We often feel like to escape in the arm of dense bush or scale the zenith of a tranquil knoll. But in our day-to-day lives, we mostly greeted by a blend of smog, frantic work schedules and traffic jam. And somewhere amongst the throng of all such sights we seem to have lost the connection with our mother-earth and its serene environs.
If you reside in Bangalore, you must be aware of the mechanical and swift lifestyle here. After spending a frenzied working week, what all we want is a tranquil vacation way out of our day-to-day’s hustle-bustle. Let’s take you for a short and tranquil break to a soothing hill station called BR Hills, which is situated nearly 182Km from Bangalore.
The Biligiriranga Hills, eminent as BR Hills, is a beautiful and popular hill station for a quick weekend getaway near Bangalore. Neighbouring the border with Tamil Nadu in south-eastern Chamarajanagar district of Karnataka, BR Hills is nestled between the Eastern and Western Ghats. This beautiful hill station is blessed with natural abundance housing rich varieties of vibrant flora and endangered fauna.
While touring BR Hills, you will come across numbers of fascinating sites amidst natural splendour that will amaze your presence to the fullest. Amongst all, one of the popular attractions that will allure you the most here is Champak tree. This is a spiritual site, which is carrying the tale of a thousands year old tree. In addition, Biligiriranga Hills is equally popular for trekking and angling.
The forest terrain around the hill is inhabited by Soliga tribes who reside in small podus. Selling non- timber forest products like Amla and honey is the prime dwelling source for these tribes here. In addition, coffee plantation is also quite popular source of revenue on the terra firma of Biligiriranga. People here mostly speak Kannada. However, in certain areas, English and Tamil is also understood. If you happen to be there in winter, don’t miss the chance of taking pleasure in the blend of bonfire and tribal dance with local inhabitants. The people here are quite religious. Ratha and Shivarathri are the key festivals that are celebrated in BR Hills.
Regarding the food taste in BR Hills, you will get to taste various vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian dishes. However, the main dish here is South Indian. Some of the luscious foods that you must try in BR Hills are Rava Idli, Averakkai Sambhar, Ragi Mudde and pomfret.
Best time to visit:
Being one of the relaxing and elevated hill stations near Bangalore, BR Hills is an all season getaway for visitors. The temperature here never reaches to extreme level. Summer hits the region during April to June. But, you will never feel that hot and humid here during summer. July to September is the rainy season in BR Hills, as monsoon encircles the region that time. If you love winter, November to March is the best time to enjoy a frosty climate in BR Hills.
Having portrayed the seasonal climate in Biligiriranga, the best time to visit here is from June to November when the climate is quite soothing, and the freshness of the lush bush can best be revealed that time.
Sightseeing in BR Hills:
Delimited with an extensive view of nature, BR Hills offers you the following attractions to explore:
#Dodda Sampige Mara
This is undoubtedly one of the popular tourist pullers around Biligirirangan Hills. Situated nearly 5 km from BR Hills, the key attraction of this site is 2000 years old Champak Tree, which is around 33m high and 20m in breadth. Being positioned amidst a temple, the tall stand spiritual tree is delimited by several lingams. According to the mythical tales, it is believed that the source of Bhargavi River was formed here in the trunk of this Champak Tree.
Every day, numbers of tribe footfalls flock here in reverence of the holy tree. If you happen to be there during March-April, don’t miss the festival of Maha Shivarathri, which is celebrated with great enthusiasm in Dodda Sampige Mara. On the eve of Shivarathri, the Soliga tribals perform a dance fire offering their respect to the mother earth. Another significance of visiting there during April is that a unique blend of reddish and yellow coloured flowers are spotted that time.
#BRT Wildlife Sanctuary
Spread with an area of nearly 540 sq km between Tungabhadra and Kaveri rivers, Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary or B.R.T. Wildlife Sanctuary is popular for its rich diversity of wildlife and endemic species of flora. This place has grabbed maximum attention of travellers in 2011 when the Karnataka Government affirmed the site as a Tiger Reserve. Today, B.R.T. Wildlife Sanctuary is an abode to more than 110 species of butterflies, around 20 species of reptiles and nearly 250 species of birds. Some of the key wild attractions amidst the jungle are tigers, elephants, panthers, four-horned antelope, lesser cats, chital, gaurs and bears.
Keeping aside its wildlife, the environs of BRT Wildlife Sanctuary also offers you some exciting opportunities for performing outdoor activities like angling, trekking, birding, boating, camping and rafting. If you want to have a close vista of some super vigorous wildlife in the forest, the BRT Jungle Lodges & Resorts Authority caters you a thrilling opportunity to enjoy the Jungle Safari.
The best time to visit BRT Wildlife Sanctuary is from October to May. This is the time when both the lush bush and the wildlife become livelier and appealing to visitors.
#Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple
BR Hills is quite renowned for its prehistoric attractions. Positioned atop the knolls, Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple or BRT is one such site, which has been a popular religious site here for past 500 years or more. Situated near the Wildlife Sanctuary, the temple was set up in reverence of deity Ranganatha who has been depicted in standing position inside the temple. The architecture of this temple was done in conventional Dravidian style. If you want to witness the early morning worship of Lord Rangaswamy, visit there from 7AM-8.30AM.
The best time to visit this temple is during April, when the annual festival of deity Rangaswamy is celebrated here. Ample of worshipers gather here that time to offer their veneration to Lord Rangaswamy. In addition, don’t miss the traditional rituals at BR Temple when the local tribes prepare skin made pair of slippers and offer it to the Lord.
These are the popular places that you must visit while holidaying in BR Hills. Having explored these attractions, there are many other activities or things that you can also do in BR Hills. Let’s see what those things are.
Things to do in BR Hills
As mentioned earlier, BR Hills is blessed with natural abundance offering some thrilling opportunities for adventure as well as for nature lovers. The free-flowing river is a great place for rafting and angling. On the other hand, the picturesque green meadow near the hill offers you an excellent trekking delight. Besides, the Wildlife Sanctuary offers you an adventurous safari amidst the dense forest of BR Hills.
Well, this is not the end. The mountainous weekend getaway near Bangalore is a great place for forest products. You will come across various shops and stores showcasing an array of tribal artworks, fresh juice, Ayurvedic plants and local pickles. There is also a Tribal Resource Centre, which is popular for rich variety of alluring tribal products.
If you are done with your thrilling outdoor activities and bag full of shopping around the hill, it’s time now to fill up your gastronomic need amidst natural exquisiteness. There is a popular eatery called Mayura Prakriti, which is run by the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation. You can find some scrumptious South Indian dishes here. Besides, Dhole’s Den is one more place where you can try good quality food. Some of the food corners are there that also serve quality vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes including Idli, Dosa, pomfret, tandoor and kebabs.
Being one of the popular hill stations near Bangalore and a preferred weekend destination, BR Hills is frequently visited by number of travellers. Hence, it is essential as a traveller to keep a tab on the modes of commutation to reach there. Let’s take a look.
By Air: For travellers outside Bangalore or Karnataka, the best way to reach BR Hills is by air. Though, there is no individual airport in BR Hills, yet availability of three nearby airports makes it quite convenient for air travellers. The nearest airport is Mysore Airport, which is situated nearly 76Km from BR Hills. Other two nearby airports are Coimbatore Airport (around 186 km) and Bangalore International Airport (around 220 km). All these airports are well-connected to the major cities in India. From airport premises you can hire a cab or take a bus that travels till BR Hills.
By Train: No direct train is there to reach BR Hills from Bangalore. Hence, the best option is boarding a train from Bangalore till Chamarajanagar, which is the nearest railway station to BR Hills (around 40 Km). From Chamarajanagar station, hire a cab or take a bus for BR Hills. Two important trains from Bangalore till Chamarajanagar station are Bengaluru-Chamarajanagar Passenger Train and Tirupati- Chamarajanagar Fast Passenger Train. However, depending on the train and route, the travel time may vary from 5-7 hours. Another option is via Mysore Junction.
By Road: If you are planning to travel by road, various regular KSRTC buses are available from Mysore and Bangalore. You can hire a cab as well from these places to reach BR Hills. From Bangalore, the driving distance can be travelled approximately in 5 hours. On the other hand, from Mysore, it is about 2 hours drive till BR Hills. If you are travelling by car, the best route is via NH 209 that will take you through Kanakapura, Kollegal and Chamarajnagar.
Note: In order to keep a tab on the route map please click here. Also, be informed that total travel time may differ depending on the time of travel, mode of transport, route and the traffic.
Places to Stay:
With mounting footfalls and pleasing climate throughout the calendar, BR Hills has become a popular hill station and weekend destination near Bangalore. Hence, it’s been a serious concern for travellers to find a comfortable accommodation in BR Hills. To be very explicit, one cannot expect a deluxe or premium hotel in the terrain of BR Hills. Hence, the best and convenient option for you here is small cottage offering you decent foods.
If you want some comfy hotels for a night stay around the hill, you will get the same in Chamrajnagar area, which is nearly 40Km from the hills. Nevertheless, the hotels in this area are quite expensive.
Some of the nearby hotels are listed here for you:
#Rajathadri Hill Villa
Yelandur Main Road,B.R.Hills
Chamrajnagar, India 571441
#K.Gudi Wildness Camp
P.O Kyathadevarayana Gudi,
Chamarajnagar, India 571313
#Hotel Vana Vihar
Melkamanahalli, (Bandipura) Mysore-Ooty Road,
Gundalpet Taluk, Chamrajnagar India 571126
Temple Road, Opposite Govt. Ib, B R Hills,
Chamrajnagar, India 571441
Biligiri Rangan Hills, Opp. Yerakanagadde Colony,
Chamarajnagar, Karnataka 571441
So with no other thoughts, plan your weekend trip to BR Hills and bring home some relaxing memories. Exploring the hills with your family and buddies will add more spices to your weekend getaway.