Three Offbeat Hill Stations in Tamil Nadu Near Chennai

Updated on October 13, 2019
Babu Mohan profile image

I am a marketing professional holding a postgraduate degree in management. I have traveled extensively in Tamil Nadu.

Boathouse, Yercaud Lake
Boathouse, Yercaud Lake | Source

Hill Stations Near Chennai

Ooty and Kodaikanal are the two most popular hill stations in Tamil Nadu, but both are far from Chennai. If one drives, it could take over twelve hours to reach either of these places. So these two hill stations are not very attractive from a distance perspective for a person traveling from Chennai.

There are three hill stations that are closer to Chennai. Yelagiri is the closest of all, and it can be reached in just four to five hours. Yercaud and Kolli Hills are the other two options, and it takes about seven hours of drive time to reach either of these places.

These three hill stations are at lower altitudes compared to Ooty or Kodaikanal, so one can experience mild and pleasant weather throughout the year.

Distance From Chennai

 
Miles
Kilometres
Yelagiri
142
228
Yercaud
227
366
Kolli Hills
224
361

1. Yercaud

Yercaud is closer to the town of Salem in Tamil Nadu. This is a mild hill station as compared to Ooty or Kodaikanal. At an altitude of 1500 meters, we get pleasant relief from the sweltering heat in the plains, but it never gets unbearably cold.

The road from the foothill to Yercaud is one of the best mountain roads in Tamil Nadu, and the drive is very enjoyable. Blessed with a mild weather, Yercaud can be visited any time of the year. In the months of December and January, misty weather provides a visual treat for visitors.

The lake is the main attraction in Yercaud, with its boating facilities. The Yercaud Lake has a spectacular view surrounded by hills. One can go for a bicycle ride around the lake.

Rose Garden, Yercaud
Rose Garden, Yercaud | Source

Things to Do

The botanical garden is a nice place to visit, but ironically open only on weekdays. The rose garden is another must-visit attraction and is open on all days. There are a couple of temples around the main town. For the adventurous, there is a strenuous trek route leading to a waterfall in a valley.

Yercaud is known for home-made chocolates (I am following a sugar-free diet now, so I am loath to recommend chocolate to anyone). Other than chocolates, one can find natural oils being sold in the Yercaud market. The market area is closer to the Yercaud bus stand.

Stay Options

There are many good stay options in Yercaud, such as the Sterling resort, Shevaroy and TTDC (Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation) hotel. TTDC and Shevaroy are in the main town close to the lake and are ideal for families with kids and elderly. Sterling resort offers breath-taking views of the valley though it is far from the main town.

Note: One should be prepared to walk up and down the stairs if they take valley view rooms in Sterling resort. There are no lifts for the rooms facing the valley.

There are other good resorts I have not tried personally. Yercaud is a perfect getaway to relax for a couple of days away from the hustle bustle of city life.

For more details on Yercaud, please read The 10 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Yercaud.

2. Yelagiri

Trekking at Yelagiri
Trekking at Yelagiri | Source

Yelagiri is the closest hill station from Chennai, and it can be reached within five hours from Chennai. Yelagiri is at an altitude of less than 1,000 meters, which explains why Yelagiri is warmer than Yercaud. Still, it is a welcome relief for Chennai residents accustomed to hotter climates.

Places to Visit

Typical of most hill stations, Yelagiri has a lake with boating facilities. Closer to the lake, there is a nature park where they conduct musical fountains during the weekends. The nature park itself is a nice place to hang around in the evening time.

There are a couple of temples in Yelagiri, and one can visit these temples for their sheer rustic charm. Yelagiri is also one the few places in Tamil Nadu with least light pollution, so amateur astronomers throng this place during February or March in search of darker skies.

Trekking is another important attraction in Yelagiri. There is a trekking route near Mangalam village, a couple of miles from Yelagiri lake. This is not a strenuous trek, and people of all ages can take part.

Yelagiri Lake on a sunny day
Yelagiri Lake on a sunny day | Source

Stay and Food

One should not skip the roadside vendors selling fruits near the lake. Black mulberry (Naaval Pazham in Tamil), jackfruit, star fruit and fig are the specialties being sold here.

It has plenty of good stay options, such as Sterling resorts and Hotel Landmark. Astronomy lovers also throng Yelagiri and usually choose YMCA camp. Though the stay arrangements are basic, YMCA camp offers spectacular views of the night sky since it is far from the main town.

3. Kolli Hills

Agaya Gangai Waterfalls, Kolli Hills
Agaya Gangai Waterfalls, Kolli Hills | Source

Kolli Hills is close to Namakkal town in Tamil Nadu. I would not place Kolli Hills on the same level as Yercaud or Yelagiri. There is not much sightseeing to do in Kolli Hills. Yet it offers enough incentives for a first-time traveler.

Agaya Gangai Falls

The main attraction is a waterfall known as Agaya Gangai. One needs to reach Arappaleeshvarar temple by car or public transport. The waterfall is in the valley next to the temple. One needs to walk down the distance to reach the waterfalls. There are over one thousand steps, and it takes about an hour to trek down. The upward journey can take longer and can be physically challenging. The trek offers beautiful views of the valley and the mountain range.

Pepper plantations in Kolli Hills
Pepper plantations in Kolli Hills | Source

Greenery

There are a few nice viewpoints worth visiting. There is also a lake with boating facilities. But one can skip boating, as neither the lake nor the boats were in good shape during our visit. Kolli Hills is still an enjoyable destination because of its natural charm. Since it is less commercialized, the greenery is still intact. The beautiful pepper plantations are a common sight in the hills. One can go for long walks to enjoy the weather and scenery. The weather is pleasant and never gets very chill.

Where to Stay?

There are two good stay options here: Nallathambi Resorts and Silverline Retreat Hotel. We could not find other attractive options besides these two. So it is better not to experiment beyond these two hotels for food and stay.

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Mohan Babu

    Please share your valuable comments and feedback.

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • Babu Mohan profile imageAUTHOR

        Mohan Babu 

        12 months ago from Chennai, India

        Thanks Eurofile for your valuable comment.

      • Eurofile profile image

        Liz Westwood 

        12 months ago from UK

        You give an interesting overview of tge area.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, wanderwisdom.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://wanderwisdom.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)