5 Coolest places in Tamil Nadu to visit during all seasons:
Tamil Nadu being on the equator is not generally considered to be “cool” but there are certain hill stations and resorts which are cooler places mostly during all seasons of the year. Some of the coolest places in Tamilnadu are listed below along with the distance from Chennai (capital of Tamilnadu);
1. Yelagiri hills (230 kms from Chennai):
Yelagiri is a hill region in Vellore district of Tamil Nadu, located in between the towns of Vaniyambadi and Jolarpettai. This is the best closest hill station to Bangalore & Chennai. It is also one of the famous weekend getaways from Bangalore & Chennai.
The main town of Yelagiri Hills is Athanavur, which comprises a winding road through the hills with isolated villages. The Whole of Yelagiri was once the private property of the Yelagiri Zamindar Family. It was taken over by the government of India during the Early 1950s. The house of the Yelagiri Zamindars still exists in Reddiyur.
Yelagiri is also one of the famous places for trekkers. The highest point in Yelagiri is the Swamimalai Hill, standing tall at 4,338 ft with spectacular views. The hill provides a good number of trekking trails through thick reserved forests. There are other trekking options that include smaller peaks like Javadi Hills and Palamathi Hills. The Punganur Lake is a manmade lake and one of the popular attractions of the region. Paragliding is another sport that draws visitors.
The Velavan Temple, Jalagamparai Waterfalls and Nature Park are the other attractions in Yelagiri. Best time to visit Yelagiri Hills is in winters that are between November and February.
Route from Chennai – Yelagiri seen in above map is like Chennai > Kanchipuram > Vellore > Ambur > Yelagiri
Kanchipuram, Vellore, Ambur are in the Chennai – Bangalore national highway which is good for tourists buses and cars
2. Kolli hills (355 kms from Chennai):
The Mountain is named Kolli Malai after the Goddess Ettukkai Amman (Kolli Paavai). According to legend, the sages chose Kolli hills when they were looking for a peaceful place to do their penance. However, the demons invaded the hills to disrupt the penance when the sages began their rituals. The sages prayed to Kollipavai, who according to the myth, chased away the demons.
Kolli Hills are covered with evergreen forests, including tea, coffee, pineapple, black pepper, jackfruit and many other plant spices. The wildlife such as Sloth bear, barking deer, Indian pangolin, jackals, mongoose, palm civets and many reptiles and snakes, the endangered Python molurus and a number of birds are found in Kolli Hills. The best time to visit Kolli Hills is throughout the year, except for the monsoon season when there is a danger of landslide due to heavy rainfall.
Route from Chennai – Kolli hills seen in above map is like Chennai > Villupuram > Salem by pass > Kolli hills (between Salem and Karur)
3. Yercaud (368 kms from Chennai):
Yercaud is a beautiful hill station in Salem district of Tamil Nadu and also one of the popular Tourist places in Tamilnadu. It is located in the Shevaroy range of hills in the Eastern Ghats at an altitude of 1515 m (4920 ft). Yercaud got its name from the Yercaud Lake located at its center. In Tamil, Yeri means lake and Kaadu means forest. So Yercaud in Tamil means lake and forest. Yercaud is known for its plantations majorly of coffee, orange, jackfruit, guava, cardamom and black pepper.
The forests of Yercaud have an abundance of sandalwood, teak and silver oaks. From wild animals like bison, deer, foxes, mongoose, snakes, squirrels to birds like bulbuls, kites, sparrows and swallows can be found in these forests. Some of the best places to visit in Yercaud are Emerald Lake, Anna Park, Lady’s Seat, Shevaroy Temple, Small Lake, Bear’s Point, Pagoda Point, Killiyur Falls and Botanical Garden. Yercaud is a picturesque hill stations on the Eastern Ghats and trekking here can be one of the most pleasurable experiences.
The highest point in Yercaud is the Servarayan temple, which is situated at a height of 5326 feet. The best time to visit Yercaud is from October to June. It usually takes 1-2 days to visit all the places in Yercaud.
Route from Chennai – Yercaud seen in above map is like Chennai > Villupuram > Salem > Yercaud
4. Topslip (475 kms from Chennai):
Topslip is a popular place located in the Anaimalai mountain range in the Western Ghats in Coimbatore district of Tamilnadu. It lies at an altitude of 2554 feet and is famous for its wildlife sanctuary and national park that are in proximity.
Topslip is the Tiger Reserve Forest in small part of Annamalai Tiger Reserve, which is separated from the Nilgiri Hills by Palghat Gap in north. It got its name during British era, as lots of its timber sliped down to the plains below.
It is the best gateway for wonderful wildlife experience of the Indira Gandhi WLS. The unique teak forests, Bamboo forests, rich exotic species of plants and wild animals are the major attractions of Topslip. It is also a wonderful destination for bird watching. MT Stuart block is another attraction which is located 3 km from Topslip. It has an ancient forest bungalow along with the grave of Hugo Wood, a British officer with an environmental conscience who emphasized that a sapling must be planted for every tree that is chopped off.
Being a medical plant conservation area, it is famous for the elephant camp, wildlife safaris, pleasant weather and beautiful views of Anaimalai Hills.
Route from Chennai – Topslip seen in above map is like Chennai > Villupuram > Salem > Erode > Tiruppur > Pollachi > Topslip
5. Coonoor (530 kms from Chennai):
Coonoor is a taluk and a municipality in the Nilgiris district in the state of Tamil Nadu. It is a beautiful hill station and known for its production of Nilgiri tea. At an elevation of 6,000 feet above ocean level, Coonoor is renowned for its verdant environs and for an assortment of wildflowers and feathered creatures. It is the second biggest hill station in the Nilgiri slopes after Ooty. The Nilgiri Mountain Railway (Toy Train) is one of the most seasoned mountain railroads in India. The train ride amidst the Nilgiris and UNESCO World Heritage Site is an exceptional travel experience.
A major fruit and vegetable festival is held in the month of May at the Sim’s Park which draws a major crowd. The tea and tourism festival is another important festival of Coonoor held in the month of January. The festival attracts tea specialists from all over the world. The best time to visit Coonoor is March to June & September to October while the peak season is April to June. Usually it takes one full day to visit Coonoor.
It is an ideal base for a number of trekking expeditions leading into the Nilgiris. One of the popular trekking trails is to Lamb’s Rock that is 9 km from Coonoor. Lamb’s Rock overlooks the Coimbatore plains, providing a spectacular view of the tea and coffee plantations. A little ahead of Lamb’s Rock is located the Lady Canning’s Seat that offers a panoramic view of the Nilgiris.
Route from Chennai – Conoor seen in above map is like Chennai > Villupuram > Salem > Erode > Tiruppur (byepass) > Coonoor