Top Hill Stations in Kerala That You Must Visit
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One of the famous road trips, where people like to go on a long drive is from Kottayam to Vagamon. Vagamon is a hill station that is situated at a height of 1200 meters from sea level. Vagamon is also known as the Paradise of Kerala. The trip if taken in a rental car in Kottayam takes around 1.5 hours to reach. One of the places that you should initially visit while reaching Vagamon is the suicide point in the pine forests. If you are coming from Kottayam, then this location will one of the first spots that you can visit.
Another very popular location is the Punjar Palace. You will not be able to go inside this old palace as it is closed for visitors now. This palace is more than 500 years old and earlier it was one of the highly visited spots. Nowadays, most visitors to Vagamon recommend this palace only on the way back from Vagamon to Kottayam. In another half an hour distance from this Punajar Palace is the Maramala Waterfalls. You can also visit this place while returning from Vagamon as it is closer to Kottayam than to Vagamon.
If you travel a little more than 100 kms from the Kottayam Railway Station, then you will reach Thekkady which is another famous hill station of Kerala. In fact, Thekkady is one of the popular connecting points to Munnar, which is another popular hill station of Kerala. Thekkady is home to the Periyar forests and Periyar wildlife sanctuary. Situated near the Periyar lake, there are various sanctuaries, tiger reserves, and elephant reserves. You can take rides on the elephants in the Elephant Junction at moderate prices. One elephant can at most accommodate two persons. Other than Periyar forests, the most attractive spots in Thekkady are the tea, coffee plantations, and spice gardens. You should keep one day for the forest reserves, national parks and doing boat rides on the backwaters and the other day should be used to visit the plantations and spice gardens.
Ponmudi is another popular hill station that you can go to. There are trekking facilities available in this area. If you are well versed with trekking techniques, you can give it a try on the hills of Ponmudi. This hills station is at a distance of around 1.5 hours from Trivandrum. Being a hill station it will also offer you one of the most beautiful waterfalls of Kerala and that is Meenmutty Waterfalls. This place has a few sanctuaries, deer parks and safaris which will be highly enjoyed by the children. You can also go to Kallar river from this Meenmutty waterfalls. Across this river are the Thenmala Sanctuary and the Thenmala dam. If you can wrap the tour until Meenmutty falls a little before lunch, then you can keep the post-lunch period for the trekking and tree climbing in Thenmala Sanctuary. There are some amusements for kids as well with a few parks and rides, which you can avail if you have children in your group.
Also Read: Kochi to Munnar Two Days Weekend Trip Ideas
The next location that you should definitely go to is Munnar. This hill station can also be reached by a drive from Thekkady. However, the roads from Thekkady to Munnar are not in very good condition. Therefore, it would be a wiser decision to choose some other starting location for Munnar like Trivandrum. One of the popular tourist spots around Munnar is Devikulam, which is also called the Lake of the Goddess. This place is famous for the Devikulam Lake, in the spring waters of which goddess Sita bathed. People generally come to see this lake and along with that bonuses are the coffee and tea plantations. Then there is the Mattupetty lake and dam. Here you can opt for boat rides with your family. There is a place in Munnar which launched the first hydro-electric project of Kerala and this place is called Pallivasal. It is not possible that you come to a hill station of Kerala and you don’t trek. For trekking purposes, you should visit a placed called Attukal in Munnar. There is another place on the outskirts of Munnar, which is also famous for trekking. This place is known as Lock Heart Gap. If you are a member of a professional trekking group, then you should first visit Lock Heart Gap for trekking and then go to the other popular spots of Munnar.
Finally, Wayanad is another popular hill station of Kerala, which is at an altitude of around 800 meters from the sea level. Other than being a popular trekking site for mountaineers, Wayanad is home to the second largest wildlife sanctuary of Kerala. You will find tiger reserves in many of the sanctuaries. The highest peak of this hill station is the Chembra peak. It is advisable to keep at least half a day for trekking or visiting this peak area. It is very popular due to the presence of a heart-shaped lake. This peak is situated at an altitude of more than 6000 feet from the sea level. Two more popular tourist spots in this place are the Tiruneli temple and Papanashini river. Legend has it that all those who are sinners should take a bath in this papanashini river once before their death to get rid of their sins.
Other than the places mentioned above there are quite a number of hill stations. However, in my opinion, these are the top hill stations of Kerala. If you are planning to visit Kerala sooner or later, you should visit these hill stations one by one. You will get history, culture, scenic beauty and adventure in almost all these hill stations. Therefore, these hill stations of Kerala are kept in the priority list.