Hill stations near Bangalore– Staying in Bangalore offers the individual an amazing array of food, music and dance options to spend the weekends.
However, there comes a time when you are totally satiated with these and feel the need to escape to a serene, peaceful spot that will enable your brain to be rejuvenated and refreshed anew.
Following are a list of ten such weekend getaways from Bengaluru that will enable you to unwind and get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Savanadurga – A Trek that Tests Your Fitness levels
Savandurga is one of the biggest monolith hills in Asia situated at a distance of about 60 km from Bengaluru. It lies off Magadi Road near the area of Ramnagara and the base can be reached by availing autos, KSRTC buses or motorcycles. Guided motorcycle tours are also available.
Savanadurga is a perfect weekend getaway for all hikers and trekkers who love to indulge in an arduous climb just to behold the fantastic view offered from the summit. Spotting some of the long-billed vultures, yellow-throated bulbuls and white-backed vultures which abound the place are an added bonus.
The Savanadurga trek can take anything from an hour to two depending upon the speed of the climbers and the number of breaks undertaken. The climb is quite steep and the terrain quite slippery especially if the rocks are covered with algae. You need to don good climbing shoes and be endowed with a certain amount of fitness as the climb both ways is sure to test the strength of your knees, lungs, and ankles. The remnant structures of a fort built by KempeGowda lie halfway up the climb and here you can energize yourself with juices available for a premium.
It is best to carry water and some snacks along with you on the climb. You can have your breakfast at a food joint 3 km prior to the base camp before embarking on your climb.
The picturesque view of the deciduous jungles, the ArkavathiRiver flowing by and the Manchinbele Dam are sure to make it worth the arduous climb.
Nandi Hills- A Picturesque Fort Hill
A delight to the nature lover, bird watcher and avid photographer, Nandi Hills, located at a height of 1450 meters is another popular weekend getaway from Bengaluru. A mere 60 km or so from Bengaluru, Nandi Hills can be reached by cabs, buses or your own vehicle. It takes about an hour and more to reach the place and the journey is very refreshing as you travel on straight roads set amidst lush green fields. Better known as Tipu Sultan’s summer retreat of yesteryears, the place has a number of shrines and monuments scattered all over. Parking is available at the ticket counter from where it is a matter of 20 minutes of walk to reach the top.
The view from the top is absolutely exhilarating especially if you manage to make it for sighting the amazing sunrise. The fresh, pure air stirs your senses and you feel truly rejuvenated and refreshed as you gaze at the beautiful vista spread below you. The place called the viewpoint is the place to be if you want to take in all the beauty that is on offer here! Strolling through the park on top of the hill is another pleasure-giving activity you can indulge in. Close to the viewpoint is the Yoga NandeeshwaraSwamy temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
There are several spots like the AmruthSarovar, Tipu’s Drop, Nellikai Basavanna which are worth visiting in Nandi Hills. You can also avail of the guided vineyard tour at the foothill of Nandi Hills. It involves an unhurried walk through the vineyards, viewing the winemaking process through all its stages and lastly indulging in the wine tasting session which is the highlight of the tour.
The drive down the hill becomes thoroughly enjoyable if you are a group of bikers come on a day out. Following one another on the winding roads is an amazing scene especially if you are the last one in the pack.
Biligirirangana Betta- A Paradise for the Adventure Enthusiast
The point of junction between the Eastern and Western Ghats in Karnataka, the Biligirirangan Betta which lies at a distance of about 180 km or so from Bengaluru is another popular getaway for many of its residents. Starting very early in the morning is the key to getting the most of what the site has to offer. There are buses and cabs to take you to the place in addition to the option of driving your own vehicle.
The natural beauty, flora, and fauna are the highlights of the place and these can be amply viewed by undertaking a jungle safari of the BRT Wildlife Sanctuary. The wildlife sanctuary is a haven to a number of wildlife species like tigers, elephants, sambars and many birds. Besides nature lovers, adventure-seeking travelers too will surely fall in love with the place due to the varied activity options like river rafting, camping, and trekking offered by the site. However, for the river rafting activity, you need to time your visit during the monsoon season.
Another worth stopping halt is the Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple which lies on top of the hill. The temple dates back to ancient times and offers an amazing view of the jungle beneath. If you want to spend the night in the lap of nature then you can camp at the K.Gudi Wilderness Camp which is situated beside the jungle boundary. There are several other stay opportunities offering amenities ranging from basic to luxurious that include campfires, tribal performances, Ayurveda therapies and so on.
One of the not to miss spots in this area includes a visit to the age-old Champak tree spanning a height of 34 meters and width of about 20 meters or so.
Kemmanagundi- A Peaceful, Scenic Hill Station
Nestled amidst the Baba Budan Giri range of mountains, Kemmanagundi hill station offers the peace and quiet required from a weekend getaway. Dazzling waterfalls, lush greens and the bubbling mountain streams that await you revitalize your mind and body and get you back charged to face the normal grind of everyday life. The hill station also offers a lot of trekking options to the tourist.
Located at a distance of about 250 km from Bengaluru, the Kemmanagundi hill station has several places of interest to the weekend tourist. Some of them include the imposing Hebbe Falls and the Kalhatti Falls, the Rose Garden with its mesmerizing fragrance of varied roses, Rajendra Hill and the Z point; an amazing vantage spot offering mesmerizing views of the surrounding landscape and the setting sun. And as you view the sunset you are filled with a sense of serenity that can be obtained only from such spots.
Other spots to visit include the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary and the Bhadra Dam which are at a distance of about 52 km from Kemmangunda.
As for the stay options, there are several government-managed guesthouses that serve delectable breakfast in the mornings. Besides, there are other resorts as well!
Bandipur- A Paradise for the Nature Lover
Once the hunting reserve of the Mysore Maharajas, Bandipur; today, is a wildlife resort and home to a wide variety of wildlife and plant life. The place is located at a distance of around 220 km from Bengaluru.
The area is a goldmine to all nature lovers as they can spot their favorite birds and animals amidst the unruffled atmosphere of the lush greens. Jungle safaris and bird watching tours can be undertaken at the Bandipur National Park in addition to availing varied adventure-oriented activities like mountaineering, trekking and camping. Guided camping tours are also organized here. The forests here are filled with the fragrance oozing sandalwood trees.
However, Bandipur is not only known for its best tiger reserves but also for its parks, temples, and caves. The Gopalaswamy Betta housing the Gopalaswamy Temple, the Edakkal Caves with its elaborate wall carvings, the Mudumalai National Park are just to name a few other sites that are equally interesting.
Sakaleshpur- A Memorable Monsoon Getaway
Another perfect weekend getaway is the beautiful Sakleshpur set amidst the pristine forests, coffee estates, lush meadows, bubbling streams, and waterfalls. It lies about 220 km from Bengaluru.
You start off early in the morning and have breakfast on the highway before hitting Yedyur. You can visit several spots along the way and the first stopover is the Shettihalli Church. Though the church is in ruins, the beauty of this beautiful Gothic structure lies unparalleled and becomes an ideal spot for photoshoots.
Move ahead enjoying the billowing green fields along the way, eating lunch at Kuduraste or Yaslur and reachSakleshpur by early evening if you make several halts along the way. Sakleshpur is often referred to as the ‘Poor Man’s Ooty’ and this only goes to indicate the natural beauty this hill station has to offer.
The Manjarabad Fort located on a hilltop and offering beautiful views of the Western Ghats, the Bisle View Point; another scenic vantage point, the JenukalGudda trek, the Manjehalli Waterfalls, the ancient temple at Betta Byraveshwara as well as the Sakleshwar Temple are some of the sites to visit at Sakleshpur. You can also pay a visit to the Raxidi Estate for a refreshing walk amidst the coffee plantations.
Monsoon is the best time to visit the place as then the entire region is engulfed in a lush green carpet.
Male Mahadeshwara Betta- A Divine Temple Town
Male Mahadeshwara Betta is a pilgrim town located about 210 km from Bengaluru. The place is known for its ancient temple of Lord Mahadeshwara which offers a lot of solaces and mental peace to the devotee. The journey to this place is worth undertaking because it moves through protected sanctuary land endowed with varied plant and animal life and if you happen to be lucky then you can sight a few of the wildlife inhabitants.
MM Hills as it is better-known consists of seven peaks including Kanumale, Jenumale, Anumale, Pachchemale, Kongumale, Ponnachimale and Pavalamale. The hilltop has been cleared so that the tourists can easily climb to the top and get a fantastic view of the valley below. There are several small villas on top of the hill which serve as accommodation options for the tourist.
The place is an ideal spot for trekking enthusiasts, avid photographers and bike riders who love to negotiate hairpin curves.
Madikeri- Hidden Emerald of Coorg District
Madikeri makes for a romantic weekend getaway from Bengaluru endowed as it is with large acres of coffee and tea plantations on the misty mountains, lush green undulating landscapes, calm and serene environment and varied interesting spots to visit.
Formerly known as Mercara during the British Raj this picturesque hill station was later renamed as Madikeri. It is located about 265 km from Bengaluru.
There are several places of interest to be visited here like the Madikeri Fort which houses a few government offices, a small museum, and a temple; the refreshing Abbey Falls with clear waters gushing down from a height of 70 feet; the Omkareshwara Temple which makes you wonder in awe at its Islamic and Gothic architectural style and the Gaddige Raja’s Tomb which too has been built in a unique Indo-Saracenic architectural style.
Another spot that offers fantastic views of the adjoining landscape not to forget the mesmerizing sunset view is the Raja’s Seat. The Raja’s Seat comprises of a well-tended garden that also has a beautiful pavilion within it.
If you do not want to leave the place without experiencing the feel and fragrance of the tea plantations then the Tata Tea Estate with a beautiful bungalow in its midst as a stay option is a must-visit spot.
Sringeri- A Temple Town with a Divine Past
Sringeri acts as the perfect weekend getaway for all the culturally inclined travelers. It is an important temple town located at a distance of around 330 km from Bengaluru. It is considered important because this was the place where the first of the four mathas; the Sri SringeriSharadaPeetham was formed by Adi Shankaracharya. The town has several temples with historic significance such as the Sri Vidyashankara Temple, ShriSharadamba Temple, and the Parshwanath Jain Temple and each of them is endowed with beautiful architecture.
There are several scenic spots around Sringeri such as Agumbe known for its dazzling sunset view, the Sirimane Falls and the Hanumanagundi Falls.
The best time to visit the place is the October to March period.
Mysore- A City that Bestows an Enriching Experience
Referred to as the City of Palaces, Mysuru is said to be the twin city of Bengaluru but with a totally contrasting lifestyle. Life is more laid back, there are more peace and quiet; it is a city with a unique combination of the old and new and is endowed with a legacy of a rich and glorious past that dates to about 600 years ago.
Mysuru lies at a distance of 143 km from Bengaluru. The city is sprinkled with a number of tourist attractions with there being something or the other to satisfy every traveler.
The Mysuru Palace tops the list of places to visit and rightly so! There is nothing to beat the grandeur and wow factor of the palace as it stands tall and imposing even in today’s times. Besides the Mysuru Palace, there is the Mysuru Zoo, the Brindavan Gardens, Chamundi Hills, Karanji Lake, St. Philomena Church, Railway Museum that can be visited during the tour of the city.
On a Concluding Note
There are several travel agencies that offer amazing weekend getaway packages from Bengaluru. You can choose from one of them to obtain a hassle-free experience or prepare a travel plan on your own. Either way, rest assured your weekend getaway is sure to become an unforgettable experience!