Posted 21 August 2023 in Winter wandering

Offbeat places to visit in Karnataka’s Kemmangundi hill station

Perched in the lap of nature, surrounded by beautiful forests, blue skies, and a lovely breeze, Kemmanagundi is a quaint hill station located in the state of Karnataka. Also known as the KR Hills, this place is known for its picturesque gardens, cosy little houses, and lush greenery. Did you know that Kemmanagundi means red soil? The place is blessed with red soil which is extremely fertile for plants.

Legend has it that Kemmanagundi was once the favourite summer retreat of Krishnaraj Wodeyar IV, who was the ruler of Mysuru. This place will prove to be a favourite summer retreat for anybody, thanks to its beautiful landscapes, waterfalls and great weather. Kemmanagundi is also a popular place for picnics and nature walks. The hill station is brimming with the most picture-perfect gardens like Rock Garden, Z Point, and more. Additionally, there are numerous waterfalls here like Hebbe Falls and Kalahasti Falls. 

Since Kemmanagundi is a famous hill station in Karnataka, it has earned many names like the ‘Ooty of Karnataka’ and ‘Queen of Hills’. For people who are in love with adventure, Kemmanagundi is a great place. The most popular adventure activity done here is trekking. Regardless of the fact whether you are a beginner or not in trekking, you can go for this activity. Nature walks and trekking are good ways to truly uncover the beauty that this hill station is willing to offer to its visitors. 

Read more - Ten hill stations in Karnataka that are worth a southern getaway

Here are the best places to visit in Kemmanagundi -

Hebbe Falls

There are about 35 waterfalls in the state of Karnataka. Out of these, Hebbe Falls is one of the most popular. It is located on Kemmangundi Hill and offers a beautiful landscape of the entire area. The Hebbe Falls is a part of the Bhadra Tiger Reserve. 

Z Point

One of the most famous attractions in Kemmanagundi is the Z Point. It is a peak that offers a breathtaking view of the Western Ghats. To reach this point, you will have to go for a three km trek, which will lead you through dense forests and waterfalls. Z Point is a great place to witness sunrise and sunset. 

Shiva Temple

This is a place in Kemmanagundi where you will experience peace and tranquillity at its best. Located in the lap of nature, this temple is surrounded by huge rocks and forests. The temple is also the home to beautiful paintings and sculptures that are worthy of praise. It is a haven for artists. 

Kalhatti Falls

Here you will find the perfect confluence of nature and spirituality. This place is situated about 10 km from Kemmanagundi. In addition to a beautiful waterfall, this place is home to the Veerabhadreshwara Temple, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. If you are looking for peace and calm, you must visit this place for sure. 

Rock Garden

If you want to explore the rich flora of Kemmanagundi, visit the Rock Garden. Here, in addition to a varied species of plants, you will find the most unique rocks. Some pathways have been carved out of rocks. Rock Garden is a good place for picnics and nature walks. You will love this place if you love nature, especially flowers. 


Popularly known as the highest peak between the Nilgiris and Himalayan Mountain range, this place is located about 1,930 m above sea level. It is a great place if you’re looking for breathtaking landscapes, tranquillity, and some greenery. You will also find coffee plantations here. This is a great place for you if you want to try trekking. 

Adventure activities to try

If you love adventure sports, then you must visit Kemmanagundi. This place offers you a great location for trekking. The best part of the trek is that it takes you through some gorgeous views. You will come across beautiful waterfalls, dams, plants, and flowers. You can stop to explore the flora or simply click pictures of everything interesting that you find in your way. There are different starting points for the treks. The distance can be between 3 km and 5 km, depending on the route that you choose. Generally, it is going to be for four hours. Even if you are a beginner at trekking, you can go for it as the terrain isn’t very challenging. Make sure that you experience the sunrise and sunset as you make your way through dense forests, high peaks, and waterfalls.

Travel tips 

  1. When you are moving around or going for a trek, make sure that you are careful of leeches. It is common to find leeches in places with heavy forests or vegetation. Salt is the best remedy for these, so carry it with you at all times. 
  2. There are limited eating places, so make sure you carry some snacks with you always. 
  3. Since you are travelling to a hill station, make sure that you pack comfortable clothes and shoes. You might need to walk quite a lot.
  4. You should reach waterfalls, like Hebbe, before 3 p.m. as it takes about two hours to explore the place fully. 
  5. You might not find ATMs or chemist shops everywhere in the hill station. So please carry sufficient cash and all your medicines. 
  6. Please carry your identification documentsas it might be checked as you go to different places in the hill station. 

How to reach?

  • By air: The nearest airport to Kemmanagundi is Mangalore Airport. This airport is well-connected to major cities in India as well as abroad. The distance between Mangalore Airport and Kemmanagundi is about 150 km. IndiGo operates flights from Mangalore Airport to other major cities of India.
  • By train: The closest railway station to Kemmanagundi is Tarikere Railway Station. The hill station is located about 35 km from Tarikere Railway Station. It will take you about an hour to reach. You can take a taxi or a bus. 
  • By road: Karnataka is known for its well-developed road connectivity. You can hire a cab or take your vehicle. Alternatively, you can also go for state or private buses which regularly run on different routes. 

How to get around?

There are multiple options for travelling within the hill station in Kemmanagundi. One of the most popular ways of travelling is by hiring a taxi, especially if your destination is far off. In addition to that, buses are also a common mode of commuting in the hill station. You will find bus stops at regular intervals in the place. Buses ply continuously from one destination to the next. Make sure you understand which route to take and which bus to board so that you don’t get lost. If you can walk from one place to the other, there is nothing better than that. 


Kemmanagundi experiences subtropical highland climate. The hill station experiences winters between November and February. Summers are from March to May. The monsoon season is from June to October. December is the coldest month in the hill station and April is the hottest month. 

Best time to visit

The good thing about Kemmanagundi is that it experiences pleasant weather almost throughout the year. However, it is best to travel to the place from September to February. This is the time when the hill station experiences winters and the place looks gorgeous. Another suitable time to visit Kemmanagundi is during the monsoons. You will find that the hill station is covered in greenery. Monsoon is also a good time to watch the waterfalls which are at their best during this time. 


Kemmanagundi is a place that witnesses the perfect confluence of nature, flora, fauna, and pleasant weather. For everyone who wants to de-stress from the constant overload of city life, this place will give you the relaxation that you need. This hill station reminds everyone that life is beautiful and one must live every day to its fullest. So, no matter which time of the year you choose to travel to this place, just spend time in meditation, with your loved ones, and enjoy every moment of being alive. 

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