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Eight Weekend Trips from Bangalore

By on January 18, 2013

Sucked into the material world, we left the nature far behind and busied ourselves building cities. But never did we stop wishing to get a glimpse of the greenery that we destroyed for the concrete jungle to be constructed. After a long hectic week, we desire to breathe in the fresh air, to feast our eyes on the lush green fields, to feel the wind blowing on the face and to hear the melodious bird calls which we are deprived of, being residents of the concrete jungle. Bangalore, known for its pleasant weather, is headed the same way as other metropolitan cities. Pollution in every form has crept into the guts of this city too. But the best part about the location of Bangalore is that the residents are never too far from nature. Nature stands guard to Bangalore in every possible exit you look at. Let’s explore places to visit near Bangalore.

1.  Nandi Hills

Hardly 60kms away from Bangalore, this hill station is located in the Chikkaballapur district of Karnataka. It is traditionally held as the origin of three rivers Pennar, Palar and Arkavathy, although most of the sources have dried up now. The hills are adorned by an ancient temple of Shiva and Parvati and Tippu Sultan’s summer place can also be found at the top of the hills. Amongst places tovisit near Bangalore, the uniqueness of Nandi Hills lies in being the only hub for paragliding in the whole state and being a cyclist’s paradise. For the wine connoisseurs, there is a vineyard close to the hills which can be combined along with the visit to these hills.

2. Horsely Hills

Another hill station is Horsely Hills located in the Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh, yet is only 140kms from Bangalore. Not just the hill station but the journey to this place is equally scenic with roads flanked by exotic trees like Eucalyptus, Gulmohar, Mahogany, Jacaranda etc. Koudinya Wildlife sanctuary and an elephant reserve can be seen around the hills as well as the small town of Madanapalle.

3.  Yelagiri

Around 150kms from Bangalore, Yelagiri is located in Vellore district of Tamil Nadu. The hills are home to primarily tribals spread across in 14 villages or more aptly hamlets. Stop at any point on the ghats and you are sure to witness the clouds passing through you and far below would be tribal farmers working their ways through the fields. Jalagamparai waterfalls within the hills give a scope for a long trek. Nestled in the lap of these hills, the Vaina Bappu observatory is an excellent place to visit near Bangalore and yet get lost in the world of stars.

4.  Hogenekkal Falls

Also known as the ‘Niagara of India’, this series of falls on the river Cauvery gives a spectacular view to nature lovers only 180kms from Bangalore. The elevation of the rocks and the force of the water when it falls give a smoke like illusion hence the name ‘hoge’ meaning smoke and ‘kal’ meaning rock in Kannada. A short ride from the city lands us in one of the most beautiful waterfalls near Bangalore.

5.  Shivanasamudra Falls

Situated on the boundary of Mandya district and Chamarajanagar district, Shivanasamudra falls is on the river Cauvery, about 133kms from Bangalore. An average width of 305m, the island of Shivanasamudra divides the river into twin falls dropping from a cliff of 98mts. Being a perennial waterfall, it is one of the very popular waterfalls near Bangalore for tourists.

6.  Kokkarebellur

Kokkarebellur is a small village in the Mandya district of Karnataka, about 75kms from Bangalore. This village is home to numerous Painted Storks and is the one of the nesting sites in India for Spot-Billed Pelicans. The presence of these rare birds gives the village its name, ‘kokkare’ meaning storks in Kannada. Little Cormorant, Black Ibis, Grey Heron, Black crown Night Heron and Indian pond Heron are the other exotic birds sighted in and around this village while the Spot-billed Pelican and the Painted Stork are migratory birds mostly spotted during the winter months. With more than 250 species of birds spotted here, this is one of the top places to visit near Bangalore.

7.  Ramanagara

One of the earliest rock climbing sites in south India, Ramanagara is conveniently located 50kms away from Bangalore. It is also known as the shooting site for the famous Bollywood movie, Sholay. Also called the land of seven hills, this place boasts of one of the world’s oldest granite outcrops. These hills are also home to some rare bird species like Yellow-throated Bulbul and Long-billed Vultures. Kanva reservoir on the tributary Kanva of river Cauvery, is a nice place to visit near Bangalore for camping as well as fishing and bird watching.

8.  Mekedaatu and Sangama

About 100kms from Bangalore, Mekedaatu is located in Kanakpura Taluk along the river Cauvery. Sangama is the point of unison of the river Arkavathy and river Cauvery and 3kms downstream it which flows down through a narrow deep ravine of granite rock. The gorge being so narrow, that is said a goat can leap across, hence the name ‘Mekedaatu’ which means a goat’s leap in Kannada.

The list of places to visit near Bangalore can still go on but these are few for the nature-lovers forced to stay in the city for their daily bread.

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