Finding yourself in a quaint hill station with nature all around can be an incredibly rejuvenating experience. Karnataka has some of the best hill stations in the country with picturesque landscapes, rolling hills and immense tranquillity. In Karnataka’s hill stations you will find wildlife, hills, coffee and tea plantations and an abundance of activities to indulge in. A large portion of the Western Ghats (Sahyadri mountain range) can be found in Karnataka and several hill stations offer a piece of this natural beauty to witness. Hiking and trekking experiences are also a part of many of these hill stations in Karnataka. Hill stations are always the perfect place to understand how important it is to preserve nature and respect it. They are also a place to get respite from the heat. We’ve found some of the best hill stations in Karnataka for a perfect weekend getaway.
Here Are Some Gorgeous Hill Stations In Karnataka Where You Can Connect With Nature
1. Coorg – Where Lush Green Slopes Await You
Lush green slopes as far as the eye can see is what awaits you in Coorg. A small scenic hill station, Coorg is known for its excellent weather and is the perfect destination for a short getaway with your loved ones. ‘The Scotland Of India’, Coorg is one of the largest producers of coffee in India and has sprawling coffee plantations for you to explore. There are lots of things to do in this hill station: you can visit the Dubare Elephant camp, take in the sights at Madikeri Fort, or go on an exciting wildlife safari. The famous Namdroling Tibetan settlement is cosily nestled on the hills of Coorg, another must-visit spot. It’s also known for its brilliant coffee and typical Coorgi cuisine.
Best time to visit: Between December and February
How to reach: Coorg is well connected with the cities like Mysore (118 km), Bangalore (255 km) and Mangalore (139 km) through taxis and state buses.
Famous attractions: Raja’s Seat, Madikeri Fort, Omkareshwara Temple
Read More: Places to visit in Coorg: What to see and do
2. Chikmagalur – Breathtaking Views All-Around
At the foot of the Mullayanagiri Range lies Chikmagalur, a hill station with breathtaking views. Get on a bicycle and explore its winding roads, camp under a starlit night sky, or simply relax with a warm cup of coffee gazing at the endless green all around you. It’s one of the most famous hill stations in Karnataka, and you can reach it on any state-run or private bus from major cities like Mangalore, Hubli, Bangalore, and Hassan. Chikmagalur comprises the taluks of Chikmagalur, Koppa, Mudigere, Sringeri, Tarikere, Kadur and Narasimharajapura. Known for its coffee plantations, visiting this hill station will give you access to a variety of exotic types of coffee. The local varieties found in the coffee plantations here include Panduranga, Arabica, Vanilla and Mysore coffee.
Best time to visit: Between September and May.
How to reach: Chikmagalur is well-connected to cities like Bangalore, Mangalore, Hubli and Hassan via state-run buses and private luxury buses.
Famous Attractions: Coffee Musuem, Mullayanagiri Peak, Hebbe Waterfalls
Read More: 10 offbeat things to do in Chikmagalur
3. Agumbe – The Cherrapunji Of The South
Famous for its perennial rainfall, Agumbe is situated in the Shimoga district of Karnataka. The scenic views around the Western Ghat mountains and the dazzling waterfalls are prime tourist attractions in this hill station. This hill station is a haven for trekkers and anyone who loves the outdoors. There are several treks that let you explore the terrain all around. The rainforest in Agumbe is home to a variety of flora and fauna, beckoning wildlife enthusiasts.
Agumbe is also home to the Agumbe Rainforest Research Station (ARRS), whose long term mission is to study and conserve rainforests through applied ecological research, outreach programs and partnerships. The institution makes sure it works closely with scientists, students and the local community towards effective research and conservation of the rainforest. It’s an excellent opportunity for visitors to Agumbe to understand the beautiful environment they’re in and learn how to ensure they preserve it and don’t harm the wildlife.
Best time to visit: Between November and January.
How to reach: The Mangalore airport is the nearest to Agumbe. Many buses are available from Bengaluru and other places to Agumbe. Shimoga and Udupi are the nearest railway stations.
Famous Attractions: Sunset viewpoint, Jogi Gundi falls
4. Kemmanagundi: A Student’s Getaway
Around 185 km from Mangalore lies Kemmanagundi, a hill station famous for backpackers and students looking to travel on a budget. Kemmanagundi falls under the Chikmagalur district and is a great place to visit if you’re looking to beat the heat and unwind amid scenic vistas. Like many of the hill stations in Karnataka, Kemmanagundi also gets its many peaks and hills from the Western Ghats. It is therefore ideal for trekking, hiking and related natural activities.
Best time to visit: Between September and February.
How to reach: The nearest airport is in Mangalore which is 150km away.
Famous attractions: Shanti Falls, Kalhatti Falls
Also Read: The best places from trekking in Chikmagalur
5. Anthargange – ‘Ganges From The Deep’
Anthargange is in the Kolar district of Karnataka, only about 70 km from Bengaluru. The mountains in this hill station are at an altitude of 1,712 metres above sea level. Small caves, rocky boulders and dense plantations make the town a perfect getaway for trekkers and cave exploration enthusiasts. Its name, which translates to ‘Ganges from the deep’, refers to the perennial spring that flows through the rocks from the middle of the mountains.
Best time to visit: Between October and March when the monsoon ends, and a slight chill starts to settle in.
How to reach: It is a 70km drive from Bangalore
Famous attractions: Caves where you can trek and go rock climbing
6. Sakleshpur – Lose Yourself In Sprawling Plantations
Sakleshpur is among the smaller and lesser known hill stations in Karnataka that is famous for its tea, coffee and spice plantations. There are two major tourist attractions in Sakleshpur—the Manjarabad Fort and the 600-year old Sakleshwara temple. Aside from these, the Bisle View Point is a beautiful spot that offers stunning views of the hills all around. You can see as far as the Pushpagiri, Dodda Betta and Kumara Parvatha Hills. A favourite among locals, Sakleshpur is rapidly developing its tourism to other regions to establish itself as one of the best hill stations in Karnataka. Sakleshpur is known to be the home for one of the Shivlingas in the country and has a wide variety of flora and fauna.
Best time to visit: During the dry months from October to March.
How to reach: There are multiple direct buses from Bangalore to Sakleshpur
Famous attractions: Manjarabad Fort, Sakleshpur Lake Park
Read More: Top 12 places to visit in Sakleshpur
7. Kodachadri – An Unmissable Natural Heritage Site
A natural heritage site, Kodachadri is a far cry from the hustle and bustle of a big city. This hill station is peaceful and surrounded by dense forests, waterfalls and the lush Western Ghats. Trekking to Kodachadri peak is a highlight activity if you’re visiting. The ethereal sunsets at this peak are unmissable! The Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary is another wonderful tourist attraction. Other popular sites include the Sarvajna Peeth temple, Arasinagundi falls, Belakallu Theertha waterfalls, and the 18th-century Nagara Fort. This is when the hill station has perfect weather. Kodachadri receives an annual rainfall of 500 cm to 750 cm. It is home to several endangered species of flora and fauna including Malabar Langur, Malabar Pied Hornbill, Indian Tiger, Hyena, Rock Python, and others.
Best time to visit: Between September and January.
How to reach: Shimoga and Kundapur are the nearest towns to reach Kodachadri.
Famous attractions: Nagara Fort, Chitramoola, Trekking
8. Nandi Hills – A Peaceful Escape
A quaint little town only 60km away from Bangalore, Nandi Hills, is one of the most popular weekend getaways for the people of Bangalore. It’s stunning views and lush greenery make it an ideal place to visit when anyone needs a break from the city. There’s also a historical fortress that has temples, monuments and shrines for history enthusiasts to visit. Nandi Hills was once the summer retreat for Tipu Sultan and you will find many traces of legacy around the area.
Best time to visit: Throughout the year
How to reach: Private cars and taxis will take you to Nandi Hills
Famous attractions: Tipu’s Drop, Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple, Amrita Sarovar
Read More: A complete guide to visiting Nandi Hills
9. BR Hills – For Wildlife Enthusiasts
With exotic flora and fauna all around, BR Hills is a hill range only about 175 km away from Bangalore. Also known as Billigiriranga Hills, it is home to the Billigiri Rangaaswamy Temple and BRT Wildlife sanctuary. The sanctuary is a haven for wildlife lovers and photographers. The terrain around BR Hills makes it ideal for activities like trekking, river rafting and fishing.
Best time to visit: The best time to visit BR Hills is from October to March
How to reach: Private cars and taxis will take you BR Hills as it is only accessible by road.
Famous attractions: BRT Wildlife Sanctuary, Billigiri Rangaaswamy Temple
10. Gangamoola – Go Trekking To Unwind
Gangamoola is a hill in the district of Chikmagalur that lies within the Kudremukh National Park. River Nethravathi, Tunga and Bhadra originate from here. Around the area, you will see waterfalls, streams, ruins and a few cave temples. There’s plenty of dense vegetation and lush plantations all around Gangamoola making it perfect for treks.
Best time to visit: In winter from November to February
How to reach: The closest airport to Gangamoola would be Mangalore Airport at about 160 kilometres. You can also drive down to the destination from Bangalore.
Famous attractions: Temple of Goddess Bhagavathi and a cave with a 6 feet tall image of Varaha.
11. Kundadri Hill – Experience Dense Forests
Kundadri is a monolithic rock that sits 3000 feet above mean sea level. The 360-degree view from its peak is what attracts most tourists to it. It’s a wonderful place to relax with your friends and family. You can go trekking around the area and visit wildlife camps like the Sakrebailu Elephant Camp.
Best Time To Visit: November to February
How To Reach: It is 60 kilometers from the city of Udupi and makes for a great road trip
Famous attractions: Jog Falls, Mattur Lake, Sakrebailu Elephant Camp, Tiger and Lion Safari, Dabbe Falls
These Hill Stations Are Simply Sublime
If you’re looking to de-stress and take some time off to be by yourself, exploring the hill stations in Karnataka is the way to do it. There are plenty of places for you to explore and experience nature in its untainted form, away from the chaos that accompanies living in a city. What makes a hill station so refreshing is the fact that it gives everyone so much time to reflect amidst nature, and understand organically how important sustainability is. This process is incredibly healing, given how fast-paced most of our lives are. Hill stations allow us the means to disconnect and heal. It isn’t just a place to admire the mountains, but one where you can take the time to introspect and learn to see life differently.
Mullayanagiri in Chikmagalur is the highest peak in Karnataka, India.
Chamrajnagar located in the vicinity of Mysore is the coldest place in Karnataka which witnesses a temperature of 10.1 degrees.
All the hill stations in Karnataka offer scenic views of sweeping landscapes and are gorgeous destinations to visit.
Belgaum is the coolest city in Karnataka.
Each of these quaint hill stations have their own beauty and make for perfect weekend getaways from Bangalore.