Enchanting Hill Stations in South India

We always loved hill stations and felt super energized whenever got a chance to visit any hill station. And, I must say, hill stations have unbeatable charm. Since they make one feel so close to nature. Also they bring new level of freshness and energy. So, in quest of satisfying our likeness of hill stations we have been to many hill stations in India. And it ranges from hill stations in North India to hill stations in South India.

KeralaMunnar3-min

This post I am dedicating to the most renowned hill stations in south India we have been to. In the lap of southern side of India there lies many world renowned hill stations. These hill stations in south India tend to be very green. The aroma and charm of these hill stations make their visitors to fall in instant love with them. Also, it creates kind of a bond which makes people to come on these hill stations again and again.

So now its time to compile my list and it goes as:

Munnar – a gem amongst the Hill Stations in South India

Munnar is one of the hill stations in south India, located in Idukki district of Kerala, one of the southern states in India. It is situated in the lush green mountain ranges of the Western Ghats. The name “Munnar” literally means “Three Rivers”. Munnar is very picturesque. As, it is covered in layers of green velvet formed by the numerous coffee estates. And it stretches across the long and wide range of mountains. And these mountains are marked with majestic waterfalls gushing through them, river, lake, flora, fauna and wildlife. One can reach Munnar most conveniently from Cochin, the capital of Kerala. And the drive from Cochin to Munnar is itself very scenic.

We visited Munnar in 2010. And ever since, it has been close to our heart. For me, it is one of the most beautiful hill stations in south India. We spent close to three days during our trip to Munnar. And all these three days filled us with lifetime of memory. During our stay in Munnar, we visited several sites and found each one of these to be so beautiful. So, here’s a list of places you can see while in Munnar and things you can do when in this beautiful small town.

Munnar, Kerala
Eravikulam National Park, Munnar

Attractions: My Top Picks

I will suggest these 6 must to see places in Munnar based on my experience. These are:

Coffee Plantations: Munnar has several coffee plantations across the hill station. As you pass through these or even across the road, soak in the aroma of coffee plants. Also, stop by for some memorable snaps.

Mattupetty Dam: A place to spot the most breathtaking scenery in Munnar

Eravikulam National park: Another must see in Munnar, Eravikulam National park is located on the high hills of Munnar. Actually, the highest peak of India after Himalayas is located inside this park.

Elephant Point: The elephant point is just another scenic point near the lake where elephants often venture in for water. Elephant rides are also offered in this spot

Plant Nurseries: There are many plant nurseries in and around Munnar. And, we happened to visit one after a day long site seeing. And it was very refreshing.

Natural Scenic Spots: These are abundant in Munnar and in course of your journey keep looking for them. Make a stop at these to enjoy the closeness of nature.

Munnar Kerala
Lush green mountains of Munnar

Best Time to Visit

June to September: Although this is the monsoon season in Munnar and many tourists may want to avoid Munnar during the monsoons. But this is a great time to visit the hill stations in south India, including Munnar. Particularly, if you’re looking for a quiet vacation and lots of greenery.

September to November and January to March: During these windows Munnar is comfortably cold. Also occasional rains will give you a misty experience.

Number of Days Required

I will suggest 3+ days. Ideally 4-5 days to spend in Munnar.

Ooty – the Queen of Hill Stations

Located at a distance of around 270 KM from Bangalore, Ooty is one of the hill stations in south India famously known as “Queen of Hill Stations”. It is also known as Udhagamandalam. And it is part of Indian state Tamilnadu. Ooty is part of Nilgiris hill range. And , whole Ooty is surrounded with green hills and magnificent valleys. Also, in most of the seasons you can witness sea of clouds in the valley rising up to cliff of hills. Further, during monsoon the aroma of Ooty even goes to another level which makes it a perfect destination to be at.

Read about our experience of Ooty during monsoon here. Also Ooty is considered as tea capital of India. Majority of Ooty’s landscape is covered under teal plantation. And, it plays a major role in making Ooty aesthetically beautiful. The greenery of tea plantation gives the kind of aroma and charm to Ooty which is unbeatable. Ooty is well connected via road and can easily be reached from Bangalore or Mysore or any other major nearby cities.

Ooty hotel sagar resort
Toy train passing through the valley, seen from the resort balcony in Ooty

Attractions: My Top Picks

Ooty Lake – A popular destination for picnicking, paddle boating and enjoying Ooty leisurely. It’s length is 2.5 KM and is spreads across the scenic beauty of Nilgiris.

Botanical Garden – Spread over a huge area of 22 hectares it is one of the most famous botanical gardens in India. It has more than 700 species of flowers and trees. It is a complete delight for nature lovers.

Nilgiris Mountain Railway – A world heritage site, runs to a length of 46 KM. It is a beautiful toy train journey which passes through tunnels, curves, bridges, valleys and beautiful scenery. Hence this journey will be something to be cherished for a lifetime.

Doddabetta Peak – Located at an altitude of 8,650 feet is the highest mountain in the Nilgiri Hills. And there is reserve forest area around this peak. View from this peak is breathtaking.

Coonoor – An adjacent hill station to Ooty, Coonor  is the second largest hill station in the Nilgiri hills after Ooty. It is well known for its lush green tea gardens. Also, it has many other tourist attractions.

6th Mile and 9th Mile –  Breathtaking view points. Featured in many Bollywood movies’ songs.

Dolphin’s Nose – A viewpoint situated more than 1,000 feet above sea level

Lamb’s Rock – Lamb’s Rock offers spectacular views of the lush forests around Ooty.

Best Time To Visit

March to June: To escape from scorching heat and enjoy a pleasant weather.

June to September: Monsoon season. If looking for a fresher and greener look of Ooty then this is the best time to visit.

No of Days Required

2-3 days should be enough.

Also, you can read about our experience at the Sagar Resort Ooty, which is perched atop a hill and has amazing views of the valleys.

Kodaikanal – the Princess of Hill Stations

Kodaikanal is a city in the hills of the taluk division of the Dindigul district in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. While its name in the Tamil language means “The Gift of the Forest”. At the same time, Kodaikanal is referred to as the “Princess of Hill stations” as well. Although nearby hill stations in south India like Ooty and Munnar have become highly commercialized, Kodaikanal still enjoys the advantage of being a quaint hill station. As, it doesn’t have so much of foot fall. So, it retains all its essence.

Kodaikanal mostly comprises of a close community, a few beautiful schools, hospital, other basic infrastructure. And, on top of that, it has some beautiful visiting spots. And then, it’s economy is mostly driven by the hospitality industry. We got a chance to travel to Kodaikanal and got to spend amazing 3 days at Kodaikanal . Also reaching to Kodaikanal is very easy via road. And the condition of road leading to Kodaikanal is excellent. Plus, it is a very scenic drive, particularly from Bangalore to Kodaikanal.

Kodaikanal 11
Kodai Lake, Kodaikanal

Attractions: My Top Picks

Coaker’s Walk – It is a 1-kilometre paved pedestrian path running along the edge of steep slopes on the southern side of Kodai. On a clear day one can view the deep valley and stunning panoramic view of the plains.

Kodai Lake – A big lake in between the Kodai town. The 5 kilometres path that skirts the periphery of this lovely lake is a favorite walk for the locals and tourists alike.

Bryant Park – It is a large botanical garden and is one of the most sought after tourist attraction in Kodaikanal.

Green Valley View – A magnificent spot in Kodaikanal. It offers a breathtaking view of the plains, deep valleys and hills.

Guna Cave & Pillar Rocks – Both are almost at the same place.

Best Time To Visit

Weather remains pleasant throughout the year.

June to September: This is monsoon season and there are chances of facing heavy rains during July and August. However, the beauty of rains and fresh air can be felt best during this period. Overall, September is a great month to travel as it doesn’t rain much and the weather is ideal for sightseeing.

Kodaikanal 9
Pillars rock, Kodaikanal

Number of Days Required

I will suggest to plan for 3-4 days.

Check out our post on the best places to stay in Kodaikanal.

Coorg – the green paradise

Coorg popularly known as Scotland of India is located at a distance of around 250 Km from Bangalore, Karnataka. Officially it is known as Kodagu. It is the most affluent hill station in Karnataka. Apart from being a famous hill station, Coorg is also the land of forests and wildlife. Overall, it is well known for its breathtakingly exotic scenery and lush greenery. Also, most of the years it observes good rainfall and this very characteristic is the boon for Coorg. This causes Coorg to be extremely green throughout the year. Further spices and coffee plantations add to a large extent to the landscape of Coorg. Madikeri is the region’s center point.

Coorg is truly meant for nature lovers who love to explore nature. Also, for those who enjoy some adrenaline rush and adventure, Coorg is again an ideal destination with its number of adventure sports.

places to visit in Coorg

Abbey Falls, Coorg

Attractions: My Top Picks

Golden Temple Monastery – It is a beautiful Monastery to visit on your way to Madikeri. The 40 feet long statues are the major attractions of the monastery. One can feel utter peace and solitude here.

Nisargadhama Island – Nisargadhama is a beautiful island formed on river Kaveri near Kushalnagar. The whole island is well groomed in the form of a picnic and recreational spot.

Madikeri Fort & Museum – Built for the first time in 17th Century and then rebuilt by Tipu Sultan in granite structure, this fort stands as a testimony to the glorious past of India

Abbey Falls – One of the most amazing attraction in Coorg, Abbey falls is located amidst dense rain forest. Also the small 10 minutes trek to the waterfalls is an experience in itself.

Talakaveri – Talakaveri is believed to be the origin of the river Kaveri. Also, there is a beautiful and ancient temple here.

Virajpet Golf Course – This golf course is privately maintained by the association of golfers in this region. It is neatly landscaped with ponds, trees, bougainvillea shrubs, and fields in between the golf platforms.

top places to see in coorg

Golf Course, Coorg

Best Time To Visit

Weather is pleasant throughout the year. So one can visit Coorg round the year.  While June to September is monsoon season with heavy rains during August and September. And October to March is the best time for adventure activities especially trekking. Further, March and April are the favored months to experience the valley shrouded in white flowers.

Number of Days Required

It all depends on your itinerary. But I consider 2-3 days should be good enough.

Also: checkout this beautiful homestay Casa Coorg for your stay at Coorg.

Wayanad – a breathtaking hill station of South India

Wayanad, the green paradise is nestled among the mountains of the Western Ghats. It is part of Indian state Kerala and located in greener part of Kerala. Wayanad is a picturesque plateau situated at a height from 700 meters to 2100 meters above the mean sea level. And it is one of the most popular tourist destination in Kerala and shares its border with both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu states. Also it is a land of forests and the famous Wayanad wildlife sanctuary. Further, it is surrounded by the renowned wildlife sanctuaries of Bandipur, Nagarhole and Muthanga. Also, it is known for its cool highland climate, misty peaks and its virgin forests.

Wayanad is located at a distance of 280 Km from Bangalore and of 130 KM from Mysore. And it is well connected via roads from these two cities and other cities which surrounds Wayanad.

oxyfarm resorts wayanad

Attractions: My Top Picks

Edakkal Cave – Famous for its pictorial carvings and cave paintings, which are considered to be of 6000 B C. Check this post for further details.

Sulthan Bathery – It has many renowned and known places of worship which includes temples, churches, mosques.

Banasura Sagar Dam – This is the only earth dam in India and the second largest earth dam in Asia.

Kuruva island – The only island surrounded with naturally purified water source in Kerala.

Chembra Peak – This is the highest peak in Wayanad, at 2,100 m above sea level and has a heart shaped lake.

Vythri – A small town and famous tourist destination in Wayand due to its all season attractive weather, greenery and the terrain.

Lakkidi – Lakkidi is the gateway of Wayanad district. Also, it is one of the highest locations in Wayanad and is situated 700 m above mean sea level.

Best Time To Visit

October- February: Winter season and this period of time is considered as the most preferred season to visit Wayanad.

Number of Days Required

3-4 days should be a good time.

Trip Expert 2017 Awards

Trip Expert Award Badge 2017

Please note that we have compiled this post as an opportunity provided by Ankit Agrawal from Travelosthan in the form of nomination for ‘Travel Expert Awards-2017’. Thank you Ankit and Tripscam for providing us this opportunity. And, definitely we feel honored with this nomination.

My Nominations For Trip Expert Awards-2017
  1. Deepak Acharya of Bon Voyage
  2. Mayuri of Sirimiri
  3. Meenakshi of Polkajunction

PS: Rules for Trip Expert 2017 Award

Hill Stations | South India | Munnar | Kodaikanal | Ooty | Coorg | Wayanad | Coonoor | Kodaikanal

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84 Responses

  1. The southern part of India is so rich with beautiful hill stations. All of them are beautiful but I would love to visit and see those Pillar rocks in Koidakhanal and that enchanting Abby waterfalls in Coorg. Such a great and informative post, I would recommend this to my friends who will visit your amazing country 🙂

  2. What a great descriptive list and guide. This is so perfect for anyone to have with them when visiting. Coorg would be the place I would want to visit by all means.

    • Thanks! Coorg does have a charm of its own..the greenery, the tropical rainforest feeling its all so enchanting

  3. Those views are just incredible! I love hiking and I really love nature – hiking the rainforests in Costa Rica has been my favourite in the past so I think I’d love to visit some of these places! 🙂

  4. bruceschinkel19

    This region looks amazing, thanks so much for this post! You’ve really made me want to visit this area and check out that breathtaking scenery

    • Hope you visit here sometimes and I am sure you are going to like it

  5. Wow such an informative and useful blog thanks for sharing. Will be such a good reference point if I ever go to India, coorg especially looks so beautiful! Great pictures.

  6. I haven’t ever been to india but one day, I know I will. I actually haven’t even heard of a hill station before but it seems like such a gorgeous, yet unique scenery. And your photos are amazing!!

    • Basically hill stations are the hills that are inhabited and provide a great relief from the summer of the valleys and plains. My favorites always

  7. I wasn’t really aware what a hill station in India was, but these hill stations and towns such as Munnar and Ooty sounds fascinating. I would love to visit a coffee plantation in Munnar, I haven’t really heard much about Indian coffee and would love to try it at the source.

    • Oh..you should definitely try the Indian coffee then. I fell in love with coffee after visiting these places in South India

  8. This seems like such a naturally beautiful place. India is slowly becoming one of the top places I’d like to visit next year.

    • It’s really nice to know that. You are most welcome here, and if you need any help planning your trip, don’t hesitate to reach out to me

  9. Would love to visit India soon and explore southern part of the country

  10. Wow! This looks very promising. The view from the hill station is jaw dropping. Bucket list alert!

  11. I just realized that I have visited all teh destinations you have listed here. If I may add to the list, Arakku near Visakhapatnam is one more destination I would suggest. This post could be a very good reference for someone planning a trip to the hills in the south of india.

    • Thanks Sindhu. And I am sure you have as much enjoyed visiting each one of these as we have. I will definitely like to plan a trip to Arakku and add it to the list 🙂 Thanks for suggesting that

  12. Tales of travelling sisters

    You have listed some of the best hill stations of South India. Wayanad and Coorg are our favourites. We haven’t visited Kodaikanal yet, hope to visit soon.

    • You should definitely plan a visit to Kodaikanal as well. I always find it as enchanting and attractive as ever. Have been there multiple times and still want to head every other vacation 🙂

  13. great post! very detailed. Basically, everything that someone needs to know is right here on this blog, and accompanied by nice photos. Thanks for sharing!

  14. A very concise list. Loved making visits to these hill stations and I am actually keen to revisit some of them.

  15. What a great idea for a post. There are some stunning places in here. I’ll definitely be checking back when I’m planning a trip to India. Amazing.

    • Thanks Matt!! We hope you will have a lovely time and some of the information here will definitely help you out

  16. No doubt, there are some of our best hill stations down south. Well done with your post on the places to visit in each. Among these I love wayanad… There is just so much to do there and one visit is not enough

    • So true Ami. I loved the lush greenery of Wayanad. And I have seen your article on how much is there to see and do. We went on a trip recently but we couldn’t explore places. So, definitely want to visit Wayanad again

  17. You do a really good job at giving a lot of information and suggestions. It’s always hard to figure out how many days to spend in a place, so I really appreciate that you included that! Nice job!

    • Thank you so much! Hope this helps you plan a trip to these beautiful hills of south India

  18. Have read alot of India of late. Some really great tips and spots to visit. I have read about the great coffee plantations and the dam. Some great photos to go with the blog.

    • Thank you Tony. Hope you one day visit here too and I am sure you will love it here

  19. Seems like a good list. Out of all these places, I would want to visit Ooty in the toy trains in the monsoons, and stay besides one of the railway stations. It is tough to find a beautiful place to stay, given the commercialization in these valleys. I stayed in a homestay in coorg and enjoyed it post the monsoons.

    • Great to know that Kartik. We also stayed in a homestay in Coorg – the Casa Coorg – and absolutely loved it.

  20. Nice description and pictures of hill stations of South India. Stunning photos of Munnar.

  21. lorevi23

    This place looks like heaven definitely I will visit everything but as a coffe lover I will not miss the cofee plantation

    • Then you should definitely make sure amidst a coffee plantation in coorg or chikmagalur

  22. I love a good picnic and nature. Ooty Hill seems the ideal places for family, friends and lovers. It’s good to know that March-June are the best times to visit because of the weather. Nothing dampens a vacation like a monsoon!

    • Right Gina. But as I am exploring more and more of South India, I am realizing it becomes all the more beautiful in monsoons. All these hill stations are beautiful and so are some of the beaches here

  23. The Wanderlust Bug

    I can see why you love it so much. Your photos are great! You’re making me want to go! x

  24. Wow that scenery is magnificent! Thank you so much for the tips! Will keep them in mind if I ever make it over there!

  25. I liked the kodaikonal trip. I wish you to upload more pics. Nice click

    • I have dedicated posts on each of these destinations. You can check them out.

  26. Wow! Those views are just amazing. No wonder this is close to your heart.

    • No wonder indeed 🙂 Now that everyone is appreciating the views, I am liking them all the more

  27. Love the photos and details of your post! Definitely another place to add to my never ending travel bucketlist hehe.

  28. South Indian hill stations are my favourite. I have been to all of these except Coorg. Ooty is my all time favourite thanks to the childhood memories I have of the place. Kodaikanal is pretty as well.

    • These are all wonderful..And the way homestays and coming up in these hill stations..they are making the experience all the more personal and beautiful. Loved some really peaceful family vacations that we recently spent here

  29. The scenery is magnificent! Especially the photos of Munnar, I can see why you live it so much.

  30. My favorite is Munnar. Food story is amazing there.

  31. I never thought of putting together a trip of hill stations in southern India, but it sounds like a dream come true. I love your photos, especially the photo of Munnar, had me daydreaming immediately.

    • You definitely should if you happen to be in South India. These hill stations are all so refreshing.

  32. We have been to many hill stations of north India but not covered any of the hills station of South . We have heard that they are equally beautiful and serene but the feel is completely different. Munnar, Coorg and Wayand were already on our list. Kodaikanal is new and seems interesting too. Will add this to our travel bucket list.

    • We have been to both the hill stations – north and south. Each has a magnificence of it’s own. The adventures and thrills that you feel upon being on a mountain are definitely felt the best in the himalayas. But the freshness of dense forests combined with lots of greenery, hanging clouds and monsoons is best experienced in south

  33. swatisinha09

    Great compilation and a lovely post. Congratulations on being nominated for TripExpert award. My favorites are Coorg and Munnar. Both are so green and a pleasure to spend time in

    • Munnar has been close to heart for us too. It’s so refreshing and green

  34. Southern India has some very beautiful hill stations. Ooty is my all time favourite. I have very fond memories of the place and the toy train! Keep travelling!

    • Great to know that. Ooty was the first hill station we went to post our wedding. It’s going to be the special one for life.

  35. Hill stations make me remind of my hometown’s Chocolate Hills! Thanks for sharing!

  36. I am always drawn to India . The Hill Stations have always been one of the options I have considered without really knowing too much about them. Thanks for a really informative post.

  37. So much information here. I can’t believe I didn’t know what a hill station is, they all look beautiful. I can definitely understand why people visit to be closer to nature (or tea and coffee…!)

    • You are right Nicole. I would love to once settle for long in such a beautiful hill station

  38. Michelle

    Oh wow, hubby and I are such suckers for scenic locations like these! I especially love the look of Pillars rock and the misty mountains of Eravikulam National park – just beautiful. Thanks for the great tips – it’s really wonderful that you even included the number of days required and the best time to visit.

    • Thanks Michelle. If you like scenic places, South India is abundant in natural beauty

  39. Your photos looks stunning and this is a really comprehensive post. Thanks for sharing!

  40. I can’t wait to go to India! It’s on my bucket list!

  41. Some
    beautiful places to discover. One place is more beautiful that the other!!

  42. Such wonderful photos! I would love to explore the Enchanting Hills of South India.

  43. I love hill stations too. I have visited Ooty and Munnar so far and have been awestruck by the beauty and greenery. Definitely need to visit the others soon!

  44. have been to South India several times! Done already OOty and Kodaikanal! Missing Others”!

  45. Sandy N Vyjay

    The south of India is indeed filled with enchanting hill stations. Each one of them have their unique character. Having visited most of them, I do find it difficult to choose one over the other. The best thing is to experience each of them and go back again and again.

    • You said it right. We ourselves are not able to rank one above the other. They all have their own unique charm. And as you said , we can only keep visiting them again and again and yet never outgrow them

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