Blessed by the presence of majestic Western Ghats, Karnataka presents several tourist options for the nature lovers and adventure junkies. Just like the temples, palaces, beaches and wildlife sanctuaries, the hill stations of Karnataka are well acclaimed among the tourists and serve as a retreat for the vacationers. Scenic, unpolluted, and lesser known hill stations of Karnataka embrace beautiful waterfalls in their heart and serve as perfect objects for photography. The terraced coffee plantations, translucent green paddy fields and the small lively rivers beautify the hills of this South Indian state. Let’s learn about the best hill stations in Karnataka here:
Undoubtedly one of the best hill stations in Karnataka as well as in the country, Coorg is the headquarter of Kodagu District and is located at a height of around 1,170 m above sea level. This historically profound hill station has rugged and misty hills, ravines, forests and waterfalls which offer wonderful options for trekking. The assorted tea and coffee plantations over the slopes of the hills serve as the ideal subjects to frame in your digital lenses. Orange cultivation in Coorg is yet another sight to see. Omkareshwara Temple, Abbey Falls, Irpu falls, and Dubare Forest are some of the highlights of Coorg. A forest trail from Iruppu Falls to the Brahmagiri peak is the best option for trekking in Coorg.
A must see tourist destination in Shimoga District of Karnataka, Agumbe is called the Cherrapunji of the South and attracts globetrotters for its salubrious weather and breathtakingly beautiful landscapes. Located at an elevation of around 2,725 ft, this quaint travel destination is associated with rain forest conservation efforts and is rich in medicinal plants. The dense forest, suitable temperature and the topography of this area supports the growth of the longest venomous snake in the world, the King Cobra in large numbers. Agumbe Rainforest Research Station is a one of its kind in the country. Sunset Points, Kunchikal Falls, Barkana Falls, Gopalakrishna Temple are some of the best things to spot in Agumbe.
Photo Courtesy @Sandeep Shande
A picture perfect getaway for the avid photographer and a devoted nature worshipper, Kakkabe is located in Kodagu District of Karnataka at a distance of around 38km from Madikeri. Sprawling over a region covered by dense rain forest and coffee plantations, the hill station is reckoned to be the largest producer of the sweetest honey in South East Asia. Hardly touched by the evil effects of pollution, the region is bestowed with multihued paddy fields, rare varieties of wild orchids, and dense forests growing over the hills. The hills of this region are not so high and are ideal to embark on trekking. Thadiandamol Trek is the most popular trek in Kakkabe. Rock climbing in Thadiyendamol is yet another adventure activity to be enjoyed here.
Photo Courtesy @Sunil Sachi
Blessed with rich biodiversity and a variety of trailing options, Kudremukh is a hill station named after the mountain range of the same name. The area is rich in iron ore and once it was known for mining only. Today’s Kudremukh is a popular summer vacation retreat in Karnataka and known across the country for the famous Kudremukh National Park. This popular hill station of Karnataka is surrounded by five sacred ponds called Naga Teertha, Amba Teertha, Rudra Teertha, Vasishtha Teertha, and Varaha Teertha and serves as a popular Hindu Pilgrimage.
One of the lesser known hill stations in Karnataka, Nersa is located in Belgaum District at a height of around 762 m above sea level. Located in the thick forests of Mahadayi Valley, this quaint hill station appears to be a delight for the wildlife enthusiast and bird lovers. The terrains of this picturesque region vary from steep rocky to undulating countryside and serve as the paradise for trekkers. Kongla, Bhimgad, Abnali, Jamgoan, and Dongargoan are the best options to go for trekking without much physical tussle. The most unique part of the wildlife in Nersa is the availability of a variety of bats. It is said that around 40 species of bats have been seen in Nersa till date.
Located in Hosangara Taluk of Shimoga District, Kudajadri Hills is a paradise for the adventure lovers and nature worshippers. Perched at a height of around 1343 m, this hill station is a natural heritage site and explored by the tourists for its religious and cultural significance as well. The famous Mookambika Temple is situated at the top of Kodachadri Hill. Arasinagundi Wateralls, Hidlumane Waterfalls, Belakallu theertha Waterfalls, Sauparnika River, Nagara Fort, Kodachadri Trekking Route and Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary are some of the must see sites in Kudajadri.
Photo Courtesy @ Shakyasom Majumder
Surrounded by the lofty peaks of Western Ghats, eye-catching vistas of verdant valleys, ravines and cascading waterfalls, Madikeri is the district capital of Kodagu. One of the best places to visit in Karnataka, Madikeri reaches a height of 1700m above sea level and looks breathtakingly beautiful in the misty evenings. Madikeri Fort is a major sightseeing option in Madikeri. For nature loving and adventurous souls, the hill station proffers wonderful treks to Pushpagiri, Kote Betta, Brahmagiri, and Nishanimotte. As the mountain comes under the jurisdiction of Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary, one needs to take prior permission from the forest department before embarking on trekking.