Top 10 Hill Stations in South India

Looking for a perfect family vacation? Hill stations are always a very good choice. Today let us see which are top 10 hill stations in South India for a wonderful family vacation.

Holiday with family means a lot to all of us. It creates a lot of loving memories and long lasting bonds. A destination with cool and clean air, lots of greenery, water falls, breath taking view offers a perfect family vacation

India is a diverse country. From east to west and north to south there are many wonderful locations which you can visit. Since these awe-inspiring hilly regions provide a tranquil environment to spend some good time, here are some of the best hill stations in the South India which you and your family will love.


Contents

Munnar #1 of hill stations in south India

Munnar is a town in the Western Ghats mountain range. It is number 1 in our list of hill stations in south India. It is in Kerala. It used to be a summer resort for Britishers before independence. The whole area is surrounded by hills and is dotted with tea plantations. All these tea plantations are from 19th century.

Image Source

The hill station enjoys a favorable and pleasant climate through out the year. Being located in the Western Ghats, Munnar is also home to several protected areas and houses some of the most rare and endangered species of flora and fauna.

Eravikulam National Park is a habitat for the endangered mountain goat Nilgiri tahr and is also home to the Lakkam Waterfalls, few hiking trails and 2695 mtrs high Anamudi Peak.

Best time to visit Munnar

December to February is the best time to visit Munnar. The weather is quite pleasant during this time. The minimum temperature during this time of the year is around 10 degree celcius and hills are covered with clouds and mist. It is one of the prefect time for a family vacation or honeymoon for newly weds.

What to buy in Munnar?

Munnar is famous for tea, coffee and spices and hence these are best things to buy here. Tea, Coffee and Spices are grown here locally in the big plantations and have a unique taste and aroma. If you are in Munnar do buy these items in bulk. You get a good price and you can take your yearly quota of tea, coffee or spices back home.

How many days are needed to visit Munnar?

So from my experience a minimum of 3 days are needed to visit Munnar well. If you are planning for a 1 or 2 day trip, you will not be able to cover some must visit destinations. Munnar as such has more than 30 spots which you can visit. And if you are on a family vacation, you would definitely like to have a relaxing vacation and where you visit all the spots well. So plan for at least 3 days.

Cities Near Munnar

Kochi is the nearest big city near Munnar with direct flights from most part of country

91 km to Kochi, India.
102 km to Coimbatore, India.
102 km to Dindigul, India.
104 km to Thrissur, India.
117 km to Tiruppur, India.
117 km to Madurai, India.
144 km to Kollam, India.

How To Reach Munnar

  • By Air: The nearest airport is Cochin International Airport – around 125 kms from Munnar
  • By Rail: Nearest railway station is located in Aluva , Kochi or Ernakulam
  • By Road: From Kochi, Aluva or Ernakulam you can hire a cab or take a bus to Munnar.

Places to visit in Munnar

There are many cool places you can visit in Munnar. You need to plan you itinerary well and I am sure that you will be able to cover all in 3 to 4 days. If you have less time then you can drop few from your list.

Plantation ResortAyurvedic SpaMount CarmelChokramudi
KolukkumalaiRetail TherapyChurchAttukal Waterfalls
Echo PointCuisineCheeyaparra WaterfallsThoovanam Falls
Eravikulam National ParkChithirapuramBlossom International ParkMarayoor
SuryanelliKathakaliPothamedu ViewpointThirumeni Cultural Centre
Lakkam WaterfallsKalari KshethraCamping
Rock ClimbingSrishti Welfare CentreStaycation In A Tree House
Kundala LakeRose GardenMathikettan Shola Rainforest
Mattupetty DamMount Carmel ChurchAnamudi Peak
Carmelagiri Elephant ParkLakshmi HillsWonder Valley Adventure Park

Ooty – #2 One of most popular hill stations in south India

Ooty (short for Udhagamandalam) is a hill town in the Western Ghats mountains,. This town is in Tamil Nadu state.

The main attraction of Ooty, the 55-acre Government Botanical Garden lies on the slopes of Doddabetta Peak.

One of the other major attraction is a working steam railway line and many reminders of its colonial past like Stone House, a 19th-century residence, and the circa-1829 St. Stephen’s Church.

Picturesque Emerald Lake

Image Courtesy – Wikipedia

What is famous in Ooty?

Ooty is famous for a good number of tea plantations. You will find a lot of tea varieties to choose from

  • dust and leaf
  • black, green
  • black and white and many other varieties;

You will find flavors such as masala tea, jasmine tea, cardamom tea, chocolate tea etc

What is the best time to visit Ooty?

You can visit Ooty any time. It’s wonderful. But summer season ie April to June is peak when it attracts visitors from across country. Also September to January and during new year there are lots of tourists.

What clothes wear in Ooty?
Well not to worry, we have mentioned the necessary clothes that you should carry.
Irrespective of the season, woollen clothes like sweater, jumper, jacket, socks and thermal wears are always compulsory.
Hats or caps and scarf.
Boots, sneakers, trekking shoes, slippers.

What are the top sightseeing places in Ooty?

Below are the spots which you should not miss

  • Ooty Botanical Gardens,
    Rose Garden,
  • Ooty Lake,
  • Emerald Lake,
  • Avalanche Lake.
  • Nilgiri Mountain Railway,

What are the most popular things to do in Ooty with kids?

If you are travelling with family and kids, Nilgiri Moutain Railway can be a real fun. Specially for kids and for you as well, it will be a out if the world experience. Then you can try Bhavani Lake, Emrald Lake, Avalanche Lake. These places are fun for kids as they get to do boating and all.

  • Upper Bhavani Lake
  • Nilgiri Mountain Railway
  • Emerald Lake
  • Pykara Lake
  • Avalanche Lake

What can we do in Ooty at night?

What to do in Ooty at night. Best will be to enjoy some nice coffee at one the many Cafes and enjoy the view of city or go for star grazing. May be you can visit the Stone house. One of the first house Britishers got constructed in Ooty.


Idukki #3 – A beautiful hill station you should plan as your next trip.

ldukki district is a densely forested, mountainous region in western ghats of Kerala. One of the most beautiful hill stations in south India. In the north of Idukki, Anamudi mountain towers over Eravikulam National Park.

top 10 hill stations in south India

Image Courtesy

Eravikulam National Park is the place where the rare blue Neelakurinji flower bloom every 12 years. In the south it has Idukki Dam and Periyar National Park, a tiger and elephant reserve.

What Idukki famous for?

Idukki is rich in forests and also known as the “Spice Garden of Kerala”.

Idukki is a district which is situated in the Western Ghats of Kerala. Regarded as the second-largest district in the region, it is densely forested and it has the lowest population density among the districts of Kerala,.

What is the meaning of Idukki?

The name Idukki was derived from the word ‘Idukku’ which means a gorge. Remember manssons are very much unpredictable in Idukki and hence if you are travelling during the month of monsoons you need to be very crefull of this point.

Who should visit Idukki?

Idukki is amazing for people who are nature lovers. Idukki is an ideal destination for trekking enthusiasts and also for family vacations. Idukki is also emerging as a good honeymoon destination.

What are the places near Idukki?

  • Munnar which is 39 km from Idukki,
  • Kodaikanal located 65 km from Idukki,
  • Thekkady 16 km from Idukki,
  • Vagamon 28 km from Idukki,
  • Kolukkumalai which is located 37 km from Idukki


Kodaikanal #4 – Very famous – Queen of Hills

At the elevation of more than 2000 meters, Kodai as it is lovingly called is amazing. Kodaikanal is a hill town in Tamil Nadu . It has forested valleys, lakes, waterfalls and grassy hills. This is again one of the most popular hill stations in south India.

top 10 hill stations in south India

The main attraction is man-made, star-shaped Kodaikanal Lake, bordered by evergreen forest. Rowing boats can be hired, and hikers and cyclists follow the 5k Lake Road path around the shore.

What is the famous of Kodaikanal?

Kodaikanal in Tamil means “The Gift of the Forest”. Kodaikanal is referred to as the “Queen of Hill stations” and has long been a very very popular tourists destinations. It is quite popular among tourists year round, but summers are peak season. Kodai has also been a popular destination for may movie shootings.

Kodai is nice place to visit, greenry all around, cool and worth a visit. Only drawback is connectivity.
Nearest railway station and airport are situated quite far away from the main city. Cabs are quite expensive. You can go till Coimbatore and take cab from there.

What are the places near Kodaikanal?

  • Munnar is 49 km from Kodaikanal
  • Kolukkumalai located 33 km from Kodaikanal,
  • Alleppey located 144 km from Kodaikanal,
  • Madurai which is located 77 km from Kodaikanal,
  • Idukki which is located 65 km from Kodaikanal

You can read about Kodai in one of my previous posts.

Coorg #5 – Not to be missed

 Coorg is a tranquil little district in Karnataka, famous for beautiful and world class coffee estate, varied wildlife. Not to be missed and a very very popular hill stations in south India and in Karnataka

f you are very much interested in trekking, jungle experience you can may be look at other towns which are further deep inside. Since we were with kids, we chose to visit the tourist spots most commonly visited.

abbey falls

The must visit spots we had on our list were

  • Omkareshwara temple (with in Madikeri)
  • Raja’s seat
  • Madikeri fort and museum
  • Bhagamandala
  • Tala Kaveri
  • Abbey Falls
  • Namdroling Monastery
  • Nisargadhama

We have covered Coorg quite extensively in our posts before

Coorg Day 1 – Coorg – A beautiful hill station near Bangalore – Day 1

Also read Day 2 – Coorg a beautiful hill station near Bangalore – Day 2

For Day 3 – Coorg – A Beautiful Hill Station Near Bangalore – Day 3


Coonoor # 6 – One of the many in Tamil Nadu. Very very beautiful

Tamil Nadu has many hill stations and Coonor is one of them. It’s known for its tea estates . Sim’s Park is a major attraction here, a huge public garden with plants like rhododendrons, roses and eucalyptus trees.

top 10 hill stations in south India

image courtesy

The steam Nilgiri Mountain Railway runs between Mettupalayam and Ooty via Coonoor. Dolphin’s Nose is a vantage point with views of the cascading Catherine Falls is one of the must visits

What is the best time to visit Coonoor?

The best time to visit Coonoor is during the months of October to March. The temperature will be ranging from 10 to 20 degrees . So it is a nice cool temperature for visits.

What are the major attractions in Coonoor?

Top Attractions in Coonoor are:

  • Heritage Train.
  • Sim`s Park.
  • Dolphin’s Nose.
  • Highfield Tea Factory.
  • Lamb’s Rock.
  • Tranquilitea Gourmet Nilgiri Teas
  • Tiger Hill Cemetery.
  • All Saints Church.

Is Coonoor worth visiting?
Coonoor’s panoramic views and lush green landscapes definitely makes it worth a visit.

What should I buy in Coonoor?
One of the most popular things to do in Coonoor is shopping for organic products like freshly made fruit jams. If you want to buy one of the famous things of Coonoor then buy mulberry and passion fruit jams.


Devikulam #7

Devikulam is a small hill station and is about 10 kilometres from Munnar in the Idukki District.

What is the meaning of Devikulam?

The name Devikulam is a made up of two words Devi ( representing mata Sita here) and kulam, meaning pond

top 10 hill stations in south India

image courtesy

Legend Of Devikulam

According to legend, the goddess, Ma Sita Devi of the Ramayana, bathed in the beautiful Devikulam lake waters. This lake is surrounded by lush, green hills. The lake is now called as Sita Devi Lake.

The lake is considered as sacred and is also famous for the curative powers of its mineral waters. You can also enjoy nearby areas like the scenic Pallivasal Waterfalls, tea plantations, and the natural vegetation of slim red and blue and yellow gum trees.


Araku Valley # 8

Araku Valley is a hill station and valley area located in Andhra Pradesh, southeastern Indian state. This is surrounded by dense mountain range forests in the Eastern Ghats.

The Tribal Museum famous here, is dedicated to the many indigenous tribes in the region, renowned for their traditional dance of Dhimsa, and showcases traditional handicrafts. A miniature train, with its sculptures and tree-top huts, passes through Padmapuram Gardens.

What is special about Araku Valley?

What makes Araku Valley special? Situated in the beautiful eastern ghats, Araku Valley is renowned for its scenic beauty, its green valleys, its majestic waterfalls and its sparkling streams

Which is the best time to visit Araku Valley?

December to February is a good time to visit. January is the coldest month of the year and it is the best time to visit Araku.

From June to October is the monsoon season when Araku gets extensive rainfall and hence not recommended. Be sure to purchase tribal jewellery, jute bags, and ornaments made from brass and wrought-iron if you are in Araku Valley

What are the things to do in Araku valley?

Must visit places of Araku Valley are

  • Borra Caves,
  • Katiki Waterfalls,
  • Chaparai Waterfalls,
  • Tribal Museum,
  • Padmapuram Gardens,

You can read more here – Araku Valley


Yercaud #9

Yercaud is a town of hill stations in Tamil Nadu, South Indian state. It lies in the Shevaroy Hills, famed for its orange groves, and the plantations of coffee, fruit and spice. Yercaud Lake is surrounded by gardens and woodland, and has a boathouse. Anna Park has local plants on the eastern shore of the lake, and a Japanese garden with bonsai. To the southwest there is a watchtower with a telescope at Lady’s Seat vantage point.

What yercaud famous for?

  • 32-km Loop Road.
  • Shevaroy Temple.
    Montfort School.
  • Pagoda Point.
  • Shevaroy Temple.
    Montfort School.
  • Big Lake.
  • Kiliyur Falls.

Which is the best time to visit Yercaud?

Best time to visit Yercaud is from October to February . The temperature during this period fluctuates between 13°C to 25°C.

top 10 hill stations in south India
image source – wikipedia

What should Shop in Yercaud?

Textiles ( authentic fabrics) , Spices, Coffee Powder and Natural Cosmetics are few things which you can buy from Yercaud.

How is the road to Yercaud?

From foothill to Yercaud town is approximately 22 Kms and there are 20 hair pin bends and hence you should be driving very carefully. Please always note to drive slow and safe. But roads are good. Takes approx 1 hour to reach from foothill to top. Yercaud is quite well connected to many cities in Tamil Nadu and also is quite a cool drive from Bangalore (210 Kms via NH44)

Ananthagiri Hills #10

Ananthagiri Hills is in the District of Vikarabad, Telangana, India. Through these hills the water flows towards Hussain Sagar and Himayathsagar. It is among Telangana’s thick forests. Within this forested area is the Temple of Ananthagiri which is one of the most visited temples in the region.

What to do in Ananthagiri Hills ?

  • Ananthagiri Hills Viewpoint and
  • The Borra Hills and Caves are major attractions here.
  • Then Anathagiri temple is visited by a lot of people.
  • Kotipally Reservpir, Tyda Park, Bhavanasi Lake
  • and the coffee plantations are also a good visit

What is the best time to visit Ananthagiri Hills?

Ananthagiri has pleasant weather throughout the year with temperature ranging from 16 to 22 degrees Celcius in winters. Hence october to march is the best time to visit.

How to reach Ananthagiri Hills

  • Ananthagiri is located around 90 km from Hyderabad and 6 km from Vikarabad..
  • The nearest airport is located in Hyderabad
  • Nearest railway station is situated in Vikarabad.

How can I commute within Ananthagiri hills?

Anathagiri is quite ok from commute perspective. You have local bus and also auto rickshaw and taxis are good way to commute in Anathgiri. If you have your own vehicle, it is best

What are the top sightseeing places in Ananthagiri hills?

You can cover Araku Valley and Ananthagiri hills together. The Borra Hills and Caves, Araku Tribal Museum, Musi River, Padmapuram Gardens etc are main tourist points as you can see it in Araku Valley.

Trekking in Ananthagiri Hills, Dolphins Nose etc are the top sightseeing spots in Ananthagiri hills’


So those were top 10 hill stations in south India which I could recommend. But there are 3 more which you an think of. Have a look.


Kotagiri #11

Kothagiri is a taluk and Panchayat town in Tamil Nadu. It falls in the Nilgiris District. It is the third largest Nilgiri hill station and is at a total altitude of 1,847 meters.

top 10 hill stations in south India

image source

Kotagiri means ‘mountains of the Kotas’ ( ancestral home of the Kota Tribe was the Nilgiri hills)

Kotagiri means ‘mountains of the Kotas’ ( ancestral home of the Kota Tribe was the Nilgiri hills)

How to reach Kotagiri?

You can reach Kotagiri by 3 ways

  • From Coonor – 21 kms
  • From Ooty – 29 Kms
  • From Mettupalayam – 33 Kms

There are regular buses from these stations to Kotagiri and you can rent a taxi as well.

What is famous in Kotagiri?

  • The second largest fall in the Nilgiri hills and a sight to behold, The Catherine Falls
  • Shola Longwood
  • Elk Falls falls
  • Memorial to John Sullivan
  • Peak of Rangaswamy

How far is kotagiri from Bangalore?

Kotagiri is approximately 315 kms from Bangalore and is around 8 hrs of drive. But remember, Ooty, Coonor, Kotagiri and Mettupalayam, are near to each other and hence all these places can be clubbed together if you plan well.

Kudremukh #12 – Very popular among trekkers.

Kudremukh is a mountain range and name of a hill in the district of Chikkamagaluru, in Karnataka . One of the very popular among trekkers. Very popular hill stations in south India, Karnataka

What is Kudremukh famous for?

Popular and named after a mountainside resembling the face of a horse, Kudremukh is renowned for its biodiversity and scenic beauty. Kudremukh, a famous hill-station among the crowd of Bangalore, is actually a hill range in Karnataka’s Chikmagalur district.

top 10 hill stations in south India

image source

How to reach Kudremukh?

  • By Bus – Kudremukh can be reached by bus from Mangalore, which is located 100 km away (2 hours 15 minutes away).
  • By Train – Mangalore is the nearest railway station, with trains connecting to many towns.
  • By Air – The nearest airport is in Mangalore

Or you can drive down if possible. It will be a nice drive.

How difficult is Kudremukh Trek?

The gradient, route, and difficulty of the trek is fairly easy to manage and even the beginners can go for it. In the Kudremukh trek, you’ll cross lots of waterfalls. The waterfalls are very good and make the trek less stressful as you can just relax at the place from trekking and chilling.

Why is it called Kudremukh?

The name Kuduremukha means literally ‘horse-face’ (Kannada) and refers to a specific picturesque view of a side of the mountain resembling the face of a horse.

What to see in Kudremukh?

  • Horanadu,
  • Kudremukh Hill Station,
  • Big Lake,
  • Kudremukh National Park
  • Kudremukh Peak Walk,
  • Hanuman Gundi Falls,
  • Trekking at Kudremukh,
  • Kalasa,
  • Gangamoola

What are the places near Kudremukh?

The top places near to Kudremukh are –

  • Coorg which is 95 km from Kudremukh,
  • Chikmagalur which is located 59 km from Kudremukh,
  • Dharmasthala which is located 25 km from Kudremukh,
  • Horanadu which is located 17 km from Kudremukh, S
  • ringeri which is located 30 km from Kudremukh

What are the things to do in Kudremukh?

The top things to do in Kudremukh are

  • Kudremukh Peak Trek,
  • Kudremukh National Park,
  • Hanuman Gundi Falls,
  • Trekking in Kudremukh, Kalasa, Gangamoola.

What is the best time to visit Kudremukh?

While the city enjoys a nice climate throughout the year, October to May is the best time to visit Kudremukh if you intend to go trekking.

Who should visit Kudremukh?

A great weekend getaway from Bangalore and Mangalore. Also ideal wildlife lovers and trekkers.

Nandi Hills # 13

Nandi Hills, or Nandidurg, is a hill structure in Karnataka, South Indian state. Tipu Sultan Castle, the namesake 18th-century ruler ‘s summer retreat, features stone carvings and paintings on the walls.

This is in my list of hill stations in south India as it is very very popular hill stations near Bangalore. But remember it is good for a day trip.

top 10 hill stations in south India

Tipu’s Drop, now renowned for its panoramic views, is said to have thrown prisoners to their death. Local Hindu temples include the hilltop Yoga Nandeeshwara Temple, which is guarded by a large bull (nandi) statue.

What is the best time to visit Nandi Hills?

The weather here is good throughout the year but the best time to visit Nandi Hills is from September to May. Regardless of the runoff, the remaining monsoon months are less suitable, as the road may be slippery and moving up the hill becomes difficult.

What is famous in Nandi Hills?

  • Tipu’s Drop.
  • Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple.
  • Tipu’s Summer Residence.
  • Yoga Nandeeshwara Temple.
  • Amrita Sarovar.
  • Brahmashram.

Is Nandi Hills open at night?

Nandi Hills is situated at a distance of 60 km from Bangalore township, in Chikkaballapur Taluk, Karnataka. It is open till 10.00 PM only.

Is there any bus to Nandi Hills? How can I go to Nandi Hills?

You can take a bus to Nandi Hills and the best way to get to the hill station is by transport. City buses from the bus stand in Bangalore Majestic and Kempegowda run regularly and drop you directly at the bus stop in Nandi Hills

What is the height of Nandi Hills?


The Nandi Hills are at the altitude of approx 1500 meters

How is the road from Bangalore to Nandi Hills?

The distance between the center of Bangalore to Nandi Hills (by road) is approximately 65 km. It will take you about an hour and a half to reach Nandi Hills from Bangalore, and on the way you’ll find a Jain temple. Also there are a lot of eating options on the way.

How can I go to Nandi Hills from Bangalore by car?

You need to go towards Devanhalli , also known for the Kempegowda International Airport. From any where in city, reach Hebbal and start driving straight towards Devanhalli. One you reach the Devanhalli town you will find the markings for Nandhi Hills ( marking towards left), take that and keep moving straight and then you will reach a T Junction. Take left and you will start climbing towards Nandi Hills.

How far is Nandi Hills from Bangalore airport?

Bangalore Airport is located around 19 KM away from Nandi Hills . Takes approximately 45 mins to 1 hours to reach Nandi Hills from the Airport.

How many steps are there in Nandi Hill?

There are 1,175 steps that take you from the foothills of Nandi Hill right to the summit.

What is the best time to visit Nandi hills?

The weather here is good throughout the year but the best time to visit Nandi Hills is from September to May. Although  the rainfall, is huge the remaining monsoon months are less suitable, as the road may be slippery and moving up the hill becomes difficult. Summer afternoons may be sweltering, so organize your trip either early in the morning or late in the evening. Nandi Hills is best reached around 5:30 to catch the beautiful sunset

What is the best way to reach Nandi hills?

The nearest railway station is at Chikkaballapur (9km), and the nearest airport at Bangalore (58km), from where taxis are available to Nandi Hills. Buses are also available from Bangalore and most neighbouring cities. You could also hire a cab or self-drive as well.


So friends these were some top hill stations which I would say are best to cover if you have a possibility.

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