The beautiful land of Kerala offers myriad landscapes and experiences to enchants its visitors. These include the charming hill stations filled with expansive tea and coffee plantations, unending spice gardens and a panoramic view of the mist clad hills. Whether on a family outing or a romantic escapade, the hill stations in Kerala provide ample opportunities for an exciting and unforgettable trip.
So if you plan to visit the state, do take a break from the famed backwaters and beaches for a trip to one of these Kerala hill stations for the fresh mountain air and scenic views. You will not be disappointed.
1. Invigorating Wayanad
With its mist clad mountains and mountainous rivers, Wayanad is an idyllic destination for a weekend getaway. The majestic beauty, thick rainforest, dazzling waterfalls and spice plantations provide not just a lot to see but also loads of adventure sports to indulge in.
The best time to visit Wayanad is from October to May. For a complete experience of this hill station visit some of these places:
Chembra Peak – Make a race for the top with your family at the tallest peak in the region and catch the breathtaking view at the summit.
Pakshipathalam – Explore the deep caves here which are home to a wide variety of birds, animals and distinctive species of plants.
Soochippara Waterfalls – These relatively unknown falls are a treat for the eyes and provides a chance for rock climbing for the tourists.
Kuruva Island – An ever green forest on the tributaries of River Kabani with rare species of birds, orchids and herbs, this is an ideal picnic spot for a laid back afternoon.
Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary – Visit the biggest abode of elephants in India with your family for a memorable time. Explore the sanctuary and spot various species of spotted deer, bison, tiger and wild bear. Entry timings are 6 to 9 am and 3 to 6 pm.
Vythiri Village Resort – Camping on the Chembra Peak, this resort offers a tranquil setting along with luxurious villas and tree houses to its guests.
Banasura Hill Resort – Spread across 15 acres of land amidst the lush greens of the Banasura Sagar Island, it is blessed with a natural stream which adds to the beauty of the resort.
How to get there?
Nearest Railhead is Kozhikode railway station (110 km) and airport is Karipur international airport (100 km).
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2. Picturesque Munnar
The famed hill station of Munnar is as popular for its romantic locale as for it’s thriving tea gardens. And if you plan well, you can see the valley turn blue during the bloom of Neelakurinji, which flowers only once in twelve years. Valentine’s Day 2018 anyone?
Best time to visit Munnar is October to November and January to May. While there is no end to beautiful spots here, the following are a must-see:
Eravikulam National Park – Hold hands with your loved one staring at Anamudi, the highest peak in south India. And don’t forget to see the rare epiphytic orchids, wild balsams and the famous Nilgiri Tahr. The entry time is 8 am – 4.30 pm. The park is closed from February to March.
TATA Tea Museum – Find how tea gets processed and taste a variety of teas while you are here. The entry time is 9 am – 4 pm. The museum is closed on Monday.
Mattupetty Dam and lake – An idyllic place to enjoy the serenity of nature and possibly spot wild elephants.
Windermere Estate – Set in bungalows that are a throwback to the yesteryears, this place is combination of old world charm and inexplicable natural beauty.
KTDC Tea County – Cosily nestled right in the middle of two hills, Tea County offers mesmerising views with warmth and luxury to its guests.
How to get there?
The nearest airport is the Cochin International Airport (119 km) and railhead is Ernakulam Junction (120 km).
3. Intoxicating Vagamon
Encircled by a string of thee hills, Vagamon is a place of inexplicable beauty. With a combinations of meadows, forests and hills there is a lot of natural beauty to appreciate in this paradisiacal hill station. Go for a nature trails with your loved one to see untamed buffaloes and elephants bathing in the small waterbodies for a romantic afternoon.
Best time to visit Vagamon is in summer from March to May. It provides a mix of both exciting and relaxed tourist spots to visit on your trip:
Kurisumala Dairy Farm – Managed by Kurisumala monks this farm has the ambience of an idyllic country-side untouched by city life.
Thangal Para – Climb atop this hill to see the unique rock formations at the top and also walk through an ancient cave for some old fashioned thrills.
Mundakayam Ghat – Visit for not just a beautiful and serene sunset but also for thrilling adventure sports like paragliding.
Vagamon Hide Out & Ayurveda Spa – Surrounded by sparkling streams, lakes, tea gardens and cardamom plantations, this resort combines eco-friendly ambience with an ethnic spa.
Spice Garden Farm resort – Provides a relaxed and natural atmosphere to its guests with facilities like in-house Safari.
How to get there?
The closest airport is Cochin International (120 Kms) and nearest railway station is Kottayam (64 Kms).
4. Romantic Ponmudi
Ponmudi is one of the enchanting hill hill stations near Trivandrum with narrow winding pathways which offers picturesque views to those who travel by road. With a beautiful array of mountain flowers, exotic butterflies and small rivulets, it is sight best enjoyed sitting next to your loved one.
Best time to visit Ponmudi is from January to March. Some of the places to visit here are:
Golden Valley – Take a dip in the crystal clear waters of River Kallar here followed by leisurely picnic with your partner.
Meenmutty waterfalls – If you are up for some exercise then make a trek from Kallar, through dense forests to see these beautiful waterfalls. The Forest Department provides a guide for tourists to reach the falls.
Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary – Visit the Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary which accommodates a variety of wild animals like Asian elephants, sambar, lion-tailed macaques, Malabar grey hornbills. The entry time is 8 am – 4 pm.
Golden Peak – Golden Peak provides a harmonious blend of the wooden and granite cottages with the mist-laden hills, giving the guests a unique experience.
How to get there?
Nearest airport is Trivandrum International Airport (67 km) and railway station is Thiruvananthapuram (61 km).
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5. Untamed Silent Valley
For an atypical holiday experience that you will remember for years, visit the Silent Valley. Unlike many of the commercial hill stations, much of the natural charm here is still well preserved today and it is also home to a number of rare species and the Kurumbar Tribes. The best time to visit Silent Valley is December to April.
Silent Valley National Park is one of the most ecologically diverse areas on the planet with some flora and fauna which are found nowhere else in the world. Visit to get an opportunity to see over 34 species of mammals amongst which are the rare lion-tailed macaque, Nilgiri langur, Malabar giant squirrel and hairy-winged bat. Entry into the valley is allowed only from 8 am to 2 pm. Special permission is required to enter which can be obtained on the spot at the Forest Department office at Mukkali. You can rent a Jeep from Mukkali to the Valley for Rs 650.
Vision Nature Resorts – Located on the foothills of the National Park, it offers a comfortable stay combined with activities like bird watching, tribal village walk, plantation visit and fishing.
Silent Valley Treetop Resort – Situated in the tranquility of nature it offers a Ayurvedic centre for rejuvenating treatments to its guests.
How to get there?
The nearest railway station is Palakkad (69 km) and airport is Coimbatore International Airport (91 km).
6. Exciting Idukki
Idukki is one of the most nature rich areas of Kerala and offers diverse attractions like wildlife sanctuaries, spice plantations, mountain treks, and elephant rides among others. There are very few hill stations near Kochi and Idukki happens to be the closest one.
Best time to visit Idukki is from October to February. Travel to some of these places for an exciting time in this hilly paradise:
Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary – Visit this sanctuary, home to elephants, bison, sambar deer, jungle cats and various species of snakes including cobra, viper and kraits. The entry time is 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.
Kalliyanathandu – Indulge in some mountain climbing here, while experiencing a panoramic view of the forests.
Idukki Arch Dam – Click photographs at the world’s second great arch dam.
Green Berg Resort – Surrounded by acres of untouched natural beauty, the ethnic cottages at Green Berg offer an exceptional living experience with modern comforts.
How to get there?
Nearest railway station is Kottayam (114 km) and airport is Madurai (140 km).
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7. Spectacular Thekkady
Best time to visit Thekkady is from September to May. Some of the places to visit here are:
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary – Home to many elephants, it is one of the prime attractions in Thekkady. Be sure to indulge in bamboo rafting, nature walk and the Tiger trail while you are here. The entry time is from 6:30 am to 5:30 pm.
Vandanmedu – Make sure to take an excursion through the wide spread of cardamom plantations here for an intoxicating experience.
Kumily – Go for a shopping spree in this town, nestled between the cardamom hills and popular for its spice trade.
Murikkady – With a panorama of cardamom, coffee and pepper plantations, this makes for an ideal picnic spot in Thekkady.
Peppervine Hotel – With an emphasis on contemporary architecture, this chic hotel offers view of the nearby Periyar tiger reserves and the spice plantations.
Coffee Routes – Exclusively zoned for nature reserves, this pristine property contains a fascinating variety of trees, flowering and medicinal plants providing an authentic experience to its guests.
How to get there?
The nearest railway station is Kottayam Railway Station (68 km) and airport is Madurai (140 km).
A trip to the lush green state of Kerala is must on every traveller’s to-do list. Truly there is no other place where you see the bounty of nature in such a spectacular manner as here which makes it such a popular travel destination. And as is with every place, there is always more to explore. Share stories from your trips to Kerala, tell us your experiences visiting the hilly terrains of this magnificent place. We are waiting!
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