Hill Stations in Karnataka

15 Enchanting Hill Stations in Karnataka

India as a whole has many beautiful spots to explore, but Karnataka is one of the few states that offers something for every kind of traveler. One state, many worlds is a fitting description of Karnataka. Being India’s eighth-largest state, it is home to imposing structures, quiet shrines, gushing cascades, and serene hill stations. The state provides hikers, trekkers, and families with a relaxing vacation and a delightful experience.

Along with its animal sanctuaries, beaches, temples, and other landmarks, Karnataka is known for its hill stations which are popular with tourists of all kinds. There are many stunning locations, a comfortable climate throughout, and several impressive waterfalls in the state’s eccentric, lovely, and scenic hill stations. A wide variety of locations can be ideal for your photographic sessions in almost all of Karnataka’s hill stations.

1. Chikmagalur

Chikmagalur Tourist Destination to Visit in Karnataka, India
Chikmagalur Hill Station in Karnataka, India (courtesy: mayankagarwal)

Chikmagalur is one of the most stunning hill towns in Karnataka. Many people visit its coffee estates because it is the town where India’s first coffee plantations were established. There are many prominent tourist places to visit in Chikmagalur. When you arrive at this pristine hill station, you won’t find a single space without the aroma of coffee or tea.

Popularly referred to as “coffee land” in Karnataka, Chikmagalur is a refreshing spot for a family vacation. Lakes and cascading waterfalls may be found all across Chikmagalur. It is renowned for its adventure sports and nature sanctuaries. According to folklore, there is a story behind the name of this hill station. Chikmagalur was given away as dowry to the daughter of the Sakrepatna Chief.

An excellent location for adventure lovers and athletes, the hill station offers several thrilling activities such as riding, hiking, or trekking. With the most luxurious resorts and luscious green hills, you can enjoy the most restorative vacation ever. It is also located near the Mullayanagiri Hills, which provide the ideal setting for a rejuvenating vacation at their enormous coffee plantations.

2. Nandi Hills

Nandi Hills, Karnataka, India Tourism
Nandi Hills, Karnataka, India Tourism (courtesy: sebinthomas)

Nandi Hills is among the most charming hill stations in Karnataka. It sits atop a historically significant fort and is well-liked by travelers. The hills were given the name Nandi in honor of a devoted devotee of Lord Shiva, likely because of how much they resemble a sleeping cow or Nandi.

Nandi Hills is a wonderful place to visit from Karnataka’s capital city, Bangalore. Nearby Nandi Hills offers you a tranquil retreat from the bustle of the city while quietly resting in the lap of nature. Your minds will be perfectly calmed by this lovely setting.

You may see the ancient hilltop fortification as well as enjoy the tranquility of Nandi Hills. Biking enthusiasts will love this location because it allows them to experience the thrill of riding on winding roads. When going to Nandi Hills, you can also embark on some hazardous excursions.

Beautiful temples, serene lakes, and stunning sunrises and sunsets will beckon you to stay longer than planned. The rare Nilgiri woodpigeon, Shaheen falcon, Uropeltidae snakes, pill millipedes, and yellow-throated bulbul, a species native to the hills of peninsular India, can also be found in the forest.

3. BR Hills

The Biligiri Hills are sometimes referred to as the BR Hills. They are a haven for enthralling animals and offer a beautiful landscape. In terms of wildlife tourism in Karnataka, Biligiri Hills is the greatest location if you want to experience the natural world. 

Located between the Eastern Ghats and the Western Ghats, it is regarded as a wildlife corridor. Exotic wild species like leopards, elephants, tigers, sloth bears, wild boars, etc. would be a spectacular sight to watch among the rolling hills and mist. It is home to the Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple and BRT Wildlife Sanctuary and is also known as Billigiriranga Hills. 

For those who enjoy wildlife and photography, the hill station offers stunning scenery. The lush green hills and Cauvery River that runs through them also make it an ideal location for trekking, river rafting, and fishing. 

The Ranganatha Temple, where a standing figure of the god is worshiped, is located on the sanctuary’s north side. Dodda Sampige Mara and Stanley Reservoir are popular destinations for bird watching.

4. Kudremukh

Kudremukh, Karnataka, India Tourism
Kudremukh, Karnataka, India Tourism (courtesy: siddharthb)

Kudremukh hill station is known for its green valleys and spectacular mountain peaks. It is situated at an elevation of 6214 feet above sea level and is a true treat for nature lovers and adventurers. As the second-largest wildlife-protected area in the western ghats, it is a part of Kudremukh National Park.

Western Ghats’ trekking trails are beautiful in Kudremukh, and the peak’s panoramic vistas are captivating. Trekking through the Shola forest region, which has wildlife, streams, and waterfalls along the way, is one of the best experiences.

There are many places where you may take stunning photos with the serene beauty of nature as your backdrop. This area used to be rich in iron ore and was only known for mining, but today it is a beautiful tourist destination in Karnataka because of the flora and fauna. 

One can enjoy the scenery, the food, and the location since there are five holy ponds surrounding the hill station: Amba Teertha, Naga Teertha, Varaha Teertha, Rudra Teertha, and Vasishtha Teertha.

5. Coorg

Coorg - Karnataka, Hill Stations in South India
Coorg – Karnataka, Hill Stations in South India (courtesy: melvinaugustine)

Formerly known as Kodagu, Coorg is a famous hill city in Karnataka. The surrounding area is blessed with coffee plantations, spice plantations, and jungles filled with teak and sandalwood trees. This verdant gem is hidden in the Western Ghats and is among the most explored hill stations in Karnataka.

Popular for its lovely and lush meadows, it is often called the “Scotland of India.” It is also a hub for fragrant spice crops. Intrepid travelers enjoy hiking, river rafting on whitewater, fishing, and even watching birds.

In addition to these there are many tourist attractions to see in Coorg. It is home to the Namdroling Monastery a popular Buddhist monastery in India, Kodava Raja’s Tomb, Madikeri Fort, Abbey Falls, Pushpagiri, and Brahmagiri Peaks. Due to the River Kaveri’s nearby flow, the area has a tranquil and nourishing appearance.

Coorg’s beautiful year-round environment makes it the ideal place in India to cultivate coffee. Raja’s Seat, Abbey & Iruppu Falls, Nagarhole National Park, and other attractions make Coorg a fantastic vacation destination for people of all ages.

6. Devarayanadurga

Devarayanadurga is a rocky hill station that is 72 kilometers away from Bangalore. It is located near Tumkur and rises to a height of 3940 feet in the middle of a gorgeous neighborhood. 

The temples dedicated to Yoga Narasimha and Bhoga Narasimha are Devarayanadurga’s principal draws. While the Yoga Narasimha shrine is situated at the summit of the hill, the Bhoga Narasimha temple is situated at its foothills. Trekking is also a great activity here. The hilltop has a motorable road up to it. From the foothills of Bhoga Narasimha temple, many people climb the hill. 

To have a good perspective of the valley and its surroundings, you can climb further from the Yoga Narasimha temple to the top of the hill. The Namada Chilume natural spring in Devarayanadurga is well-known since it is thought to be the source of the Jayamangali River. 

There are two other springs, Ramatirtha and Dhanushtirtha. Nearby, a sizable cave contains statues of Rama, Sita, and Lakshmana. In this location, the month of March/April is when the Sri Bhoga Narasimha Swamy vehicle festival is conducted.

7. Sirsi

A lovely Karnataka hill town, Sirsi is tucked away in the middle of thick forests. It is the perfect weekend retreat from Bangalore. Your attention will be captured by Sirsi’s natural splendor, which includes gorgeous waterfalls, grassy hills, and dense tropical woods filled with a variety of wildlife. For religious travelers, the region is also home to many temples.

It is the main commercial center and a business hub in the Malnad region and is among the top tourist destinations in Karnataka, located about 99 kilometers from Shimoga, 102 km from Hubli, and 395 km from Bangalore.

Located at 2000 feet above sea level, Sirsi hills is home to a few of the most well-known attractions that include Muregar Falls, Shivaganga Falls, Burude Falls, Unchalli Falls, Vibhuti Falls, Marikamba Temple, Sri Mahaganapathi Temple, and Gudavi Bird Sanctuary.

You can organize a picnic by the waterfalls, hike to the verdant hills, visit the wildlife refuge to see various plant and animal species, and take natural photographs.

8. Agumbe

Agumbe, Karnataka, South India
Agumbe, Karnataka, South India (courtesy: arunprakash)

Agumbe is a tranquil UNESCO World Heritage Site that is tucked away in Karnataka’s western coastal region. The hill station of Agumbe is well known for its exquisite beauty and undulating vegetation, which makes it the ideal getaway for mind-calming activities.

Agumbe, a scenic hill town in Karnataka’s Shimoga district, is sometimes referred to as the “Cherrapunji of the South” because of its consistent rainfall. Trekkers and outdoor enthusiasts are drawn to the picturesque surroundings of the waterfalls and mountains of the Western Ghats

Instead, the lush rainforest attracts zoologists and nature lovers from all over the world with its unique flora and fauna. It is home to plenty of therapeutic herbs. Due to the attractive mountain slopes, several trekking trails can be found in the region.

9. Jogimatti

In the Chitradurga district, Jogimatti is a quaint hill station in South India, in the state of Karnataka. It is a forest reserve as well. The British constructed a century-old hilltop home to host visitors and close by stands a 155-step temple dedicated to the local saint after whom the hill station was named. 

Along with a variety of wildlife and vegetation species, Jogimatti is home to some beautiful waterfalls that are surrounded by lush vegetation and tranquil natural noises. Additionally, there is a natural cave created by waterfalls that cascade through the rocks. 

The main draw of this place is the revered cave, which houses a Shiva Linga as well as statues of Veerabhadra and Basavanna. You can take a boat out on the lakes, and explore the ancient ruins and caverns. Nature lovers can look for wildlife and birds in the forest reserve.

10. Kemmanagundi

Kemmangundi is another pristine hill station in Karnataka. It is located in the Chikmagalur district and is a paradise for those who love the outdoors. You can get away from the hustle and bustle of the city to reconnect with nature in this stunning hill station. It is also known as the “Ooty of Karnataka.”

Kemmanagundi, like many of the hill stations in Karnataka, derives its various peaks and hills from the Western Ghats. It is therefore ideal for outdoor activities like hiking and trekking. The astonishing beauty of the hill station may also be captured by nature photographers. Some unexplored views may also be found in the verdant landscape with its thick vegetation, cascading waterfalls, and mountain streams.

Hebbe Falls, considered to be one of the world’s most magnificent natural sights and a potential remedy for skin conditions, is a must-see location. The Kalhatti falls are another magnificent waterfall in the area, and they stand out since they are home to a Vijayanagara temple. 

The Mullayanagiri peak, Z Point, and the Rose and Rock Garden, which is home to a variety of flower species, are additional highlights. Trekking and hiking are two adventure sports that are popular there. To complete your journey, you can also explore the Bhada Wildlife Sanctuary’s extensive collection of flora and fauna.

11. Madikeri

Coorg / Madikeri, Karnataka, India Tourism
Madikeri, Karnataka, India Tourism (courtesy: imemycam)

Madikeri is a charming hill station in Karnataka. Tucked away in the Western Ghats, it is popular with adventure seekers, history fans, and environment lovers. The best destination for a restorative and soothing experience, it helps you connect with mother nature. You can unwind amidst the steep peaks and gushing waterfalls. 

The 17th-century Madikeri Fort, which has a palace and a museum inside, is the main attraction. Major sightseeing spots include the Omkareshwara temple and St. Mark’s Church. The unique temple is renowned for its Gothic and Islamic architectural style and fish-filled pond. Another attraction is the Raja’s Seat, which has artificial fountains and floral gardens. It is a great place to go if you want to spend a relaxing weekend surrounded by nature. 

The hill town provides magnificent treks to Pushpagiri, Kote Betta, Brahmagiri, and Nishani Motte for nature lovers and intrepid travelers. One must obtain permission from the forest department in advance of starting a trek since the mountain ranges are governed by the Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary.

12. Kundadri Hill

The Kundadri Hills, which are 70 kilometers from the city of Udupi, are covered in thick forests. They are the ideal refuge for unwinding. A serene haven for nature lovers, it is located in Karnataka’s Shimoga district. 

Home to numerous lakes and cascades, it is a wonderful hill station in Karnataka. You can plan a vacation to Kundadri Hill if you wish to escape the heat and stress of the cities. The magnificence of the enormous rock formations will captivate you. 

Kundadri features temples, waterfalls, a wildlife safari, and other attractions all rolled into one. It has a hill of the same name and boasts pleasant weather and attractive surroundings. Trekking excursions are available nearby, and wildlife camps like the Sakrebailu Elephant Camp are accessible. 

The Parshwanath Chaityalaya Jain temple is a well-known monument in this area. A fascinating truth about this location is that Acharya Kundakunda, a well-known Jain monk from the fourth century sought refuge in these hills. It is the reason Kundadri received its name.

13. Yana

Yana, Karnataka, South India
Yana, Karnataka, South India (courtesy: subhashchandrashekar)

Yana is a little village in the province of Kumta that is surrounded by trees. Yana is an unmissable hill station in Karnataka which is 60 kilometers from the Karwar Port. It will astound you with two enormous crystalline karst rock outcrops. 

With its lush plains and striking rock formations, this alluring hill station of Karnataka will enchant you. Nature lovers can explore several nearby caves while rowing a boat in the Vishnu Theertha Lake. 

Yana has various attractions for those who enjoy exploring new areas and experiencing new things. Bhairaveshwara and Jaganmohini Shikharas are the perfect locations for you to explore.

One of the best activities in Yana is hiking in Bhairaveshwara and Mohini hills. A Shiva temple is located at the base of Bhairaveshwara hill. You can offer prayers and seek blessings at the temple. The breathtaking Vibhooti waterfalls in Yana are a must-see for nature enthusiasts and photographers. 

14. Dandeli

Dandeli, Karnataka, South India
Dandeli, Karnataka, South India (courtesy: amruthranjan)

Dandeli is a romantic hill station in Karnataka. It is around 472 meters above sea level and is covered with an abundance of beautiful green vegetation. Since Dandeli is situated along the banks of the Kali River, even its environment is distinctive. 

Dandeli is the place to be whether you want to satisfy your hunger for adventure or escape the hustle and bustle of the city. There are many attractions to discover in this breathtaking hill station, from tranquil parks and fascinating fauna to scenic hiking trails and historic temples. Photographers and fans of water sports can also enjoy their time in Dandeli.

You should not miss the exciting activities offered by Dandeli like waterfall excursions, safaris through forests to see wildlife, and hiking on lush green pathways. Being a well-developed hill town in Karnataka, Dandeli offers best-in-class accommodation. It is not difficult to locate luxurious resorts and lodging there.

The mesmerizing views from Jenukallu Gudda Sunset Point and Sykes Point are bound to stay etched in your memory. River rafting, kayaking, nature walks, rock climbing, jungle safari, and trekking at Kulgi Nature Camp are among the best things you can do to enjoy your trip. 

15. Gangamoola

Gangamoola is surrounded by lush greenery and dense forests. It is the perfect place for anyone wishing to relax in the great outdoors. This hill station in Karnataka has beautiful scenery and several tourist attractions, as well as a misty environment. 

It is situated along the Gangamoola-Aroli-Gangrikal range of the Ghats and is also known as Varaha Parvata.  The Hindu god Vishnu’s avatar Varaha is depicted inside a cave in the hillside town. Three rivers—the Tunga, Bhadra, and Netravati—have their beginnings in the heavily forested hill station, which is located along the border of the Kudremukh National Park.

It has some religious significance as a result, with the Bhagavathi temple serving as the main attraction. Some of the most well-known sightseeing spots in Gangamoola include the Hanumana Gundi Falls, Sri Annapoorneshwari Temple, Sirimane Waterfalls, Gomateshwara Statue, Chaturmukha Basadi, Shree Venkataramana Temple, and Ambaa Teertha.

You may hike through Kudremukh National Park, trek to Kurinjal Peak and Narasimha Parvatha, enjoy nature walks, go on a jeep safari, and witness nature up-close at Bhagavathi Nature Camp in Gangamoola.

Karnataka’s hill stations offer a captivating blend of natural beauty, serene landscapes, and rich cultural heritage. From the lush greenery of Coorg to the misty heights of Chikmagalur, each destination provides a unique experience for travelers seeking tranquility, adventure, or a glimpse into the traditional ways of life.

These hill stations are a testament to Karnataka’s diverse and enchanting charm. As a perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life, these hilltop havens promise a refreshing and memorable journey for every visitor.