A tiny district in the Indian state of Karnataka called Chikkaballapur is a popular weekend getaway near Bangalore, probably 58Kms away from the silicon city. Perched at an elevation of nearly 915m above sea level, this spectacular weekend destination is an absolute paradise for sightseeing, picnicking, paragliding, trekking and rock climbing. In addition, the site also boasts number of holy shrines and electrifying waterfalls to behold.
If you plunge into the history of this location, earlier Chikkaballapur used to be known as Chinna Ballaporum, which is a Telugu word meaning small (Chinna) measure to enumerate the food grains (balla) in town (porum). Times back Chinna Ballaporum used to be eminent as an agricultural centre, and with growing age, this small town has been transformed as Chikkaballapur under the administration of Wadiyar dynasty of Mysore and combined with the state Karnataka. Today, Chinna Ballaporum is a big name in the provision of silk and incense industry, and also a popular place for trade in silver and gold.
This small breathtaking city houses plenty of attractions to offer. If you are a nature lover or an adventure freak, look no further than Chinna Ballaporum. To explore the place from a close proximity, let’s take you for a virtual ride over there:
1. Nandi Hills
Situated nearly 10Km south of Chikkaballapur, the misty mound of Nandi is blessed with natural abundance and picturesque vista. Nandi Hills is laid out with a diverse range of endangered fauna, and the destination is also famous for offering a panoramic sunrise amidst indigenous species of flora. Located far away from city’s hustle-bustle, visitors also flock here for picnicking as well.
2. Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple
This is a religious site constructed in the reverence of Lord Shiva. Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple is located nearly 20Kms away from the city center which sees a good influxes of Hindi devotees from its neighbouring locations. Apart from its religious significance, the temple also allures the visitors for its Dravidian architectural brilliance that was built centuries back in 806 A.D by Rathnavalli of Bana reign. There are two more large shrines in this temple complex. One is positioned to the north direction of the temple, which is known as the ‘Arunachaleswara’. This shrine was built by the Gangas of Talakad. The second one is situated to the south direction and it is known as the ‘Bhoga Nandeeshwara’, which was constructed by the Cholas. When you enter the temple complex, you will come across few decorative stone windows depicting various embossed figures of Goddess Durga standing on a buffalo head and figure of dancing Shiva. The stand tall pillars in the temple exhibits some eye-catching sculptures.
3. Vivekanand Falls
This is another amazing site to visit around Chikkaballapur. Located nearly 12Kms from Chikkaballapur, Vivekanand Falls is famous for picnic gathering. To reach this amazing destination you need to complete almost an hour of trekking, and the best time to visit here is during just after the monsoon (September-October). The reason being, this is the time when you can best reveal the animated waterfall amidst fresh greeneries. However, the falls tends to dry up quickly during summers. Hence, visiting Vivekanand Falls during summers is not worthy.
For adventure freaks, trekking around Vivekanand Falls and its vicinity is an absolute delight. Besides, you can also explore two hills here namely; Pandava Hill and Kaurava Hill. These are positioned near the falls and around 12Kms north of Chikkaballapur district. If you want to experience a thrilling rock climbing, both the hills are idyllic for you.
4. Ranganatha Swamy Temple
Another religious site located within the 5 Kms away from Chikkaballapur is the temple of Ranganatha Swamy, which is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The temple is also known as Rangasthala, and it is quite scared place for the local inhabitants. One of the key attractions of this temple is its eye-catching carved stone sculpture of Lord Vishnu. The pillars in the temple complex depict some beautiful imprinted figures along with scriptures on a black mineral.
A small hamlet within 7Kms reach from Chikkaballapur, Muddenahalli is known as the native of M. Visvesvarayya, who was not only a great statesman from Karnataka, but also a brilliant architect. Travellers mostly flock Muddenahalli to witness the residence of Sri Visvesvarayya, which is now transformed to a museum. This museum showcases all the significant articles and personal belongings of the great architect that include Visvesvarayya’s awards, pass book, lexicons, cups, spectacles, outfits, pens etc. Every year on his birthday i.e. on 15th September, the museum is decorated to offer a great admiration to this legend of Karnataka. So, when in Chikkaballapur, Muddenahalli is a must visit for you.
How to reach
Getting there in Chikkaballapur is not much taxing. Let’s take a look what are the feasible ways of transportation to reach your weekend destination.
By Air: For air travellers, the nearest airport to Chikkaballapur is Bangalore International airport, which is situated nearly 56kms away from Chikkaballapur. From airport, you can take a bus or hire a cab to travel further till the destination.
By Train: If you are travelling there by train, Chikaballapur is the nearest railhead, which is connected to Bangalore by KSR Bengaluru-Kolar DEMU Train. It takes nearly 2 hours and 5 minutes travel time to reach there by train. From railway station you can hire a taxi to commute further.
By Road: Thanks to the good roadway network between Chikaballapur and Bangalore making the road journey between these two places quite convenient and comfortable. For by road journey, several private and government run buses (KSRTC) are there to reach Chikaballapur in nearly two hours time. Additionally, you can also hire a cab reach there in approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes time. If you are travelling by car, the convenient route to reach Chikaballapur is via NH44.
So, if you yet to decide your next weekend destination near Bangalore then just call your buddies, plan a trip and pack your backs. Reaching Chikkaballapur from Bangalore is just a plan away. And if you happen to get there, don’t forget to share your travel experience in the midst of knolls and natural abundance.
Image Courtesy: Google