Karnataka is one of the most underrated states of South India. Most tourists are lured by the beaches in Goa and the landscapes of Kerala without ever realizing that the top hill stations in Karnataka offer myriad scintillating landscapes of their own! Karnataka remains unexplored and yet it has so much to offer to honeymoon couples, young travelers and people from all walks of life who are looking to break free from their hectic schedules to seek solace.
13 Top Hill Stations In Karnataka
Here’s a list of hill stations in Karnataka you can visit on your trip to Karnataka that will rejuvenate your senses and send surplus amounts of oxygen down your windpipe.
- Nandi Hills: For A Thrilling Road Trip
- Coorg: Favourite Place Of Nature Lovers
- Chikmagalur: Ideal For Coffee Lovers
- Agumbe: For Pristine Waterfalls
- Biligiri Hills: Explore The Mystic Place
- Kemmanagundi: For Best Picturesque Views
- Gangamoola: Ideal For Photographers
- Kundadri Hill: Catch Hold Of Surreal Views
- Yana: Witness Rock Formations
- Kodachadri: A Paradise For Trekkers
- Madikeri: Enjoy Serene Views
- Munnar: For Green Vistas
- Ooty: Honeymooner’s Paradise
1. Nandi Hills: For A Thrilling Road Trip
One of the most popular Karnataka hill stations is the legendary Nandi Hills – a Hilltop with an ancient fortress. Besides being picturesque and serene, it is popular amongst bikers who enjoy the ride to the top of the hill and the thrill of the zig-zag roads while riding down. Trekkers often take up the challenge of hiking up to Nandi Hills.
Where to stay: Nehru house has well-furnished rooms available for tourists. There’s a vegetarian restaurant run by the Horticulture department.
Places of interest: Amruth Sarovar – a beautiful lake. Tipu Sultan’s fort, Tippu drop, Secret passages.
Best Time To Visit: Throughout the year
How To Reach: The most convenient way to reach Nandi Hills is via car or by hiring a taxi.
Things to do: Cycling, Take a walk along the hills, Paragliding
2. Coorg: Favourite Place Of Nature Lovers
Coorg is a scenic and soothing hill station in Karnataka. Besides the lush green slopes, one must also check out the quaint Namdroling Tibetan settlement nestled on the hills of Coorg. With nature’s bounty and a soothing weather, Coorg is the perfect recipe to destress with your loved ones, or even solo.
Where to stay: Club Mahindra, Vivanta by Taj, The Tamara, The Windflower Resort and Spa, Orange County
Places of interest in Coorg: You can visit the Abbey falls, go rafting in the river Barapole and quad biking, visit Iruppu Falls, among other attractions in the Coorg hill stations in Karnataka.
Best Time To Visit: December to February
How To Reach: One can reach Coorg via Mangalore Airport or via Mysore Railway Station that happen to be the closest airbase and railway station respectively.
Things to do: Dubare Elephant Camp, Madikeri Fort, Quad Biking, Wildlife Safari
3. Chikmagalur: Ideal For Coffee Lovers
Located at the foot of the Mullayanagiri Range, Chikmagalur is full of hills and gorgeous views. You can take a bicycle ride on the winding roads, trek up to the summit, camp under the blanket of stars, or just sit and gaze at the endless expanses of greens while sipping on a cup of piping coffee. Chikmagalur will make you want to give up your day job and retire, which is why it as among the most famous hill stations in Karnataka.
Where to stay: The Serai, Gateway Hotel, Kalgreen Valley resort, Silent Valley Resort
Places of interest in Chikmagalur: Sringeri Mutt, Trek up Mullayanagiri mountain, Kudremukh Peak, Hanuman Gundi Falls
Best Time To Visit: September to May
How To Reach: One can board state-run or private buses from the major cities like Mangalore, Hubli, Bangalore, and Hassan that are all connected to Chikmagalur.
Things to do: Discover An Exotic Wonder, Enjoy A Stimulating Trekking Experience, Go For Trekking, Enjoy A Jeep Safari
4. Agumbe: For Pristine Waterfalls
Agumbe is the Cherrapunji of South India and is located 45 km from Udupi. The best hill station in Karnataka is famous for its adjoining rainforest, serene nature trails, and verdant slopes. It’s the perfect place to rewind with your kins or gang of friends so that you can enjoy your vacation to the fullest, something that makes this place one of the best hill stations to visit in Karnataka.
Where to stay: Agumbe doesn’t have any hotels. There are decent places to stay around 20 km from Agumbe like Hotel Advaith Lancer, Kalgreen Valley resort
Places of interest: Check out the various species of reptiles, birds and animals in the rainforest. Koodlu Theertha Falls, Jogigundi Falls
Best Time To Visit: November to January
How To Reach: The nearest airport is that of the Mangalore Airport, and the nearest railhead is that of the Udupi Railway Station from where one can easily reach Agumbe.
5. Biligiri Hills: Explore The Mystic Place
Biligiri Hills is 120 kms from Mysore, which makes it one of the top hill stations in Karnataka for those who visit Mysore and wish to explore beyond cold places in Karnataka as well. The forests at Biligiri are teeming with wildlife and are a delight for nature lovers and wildlife photographers. Also, do not miss out on Chamrajnagar – the coldest place in Karnataka when in Mysore.
Where to stay: Aksaa BR Hills, Ambuja Farms, The Serai Bandipur, Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel
Places of interest: Visit the Dzogchen monastery, Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta, Biligiri Ranganatha Hills
Best Time To Visit: November to March
How To Reach: One can reach Bilgiri Hills via Bangalore airport or the nearby Chamarajanagar railway station.
6. Kemmanagundi: For Best Picturesque Views
185 km from Mangalore City, Kemmanagundi is among the most popular hill towns for the students down south. It falls under the Chikmagalur district on the top hill stations in Karnataka map and is an ideal summer retreat to beat the heat and destress amid the fruits of nature. It is a popular hill retreat for backpackers and youngsters who prefer budget travel.
Where to stay: Kemmanagundi Homestay, The Planters Court, Gateway Hotel
Places of interest: The Z point at Kemmanagundi is worth a visit, The Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary has a very well maintained forest, trek to the top.
Best Time To Visit: September to February
How To Reach: Those traveling by air can reach Kemmanagundi via Mangalore Airport, and those traveling by train, can reach this spot from Tarikere railway station
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7. Gangamoola: Ideal For Photographers
Gangamoola is a hidden picturesque hill station and one of those cool places in Karnataka where you won’t be troubled by annoying crowds of tourists photobombing your pictures and seflies! Enveloped by dense forests and a misty climate, and it is the origin point of the three rivers Tungabhadra and Netravathi, the beauty of which make it one of the best hill stations in Karnataka.
Where to stay: SK Regency, Goodearth Homestay
Places of interest: temple of Goddess Bhagavathi and a 1.8 m Varaha image inside a cave. Gangamoola cannot be visited during the monsoons.
Best Time To Visit: December to February
How To Reach: Reach the city of Sringeri or the attraction of Kudremukh first, from where one Gangamoola is located at a distance of about two kilometers
8. Kundadri Hill: Catch Hold Of Surreal Views
Kundadri is a huge monolithic rock sitting 3000 feet above mean sea level. The 360 degree views from the top are a sight to behold and attract wanderes from near and far! Kundadri is the perfect place to unwind and let go of all the worries of the world, and you may never want to leave! Without a doubt, it is among the top hill stations in Karnataka for summer.
Where to stay: Royal Orchid, Surya Comforts, River view farm stay
Places of interest: Jog Falls, Mattur Lake, Sakrebailu Elephant Camp, Tiger and Lion Safari, Dabbe Falls
Best Time To Visit: November to February
How To Reach: Located at a distance of about 60 kilometers from the city of Udupi, Kundadri can be easily reached from here
9. Yana: Witness Rock Formations
Sitauted a mere 25 km from Kumta, Yana is among the most mesmerizing of all top hill stations in Karnataka. Surrounded by lush green forests and eye-warming slopes, Yana is best known for its caves and rock formations that draw vagabonds to this paradise year after year. It is a treat for nature lovers and hiking enthusiasts owing to its endless expanse of uncharted greens.
Where to stay: The best hotels in Kumta are Suragi Homestay, Sanskruti Resort, Om Beach resort
Places of interest: Vishnu Theertha Lake, Nirvana Beach and Hedbandar beach near Kumta are worth a visit
Best Time To Visit: October to January
How To Reach: Boarding the train and getting down at the railhead of Kumta station would be the most convenient way of reaching Yana
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10. Kodachadri: A Paradise For Trekkers
Kodachadri is wonderful hamlet for trekkers and hikers. While the climb will surely give you an adrenaline rush, the scenic views you’ll be treated to once you reach the top will take your breath away! Embrace nature at its best in the serene, less crowded hills of Kodachadri while you head out to explore the best hill stations in Karnataka.
Where to stay: The best places to stay in and around Shimoga are RNS Residency, Pragati Homestay, Soans Island
Places of interest: Climb to the top and see the entire landscape of the western ghat stretch in front of you in Kodachadri trek. Also, see the famous Jog falls
Best Time To Visit: October to March
How To Reach: Set at a distance of just 20 kilometers from Kollur, one can also reach Kodachadri from the cities of Kundapur and Shimoga
11. Madikeri: Enjoy Serene Views
While talking about the best hills stations to visit in Karnataka, one cannot forget about Madikeri which is often referred to as the Coffee Capital of the state. Covered with vast plantations of coffee, Madikeri is a perfect getaway from all the hustle-bustle of the city life. With no pollution to hurt your lungs and a cool breeze to calm your mind, this is a must-visit place in Karnataka. It is an ideal place for a summer retreat that gives a respite from the heat in the plains.
Where to stay: Taj Madikeri Resort, Akki Homestay, Popin’s Paradise, and Cloudy Moon Homestay
Places of interest in Madikeri: Abbey Falls, Raja’s Seat, Trekking, Talacauvery
Best time to visit: July – September, November – April
How to reach: Madikeri does not have its own airport or railway station. The nearest airport is 136 kms away from Mangalore and the closest railhead is at least 115 kms away in Kasaragod, Tellicherry or Hassan
Things to do: Trekking, Click Pictures at Abbey Falls, Jeep Safari, Food Tour, Hiking
Hill Stations Near Karnataka
You can also explore these hill towns around Karnataka during your vacation:
Distinguished by the carpets of rolling tea pastures and endless greenery, Munnar is among the most beautiful hill stations near Karnataka. The serene ambiance, pleasant weather, winding roads, tea and spice plantations, and those misty views lure in scores of travelers here every year.
Located on the Kannan Devan hills in Kerala district, this hill town sits proudly on the Western Ghats 1,700 m above sea level and is one of the prominent tea providers in India. Though there are various other hill stations in and around Karnataka, this one surely tops the list owing to its unmatched beauty and picture-perfect landscapes.
Where to stay: Mistletoe Munnar Homestay, Royal Mist Homestay, Chandy’s Windy Woods Hotel, Forest Glade Resort
Places of interest in Munnar: Eravikulam National Park, tea plantations tour, Mattupetty, Anamudi Peak, trekking, trout fishing, waterfalls
Best Time To Visit: October to November and January till May
How To Reach: Cochin International Airport, and Kochi railway station happen to be the closest points of entrance to this hill station via air and train respectively.
Things to do: Tree House Stay, Tea Estate Tours, Camping And Trekking, Spot Rare Species
The true gem of the Nilgiris, or the ‘Blue Mountains’ as they’re sometimes called, Ooty is among the most beautiful hill stations in the country owing to its boundless beauty. Misty hills, aromatic tea plantations, alluring forest ranges, and a super pleasing climate year-round, Ooty has everything you need to make your getaway to the hills a memorable one!
Where to stay: Marlborough House Homestay, Bouganvilla Homestay, Elk Hill Resort, Surya Village Resort
Places of interest in Ooty: Doddabetta Peak, Mudumalai National Park, hiking in the nature trails, boating in Emerald Lake, Kamraj Sagar Dam
Best Time To Visit: October to June
How To Reach: Whether one is traveling via air or train, Coimbatore Airport and Coimbatore Railway Junction is one point from where one would have to board a state-run bus to Ooty
Things to do: Nilgiri Mountain Toy Train, Dolphin’s Nose, Doddabetta Peak, Summer Festival Of Ooty, Tea Museum
With endless beauty and blissful weather, these top hill stations in Karnataka are sure to revitalize your senses during your family trip or solo getaway, whichever you choose to experience. They will definitely add a bounty of fun and excitement to your vacation in Karnataka! So, of all these gorgeous hill stations in Karnataka, which one will you pick? Tell us in the comment below.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Hill Stations In Karnataka
A. Agumbe, Coorg, Kodachadri, Chikmagalur, Kemmangundi, Madikeri, BR Hills are some of the best hill stations in Karnataka.
A. Chamrajnagar located in the vicinity of Mysore is the coldest place in Karnataka which witnesses a temperature of 10.1 degrees.
A. Mysore is the most beautiful district in Karnataka which is also considered as one of the most visited tourist’s destinations. Situated at the base of the Chamundi Hills and adorned by the majestic palaces, royal architectures and waterfalls.
A. Mullayanagiri peak is the highest mountain peak which is located at Chikkamagaluru. The height of this peak is around 1,930 m.
A. Chikkamangaluru is one of the cheapest hill stations in Karnataka which attracts tourist with its finest landscapes and serenity.
A. Nandi Hills is one of the most beautiful places in Karnataka which is actually an ancient hill fortress which was built by the Ganga Dynasty in Southern India.
A. The best time to visit Chikmagalur starts from September till March. This city is called “the coffee land of Karnataka” and located at the foothills of the Mulayanagiri range.
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