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Kodaikanal - Tamil Nadu’s Top Hill Station

Tamil Nadu’s Top 5 Hill Stations (2024)

The beautiful state of Tamil Nadu is known for its traditions, exotic art and dance forms, flavorful cuisine, and the breathtaking temples. Tamil Nadu has an unblemished coastline with scenic beaches on one side and charming lush green hill stations on the other side. There are many famous travel destinations in Tamil Nadu, but the hill stations of Tamil Nadu are a must-visit, especially if you are looking to get away from the scorching summer heat. The pleasant weather at these hills stations in Tamil Nadu is a huge crowd-puller along with the bountiful natural beauty that is present all around.

Tamil Nadu’s Top 5 Hill Stations

Here are some of the best hill stations in Tamil Nadu.

1. Ooty

Ooty is the most popular hill station in all of South India. It is commonly referred to as the ‘Queen of Hills,’ and it is a popular travel destination in India for many years now. Even though the main city of Ooty has, over the years, witnessed extreme commercialization, there are still many places left that provide you with an actual experience that Ooty is famous for.

Ooty is nestled in the heart of the Nilgiri Hills. Also known as Udagamandalam, Ooty was once regarded as being the summer headquarters of the East India Company.

Perhaps the most breathtaking view of Ooty is the tea gardens that dot the hills, the majestic waterfalls, charming colonial architecture, and the quaint country lanes. Ooty is not only famous as a honeymoon destination, but it is also a popular family tourist spot owing to the panoramic views of the Nilgiri mountain range.

When in Ooty, you can think about taking a ride on the Nilgiri mountain railway, which is famous as being the steepest track in entire Asia. As the train chugs along its way through the lush green mountains, you will remember the view forever.

Some of the other sites to visit in Ooty include:

  • Ooty Lake
  • Emerald Lake
  • Ooty Botanical Gardens
  • Ooty Rose Garden
  • Avalanche Lake
  • Doddabetta Peak
  • Thread Garden
  • St. Stephen’s Church
  • Kalhatti Falls
  • Tiger Hill
  • Kotagiri
  • Annamalai Temple
  • Droog Fort

Being the most famous hill station in India, Ooty can easily be regarded as India’s very own Switzerland.

2. Kodaikanal

If Ooty is the ‘Queen of Hill Stations,’ then Kodaikanal is the ‘Princess of Hill Stations.’ Kodaikanal is another famous hill station in South India. A lakeside resort town in Tamil Nadu. The name Kodaikanal means the gift of forests, which is an apt name considering the city is nestled amidst the rolling slopes of the forest-covered Palani Hills.

Kodaikanal is situated at an altitude of 7,200 feet above sea level, and if you need a break from your daily city life, this is the place to visit to take a break. Come to Kodaikanal, sit back, and let the bountiful nature all around connect with your soul.

Kodaikanal - Tamil Nadu’s Top Hill Station

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There are many places to visit in Kodaikanal, including the famous Kodai Lake of Tamil Nadu. Other places to visit in the town are:

  • Green Valley View or Suicide Point
  • Bear Shola Falls
  • Pillar Rocks
  • Devil’s Kitchen
  • Thalaiyar Falls
  • Coaker’s Walk
  • Berijam Lake

While Kodaikanal is a popular hill station destination for couples, it is also ideal for adventure lovers in Tamil Nadu. There are many treks here that you can enjoy, especially the Kodai-Palani Trek. There are many stunning locations in Kodaikanal that appeal to both the professional trekkers and even those who are just starting out. Trekking routes here vary in difficulty levels, and you can select the trek route as per your fitness level, the time factor, and your trekking ability. There are many tourist guides also available on hire who can accompany you on the more challenging trekking trails. One of the toughest routes for trekking in Kodaikanal is the Periyakulam Adukkam-Kodaikanal trail, which has a total trekking distance of about 18 km that can be covered in 7 to 8 hours.

3. Coonoor

Coonoor is the second biggest hill station in the Western Ghats, and it is located at an altitude of 1,930 meters. It is also just 17 km away from Ooty. Coonoor also spelled as Conoor, is a beautiful hill station that is home to many tea estates and tree-laden long-winding roads. The colonial bungalows located in the tea estates add a certain old-world charm to Coonoor. Coonoor is also less crowded than Ooty, which is why many tourists prefer to come here.

Coonoor provides tourists with a delightful panoramic view of the Catherine Falls and the Nilgiri Hills. This dreamy destination is known for its manicured hills, rich greenery, amazing sceneries, and Colonial culture. There are many heritage homes and guesthouses here that make for the perfect location to stay during your vacation. Some of the places to visit in Coonoor include:

  • Ketti Valley
  • Sim’s Park
  • Dolphin’s Nose
  • Hidden Valley
  • Lamb’s Rock
  • Highfield Tea Estate
  • Rallia Dam
  • Law’s Falls
  • Keystone Foundation
  • St. George’s Church
  • All Saints Church

Coonoor is also a popular destination for Ayurveda yoga meditation retreats.

4. Yercaud

Yercaud is located in the Shevaroy Hills of Tamil Nadu and is another popular hill station located in the state. Though it is a little less known than Ooty and Kodaikanal, Yercaud is a tranquil hill station nestled in the Eastern Ghats. Yercaud is commonly referred to as the ‘Ooty of the Poor,’ and it is known for its abundant greenery. The region of Yercaud has a long history that dates all the way to the Britishers.

Yercaud is situated at an altitude of 4970 feet and is famous for its vast expanses of coffee plantations. If you want to get away from the hustle-bustle of the city, then Yercaud is an excellent choice as this quaint town is perfect to experience nature amidst the chirping of birds, not the cacophony of tourists.

The hill station is known for its pleasant climate throughout the year, and due to this, many tourists come to Yercaud from all over India.

Perhaps the best time to visit Yercaud is in May when the summer festival takes place. The festival is dedicated to Lord Servarayan, who is known to be the supreme god of the mountain ranges. The summer festival gives visitors a perfect glimpse into the rich heritage of Yercaud and its surrounding regions.

Some of the best places to visit in Yercaud are:

  • Shevaroy Hills
  • Killiyur Falls
  • Emerald Lake
  • Lady’s Seat
  • Bear’s Cave
  • Pagoda Point

5. Yelagiri

Another famous hill station in Tamil Nadu is Yelagiri. This quaint little hill station is secluded and, therefore, free of pollution. Even Ooty and Kodaikanal are today no more free from the pollution that commercialization has brought with it.

Yelagiri is home to many tribal families, and it is known as the “call of the Hills’. One of your trip’s biggest highlights will be your drive to Yelagiri. While you are driving to Yelagiri, there are 14 hairpin bends to reach the hill station, and the view along this route is simply breathtaking.

Yelagiri is just three hours from Bangalore or Bengaluru, which makes it a popular weekend getaway spot. The town is spread over 30 square km and located at an altitude of over 1100 meters above sea level. Yelagiri has many beautiful tourist spots like sweeping orchards, rose gardens, the Jalagamparai Falls, and many others.

Yelagiri is the ideal tourist destination for nature lovers as the town does not fall on the usual tourist trail. You will find that there is a more peaceful and quieter vibe in Yelagiri as compared to the other more popular hill stations nearby.

Yelagiri used to initially belong to the Zamindar family of the town. The hill station grew in popularity since the colonial rule when the Britishers used it as their preferred summer getaway. Since then, Yelagiri has become one of the hidden gems of Tamil Nadu, complete with natural scenic beauty and rocky hills.

From perfect sunset points to lakes and parks, Yelagiri still remains untouched by the vices of commercialization. The surrounding forest is pristine and home to many rare species of flora and fauna. The honey available in Yelagiri is considered to be one of the purest variety.

Here are some of the popular places to visit when you are in Yelagiri:

  • Jalagamparai Falls
  • Nature Park
  • Punganur Lake
  • Swali Malai Hills
  • Velavan Temple
  • Yelagiri Adventure Camp

The beautiful state of Tamil Nadu is known for its breathtaking hill stations, and people from all over India and other countries come here to enjoy some days away from the rushed life in the city. These hill stations are a great travel destination with many places to visit. They are perfect for nature lovers, and the pleasant weather allows you to have a cool and relaxing holiday.

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