Kerala, known as “God’s Own Country,” is a paradise for nature seekers and adventurers. The state is blessed with serene beaches, tranquil backwaters, lush green forests, and mesmerizing hill stations. In this comprehensive guide, we will discover the top 23 hill stations in Kerala and explore their unique attractions and specialties.
Attractions and Highlights
1. Munnar: Famous for its tea plantations and stunning views of the Western Ghats.
2. Wayanad: Home to picturesque landscapes, waterfalls, and wildlife sanctuaries.
3. Thekkady: Known for Periyar National Park, where you can spot elephants, tigers, and other wildlife.
4. Vagamon: A haven for adventure seekers, offering paragliding, trekking, and camping.
5. Ponmudi: Surrounded by mist-covered hills and tea gardens, perfect for nature lovers.
6. Ponmudi Hill Station: Escape to this quiet retreat known for its tranquil ambiance and stunning views.
7. Idukki: Explore the Idukki Arch Dam, wildlife sanctuaries, and spice plantations.
8. Vythiri: Experience the beauty of Wayanad and indulge in treehouse accommodations.
9. Peermede: A hilltop town adorned with tea and coffee plantations.
10. Nelliyampathy: Discover the untouched beauty of this hill station with its orange and tea gardens.
11. Lakkidi: A misty hill station offering breathtaking views and the famous chain tree.
12. Mattupetty: Enjoy boating on the serene Mattupetty Lake and visit the Indo-Swiss Livestock Project.
13. Devikulam: Known for its pristine lakes, waterfalls, and lush green landscapes.
14. Silent Valley National Park: A UNESCO World Heritage Site, home to exotic flora and fauna.
15. Ranipuram: Trek through the dense forests and soak in the stunning views of this lesser-known hill station.
Reaching the Hill Stations
To reach the hill stations in Kerala, you can either take a flight to the nearest airport or opt for a scenic road trip. The major airports in Kerala are located in Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, and Calicut. From there, you can hire a cab or take a bus to reach your desired hill station. It is advisable to check the weather conditions and road conditions before planning your trip.
Accommodation and Food Specialties
Most of the hill stations in Kerala offer a variety of accommodation options ranging from luxury resorts to budget homestays. You can stay in lavish resorts amidst tea plantations or enjoy a cozy stay in traditional cottages. When it comes to food, Kerala is famous for its delicious seafood, appam with stew, and traditional Kerala sadya (feast) served on banana leaves. Don’t miss out on trying the local delicacies like banana chips, puttu, and fish molee.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit the hill stations in Kerala is during the winter months from October to February when the weather is cool and pleasant. The monsoon season from June to September transforms the landscapes into lush greenery, but it is advisable to check weather forecasts and road conditions during this time.
Language and Communication Tips
The official language of Kerala is Malayalam, but most people understand and speak English. It is recommended to learn a few basic Malayalam phrases to interact with the locals and enhance your travel experience.
Cultural Customs and Etiquette Guidance
Kerala has a rich cultural heritage, and it is important to respect the local customs and traditions. It is customary to remove your footwear before entering homes, temples, and other religious places. Dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites, and be mindful of the local customs and practices.
Must-Visit Destinations Nearby
In addition to the hill stations, Kerala also offers several must-visit destinations and attractions nearby. Some popular choices include:
1. Alleppey Backwaters: Cruise through the serene backwaters in a traditional houseboat.
2. Kochi: Explore the historical Fort Kochi, Chinese fishing nets, and colonial architecture.
3. Kovalam: Relax on the pristine beaches and indulge in water sports.
4. Thrissur: Witness the grandeur of Thrissur Pooram, a vibrant temple festival.
5. Athirapally Falls: Marvel at the majestic waterfalls cascading through the Sholayar Forests.
Food and Dining Recommendations
Kerala is known for its delectable cuisine, and each region has its own specialties. Some must-try dishes include:
1. Malabar Biriyani: Fragrant rice cooked with spices and tender meat, usually chicken or mutton.
2. Karimeen Pollichathu: Pearl spot fish marinated in spices and wrapped in banana leaves.
3. Puttu and Kadala Curry: Steamed rice cakes served with a spiced chickpea curry.
4. Appam and Stew: Soft rice pancakes served with a creamy coconut milk-based stew.
5. Banana Fritters: Ripe bananas coated in a sweet batter and deep-fried till golden brown.
Safety Precautions and Emergency Measures
While visiting the hill stations in Kerala, it is important to take some safety precautions:
1. Check weather forecasts and road conditions before traveling.
2. Carry necessary medications and a first aid kit.
3. Stay hydrated and carry water bottles during treks and outdoor activities.
4. Follow all safety guidelines provided by trekking and adventure activity organizers.
5. In case of any emergencies, contact the local authorities or seek help from nearby establishments.
Based on public reviews, the hill stations in Kerala have received rave reviews from travelers. Some instances include:
1. “Munnar offered breathtaking landscapes and the tea plantations were truly a sight to behold.” – John, USA.
2. “Thekkady provided an unforgettable wildlife experience with its thrilling elephant safari.” – Sarah, UK.
3. “Wayanad’s natural beauty and wildlife sanctuaries made it the perfect getaway for nature enthusiasts.” – Emma, Australia.
Packing and Travel Essentials
When visiting the hill stations in Kerala, it is essential to pack the following items:
– Comfortable clothing for warm and cool weather.
– Good quality walking shoes or hiking boots.
– Raincoat or umbrella for unexpected showers.
– Insect repellent to ward off mosquitoes and other insects.
– Sunscreen lotion and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun.
– Power bank and adaptor for charging electronic devices.
Kerala’s hill stations offer a mesmerizing blend of natural beauty, adventure, and tranquility. From the tea plantations of Munnar to the wildlife sanctuaries of Thekkady, each hill station has its own unique attractions. Make sure to experience the rich culture, indulge in the delicious cuisine, and take the necessary safety precautions. Whether you are a nature lover or an adventure seeker, Kerala’s hill stations will leave you spellbound.
People are also searching for
– Top tourist destinations in Kerala
– Best time to visit Kerala
– Backwater tours in Kerala
– Beaches in Kerala
– Ayurvedic retreats in Kerala