Generations pass but certain things remain an essential ritual – a trip to a hill station. Of course, nostalgia-inducing school summer vacations may have been replaced with edgier and activity filled road trips with friends, but the basic attraction of these high-altitude getaways remains strong as ever.
South India is home to some of the most beautiful hill stations, providing a dramatic backdrop to the plains and plateaus. Here are some of the top choices and the various activities and attractions, the popular and the offbeat too.
Rent a car in Bangalore, and start ticking these off your list.
A quaint and charming experience awaits those who sign up for a mountain railway ride in Ooty. The route is from Mettupalayam at the foothills and involves one of the most scenic rail journeys in India. The hill station has been written about and portrayed in movies for decades and its green meadows, colonial quarters, and valley vistas never seem to get old.
Some of the many attractions in Ooty and the surrounding ranges include endless tea gardens and thick jungles; this is after all tiger territory and part of the largest biosphere reserve in India – the Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve. Other fun activities to include fishing at Pykara Lake and horse riding near North Lake.
There are many reliable and comfortable Bangalore to Ooty cabs that will ensure you and your group enjoy an unforgettable experience.
Misty mountains, waterfalls and thick wilderness – these are the most obvious signs that you have reached Wayanad. A trek to Chembra peak is recommended when you are in Wayanad, as is a trip to the stunning Lakkidi view point. Some of the picturesque lakes in the region include Pookot and Karalad Lakes. All this beauty provides the stage for some old culture too. Add the Thirunelli temple to your itinerary and get a glimpse of some old temple architecture.
Some of the quintessential conversations around Coorg will comprise of coffee plantations, spicy curries, hunting stories and a fondness for rum. This enigmatic district of Karnataka is home to green mountains and vast riverine landscapes that provide a home to tigers, leopards, elephants and more.
Nature enthusiasts swear by the beauty of Nagarhole National Park and adventure lovers head off to the wild rapids of Coorg for some rafting. The Abbey Falls is one of the popular waterfalls in Coorg. Other less-visited places include Dubare Elephant Camp and the Namdroling Monastery. A Bangalore to Coorg cabs would facilitate a complete exploration of this diverse district.
Another beautiful town cradled by the Western Ghats, Chikmagalur is known for its coffee estates, trekking trails, and old temple complexes. It is a great base to explore some of Karnataka’s highest peaks, including the Kudremukh, Mullayanagiri and Baba Budan Giri. The summer months are great for camping activities.
Nature enthusiasts would love to add Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary to their Chikmagalur itinerary, its pristine wilderness being home to the majestic Bengal tiger. Famous waterfalls here include Hebbe Falls and Kallathigiri Falls.
Located at a height of close to 1,300 metres in the Chittoor district, Horsley Hills is a favoured getaway and one of Andhra Pradesh’s most famous hill towns. The cool climate and pleasant forested area around the town provides a great stage for photography and bird watching. Some of the species found here include the black eagle and yellow-throated bulbul. Many come here to enjoy the stunning sunsets and sunrise from the hilltop viewpoint.
The endearing beauty of the mountains offers a soothing calmness and a rejuvenating experience. Whether you are looking for adventure or just want to curl up with a book and enjoy the peace, South India’s hill stations come with an exciting blend of natural beauty, charming culture and unique legacies. Start making those plans and relish a road trip into the clouds.