4 EXQUISITE BUT LESS POPULAR HILL STATIONS IN TAMIL NADU

4 EXQUISITE BUT LESS POPULAR HILL STATIONS IN TAMIL NADU

When we plan a trip to Tamil Nadu preferably a hill station,the first place that comes to our mind is Ooty and Kodaikanal.In the past decade Coonoor and Kotagiri have also joined the list.This might be because we were told about these places by our friends and family or the tour packages in different travel sites include these places.
 
On the contrary,there are many places which gives us the serenity and picturesque just as these famous tourist places but the only difference is that they are less popular.I have listed below a few of such places which can indeed become your favourite places when visited once.

1. YELAGIRI

1. YELAGIRI
District: Tirupathur district of Tamil Nadu.
 
Elevation:1111m above the sea level.

Days required to cover: 2 to 3 days

How to reach:

By Train:The nearest railway station being Jolarpet junction a traveller can reach Yelagiri by train from Bengaluru.From the Jolarpet railway station one can take taxi to Yelagiri as it is only 20km away.
 
By Air: The Kempegowda international airport in Bengaluru is the nearest airport to Yelagiri.
 
By road :You can reach Yelagiri from Chennai,Coimbatore or Bengaluru by state-run buses.
 
Ideal time to visit: November to February
 
Hotels to stay:A number of camping options ,homestay options as well as cottages as cheap as 1000 rs  are available in Yelagiri.You can book your stay through any travel sites to avail discounts.
 
Places to visit: Punganoor lake,Nature park,Jalagamparai falls,telescopic observatory tower,adventure camp,Ropes and Knots,Swamimalai hills. 

There are a number of tourist places in Yelagiri.

There are a number of tourist places in Yelagiri.
The Punganoor lake and park is a serene place of visit for all ages of people.A boat ride at the lake is very refreshing makes our mind calm.
 
Adjacent to the lake is a park called Nature park.This park has an artificial waterfalls,an aquarium and a children's area which is enough to entertain the kids coming with their parents.
 
14 kms away from Tirupathur is a waterfalls called Jalagamparai waterfalls.This is at the other side of Yelagiri and often tourist prefer walking about 5kms to reach this falls.The best months to visit Yelagiri is from November to February when there is abundant flow of water in the waterfalls.
 
If you are a trekking person then you have the trekking activity in the Swamimalai hills from where the scenic view of the entire hill station can be watched.
 
The adventure camp in Yelagiri is started by the Tamil Nadu government to offer a number of adventurous activities such as paragliding,trekking,mountain climbing and hiking to attract the tourists.
 
Similarly the Ropes and Knots Adventure valley in the Mangalam village offers a lot of outdoor and adventurous activities for both adults and children like zipline,target shooting,archery,Ariel rope walking ,etc.This makes Yelagiri a complete tour package for a family as well as honeymoon couples.
 
There is a telescopic observatory tower in Kavalur near Yelagiri that has the Asia's largest telescope through which one can enjoy the view of the sceneries.
 
The other places of attraction are Government silk farm,museum,Nilavoor lake,Fundera bird park and the Amirthi waterfalls.
 
One should also not miss the Summer festival that is conducted by the Tamil Nadu government in Yelagiri in the month of May.Stalls of various department such as horticulture ,agriculture,etc are being displayed and also flower show and dog show are conducted.A number of cultural programs are also conducted in the parks of Yelagiri.

2. YERCAUD

2. YERCAUD
Another less explored yet an enchanting hill station in Tamil Nadu is the Yercaud .It is found on the Sheveroy hills.
 
Yecaurd is also known as the
Jewel of the south.It was named Yercaud by the locals because it was a lake(yeri ) surrounded by forest(kaadu ) .Hence the name Yercaud or Lake forest.
It undoubtedly has a number of breath-taking tourist spots.
 
District:Salem district of Tamil Nadu
 
Elevation:1623m above sea level.

Days required to cover: 2 to 3 days
 
How to reach:
 
By air: The nearest domestic airport is the Salem airport and the nearest International Airport is the Trichy airport.Yercaud is 30kms from Salem.
 
By Train:The nearest railway junction is the Salem railway junction from which one can reach Yercaud in a taxi or by bus.

By road :There a number of buses available to Yercaud from Chennai,Bangalore,Coimbatore and other nearby cities.
 
Ideal time to visit: October to April 
 
Hotels to stay:There are numerous resorts and cottages available in Yercaud ranging from 1000 rs to 5000rs.Some resorts also provide tenting and adventure camping packages which you can choose according to your interest and convenience.
 
Places to visit in Yercaud: Yercaud lake,Kiliyur falls,Bear's cave,Anna park,Rose garden,Botanical garden,Deer park,Lady's seat,Arthur seat,Pagoda viewpoint,Karadiyur viewpoint and Tipperary viewpoint
       
 
YERCAUD LAKE
This is a lake situated at the heart of the town and is surrounded by gardens and thick woods.Boating is available here.One can spend an hour enjoying its peaceful and lush green scenic view.
 
KILIYUR FALLS
This 300ft waterfalls is close to the Yercaud Lake and located in the Shevroy hills.
The water flow is plenty during monsoon so one can plan to visit Yercaud accordingly.A traveller should not only watch this waterfalls but also bathe in chill water to get an invigorating  experience.
 
BEAR'S CAVE
This ancient cave is situated near the Norton's bungalow in a coffee estate.Visiting the caves require a prior permission as it is a private property.These caves are 7ft below the ground and were once the house of bears.They are also believed to connect the underground cave to the Servorayan temple.
 
PARKS
There are a number of parks in Yercaud namely The Anna park,botanical gardens,rose garden and orchidarium which has a wide species of plants and trees.The deer park is a treat to the animal lovers as it has deers,Guinea pigs,rabbits and pigeons.It also has a children's area which is loved by kids.
 
VIEW POINT
There are a number of view points like the Karadiyur view point ,the lady's seat,the Tipperary view point and the Pagoda view point which offers a astounding  view of the mettur dam and the valleys of Salem while the Arthur seat offers the stunning Ariel view of the Yercaud lake,rose garden and the Shevaroy peak.

3. VALPARAI

3. VALPARAI
Valparai is a hill station on the Annamalai hills. One can get the spectacular view of the coffee and tea plantations while travelling to Valparai
 
District: Coimbatore district of Tamil Nadu
 
Elevation: 2287m above the sea level.
 
Days required to cover: 2 to 3 days
 
How to reach:

By air: The nearest airport is the Coimbatore airport which can be reached by other cities like Chennai,Bangalore,Coimbatore etc.,

By train:The nearest railway station: Pollachi railway station.Valparai is 64kms from Pollachi so one can take a taxi or bus to Valparai from there.
 
By Road:Valparai is connected to Coimbatore,Pollachi,Chennai,Kerala,etc.
 
Ideal time to visit:October to November and March to May.
 
Hotels to stay:There are a number of hotels,cottages,
homestays and resorts starting from 1500rs in Valparai.Apart from these there are also budget hotels starting  as low as rs 650 that can be booked through travel sites.
 
Places to visit in Valparai: Solaiyar dam,Aliyar dam,Loam's viewpoint, Nallamudi viewpoint,Indragandhi Wildlife Sanctuary,Chinna Kallar waterfalls,Koolangal river.

The main tourist attractions in Valparai are as follows

The travel between Pollachi and Valparai itself is a treat to the eyes.One cannot resist stopping by the tea plantations to take photos and capture the greenery.

DAMS
The Solaiyar dam is found 20kms from Valparai on the Chalakkudi river.It is a part of the hydroelectric power project of Tamil Nadu.Tourists visiting Valparai often visit this dam.
The next dam is the Aliyar Dam which is found on the way to Valparai from Pollachi.The view of the Annamalai hills and the sunset at 6pm are a bliss to watch.Boating is also available here.

VIEWPOINT
The Nallamudi viewpoint in the Nallamudi estate gives a panaromic view of the mountains ,valleys and  waterfalls.It is a visual treat to the travellers.
The Loam's viewpoint is found at the 9th hairpin bend between Pollachi and Valparai.The view of the mountains,the gentle breeze that blow on the face and the cool climate is enough to  energise a tired traveller.

MONKEY FALLS
This is a natural waterfalls found between the Pollachi -Valparai road.A guided trekking to this falls is also available on a prior request to the Forest department a day before.Both adults and children can enjoy bathing in this waterfalls.
 
INDRAGANDHI WILDLIFE SANCTUARY AND NATIONAL PARK
This sanctuary is a home to many endangered species of elephants,tigers and leopards.It also has about 250 species of birds.The park has a stream flowing through it.
 
TUNNEL RIVER OR KOOLANGAL RIVER
This river is located 3kms from Valparai.Amidst the tea plantations,this river is a shallow clear water  which is one of the favourite tourist spots for the children.As the name suggests it is filled with koolangal or  small brown and white stones.Setting foot on this chill water rejuvenates one's mind and body.
 
CHINNA KALLAR WATERFALLS
 One who visits Valparai should not miss the awesome experience at this waterfalls.This waterfalls is found 14 kms from Valparai bus station in the chinna Kallar village.It is a remote place and after a walk of about 10 mins through a narrow pathway you can reach the falls.One can relax by taking bath in this falls.This is the place that receives the third highest rainfall in India.

4. KOLLI HILLS OR KOLLI MALAI

4. KOLLI HILLS OR KOLLI MALAI
District :Namakkal district of Tamil Nadu.
 
Elevation:1300m above the sea level.
 
Days required to cover: 2 to 3 days

How to reach:
 
By train :The nearest railway station is the Salem railway station from where you can reach the Kolli hills by bus or taxi.
 
By road:It is connected to many cities like Salem,Coimbatore and Chennai and we can travel by the state-run buses to reach here.
 
By air: The nearest airport is the Trichy domestic airport which can be reached by tourists from Madurai,Chennai,Bangalore,etc from where the Kolli hills can be reached by bus or cab.

Ideal time to visit:March to June.
 
Hotels to stay:There are many luxury hotels and resorts a few kilometers away from Kolli hills starting at rs 1500.You can stay in the nearby towns and make a visit to the Kolli hills.
 
Places to visit: Agaya Gangai waterfalls,Masila waterfalls,Seekuparai and Selur Nadu viewpoint,Arapaleeswarar temple,Ettukai Amman temple,Boat house and Botanical garden.
 
There are some notable tourist spots that you should visit in the Kolli hills.
 
WATERFALLS
The Agaya Gangai waterfalls flows from a height of 300 feet from the Aiyaru river.This waterfalls is amidst a jungle of thick forest and you can imagine the nature filled picturesque.There are a number of Siddhar caves near the waterfalls which you can explore.
The Masila falls is smaller compared to Agaya Gangai falls.It is also amidst a thick forest.It is 12kms from Kolli hills.Trekking is available where you can trek to the top of the waterfalls and visit the Masi Periyaswamy temple.This is a falls suitable for a bath for adults as well as children.
 
VIEWPOINT
The Seekuparai and the Selur Nadu are the two viewpoints in the Kolli hills developed by the government to boost tourism.You can enjoy a view of the valley surrounded by mountains and a thick forest from these two viewpoints.
 
TEMPLES
The Arapaleeswarar temple of lord Shiva is an important place to visit in the Kolli hills.It was build by King Valvil Ori and it has many Tamil inscriptions from the chola period.
 
The Ettukai Amman or the Kolli Paavai temple is another significant temple as the name Kolli malai is named after the Goddess Kolli paavai.
 
Apart from these attractions,The Kolli hills also has a boathouse where you can enjoy boating in the lake and there is a botanical garden that houses a rose garden,a herbal park and a children's park.This park is ideal for the family tourists.

A walk amidst the mist in a tea estate,the cool breeze that brush your hair,the smell of unpolluted fresh air,the scenic view of trees mountains and valleys,the chill climate that makes you shiver and a hot cup of coffee in a nearby shop is a heavenly feeling that you should definitely experience.
So next time you plan a trip or a vacation ,make sure you include one of these unexplored treasures of Tamil Nadu for an incredible nature filled journey.

Author: Aruna Sukumar

Bio: Aruna Sukumar is an engineering graduate who is an experienced soft skills trainer at Kgisl and content writer intern at Dhanda digital marketers.She is a passionate writer and has written many novels and short stories in English and Tamil on a writing platform called wattpad.She is proficient in content writing ,Technical writing,creative writing,copywriting,fictional and non-fictional story writing and also in writing essays,blogs and articles.One of her books is published in the Amazon kindle and is available in the Amazon store. Presently,She is working as a content creator intern at Tripclap.com.
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