12 Most Popular Hill Stations In and Around Karnataka
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The incredible number of hill stations in Karnataka makes it one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. Being the 8th largest Indian State, Karnataka is not merely known for its gushing waterfalls, mighty monuments and impeccable shrines, but also for its surreal hill stations.

These hilly hamlets provide to be an ideal choice for short- relaxing holiday. Karnataka Hill Stations are blessed to have the beautiful views of Western Ghats and the swaying landscapes, which enormously contributes to attracting thousands of nature lovers and adventure junkies each year.

These famed hill stations are not only popular with India, but also amid the International travellers who come to these mountains for beauty, thrill and peace. The hill stations of Karnataka offer a perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of fast paced city life. Moreover, these beautiful hill stations are a delight for bird watchers and wildlife aficionado.


Here are some of the best hill stations in Karnataka:

01

B R Hills

 B R Hills

A favoured escape amongst Bangaloreans, BR Hills welcomes you with balmy weather, nature thrills and a tryst with the jungle. Plopped in the YelandurTaluk of Chamarajanagar district, this is among the salubrious hill stations in Karnataka and is also known as Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary.

Sprawling on an area of 540 sq km, it reflects the splendour of eastern most part of the Western Ghats.  Another golden feature of the place is that it was declared as the protected tiger reserve under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972.

Best time to visit: June - November, December - March

Attractions: Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple, BRT Wildlife Sanctuary and Big Champak Tree

Activities: Trekking, Sightseeing, Elephant and Jeep Safaris

02

Chikmagalur

Chikmagalur

The 'land of coffee' or Chikmagalur stands gracefully on the Mullayanagiri Range. Scenic landscapes, captivating hills, lush coffee plantations and salubrious nature of this hill station makes it for a pleasant getaway in Karnataka. While its appealing hills peaks entices trekkers, adventure buffs and nature lovers, its pleasant climate makes it an ideal escapade for regular holidayers.

Also known as the 'younger daughter's town', peace and tranquillity that exists in this hilly retreat makes it one of the highly visited hill stations in Karnataka.

Two of the most sought after destinations in Chikmagalur are:

i) Kemmangundi

Fringed by the picturesque Baba BudanGiri Range, Kemmanagundi was once the summer  retreat of the Maharaja of Mysore. Misty appeal, serene ambience, lush plantations, colourful gardens, stunning waterfalls and the splendid views of the hills and mountains of  this place make it for an ideal hiking destination. It is indeed one of the most hiked hill  stations in Karnataka and Chikmagalur as well.

ii) Kudremukh

Also known as the 'horse faced mountain' due to its shape, this is the third highest peak in  Karnataka. Known for its fascinating trekking trails, charming climate, pictorial waterfalls and  rich bio-diversity, it has also been declared as one of the National Parks in India.

However, while opting for trekking in this region, the trekkers should follow certain rules and  guidelines laid by the local forest department. It is one of the eco-sensitive areas in Chikmagalur and the visitors should abide by all the possibilities to retain its beauty.

Best time to visit: September-May

Attractions: Baba BudanGiri Range, Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary & Reservoir, Kalasa, Hebbe Falls and Khandya

Activities: Trekking, Nature Trails, Waterfall Visits, Hiking, Homestays and Plantation Tours

03

Coorg

Coorg

Gracious and appealing in its own way, Coorg or 'Kodagu' is known for its mesmeric beauty and charm. Situated on the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats, this enchanting hill station is adorned with aromatic spice plantations, lush paddy fields and never-ending patches of coffee plants.

The colourful cultures and traditions of the locals, who are known to great warriors, are truly delights to witness and enjoy. Moreover the homely ambience of Coorg never allows the visitors to feel the pinch of being away from home. The source of the Krishna River, it is also one of the adventure hubs in Karnataka; enthusiasts from across the country visits Coorg for trekking, hiking and other similar adventure activities.

Best time to visit: Throughout the year

Attractions: Abbey Falls, Madikere Fort, Tadiyandamol Peak, Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary and Dubare Elephant Camp

Accommodations: Coorg homestays

Activities: Trekking, Cycling, Hiking, Mountaineering, Waterfall Visits and Plantation Tours


04

Agumbe

Agumbe

A quaint hamlet in the Shimoga district, Agumbe is one of the pictorial hill stations in Karnataka. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is located around 357km from Bangalore and 643m above the sea level.

While the whirly terrains of Agumbe add to its magical beauty, its lush and undulated greenery makes it for a salubrious holiday destination. Also known as the 'Cherrapunji of the South', this scenic Karnataka hill station is also a splendid destination for trekking, nature photography and several other activities.

Best time to visit: October - February

Attractions: Koodlu Theertha Falls, Sunset Point, Agumbe Rainforest Research Station, Wildlife and Avifauna

Activities: Forest Trails, Waterfall Visits, Nature Trails and Trekking

05

Kodaikanal

Kodaikanal

Serene, alluring and salubrious, Kodaikanal is often called the 'Gift of the Forests' and the 'Princess of Hill Stations'. Situated 7,200ft above the sea level and on the upper Palani Hills of the Western Ghats, the popular and indigenous way of 'terraced farming' adds to the beauty and appeal of the Kodai valley. The region also boasts of its handicrafts, chocolates, postcards and locally prepared eucalyptus oil.

Best time to visit: Throughout the year

Attractions: Kodaikanal Lake, La Salette Church, Murugan Temple, Pillar Rocks, Coaker's Walk and Bear Shola Falls

Activities: Boating, Waterfall Visits, Forest Walk, Trekking, Rock Climbing and Horse Riding


06

Munnar

Munnar

Home to the never-ending patches of tea and spice plantations, Munnar is indeed one of the greenest hill stations in India. While the winding roads leading to this hilly abode add more splendour to Munnar, its rolling hills, serene ambience, salubrious weather, challenging yet fascinating terrains and the misty outlooks make it one of the alluring hill stations arround Karnataka.

Located 1,700m above the sea level on the Western Ghats, this retreat is situated on the KannanDevan Hills in Kerala and it also shares an age-long tryst with tea culture in India.

Best time to visit: August-May

Attractions: Anamudi Peak, Eravikulam National Park, Lock Heart Gap, Mattupetty and Pothamedu

Activities: Trekking, Tea Plantations Tour, Wildlife Spotting, Trout Fishing and Waterfall Visits.


07

Madikeri

Madikeri

Nestled amid the condescending peaks of Western Ghats, cascading waterfalls, eye-catching views of lush valleys and ravines, Madikeri is stands at a height of 1700 metres above the sea level. It is one of the finest places to see in Karnataka which looks breathtaking especially during the misty evenings.

Location:
District Capital of Kodagu. 265 Kilometres from Bangalore and 18 Kilometres from Coorg

Best time to visit:
Summers- March to May, Winters- October to February

Attractions:
Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary, Abbey Falls, Raja’s Seat, Madikeri Fort, Mercara Gold Estate

Activities: Trek to Kote Betta, Nishannimotte, Pushpagiri and Brahmagiri.
08

Nandi Hills

Nandi Hills
Image Credit : nagaraju hanchnahal

One of the best hill stations in Karnataka, Nandi Hills has gained a lot of popularity not only in India but also worldwide. Located at a height of 4851 ft. above the sea level, this gorgeous hill bastion is an ideal escape from the stressful city life.

Once famous as a summer retreat for Tipu Sultan, this ancient hill station is now scattered with monuments and shrines which offers breathtaking views, making it a heaven that boasts of untouched beauty and pleasant ambience.

Location: Hill station at Chikkaballapur district. 60 Kilometres from Bangalore and 10 km from Chickballapur town

Best time to visit: October to June

Attractions: Tipu’s Drop, 10 km from Chickballapur town, Amrita Sarova, Nandi Temple, Nehru Nilaya, Muddenahalli Village

Activities: Paragliding, cycling and biking

09

Male Mahadeshwara Hills

Male Mahadeshwara Hills

Known as the pilgrimage town of Karnataka, Male Mahadeshwara Hills is famous amid pilgrims especially from Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. The famous Sri Male Mahadeshwara Temple which is dedicated to Lord Shiva attracts lakhs of pilgrims each year.

The beauty of this place attracts not only spiritual people, but also nature lovers who wish to have a quick getaway close to Bangalore.

Location: Located at Hanur Taluk of Chamarajanagara district. 210 kilometres from Bangalore and 150 kilometres from Mysore

Best time to visit: August to January

Attractions: Shivanasamudra Waterfall, Mekedatu, Mettur Dam, Male Mahadeshwara Temple, Hogenakkel

Activities: Fishing, camping and trekking
10

Sakleshpur

Sakleshpur

Situated at an elevation of 950 metres above sea level, Sakleshpur is one of the most beautiful Karnataka hill stations nestled in the Western Ghats. This popular destination is enveloped with the aroma of cinnamon, coffee, tea and cardamom plantations. Cocooned with verdant landscapes and sceneries, Sakleshpur is an ideal place to unwind for a quick getaway.

Location: Located at Hassan District of Karnataka. 221 Kilometres from Bangalore and 130 Kilometres from Mangalore

Best time to visit: November to April

Attractions: Agni Gudda Hill, Sakleshwara Temple, Raxidi Estate, Manjehalli Waterfalls, manjarabad Fort, The Bisle Reserve Forest

Activities: Trekking expedition, backwaters, cycling, camping

11

Kundadri Hill

Kundadri Hill

A hidden gem of Agumbe, Kundadri Hill is a stunning hillock which has a beautiful Jain Temple as its main attraction other than the awe-inspiring beauty. The 2 small ponds enveloping the temple, enhances the beauty to a next level. The dense forests, paddy fields and the enormous mountain chain makes Kundadri Hill a must visit destination.

Location: Located in Shimoga District of Karnataka. 346 kilometres from Bangalore and 70 kilometres from Udupi City

Best time to visit: October to April

Attractions: Agumbe Ghat, Jogigundi Falls, Onake Abbi Falls, Kavaledurga

Activities: Trekking


12

Kodachadri

Kodachadri

Kodachadri is a heaven for all the nature and adventure lovers as this tiny hill station is blessed with stunning views, attractions and activities to give a perfect kind of holiday experience.

Situated at a height of 1343 metres, this place is a natural heritage site with eminent cultural and religious significance, making it one of the best hill stations in Karnataka.  

Location: Hosanagara Taluk of Shimoga District. 412 kilometres from Bangalore

Best time to visit: October to February

Attractions: Mookambika Temple, Hidlumane Waterfalls, Arishinagundi Waterfalls, Souparnika River, Belakallu theertha Waterfalls, Nagara Fort, Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary

Activities: Kodachadri Trekking
13

Kotagiri

Kotagiri

Kotagiri is the oldest and smallest hill station which is nestled amid the Nilgiri Hills. This tiny hill station is surrounded by gorgeous landscapes which exhibits tranquillity and peace.

A summer retreat for all the tourists, Kotagiri is packed with fresh air and lush green environs perfect for a peaceful vacation.

Location: Located in Nilgiris Hill. 301 kilometres from Bangalore and 64 kilometres from Coimbatore

Best time to visit: December to May

Attractions: Nehru Park, St. Catherine Waterfalls, Kodanad Viewpoint, Rangaswamy Peak, John Sullivan Bungalow, Rangaswamy Pillar, Uyilatty Waterfalls

Activities: Kotagiri Walk

14

Anthargange

Anthargange

Situated at an altitude of 1712 metres above the sea level, Anthargange is an ideal location for adventure lovers. The name of the place means “Ganges from the deep” in the local language.

The origin of the stream is a mystery and thus, given the name. Anthargange is blessed with sights of cave exploration, rock climbing and trekking, making it a perfect location for all adventure freaks.

Location: Located at Kolar district of Karnataka. 70 Kilometres from Bangalore

Best time to visit: October to March

Attractions: Kashi Vishweshwara Temple 

Activities: Rock climbing, trekking, cave exploration
15

Gangamoola

Gangamoola

One of the most popular hill stations in Karnataka, Gangamoola is a beautiful place to spend some quality time amidst nature. It is famously known as the source of three important rivers in Karnataka State- Tunga, Bhadra and Netravathi.

The beautiful scenery, landscapes and abundant attractions make it an idyllic location for all holiday seekers.

Location: Located at Chikkamagaluru district of Karnataka.

Best time to visit: October to May

Attractions: Temple of Goddess Bhagavathi with 1.8 metres Varaha image inside a cave, Hanuman Gundi Waterfalls, Kalasa, Horanadu

Activities: Trekking


16

Yelagiri Hills

Yelagiri Hills

Once a private property of the Zaminder Family, Yelagiri is now counted amongst the alluring hill stations in Karnataka. Situated at a height of around 1,410m above the sea level, it is such a retreat where you can indulge in several activities, relax amidst the pristine nature or can just laze around doing nothing at all!

Be it the enchanting beauty of this hill station or its winding roads, its rugged terrains or the salubrious climate, this hill station proves to be an ideal destination for all the classes of travellers.

Best time to visit: November-February

Attractions: Swami Malai Hills, Jalagamparai Waterfalls, Telescope Observatory and Punganoor Artificial Lake

Activities: Trekking, Nature Walks, Boating and Paragliding

Accommodations: Yelagiri resorts

17

Horsley Hills

Horsley Hills

A hill station near Karnataka, Horsley Hills is known for its magnificent beauty, picture-perfect mountains and verdant outlooks. Named after a British official, this hilly retreat is often linked with the folklores of a tribal girl who was raised by the elephants.

According to the legends, she had the magical powers of healing the sick and sufferers, and after her sudden disappearance, the locals built a temple in her memory. And thus Horsley Hills got its name as 'Yenugu Mallamma Konda' in the past. But after its discovery, it was renamed after its discoverer.

Best time to visit: December-March

Attractions: Gangotri Lake, Gaalibanda, Horsley Hills Museum and Highview Seeing Place

Activities: Trekking, Zorbing, Rappelling and Nature Trails


18

Kolli Hills

Kolli Hills

Tucked away from the hands of commercialisation and nestled amidst evergreen and flourishing greeneries, Kohli Hills in Tamil Nadu is also one of the popular hill stations around Karnataka. Situated on the Eastern Ghats, the journey to the top of the hills is an enthralling experience in itself!

Comprising of 70 hair pin bends, this way to the hilltops makes for an exhilarating as well as exciting experience. In addition to the mystical beauty and appeal, this hill station is also a popular pilgrimage site for the Hindus.

Best time to visit: February-December

Attractions: Akash Ganga Falls, Arapaleeswarar Temple, Cave House, AgayaGangal and Boat House

Activities: Trekking, Boating, Hiking and Nature Trails

19

Ooty

Ooty

Nestled deep in the Blue Mountains or the 'Nilgiris', Ooty is amongst the most sought after hill stations in Karnataka and in the country too. Quaint and alluring in its own way, this hilly retreat is also known as the 'Queen of Hill Stations'.

Adorned with the beauty of misty mountain peaks, salubrious forest ranges and a pleasant climate al through the year, Ooty has also retained its old world appeal in the most serene and lively ways.

Best time to visit: Throughout the year

Attractions: Botanical Garden, Doddabetta Peak, KamrajSagar Dam, Mudumalai National Park and Emerald Lake

Activities: Trekking, Angling, Boating, Nature Trails and Sightseeing

Accommodation:  Ooty Resorts,Ooty homestays


20

Wayanad

Wayanad

Away from the grip of urbanisation, Wayanad is situated at the tip of the Deccan Plateau. While the Western Ghats add to the enchanting beauty of this hill station near Karnataka, its evergreen paddy fields and forests credits it as one of the greenest place in the country.

Wayanad's lofty mountain peaks, rugged and uneven terrains, rivers and wildlife attracts a large number of adventure buffs, nature lovers, regular holidayers and honeymooners from different corners of the globe.

Best time to visit: October-May

Attractions: Edakkal Caves, BanasuraSagar Dam, Kuruva Island, Chembra Peak, and Pakshipathalam Bird Sanctuary 

Activities: Trekking, Nature Trails, Caving, Wildlife Tours, Cycling Tours and Boating

Accommodations: Wayanad homestays


21

Yercaud

Yercaud

The 'Jewel of the South' or Yercaud is known for its surreal climate, fascinating hills and evergreen forests. Perched at a height of 1,515m on the Western Ghats, this scenic hill station near Karnataka is located in the Salem district of Tamil Nadu and can be easily accessed from Bangalore.

Rich in flora and fauna, Yercaud is also a wonderful place to witness and explore the undulated beauty of the nature. One can also spot some of the wildlife species like deer, bison, squirrel, mongoose and birds like bulbul, swallow, kites and others.

Best time to visit: October-June              

Attractions: Lady's Seat, Botanical Garden, Killiyur Falls, Pagoda Point and Wildlife

Accommodation: Yercaud resorts

Activities: Sightseeing, Trekking and Nature Trails

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