7 Most Scenic Places to Explore in the Western Ghats, India

The Western Ghats is one of the most prominent assets of our country. A biological hotspot, the mountain range contributes a considerable portion to the flora and fauna of the country. Moreover, the mountain range is a heaven for our fellow explorers too. Towering peaks, waterfalls, lush greenery, reserve forests & national parks, you name it and the Western Ghats have it. The mountains are also considered to be no lesser than a paradise during the season of monsoon when everything turns a tad greener and the peaks get covered in the magical mist.

Let’s check out the most charming places that you can explore in the mountains on the western coast of India

01. Coorg, Karnataka

Coorg, also known as Kodagu is a perfect blend of history and natural beauty. Once a separate state of independent India, Madikeri has always been its capital and most prominent city. Located 280 kilometres west of Bangalore, Madikeri is a quaint little hill station in the district. You can check out Madikeri’s Fort and Raja Seat park which are the most famous tourist points in the city. To meld your visit with nature, visit the mesmerizing Abbey Falls to the north of the city. Another must-visit spot in Coorg is Talakaveri, where the sacred river of Kaveri originates.

Coorg is also famous for coffee plantations, so don’t forget to indulge in the pure bliss of cocoa beans while in Coorg.

Coorg, Karnataka

02. Agumbe, Karnataka

Agumbe, a tiny village in the Western Ghats, is amongst the wettest places in the country. Located a hundred kilometres north-east of Mangalore, Agumbe is famous for its flora and fauna, rainforests and several waterfalls, one of the most famous of which is Barkana & Kunchikal Falls. Other famous waterfalls in the area are Onake Abbi Falls, Jogigundi Falls, Koodlu Theertha Falls and all of these are formed by Seetha river. The waterfalls are motorable, up to some distances but trekking all the way from Agumbe to the falls will prove to be one of the most memorable trails of your life. Another charming trek that you can take from the village is Nishani Gudda mountain.

Agumbe became popular amongst the tourists in recent years after RK Narayan’s Malgudi Days was shot in the village.

Agumbe, Karnataka

03. Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu

Nilgiris is a district and mountain range, located in the north-western part of the state of Tamil Nadu. It comes highly recommended because of the towns of Ooty, Coonoor and Kotagiri, which are situated around 25 kilometres apart from each other. The area has no dearth of lush green gardens, clean lakes and reserve forests and it’s one of the most breathtaking travel triangles that you will explore. Some of the recommended places in the area include Ooty Lake and its boathouse, Emerald Lake, Ooty Botanical Gardens, Catherine Falls, Law’s Falls, Droog Fort. Another must-visit place in the area is Doddabetta, which is the highest peak in the Nilgiri Mountains, sitting at an altitude of 2647 meters. The peak is motorable but you can also trek to the top to feel the rush of nature.

Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu

04. Munnar, Kerala

Munnar is one of the most popular and alluring hill stations in the Western Ghats and Kerala. Located 130 kilometres east of Kochi and 160 kilometres south of Coimbatore, Munnar is famous for its tea plantations, rich greenery, pleasant weather and spectacular sceneries. Munnar is also known for the three rivers (hence the name), which flow from the town – Kundaly, Nallathanni and Muthirapuzha. The three rivers together give Munnar a memorable charm to the town and its sceneries.

Many of the tourists come to Munnar for the peak of Anamudi, which is the highest in the Western Ghats, sitting at an altitude of 2695 metres. You can take the sensational trek to the top which starts from Eravikulam National Park.

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Munnar, Kerala

05. Mollem, Goa

Mollem is a small, lesser-known gem located approximately 65 kilometres east of both Panaji and Vasco de Gama in Goa. The village is surrounded by the reserved forest and is the entry point for Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary. The town is the kind of Goa that you have never seen. It is a paradise for wildlife lovers and is also the perfect place to stay if you’re trekking to Dudhsagar Falls. The Village is the home to some of the oldest rocks which date back to hundreds of billions of years.

Mollem, Goa

06. Valparai, Tamil Nadu

Valparai is some of those heavenly places in the country that you just can’t miss. Located 113 kilometres south of Coimbatore, the town is completely surrounded by reserved forest, tea plantations, wildlife hotspots and dams, reservoirs and waterfalls. The town has Aliyar Dam to the north, Anamudi Tiger Reserve and Karumalai Falls to the west, Sholayar Dam and Parambikulam Tiger Reserve to the east, Nirar Dam to the south and tea plantations all around. The charming road to Valparai itself is a sensational beauty with 40 hairpin bends. All in all, the town itself is a paradise and even surrounded by paradise all around.

Valparai, Tamil Nadu

07. Dandeli, Karnataka

Thanks to the innumerous immigrants, Dandeli is probably the most diverse place in this list in terms of population. The town, which is located 340 kilometres north of Mangalore and 139 kilometres south-west of Vasco de Gama is a popular tourist spot with river Kali flowing through its heart. It is also the most popular water sports and white water rafting spot in the Western Ghats. The town is also famous for its many temples and historical caves. These attractions give Dandeli a remarkable amalgamation of nature, history and religion.

Due to its vicinity from Goa, a lot of tourists travelling from Mangalore, Mysore and Bangalore make a stop at Dandeli.

Dandeli, Karnataka

The Western Ghats is a bliss for those who love nature, greenery and wildlife during their travels. The charming mountains have a lot more to it that we couldn’t list here. If you’ve checked all of these off your list, then do check out places like Mahabaleshwar, Kalpatta, Thekkady, Chorla Ghat and so on. Safe travels!

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