10 Must Visit Hill Stations of South India
So are you fed up of this scorching heat and looking for a getaway? Confused about where to take your next vacation to? Then we might just have the right thing for you.
India is gifted with treasures that are yet to be dug out and explored. You may have often heard people fleeing to the northern part of the country during summers to rekindle and revive themselves in the Himalayan backdrop with snow-capped mountains that have breathtaking views to offer. The southern belt of the country is no different and serves some spectacular places for voyage on its platter, with a climate that is pacifying and easily adaptable. Southern India, glorified by the states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Telangana and Tamil Nadu is a home to sublime mountains, exotic flora and breathtaking views which will take you to another world, with clouds swaying around swiftly in the tranquil backdrop of the surrounding region.
Marriage is a wonderful event that happens in an individual’s life wherein two distinct life journeys blend into one. Honeymoons are meant to be getaways with your partner in order to know and understand them even better. The solemn Nilgiri and Malabar mountain range in Southern India- garnished by rich flora running down the valleys, waterfalls gushing into placid pools and serene backwaters, with the Sun playing hide and seek in the clouds above, serves as an ideal romantic destination to pledge your unconditional love for your beloved partner and create some incredible memories that are to stay forever. Southern India isn’t just for the newlyweds; it’s also amazing for family trips and for friends to explore.
It gives us immense pleasure to present to you a chance to voyage to these artistic creations of nature inhabited in southern part of the country and witness the tranquility around.
So keep your backpacks ready and plan your travel to these 10 best hill stations of South India as mentioned below:
One of the jewels of ‘God’s Own Country- Kerala’, beautifully crafted at 1700 m above sea in the Western Ghats, Munnar forms an intrinsic part of Kerala Tourism. Isolated from the hustle and bustle of city lights and lodged at the junction of three rivers- Mudhirapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundaly, Munnar is adorned with rich tea plantations, lakes, cataracts and a picturesque countryside. It is the paramount choice for couples planning a honeymoon and it accounts for most of the memories knitted by them during the period or for that matter anyone who stops by this place and graces it. Munnar is a perfect delight for honeymooners and travelers and is one of the best hill stations for honeymoon. A stroll across the well-laid pathways here or a sip of fresh brewed tea detoxifies you from negativity and enraptures you in a liveliness experienced as never before. This place has it all to transport you to a dimension of life full of tranquility and merriment and it totally justifies the name of ‘Toy Town’ bestowed upon it.
The interval between September and May is an ultimate catch to get lost into the blissful aura painted around Munnar as during monsoon, the rainfall is heavy and could hinder your stay there.
Munnar has various hotels, resorts and guest houses that can be booked for accommodation. (Advanced booking is preferred during peak season).
The nearest international airport to Munnar is the Cochin International Airport located at a distance of about 110 km from Munnar. The nearest major railway station is at Ernakulam which is approximately 140 km from Munnar. Munnar is connected to other parts of the country by a well-laid network of national highways and state highways.
(Kerala Tourism must be applauded for maintaining the exquisite beauty in this highland).
2. Ooty (Udagamandalam):
Wondering for a complete honeymoon package? Then this gem of Southern India is an absolute catch you must grab with both hands. Resting at an elevation of 2240 m above sea level, this capital of the Nilgiri Hills is an ideal vacation getaway in the Tamil Nadu Tourism circuit. Ooty is a total holiday wrap for adventurers and photography fanatics along with honeymooners and the ones wishing to devote some quality time with their loved ones. Hand-gliding, mountain biking, hiking and trekking are some of the activities that pump your nerves with adrenaline rush. Beautifully assorted lakes, tea gardens and hotels dignifying this wondrous hill station of South India are an absolute delight to every eye viewing them and the entire sight appears to be a panoramic picture, with everything snapped in a single frame. Explorers find a variety of recreational activities to choose from, along with the options of being transported into the rich history locked in buildings raised in the bygone times.
There is no particular season to explore Ooty. It avidly welcomes travelers from all around the world throughout the course of a calendar as the weather is pleasant and clement perennially. Winters in Ooty are freezing and demand you to drape yourselves well. It is one of the coldest hill stations of south India.
Hotels and home stays catering people with every budget are available in abundance that de-stress you from the journey taken up to this marvel of the Nilgiri Hills.
Coimbatore airport is the nearest airport based at a distance of 96 km from Ooty. Rail route the most common choice that visitors opt for as the Nilgiri Mountain Railway takes you chugging and puffing through the mountains enriched with exotic flora, straight up to the town. Ooty is linked to all the major cities of southern part of the country through roadways. Tamil Nadu State Road Transport Services also runs bus facilities to and fro Ooty.
(You should not miss digesting some of the tempting bakery treats and a sip of local varieties of tea).
Elegantly dissolved in Nilgiri Hills of the colossal mountain range of Western Ghats, Coonoor is the second highest hill station of the region elevated at about 1850 m from the mean sea level. The highland of Coonoor is an utter poet’s delight embellished by a horde of colorful gardens that blossom numerous species of flowers and additionally graced by exuberant and vivid sceneries, that help you unwind and take a leap into serene facet of life. Much to the satisfaction of honeymooners, this place offers such an ambience where keeping the watch ticking becomes difficult and the couples get off-track into a world where their lives merge into one. If you’re an ardent admirer of nature and love penning down those artistic moments thrived in its lap, then Coonoor has it all for you. In a glance, the Nilgiri Hill and Catherine Falls appear to be inclusive in a single framework.
The period between October and March is perhaps an ideal one to tour Coonoor. It is recommended to lug some woolens while touring as the temperatures at night really get low. October- March is a relatively cold phase here, but there is no dearth in the enjoyment it offers. In fact, travelers find it more amusing in the playful weather shadowing the region.
Coonoor is more popular for its wonderful home stays. However, numerous hotels obliging almost every budget needs are also available.
By air, one has to book a flight to Coimbatore as it houses the nearest international airport at a distance of about 80 km from Coonoor. Mettupalayam is the nearest railhead situated at about 46 km from this hill station in Tamil Nadu. It can also be reached by availing the Nilgiri Mountain Railway, which is now a UNESCO declared World Heritage Site. It can be reached by road through National Highway NH- 67 that connects Ooty as well with other major cities of Tamil Nadu.
4. Coorg (Kodagu):
Arrested in the lofty Western Ghats, Coorg isn’t just a name for the travelers and newlyweds, it is an emotion experienced while exploring it. Conferred by the title of ‘Scotland of India’ by the British, this misty hill town in Karnataka boasts of a vibrant landscape embracing ever babbling rivulets, boundless opulent fields of coffee plantations and spice estates and a flourishing blanket of flora, that continuously rumble in the memories of backpackers. Every dawn in Coorg announces itself with a splurge of vivacity in the environment that surges through your soul and fills it with an unparalleled cheer. It is an absolute feast for the ones confused on planning a honeymoon down south.
The landscape appears as if the green trees wing their branches straight up to the grey and white skyline of the region. This homeland of the Abbey Falls and Nagarhole National Park also offers a number of adventure sports for the daredevils.
Coorg is best visited between October and early March. However, it is evergreen throughout the year and the nature lovers can opt for touring it during monsoon when the entire territory glitters with greenery running down the throat of valleys and hillocks. The temperature in Coorg is moderate that doesn’t go harsh at all on individuals.
Madikeri is the rooted as the centre of entire Coorg region where one can avail several luxury and mid-range hotels and guest houses for accommodation.
Mangalore Airport is the nearest domestic airport at a distance of 160 km from Coorg. Mysore has the nearest railway station which is at a distance of about 95 km. There are several bus facilities provided by the Karnataka State Road Transportation Corporation from Bengaluru, Mysore and Mangalore to the region. One has to reach Madikeri in order to avail local transport facilities such as autos or cabs in order to traverse through the area surrounding it.
Garnered in the surreal backdrop of Palani hills in Western Ghats at a height of about 2100 m from the sea level, Kodaikanal is a perfect honeymoon retreat in Tamil Nadu and is one of the prominent honeymoon getaways in South India. Acknowledged by the title ‘Princess of Hill Stations’- Kodaikanal, in Tamilian roots means ‘The Gift of the Forest.’ The highland is enchanted with exotic vegetation and bewitching locales spread across infinitely, with the solemn Kodaikanal Lake full of water lilies being its genesis. The lake leads to Silver Cascades, a sublime waterfall adorning the hill town. The vision of sunrise and sunset from Coaker’s walk and the Green Valley view is incredible and it appears as if the sky is painted with an enormous saffron brush. This place has in it for everyone, be it the newlyweds, playful kids or the adventure enthusiasts. Trekking around the region is amazing as the trails are mesmerizing offering an entire view of the lush green valley surrounding the highland.
Kodaikanal greets travelers with its astounding beauty throughout the year and drapes in a new rug of fresh flora during the monsoon. It is shutterbugs’ paradise and one of the most celebrated regions down south. The period between October and January is relatively cold and the dropping temperatures ask you to pull your winter wear out. Rest of the year observes a pleasant weather with no dearth of tourists and honeymooners.
Kodaikanal chambers almost all kind of amenities and one can find various options to accommodate with eminent hotels and home stays based in the town.
Kodaikanal can be reached by air through Madurai which houses the nearest airport at a distance of 115 km from the hill station. Palani has the nearest railway station located at about 64 km from Kodaikanal. It is well-connected by roadways and frequent buses are available from Madurai that trails you unwinding through the Western Ghats to the majestic town of Kodaikanal.
Booming in the circuit of Kerala Tourism, Idukki offers a startling view of its scenic beauty flared with over 95 % of greenery in the region. It is elevated at a height of about 1200 m above sea level in a vast area that is charged with a multitude of tea gardens and factories, splendid bungalows, rubber gardens and wildlife sanctuaries. This place atop the Western Ghats flanked by rugged mountains offers every ingredient to savor one’s married life with a subtle touch of tranquility that helps love bloom its artistic tenderness.
Idukki is renowned worldwide for its monumental arch dam built across the Kuravan Kurathi Mountain, the biggest of its kind in Asia and the grandeur imposed by it. This eco-village is also celebrated for Anamudi, which is the highest peak in India south of the mighty Himalayas. An elephant safari across this plantation rich town is pristine and is regarded as one of the best experiences to have here. There are a number of waterfalls in the surrounding area that unfurl a delightful aura where the visitors can easily evade from the daily hustle.
Idukki is open to travelers in every season and the weather is extremely pleasant and adaptable as the temperatures are never too extreme.
Guest houses and hotels are easily available in the area as it is one of the prominent hill stations in South India and the Kerala Tourism circuit.
The nearest international airbase is at Cochin at about 98 km from Idukki. Currently, no rail service is present to and fro Idukki. Aluva has the nearest railway station which is about 99 km from Idukki. Idukki is well-linked to other parts of Kerala through the famous Ghat roads that progress through the Western Ghats.
Lauded as the ‘Golden Peak of India’, Ponmudi is one of the most adored hill stations of South India, sleeved in the evergreen Western Ghats running down collaterally to the mystic Arabia Sea. It is one of the most jolted sites in Southern India by the newlyweds as it offers the right kind of flavors that a couple fancies in the initial days after their wedding. Huddled in a serene backdrop of the mountain life at about 1100 m from the sea level, Ponmudi finds its name listed on those hill towns that have a sea coast in the vicinity. The hills in Ponmudi are clad in mist for almost a major part of the year. The vistas of tropical vegetation, rare species of florets, radiant birds and butterflies, deviant pathways and exotic tea plantations and spice estates sedating this highland invite expeditors and honeymooners from all over the world. Long leisurely walks across the Golden Valley and the fresh water springs along the Kallari River will adrift you into a world full of whistling woods and tranquilizing triumph. People tour Kerala with Ponmudi placed in their bucket list. It is a paradise for nature lovers and poets.
Winters are the perfect time to voyage here. The weather is extremely pleasing with moderate temperatures during November to February that flourishes the charm of this place. Summer and monsoon time should be avoided as the weather gets too extreme and the rainfall is relatively heavy.
There is a government guest house that lodges visitors in the area. Ponmudi being closer to Trivandrum, numerous accommodation facilities are available there.
Trivandrum (or Thiruvananthapuram) has the nearest international airport which is about 60 km from Ponmudi. Thiruvananthapuram Central Railway Station is the nearest railhead. Regular buses and cars can be plied from Trivandrum to Ponmudi as it is connected by a well laid network of roads to almost all major cities of Kerala. Ponmudi is an ideal weekend retreat for the ones looking to poise their lives in the laps of nature.
8. Nandi Hills (Anandagiri):
Anandagiri which also means ‘Hill of Happiness’ is a name bestowed upon the Nandi Hills which are small hillocks ennobled at a height of 1478 m above sea level, near Bengaluru in Karnataka. The entire terrain is a kind of citadel with a Fort nestled atop that was constructed during the reigns of Tipu Sultan. Puffy clouds drift through the hills kissing them, making a guest appearance in and out of the Yoganandeeshwara Temple that harbors a splendid statue of Nandi (the bull) at its doorsteps. Apart from enriching the history of Chola Dynasty and its rich heritage, Nandi Hills is a region that is an absolute retreat for aesthetes and adventurers as trekking is one of the prime attractions here. The implications of this flock of mounds are profound as they help ignite a righteous spirit that one aims for. Several eminent viewpoints on the hills project an exuberant picture of the nature.
Winter and summer are the seasons wherein you can look forward to visit Nandi Hills. The temperatures are decent throughout the year but the monsoons drench the entire area. So it is recommended to avoid rainy monsoon to tour Anandagiri.
Furnished bungalows, hilltop hotels and a handful of resorts are available for the tourists to unwind after a stroll across the region throughout the day.
The nearest international airport is Bengaluru International Airport which is located at a distance of 45 km from the Nandi range. Oddarahalli houses the nearest railway station at a distance of 16 km from Nandi Hills. However, the frequency of trains travelling to Odarahalli is less. Nandi Hills can be reached by buses operated by Karnataka State Road Transportation Corporation and there is a fairly good network of road that connects Nandi Hills to Bengaluru.
Bio-diversified and laden with rich ores, this hill town surrendered in the Western Ghats at 1894 m above sea level in Chikkamagaluru district in Karnataka nabs its name from a façade that resembles a horse’s face. It is a marvel in the course of Karnataka Tourism that profoundly renders a picturesque landscape aesthetically crafted by dewy meadows and grasslands, placid rivers and lakes and pristine cataracts. Kudremukh is not just an abode for honeymooners but it is also an apt place for family and friends to explore. There is a mystical bliss in the entire region where the negativity dooms down and an aurora of aspirations slides in. It also huddles a National Park which multiplies to the rich fauna this place boasts of. Adventurers love this place as it has many astounding treks to offer with the trek to Kudremukh peak being the prominent one. Travelers on trek trail through the wildlife territory that nestles varied species of animals such as leopards, tigers, deer and wild dogs. It is one of the most popular sites to tour during a South India visit.
Ideally, there is no particular interval to traverse through Kudremukh as it boasts of a rich bio-diversity throughout the year and the monsoon bring in an entirely new layer of greenery in the area. Temperatures are pacifying throughout.
Tents, cottages, hotels, resorts and a few government shelter facilities can be availed for accommodation during your trip through this marvel of nature.
Mangalore airport located at a distance of 190 km is the nearest airport. For international travelers, they need to book their flights up to Bengaluru International Airport which is about 290 km from Kudremukh. Mangalore houses the nearest railway station which is 110 km away from Kudremukh is the nearest railway station. KSRTC operates several buses to and fro this hill town connecting it with all the major cities in Karnataka.
10. Ananthagiri Hills:
Packed amidst Eastern Ghats in the south-eastern state of Telangana, Ananthagiri Hills is a pristine destination for the ones looking for a holiday to reprieve from the scorching heat of summer. Laden with rich minerals, exotic vegetation and salubrious atmosphere, this hill station of Telangana Tourism circuit ceases time and pours in a rhythm of love on the newlyweds. Honeymooners often sought it as a vacation down south with their beloved ones. The breathtaking lustre of the place is graced by the clouds jiving with the hills and the place is a total delight for the wanderers. Anantha Padmanabha Swamy Temple is a major attraction here. Pollution levels are negligible and so, many people opt to plan a weekend out in this highland. It is a paradise for the wayfarers offering some of the best pathways to wander through. The place also encompasses a small waterfall that slides down into an unperturbed pool where you can sit and relax under the dense plantations of the area.
The time period between October and March is an ideal one to walk through the trails of Ananthagiri Hills as it experiences a bit rise in temperature during the summer. However, temperatures never go beyond 36 oC.
Only a handful of accommodation options are available here and it is recommended to have bookings in advance during the peak seasons. Though limited, but the hotels offer a breathtakingly gorgeous view of the region.
Hyderabad has the nearest international airport which is located at about 80 km from Ananthagiri Hills. Hyderabad railway station is a major railhead near this hill station. Buses and cars can easily take you to the hills as the network of roads is well maintained.