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Here are five offbeat hill stations you can consider for that much-needed dream escape, once the pandemic is over. By Amitha Ameen
While visiting the Nilgiri mountain range, most people prefer to head to Ooty and set camp there. But, travel further and you will land in the quaint little town of Kotagiri. With barely any tourists and more unexplored spots for you to choose from, Kotagiri is the ideal destination with its near-perfect weather and friendly locals. Enjoy panoramic views from Kodanad viewpoint, hike to the lesser-known Catherine Falls or trek through Longwood Shola, a tropical rainforest for bird-watching.
2. Araku Valley
Scenic would be an understatement while trying to explain the beauty of Araku Valley in Andhra Pradesh. With pleasant weather throughout the year, this hill station is a favourite for adventurists. From exploring the largest and deepest cave in the world – Borra Borra – to enjoying a picnic beside the Chaparai waterfalls, and indulging in quintessential Andhra delicacies, there are plenty of activities for you to indulge in.
Largely ignored for reasons we cannot understand, Yercaud is one of those really understated places, which only means, lesser people. Easily accessible from Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, Yercaud has everything one would need to enjoy a relaxing vacation. Magical waterfalls, driving through loop road – a scenic stretch that passes through pretty villages and green hills and wandering through Kottachedu Teak Forest, and spotting the odd Bison are just some of the many things one can do here.
If apple orchards, pine and oak trees and plenty of gushing streams excite you, might we suggest Shimla’s quieter cousin Mashobra? Camping, trekking, paragliding, river rafting, and shopping – the list is endless. No matter what it is that you choose to do, Mashobra with its green surroundings and unpolluted air will make you fall in love with hills.
Popularly known as the ‘Scotland of Asia,’ this small hill station is untouched by commercialisation. The close proximity to Periyar Tiger Reserve and Idukki make this destination more convenient for travellers. Rolling hills, tea estates, pristine waterfalls, lakes and meadows – you name it and Vagamon has all of it on offer.
With plenty of offbeat locations, we cannot wait to pack our bags and head to these pleasant weather destinations this summer.