Karnataka hill stations are largely located in the various ranges of the Western Ghat mountains. Each hill station is different from the other and provide great opportunities for the visitors to lose themselves in the serene lap of nature. There are forests and valleys, picturesque settings and tranquil mountain walks. Some of Karnataka's hill stations are very old and date back to the ancient times of Indian history. Some of them were favorite summer retreats for the Muslim and the British rulers, whereas some of them have been developed in the recent times. Together, they provide the perfect mountain experience to the visitors.
Most hill stations in Karnataka are located in and around the Baba-Budan range like Kermana Gundi. Chikmagalur is a popular hill town on the south of the magnificent Baba-Budan ranges. Kudremukh and Gangamoola are extremely popular hill stations in the Chikmagalur district. Hill stations close to the towns of Bangalore and Mysore include the Nandi Hills and the Bilirirangana Hills. The Coorg district in Karnataka is also famous for its hill stations. Madikeri is one of the most popular hill stations of Karnataka located in this region.
Nandi Hills is a hill station situated 60 kilometers north of Bangalore in the state of Karnataka. This summer resort, also called Nandidurga, served as one of the summer retreats of Tipu Sultan.
Nandi Hills had been frequented by the British who constructed bungalows and laid down gardens here.
Nowadays the place is very popular with Bangaloreans who consider it a perfect weekend refuge. The 1478 meters high Nandi Hills is the source of several rivers.
The jungles enclosing the hills are filled with wild animals. Near the Nandi Hills are several smaller hills which are accessible even on foot.
Kemmanagundi is situated in the Baba Budan Hills. It served in the past as the summer resort of the Maharaja of Mysore, Wodeyar monarch Krishnaraje Wodeyar IV after whom the hill station is also known as the KR Hills. The Royal Horticultural Society of Karnataka has its office here with exquisitely landscaped gardens and beautiful flowers.
Within walking distance of Kemmanagundi are the Hebbe Falls. This 168 meters high waterfall is interrupted midway by a rock shelf before it pours downhill. The latter is a pleasant picnic site. The Kalahatti Falls that cascade down 122 meters is another draw, about 10 kilometers from Kemmanagundi.
Kemmanagundi of Karnataka is 260 kilometers from Bangalore, 225 kilometers from Mangalore (the nearest airport), and 55 kilometers from Chikmagalur. Trains stop at Tarakere, the station closest to the place. State Transport buses carry passengers to Kemmanagundi from Bangalore but the most convenient way to get here is to drive.
Madikeri, the district headquarters of Kodagu is located 252 kilometers from Bangalore and 1525 meters above the sea level. Termed the Scotland of India, this town has several attractions. Undulating hills, verdant forests, endless expanses of tea and coffee plantations, uneven streets and awe-inspiring views convert Madikeri of Karnataka into a wonderful tourist destination.
Some charming places within close proximity of Madikeri in Karnataka which entice tourists are:
- Madikeri Fort: In the heart of Madikeri, this 19th century fort contains a temple, a chapel, the prison and a small museum. It also provides a vantage point for viewing the city.
- Raja's Seat: Legend has it that the kings of Kodagu whiled away their leisure hours here. Visitors turn up in large numbers to watch the sunset.
- Abbey Falls (8 kilometers away): These falls cascade down and form a little river. A wonderful place for picnic. Iruppu Falls is a breathtaking picnic spot on the route from Gonikoppal to Kutta.
- Bhagamandala (39 kilometers away): It is located at the junction of 3 rivers (the Cauvery, the Kanika and the Sujyothi). The temple here, constructed following Kerala style, has smaller shrines consecrated to different gods.
- Talacauvery (44 kilometers away): This is a holy site of pilgrimage among the Kodavasand, the source of the river Cauvery.
- Nisargadhama: Reputed for its calm, tranquil beauty, this place is a popular picnic spot frequented by innumerable tourists round the year.
- Harangi Dam: It is a delightful picnic spot 36 kilometers from Madikeri.
The Biligirirangana Hills at Karnataka, also termed the BR Hills, are situated at a distance of 120 and 247 kilometers from Mysore and Bangalore respectively.
This popular hill station is located at a pleasant position in between the Cauvery and the Tungabhadra rivers. September to May is the best time to visit this place.
Towering 5,091 feet above the sea level, the Biligirirangana Hills extend from north to south for about 16 kilometers. Encircled by deciduous vegetation, the forests are filled with a vast range of wildlife.
Kudremukh is situated about 95 kilometers south-west of Chikmaglur town. The name hints at the intriguing horse-faced shape of the peak. Located along the Arabian Sea, the broad hills are connected to each other by deep valleys and undulating precipices. Almost as good as virgin territory, Kudremukh is a rather quite and comparatively unfrequented hill station which preserves most of its pure and natural beauty.
The extensive expanses of dense and verdant forests of Kudremukh, interpenetrated with rivers, lush slopes, breathtaking waterfalls and exotic orchids offer an idyllic background for trekking.
Kudremukh of Karnataka boasts of a vast array of flora and fauna, most of it possibly unexplored. Standing tall at 1,894.3 meters above sea level, Kudremukh has considerable iron ore resources.
The Kudremukh Iron Ore Company arranges mining operations and transportation of the ore as slurry, via a pipeline to the port at Panamburclose to Mangalore. This has infused fresh life into the area and changed this secluded tract into a bustling modern township without removing its general beauty.
Noted for its natural beauty, Coorg is a delightful hill resort in Karnataka.
Studded with vast coffee plantations and sandal wood trees, Coorg offers an amazing treat to the visual and olfactory senses. Coorg is also known as Kodagu.
The history of Coorg is shrouded in obscurity. However, it is believed that the place was ruled by Lingayat and Kodavas. In 1785, Tipu Sultan controlled the area. Later Coorg came into the hands of the British.
Coorg of Karnataka comprises some picturesque villages which offer several excellent picnic sites. These include the magnificent Abbey Falls. Most of these are close to Madikeri, the district headquarter standing at about 5,000 feet above sea level. Tadevendamol, the highest peak in the region is ideal for trekking. The peak will give you a wonderful view of the Arabian Sea nearby. Nagarhole National Park is the perfect place for wildlife lovers.
Coorg in Karnataka also comprises a few charming temples. Located at the junction of the Cauvery and Sujyothi, the Bagamandala Temple is constructed in accordance with typical Kerala style. The Omkareshwara Temple, consecrated to lord Shiva is another notable religious site. The temple is almost 200 years old.
Agumbe is a well known hill station in Karnataka famed for its splendid sunsets, glistening streams and its pristine picturesqueness.
Located at a height of 826 meters in Shimoga district, Agumbe was the backdrop for the shooting of the film Malgudi Days, based on RK Narayan's novel. Agumbe and its surroundings are filled with thrilling and adventurous trekking routes. Densely forested paths lead from here to a jungle pool known as Emkal Kere, a small hill called Nishani Gudda and the Barkana Falls. Agumbe of Karnataka is also popularly nicknamed the Cherrapunji of South India.
Visitors may also drop by a locally popular 14th century temple with Hoysala-style sculptures consecrated to Lord Gopalakrishna. The sunset as seen from Agumbe is a marvelous sight and is a popular draw with most tourists, particularly between the months of November and January. A microwave tower serving as a major landmark of Agumbe, is to be found at this point.
A 17th century Jain temple is to be found atop the hill enveloped in a tranquility possible only in the mountains. Along with the temple are to be found two lotus pools. Kundadri at Karnataka has derived its name from the Jain monk, Kundakundacharya. The latter is believed to have undertaken severe penance here. The place is crowded by Jain devotees during Makar Sankranti.
Numerous rivers flowing at the base of the Kundadri hills which can be spotted from any vantage point at the mountain peak and the backwaters of Varahi Dam enhance the natural beauty.
Visitors to Kundadri of Karnataka can choose from a plethora of options that include trekking, observing birds and visiting the magnificent falls. Kundadri is accessible from Teerthahalli via Nalur or through Kammaradi-Begar-Hosagadde to ?Kundadri circle,' the starting point in ascending the hill. It is best to initiate the trip from Nalur due to the distance factor besides easy transport. The route from Kammaradi-Begar-Hosagadde will benefit those who start from Sringeri. Those who prefer hiking can follow the route from Teerthahalli via Kammaradi- Nadabur-Halakunda and undertake a walk of 6 kilometers from Kammaradi.
Chikmagalur is located in the south western area of Karnataka.
Situated deep in the Baba Budan hills, Chikmagalur is a quiet, tranquil town packed with scenic surprises, hills, valleys, streams and snow-white coffee blossoms. Located 251 kilometers from Bangalore, Chikmagalur appeals greatly to trekkers due to its steep mountain trails.
Last Updated on : 27 June 2013
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