If there is a place in South India that deserves to be called idyllic, enchanting, colorful, and touristy, it is certainly Tamil Nadu, a home to so many exciting places that greet visitors with breath-taking sights. The fact that the people of Tamil Nadu possess an excellent taste for arts and cultures means there is so much more to see and note besides enchanting mountains, hills, plains, and streams. They are colors, vibrancy, energy, and inspiration. The famous Carnatic music, rural dance forms, and folk music, ethereal as they are, will blow you away and consolidate your impression of stepping into an exotic world. Every place in the world and India, for that matter, have a store of wonders and marvels, but what Tamil Nadu has to offer you will be unique and will negate your feeling that you have seen the most beautiful of places on earth. In addition to all these is the gastronomy of the place—the food, the cuisine! You can acquaint your palette with local food like dosa, Pongal, upma, a variety of chutneys, sambar, rasam, and several other dishes of the Tamil Kitchen. When we say India or talk about a place in India, we mean breath-taking landscapes, colors, cultures, and food. So without further ado, here is a list of 10 best places to visit in Tamil Nadu hill stations.
Popularly known as the ‘’Queen of Hills,’’ Ooty stands out for its majestic merit of being a queen among its kind. What can be more rewarding and memorable than a premeditated encounter with a “queen”? That said, Ooty has been a popular travel destination for people visiting Tamil Nadu. The lush forests and valleys that envelope Ooty will give you a fresh feel of Tolkien’s Middle-Earth experience. The clear sky-reflecting streams and the dreamy fog will greet you with elements of a dreamland. Be poised to hit the unchartered trails of Ooty, the thrill you will experience when Nilgiri Tahr is within view will be priceless. Besides the Blue Mountains shrouded in mysticism, there is one very fascinating history of this hill station, which is poetic in a way: Ooty was once regarded as the summer headquarters of East India Company (they always knew the best, these merchants from another world). Picturesque landscape, favorable climate, beautiful history, and a clear sky make a good place. And unadulterated beauty, nature in its pristine state is a sight to travel for!
It will be unfair to leave out Yelagiri, an elevated paradise in its own right, from our top list of hill stations in Tamil Nadu. With four mountains in its periphery, the hill station is quite a departure from polluted commercial tourist destinations. If you have had enough of being boxed in between four walls or being confined amongst buildings and seeing only buildings when you look around, set out for Yalagiri, there is so much space, so blissful a liberation is awaiting you! This hill station has been in vogue since the colonial era since it was an abode to the Zamindar families of Yelagiri, and the rocky hills and natural scenic still maintain this status till today. In the meantime, several tribal families call it home, meaning you get to see people who live so differently and so uniquely, people who live in harmony with nature. The blissful vibe of the Jalagamparai fell, sweeping orchards and rose gardens will also enliven every bit of your moment spent here. The drive to this place is already an experience in itself. On the way, you will climb fourteen hairpin bents! You will be face to face with the sky!
This tourist destination is not far away from Ooty; only a mere 17 kilometers set these two paradises apart. So including Coonoor on your itinerary is a commendable decision. An altitude of 1, 850 meters brings Coonoor closer to the heavens. Long-winding roads, tea estates, and century-old colonial bungalows are vital salient features of this hill station besides its merit of being less crowded than Ooty. The magnificent tea plantations and red-roofed bungalows are modern-day testaments of a colonial past, which never ceases to fascinate tourists visiting the place. In the meantime, the Avalanche Lake, Upper Bhavani Lake, and the Emerald Lake are also gems of the sub-continent! Finally, here is a place to create memories of a lifetime.
4. Velliangiri Hills
Referred to as the “Kalisha of the South’’ owing to the existence of a Shiva Temple, this is a destination to watch out for in the Nilgiris. This hill station earns a spot in the world of peculiarities because of a legend that goes that in this place; Lord Shiva performed a dance popularly known as “The celestial dance” at the request of his wife. This place has an air of divinity on top of beauty and mystery.
This hill station is, in a way, wedged amongst scenic attractions as it is surrounded by the likes of the Dodabetta Range, Catherine Falls, Elk Falls, and Rangaswami Pillar amongst others. It has an elevation of 1, 793 meters, with green hills in its surrounding, making it a popular trekking destination.
Here goes the “Princess of Hill Stations” as it is popularly known. The name itself evokes a sense of majesty, and it does not need much of an elucidation regarding its distinction and beauty. It is situated in the upper Palani Hills of Tamil Nadu, heavily enriched with natural beauty, a haven for folks on the lookout for an exciting vacation. While the list may go on what Kodaikanal has in store for you are swathes of greenery, forest trees that are as old as the hills and mountains, gurgling streams that seem to be chanting the rites of the gods, and pristine lakes and scenic valleys fit for angels to tread!
This hill station goes by the tag “High Wavy Mountains.” One has to set out and hit the road to understand and experience the definition of it quite physically. It is situated in the Theni district of Tamil Nadu. Lush unexplored forests, cardamom, and tea plantations are lie in store for you here. You have good reasons to be joyful if you are a wildlife enthusiast or a keen bird watcher as this place is the native ground of Megamalai Wildlife Sanctuary. Numerous species of flora and fauna call it home and live in bliss. So bring with you your high-end cameras and binoculars to catch the natural habitat of your favorite birds and other animals. If this body of interesting information does not seem to be enough, other attractions include breath-taking dams and tea estate walks that will give you memorable evenings every day as long as you ask for it, or as long as you have the courtesy of staying here and giving nature your company.
8. Javada Hills
Our list of top hill stations in Tamil Nadu would be quite incomplete without the hallowed mention of Javada Hills. Being sheathed in lush greenery is its post-monsoon pastime, and being beautiful and enchanting visitors to fall in love and write poems about nature is what it does best. Situated in Eastern Ghats extension in Tamil Nadu, it is mostly inhabited by tribal communities. The drive to the place in itself is a remarkable experience as there is a lot to explore on the way.
9. Manjolai Hills
If you are on the lookout for the ultimate summer resort, your vigil ends here! Situated at an altitude of 1162 meters in the Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu, Manjolai Hill is a popular summer resort among those looking for one. It nestles deep in the Western Ghats, quite famous for its tea estates and plantations. You will be greeted with numerous varieties of tea in the estates. This place stands a chance of being likened with the likes of Ooty solely due to its picturesque beauty, favorable climate, and placid atmosphere. All these salient features point to one thing, which is serenity which is what we all seek but which only those who dare to venture out and hit the road, attain. The tourist attractions such as the Upper Kodaiyar Dam and the windy viewpoint called Kuthiravetti will see to that.
Finally, Theni, the hill station fringed by the mighty Western Ghats. It is dotted by lush patches of green and heavenly waterfalls. The serenity and peace doled out by this place are unprecedented and unparalleled. Do the math when we say Theni is an abode to 27 forests! This district is a haven for nature lovers. What more can you expect alongside mesmerizing hills and ranges, and a plethora of rivers and dams? As the saying goes, too much of good things can be wonderful. And it is solely on you to ready your gear and set out into the wilderness to experience it first-hand. The beauty of the wild beckons you!