coldest hill stations in south india

5 Coldest Hill Stations in South India to Avoid in Winter

Who wouldn’t love an escape from the scorching summer sun, and what better choice than a hill station? Peninsular India, as much as the north, is blessed with some of the picturesque hill stations that are so worth a trip. These majestic hills and mountains, clad with moving mist and clouds, promise a priceless experience of serenity within and a beauty to behold with the wide variety of flora and fauna they house. Some of them are nearly 6000 feet above the sea level making them, undoubtedly, some of the coldest hill stations in South India to opt as an ideal vacation spot in any season other than winter, unless you are a Chionophile!

So here are some five upland destinations in the South that are sure to make you shiver.

1. BR Hills

Situated in Chamarajanagar, South Karnataka at the conflux of the Eastern and the Western Ghats, the Biligirirangana Hills, abbreviated as BR Hills, has an altitude of 5900 feet above the sea level. Housing the famous Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary that possesses over 800 species of plants and over 26 species of mammals, and with the Cauvery and Kapila rivers flowing through, the mountain range offers a lovely retreat for adventure seekers, photophiles, and the admirers of nature and wildlife.

BR Hills

Trip Length: 1 day

Things to Do: Go trekking to the highest peak, enjoy a jungle safari through the lush deciduous greenery, visit the Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple, stop by the Dodda Simpage Mara Temple to spot its 2000 years-old ‘Big Champak Tree’, enjoy river rafting, fishing or coracle boating on the Kapila & Cauvery.

Base Location: Chamarajanagar

Nearest City: Mysuru

2. Nandi Hills

At an elevation of 4849 feet, the Nandi Hills, Bangalore Karnataka earns its name from the temple at its top which is dedicated to the sacred Nandi bull. The hill, also called as “Ananda Giri”, meaning the ‘hill of happiness’, once used to be the summer haven for Tipu Sultan and hence we get to spot traces related to his legacy. Apart from breath-taking viewpoints, historical monuments, temples and the fortress, the Nandi Hills also offers an exciting experience to bikers with its meandering roads.

Nandi Hills

Trip Length: 1 or 2 days

Things to Do: Visit Tipu Sultan’s summer residence, Amruth Sarovar lake, Grover Zampa Vineyards, Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple and Brahmashram. Try paragliding over the valleys and hills, go trekking, bike riding and cycling. Explore the secret passages.

Base Location: Bangalore

Nearest City: Bangalore

3. Chikmagalur

The place where coffee was first cultivated in our country and hence a paradise for the coffee lovers, Chikmagalur is situated at a height of 3400 feet at the foot of the magnificent Mullayanagiri Range. The origin of Yagachi River, this mountain range will captivate you with its verdant mesmerizing heights, spectacular waterfalls, coffee plantations, parks and lush greenery. It is certain to make you feel youthful just as the name of the place implies “Chikmagalur – land of the younger daughter”.

chikmagalur

 

Trip Length: 1 or 2 days

Things to Do: Visit the famous Hebbe waterfalls, Hanumana Gundi Falls, Kallathigiri Falls and Hirekolale Lake, explore the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary and Mahatma Gandhi Park, drop in at the Coffee Museum, visit the Kodandarama, Amruteshwara and Vidyashankara temples, stroll through the coffee and tea plantations.

Base Location: Chikmagalur

Nearest City: Mangalore

4. Coorg

A fascinating hill station with ravishing natural landscapes, beautiful waterfalls and lakes, Coorg dwells in Karnataka in the Western Ghats at 1525m above sea level. Deemed as the “Scotland of India”, it has vast stretches of coffee plantations and is the largest coffee producer in the country. Offering an excellent weather, this quaint getaway destination is one that you can delve in solo as well. Adorned with woods and wildlife, it is also home to the Namdroling Tibetan settlement.

coorg

Trip Length: 1 to 2 days

Things to Do: Hike the Tadiandamol Peak, visit the Iruppu and Abbey Falls, river raft in the Barapole, enjoy sites at the Madikeri Fort, spot the mighty pachyderms at Dubare Elephant camp, explore the Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary, stroll by the Honnamana Kere Lake, tour the coffee plantations and shop premium grade coffee, go on a wildlife safari.

Base Location: Coorg

Nearest City: Mysuru

 5. Agumbe

Agumbe is one among the four peaks of the Western Ghats situated at an elevation of 2100 feet above sea level in Shimoga, Karnataka. Reckoned as the ‘Cherrapunji of South India’, this scenic hill station receives over 7000mm rainfall per year. It was also the shooting location for the television series Malgudi Days. An ideal getaway spot, it boasts an abundance in biodiversity enriched by medicinal herbs such as garcinia, dense rainforest, and gorgeous waterfalls. The hill station also houses the Agumbe Rainforest Research Station (ARRS), which studies and conserves the rainforests with the help of applied ecological research, programs for outreach and spreading awareness as well as partnership initiatives. One who treks Agumbe gets to learn how to preserve biodiversity and wildlife besides feeling a reconnect with the nature.

Agumbe

Trip Length: 1 day

Things to Do: Go camping under the night sky filled with stars, hike the Kundadri Hills, enjoy the waterfalls, try forest safari, fill your collection of wildlife snaps, go river rafting and visit the rainforest Research Station.

Base Location: Udupi

Nearest City: Udupi

In a Nutshell

Are you already craving to plunge into some chilling tranquil of nature on a micro holiday from the monotonous routine life and occupational stress? So now you know it needn’t always be a hefty trip to Srinagar or Shimla or Manali, we have plenitude of freezing points down South of the Vindhyas.

Don’t miss hitting these spectacular hill stations to break free. Although, a trip in winter could mean a bucketful of challenges for the cold-sensitive folks and hence they may have to wait for the ample season to perch in. However, if you are a lover of cold weather, just go ahead with your hiking plans to double the chill and thrill.

 

Written by: Rajani R Pai

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