations. Enjoy the opportunity to see the tea being picked and processed. Besides, there is Eravikulam National Park and Anamudi Peak, the highest peak in South India. Try out trekking, camping and other adventures. The misty environs is perfect to beat the city blues.

[Also Read: 15 Offbeat Places to Visit in Kerala]

Munnar-Hill-Station
photo credit: flickr

What to do?

  • Explore tea estates and learn all about it!
  • Click pictures at wonderful locales.
  • Stay in a tree house
  • Trek to the echo point
  • Elephant safari at the Carmelagiri Elephant Park.
  • Admire the splashing water streams, Munnar has three of them.
  • Enjoy traditional gastronomy of Kerala.

 

Best time to visit

October to June.

How to reach?

The best way to get to Munnar is the scenic road route. Cabs, KSTRC state owned buses, private buses play on the route. The nearest airport is Cochin, 125 km. away and the nearest railway station is Aluva, which is at a distance of 110 km.

3. Coorg

Coorg is one of the most loved hill stations in South India. The perfect respite from the city life, the every air revitalizes your body, mind and soul. The hub of natural beauty, thrill and adventure, the exotic hill station is nestled between the peaks of green and misty clouds. Indulge in adventures such as biking, cycling, trekking and wildlife safari owing to the fact that the Nagarhole National Park is close by.

Coorg-Hill-Station
photo credit: indianholiday.com

What to do?

  • Visit the treasure trove of nature, the largest lake in Coorg, Honnamana Kere.
  • Visit the Dubare Elephant Park.
  • Explore the Golden Temple, Bylakuppe
  • Enjoy picturesque views of coffee plantations.
  • Pay a visit to Nagarhole National Park.
  • Spot beautiful waterfalls.

 

Best time to visit

Coorg is wrapped in an appealing climate throughout the year, avoid monsoon (July to September) for hassle-free traveling and sightseeing.

How to reach?

Coorg is easily accessible by road. The nearest airport at Mangalore is 160 km. away. Mysore Junction Railway Station at a distance of 106 km is nearest railway station.

4. Nandi Hills

Nandi Hills is one of the favorite hill stations in Karnataka. Named after the famous statue of mythological bull ‘Nandi’ guarding the Yoga Nandeeshwara Temple, the hill station is blissful. Home to a wide variety of species of birds and animals, the hills are covered in lush flora species such as Coffee Arabica and Eucalyptus. Blessed with a pleasant climate throughout the year, you can plan trekking, day picnics or a quiet weekend.

Nandi-Hills
photo credit: indianholiday.com

What to do?

  • Trekking in the blessed hills.
  • Visit the Yoga Nandeeshwara Temple and the magnificent Nandi Temple.
  • Adventure activities like cycling, paragliding, camping.
  • Explore Tipu Sultan’s summer palace.
  • Enjoy the view from the picturesque Tipu’s Drop.

 

Best time to visit

Throughout the year except the monsoon, July to September as the rains might bring floods.

How to reach?

Located at a distance of 65 km. from Bangalore, Nandi Hills can be easily reached by road. The nearest airport and railway station is in Bangalore, capital city of Karnataka.

5. Wayanad

Nestled amidst the lush green hills of Western Ghats, Wayanad is one of the most loved hill stations in not just Kerala but also in India. An integral part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, the hills are picturesque dotted with waterfalls, lakes and beautiful view points. Trekking and mountain expeditions are the popular adventures. The rich wildlife only adds to its overall appeal. The hill town is also known to be the home to tribal communities.

Wayanad-Hill-Station
photo credit: indianholiday.com

What to do?

  • Trek to Chembra peak.
  • Stay in the Treehouses.
  • Visit tourist sites including the Edakkal cave, Wayanad Heritage Museum.
  • Spend a day at Pookode Lake
  • Adventure at Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Check out Banasura Sagar Dam, Lakkidi View Point.
  • Picnic at Meenmutty waterfalls
  • Explore tea estates.
  • Pay a visit to the temples.

 

Best time to visit

October to May.

How to reach?

The best option to get to Wayanad is by road. KSRTC buses, taxis and private vehicles commute to the beautiful province of Kerala. The nearest airport and railway station is at Kozhikode.

6. Ponmudi

Ponmudi, settled in the Western Ghats mountain ranges is another beautiful hill station in South India. Home to spice and tea plantations, viewpoints, springs and rivulets, it is one of the best places to escape the cities. Agasthyarkoodam one of the highest peaks in the Western Ghats is nearby, and visitors in the town can take up this excellent opportunity of trekking. When you are here you can also indulge in Ayurvedic medical treatments.

Ponmudi-Hill-Station
photo credit: indianholiday.com

What to do?

  • Trekking to Agasthyarkoodam.
  • Visit spice and tea plantations
  • Trek to waterfalls
  • Explore Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary, Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • Capture in pictures mountain flowers, butterflies, springs and rivulets.
  • Aaranmula Temple festival held in August-September every year.

 

Best time to visit

October to May.

How to reach?

Ponmudi hills are easily accessible by road. KSTRC buses, cabs, bike and cars frequently travel to the hill town. The nearest airport and railway station is in the Trivandrum city, almost 58 km.

7. Kudremukh

Kudremukh is a relatively unknown hill station in South India. It’s not being popular, is a boon for travelers. Free from tourist crowds, travelers can enjoy amazing experiences. One can enjoy the serenity without distractions. The hill station is trekker’s paradise. The Kudremukh National Park is the second largest protected region in the Western Ghats. You can easily spot langurs, macaques, barking deer, malabar giant squirrels, chitals, leopards, tigers, jackals, etc.

Kudremukh-Hill-Station
photo credit: flickr

What to do?

  • Trek to Kudremukh National Park and Bhadra Tiger sanctuary.
  • Trek to Kudremukh peak.
  • Explore Jamalabad Fort built by Tipu Sultan.
  • Check out the scenic Lakhya Dam.
  • Picnic at Kallahati and Hanuman Gundi Waterfalls.
  • Pay respects to the local temples and their worshipped deities.

 

Best time to visit

October to February.

How to reach?

Kudremukh hill station is easily accessible by road. The nearest airport is Mangalore at a distance of 110 km. Buses and taxis are available easily. The town is well-connected by other cities of Karnataka.

#8. Coonoor

Snuggled in the Nilgiris, Coonoor is one of the most loved hill stations in Tamil Nadu. Known for its production of Nilgiri tea, the hill town offers picturesque view of the lush tea estates. Blessed with a salubrious climate, the beautiful scenery inspires writers, artists and poets. Embark on trekking trails in the Blue Mountains, exploring lakes and waterfalls. The Nilgiri toy train is a scenic way to get to the hill station, do enjoy the ride.

Coonoor-Hill-Station
photo credit: indianholiday.com

What to do?

  • Visit the natural treasures in the Sim’s Park.
  • Trek to the Dolphin’s Nose for scenic views.
  • Picnic at the Laws Falls.
  • Trek to the Hidden Valley.
  • Explore the ruins of Tipu Sultan’s empire at the Doorg Fort
  • Learn all about Nilgiri tea at the Highfield Tea Factory.
  • Spend a day bird watching to have a glimpse of the unique birds in Nilgiri.

 

Best time to visit

October to March.

How to reach?

Coonoor railway station, a part of the Nilgiri Mountain Railway, a World Heritage Site, serves Coonoor. The nearest airport from Coonoor is located approximately a distance of 70 km.

9. Yercaud

Yercaud is a classic hill station in Tamil Nadu. One of the most scenic places in South India, the town in Tamil language means ‘Yeri’ Means Lake and ‘Kaddu’ means forest. The picturesque hill station is settled in the lap of Servarayan Hills known for its natural beauty and a thrilling diversity of flora and fauna. Famous for its coffee plantations and orange groves, the town is a respite in natural bliss.

Yercaud-Hill-Station
photo credit: lonely planet

What to do?

  • Picnic and boating at the Emerald Lake.
  • Watch beautiful blooms in Botanical Garden.
  • Pay a visit to the Killiyur Falls
  • Learn about the activities of a Silk Farm

 

How to reach?

Yercaud is easily accessible by road. Taxis, buses are the easiest way to get to the hill station in Tamil Nadu. Salem city, at a distance of 38 km. is the nearest railway station and airport.

Best time to visit

October to June.

10. Kodaikanal

Kodaikanal means ‘The Gift of the Forests’ and the beautiful hill station of the Western Ghats in the state of Tamil Nadu is rightly so. Carpeted in meadows and grasslands with a thick forest cover, enjoy a blissful vacation in the blessed environs. Embark on adventures, enjoy the sight or indulge in new experiences such as to discover the rare Kurunji Flower which blooms just once in 12 years.

Kodaikanal-Hill-Station
photo credit: indianholiday.com

What to do?

  • Boating at the Kodaikanal Lake and Berijam Lake.
  • Picnic at the Silver Cascade waterfalls.
  • Experience a rare phenomenon called ‘Brachem Spectre’ where you actually see yourself in the clouds.
  • Learn about prehistoric history at the Dolmen circle.
  • Shop to your heart’s content.

 

How to reach?

Kodaikanal is easily reachable by road as Tamil Nadu State buses, luxury coaches, private taxis ply on the route. Madurai, 120 km. away is the nearest airport and railway connection.

Best time to visit

October to June.