3 Hill Stations of Southern India
The south of India is recognised as a wonderfully beautiful tropical destination. The first thing that most people think of when they think of the south is the image of white beaches with a beautiful backdrop of fresh coconut groves. This is true but there is more.
What is less known is that you can find in the south are truly beautiful towns called hill stations which are a fantastic refuge from the heat and relaxing and peaceful places to visit.
Some facts about the Western Ghats:
The south Indian mountains (Western Ghats) are definitely not the world’s highest mountains, they are not snowy and pointed but they do reach in some areas up to 2000m which means you can breathe some wonderfully refreshing mountain air.
These mountains extend from Maharashtra to Tamil Nadu and are called the Western Ghats. Inside the mountains lie small towns and picturesque villages which until recently attracted only local Indians who wished to cool off and enjoy the amazing scenery. However, these villages are now becoming more popular with foreign tourists who want to experience and enjoy the fresh air and tropical landscape .
There are many hill stations in the south but here are 3 that we recommend:
Munnar is a stunning hill station and was the summer resort of the British. Tourists come here to see the vast tea plantations and the beautiful scenery and walks. It is a great place to stay to see the surrounding countryside. Munnar town is divided into two parts; old Munnar where the tourist information office is and Munnar where the bus station and most of the guest houses are located. The best attraction by far are the beautiful misty views of the tea plantations and low lying clouds the wonderfully freshly picked tea. If you feel like venturing out you can take some great walks into the mountains, visit the Tata Tea museum and go to Anamudi Peak inside Eravikulam National Park. The highest peak in Munnar is 2695m.
Arriving to Munnar
The nearest railway station is Aluva around 110km from Munnar. You can get a direct bus to Munnar from Mysore and Madurai. First buses begin their journey at 6am. Buses from Kochin take around 3 and half to 4 and half hours.
Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu
Koodikanal in Tamil Nadu was established in the 19th century by American missionaries. Today it is one of the most beautiful hill resorts in the south. It lies at an altitude of about 2100m and covers an area of 21.45sqkm. There are many great outdoor activities you can enjoy such as cycling, horse riding, boating (there is a small lake surrounded by woods) and trekking.
Arriving to Koodikanal
The nearest train station is Palani and from there you can take a bus to Kodikanal which is around a 3 and a half hour journey. Madurai is the nearest large town and buses run from there every half hour and the journey to Kodikanal takes 4 hours but beware that it can be a very bouncy journey. There are also links to and from other hill stations in Kerala such as Munnar and Ooty and if you are in Kochin you can find buses leaving from there.
Ooty, Tamil Nadu
Ooty is a beautiful hill station in the Nilgri hills that is surrounded by blue mist all day long. There are many attractions in and around the town including botanical gardens, Ooty lake, a rose garden and Dodabetta peak, tea and cardamom plantations to name only a few. Ooty is definitely a perfect retreat for couples who love nature.
Arriving to Ooty:
Coimbatore airport is the closest airport to Ooty and there is a direct flight from Chennai to Coimbatore. From there you can get a taxi direct to Ooty for around 2500 rupees.
To arrive to Ooty by rail the nearest station is in Mettupalayam and you can get a taxi from there for around 1000 rupees to Ooty. Also there are bus lines running from Chenni and Mysore.
If you are in south India, a visit to one of the hill stations is a must!