Kerala, a state in southwestern India, is known for its beautiful beaches, backwaters, and lush green hills. Here are the top 5 hill stations in Kerala:
Located in the Western Ghats, Munnar is one of the most popular hill stations in Kerala. Known for its tea plantations, cool climate, and scenic beauty, Munnar attracts a large number of tourists every year. Munnar hillstation is noted for its wonderful tea plantations, virgin forests, savannah, numerous streams, waterfalls, rolling hills, scenic valleys, and winding walkways. Munnar is also called the "Kashmir of South India" and is a popular honeymoon destination. The name Munnar is believed to mean "three rivers", referring to its location at the confluence of the Mudhirapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundali rivers. Munnar is also home for several threatened and endemic species including Nilgiri Thar, the grizzled giant squirrel, the Nilgiri wood-pigeon, elephant, the gaur, the Nilgiri langur, the sambar, and the neelakurinji (that blossoms only once in twelve years).
Wayanad is a picturesque hill station in northern Kerala, known for its coffee and spice plantations, wildlife sanctuaries, and beautiful waterfalls. According to historical findings, the forests of Wayanad have been in existence since 3,000 years. This makes this hill station a tranquil and deeply mystifying place to visit. It is also home to some of the oldest tribes in India. The Wayanad wildlife sanctuary is a beautiful place which houses the Asiatic elephants, egrets, tigers and panthers. The hill station has many alluring attractions such as the Edakkal caves which is home to the antiquated petroglyphs where some date back to the Neolithic era. The Chembra Peak Wayanad, where you can have a panoramic view of the Karapuzha dam, Banasura Sagar dam and Vaithairi.
Thekkady, located in the Idukki district, is famous for its wildlife sanctuary where you can watch wildlife at close range. Thekkady natural wildlife sanctuary is home to tigers, elephants, and other animals. It is also known for its spice plantations and scenic beauty. The name Thekkady is derived from the word "thekku" which means teak. The sanctuary is famous for its dense evergreen, semi-evergreen, moist deciduous forests and savanna grass lands. The sanctuary can be accessed by trekking, boating or jeep safari. Thekkady is considered a haven for natural spices such as black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, nutmace, ginger, and clove. The climate in Thekkady is tropical and the best time to visit the place is between September to May.
Vagamon is a lesser-known hill station in Kerala, located in the Western Ghats. It is known for its rolling hills, lush green meadows, and stunning waterfalls. The hill station has a chain of 3 beautiful hills called Thangal hill, Murugan hill and Kurismala that give an enchanting feel to this beautiful hill station. For adventure seekers, there is an option of trekking, para gliding or rock climbing. In the 1950s, the famed most prominent Christian pilgrim center Kurisumala Ashram was set up at Vagamon. National Geographic Traveler has listed Vagamon on their directory of the "50 most attractive places to visit in India"
Ponmudi is a small hill station in the Thiruvananthapuram district, known for its mist-covered hills, tea gardens, and trekking trails. Ponmudi (the Golden Peak) also known as Ooty of South Kerala and Kashmir of Kerala is also home to several waterfalls and is a popular destination for nature lovers. Ponmudi is also a popular spot for backpacking and trekking. Some notable tourist attractions located in Ponmudi are Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary, Echo Point and various trekking spots. Ponmudi, having an extensive importance of biodiversity, plays a major role in maintaining the ecological balance of the area. Ponmudi is host to 283 species of birds, many of which are endangered and threatened. Birds endemic to this region include the painted bush quail, the Malabar grey hornbill, the Wayanad laughingthrush, the broad-tailed grass bird and the Nilgiri pipit. The grasslands of Ponmudi are the breeding grounds of the broad-tailed grass bird, a threatened species.