5 Hill Stations In South India That You Can Travel To During Covid
The many months of being stuck at home must have left you yearning for a change of place. A destination high up in the hills, where your body and soul are rejuvenated by breathing in the cool air, strolling through the meadows, or furiously paddling through the rivers sounds like a good life. All of these, and many more, can be experienced in South India.
However, the Covid pandemic is still around, so traveling anywhere is quite risky. The best way to be safe is to stay at home! But if you’re taking all the necessary precautions, here are five hill stations to visit in South India during Covid.
The traveler who wants to reconnect with nature and at the same time stay away from people can make their way towards Kemmanagundi. It’s just about 2 hours away from the popular hill station of Chikmagalur, minus the vices of commercialization.
Kemmanagundi is located at an altitude of 1,434 meters above sea level, so you can be assured of pleasant weather throughout the year. But of course, it’s best visited in the winters. The hill station is resplendent with well-maintained gardens, soul-soothing waterfalls, and spectacular views of the Baba Budangiri Ranges.
Whether you’re a leisurely traveler or the adventurous at heart, Kemmanagundi has something for everyone visiting. A short walk to Z Point would bless you with a stunning view of the vistas that are sure to leave you mesmerized. Or if you literally want to chase waterfalls, the Shanti Falls and the Hebbe Falls are close by too. Getting there on foot would be a hike to remember.
If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, set out to climb the Mullayanagiri, which is the highest peak in Karnataka.
Nearest Airport: Mangalore Airport, Mangalore (about 244 km away)
Nearest Railway Station: Birur Junction (about 34 km away)
Road: Kemmanagundi can be reached via Chikmagalur or Birur, from where cabs and buses are available.
Ananthagiri Hills, Telangana
When one thinks of hill stations in South India, the state of Telangana is normally not what comes to mind. But there is one in the form of Ananthagiri Hills, which invites adventure seekers from all over.
Nestled along the Eastern Ghats, Ananthagiri Hills are among the most densely forested areas of Telangana. Interestingly, they’re known to have been inhabited by humans right from the ancient ages. The many caves, temples, and historic structures serve as a testament to this fact – the most prominent among them being the Anantha Padmanabhaswamy Temple.
What’s exciting about Ananthagiri Hills is the many opportunities for adventure activities it offers. The forests around Ananthagiri Hills have trekking trails that are perfect for both the novice and the professional. In addition to this, you can try your hand at rock climbing or go kayaking in the Kotepally Reservoir.
Ananthagiri Hills has no lack of resorts too! Depending on your budget, you can opt from affordable stays to luxury villas and have a relaxing holiday in the hills.
Nearest Airport: Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Hyderabad (about 81 km away)
Nearest Railway Station: Vikarabad Junction (about 6 km away)
Road: Ananthagiri Hills is connected to Vikarabad, which is connected to all major cities. You can get buses and cabs from Hyderabad to Vikarabad.
Horsley Hills, Andhra Pradesh
Located close to the Andhra Pradesh-Karnataka border and at an altitude of 1,290 meters is a scenic hill station called Horsley Hills. The mild all-year-round weather of Horsley Hills stands in stark contrast to the sweltering heat of Andhra Pradesh and thus makes for an attractive hill station to visit in South India during Covid.
These hills offer you ample chances to get rest and relaxation in the great outdoors, which is much sought after months of lockdown. The Wind Rocks are exactly what they’re named – you’ll be buffeted by the strong winds that blow here all day and also get a great view of the hills and valleys. This makes for a perfect romantic getaway.
The ones looking for a spiritual retreat can visit the Chennakesava or the Mallamma Temples, and the latter can be reached by setting on a short trek. But if you’re seeking thrills, Horsley Hills is also a spot for adventures – climb or go down a cliff by taking up rope climbing and rappelling, and test your body to the limit!
Nearest Airport: Kempegowda International Airport, Bangalore (about 133 km away)
Nearest Railway Station: Madanapalle Road (about 26 km away)
Road: Madanapelle, the nearest town, is connected to all the major cities of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, with buses and cabs available.
Kolli Hills, Tamil Nadu
The Kolli Hills, or Kolli Malai as it’s locally known, are located in central Tamil Nadu. It’s one of those hill stations which is known for the journey as much as the destination. The hills are about 1,300 meters high, and while you won’t experience biting cold winters in Kolli Hills, be assured that the weather here remains pleasant throughout the year.
The road to Kolli Hills definitely isn’t for the faint of heart: there are over 70 hairpin bends that would test a driver’s skills to the extreme. Not to dissuade you from visiting this hill station, but the Kolli Hill Road is infamously known as the ‘Mountain of Death’. Unless you’re an experienced driver, it’s best that you hire one when visiting Kolli Hills.
Along the way up, certain bends would offer you stunning views of the scenery, and there are many places of religious significance along the way. The most prominent among them is the Arapaleeswarar Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. If you’re physically fit, go down a thousand steps to visit the Aagaya Gangai Waterfalls. To get the best view, wind your way up towards the Selur Viewpoint.
Nearest Airport: Salem Airport, Salem (about 75 km away)
Nearest Railway Station: Namakkal (about 22 km away)
Road: Kolli Hills is connected to major cities including Namakkal, Salem, and Coimbatore. You’ll get cabs and buses with little trouble.
If you’re looking for a destination that has tea estates, lush green hills, and waterfalls that’s not in Assam or Darjeeling, Vagamon is the place to be. This area reminded the British so much of Scotland that they dubbed Vagamon the ‘Scotland of Asia’. Since this hill station has avoided the eyes of most tourists so far, Vagamon makes for a perfect socially distanced destination in South India.
The three hills that surround Vagamon – Thangal, Murugan, and Kurisumala – each represent the major faiths of India. It’s not just spirituality that you can experience here, those who are looking for a fun adventure won’t feel a lack of it either – thanks to the trekking trails along these hills. In addition to this, make sure that you also visit the Vagamon Meadows Lake. Here, you can set out on a relaxing boat ride in the tranquil waters.
An animal and bird lover would be thrilled to be in Vagamon, as the nearby Ulipooni Wildlife Sanctuary teems with wildlife. On the other hand, if you want to soar across the skies like a bird, the breezy hills of Vagamon make for an ideal location for paragliding.
Nearest Airport: Cochin International Airport, Kochi (about 103 km away)
Nearest Railway Station: Kuttikanam (about 22 km away)
Road: Vagamon can be easily reached via Kochi and you can also avail public transport from the nearby major cities.
We’re sure that you’ll have a great time while visiting these hill stations. But that doesn’t mean that you take the Covid pandemic lightly, irrespective of the relaxed interstate travel restrictions. Here are some tips that you must follow when you’re traveling:
Follow the social distancing norms always, wear a mask and wash your hands regularly.
Skip the trip if you’re feeling unwell, safety should be your top priority.
Those below 10 and above 65 years of age are more susceptible to falling sick. So it’s best that this demographic avoids travel until the pandemic is under control.
Book your stays in hotels/resorts that are prepared for Covid and follow all the protocols.
Avoid interacting with strangers. For transactions, opt for cashless methods as much as possible.
Travel in a small group, and preferably in your personal vehicle.
You need to keep yourself updated with the latest Covid travel rules of the state you’re visiting, and your home state too before setting out. This is because the rules keep changing dynamically.
Install the Aarogya Setu app on your phone, whether it’s mandatory or not.
If you develop symptoms during or after the trip, seek medical help immediately and inform your accommodation staff and travel buddies as well.
Which Is Best Hill Station In South India?
The term ‘best’ is quite subjective, but here are some of the most popular hill stations in South India:
Ooty, Tamil Nadu
Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu
Which Hill Is Situated In South India?
With the Western and Eastern Ghats winding through the land, there are many hills in South India. The highest point here is the Doddabetta Peak in the Nilgiris in Tamil Nadu. This mountain is close to Ooty and has a height of about 2,637 meters.
Is Coorg Better Than Ooty?
Coorg and Ooty both have their own unique charms. Ooty in comparison is a bit more commercialized, meaning it has more amenities but also a bit more crowded. On the other hand, places of interest in Coorg are a bit more spread out, so you’ll need a bit more time to explore the area to its fullest.
Which Is The Coldest Hill Station In India?
Dras in the Union Territory of Ladakh is the coldest hill station in India. This town is located at an altitude of over 3,300 meters with a freezing average temperature of -20°C during winters.
Is Coorg Is A Hill Station?
At an altitude of over 1,500 meters above sea level, Coorg is a well-known hill station in South India. It’s best known for its coffee plantations and sheer natural beauty.
Can Covid-19 Spread Through Food?
There’s no evidence that Covid-19 can spread through food or its packaging. But all the same, continue practicing good food hygiene to avoid any food-borne illnesses.
Can The Coronavirus Disease Be Transmitted In Hot Or Humid Climates?
The Covid virus has shown itself capable to be transmitted in all areas, irrespective of climate. That’s why you shouldn’t relax on preventive measures.
What Precautions Should Everyone Take In A Hotel During The Covid-19 Pandemic?
Opt For A Covid-ready Hotel: Most hotel websites now explain the processes in which they’re keeping their premises sanitized. Only opt for such hotels and ensure that the safety norms are adhered to.
Wash Your Hands: Irrespective of where you are, the mask and sanitizer rule applies. Use a sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content and wash your hands thoroughly.
Avoid Contact: As far as possible, opt for cashless transactions and avoid contact with common touchpoints like elevator buttons, doorknobs, faucets, etc. If you do, wash your hands before touching your face.
Dine In: Instead of eating at the hotel’s restaurant, opt to dine in as it reduces your exposure to other guests.
What Precautions Can I Take To Avoid Contracting Covid-19?
Four simple precautions can greatly help in reducing the risk of getting Covid-19:
Wear A Mask: Covid spreads when an infected person talks, coughs, or sneezes, releasing the virus particles in the air. Wearing a mask, especially the N95, can help in reducing the spread of the virus.
Wash Your Hands: Your hands touch a lot of surfaces, which may have the virus, and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth can lead you to get infected. To remedy that, wash your hands regularly with soap and water, or a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
Maintain Safe Distance: Keeping at least 6-feet distance from others means you’re not in close contact with someone who may be infected. Combine social distancing with a mask, and you’re even safer!
Get Vaccinated: Vaccination drives have begun. So make sure that you register yourself for the shot on the Aarogya Setu app/Cowin portal. Keep in mind that getting vaccinated doesn’t make you immune to the virus, it only makes you more resistant to it. So the other three precautions mentioned above still apply!
5 Hill Stations In South India That You Can Visit During CovidTraveling To Hill Stations In South India During Covid
Other Articles That May Interest You
5 Hill Stations Close To Mumbai That You Can Visit During Covid