The capital of the Indian states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad is the fourth most populated city in India. It was known historically as a pearl and diamond trading center located on the banks of the Musi River, owing to its nickname ‘The city of Pearls’. Hyderabad was established in the late 16th century by Muhammad Quli Qutab Shah of the Qutab Shahi dynasty who ruled the region for nearly a century before the Mughals annexed the province. The town flourished majorly during the reign of the Mughals and the Nizams of Hyderabad that declared their independence from the Mughals.
Hyderabad also remained the crux of the princely State of Hyderabad during the British Raj and is known for its remarkable history, monuments, culture and cuisine. It became a center of arts and culture during the mid 19th century and is also the headquarters of the Telugu film industry more commonly known as Tollywood. Despite of the several tourist attractions in Hyderabad, the city’s climate stays warm and dry all year round with hot and severely humid summers. For dwellers and visitors, it often becomes essential to find a way out of the heat and sweat to rejuvenate body and mind from the bustle of the city. Here’s a list of some fabulous hill stations near Hyderabad for people who seek an escape from the scorching heat.
1. Ananthagiri Hills
(Distance from Hyderabad – 80km approx.)
Not to be confused with Ananthagiri located in Vishakhapatnam district in Andhra Pradesh, Ananthagiri Hills are located in Telangana near a small town called Vikarabad. The hills and the surrounding forests are also known as the place where the Musi River originates. The hills are located in the Eastern Ghats at an elevation of 700 meters above sea level and provide some majestic views of the surrounding forests. Being totally non-commercialized, Ananthagiri hills are best visited during the monsoons when one can experience the green hills and surrounding clouds.
2. Araku Valley
(Distance from Hyderabad – 666km approx.)
Araku Valley is a part of the Eastern Ghats Mountain Range and is located in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Famous for being a quaint tourist spot and a major coffee producing agricultural town, Araku valley is situated at an average elevation of 912 meters above sea level. The climate stays cool and temperate throughout the year and provides an amazing retreat from the heat. Bora Caves, Tribal Museum, Katiki Waterfalls, Padmapuram Botanical Gardens, Tyda Park and Ananthagiri Hills are the various attractions for tourists to visit in Araku Valley.
3. Nallamala Hills
(Distance from Hyderabad – 226 Kilometers approx.)
The Nallamala Hills refer to a section of the Eastern Ghats located in the state of Andhra Pradesh. The hills are situated at an elevation of 1,100 meters above sea level and remain largely unexplored with several indigenous and hostile tribes that live within the deepest corners of the forest. While the temperature remains hot and humid during the summers, the winters in Nallamala Hills are pleasant and cool. One can also visit the famous Nagarjunsagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve that acquires a large portion of the hills and the surrounding forests.
(Distance from Hyderabad – 571 km approx.)
A relatively unknown hill station paradise in South India, Lambasingi is also known as the Kashmir of Andhra Pradesh. The region experiences a strikingly cold temperature throughout the year due to the moisture bearing winds that blow from the forests and mountains that settle in the region due to its elevation and vegetation. Surprisingly Lambasingi is one of the few areas in Southern India where one can experience snowfall during the winters. The temperatures in even the most scorching summers stay as low as 5 degrees in Lambasingi.
5. Horsley Hills
(Distance from Hyderabad – 527 km approx.)
Sitting atop an average elevation of 1,290 meters above sea level, Horsely hills are a popular hill station located in the state of Andhra Pradesh. The hills were developed and named after W.D. Horsley who was the British collector of the region. His summer residence is now used by the Governor of Andhra Pradesh and is known as the Governor’s Bungalow. Zorbing, Trekking, Rappelling are the various adventure sports that are offered at Horsley hills. The several hills and forests around Horsley hills provide an enchanting backdrop to the quaint hill town.
(Distance from Hyderabad – 604 km approx.)
Located in the state of Karnataka, Dandeli is a popular hill town in the Western Ghats region. Dandeli is placed at an average elevation of 472 meters and is known for its diverse culture and lush green surroundings. While the town’s elevation is relatively low as per hill station standards, the temperature remains relatively low and pleasant throughout the year, rarely exceeding 30 degrees during the summers. The town is largely affected by monsoon and it is considered the best to avoid the rainy season. River Rafting, Angling, Bird watching, nature walks and the Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary are the prime tourist activities and attractions located in the hill town of Dandeli.
(Distance from Hyderabad – 850 km approx.)
The Erstwhile summer capital of the Madras Presidency, Ooty is one of the largest hill stations in India and arguably the most popular. Located in Tamil Nadu, Ooty is placed at an elevation of 2,240 meters in the Nilgiri Hills of the Western Ghats.
(Distance from Hyderabad – 1038 km approx.)
Established on 1845, Kodaikanal is the second largest hill station in Tamil Nadu and also known as the Gift of the Forests. The mosquito infested heat of the plains can get overbearing and Kodaikanal offers a cool refuge from the tropical diseases. The hill town was developed by the American Missionaries and the British and is known for its remarkable climate and lush green surroundings amidst the Nilgiri Hills. The town’s major source of economy is tourism and is best visited between the months of April and June and October till January.
(Distance from Hyderabad – 849 km approx.)
Also known as Kodagu, Coorg is located in the Indian state of Karnataka in the Western Ghats. Coorg is a hill town that sits an average elevation of 1000 meters above sea level one the banks of the river Kaveri. The town is known for its beautiful surroundings and distinctive culture and festivals. Being a major rural town in Karnataka, Coorg is surrounded by paddy fields, tea and coffee plantations along with several plantations that grow spices like cardamom, black pepper, vanilla and cocoa. Talakaveri, Nagarahole National Park, Nisargadhama, Mallalli falls, Abbey falls and the Tibetan Buddhist Temple etc can be visited on your trip to coorg.
(Distance from Hyderabad – 572 km approx.)
Panchgani is located in the state of Maharashtra amidst the Western Ghats. It is a picturesque hill situated at an elevation of 1,293 meters above sea level and is in close proximity to the Krishna river. The town was developed as a summer resort for the British officials of the Bombay presidency in the 1860s. The climate stays mild throughout the year with temperatures rarely exceeding 30 degrees during the summers. Being located in the Western Ghats the town enjoys lush green surroundings and lakes that are covered with fog during the winters. Panchgani is also known for its reputed educational institutions and boarding schools.