Horsley Hills are a series of hills nestled in the state of Andhra Pradesh, about 9 kms from Madanapalle town in Chittoor district. The reddish terrain of the Deccan Plateau and the green-cover of the Nilgiris make Horsley Hills the ideal respite from the hustle and bustle of city-life. Moreover, you’ve got endless space to go mountain-biking, trekking, and even rock-climbing. Well, there’s a lot more for you to experience in this place that we’d describe as the highlight of a trip to Andhra. Keep on reading this Horsley Hills Travel Guide to know more!
Until about the mid 1850s, the name of this hill station was Yenugulla Mallamma Konda and the local legend says that it was named after an old, saintly woman. It is said that this woman, named Mallamma, lived on top of the hill and the elephants living in the forests around it fed her.
Legend has it the tribal residents of this hill believed her to be a goddess as she treated them with the herbs found on the hill. This gave rise to the legend of Goddess Mallamma who now resides in the temple on Horsley Hills! If you want to know more about this lady and the legend she left behind, definitely visit the temple.
However, the British collector of Kadapa at the time, W.D. Horsley, built a home at the hilltop in 1870. The motivation for undertaking such a project was to escape the summer heat of the plains. Once the house was built and the collector started living there, it became a local landmark called ‘Horsley Hills’ and that name stuck around.
After W.D. Horsley’s house was built, a few other houses joined it on top of the hills. The British residents of the area also planted trees like mahogany, silver oak, eucalyptus, and coffee. The beauty these trees added to the area is evident even today, especially with a varied mob of wild animals like bears, boars, monkeys, jungle fowls, and a lot more!
You’ll see a mix of cultures in this hill station as it is home to multiple communities. However, as a traveler, you’ll get by with Telugu or Tamil, and maybe a little bit of Hindi. So, you won’t have to worry about communicating with the locals.
There is no airport in or next to Horsley Hills. The closest one is in Bangalore and goes by Kempegowda International Airport. It is about 137 kms away from Horsley Hills and sees flights coming in from a lot of major destinations - domestic and international. Once you get to Bangalore, you can book yourself a cab or get on a bus to get to Horsley Konda, as it is fondly called.
While you can get a cab any time of the day, most private buses ply between the two locations during the night. So, you will find buses between 9:00pm and 10:30 pm. They take about six hours to complete the trip and take a couple of stops on the way.
The railway station closest to Horsley Hills is in Madanapalle. It is about 26 kms away and has trains coming from major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, and Hyderabad. You will easily find cabs once you get out of the railway station. However, if you’re backpacking, local buses are a great option to take you to Horsley Hills.
Horsley Hills has a great network of roads. It is very well-connected to the states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana by NH42 and NH340. You’ll find government-run as well as private buses coming in from all of these places. In fact, there are a few buses that will take you directly from Hyderabad, Tirupati, Chennai, and Bangalore to Horsley Hills.
While the bus network is strong, we suggest booking a cab for yourself or renting a car if you’re coming here. That will make a huge difference in the amount of comfort you’ll experience while traveling.
Also Read: Coonoor Travel Guide
Due to the terrain and the geographic location, Horsley Hills doesn’t see a lot of disparity in the temperatures in different seasons, making it a year-round vacation destination. However, you should experience the town at its coldest, which is a comfortable 10°C to 22°C. These temperatures are generally seen between late November and February.
The monsoon season in this area can also be described as pleasant. However, drying your clothes and other belongings will be a problem. If you don’t mind dealing with that, the period between June and September sounds great, too!
Horsley Hills is a small hill station with beautiful mountains surrounding it. However, there isn’t a lot of traveling to do inside the town itself. More often than not, you can get around on foot. That being said, you might have to call for a cab or get on a bus to go to Madanapalle, which is where you’ll have to go in order to shop for pretty much everything!
Whisper Wind Viewpoint is a beautiful spot on this hill that offers you sceneries of the lush mountains, hillocks, and valleys that are neighbors to Horsley Hills. The best part is, this spot is home to a lot of greenery itself, making it an ideal place for birdwatching. You might get a glimpse of birds like gray junglefowl, rufous treepie, red-vented bulbul, and brown-headed barbet.
Located about 92 kms away from Horsley Hills on the Kuppam Highway, Kaigai Falls is another unmissable tourist attraction in the Chittoor district. This waterfall has water falling off of a 40-foot rock all year long. However, monsoons amplify the beauty of this place by making this waterfall that much fiercer.
The water to Kaigai Falls comes from the Kaigai Stream that flows through Koundinya Wildlife Sanctuary. The rock formations and greenery that surround the waterfall make it ideal for the ones who want to relax in the lap of nature without a lot of people or noise.
Located about 300 m away from Horsley Hills Bus Stand, Gali Bandalu is one of the places that you cannot miss when you visit this hill station. Gali Bandalu, or Windy Rock, is a rocky slope that experiences gusts of wind all day long. In fact, this phenomenon is what gives the spot its name.
You can walk down the hill to see the valleys of the Horsley Hills with the winds to keep you company. Moreover, you have a small lake and tiny gardens once you climb down. The best part about this place is that the eastern and western ends give you amazing views of the sunrise and sunsets.
Also Read: Tourist-Worthy Places In Thrissur
Is Horsley Hills Worth Visiting?
Horsley Hills is one of the tourist destinations that gives you freedom. Freedom to explore, freedom to avoid people and noises, and the freedom to relax. While there isn’t a lot going on here, the few attractions like the Chennakesava Temple and the Gali Bandalu make it absolutely worth the visit.
What Is The Specialty Of Horsley Hills?
Horsley Hills is known for the exotic flora that grows here. When added with the beautiful terrain, the flora and fauna here become a specialty that won’t be found in a lot of places otherwise.
How Is The Road To Horsley Hills?
The road conditions in and around Horsley Hills are excellent. There are trees covering a significant portion of the road, there aren’t a lot of potholes, and the traffic is at a minimum.
What Is The Best Time To Visit Horsley Hills?
The best time to visit Horsley Hills is the winter season. The temperatures are comfortable and pretty much all the sightseeing spots are open to the public.
What Elevation Is Horsley Hills At?
Horsley Hills is situated at a height of 1,290 meters, or 4232 feet above sea level.
How Is The Road From Bangalore To Horsley Hills?
The roads between Bangalore and Horsley Hills are excellent. They are covered with trees on both sides and you’ll see hills at regular intervals as well.
Which Place Is Called ‘Ooty Of Andhra Pradesh’?
Horsley Hills, a quaint little hill station in Andhra Pradesh, is called the Ooty of Andhra Pradesh because of the beautiful green cover around it and the pleasant climate it experiences.
Where Is Gali Bandalu Located?
Gali Bandalu, or ‘Wind Rocks’, is located in the hill station of Horsley Hills.