Ok we know we are a coastal city, But Chennai does have a bunch of hill stations that you can access under 10 hours. There are some that are within the 5-6 hours of driving distances, while some will include an overnight journey. These hill stations serve not just as a mere getaway, but also an opportunity for hiking and other activities to indulge in with your squad. Skip Pondicherry this weekend, and head to these hill stations for some clean air and self discovery!
14 Hill Stations Under 11 hours From Chennai
One of the favourite destinations among Chennaiites, Yelagiri is one of the closest hill stations too. Apart from scenic views and plantations, other attractions in Yelagiri include the Punganoor Lake and the Jalagamparai waterfalls. With an altitude of over 3,500 feet, Yelagiri is a popular eco sport destination with several trekking options.
Distance from Chennai: 230 kilometres
Duration: 5 hours
Another favourite among Chennaiites, Yercaud lies about 360 kilometres from Chennai. Although there aren’t too many things to see in the hill, it is quite famous for its trekking options. The Yercaud Lake along the Killiyur Falls is a blissful sight, and one definitely that should not be missed. Gardens and horticulture make breathing pleasurable, just the thing you need for a getaway from the city life.
Distance from Chennai: 360 Kilometres
Duration: 7 Hours
Horsley Hills is a lesser-known getaway from Chennai. Although less popular, the hill station does have promising scenic views and waterfalls. If you want to get away from the hustle, bustle of the metropolis, then Horsley Hills is the perfect place for you. Located in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, Horsley Hills is covered with thick forests, falling in close proximity to the Koudinya Wildlife Sanctuary too, where you can spot sambar deer, panthers and other wild animals.
Distance from Chennai: 270 Kilometres
Duration: 6 hours
Again another lesser known hill station, Kolli Hills sure has all the ingredients to become the next Ooty! The absolutely un-crowded areas will have you feel rejuvenated. Vasalurpatti is famous for its boating activities and the majestic Agaya Gangai waterfalls there is a treat to one’s eyes. There are ancient scripts which were found around the hill, and the hill does have a few temples to pay a visit to. Selur and Seekurai are famous trekking points from where you can get an amazing view and great tea. Located in Nammakal, Kolli Hills is one unexplored hill station that should be on your bucket list!
Distance from Chennai: 360 kms
Duration: 6 hours, 30 minutes
A honeymooner’s paradise, Kodaikanal is a popular hill station for all the right reasons. Surrounded with forests and lakes, Kodaikanal is every hiker’s dream. As it is so commercialised, the stay options here are plenty and good. Lookout for vintage cottage stays with scenic views — those are the best options we say. Kodaikanal has amazing cafes and restaurants too. Referred to as the Princess of Hill Stations, Kodaikanal has always served as a getaway from the heat, right from the colonial era. The weather is pleasant all through the year, and is a perfect spot for pitching a tent and camping. The views are promising, and the drive is great.
Distance from Chennai: 520 kms
Duration: 9 hours
Over 5500 feet above sea level, Meghamalai is one of those hill stations that aren’t as crowded as Ooty or Kodaikanal, but offer amiable features of popular hill stations like amazing weather and greenery. Translating to Tamil, Meghamalai literally means Cloudy Mountains, and offers beautiful flora and fauna in the hill. It also hosts the Meghamalai Wildlife Sanctuary where you might be lucky to spot tigers, leopards and flying squirrels among others. The Periyar Tiger Reserve is also under close proximity.
Distance from Chennai: 540 kms
Duration: 10 hours
Ooty really needs no introduction. The hill station started gaining popularity after the East India Company occupied it in the 18th century. Known as the town that gave the world the game of snooker, Ooty is also a popular setting for film shoots too. India’s largest rose garden is also located in Ooty. The Mudumalai Tiger Reserve and the Mukurthi National Park are in close proximity to the hill station. The vast mountain range makes it suitable for adventure activities including hang gliding, mountain biking and zip-lining.
Distance from Chennai: 550 Kilometres
Duration: 9 Hours 30 minutes
Being one of the Nilgiri hills, Coonoor is quite similar to Ooty. However, this hill station is less crowded, with similar hiking options. The scenic views are breathtaking, and the town is filled with Nilgiri tea plantations. With a variety of wildflowers and birds, the Coonoor town stands at 6,000 feet above sea level. The Sim’s Park, the Catherine waterfalls and Dolphin Nose are other popular tourist spots.
Distance from Chennai: 540 kms
Duration: 9 hours, 30 minutes
Located in the middle of the Annamalai Tiger rReserve, Valparai is a lush green destination. A lesser known tourist spot near Chennai, Valparai is located 3,500 feet above sea level. It hosts the Chinnakallar Falls, the second highest rainfall area in India. Although the town does not have much to see, it is one of those hill stations that are closest to nature. So enjoy the breathtaking views and clean air during your trip to Valparai.
Distance from Chennai: 600 kms
Duration: 10 hours, 40 minutes
A popular travel destination among couples, Munnar is mainly known for its tea plantations that cover acres of land, offering a serene environment for some soul-searching. Given the scenic landscapes, the beauty of this place has made it even to the big screens, tempting us to come explore its beauty. With accommodation options for every budget, you can easily check into this hill station. Echo-Point and Eravikulam National Park and the Tea Museum are some of the places you can visit during your stay there. There’s also Attukad Waterfalls, Nayamakad Waterfall and some elephant parks that you can check out.
Distance from Chennai: 583 kms
Duration: 10 hours, 30 minutes
Among the lesser known parts of Nilgiris, Kotagiri is a small, enchanting hill station, offering the best features of popular hill stations sans the crowd and the commercialization. Rangaswamy Peak and Pillar, Elk Falls, Catherine Falls, Lady Canning’s Seat are some of the popular places you should visit here.
Distance from Chennai: 537 kms
Duration: 9 hours
Malai Mahadeshwara Betta or MM Hills, located 3000 feet above sea level can be found in Southern Karnataka. Housing the famous Sri Mahadeshwara temple that’s dedicated to Lord Shiva, this place attracts not only devotees but also adventure seekers and nature lovers. The forest range and wilderness allows for many trekking routes, mostly arranged by the Forest department there.
Distance from Chennai: 412 kms
Duration: 8 hours
Located 1600 meters above sea level, Sirumalai is another lesser-known hill station in Tamil Nadu. Offering diverse flaura and fauna along with scenic views, this place is perfect for those who enjoy wilderness and staying amidst nature. Sirumalai Lake, Saathiyar River, Vellimalai Murugan Temple and Observation Tour are the popular tourist attractions in this town.
Distance from Chennai: 8 hours, 30 minutes
Duration: 460 kms
Nestled amidst the Western Ghats Mountain Range of Tamil Nadu, Palani Hills form a part of the Palani Hills wildlife sanctuary. With lush green forests dominating the hills, this place offers plenty of options for camping, hiking, mountaineering, bird-watching, rock climbing and more. A great spot for adventure seekers, this place also has natural attractions like waterfalls and green hills, attracting tourists from across the country.
Distance from Chennai: 530 kms
Duration: 9 hours, 30 minutes