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iXiGOers Jul 09 2013

Which are the best hill stations in Karnataka?

Vaishali Singh Jul 09 2013
3 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

Nestled in Malnad region are some of the most spectacular hill stations of Karnataka that offer breathtakingly beautiful vistas of nature’s rich diversity in terms of valleys, forests, rivers, waterfalls and streams interspersed with thickly-carpeted slopes of coffee plantations and spices. Ditch all urban trappings and go armed with nothing but keen senses and your camera.

Chikmagalur

A beautiful town in Karnataka’s hilly region, Chikmagalur is all about coffee plantations and beautifully-forested areas of the Baba Budan range. Don’t miss the famous temple where two religions co-exist peacefully and in perfect harmony.

Photo of Ayyanakere Lake


Start early for the Mullayanagiri trek, the highest in Karnataka, whose tip is misty and foggy even in summer and provides magnificent views of the Baba Budan range. See the beautiful stone temple of Sringeri, pack in some adrenaline-kicking activities like river-crossing and bouldering, take a jeep safari into the forests of Bhadra and visit the Kallathagiri and Hebbe waterfalls. Don’t forget to pack in long, early morning plantation walks that always leave you refreshed.


Kemmagundi


Kemmangundi was the summer retreat of the Mysore Maharajas since the early 20th century and is actually called the Krishna Rajendra hill station, named after King Krishna Rajendra Wodeyar IV, though it’s seldom called by that name. Rising some 4,075 ft, the peak not only offers scenic views across hills and valleys, but is a favourite with advenuture seekers.



Many trekking trails lead off into the hills with varying grades of difficulty. Don’t miss the iconic Z point, the rock garden and the manicured lawns and pathways that are designed to keep visitors occupied for hours.


Kudremukh


Literally meaning ‘horse face,’ Kudremukh is so named because it looks like the head of a raring horse. At over 6,250 ft, this is the best place for trekkers and offers a 13-km hike up the face; at the peak trekkers are greeted by a small waterfall with ice-cold water.



Quite apart from the peak, visit the Kudremukh National Park, known for some of its rare species of flora and fauna including a massive number of wild orchids as well as the largest population of the highly- endangered lion-tailed macaque. Don’t miss the Lakya Dam and the sacred evergreen sholas of Gangamoola or Varaha Parvata, the hill that is the fountainhead of three rivers – Tunga, Bhadra and Netravathi. There are also more than a dozen trekking trails within the forest but they require permission. Also worth a visit are the Jamalabad Fort, a granite mansion named after Tipu Sultan’s mother, and the ancient shrines of Kalasa.


Agumbe


The highest peak in the Western Ghats, Agumbe is also known for recording the highest rainfall in southern India. A small village, Agumbe’s fame lies in offering the best sunset view across the Western Ghats; on clear days, the Arabian sea, about 48 km away, is clearly visible.



Also famous is the Agumbe Rainforest Research Station, set up by herpetologist and wildlife conservationist Romulus Whitaker for studies in rainforest ecology; more famous is the study of King Cobras and their habitat. Owing to its location, Agumbe is surrounded by a number of waterfalls – Barkana, Onake Abbi, Jogigundi and Koodlu Theertha. Each is different and is set against a spectacular background. Of these Jogigundi, located deep within greenery and approached through a scenic path, is also ideal for a dip though the water is utterly cold. Also worth a visit is the Jain temple atop Kundadri hill some distance away.


Getting back:

The nearest airport is at Mangalore (105 km) while the nearest railheads are at Udupi (55 km, it connects to the Konkan Rail) and Shimoga (70 km).

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