Karnataka, a southern Indian state known for its rich culture and breathtaking landscapes, offers a treasure trove of picturesque hill stations. Tucked away amidst lush greenery and serene environments, these hill stations in Karnataka are the perfect destinations for a rejuvenating retreat.
Here, we’ll explore 7 amazing hill stations in Karnataka that deserve a spot on your travel bucket list. From Coorg’s aromatic coffee plantations to the enchanting waterfalls of Kemmangundi, these idyllic spots promise a memorable getaway for nature lovers, adventure enthusiasts, and anyone in need of some peace and tranquility.
So, pack your bags and get ready to unwind in the lap of nature, as we embark on a journey through Karnataka’s hidden gems.
Jump Directly To
1: Biligiriranga Hills (BR Hills)
Biligiriranga Hills, affectionately known as BR Hills, is a picturesque hill station situated in southeastern Karnataka, bordering Tamil Nadu. This alluring destination offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and exciting tourist attractions.
Adventure seekers can enjoy karting, fishing, and river rafting, while those looking for a more leisurely experience can visit popular attractions such as the BRT Wildlife Sanctuary, Biligirirangaswamy Temple, and Dodda Sampige Mara. Whether you’re traveling solo, with family, or friends, BR Hills caters to all types of travelers.
One unique feature that sets this place apart is the forest shops, where you can find delightful souvenirs, including tribal artifacts and handicrafts. BR Hills serves as a wildlife corridor connecting the Eastern Ghats to the Western Ghats. With rivers Cauvery and Kapila flowing through the hills, visitors have a plethora of options to explore, such as rafting, angling, fishing, and coracle boat riding. The best time to visit is between October and May, and popular activities include trekking, jeep and elephant safaris, and visiting the BRT Wildlife Sanctuary and Big Champak Tree.
2: Coorg, Madikeri
Coorg, locally known as Kodagu, is a well-known hill station in Karnataka, often referred to as “The Scotland of India” due to its climate’s resemblance to that of the European country. Originally an administrative state near Mysore, Coorg has transformed into a top hill station in Karnataka, attracting tourists from across the globe.
The monsoon season, occurring between June and September, showcases Coorg’s beauty at its finest, with the heaviest rainfall in June drawing a large number of visitors. Kodagu’s landscape is adorned with sprawling tea and coffee plantations on one side and dense forests on the other. This breathtaking destination offers a wide range of activities, ensuring that you’ll never run out of things to do, whether you’re staying for a day, a week, or a month.
Adventure and nature enthusiasts will find a haven in Coorg, as it offers numerous thrilling activities, such as paragliding, white-water river rafting, kayaking, rappelling, canoeing, and waterfall rappelling. Additionally, Coorg boasts endless opportunities for trekking and camping. While the peak season can be quite crowded, making hotel bookings and flights a challenge, it’s well worth the effort to plan and reserve your visit in advance. Despite its commercialization, Coorg remains a top choice for tourists and travelers seeking the best hill stations in Karnataka.
Chikmagalur, a haven for coffee lovers, is a picturesque hill station nestled at the foot of the majestic Mullayangiri Ranges. Surrounded by lush tea and coffee plantations, breathtaking waterfalls, and beautiful parks, Chikmagalur is an idyllic destination for adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts alike.
Be sure to book your accommodations well in advance, as this hill station attracts a steady stream of visitors throughout the year. Some popular places to visit in Chikmagalur include Hebbe Falls, Kallathigiri Falls, Hanumana Gundi Falls, Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary, Mahatma Gandhi Park, Coffee Museum, Hirekolale Lake, and Kodandarama Temple.
Activities you can enjoy during your stay range from strolling through tea and coffee plantations to trekking up to the highest point of Mullayanagiri Peak. You can also admire the scenic views at Kyatanamakki and pay your respects at Amruteshwara and Vidyashankara temples. The best time to visit Chikmagalur is between September and March.
4: Kemmanagundi (KR Hills)
Kemmanagundi, a beautiful and serene hill station situated on the Baba Budan range, is known for its healing waters that are believed to cure various ailments. Referred to as Chandra Drona Parvatha in the Puranas, this captivating destination offers visitors an opportunity to unwind and reconnect with nature.
Some must-visit attractions include Hebbe Falls, Raj Bhavan, Z Point, Rock Garden, Kalhattagiri Falls, Baba Budan Hill, and Bhadra Tiger Reserve. With an ideal trip duration of 1-2 days and the best time to visit being between November and May, Kemmanagundi is a perfect escape for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts alike.
Popular for its lush gardens, trekking trails, waterfalls, and temples, Kemmanagundi is a top choice for tourists seeking solace in nature. Located 185 km from Mangalore, this hill station is a favorite among budget-conscious backpackers and youngsters. While visiting Kemmanagundi, be sure to explore Hebbe Falls, Mullayanagiri Peak, Z Point, Shiva Temple, Kalhatti Falls, Rock Garden, Rajendra Hill, and Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary.
Agumbe, a hill station nestled in the Shimoga district of Karnataka, is frequently called the “Cherrapunji of the South” due to its high rainfall levels. Ideal for those who appreciate the beauty of forests, this lush destination is best visited between November and February.
Attractions include Gopala Krishna Temple, Sunset Point, and Jogigundi Falls, among others. As a hidden gem, Agumbe offers visitors a less crowded experience compared to other Karnataka hill stations.
Known for its vibrant biodiversity, Agumbe is home to numerous waterfalls, sparkling streams, and rare species of medicinal plants. Situated at an altitude of 2100ft in Shimoga, this UNESCO World Heritage site is also the base station for various trekking adventures.
Popular places to visit in Agumbe include Barkana Falls, Jogigundi Falls, Kunchikal Falls, Sunset View Point, Rainforest Research Station, and Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary.
6: Kodachadri (Shimoga)
Kodachadri, a hill station situated in the Western Ghats of Karnataka, stands out due to its status as a natural heritage site declared by the Karnataka government. As the 10th highest peak in the state, it offers a wide range of trekking opportunities through dense forests and to various temples, such as Mookambika Temple and Shankaracharya Temple.
One of the most scenic hill stations in Karnataka, Kodachadri’s summit offers breathtaking views that shouldn’t be missed. Visitors can also take a thrilling jeep ride to explore the area. Located in the Shimoga district, Kodachadri is a paradise for adventure enthusiasts, boasting beautiful waterfalls, sparkling rivers, and incredible trekking trails. At an altitude of 4406 feet, this serene hill station is an ideal destination to appreciate nature’s splendor.
Some of the popular places to visit here include Sri Mookambika Temple, Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary, Chithramoola Cave, Kodachadri Nature Camp, Belkal Theertha Falls, Nagara Fort, and Sharavati Valley Wildlife Sanctuary.
7: Nandi Hills
Nandi Hills, a renowned hill station in Karnataka, is known for its breathtaking views of mist-covered hillocks and spectacular sunrises. Located just 60 kilometers from Bangalore, it serves as a popular weekend or one-day getaway for city dwellers.
Nandi Hills is an ideal destination for trekkers and adventure enthusiasts, as well as those seeking a serene atmosphere for reflection. The place derives its name from the Nandi Temple and a statue of the Bull Lord Nandi, Lord Shiva’s most ardent devotee, located at the entrance of the hills.
What sets Nandi Hills apart from other hill stations in Karnataka is the variety of adventure activities available, including paragliding. The tourist department employs experienced trainers to teach visitors how to paraglide, and after a training session, participants can soar above the skies at 5000 feet, taking in a bird’s eye view of the stunning hillocks.
So now you have a whole list. Let us know where you are going to head first to take a serence break.