Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu, is a bustling metropolis on the southeastern coast of India. Today we will look at the beautiful hill stations near chennai .
Chennai , known as the “Gateway to South India,” it boasts a rich cultural heritage and a vibrant blend of tradition and modernity.
Chennai is famous for its stunning temples, including the magnificent Kapaleeshwarar Temple and the serene Parthasarathy Temple.
Marina Beach, one of the world’s longest urban beaches, offers a serene escape. The city is also a hub of art, music, and dance, with the annual Chennai Music and Dance Festival drawing performers and enthusiasts from around the world.
Chennai’s cuisine, including delicious dosas and spicy Chettinad dishes, is a culinary delight.
So visiting chennai is definitely a life time experience.
But if you are living in Chennai, and are interetsed in some long drives there are many hill stations which can be a nice option.
So if you’re looking for a break from the heat and want to visit hill stations near Chennai, here are ten best options.
You may also be interested in: Top 10 tourist places in tamilnadu
|Place||Distance from Chennai (approx)||Approx travel time ( one way)|
|Yercaud||Yercaud is known for its lush greenery, coffee plantations, and the serene Yercaud Lake.||366 Kms||8 hrs|
|Kodaikanal||Often referred to as the “Princess of Hill Stations”||550 Kms||12 hrs|
|Ooty (Ootacamund)||Ooty is known for its tea gardens, scenic landscapes, and the Nilgiri Mountain Railway.||570 Kms||12 hrs|
|Coonoor||Offers similar natural beauty, including tea plantations, botanical gardens, and trekking opportunities.||530 Kms||11 hrs|
|Munnar||Offers breathtaking views of tea gardens, mountains, and waterfalls.||600 Kms||12 hrs|
|Kollimalai||Known for its pristine beauty, Kollimalai is a lesser-known hill station near Chennai that’s perfect for a quiet getaway.||550 Kms||12 hrs|
|Kolli Hills||Another hidden gem in Tamil Nadu, Kolli Hills offers serene landscapes, viewpoints, and opportunities for trekking and bird-watching.||370 Kms||8 hrs|
|Valparai||alparai is known for its tea and coffee estates, lush greenery, and wildlife.||600 Kms||13 hrs|
|Yelagiri||A smaller and less crowded hill station, Yelagiri is known for its trekking trails, beautiful orchards, and the serene Punganur Lake.||230 Kms||6 hrs|
|Meghamalai||Also known as the “High Wavy Mountains,” Meghamalai is a lesser-explored hill station known for its dense forests, wildlife, and tea plantations.||600 Kms||13 Hrs|
Top 10 Hill stations near Chennai
Yercaud, a charming hill stations near chennai, nestled in the Eastern Ghats of Tamil Nadu, offers several compelling reasons for a visit:
- Scenic Beauty: Yercaud is known for its picturesque landscapes, lush greenery, and serene ambiance. The rolling hills, dense forests, and misty valleys provide a refreshing escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
- Yercaud Lake: The heart of the town, Yercaud Lake, is a peaceful spot for boating and relaxation. Surrounding gardens and parks make it an ideal place for a leisurely stroll.
- Coffee Plantations: Yercaud is dotted with coffee plantations, and you can take guided tours to learn about coffee cultivation and processing.
- Trekking: The hill station offers several trekking trails, such as the trek to Shevaroy Temple and Servarayan Hills, which provide panoramic views of the surroundings.
- Botanical Gardens: The Anna Park and the Rose Garden showcase a wide variety of exotic flora and fauna, making them perfect for nature enthusiasts.
- Pleasant Climate: Yercaud enjoys a cool and pleasant climate throughout the year, making it an ideal destination to escape the sweltering heat of the plains.
- Quiet Retreat: Unlike some more crowded hill stations, Yercaud offers a quieter and more relaxed atmosphere, making it a peaceful getaway.
- The Pagoda Point: This viewpoint offers stunning vistas of the surrounding hills, and it’s particularly enchanting during sunrise and sunset.
- Local Cuisine: Savor traditional South Indian and Tamil cuisine at local eateries and try the region’s specialty, “Shevaroys Coffee.”
- Spiritual Retreat: Yercaud is home to several temples, including the Servarayan Temple and the Kiliyur Falls, which hold religious and spiritual significance.
Click below to know details about Yercaud: Yercaud ( shevaroy hills range )- 2 day itinerary from Bangalore
Kodaikanal, often referred to as the “Princess of Hill Stations,” is a beautiful hill station in Tamil Nadu, India.
It is not only one of the best hill stations near Chennai, but also one of the most visited in country.
Here are the top 10 places to visit in Kodaikanal:
- Kodai Lake: This star-shaped man-made lake is the heart of Kodaikanal. You can enjoy boating, horse riding, or simply take a leisurely walk around its scenic perimeter.
- Bryant Park: Located near Kodai Lake, Bryant Park is a well-maintained botanical garden featuring a wide variety of plants, flowers, and a glasshouse.
- Coaker’s Walk: A paved pedestrian path along the edge of steep slopes, Coaker’s Walk offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding hills and valleys.
- Pillar Rocks: These three giant rock formations are an iconic landmark of Kodaikanal. They provide breathtaking views of the surrounding lush green landscape.
- Green Valley View (Suicide Point): Another viewpoint, it offers a mesmerizing view of the plains and the Vaigai Dam. The deep, dangerous gorge is locally known as “Suicide Point.”
- Berijam Lake: Located about 20 km from the town, this pristine lake is surrounded by dense forests. You may need prior permission to visit this area due to its protected status.
- Kodaikanal Solar Observatory: If you’re interested in astronomy, this observatory provides insight into the study of the sun and celestial objects.
- Bear Shola Falls: A beautiful waterfall surrounded by lush forests, Bear Shola Falls is a great spot for a short trek and picnic.
- Poombarai Village: Visit this scenic village known for its terraced farming, and enjoy a serene countryside experience.
- Silver Cascade Falls: Located on the way to Kodaikanal, these cascading waterfalls are a popular stopover, especially during the monsoon season.
You can plan your kodiakonal trip as below: Princess of Hill stations – kodaikanal tourist places
Ooty, also known as Ootacamund, is a popular hill station in the Nilgiri Hills of Tamil Nadu, India.
One of the most popular hill stations near Chennai , it offers a wealth of natural beauty and attractions.
Here are some of the best places to visit while in Ooty:
- Botanical Gardens: The Government Botanical Gardens in Ooty are renowned for their lush greenery, exotic plants, and a fossilized tree trunk that is believed to be more than 20 million years old.
- Ooty Lake: This artificial lake offers boating and picturesque views of the surrounding hills. A walk along the lake promenade is quite enjoyable.
- Nilgiri Mountain Railway: This UNESCO World Heritage-listed railway offers a scenic ride on a historic steam train that winds through the Nilgiri Hills, providing breathtaking views of tea plantations and forests.
- Doddabetta Peak: It is the highest peak in the Nilgiris and offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. There’s also an observatory at the peak.
- Rose Garden: Ooty’s Rose Garden is a beautifully landscaped garden with thousands of varieties of roses and other exotic flowers.
- Ooty Botanical Gardens: These gardens house a wide variety of flowering plants, shrubs, and rare trees. The annual flower show is a highlight.
- Tea Estates: Visit one of the tea estates or factories around Ooty to learn about the tea-making process and enjoy fresh Nilgiri tea.
- Ooty Tribal Research Center Museum: This museum provides insights into the indigenous tribes of the Nilgiris and their culture.
- Avalanche Lake: Located about 25 km from Ooty, this serene lake is surrounded by a beautiful landscape and offers opportunities for fishing and trekking.
- Kalhatty Waterfalls: A short drive from Ooty, this waterfall is accessible by a trek through the forest and is a great spot for a picnic.
- Pykara Lake and Falls: Pykara Lake is known for its boating options, while Pykara Falls, a short distance away, is a beautiful waterfall.
- Sims Park: Located in nearby Coonoor, this well-maintained park features a variety of plants, flowers, and a fruit show.
- Lamb’s Rock: Another attraction in Coonoor, Lamb’s Rock offers panoramic views of the surrounding valleys and tea estates.
Ooty’s pleasant climate, scenic beauty, and numerous attractions make it a popular destination for nature enthusiasts and those seeking a peaceful getaway.
Coonoor, a picturesque hill station located in the Nilgiri Hills of Tamil Nadu, is famous for many things:
- Tea Plantations: Coonoor is known for its lush tea estates that produce some of the finest Nilgiri tea. Tourists often visit tea factories and plantations to witness the tea-making process and enjoy scenic views of the tea gardens.
- Sims Park: This well-maintained botanical garden is a major attraction in Coonoor. It features a wide variety of plants, flowers, and trees, making it a popular spot for nature lovers and picnics.
- Lamb’s Rock: Offering breathtaking views of the surrounding valleys, Lamb’s Rock is a viewpoint that’s known for its panoramic vistas and makes for a great spot for photography.
- Dolphin’s Nose: This viewpoint provides stunning views of the Nilgiri Hills and the Catherine Falls. The rock formation resembles a dolphin’s nose, hence the name.
- Catherine Falls: Located near Coonoor, Catherine Falls is a majestic waterfall that cascades down from a height of 250 feet. It’s a popular spot for trekking and photography.
- Heritage Train: Coonoor is part of the Nilgiri Mountain Railway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tourists can enjoy a scenic ride on a historic steam train through the picturesque Nilgiri Hills.
- Homestays: Coonoor is known for its cozy homestays, offering tourists a chance to experience the local culture and hospitality. Staying in a homestay is a popular choice for travelers seeking an authentic experience.
- Fruit and Vegetable Markets: The local markets in Coonoor offer a wide variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, and local produce. Tourists often enjoy shopping for fresh and organic products.
- Bird Watching: Coonoor is a paradise for bird watchers, with a diverse range of avian species found in its natural surroundings. The area is a haven for bird enthusiasts.
- Peaceful Atmosphere: Unlike some of the more crowded hill stations, Coonoor offers a tranquil and laid-back atmosphere, making it an ideal destination for those seeking a peaceful retreat.
Coonoor’s natural beauty, pleasant climate, and diverse attractions make it a popular destination for tourists looking. It is definitely one of the best hill stations near chennai which you can club with your Ooty trip !
So to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and enjoy the serene charm of the Nilgiri Hills do visit Ooty and Coonor.
Munnar, a breathtaking hill station in Kerala, India, is known for its lush tea plantations, serene landscapes, and natural beauty.
Here are the top 10 places to visit in Munnar:
- Tea Gardens: Munnar is synonymous with tea plantations. Take a stroll through the vast tea estates like the Tata Tea Museum or visit the beautiful Meesapulimala Tea Gardens.
- Mattupetty Dam: Located amidst the hills, this dam offers boating opportunities in the serene Mattupetty Lake and picturesque views of the surrounding valleys.
- Anamudi Peak: It’s the highest peak in South India and offers trekking opportunities. Even if you don’t trek to the summit, you can enjoy the lush greenery and wildlife in the area.
- Eravikulam National Park: Home to the endangered Nilgiri Tahr, this park is known for its rolling hills, lush grasslands, and trekking trails.
- Attukal Waterfalls: This scenic waterfall is a popular spot for trekking, photography, and picnics.
- Pothamedu Viewpoint: Located around 6 km from Munnar, this viewpoint offers panoramic views of the tea, coffee, and cardamom plantations.
- Trekking Trails: Munnar has several trekking trails, such as the Chokramudi, Lakshmi Hills, and Meesapulimala, which allow you to explore its natural beauty.
- Rose Gardens: Visit the beautiful rose gardens in Munnar, including the Blossom International Park and the Rose Garden of Munnar, which showcase a variety of colorful flowers.
- Tea Museum: The Tata Tea Museum provides insight into the history and production of tea in the region, complete with vintage machinery and demonstrations.
- Kundala Lake: Located about 20 km from Munnar, Kundala Lake offers boating and the opportunity to visit the famous Neela Kurunji flowers that bloom once in 12 years.
Kollimalai, also known as Kolli Hills, is a lesser-known hill station located in the Eastern Ghats of Tamil Nadu, but is also one of the best hill stations which you can visit if you are staying in Chennai.
So what is Kolli Malai famous for ?
- Natural Beauty: Kollimalai is renowned for its pristine natural beauty, lush green landscapes, and picturesque hills covered with dense forests.
- Arid Landscapes: The hill station is unique in that it offers a stark contrast between the lush greenery on one side and barren, rocky landscapes on the other. The area is sometimes referred to as the “Mountains of Death” due to its challenging terrain.
- Agriculture: Kollimalai is known for its terraced farming practices. Locals cultivate a variety of crops on the steep slopes, including ginger, turmeric, and medicinal herbs.
- Agaya Gangai Waterfalls: One of the most famous attractions in Kollimalai, the Agaya Gangai Waterfalls is a beautiful cascade surrounded by lush forests. It’s a popular spot for trekking and picnicking.
- Siddhar Caves: Kollimalai is believed to be a place where several Siddhars, spiritual leaders and ascetics, meditated. There are caves in the area associated with these Siddhars, and they are considered sacred.
- Kollimalai Shiva Temple: The hill station is home to the Kollimalai Shiva Temple, a place of worship with a deep spiritual significance. The temple attracts devotees and tourists alike.
- Solasaravana Poigai: This is a seasonal lake that appears once every 12 years, and it is said to contain 16 types of medicinal herbs. The last time it was seen was in 2017.
- Viewpoints: Kollimalai offers several viewpoints that provide stunning vistas of the surrounding hills and valleys. Seek out places like Seekuparai and Selur Nadu for panoramic views.
- Hiking and Trekking: The region offers a variety of trekking and hiking trails, making it a destination for adventure enthusiasts. Trekking through the lush forests and rugged terrain is a memorable experience.
- Serpentine Roads: The journey to Kollimalai is itself an attraction. The winding roads and hairpin bends offer thrilling drives and stunning views.
Kollimalai is a destination for those seeking a quieter and more offbeat hill station experience.
It’s a place to enjoy the tranquility of nature, explore the rich culture and spirituality of the region, and embark on adventures in the hills.
Valparai is a serene hill station located in the Western Ghats of Tamil Nadu, India.
Known for its lush greenery, tea estates, and biodiversity, here are the top 5 places to visit in Valparai.
- Valparai Tea Estates: Valparai is home to extensive tea plantations that offer picturesque views of rolling hills covered in tea bushes. You can take guided tours to learn about tea cultivation and processing at various tea estates.
- Sholayar Dam: This impressive dam is one of the major attractions in Valparai. It is surrounded by dense forests and offers panoramic views of the dam’s reservoir and the lush landscape.
- Nirar Dam: Another beautiful dam in the area, Nirar Dam is known for its serene surroundings and the opportunity for bird-watching.
- Aliyar Dam: Located near Valparai, Aliyar Dam is a popular picnic spot. It features a park, garden, and boating facilities on the Aliyar Lake, providing a pleasant outing for visitors.
- Anaimalai Wildlife Sanctuary: The sanctuary is part of the Western Ghats and is home to diverse flora and fauna. You may spot wildlife such as elephants, tigers, leopards, and various species of birds and butterflies. The Valparai Forest Reserve, a part of the sanctuary, is worth exploring.
Yelagiri is a small hill station in Tamil Nadu, India, known for its serene beauty and pleasant climate. Here are the top places to visit in Yelagiri:
- Punganur Lake: This artificial lake is the centerpiece of Yelagiri and offers boating facilities. It’s a great place to relax and enjoy the scenic surroundings.
- Yelagiri Nature Park: Located near Punganur Lake, this park has well-maintained gardens, an aquarium, and a mini zoo. It’s perfect for a leisurely stroll and bird-watching.
- Jalagamparai Waterfalls: This beautiful waterfall is surrounded by lush green forests and is a great spot for trekking and picnics. The trek to the falls takes you through scenic trails.
- Swamimalai Hills: The highest peak in Yelagiri, Swamimalai Hills offer panoramic views of the surrounding valleys and villages. It’s a popular trekking spot.
- Velavan Temple: Also known as the Murugan Temple, this shrine dedicated to Lord Murugan is located atop a hill. The temple architecture and views from the hill are worth exploring.
- Telescope Observatory: Yelagiri’s telescope observatory provides a chance to observe celestial bodies and offers a unique experience for astronomy enthusiasts.
- Nilavoor Lake: A small and serene lake surrounded by greenery, Nilavoor Lake is a peaceful place to visit for a relaxing day out.
- Boating at YASA (Yelagiri Adventure Sports Association): YASA offers various adventure activities, including boating, rappelling, and zip-lining, providing an exciting experience for visitors.
- Fundera Park: An amusement park with rides and games, Fundera Park is a fun place for families and children.
- Yelagiri Forest Hill: A viewpoint offering panoramic views of the lush landscapes, this is a great place to enjoy the natural beauty of Yelagiri.
Yelagiri is a relatively quiet and less commercialized hill station, making it an ideal destination for those seeking a peaceful and nature-filled retreat.
The cool climate, scenic beauty, and these attractions make it a perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life.
If you are looking to plan your Yelagiri trip: Yelagiri Hills – A perfect one day weekend trip from Bangalore
Meghamalai, also known as the “High Wavy Mountains,” is a lesser-explored hill station in the Western Ghats of Tamil Nadu, India. It is famous for several reasons:
- Scenic Beauty: Meghamalai is renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty, characterized by lush green forests, rolling hills, and mist-covered landscapes. The name “Meghamalai” translates to “Mountain of Clouds,” reflecting the region’s misty and picturesque ambiance.
- Tea and Coffee Plantations: The hill station is home to extensive tea and coffee plantations, with the tea estates of Meghamalai known for producing high-quality tea. Visitors can explore these plantations and learn about the cultivation and processing of tea and coffee.
- Meghamalai Wildlife Sanctuary: This sanctuary is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers. It’s home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including elephants, tigers, leopards, and a variety of bird species. The sanctuary offers trekking and wildlife-watching opportunities.
- Vellimalai: Vellimalai, one of the prominent peaks in Meghamalai, offers panoramic views of the surrounding hills and forests. It’s a popular trekking destination.
- Meghamalai Falls: These picturesque waterfalls are surrounded by dense forests and provide a tranquil setting for visitors. The falls are particularly impressive during the monsoon season.
- Suruli Falls: While not within Meghamalai itself, Suruli Falls is a popular nearby attraction. It’s known for its stunning cascade and natural beauty.
- Meghamalai Wildlife Information Center: This center provides information about the wildlife and conservation efforts in the region, making it a valuable stop for those interested in the local ecosystem.
- Cardamom Plantations: Apart from tea and coffee, Meghamalai is also known for its cardamom plantations. You can explore these fragrant plantations and see cardamom being grown and harvested.
- Bison Viewpoint: This viewpoint offers a chance to spot Indian bisons, also known as gaur, in their natural habitat. It’s a thrilling experience for wildlife enthusiasts.
- Kanthalloor Salai Dam: This dam is a serene spot for boating and picnicking, offering beautiful views of the surrounding hills.
Meghamalai’s serene and unspoiled landscapes make it a perfect destination for those seeking a peaceful retreat in the lap of nature.
Planning to know more about Meghamali – Megamalai tourist places – The cloud clad mountain paradise
It is relatively less crowded compared to some other hill stations, offering visitors a unique and tranquil experience.
You may also like: Top 10 Hill Stations in South India