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Nandi Hills: A weekend trip to the Ancient Hill Fortress near Bangalore

During scorching summer, holidaying in any tranquil hilltop is always a relaxing thought to execute. This post is going to drive you through an eminent and old knoll fortress in the Karnataka state of India. Nestled in the Chikkaballapur district of Karnataka and about 60Kms away from Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore), Nandi Hills is an absolute delight for trekkers and an idyllic one day threshold for tourists.

Lush bust at Nandi Hill

Blessed with natural abundance and picturesque vista, the misty mound promises you a blissful leisure into nature’s abode. Nandi Hills boast a diverse range of endangered fauna, and it is also known for rendering a panoramic sunrise amidst indigenous species of flora. Amongst an array of various vibrant floras, Coffea Arabica is one of the prominent species that can be spotted in Nandi Hills. If you rove around the knoll in sunrise, you can experience the lush bush and its marvellous environs that act as a substratum for the clouds condensation. For a true nature lover, this is absolutely an offbeat moment that can be remembered for long.

An Overview:

Situated at an elevation of around 4,851 ft. above sea level, Nandi Hills is located nearly 10Kms away from Chickballapur town and it is adjacent to Bangalore International Airport. Over the periods of time, the terrain of Nandi Hills has transformed to a large extent. Several commercial and residential course of action are underway in the province. The presence of natural exquisiteness has made this hilltop a perfect weekend destination for travellers. Located far away from city’s hustle-bustle, visitors flock here for picnic purpose as well.

The inhabitants around the hills are quite religious and generous by nature. There are various festivals that are celebrated here with great enthusiasm. Some of the prominent festivals in Nandi Hills include Pongal, Dussehrra, Ugadi and Ganesh Chaturthi. Being situated in the Karnataka state of India, Kannada is the official language here. In addition, English and Hindi are two other languages that can also be spoken in Nandi Hills.

Ancient Tales:

Like many other misty mountains, Nandi Hills also has many stories associated with its name. For instance, during Chola period this hill was recognised as Ananda Giri depicting the knoll of happiness. It is also said that the hill was named after Yoga Nandeeshwara. Well, this is not the end; Nandi Hills is also referred as Nandidurga representing a fort, which was built here ages back by Tippu Sultan. However, the best significance behind its name that could be related to Nandi Hills is a sleeping bull, known as Nandi.

Seasonal Climate:

Nandi Hills is one of the significant mountains in India that can be scaled all round the year. Moderate weather and splendid sightseeing opportunities made this place an absolute destination for nature lovers and adventure freaks. The soothing climate of Nandi Hills allures many travellers to explore the beauty of this hill station during temperate summer. The mountainous region witnesses the summer from March to May with a maximum temperature up to 40°C. However, due to its high altitude and breezing ambiance you can still enjoy a relaxing summer in Nandi Hills. Moving ahead with season, monsoon hits the hill station in the month of June and it lasts till August. Drenched climate makes the place more refreshing for visitors offering them a fascinating panorama of natural splendour. Nandi Hills faces the winter in December and it lasts here till February. During winter, the climate here is quite arctic and the temperature drops down till 10°C that time.

Best Time to Visit:

Because of its elevated existence and moderate weather, Nandi Hills is a place that can be visited throughout the year. However, for rain lovers June-August is the ideal time, as this is the time when the bloom of exotic faunas can be revealed the best. Adventure lovers on the other hand, must visit here during winter, as the cold climate will ease all their weariness. And visitors who want to get some relief from the sweltering summer; March to May is the perfect time to travel here. Thus, this is a place that can be visited all round the calendar.

Misty Knolls

Having depicted the picturesque attractions of this old mountainous region, let’s plunge into some of the magnificent sites that you must explore while touring Nandi Hills.

Places to Visit:

The following are the key attractions in Nandi Hills that you must explore during your voyage:

#Tipu’s Drop

tipu's drop nandi hills

Situated at an altitude of around 600 metres on the Nandi Hills, Tipu’s Drop is an inexplicable site to be experienced. It is said that in ancient time, several inmates were dragged down to death here in the rock face resulting in to screams of those dead prisoners in the form of leaves at windy night. Furthermore, Tipu’s Drop also offers you an amazing vista of the entire environs from 600 meters elevation.

#Tipu’s Summer Residence

Tipu's Summer Residence

If history and historic existence often fascinates you, Tipu’s Summer Residence is one such spot that you must visit. As the name suggests, this is a summer resort built by the great Tipu Sultan, who further named this abode as Tashk-e-jannat. The construction of this residence was actually incorporated by Haidar Ali, and completed by Tipu Sultan. The brilliance of wooden architecture featuring carved arches and tall stand pillars are the key attractions of this summer resort. Once you enter the residence, the stunning paintings on the hedge and ceilings will arrest your attention on the first go.

#Nandi Temple

Nandi Temple in nandi Hills

Despite of being a popular hill station, this place has various holy shrines to offer as well. The construction of Nandi shrine carries its old existence since the sovereignty of Banas, Hoysalas and Cholas. This holy shrine was built by the governor of Vijayanagara, Kempe Gowda offering various sculptures depicting deity Shiva and Goddess Parvati. In addition, you can also spot here a statue of Nandi and deity Shiva’s bull. The construction of Nandi Temple was done in honour of Yoganandeeshwara and Bhoganandishwara. Besides, beautifully embellished pillars will also draw your attention to a great extent in this temple.

#Muddenahalli

Muddenahalli in nandi hill

Another offbeat attraction in Nandi Hills region is Muddenahalli Museum showcasing various precious photographs and write-ups of Shri Vishveshwarayya, who was an eminent architect from Mysore. An ancestral home of Vishveshwarayya is also situated next to the museum. Situated around 37Kms away from Bangalore, this site is a base for expedition leading you towards other mountains like Madikeri Hills, Biligirirangana Hills and Agumbe Hill. While visiting Muddenahalli Museum; don’t forget to explore some other adjoining attractions like Nellikayi Basavanna, Baanathi Bande, Antharagange and Bhoga Nandeeshwara temple.

#Brahmashram

Brahmashram

Located adjacent to Nandi Hills, Brahmashram is an ideal destination for people who love equanimity. This place is popular for majestic caves where, Shri Ramakrishna Paramhansa used to do meditation. The serene ambience inside the cave leaves you a divinely feelings. Brahmashram is quite popular amongst the worshipers of Ramakrishna Paramhansa, who flock amidst the cave for composure.

#Yoga Nandeeshwara Temple

Yoga Nandeeshwara Temple, Nandi Hills

Positioned atop Nandi Hills, the shrine of Yoga Nandeeshwara was developed by the Cholas. It is said that the temple was built in honour of Sambhaji, the son of Chhatrapati Shivaji. The carvings and sculptures inside the temple are beautifully tinted and successfully grabs the attention of all visitors. There are two guards in the door of the temple for safe keeping of the shrine. Apart from tourists, many students also visit this temple to undergo their architectural research and studies.

#Nehru Nilaya

Ages back, Nehru Nilaya happened to be the summer retreat of Mysore’s commissioner Mr. Mark Cubbon. Over the periods of time, it has been transformed into a guest house by the Department of Horticulture, India. What pulls many travellers here is its British style Architecture. After Mark Cubbon, the guest house became a summer abode of Jawaharlal Nehru and accordingly the beautiful bungalow was named as Nehru Nilaya. With times, this bungalow has been graced by the presence of many legendary visitors like Mahatma Gandhi and Queen Elizabeth. So, don’t forget to witness the historical significance of Nehru Nilaya during your visit to Nandi Hills.

Nehru Nilaya

After exploring the major attractions in and around Nandi Hills, it’s time now to emerge your adventurous enthusiastic amidst mountains.

Things to Do:

Let’s take a look into the things that one must experience while touring Nandi Hills.

#Paragliding

Paragliding in Nandi Hills

Nandi Hills has no dearth of offerings for tourists, and the thrill reaches a different level of delight when you experience some outdoor activities around the mountain. If you want to explore the entire vicinity from a sky touching stature, you must avail the paragliding facilities in Nandi Hills. There are various travel agencies that cater some exciting paragliding opportunities atop the misty knolls.

#Cycling and Biking

Cycling in Nandi Hills

How about roving around the tantalizing altitude paddling the bicycle or riding on a bike? It sounds phenomenal, is not it? Nandi Hills offers you an amazing opportunity to reveal its breathtaking landscape on the wheels. So, what are you waiting for? Go and grab the most enjoyable cycling/ biking experience at the peaks of Nandi Hills.

Foods that you must try at Nandi Hills :

Nandi Hills is laid out with various eateries offering you some luscious cuisines to fill up your gastronomic needs. Visiting some of the nearby cities will offer you a diverse range of platters to taste. If you happen to be in Nandi Hills, don’t forget to try the local Chaat here. In some of the nearby restaurants and dhabas you can also try some of the popular local dishes like Dosa, Vada, Sambhar and Idli. In addition, platters like Ragi Mudde, Vangi Bath, Uppittu, Akki Roti, Jolada Roti, Chiroti and various sweets can equally be relished in and around Nandi Hills.

Foods in Nandi Hills

Having explored the charismatic sites and delicious platters amidst Nandi Hill, you may add more delights to your travel by visiting some of the nearby destinations including Hassan, Amrita Sarovar, Tumkur, Hosur etc.

Getting There:

Being one of the tranquil and mesmerising abodes of nature, Nandi Hills is frequently visited by travellers from all across the country. On inquiring how to reach there, the city has the following commuting options for you:

By Air: Having said the close existence of Bangalore Airport, it is quite convenient for air travellers to get there by flight. Located nearly 38Kms away from the destination, Kempegowda International Airport, Bangalore is in good touch with all major cities of India. Once you reach the airport, hire a cab or taxi to travel further till Nandi Hills.

By Train: Though, the nearest railway station is Chikkaballapur Railway Station located around 19Kms away from the destination; however, better connectivity can be availed through Bangalore railhead, which is located around 40Kms away from Nandi Hills. Bangalore railway station is well-connected to all major destinations in India. Some of the important trains to get there include SNSI MYS Express, Bangalore SF Express, Mysore Express, Janshatabdi Express etc. From railway station, you can hire taxi or cab to reach Nandi Hills.

By Road: Nandi Hills is adjacent to Bangalore and there are various government buses that run from Chikkaballapur and Bangalore to reach the destination. The road connectivity to Nandi Hills is quite pleasing offering you beautiful green sceneries and various food stores on the way. In the morning and evening you can get into KSRTC buses that mostly run from Bangalore’s central bus station. If you are driving from Bangalore by car then take NH7 from Hebbal flyover.

Nandi Hills by Road

Places to Stay:

Abundance of natural splendours has already made Nandi Hills a preferred weekend tourist hubs in Karnataka. Thus, plenty of visitors flock this misty mountain on regular basis. Keeping in mind the mounting footfalls of visitors, various luxury and budget hotels are established in and around Nandi Hills. Depending on the class of resort/hotel and the amenities you avail, the charges may range from INR 1500 to INR 3000 or more.

Hotel in Nandi Hills

In order to cater you a relaxing stay in Nandi Hills, some of the comfy accommodations are listed here:

#Hotel Mayura Pine Top Nandi Hills

ChikkaballapurNandi Hills, Chikkaballapur

Bangalore India 560064

#Discovery Village

Nandi Foot Hills near Kanive Nandeeshwara Temple,

Nandi Foot Hills,Nandi Post, Nandi Hobli,

Bangalore, 562103

#TG Stays

Nandi Hills Nandi Hills Main Road,

State Highway 74, Bangalore, 561205

#Capital Home Stay

Nandi Hills Main Road, State Highway 74,

 Bangalore, 561205

#Mount Palazzo

42/1Karahalli cross, Nandi Hills Main Road, Devanahalli Taluq,

Bangalore, Karnataka 562110

Hope, the peaks of ancient Nandi Hill fortress is going to gift you a restful refuge in summer. Don’t forget to carry your high resolution camera to arrest some vivacious moments atop the knolls.

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