Love escaping to the hills from time to time? Then, there’s a good chance that you’ve covered popular destinations like Ooty, Kodaikanal, and Munnar. But, we have good news, these are just the tip of the iceberg. South India has plenty of hill stations that are yet to be discovered. In all the four states, you can explore untouched landscapes that are made up of open meadows, forests, estates, and wildlife. Here are South India’s lesser known hill stations. Of course, if you want to stick to the more famous ones like Ooty, Coorg and Kodai Kanal, check out these other hill stations under 10 hours from Bangalore.
Head Off To These Lesser Known Hill Stations In South India
The closest hill station to our city, Yelagiri is an ideal weekend escape when the heat gets unbearable. The quiet hill station does not draw too many visitors so you can spend your days here soaking in the serene surroundings. You can also explore orchards, sign up for paragliding, and row through Lake Punganoor, that sits at the heart of town. Do note that there aren’t too many hotels and restaurants here, so your eating out options are limited.
Distance from Bangalore: 159 kms
Driving Time: 3 hours (approx.)
Just outside Trivandrum, Ponmudi is a hilly retreat that’s all prettied up by tea gardens, lush forests, and waterways. It’s a fantastic destination for trekkers and hikers who can explore its many picturesque trails. Drive down to the nearby Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary to spot elephants, sambars, and other exotic creatures. Ponmudi also boasts of rich bird life and is home to rare butterflies. Read more here.
Distance from Bangalore: 685 kms
Driving Time: 12 hours 30 minutes (approx.)
A short drive from the ever-popular Munnar, Devikulam is a slice of paradise. The best part is that you can find everything that’s awesome about Munnar — the tea estates, waterfalls, and green mountains — in Devikulam but you’ll be able to skip the crowds. The pristine Sita Devi Lake, the town’s star attraction, is a great spot for a lovely picnic.
Distance from Bangalore: 517 kms
Driving Time: 9 hours 20 minutes (approx.)
Once a mining town, Kudremukh is part of the scenic Chikamagalur district. In the recent years, however, Kudremukh has gained prominence as a trekking destination. And if you are a pro, scaling the Kudremukh Peak (which is the third highest peak in Karnataka) is a must. During your stay here, do check out the national park too that’s also a tiger reserve and home to rich wildlife.
Distance from Bangalore: 331 kms
Driving Time: 6 hours 50 minutes (approx.)
Covered in coffee plantations, Araku Valley sits at the edge of Andhra Pradesh and is close to the Odisha border. It’s a short drive from Vizag and offers weary travellers a chance to unwind. The lush, green Eastern Ghats offer plenty of breathtaking sights and you can gape at deep valleys and mist-covered hills here. On your trip, check out the tribal and coffee museum, and also visit nearby attractions like the stunning Borra Caves. One of our LBB Insiders has checked out The Bamboo Chicken, which serves up amazing tribal food. Read more here, if you want to sample it too!
Distance from Bangalore: 1,105 kms
Driving Time: 19 hours (approx.)
Tired of Ooty? Head over to this hill station just 33 kms from here. Kotagiri might be the oldest of the Nilgiri hill stations but it remains untouched and is pretty as a picture. Like Ooty, Kotagiri too is populated by tea gardens, old-world bungalows, and viewpoints that showcase the beauty of these famed hills. Plus, a holiday here will cost you way lesser than a stay in Ooty. When here, check into Nahar Resort for some proper R&R!
Distance from Bangalore: 306 kms
Driving Time: 7 hours (approx.)
Another gem from the Chikamagalur district in Karnataka, Kemmanagundi once served as a summer retreat to the Wodeyars. The Baba Budan Giri range looms over this town and there’s plenty to see and do. Swing by here with your most comfortable shoes and get exploring. The gushing Hebbe Falls, the Baba Budan Giri Peak (second highest in Karnataka), and ornamental gardens are the highlights here.
Distance from Bangalore: 273 kms
Driving Time: 5 hours 15 minutes (approx.)
While Vagamon is climbing the popularity charts these days, hordes of tourists are yet to overcrowd it. It’s lot like Munnar and you can look forward to serene, mist-covered hills carpeted in green. You can roam through pine forests, estates, and lush meadows. And sign up for paragliding and boating as well. We love the Little Flower Homestay here, and you probably will too!
Distance from Bangalore: 550 kms
Driving Time: 10 hours (approx.)