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Top 10 Less Crowded Hill Stations to Visit in South India

Are you tired of the hustle and bustle of city life? Do you crave a peaceful getaway in the lap of nature? Look no further than the serene hill stations of South India. Apparently, South India is home to several beautiful hill stations, each with its unique charm and beauty. From the lush greenery of Munnar to the picturesque Ooty, there is no shortage of natural beauty in South India.

But, if you are travelling to seek peace and serenity or want to explore the hidden gems of the region, let us tell you, there are several hidden gems that offer the same natural beauty and tranquillity without the crowds. While popular hill stations like Ooty and Kodaikanal attract hordes of tourists every year, you can find the same beauty in these uncrowded hill stations in South India.

In this blog, we will take you on a journey to explore the top 10 less-crowded hill stations in South India. From misty valleys to cascading waterfalls, these destinations promise to rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul.

So, pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable adventure!

Summary of some less explored hill stations in South India with their distance from airports:

Name of the Hill Stations Name of the States Name of the Airports Distance
Yelagiri Tamil Nadu Bangalore International Airport 160 kms
Kudremukh Karnataka Mangalore Airport 105 kms
Kotagiri Tamil Nadu Coimbatore Airport 68 kms
Araku Valley Andhra Pradesh Visakhapatnam Airport 107 kms
Madikeri Karnataka Mysore Domestic Airport 121 kms
Idukki Kerala Cochin International Airport 102 kms
Yercaud Tamil Nadu Salem Airport 47 kms
Ponmudi Kerala Trivandrum International Airport 58 kms
Vagamon Kerala Cochin International Airport 94 kms
Devikulam Kerala Cochin International Airport 115 kms

Discover Our Most Popular Hill Station Tour Packages, As Loved by Travelers-

Yelagiri: A Serene Hill Station in Tamil Nadu

Yelagiri Hill Station

One of the best unexplored hill stations in South India you must visit is undoubtedly Yelagiri, which is located in the Tirupattur District of Tamil Nadu. Also referred to as Elagiri, this quaint hill station is perched at a height of 1,111 metres above sea level and offers mesmerising views of its surrounding lush green forests along the valleys.

Yelagiri is a perfect destination for people who want to spend their holidays in an offbeat hill station but experience all sorts of activities which can be done in a famous hill station. For them, activities like boating, waterfall hiking, trekking, and other adventure sports like paragliding and climbing are available in Yelagiri. They can also spend a lazy afternoon with their dear ones in a nature park amidst a variety of flora and fauna.

Major Tourist Attractions

  • Fundera Park
  • Swamimalai Hills
  • Velavan Temple
  • Jalagamparai Falls
  • Nilavoor Lake
  • Yelagiri Nature Park

Also Read: Must Visit Popular Hill Stations in Tamil Nadu

Kudremukh: A Picturesque Mountain Range in Karnataka

Kudremukh Hill Station

Karnataka’s second highest peak, Kudremukh is basically a mountain range in the Chikmagalur District. The surrounding valley derives its name from the unique shape of the peak, which resembles the face of a horse and known as Kudremukh hill station, one of the beautiful offbeat hill stations to visit in South India.

Kudremukh is a popular destination among trekkers, nature enthusiasts, and adventure seekers. The hill station is home to the Kudremukh National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which covers an area of 600 square kilometres and is home to a variety of flora and fauna. Apart from its diverse wildlife, one of the unique features of Kudremukh is the trek to the peak of the hill. The trek is a challenging one, but the view from the top is breathtaking.

Major Tourist Attractions

  • Kudremukh National Park
  • Hanuman Gundi Falls
  • Kalasa
  • Lakya Dam
  • Kadambi Falls

Also Read: Best Nature Weekend Tour in and around Karnataka

Kotagiri: A Charming Offbeat Hill Station in Tamil Nadu

Kotagiri Hill Station

Home to the ‘Kota’ tribes, the meaning of Kotagiri is ‘mountain of Kotas.’ One of the lesser-known hill stations of South India, Kotagiri is known for its natural beauty, tea estates, and tranquil environment. Perched at a height of 1,950 metres, this charming hill station is located in the Nilgiris District of Tamil Nadu.

One of the main advantages of Kotagiri being less crowded is that it allows visitors to truly enjoy the natural beauty of the area without feeling overwhelmed by crowds of tourists. The town is surrounded by lush green hills, forests, and tea estates, which provide ample opportunities for nature sightseeing, scenic walks, hiking, and birdwatching. Visitors can also enjoy the pleasant weather, which is cool and refreshing throughout the year.

Major Tourist Attractions

  • Kodanad View Point
  • Catherine Falls
  • Rangaswamy Peak and Pillar
  • Longwood Shola Reserve Forest
  • Elk Falls
  • Sri Arulmigu Karumariamman Temple

Also Read: Top Places to Explore in Tamil Nadu

Araku Valley: A Scenic Hill Station amidst Waterfalls and Coffee Plantations

Araku Valley Hill Station

Located in the Eastern Ghats of Andhra Pradesh, Araku Valley is one of the best peaceful hill stations in India for a perfect family holiday. Apart from offering an ideal blend of natural beauty and scenic landscapes along with opportunities for adventures, which makes Araku Valley more travel-worthy is its local cuisine.

Araku Valley is known for its unique cuisine that is a blend of Andhra, Telangana, and Odisha flavours. The local dishes like Bamboo Chicken, Chapala Pulusu, and Bongulo Chicken are a must-try for foodies. Also, it’s a place to explore several indigenous tribes like the Khond, Kondadora, and Jatapu. These tribes have a unique culture and way of life that is worth experiencing.

Major Tourist Attractions

  • Borra Caves
  • Ananthagiri
  • Tribal Museum
  • Katiki Waterfalls
  • Padmapuram Gardens
  • Duduma Waterfalls
  • Matsyagundam
  • Tyda Nature Camp

Also Read: Top Places to Visit in Andhra Pradesh

Madikeri: Discover Tranquility of Western Ghats in A Mystical Hill Station

Madikeri Hill Station

Like every other hill station in South India, Madikeri is also surrounded by lush green forests, picturesque valleys, breathtaking waterfalls and so on. It’s not that much offbeat but can be considered as a secluded tourist destination in Karnataka to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life.

What makes Madikeri more special is obviously its rich cultural heritage. The hill station is home to several historic landmarks and monuments, such as the Madikeri Fort, Omkareshwara Temple, and Raja’s Seat. The fort was built in the 17th century by the ruler Mudduraja, and it houses a palace, a temple, and a museum. The Omkareshwara Temple is a unique blend of Hindu and Islamic architecture and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Raja’s Seat is a popular viewpoint, which offers a panoramic view of the surrounding hills and valleys.

Major Tourist Attractions

  • Abbey Falls
  • Chiklihole Reservoir
  • Dubare Elephant Camp
  • Harangi Dam
  • Madikeri Fort
  • Raja’s Seat
  • Honnamana Kere Lake
  • Omkareshwara Temple
  • Kotebetta Peak

Also Read: Best Places to Explore in Coorg Karnataka

Idukki: Where Nature’s Beauty Meets Serenity

Idukki Hill Station

If you’re planning for a trip to spend your summer vacation in a cool hill station, make Idukki your first choice; you won’t be disappointed. Located in Kerala but not so famous like Munnar and Wayanad, Idukki is definitely one of the best hill escapes in South India for this summer.

Nestled in the Western Ghats, the district is home to several tourist attractions, including wildlife sanctuaries, hill stations, and dams. One of the major attractions of Idukki is the Idukki Arch Dam, which is one of the highest arch dams in Asia. Visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of the dam and the surrounding hills from the viewpoint located nearby. The hill station is also home to a national park and wildlife sanctuary where visitors can experience a guided tour to explore several other species of flora and fauna.

Major Tourist Attractions

  • Idukki Arch Dam
  • Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Eravikulam National Park
  • Keezharkuthu Falls
  • Hill View Park
  • Valara Waterfalls
  • Vandanmedu
  • Gavi
  • Thommankuthu Waterfalls

Also Read: Top Tourist Places to Visit in Kerala

Yercaud: Escape to The Serenity in A Hill Station of Tamil Nadu

Yercaud Hill Station

What makes a hill station an ideal offbeat destination for spending summer vacation? The answer is pleasant weather, less crowd, scenic beauty, and peaceful environment. Well, Yercaud has it all. It is not as crowded as some of the more popular hill stations in India, which makes it a perfect place for a quiet and peaceful getaway. Moreover, the weather in Yercaud during summers is pleasant with temperatures ranging from 20 to 25 degrees Celsius, making it a comfortable place to beat the heat.

And scenic beauty? A picturesque lake, plunging waterfalls, dense forests, verdant plantations – all make it an excellent choice for you. Set at an altitude of 1,515 metres above sea level, Yercaud is located in the Eastern Ghats at the foothills of the Shevaroys Ranges.

Major Tourist Attractions

  • Yercaud Lake
  • Pagoda Point
  • Rose Garden
  • Bears Cave
  • Kottachedu Teak Forest
  • Kiliyur Waterfall
  • Sri Raja Rajeshwari Temple

Also Read: Best Hill Resorts in India

Ponmudi: Misty Hills and Lush Greenery

Ponmudi Hill Station

Exploring South India for searching an offbeat place for spending a relaxing holiday with your family members ends in Ponmudi. Believe it or not, Ponmudi in Kerala is such a place where you can spend your days like in a hill station along with travelling to a beach destination like Kovalam Beach, which is around 69 kilometres away.

Ponmudi is undoubtedly famous for its scenic beauty but it’s also famous for its Golden Valley, the tropical verdant vegetation which is home to a diverse wildlife, rivers, rivulets and other natural resources. The trekking trails in Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary, Echo Point along the Kallar River and mystical valleys incite every traveller who wants peace and rejuvenation by spending some days in a serene place like Ponmudi.

Major Tourist Attractions

  • Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Koyikkal Palace
  • Agasthyakoodam
  • Mankkayam Falls
  • Varayattumotta
  • Golden Valley
  • Kallar

Also Read: Best Places to Visit in Munnar Hill Station in South India

Vagamon: A Tranquil Hill Station of Kerala

Vagamon Hill Station

Vagamon is a hidden gem nestled in the Western Ghats of Kerala, India, and it’s no surprise that it’s becoming an increasingly popular destination for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts alike. This idyllic hill station boasts of vast stretches of green meadows, misty valleys, and cascading waterfalls, all of which come together to create a serene and tranquil atmosphere.

Moreover, the hill station is also famous for its warm hospitality and unique cultural traditions. The locals take immense pride in their community and are always happy to welcome visitors with open arms. From the delicious local cuisine to the vibrant festivals and cultural events, Vagamon offers a unique and unforgettable experience that will stay with you long after you leave.

Major Tourist Attractions

  • Vagamon Meadows
  • Ulipooni Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Kurisumala
  • Vagamon Falls
  • Thangalpara
  • Maramala Waterfalls
  • Mundakayam Ghat

Also Read: Most Popular Hill Stations of Kerala

Devikulam: Picturesque Beauty in An Offbeat Hill Station of Kerala

Devikulam Hill Station Kerala

Devikulam, a small hill station nestled in the lap of the Western Ghats in Kerala, is a paradise for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike. The tranquil and pristine atmosphere of Devikulam, coupled with the opportunities for several adventure activities, make it a popular spot for tourists seeking solace and relaxation.

Located at a distance of just 16 kilometres from Munnar, the popular hill station of Kerala, Devikulam is generally a one-day trip spot for travellers visiting Munnar. But, it will be more worthwhile if you stay here for a few days to soak into its beauty. Devikulam is a small village which derives its name from a lake of Goddess. It’s an abode of nature where you will find greenery in every slope of the hills, clouds floating above them and an unforgettable experience amidst the locals.

Major Tourist Attractions

  • Devi Lake
  • Thoovanam Falls
  • Mattupetty Dam
  • Keezharkuthu Falls
  • Blossom International Park
  • Anayirankal Lake

Also Read: Top Places to Visit in Summer in Kerala

Compared to other famous hill stations in South India which attract travellers from all around the world throughout the year, these 10 hidden hill stations in South India have nothing less than in beauty and activities for tourists. These hidden gems offer a peaceful and rejuvenating getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life. From the lush green hills of Vagamon to the tranquil town of Yercaud, the 10 hidden gems of South India mentioned in this blog are the perfect destinations for those seeking solitude and tranquillity in a less-crowded place.

So, if you are one of those travellers who have already visited one of these places or other offbeat hill stations, share your experiences in the comment section. You can also comment here to know the details of the places if you want to spend your summer vacation in any of these mentioned hill stations.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Which less crowded hill stations in South India are best for a family trip?

Some of the less crowded hill stations in South India which are best for a family trip are:

  • Vythiri
  • Devikulam
  • Horsley Hills
  • Yercaud
  • Araku Valley
  • Matanga Hill
  • Shevaroy Hills
  • Gavi
  • Kemmangundi

What are the top less explored hill stations in South India for honeymooning couples?

Some of the top less explored hill stations in South India for honeymooning couples are:

  • Araku Valley
  • Vagamon
  • Yercaud
  • Valparai
  • Ponmudi
  • Ananthagiri Hills

Are there enough accommodation options in these less crowded South Indian hill stations?

Although these hill stations may not offer as many accommodation options as popular destinations, travelers can still find a variety of choices for a secluded getaway. From cozy homestays to luxury resorts, most of these destinations have a range of accommodations available. It's recommended to book in advance, especially during peak season or on weekends.

What are the top offbeat hill spots to visit in Kerala?

Some of the top less crowded hill stations in Kerala are:

  • Vagamon
  • Ponmudi
  • Gavi
  • Lakkidi
  • Agasthyakoodam
  • Nelliyampathy

Published: 14 Apr, 2023

About the author

Nandini Bhattacharya

From the ‘City of Joy,’ Kolkata, Nandini Bhattacharya is a Travel Writer by profession and traveller by passion. She loves to explore places around the world, new cultures, different cuisines and all new things that one can learn outside the home. She also loves to document her journey so that people can be inspired and travel more. Nandini is a nature lover and talks about sustainable tourism. She wants to make this world a good place where people can live healthy and happily.