Top 15 Hill Stations near Bangalore to beat the summer heat
April 9, 2022
There are numerous cool spots near Bangalore where you can drive to, to beat the summer heat. But here I bring to you, my favorites. The top 20 hill stations near Bangalore that you can choose from to visit this summer.
Hill stations are townships established at a high altitude (1000 meters to 2500 meters) above sea level where the temperature is cooler than the plains. The term came into being in the colonial era when the British used these as summer recluse to beat the heat of tropical summers. So, while in Europe, people head to the beaches in summer, back in India, we head to the hill stations. Being in Bangalore gave us the opportunity to visit a large number of hill stations speckled in south India. These, according to me are the best of the best.
Table of Contents
Hill stations near Bangalore to visit on a day trip
Short of holidays or swamped with cleaning errands on weekend? Take a day trip to a nearby hill station with your friends and family. These locations are ideal to catch up with friends, go on solo bike trip, treks or even long cycling adventures.
Please note: While there are many beautiful hill-tops near Bangalore that you can trek to, not all of them are “hill stations”. My picks are only the best hill stations where you can enjoy cool temperature outside even in summer and enjoy a number of activities.
State: Karnataka | Distance from Bangalore: 65 km
Home to historic temples Nandi Hills became a fortress and summer retreat of Tipu Sultan. Prisoners are said to have been thrown to their death from what is known as “Tipu’s Drop” now. But today it known for its panoramic views. Sitting at an altitude of 4849 ft, Nandi Hills is the most popular day-trip destinations from Bangalore.
Bhoga Nandeshwara Temple – a 9th century temple guarded by Nandi statue
Yoga Nandeshwara Hilltop temple – a 1000-year-old Chola temple
State: Andhra Pradesh | Distance from Bangalore: 150 km
Horsley hills is the nearest of all the hill stations in my list. This makes it an excellent place for a one-day trip from Bangalore. It is actually a series of nine hills located about 14 km from the Madanapalle town of Chittoor District in Andhra Pradesh. It was originally called Yenugu Mallama Konda after a local legend. Around 1870 a British collector W.D Horsley made it his summer residence, and later the place was named after him.
Horsley Hills Zoo and Environment Park
Kalyan, a 150-year-old Eucalyptus tree located inside the park
Nature Study center inside the park
Viewpoints inside the park
State: Tamil Nadu | Distance from Bangalore: 158 km
With temperate climate and greenery all year round, this hill station in Tamil Nadu is one of the best day trips from Bangalore for adventure lovers. The uphill drive with multiple hairpin turns is thrilling and the views from 3465 ft are breathtaking.
Places of interest:
Hill stations near Bangalore for Weekend trips
If you don’t want to apply for additional leaves and do not have any long weekends on the calendar, this list is for you. The Western Ghats is very close to Bangalore and offers multitude of summer retreats. Take an overnight bus to one of these hill stations on Friday after your office. Or start off early in the morning on Saturday and return before office hours on Monday.
Manjarabad Fort, Sakleshpur
State: Karnataka | Distance from Bangalore: 221 km
Sakleshpur is a charming hill station at an altitude of 3136 ft above sea level. Being just over 200km away from Bangalore makes it an ideal weekend getaway. It is in the Malnad region of the Western Ghats characterised by temperate climate. Sakleshpur is surrounded with lofty green hills abound with coffee, cardamom, pepper and areca plantations.
Places of interest:
Bisle Ghat viewpoint which gives a phenomenal view of the Bisle village and forest
Manjarabad Fort, a heart shaped fort built by Karnataka’s famous ruler Tipu Sultan.
Sri Sakleshwara Swamy Temple and Betta Byreshwara temple
Yercaud is a little town in Tamil Nadu that developed around a resplendent lake surrounded by forests. Yeri means “lake” and Kaddu means “forest” – what an apt name isn’t it? This is one of the most beautiful hill stations in the Eastern Ghats of India. Filled with beautiful lakes, forests, nature-parks and colonial English houses, Yercaud is indeed a gem. You can drive to Yercaud through the 32-km loop road with numerous harpin turns along the mountains. That itself will introduce you the the bountiful nature of Yercaud.
State: Karnataka | Distance from Bangalore: 241 km
Chikmagalur is a favorite weekend getaway among the IT-crowd in Bangalore. Located at the foot of Mullyangiri hills, the highest mountain in Karnataka, Chikamagalur is known as the land of coffee. It is believed that a legendary Muslim saint Baba Budan smuggled a few coffee beans from Arab and sowed the seeds here. That was the inception of coffee plantation in India, a place that is now called Bababudangiri.
When in Chikmagalur, enjoy your time in a local homestay inside a coffee estate or a forest on the banks of river. Visit the Jhari Falls hidden from common sight, located deep inside a private coffee estate. Take a toy train-ride in the MG Park and experience the magical sunset in Hirekolale lake.
Places to stay:
Chikmagalur and Sakleshpur are famous for amazing homestays. A lot of techies in Bangalore have rented their homes back in Chikmagalur as homestays. Here are some top-rated homesays in Chikmagalur.
State: Karnataka | Distance from Bangalore: 265 km
Often called “Scotland of India” because of the waterfalls and vast expanses of green that abound the place, Coorg is one of the best weekend destinations from Bangalore. A trip to Coorg in 2015 is what made me fall in love with Karnataka in the first place. The lofty mountains, large expanses of green as far as eyes can see, breathtaking wildlife – Coorg is a paradise for the lovers of nature and adventure.
It’s one of the largest districts in Karnataka and there are three towns where you can base your stay for the trip – Madikeri (265 km from Bangalore), Virajpet (235 km from Bangalore) and Kushalnagar (235km from Bangalore).
Trekking and camping in the hills –Tadiadmol trek, Mandalpatti trek etc.
Visit Abbey Falls and other beautiful waterfalls
Talakaveri – the holy source of the river Kaveri
Whitewater rafting in Barapole river
Madikeri fort and Raja’s Seat
Where to stay:
Coorg has a good share of luxury resorts for various budget ranges. For smaller pocket-size you can choose one of the lovely homestays in the hills.
Note: Coorg is a huge district filled with amazing sights. While it is very close to Bangalore and can be visited on a regular weekend, I recommend it for a 3-4 days stay atleast.
State: Tamil Nadu | Distance from Bengaluru :265 km
Who does not know about Ooty? It was the most featured destination in Hindi movies before Bollywood got obsessed with Switzerland. Ooty is probably the most famous tourist destination of Tamil Nadu. This kind of makes a weekend trip to Ooty an underwhelming experience because of the over-commercialization and over-crowded tourist spots.
If you truly want to enjoy Ooty, slow down. Book a homestay or resort away from the tourist zones and explore the enchanting small town. That doesn’t mean you should miss out on the highlights.
Like Coorg, Wayanad is not a small hill station. It’s a mid-size district in Kerala with many small hamlets where you can spend a weekend in the lap of nature. It is a fascinating place, not just for nature-lovers but also for history-buffs. Archeologists found traces of human civilization that have existed here for over 6000 years. The Edakkal caves are the glowing evidence of the claim. It also has the largest tribal community in Kerala.
Key Attractions in Wayanad:
Places to stay:
For easy access to most attractions, you can base your stay in the beautiful towns of Vythiri or Kalpetta. For a more offbeat experience, you can plan to stay in Sultan Bathery. Here are my recommendations:
State: Tamil Nadu | Distance from Bangalore: 293 km
Coonoor is a quiet hill station in the Nilgiris tucked away from the crowd of Ooty and Kodaikanal. Coonoor is best known for the Nilgiri toy train, which also happens to be a UNESCO heritage site. The train line built on the Nilgiri mountains is quiet a marvel. It will take you through the scenic tea gardens and valleys of the picturesque town. It’s a great place to visit for a leisure holiday with family, on honeymoon or with friends for adventure.
Long Weekend Trips to Hill Stations near Bangalore
These are the hill stations that demand atleast three to four days of your schedule. It’s a pity if you drive for 8 hours to reach the place and not enjoy all the joy that it has to offer.
State: Karnataka | Distance from Bangalore: 345 km
Agumbe is a dense rainforest in the Shimoga district of Karnataka. Because of the heavy rainfall it receives throughout the year it is also called “Cherrapunji of the South”. In Agumbe you can experience raw nature like nowhere else. Agumbe rainforest research station (ARSS) is one of its kind which specializes in research of the unique faunal diversity of this region. The most important subject of research here is that of King Cobra.
State: Karnataka | Distance from Bangalore: 428 km
Jog is a small town in the Shimoga district of Karnataka, famous for Jog Falls – one of the highest waterfalls in India. While the view of Jog Falls is indeed memorable, there are many more memories to take away from this quaint place. The sparkling lakes, the opulent forests, forts and culture.
Munnar is my most favorite hill station in South India. Located in the Idukki district of Kerala, Munnar is a heavenly abode of exotic wild species, vibrant lakes, resplendent mountains and breathtaking views of tea plantations. During monsoon season, seasonal waterfalls spring up in every nook and corner to tempt you to stop your car every five minutes while driving through the serpentine roads.
Tea Estates and visit to Tea factory
Kanan Devan Hills
Eravikulum National Park
Where to stay:
Royal Orchid is a 4- star hotel available at a reasonable price range. It is close to the city center and near the Sharavati Wildlife park.
A little far away from the center is the Kimmane Golf Resort which is great for an amazing family time and team building offsite.
State: Tamil Nadu | Distance from Bangalore: 490km
Kodaikanal – the Queen of Hills in Tamil Nadu is the perfect weekend getaway from Bangalore during the summers. No matter how much the mercury level rises in the city, Kodaikanal remains cool as cucumber. The hill station is reminiscent of its colonial past which reflects in the old British-style houses, churches and parks.
Thekkady is located in Idukki, the most beautiful district of Kerala. Did you know that the famous Sabarimala Temple (yes that one that broke into national news) is located at a hill-top in Periyar forest? In fact the trek to Sabarimala on foot begins from a temple here. It is one of the biggest Hindu pilgrimage and has a great deal restrictions on all those who want to visit it.
The main attraction of Thekkady is the Periyar Tiger Reserve. Here are the most interesting places and activities:
Nature walk, Jungle Safari in Periyar Tiger Reserve, attend cultural performance at Kadathanadan Kalari Centre, Periyar Lake cruise, Spice garden tour, Ottakathalamedu, Bamboo rafting, shopping at Kumily
Want to escape the crowd and commerce of Kodaikanal? Take a small detour and reach Valparai. This historic hamlet near Coimbatore is the best-kept secret of Tamil Nadu. Known for numerous hair-pin bends the path leading to Valparai is thrilling. If lucky, you can spot lion-tailed macaque on your trip.
Places of interest in and around Valparai
Athirapally Waterfall and rainforest at the border of Kerala
This was my eighth post of the BlogchatterA2Z Challenge 2022. If you liked this post, please share it with your friends to plan your next adventure. This month I will be writing 26 listicles of my favorite things related to travel and blogging. You can get regular updates of my blog on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Subscribe to get monthly newsletters delivered to your inbox.
Sinjana Ghosh is a full-time business professional with a penchant for writing and travel planning. Backpack & Explore is a journal of her travel stories and tips she collected from her experience. She is the author of the travel book “Postcards from India” which is available on Amazon, Flipkart and Notionpress.com
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Horsely hills look so beautiful. I am sure it would make a good picnic spot.
These all look like great locations to stop at. Some of those views are just incredible – wow!
I think those 9 hills would be fun to climb and see the views!
Horsely hills are on my bucket list and this post comes in as a reminder!
I went to 2 out of 5. Hope God will gift me opportunty to cover the rest.
Thanks Pandian. Yes, all of these have their own unique charm.