Hill stations in Kerala - a holiday up in the Nilgiri hills |
Kerala is a land of diverse natural beauty. Lovely backwaters, golden sandy beaches to picturesque hills, God's Own Country has it all. While the famed backwaters of Kerala and the ayurveda-based health resorts attract the most attention from international tourists, the hill stations here are also ideal destinations for short vacations. When you visit these hill stations, you will most likely be staying in the midst of expansive plantations of coffee, tea, spices and rubber.
Here is a quick guide to the popular hill stations in Kerala, with some additional information on how to get there and where to stay.
Munnar, located at a distance of 55km from Idukki town, is placed at about 1600m above sea level. An extremely popular summer hill resort of the British during colonial days, Munnar still continues to hold pride of place among the hill stations in Kerala.
Blessed with excellent weather with pleasant temperatures ideally suited for the outdoors, Munnar is an excellent holiday destination. The lush greenery of the hills and the tea plantations and the bright sunny days make it a perfect getaway, with numerous options to indulge in activities like trekking or simply enjoying long romantic walks.
Munnar is also known for the Neelakurinji flower which blooms only once in twelve years; like the annual cherry blossom season in Japan, tourists to Munnar long to be there to see the Neelakurunji in full bloom.
Devikulam is another lovely hill station just 7km from Munnar which is home to a large variety of flora and fauna. The Sita Devi lake here offers just the ambience you look forward to for spending a great day outdoors. You could also try a hand at fishing and speed boating at this lake. Beautiful elephants roam around freely in the jungles surrounding the lake, and you can often spot them from up-close.
In the vicinity is Chithirapuram, a picturesque small town located at a distance of 10km from Munnar and known for its lovely tea plantations and the Pallyvasal Hydel power project.
While there are several decent budget hotels & guest rooms in Munnar, there are a few established hotels & resorts from well-known hotel chains. These hotels and resorts, situated in picturesque locations, truly indulge the heart and soul. Some of the popular ones that you may want to consider on your trip to Munnar are:
- Hotel Club Mahindra Lakeview Resort: This 5-star resort with 93 rooms and state- of-the-art facilities is an excellent way to enjoy a holiday, whether with family or on your honeymoon. Experience traditional Kerala hospitality at its best.
- Best Western Fort Hotel: This 4-star resort with 26 beautiful rooms overlooks the lovely tea estates of Munnar. Forget your routine stresses as you relax in the beauty and charms of Munnar.
Tea Country Resort: The Tea Country resort offers 43 beautiful rooms and a well-equipped ayurveda centre that is well equipped and has professionally trained masseurs and therapists to let you unwind and relax completely with nature by your side. Para gliding facilities are also available here on request.
Idukki district in Kerala is a high range area, blessed with abundant natural beauty. The famous river Pamba / Pampa [a holy river for devotees of Swami Ayyappa] originates here. Besides Pampa, Idukki is also home to three other rivers: Periyar, Thodupuzhar and Thalayar. Idukki offers several opportunities for wildlife safaris, treks and even wonderful "spice tours" that are a treat to the senses. Close to Idukki lies Thodupuzha, known for its large rubber plantations.
Ponmudi (meaning "golden crown"), the gorgeous hill station about 2 hours from the state capital of Thiruvananthapuram, is completely different world away from the busy life at the capital. Ponmudi is the land of tropical forests and lovely tea gardens. Enjoy well-organized tours Thiruvananthapuram to Ponmudi by the Department of Tourism, Kerala.
Nelliyampathy, located on the way from Thrissur to Palakkad, is another fabulous hill station located at a height of 467m to approximately 1572m above sea level. If you think the journey is as much as the destination, then this climb up the hills, with its scary hair-pin bends and breathtaking scenery, certainly lives up to that.
We hope you enjoy your trip to the hill stations of Kerala!
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