Words like growth, development, world-class infrastructure and multi-nationals have been associated with Bangalore for a long time. But, perpetually warm weather, dust, endless traffic jams, chaos and noise can also be used to describe the IT Capital of India. The bars and pubs are a popular way for many people, especially college goers and professionals, to get some much-needed relaxation. But, even their charm fades after a while, and then we start looking for alternative ways to do so. One of the ways that guarantees you all the relaxation and peace you crave for is heading to nearby hill stations. Read below about the best ones that you can head to if you lvie in the city or are staying at hotels in Bangalore:
Less than 100 km
Savandurga (51 km)
With its peak around 4025 feet above sea level, it is supposed to be among the largest monoliths in the world. It is popular among trekkers as it provides them with a short, yet exciting excursion opportunity; there is an option of night trekking as well.
Ramanagara (56 km)
If you are an avid birdwatcher, then this is the place to be. Carry your cameras to capture winged creatures like Indian and Egyptian vultures. Ramanagara might seem familiar to you even if you are visiting it for the first time, as it was where the blockbuster movie ‘Sholay’ was shot.
Antargange (62 km)
Another hiking spot near Bangalore, Antargange, among many things, is known for a freshwater spring which flows throughout the year. Come here for a small walk, get refreshed in the cool spring water and enjoy the experience of spending a night in a cave!
Makalidurga (62 km)
This hiking place is for those, who don’t mind reliving their childhood. You follow a railway track and then make your way through dense grasslands. There is a pond at the base of the hill, where you can refresh after coming back down from the hillock.
Nandi Hills (62 km)
This is one of the best hill stations near Bangalore for a short trip. It has scenic viewpoints, lush greenery and Maratha-era fortresses. For more fun, you can go on a mountain biking tour or if you think you are more adventurous, try paragliding.
Narayangiri (67 km)
Lots of people scale this roughly 3800-feet high hillock in the village of Jalamangala to pay homage at the temple and see the ruined fort on top. There are several big boulders on the way that you must climb, which makes the journey adventurous.
Rangaswamy Betta (78 km)
Just a beginner at trekking? Then, undertake this easy excursion to get right to it. There is a night hike option as well, but the lushness all around is better enjoyed in daylight. Luck being on your side, you might also get to see some elephants!
Kabbaldurga (85 km)
Kabbaldurga is perfect if you are fit enough to undertake a slightly gruelling trek. Go for the night trek option for that added bit of thrill; this option also treats you to the fun of camping and merrymaking around a bonfire.
Madhugiri (105 km)
A fort built on the hill by Hyder Ali has gained immense popularity the young and active. You can trek to the top during the day to enjoy the lushness or at night to see the fortress illuminated by moonlight.
Less than 200 km
Kunti Betta (128 km)
Yet another popular destination for night trekking, this hill is said to be where Bhima killed Bakasura. Once you reach the top at the end of this short yet slightly demanding hike, you are treated to the tiny lights of houses several hundred feet below, twinkling like stars.
Hogenakkal (128 km)
Located in the Western Ghats, Hogenakkal is a small settlement around the eponymous waterfalls. You can come here to just sit and watch the falls, take a dip in the calm section of its plunge pool, enjoy a coracle ride and try delicious fried fish.
Horsley Hills (157 km)
One of the few hill stations in Andhra Pradesh, Horsley Hills is a favourite haunt of nature lovers. You can explore Environmental Park, capture picturesque vistas from Wind Rock, repose by Mansarovar and Gangotri lakes, or go for thrilling activities like rappelling and zorbing.
Yelagiri (159 km)
Located in Tamil Nadu, Yelagiri is a paradise for nature lovers and peace seekers. The place is surrounded by immense greenery, gentle hills and many ponds (natural as well as man-made). While here, go hiking, try paragliding and frolic at Jalagamparai Waterfalls.
Biligiriranga Hills (177 km)
Home to a wildlife sanctuary, Biligiriranga Hills is a heaven for wildlife lovers. The best way to see animals like elephants, gaurs, chital, sambhars, barking deer, wild dogs, leopards and sloth bears is going on a walking tour.
Less than 300 km
Yercaud (216 km)
With an average high of 30 degree Celsius, Yercaud is a hill station for every season. Paddle boating on the lake, clicking photos at Lady’s Seat, cooling off under Kiliyur Falls and exploring Bear’s Cave are the most popular things to do here.
Sakleshpur (221 km)
Visit Sakleshpur if you want to be surrounded by greenery and nothing else. Hike in the hills, lay back amidst scenic vistas, gaze at the clear, blue sky and enjoy your time away from the madness. As it is located within Bisle Reserve Forest, there are high chances of sighting regional animals here.
Coorg (250 km)
The most famous hilly destination in Karnataka, Coorg or Kodagu is home to endless coffee and spice plantations, lush jungles, cloudy skies, Kodava culture and calming silence. Just the cool environs of this place are enough to give respite to the soul; plantation walks and jungle tour are a bonus.
Brahmagiri (253 km)
Around 5276 feet high, Brahmagiri is yet another highly thronged hiking spot in Karnataka. The dense forests and grasslands you tread through to reach the top are home to several animals, so keep your camera handy, and eyes and ears open.
Pushpagiri (256 km)
The Pushpagiri area has a twofold significance among travellers: it is home to Kumara Parvatha, a popular hiking spot, and it falls within Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary, renowned for its biodiversity. Go on the trek to enjoy bewitching views and also come face to face with the wild!
Kemmangundi (256 km)
Scaling the roughly 4705-feet high Kemmangundi peak in the Western Ghats is all you need to get refreshed and energised. The trail takes you through immense lushness, past several streams and to waterfalls. If you feel tired, then you can bathe under Hebbe Falls to cool off.
Kolli Hills (259 km)
A thrilling drive across a whopping 72 hairpin bends leads to this peaceful hill station, which is replete with beautiful nature. Agaya Gangai Falls, botanical garden, Tampcol Medicinal Farm, Siddhar Caves and Selur Viewpoint are the must-visit sites here.
Mullayanagiri (265 km)
The highest peak in the state of Karnataka, the around 6300-feet high Mullayanagiri gives you the quintessential experience of trekking in the Western Ghats. Almost vertical cliffs, dense shola grasslands, tall trees and clear skies…You can also spend time exploring a cave, above which stands a temple.
Ooty (273 km)
Often called the Queen of Hill Stations, Ooty needs no introduction. Essential experiences here are riding the toy train, boating on Ooty Lake, spotting regional wildlife at Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, strolling through Government Botanical Garden, visiting the Tea Museum, scaling Doddabetta, reposing at Pykara Waterfalls, sitting in pine forest and gorging on locally made chocolates. There are a hordes of hotels in Ooty as it is visited by thousands of people every month.
Coonoor (293 km)
If you are visiting Ooty, then you might as well cover Coonoor. This cool place has Lamb’s Rock, Dolphin’s Nose Point and Sim’s Park as its main attractions. On the way, is Law’s Falls, where you can frolic in the cool water.
Vythiri (296 km)
If you have 4-5 days off of your Bangalore trip, then you simply must head to Vythiri. Green forests, dense mist often touching the ground, abundant wildlife and uninterrupted silence describe this natural paradise. This is arguably one of the best places to beat the heat of Bangalore.
Less than 400 km
Kudremukh (332 km)
The Kudremukh sub-range of the Western Ghats is one of the most famous hilly places in Karnataka. Holidaymakers are drawn to its over 6000-feet high namesake peak, diverse wildlife, cool weather, abundant greenery and scenic views. You can also visit the now-abandoned iron mine and factory here.
Agumbe (355 km)
Home of the renowned herpetologist, Romulus Whitaker, Agumbe in the Western Ghats literally overflows with biodiversity. Don’t forget your camera should you ever decide to come here because the views it offers aren’t something you want to miss capturing. There are several waterfalls in the area that double the fun of a vacation here.
Kodachadri (392 km)
A Kodachadri hike is for those who have photography as one of their passions. The several waterfalls and rivers on the way, lush forests and wildlife will make you want to click several pictures. You can even refresh in these rivulets so that the trek doesn’t seem much exhaustive.
Less than 500 km
Valparai (418 km)
Verdant tea and coffee plantations greet you as you reach this serene place, nestled deep in the hills of Kerala. Cascading waterfalls and sighting of animals like gaurs, deer, elephants, monkeys and boars make it a perfect getaway from the chaos of the city.
Munnar (438 km)
Home to Eravikulam National Park and the highest peak in India south of the Himalayas, Anamudi, Munnar draws globetrotters in enormous numbers. Scaling the peak, seeing endemic animals, relaxing at Mattupetty Dam and Lake, enjoying at Echo Point, admiring vistas from Top Station and exploring the Tea Museum are essential experience.
Kodaikanal (448 km)
Another paradisiacal hill town in Tamil Nadu, Kodaikanal is settled around the pretty Kodai Lake. You can boat on the lake, walk through Bryant Park, trek on Coaker’s Walk, go on a plantation tour or head to the solar observatory for incredible views. You will have no trouble in finding good hotels in Kodaikanal that range from lodges and guesthouses to budget and luxury ones.
Wow, this is a long list, but still incomplete! Whether you are heading to any of the hill stations mentioned above or someplace else, be sure to tell about your experience in the comments below.
So, Get! Set! Go!