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Hill Stations of South India

[ Edit ] Overview

If you live in Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune, Mysore, Cochin, and the numerous other cities that lie in between, you are spoilt for choices in terms of a weekend getaway into the hills.  Clean fresh air, beautiful lush green mountains of the Western Ghats, tropical rain forests bursting with nature and wildlife, clear waterfalls, spice & tea plantations, and the list just goes on and on.

With good quality access and roads easing the pain of travel, the Hill Stations of South India are excellent retreats throughout the year and for long and short holidays.  The range of choices are immense with standard / safe options to off-the-beaten-path options for the more adventurous. In addition, options for trekkers are immense for both 2-3 days jaunts and much longer and more hardcore experiences.

Rang7 currently has now expanded to 34 detailed Travel Guides to Hill Station of South India.  We expect that, with the help of the Rang7 community, to continue to expand this list. You can either read through the list below or use our convenient Weekend Getaways Guide to help you with your choices.

For a complete list of Getaways from Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Pune, Mysore, Cochin and other cities, and more detailed information and sorting tools (e.g. distance, best time to visit, and nearby destinations), please refer to the Rang7 Holiday and Weekend Getaways Click Here.

What are the Top 10 Hill Stations in South India?  This is a tough question to answer given that it depends so much on individual preferences.  However, in terms of a safe bet for the Top 10 Hill Stations in South India, we would list them as follows (in no particular order):  1) Ooty, 2) Kodaikanal, 3) Yercaud, 4) Munnar, 5) Idukki, 6) Coorg, 7) Conoor, 8) Panchgani, 9) Amboli, and 10) Kudremukh.

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Highlights

[ Edit ] Amboli

Amboli is a quit but pleasant hill resort near Sawantwadi in south Maharashtra. Amboli is 26 kms far from Sawantwadi and about 539 kms from Mumbai. Mostly pleple here in rainy season to see the beautiful waterfalls here. Amboli also offers a good pancromic view of the konkan coast from the sea view point. Among the waterfalls Hiranyakchi and Nangartar waterfall are very famous. More than 50,000 tourists visit this place every year. more

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[ Edit ] Bellikkal

Bellikkal village is to the south of the Sigur Plateau in Tamil Nadu at an altitude of 5,500 ft located in the Nilgiris of the Western Ghats. The best months to visit Bellikkal are from October to May although Bellikkal is a year round destination. Bellikkal is still fairly unexplore and thus maintained its natural charm and peace. Bellikkal is located at about 245 km from Bangalore and 15 km from Ooty. more

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[ Edit ] Bhandardara

Bhandardara is conveniently located at a distance of about 190 km from Pune and 180 km from Mumbai. It is a beautiful holiday destination in Ahmednagar District of Maharastra, having variety of flora and fauna which attracting many naturalists. Travelers proceeding to or returning from Shirdi usually break their journey here. more

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[ Edit ] Chikmagalur

Chikmagalur or Chikkamagaluru meaning "The elder daughter's Town" is a hill stations popular for summer retreats. Located an average elevation of 1037 metres in the foothills of Mullayanagiri range in Chikkamagaluru district of Karnataka. Chikmagalur is also known for its coffee and tea estates. Its temperature varies from 11-20 deg. C in winter to 25-32 deg. C during summer. more

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[ Edit ] Coonoor

Coonoor is a beautiful hill station located at an altitude of 1,856 meters in the Nilgiri hills about 19 km from Ooty. It is the second largest hill station in the Nilgiri hills famous for its production of Nilgiri tea. Weather in Coonoor remains pleasantly cool throughout the year thus can be visit throughout the year. more

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[ Edit ] Hogenakkal Falls

Hogenakkal Falls or Hogenakal Falls sometimes referred to as the "Niagara of India" are a part of the River Cauvery. It is located at a distance of about 180 km from Bangalore and 46 km from Dharmapuri in  Dharmapuri district of Tamil Nadu. The best time to visit Hogenakkal falls is during October to March after the monsoons when the river is in full spate. The carbonate rocks around the waterfalls are considered to be the oldest of its kind in South Asia and alsoone of the oldest in the world. more

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[ Edit ] Horsley Hills

Horsley Hills is one of the three hill stations in the state of Andhra Pradesh situated at an altitude of 1265 meters above the sea level. Horsley Hills is located at a distance of 144km from Tirupati and 165 km from Bangalore.  Horsley Hills is a very famous summer hill resort in Andhra Pradesh named after W.D. Horsley a Collector of Cuddapah district and British member of the Indian Civil Services who chose this hill station as his summer residence. more

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[ Edit ] Igatpuri

Igatpuri is a hill station in the Western Ghats surrounded by some of the highest peaks of the Sahyadri ranges. it is situated at a height of of 1900 feet above sea level in Nashik district in Maharashtra, 140km from Mumbai. There are forts at the top of most of the peak build during the Satavahana dynasty. The best times to visit Igatpuri is June to September and again duting November to February. more

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[ Edit ] Kakkabe

Kakkabe is a beautiful hill village in Coorg district of Karnataka. It is located at a distance of 135km from Mangalore and 250km from Bangalore. Kakkabe is a trekker’s paradise with almost 28 trek routes. Thadiyendamol Peak, the 2nd highest peak of Karnataka is the most famous for treking. September to May is the best time to visit Kakkabe. more

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[ Edit ] Kamarajar Valley


Kamarajar Valley sometimes referred to as Athoor is located in the state of Tamil Nadu surrounded by the Kannivadi and Palani Hills. Taking is one of the most popular activities in Kamarajar Valley. The valley is a great place to listen to the birds in the bushes and around the lake. more

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[ Edit ] Kemmannagundi

Kemmannagundi meaning "a place with red soil" is a hill station located in Chikkamagalaru district at a height of 1434m. Kemmannagundi is about 295 Kms from Bangalore and 190 kms from Mangalore. It is also called "Krishna Rajendra Giridhama Hill Station" and also the "Queen of Hills". This offbeat destination is at its best during September to February. more

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[ Edit ] Kodachadri Hills

Kodachadri Hills is also known for Sarvajna Peetha, Sankaracharya's seat where he sat for meditation to attain ultimate knowledge. It is situated in the Western Ghats of Karnataka at an altitude of 1343 m above sea level. Devi Mookambika's seat Adi Mookambika Temple is also situated here. Kodachadri Hills are an excellent trekking destination exhibiting nature at its best. more

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[ Edit ] Kodaikanal

Kodaikanal which means "gift of the forest" is a beautiful hill station located in the Palani Hills in Western Ghats, in the state of Tamil Nadu. Kodaikanal is rich in nature blessed with green valleys, waterfalls, beautiful maountain and trekking trails. This picturesque destination was discovered in 1845 by American missionaries. Cycling, boating and treckking are the important activities in Kodaikanal. more

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[ Edit ] Kudremukh

Kudremukh meaning "Horse face" is a hill town in the Chikmagalur district located an altitude of 1894 meters above the sea. The name of the town was derived from a mountain range in the region that looks like the face of a horse. Kudremukh is believed to be largest reserve forests in Karnataka. Kudremukh is very rich in flora and fauna and also the mining town of Iron Ore. November and February is the best time to spot animals at Kudremukh. more

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[ Edit ] Lakkidi

Lakkidi is located at an altitude of 2297 feet above the sea level, is the highest in the Wayanad district. Streams, waterfalls are a the common sight as Lakkidi receives the second highest degree of rainfall in the whole world. Coffee, pepper and cardamom plantation are common in Lakkidi. more

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[ Edit ] Lonavala

Lonavala a hill station in Maharashtra lies in the western slopes of the Sahyadri ranges at an altitude of 625 m. This hill station along with Khandala which is 5 kms away are popular weekend and monsoon getaways for the residents of Mumbai and Pune. Lonavala is at its scenic best during the monsoons even though it is pleasant to visit throughout the year. more

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[ Edit ] Madikeri

Madikeri formerly called Muddurajakeri is located at an altitude of 5000 feet above sea level, in the Western ghats of Karnataka. It is the main headquater of Kodagu which was nicknamed by the British as the "Scotland of India" whrn they occopied Kodagu. Agriculture, coffee plantations and tourism are the main economy of this town. more

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[ Edit ] Mahabaleshwar

Mahabaleshwar is a popular as a tourist destination throughout the year except during the monsoons. Mahabaleshwar's pleasant weather throughout the year made this beautiful hill station very popular for a short weekend getaway, honeymoon, and also for pilgrimages. Mahabaleshwar is located in Satara district of Maharashtra, 120km Southwest of Pune and 280km from Mumbai. more

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[ Edit ] Malampuzha

Malampuzha is a little township located 10 km from Palakkad town on the foothills of the Western Ghats. The name Malampuzha was derived from Malampuzha River where Malampuzha Dam is constructed. It has a large network of canal systems and is the biggest irrigation project in Kerala. The Dam along with the surrounding beautiful gardens, amusement park, rock garden, ropeway and  boating facilities attracts many tourists. more

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[ Edit ] Matheran

Matheran meaning "jungle on top" is a quiet hill station situated at a height of 2,636 ft above sea level in the Western Ghats, about 100km from Mumbai. It was discovered by Hugh Malet, a Collector of the Thane district in 1850. Matheran has been declared an eco sensitive zone and motor vehicles are completely banned. The options available to get around are either on foot, horse back or on the toy train. more

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[ Edit ] Nandi Hills

Nandidurg hills commonly known as Nandi Hills is located at an altitude of 3940 feets above sea level in the state of Karnataka, at a distance of 65 km from Bangalore. It is a very most popular weekend destinations particularly for people living in the city of Bangalore. The Name Nandi Hill is derived from an ancient Nandi temple located on this hill, which has a thousand year old sculpture of Nandi. Many well known persons including Mahatma Gandhi, Queen Elizabeth II, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Rajiv Gandhi have visited this place to enjoy the beauty this hills. more

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[ Edit ] Nelliyampathy

Nelliyampathy is a hill station comprises of a series of hills and mountains of the Western Ghats. Nelliyampathy shares its border with Tamil Nadu and is 75 km from Palakkad in Kerala. September to May are considered the best months to visit Nelliyampathy. However can be visited all year round. more

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[ Edit ] Ooty

Ooty or Udhagamandalam is a beautiful hill station at an altitude of 2,240 meters in the Nilgiri Hills of Tamil Nadu. Ooty is a very popular holiday destination with pleasant weather throughout the year which Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru called it the "Queen of Hill Stations". April to June and September to November are considered to be the best month to visit Ooty. more

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[ Edit ] Palni Hills

Palni Hills lying between the Kambam Valley and Kongunadu region in Dindigul District of Tamil Nadu. The famous temple of Lord Karthikeyan or Murugan is situated which made a very popular destination for people who go on pilgrimage. Palni Hills can be visited all the year round. more

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[ Edit ] Panchgani

Panchgani meaning five hills derives its name from the five hills around it. It has an average elevation of 4242 feet and is at a distance of about 250kms from the city of Mumbai, 98kms from Pune in Satara district of Maharashtra. Panchgani offer views of the River Krishna and the coastal plains of Maharashtra. All the hills Panchgani are topped by a volcanic plateau which the local people called it as Table Lands, second highest in Asia. The first one being the Tibetan plateau. more

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[ Edit ] Panhala

Panhala is a charming hill station situated at a height of 3,177 feet above sea level, located 418 km from Mumbai and 20 km from Kolhapur in Kolhapur district of Maharashtra. Panhala Fort is main historical attraction here and also Konkan can be easily access from here. Winter season is more preffer although Panhala is an all-season destination. more

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[ Edit ] Red Hills

Red Hills also called as Puzhal Lake is a picturesque little town situated in the Thiruvallur district in Tamil Nadu. It is about 27km from Ooty and 325 kms from Bangalore. There are 8 lakes which can be overlooked from Red hills namely Parsons Valley Lake, Porthimund, Avalanche, Upper Bhavani, Emerald and and Western catchments 1, 2 & 3. Fishing is very popular in these lakes. September to May is cinsidered to be the best months to visit Red Hills. more

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[ Edit ] Saputara

Saputara meaning the "Abode of Serpents" is a beautiful hill station town situated in the Dang district of Gujarat. Saputara lies at an altitude of about 1000 m and about 172 kms from Surat and 80 kms from Nashik. It has a cool bracing climate with summer temperature not more than 28 deg. C. more

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[ Edit ] Shivgiri

Shivgiri is located in the Kadur taluk of Chikmagalur district of Karnataka. It is famous for its 100 years old coffee estates. Trekking, rock mounting and wildlife safari and birth watching are the common activities in Shivgiri. One can also enjoy boating in the waters of Madagadakere Lake. more

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[ Edit ] Siddapur

Siddapur meaning the "Place of Divine" was originally called Siddhapura located in Malnad region of Karnataka, at an average elevation of 564 m. Saputara lies in between the River Cauvery and the Dubare Reserve Forest within the Western ghats. It is a popular destination for trekkers, rich in coffee estates, lush forests and hilly terrain. November to May is the best season to visit Siddapur. more

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[ Edit ] Vythiri

Vythiri is located in the Sylvan northern hill ranges of the Western Ghats in Wayanad district of Kerala. It lies at an altitude of 2,600 ft above sea level, 282 km from Bangalore and 60 km from Kozhikode (Calicut). It is also known for its tea and coffee plantations and also trekkers delight due to its evergreen rain forest, water falls, rolling hills etc. Vythiri can be visited all year round. more

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[ Edit ] Yelagiri Hills

Yelagiri Hills lies at an altitude of 920 meters above the sea level, in the Jawadh Hill ranges of the Eastern Ghats in Vellore District of Tamil Nadu. It is a popular weekend getaway especially from Bangalore and Chennai. Yelagiri spread around 4 surrounding hills consisting a cluster of fourteen small villages. Yelagiri Hills is best visited during November to February. more

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[ Edit ] Yercaud

Yercaud meaning "lake forest" located on the Shevaroy or Shevaroyan hills in northern Tamil Nadu, at a height of 4800 feet above the sea level. Yercaud is the only hill station in the Eastern Ghats of Salem district offering great views of the plains below. Yercaud is one of the least expensive hill stations in India also been called "Ooty of the Poor". February to June and again during September to November are the best time to visit Yercaud. more

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[ Edit ] Other Information

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More... Related Photos

On the banks of the Pykara River and Waterfalls near Ooty.  It was really special to feel like you had the whole river to yourself
View of the Toy Train (Nilgiri Mountain Railway) from out Hotel in Lovedale - near Ooty
On a trek around Lovedale - near Ooty.  If you look in the middle of the picture, you will Toy Train chugging around a curve on the hill.
Tea Estate in Nelliyampathy, Kerala