Five places to bring in the New Year near Bengaluru

The Nilgiri Toy Train chugs through rolling hills.
Image courtesy: Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation & Department of Tourism

If you’re confused about where to head for the New Year holiday, we’ve just made things simpler. Take your pick from these five gorgeous destinations that all have one thing in common – plenty of greenery.

COONOOR, 285km

Visit Coonoor for a pleasant change from the run-of-the-mill hill station holiday. This tea country is an olfactory paradise for lovers of the cup that cheers. Enjoy the peaceful bellflower-lined streets (preferably on foot). Around town are numerous viewing lookouts, which are best explored early in the mornings to avoid the rush of tourists. The locomotive buff will surely enjoy a ride in the heritage Nilgiri Toy Train.

YERCAUD, 231km

 

Yercaud is all about coffee plantations.
Image courtesy: Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation & Department of Tourism

Renowned for its coffee plantations, fruit orchards, missionary schools and seminaries, travellers to Yercaud arrive at a hill station already bustling with life. Nevertheless, there is time enough to stretch one’s legs, take in the sights, enjoy a few good meals, and breathe in the fresh mountain air. In a manner of speaking, it is a place tailor-made for holidays.

KOTAGIRI, 295km

Kotagiri offers some wonderful trekking options.

People visit quaint Kotagiri for three reasons – its largely undiscovered biodiversity; its nostalgic colonial ambience; and its charming weather year-round. Add some fantastic trekking options to that list, and a distinctly untouristy air, and you have the perfect mountain getaway.

YELAGIRI HILLS, 160km

Yelagiri is a stunning getaway.
Image courtesy: Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation & Department of Tourism

Pretty farmhouses sitting by green fields, fruit orchards and forests and perfect weather in every season sum up the Yelagiri experience. But the area offers more than just natural beauty. There are a number of man-made attractions here – you can go boating on the Punganur Lake, enjoy the expansive gardens of the Nature Park, or even opt for an adventure activity.

MUNNAR, 475km

Munnar is one of the most popular hill stations in Kerala.

In Munnar you’ll be engulfed in a sea of a thousand shades of green. The rolling hills all around are covered by a sculptural carpet of tea plantations, and the mountain scenery is magnificent – you’re often up above the clouds, watching veils of mist cling below the mountaintops. A stay at one of the many planters’ bungalows here ensures you experience all this and more at close quarters. Look forward to classic colonial-style features – wooden floors, dusty libraries, high ceilings and weathered furniture – in these graceful bungalows.

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