Tourism

Top 22 Hill Stations Near Chennai

Whether you want a break from your hectic work schedules and daily routine, some time to wind down and fuel up, or an escape from the scorching heat of the city, the hill stations near Chennai are your best bet.

As a coastal city located away from the Western and Eastern ghats, Chennai has no hill stations in its immediate proximity. The good news is that if you travel a bit, you will find several scenic destinations perched among hills – places where nature reveals its splendor and bounty.

Most of the hill stations near Chennai are in Tamil Nadu, while a few are in Karnataka, Kerala, and Andhra Pradesh. Horsley Hills (Andhra Pradesh), Coorg (Karnataka), and Thekkady (Kerala) are a few examples.

Read: Top 17 Hill Stations In Tamil Nadu For A Soothing Getaway

A Comprehensive List Of Hill Stations Near Chennai

  1. Javadi Hills (210 km)
  2. Yelagiri (220 km)
  3. Horsley Hills (260 km)
  4. Kalrayan Hills (290 km)
  5. Yercaud (350 km)
  6. Pachaimalai Hills (350 km)
  7. Kolli Hills (360 km)
  8. Sirumalai (465 km)
  9. Coonoor (520 km)
  10. Kodaikanal (530 km)
  11. Ooty (535 km)
  12. Kotagiri (540 km)
  13. Sakleshpur (550 km)
  14. Bellikkal (550 km)
  15. Meghamalai (555 km)
  16. Masinagudi (565 km)
  17. Valparai (570 km)
  18. Chikmagalur (575 km)
  19. Kolukkumalai (575 km)
  20. Thekkady (580 km)
  21. Nelliyampathy (585 km)
  22. Coorg (590 km)

Read: Chennai Metro Map, Timings, Routes, Fare, Stations, And Other Details

Best Hill Stations Near Chennai

Ready to explore the hill stations near Chennai? Read on. We give you a comprehensive list of the most scenic getaways from the city, along with other useful information such as key attractions, activities, how to reach, etc.

Special Note: The distances mentioned in the post are approximate driving distances by road and might vary depending on the route and transportation method you choose.

Read: Chennai Corporation Complaint Numbers

1. Javadi Hills (210 km)

Javadi Hills
Javadi Hills. Karthik Easvur, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Located a short trip away from the city, Javadi Hills is the nearest hill station to Chennai. Nestled in the Eastern Ghats, this lesser-explored hill range span across the districts of Vellore and Tiruvannamalai.

Also known in other names such as Jawadhi Hills and Jawadhu Hills, this scenic destination is located close to another famous hill station near Chennai, namely Yelagiri Hills (approx. 45 km).

Javadi Hills is best known for housing one of the few astronomical observatories in India, namely Vainu Bappu Observatory. Are you looking for some time in the company of nature? You can explore the waterfalls, lakes, and other attractions in and around the region.

  • Location: Vellore and Tiruvannamalai Districts, Tamil Nadu
  • Railway stations near Javadi Hills: Vaniyambadi (30 km) and Jolarpettai Junction (40 km)
  • Key attractions: Kavalur Observatory (Vainu Bappu Observatory), Komutteri Lake, Beemanmadavu Waterfall, etc.
  • Top activities: Photography, sightseeing, and trekking

Read: 12 Hill Stations In Karnataka For A Scenic Vacation

2. Yelagiri Hills (220 km)

Yelagiri Hills
Yelagiri Hills. Image Source SingaravelanG

Yelagiri Hills is one of the most-visited hill stations near Chennai, especially for travelers looking for off-beat holiday destinations. This small hill station in the Tirupattur district is part of the Eastern Ghats and a short distance away from Bangalore (160 km).

The hilly region of Yelagiri stands enveloped by verdant valleys and dotted with orchards. It also has many places of interest, ranging from lakes and waterfalls to gardens and temples. Opportunities for trekking, paragliding, and other adventure activities make Yelagiri a preferred destination for adventure seekers.

  • Location: Tirupattur District, Tamil Nadu
  • Railway stations near Yelagiri Hills: Jolarpettai Junction Railway Station (20 km)
  • Key attractions: Punganoor Lake and Nature Park, Herbal Garden, SRL Rose Garden, Government Silk Farm, Nilavoor Lake, Swamimalai Hills, Velavan Temple/ Murugan Temple, etc.
  • Top activities: Paragliding, boating, trekking, rock climbing, local sightseeing, and nature walks

Read: Best Hill Stations In South India To Visit In 2021

3. Horsley Hills (260 km)

Horsley Hills
Horsley Hills. Image Source Rajaraman Sundaram

Nicknamed as the Ooty of Andhra Pradesh, Horsley Hills is among the most-visited hill stations near Chennai. The place, which is in the Chittoor District of Andhra Pradesh, once enjoyed the patronage of colonial officials such as W.D. Horsley, the British collector after whom it is named.

Horsley Hills is undoubtedly an ideal destination for laid-back holidays, sightseeing, and adventure activities. Rishi Valley School, one of the most famous boarding schools in the country, is located close to Horsley Hills.

  • Location: Chittoor District, Andhra Pradesh
  • Railway stations near Horsley Hills: Madnapalle Railway Station (25 km)
  • Key attractions: Horsley Hills Zoo, Whisper Winds View Point, Gali Bandalu, Gangotri Lake, Kalyani – The Eucalyptus Tree, Sri Chennakesava Temple, etc.
  • Top activities: Trekking, night camping, hiking, sightseeing, and adventure sports

4. Kalrayan Hills (290 km)

Kalrayan Hills
Thamizhpparithi Maari, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

One of the lesser-explored and lesser-known hill stations near Chennai, Kalrayan Hills rests on the Eastern Ghats. The hill range, which is in the district of Kallakurichi, is located a short trip away from Salem (approx. 70 km).

The forest that surrounds the region has two waterfalls – Periyar and Megam – running through it. Home to several lesser-explored trekking trails, Kalrayan Hills also serves as a favorite spot for trekkers.

Yercaud and Kolli Hills, two of the most-visited hill stations near Chennai, are located within 100 km of Kalrayan Hills. The region is best explored during the months after the monsoon when the greenery and waterfalls are fully alive.

  • Location: Kallakurichi District, Tamil Nadu
  • Railway stations near Kalrayan Hills: Salem Junction (90 km)
  • Key attractions: Periyar Falls, Megam Falls, Gomukhi Dam, Puzhuthikuttai Dam, etc.
  • Top activities: Trekking

5. Yercaud (350 km)

Yercaud
Top 22 Hill Stations Near Chennai 23

Yercaud is one of the most-visited hill stations near Chennai, and it is easy to see why. Compared to many other popular hill stations in southern India, it is a budget-friendly destination ideal for all kinds of travelers. Located in the Salem district of Tamil Nadu, Yercaud is in the Shevaroy Hill Ranges and forms part of the Eastern Ghats.

Did you know that Yercaud was developed into a hill station in the 19th century during the British reign? No wonder, the place is dotted with many heritage buildings that feature the quintessential colonial style of architecture.

In addition to coffee and spice plantations, there are waterfalls, viewpoints, lakes, and other places where you can spend some time in the lap of nature. Another key attraction here is the 32-km Loop Road. The zigzagging road that starts from the Yercaud Lake will take you through a breathtakingly beautiful route, flanked by plantations and scenic villages.

  • Location: Salem District, Tamil Nadu
  • Railway stations near Yercaud: Salem Junction (30 km)
  • Key attractions: Yercaud Lake or Emerald Lake, Anna Park, Pagoda Point, Deer Park, Lady’s Seat, Kiliyur Waterfall, Bear’s Cave, Shevaroy Temple, Kottachedu Teak Forest, Tipperary View Point, Rose Garden, Sri Raja Rajeshwari Temple, etc.
  • Top activities: Boating, trekking, heritage building tours, teak forest walks, plantation tours, camping, plantation homestays, driving through the 32-km Loop Road, and local sightseeing

6. Pachaimalai Hills (350 km)

Sirsi, Pachaimalai Hills
Top 22 Hill Stations Near Chennai 24

The very name Pachaimalai (meaning green hills in Tamil) says something about what you can expect here, right? Yes, greenery and more greenery. Nestled in the Eastern Ghats, this verdant hill range in the Tiruchirappalli district is surrounded by dry evergreen and dry deciduous forests.

Pachaimalai Hills is one of the main eco-tourism sites under the Forest Department of Tamil Nadu. Tree-top houses, dormitories, and other accommodation facilities are available for travelers. The authorities also conduct guided trekking tours through the forested region. To know more about the eco-tourism facilities at Pachaimalai Hills, click here.

Adding to the picturesque beauty of Pachaimalai Hills are the waterfalls and brooks that flow through these forests. There are also a good number of trekking trails passing through them. If you are a photography buff, nature lover, or trekker, Pachaimala is one of the best hill stations near Chennai you must visit.

  • Location: Tiruchirappalli/Trichy District, Tamil Nadu
  • Railway stations near Pachaimalai Hills: Tiruchirappalli Junction (95 km)
  • Key attractions: Koraiyaru Falls, Mangalam Falls, Mayil Uthu Falls, etc.
  • Top activities: Trekking

7. Kolli Hills (360 km)

Kolli Hills
Kurumban at Tamil Wikipedia, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Kolli Hills, also known as Kolli Malai, is one of the hill stations near Chennai where you can find nature in its glory. Tucked away amidst the Eastern Ghats, Kolli Hills in the Namakkal district of Tamil Nadu. You can easily access this hill station from Salem, which is just around 55 km away.

Home to the Arapaleeswarar Temple, a famous shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva, the place is also visited by devotees. There are also a few other places of interest in and around Kolli Hill, including viewpoints and lakes. While here, you can also go boating at the Vasalurpatty Boat House.

The road that leads to the top of the hill is another top attraction in Kolli Hills, especially for bikers. The winding road is a scenic one and has 70 continuous hairpin bends, promising you a thrilling uphill ride.

  • Location: Namakkal District, Tamil Nadu
  • Railway stations near Kolli Hills: Salem Junction (60 km)
  • Key attractions: Arapaleeswarar Temple, Agaya Gangai Waterfalls, Tampcol Medicinal Farm, Ettukai Amman Temple, Botanical Garden, Selur Viewpoint, Masilla Falls, etc.
  • Top activities: Boating, bike rides, temple tours, sightseeing, and trekking

8. Sirumalai (465 km)

Sirumalai
Harish Kumar Murugesan, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Perched at 5,200 feet above sea level, Sirumalai is a hilly region in the southernmost part of the Eastern Ghats. It falls within the Dindigul district of Tamil Nadu, covering over 200 square kilometers. The famous Sirumalai banana, one of the best plantain varieties of Tamil Nadu, is cultivated in this region. 

In addition to the tourist attractions, the Sirumalai region has a few religious places within its proximity. One such attraction is Agathya Puram, a sacred place that was an abode of monks in the ancient days. There’s a Shiva Temple at Agathya Puram, which can be accessed by an uphill climb of around 30 to 45 minutes.

The route from Dindigul town to Sirumalai is a scenic one with 18 hairpin bends. You can catch panoramic views of the town and the surrounding areas from each hairpin bend.

  • Location: Dindigul District, Tamil Nadu
  • Railway stations near Sirumalai: Dindigul Junction (35 km)
  • Key attractions: Siva Temple, Agastya Puram, Maavutharu Lake Dam, etc.
  • Top activities: Trekking and sightseeing

9. Coonoor (520 km)

Coonoor
Top 22 Hill Stations Near Chennai 25

For those who are looking for a memorable holiday experience complete with lots of sightseeing and pleasant weather, Coonoor is one of the best hill stations near Chennai.

Tucked away in the Blue Mountains or Nilgiri Hills, it is a short drive away from Ooty. More often than not, Coonoor, Ooty, Kotagiri, and Ketti Valley are visited together.

Compared to other popular hill stations, Coonoor might be a small town. However, what it lacks in size, it makes up for in scenic beauty. The famous Nilgiris Tea is produced in the tea estates in this region.

Besides its picturesque setting, Coonoor has a lot of tourist attractions like lakes, parks, and viewpoints in its proximity. The railway station at Coonoor is part of the Nilgiri Mountain Railway, so you can get on the heritage toy train and take a ride from here to Ooty.

  • Location: Nilgiris District, Tamil Nadu
  • Railway stations near Coonoor: Mettupalayam (35 km) and Coimbatore (70 km)
  • Key attractions: Sim’s Park, Lady Canning’s Seat, Highfield Tea Factory, Dolphin’s Nose Viewpoint, Law’s Falls, St. George’s Church, Droog Fort, Lamb’s Rock, Wellington Lake, etc.
  • Top activities: Nature walks, trekking, hiking, tea plantation tours, toy train rides, boating, photography, tea tasting, etc.

10. Kodaikanal (530 km)

Kodaikanal
Top 22 Hill Stations Near Chennai 26

Whether you are looking for a honeymoon destination, a location for family holidays, or a ‘cool’ place to escape the sweltering heat, Kodaikanal ticks all the boxes.

Perched at a whopping altitude of 7,000 feet, this popular hill station in the Dindigul district of Tamil Nadu has earned the moniker of ‘Princess of Hill Stations’, and rightly so.

Kodaikanal owes its popularity to several factors. For starters, it is encircled by forests and brims with natural beauty. For avid travelers, Kodaikanal presents a delightful range of sightseeing options.

With ample opportunities for trekking, camping, and other activities, it is one of the best hill stations near Chennai for nature lovers, trekkers, and adventure seekers. Photography buffs will also find several picture-perfect spots to capture the beauty of the region.

The location of Kodaikanal also plays to its advantage. Located in the Palani Hills of the Western Ghats, it gives you easy access to one of the most famous temples in South India, namely the Palani Murugan Temple (60 km).  

  • Location: Dindigul District, Tamil Nadu
  • Railway stations near Kodaikanal: Palani Railway Station (65 km) and Dindigul Junction (95 km)
  • Key attractions: Bryant Park, Kodaikanal Lake, Bear Shola Falls, Coakers Walk, Devil’s Kitchen, Kodaikanal Solar Observatory, Green Valley View, Thalaiyar Falls, Pillar Rocks, etc.
  • Top activities: Boating, photography, nature walks, camping, picnics, birdwatching, trekking, sightseeing, staycations, and birdwatching

11. Ooty (535 km)

Ooty
Top 22 Hill Stations Near Chennai 27

When you think of hill stations near Chennai, the first name that comes to your mind is probably Ooty, and why not. Situated in the Nilgiris where the Eastern and Western Ghats meet, it has everything to make brighten up your holidays – cool climate, tourist attractions, adventure activities, rich flora and fauna, and the list goes on.

What’s more, Ooty also has something no other hill stations near Chennai have – the Nilgiri Mountain Railway. A ride on the toy train enjoying the beautiful vistas of the hills and valleys is an experience you must not miss out on while in Ooty.

Likewise, while in Ooty, you can also plan a visit to other notable hill stations in the Nilgiri Mountains, such as Coonoor, Kotagiri, Ketti Valley, and Masinagudi, all located within a radius of 30 km.

  • Location: Nilgiris District, Tamil Nadu
  • Railway stations near Ooty: Mettupalayam Railway Station (50 km) and Coimbatore Junction (90 km)
  • Key attractions: Ooty Botanical Gardens, Ooty Lake, Government Rose Garden, Doddabetta Peak, Deer Park, Elk Hill Lord Murugan Temple, Emerald Lake, Tea Factory and Tea Museum, Avalanche Lake, St. Stephen’s Church, etc.
  • Top activities: Camping, plantation walks, picnics, toy train rides, sightseeing, photography, trekking through pine forests, and shopping for the famous Ooty chocolates, spices, and tea powder

12. Kotagiri (540 km)

Kotagiri
Manojtr5664, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Like Ooty and Coonoor, Kotagiri is also a hill station near Chennai in the verdant Nilgiri Hills. It is the third-largest hill station in the region and perched at a height of around 6,000 feet in the Western Ghats.

The whole region covered with tea plantations offers a pleasant sight in itself. There are also a few tourist attractions for travelers who want to get out and explore this tranquil hill station.

If you want some time away from the hustle and bustle of city life, you could opt for a staycation in one of the resorts in Kotagiri. However, if a sightseeing experience is what you are looking for, we suggest you combine Kotagiri with its more famous cousins, Ooty (30 km) and Coonoor (20 km).

  • Location: Nilgiris District, Tamil Nadu
  • Railway stations near Kotagiri: Mettupalayam (35 km) and Coimbatore (70 km)
  • Key attractions: Catherine Falls, John Sullivan Memorial, Kodanad Viewpoint, Longwood Shola, etc.
  • Top activities: Tours through tea plantations, photography, staycations, and trekking

13. Sakleshpur (550 km)

sakleshpur
View from Agani Peak, Sakleshpur. Image Source Shanmugamp7

Located in the Hassan district of Karnataka, Sakleshpur is a lesser-explored and small hill station dotted with areca, coffee, and spice plantations. The verdant hills surrounding the region are part of the Western Ghats.

The hill station is perhaps best known for the Green Route Trek, a scenic trekking trail along the railway track from Sakleshpur to Kukke Subramanya. The railway trek is now banned due to safety concerns. However, you can still take a train ride on this route, which has over 50 tunnels and 109 bridges.

Besides the scenic train ride, Sakleshpur holds many other attractions, including the 18th-century Manjarabad Fort built by Tipu Sultan. If you are looking for off-beat hill stations near Chennai, Sakleshpur is an ideal choice. While here, you can also consider covering Coorg, which is approx. 100 km away.

  • Location: Hassan District, Karnataka
  • Railway stations near Sakleshpur: Sakleshpur Railway Station (1 km)
  • Key attractions: Manjarabad Fort, Manjehalli Waterfalls, Murkannu Gudda and Hadlu Waterfalls, Sri Sakleshwara Swamy Temple, Agni Gudda Hill, Bisle View Point, Belur and Halebid Temples, etc.
  • Top activities: Trekking, local sightseeing, train ride in the Green Route, plantation tours/walks, camping, etc.

14. Bellikkal (550 km)

Nandi Hills
Top 22 Hill Stations Near Chennai 28

Away from the crowd and tourist activities, Bellikkal is an off-beat destination ideal for a laid-back holiday experience. This small hilly hamlet is in the Nilgiris, just a few minutes of drive away from Ooty (15 km) and Coonoor (35).

Situated at a height of 5,500 feet, it enjoys a pleasant climate much like the other hill stations in the Nilgiris. In addition to a decent range of attractions in its proximity, Bellikkal is rich in avifauna, making it a favorite with birdwatchers.

This less-crowded and secluded hill station near Chennai also serves as a good base for covering the tourist attractions in Ooty, Coonoor, and other hill stations in the Nilgiri district. 

  • Location: Nilgiris District, Tamil Nadu
  • Railway stations near Bellikkal: Mettupalayam (65 km) and Coimbatore (100 km)
  • Key attractions: Bellikkal Lake, Kalhatti Falls, Bison Valley Viewpoint, etc.
  • Top activities: Wildlife spotting, birdwatching, and laid-back holidays

15. Meghamalai (555 km)

Megamalai
Sivaraj.mathi, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Ever been to a place where the mountains are always roofed with white and fluffy clouds? You must visit Meghamalai or Megamalai, one of the hill stations near Chennai on the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border.

This small, secluded, and scenic destination in the district of Theni is perched high in the Western Ghats. Also known in other names such as Paccha Kumachi and High Wavy Mountains, Megamalai and its surrounding region are peppered with viewpoints, waterfalls, dams, tea plantations, cardamom estates, and other places of interest.

The region is also home to Meghamalai Wildlife Sanctuary, where you can find a good range of flora, fauna, and wildlife. Since Meghamalai is on the Kerala border, travelers often venture out to explore nearby tourist attractions in Kerala, such as Munnar, Thekkady, Vagamon, Devikulam, etc., all located within 150 km.

  • Location: Theni, Tamil Nadu
  • Railway stations near Meghamalai: Kodaikanal Road (105 km) and Madurai Junction (110 km)
  • Key attractions: Megamalai Wildlife Sanctuary, Chinna Suruli Falls, Vellimalai, Manalar Dam, Maharajamettu Viewpoint, Cumbum Valley, Murugan Temple, etc.
  • Top activities: Trekking, plantation tours, birdwatching, sightseeing, wildlife spotting, and photography

16. Masinagudi (565 km)

Masinagudi
Jaseem Hamza, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Another hill station in the Nilgiri Mountain Ranges, Masinagudi forms part of the Mudumalai National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary. It is located close to Bellikkal (20 km), Ooty (30 km) and Coonoor (50 km), and other tourist hotspots in the Nilgiris district. 

Masinagudi is best known as a destination for jungle stays and wildlife safaris. It also gives you easy access to Bandipur National Park, one of the most important tiger reserves and national parks in Karnataka. Theppakadu Elephant Camp is another attraction you must not miss out on while in Masinagudi.

  • Location: Nilgiris District, Tamil Nadu
  • Railway stations near Masinagudi: Mettupalayam (80 km), Mysore (100 km), and Coimbatore (115 km)
  • Key attractions: Theppakadu Elephant Camp, Mudumalai National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary, Bandipur National Park, Maravakandy Dam, Kalhatti Falls, Moyar River, etc.
  • Top activities: Jungle stays, trekking, elephant rides, jungle safaris, wildlife spotting, tent camping, and birdwatching

17. Valparai (570 km)

valparai
Raj21 G, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Located in the Coimbatore district of Tamil Nadu, Valparai is famous as one of the less-crowded and off-beat hill stations near Chennai. The region is part of the Anaimalai Hill Ranges in the Western Ghats and consists of large forested areas and expansive tea plantations.

The Valparai region consists of the famous Aanaimalai Tiger Reserve and is home to rich wildlife, including leopards and Nilgiri Tahr. The road trip to the hill station is an exciting experience in itself – the winding road from the foothills to the top has 40 hairpin bends.

While here, you can explore many attractions in and around the area, which include dams, waterfalls, and tea estates. Since the region is near the Tamil Nadu-Kerala border, travelers often take a road trip to Athirappilly Waterfalls via the picturesque Chalakudy-Valparai route.

  • Location: Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu
  • Railway stations near Valparai: Pollachi (65 km) and Coimbatore (105 km)
  • Key attractions: Sholayar Dam, Monkey Falls, Tea Estate Garden, Aaliyar Dam, Loam’s View Point, Nirar Dam, Grass Hills, Chinna Kallar Falls, Vellamalai Tunnel River, Aanaimalai Tiger Reserve, Nallamudi Poonjolai Viewpoint, etc.
  • Top activities: Trekking, birdwatching, sightseeing, picnics, bicycling, and jungle safaris at Anaimalai Tiger Reserve

18. Chikmagalur (575 km)

chikmagalur
Top 22 Hill Stations Near Chennai 29

Chikmagalur, also called Chikkamagaluru, is among the most delightful hill stations in Karnataka. Located in the district of Chikkamagaluru, around 245 km away from Bangalore, it is a popular destination for both adventure seekers and vacationers.

The most attractive aspect of Chikmagalur is its coffee plantations. History has it that India’s first coffee estate was established here in the Budan Giri ranges. The region also promises pleasant weather, making it one of the ideal hill stations near Chennai to beat the heat.

Chikmagalur offers a gamut of attractions and adventure activities such as the river camps at the Bhadra River, Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary, waterfalls, temples, and viewpoints. While here, you can also plan a trip to some of the minor hill stations in the district, such as Kemmangundi, Mullayanagiri, and Kudremukh.

As the attractions in Chikmagalur are spread across the district, you can use Chikmagalur town as a base to cover these places.

  • Location: Chikkamagaluru District, Karnataka
  • Railway stations near Chikmagalur: Kadur (40 km)
  • Key attractions: Bhadra Dam, Hebbe Falls, Coffee Museum, Z point, Baba Budangiri, Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary, Jhari Waterfalls, Kallathagiri Falls, Kudremukh National Park, Mullayanagiri, Sringeri Sharada Peetham, Kemmangundi, Ballalarayana Durga Fort, etc.
  • Top activities: River rafting, trekking, hiking, river camps, nature camps, plantation homestays, coffee plantation tours, jeep safaris, photography, birdwatching, and local sightseeing

19. Kolukkumalai (575 km)

Kolukkumalai
Arun Muralidhar, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Kolukkumalai might not count among the best or the most-visited hill stations near Chennai. However, it has earned its place in this list for a reason – it is home to the world’s highest tea plantations!

Located in the district of Theni, Kolukkumalai is a small village at an altitude of around 7,900 feet above sea level. It is a secluded region with rugged roads, so you will have to take a jeep ride from the foothills to reach the hilltop village.

Though Kolukkumalai doesn’t have many attractions or activities, its picturesque setting and expansive tea gardens offer a pleasant visual treat. You can combine Kolukkumalai with nearby attractions like Bodimettu (25 km), Munnar (50 km), Thekkady (100 km), and Megamalai (120 km).

  • Location: Theni District, Tamil Nadu
  • Railway stations near Kolukkumalai: Madurai Junction (140 km)
  • Key attractions: Kolukkumalai Tea Factory
  • Top activities: Jeep treks, Neelakurinji trek, watching the sunrise, photography, and tea factor tours

20. Thekkady (580 km)

Thekkady
Top 22 Hill Stations Near Chennai 30

Want to enjoy a slice of God’s Own Country? Pack your bags and head off to Thekkady, a must-visit hill station in Kerala. Located in the district of Idukki, it is tucked away in the Western Ghats and forms part of the Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary.

Thekkady, without any doubt, is among the best hill stations near Chennai for wildlife lovers. In addition to wildlife spotting, jungle stays, and jungle safaris, the place also has a gamut of attractions and activities, including bamboo rafting, lakes, dams, and plantations.

Due to its location near the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border, the hill region gives you access to many popular tourist spots in both these states. Peermade, Munnar, Vagamon, Devikulam, Gavi, Kolukkumalai, and Megamalai are all located within 100 km of Thekkady.

  • Location: Idukki District, Kerala
  • Railway stations near Kolukkumalai: Kottayam Railway Station (110 km) and Madurai Junction (150 km)
  • Key attractions: Periyar Lake, Periyar National Park, Periyar Tiger Trail, Elephant Junction, Pandikuzhi, Murikkady, Vandanmedu, Kadathanadan Kalari Center, Abraham’s Spice Garden, Mangla Devi Temple, Chellarkovil Viewpoint, Mullaperiyar Dam, etc.
  • Top activities: Bamboo rafting, jungle safaris, nature walks, elephant rides, spice plantation tours, boat cruises, tiger trails, hiking, trekking, sightseeing, jungle night patrolling, jungle resort stays, and spice plantation tours

21. Nelliyampathy (585 km)

Nelliyampathy
Nelliyampathy ©thecurrentindia.com

Nelliampathi or Nelliyampathy is an enchanting and lesser-explored hill station in the Palakkad district of Kerala. It is situated in the Western Ghats at an altitude of over 5,100 feet from sea level and offers commanding views of the surrounding regions.

The route to Nelliyampathy itself is a picturesque one with about 10 hairpin bends, not to mention the views awaiting you atop the hill. Located close to the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border, it is a preferred choice of travelers searching for hill stations near Chennai. Due to its high altitude, Nelliyampathy is also a favorite destination for trekkers.

Nelliyampathy is dotted with viewpoints and other attractions, making the trip worth your while. Pothundy Dam, one of the oldest earth dams in the country, is located on the way to the hill station. Malampuzha Dam (65 km) and Parambikulam Tiger Reserve (90 km) are other nearby attractions you can add to your itinerary.

  • Location: Palakkad District, Kerala
  • Railway stations near Nelliyampathy: Palakkad Junction (60 km) and Pollachi Junction (75 km)
  • Key attractions: Seetharkundu Viewpoint, Kesavanpara Viewpoint, Manpara Viewpoint, Palagapandi Estate, Padagiri, Karapara Waterfalls, Pothundi Reservoir, etc.  
  • Top activities: Trekking, sightseeing, and birdwatching

22. Coorg (590 km)

Coorg
Top 22 Hill Stations Near Chennai 31

Kodagu, popularly known as Coorg, is among the most rewarding hill stations near Chennai. Located in the Western Ghats, this hill station in Karnataka has the right mix of ingredients for a pleasant holiday – cool climate, a wide range of tourist attractions, rich wildlife, adventure activities, delicious food, and a lot more.

Coorg is also among the best destinations in southern India for a memorable homestay experience. There are many homestays and resorts deep inside the aromatic plantations of Coorg, where you can put your feet up and unwind.

If you wish to explore the region and indulge in a bit of sightseeing or adventure activities, you will be spoilt for choice. The region is peppered with historical attractions, waterfalls, temples, and other places of interest. What’s more, Coorg is also home to one of the largest Tibetan monasteries in the country.

The cuisine of Coorg is heavenly with rich flavors and colors. While here, you can also shop for local goodies like homemade wine, honey, spices, homemade chocolates, coffee, and more.

  • Location: Kodagu District, Karnataka
  • Railway stations near Coorg: Hassan (105 km), Kannur (110 km), and Thalassery (110 km)
  • Key attractions: Cauvery Nisargadhama, Abbey Falls, Namdroling Monastery, Dubare Elephant Camp, Madikeri Fort, Talakaveri Temple, Raja’s Tomb, Omkareshwara Temple, Raja’s Seat, etc.
  • Top activities: Trekking, whitewater rafting, plantation stays, hiking, rock climbing, plantation tours, safaris, shopping, staycations, sightseeing, and rappelling

These are only a few names in the long list of hill stations near Chennai. Papikondalu in Andhra Pradesh (600 km) and Munnar (605 km), Wayanad (610 km), and Devikulam (610 km) in Kerala are a few other notable destinations you could consider.

With so many hill stations near Chennai, a relaxing holiday or a quick getaway is never too far away.

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