Tired of the Bengaluru’s traffic? Want to run away? How about getting away from the stress of traffic and the summer heat?
Mountain’s have always given an answer, when in mountains nature works mysteriously, can give you answers to everything and can take away all your stress.
This popular hill station is on the brink of Bangalore and has a lot to offer. The hill station is very popular and it carries the charm of Bangalore’s weather to this very day.
The hillock is also known as Nandi Betta. (Betta in Kannada means a hill). It is situated approximately 60 kms away from the city and just a few kms away from the Bengaluru’s International Airport near Devanahalli. It falls under Chikkaballapur district,there are various ways in which you can explore this venue and we’ve got it sorted out for a perfect short trip!
If you are a late nighter and love night outs, this is the perfect avenue. You can ride down on your bikes or drive down by a car. There are many small shops on the way, which serve you food and beverages all night. Other than that you have a couple of cafe’s on the way where you can chill for all the time you want, sip on coffees and munch on quick bites. If you are a smoker, you can enjoy the sheesha too! The cafe’s are usually bustling on weekends and are lively. You can spend quality time here as the gates to the hills open around 6 in the morning.
If you are a fitness freak and cycling is your cup of tea. This place not only offers good roads to cycle all the way up to the hill. But, you can take a few detours and check out the trails around the place.
If you like bird watching, it has many species of birds and a few raptors which can be easily spotted in the hills. Walking and strolling around, post sunrise is safe and enjoyable.
You can look at the sunrise in morning, enjoy a cup of tea and spend a few hours. Visit the temple, bask in a little sun while embracing strong winds in the season and on the way back you could stop to buy some freshly harvested grapes! If you are a wine enthusiast, you could go to a wine tour too!
After all this while, you can stop at many restaurants which are right on the edge of the highway either piping hot parathas or hot steaming idlis.
This is another short getaway and also lies under the district of Chikballapur. It’s farther ahead and around 90 kms away from city of Bangalore. An offbeat place where you can find peace and solitude, located just a few hours away from the city. This is a hidden gem, with a little pond on the top of the hill and amazing views, you can catch some amazing sunrise here. Post which you can head over to the Gudibanda and explore the fort. The route (until the point where you would take left for Nandi hills) is same and hence all the hotels on the highway are accessible. If you have extra time to spare at night please head towards Nandi hills and spend your time and pack some food as well. The options post the Nandi hill’s turn are non-existent.
If you like adventures and would want to explore caves then Antara Gange is the perfect spot around Bangalore. It’s about 70kms away from Bangalore. The name when translated from Kannada (Karnataka’s native language) literally means ‘Ganges of the deep’ and there is a huge formation of rocks around the area. The rock formations and the terrain of the area is known to be the pre historic volcanic path. This is Kashi of the South. One can opt to take the trek route through the boulders and the trek is around 7 kms! It is advisable to take a local guide through the boulders, the route gets tricky and caution has to be exercised. There are also wild animals prevailing in the surroundings and its best advised to take a local guide to show you around. Consider reaching Antara Gange early in the morning to start the hike, when the temperatures are relatively lower. Have a safe trek and make sure you pack food from Kolar town where you have tons of options.
Udhagamandalam, also best known as Ooty, is capital of the Nilgiris district. This mountain range has got it’s name due to the morning blue (Blue – neel, Giri – mountains) haze and another wonder of nature the blue flower of Kurunji, which blooms once in 12 years. Ooty is also known as the queen of hill stations!
Ooty was home to many tribes, prominently to a tribe called Toda and they were mainly cultivating these lands for living. Later Tipu from south had captured this and eventually Tipu lost it to the Britishers.
Ooty just like most of the hill stations of India was the favourite summer place and capital to the Madras Presidency. This old charm of the town and British feel is carried over to this day and can be seen around the place.
Ooty is well connected by Road, the closest airport is Coimbatore, which is approximately 90 kilometers away and if you wish to choose the Rail, the closest Railway station is Mettupalayam. (40 kms away) One can take the UNESCO world heritage route from Mettupalayam to Ooty.
Toy train ride through the heart of Nilgiris is one of the best things to do in Ooty. You can use this toy train as a mode of commute to visit the tea plantations of Coonoor. This is a must do activity and you can either book your tickets on Indian Railway Online Booking well in advance or get a general ticket at the booking counter.
Overlooking the Sathyamangalam forests and the Nilgiri range there is a huge lake in the heart of Ooty. Where, you can spend hours. Take a pedal boat and go around the lake. You can binge on to some hot delicacies around the lake and also indulge in some fun activities. There are a huge number of stalls and a fair. You can also pickoff-road trails on Bicycles or take a horse ride around the lake.
You have museums to jungle trails. It is one of the best weekend getaways from Bangalore! For accommodation, you have small budget hotels, all the way to star hotels having their own private estates. While you are in Ooty, you must certainly try out the fresh local produce of fruits, bright orange carrots (popularly known as Ooty carrots) and do not forget the famous homemade chocolates!
Kodaikanal literally in Tamil means ‘The gift of Forest’. It surely is, we love Kodaikanal. This is another beautiful hill station for a perfect weekend retreat!
Kodaikanal is well connected by roads and is just an overnight journey from Bangalore.
Closest Airport is Madurai and the railways stop at a town called Palani, from where you have to cover a distance of 64 kms by road.
You can spend your days here doing nothing or cycling around the beautiful lake which is relaxing while you can stroll down the streets for having Tibetan food!
The pinewood forest trails, dolphin nose and pillar rocks are top tourist attractions. You have dozens of such more places to explore here and one can hop on to the local tour buses or autos if you are on the economy mode. If not, private taxis are easily available for hire.
If you have an extra day to spare or you want to get away from the touristy crowd of the main Kodai town. Then you have two brilliant options which complement the drive and soothe your senses. There is lake called Berijam which is approximately 20 kms away from the city center and approximately 32 kms away, Mannavanur Lake is another option.
While visiting these lakes plan to start early from the city and carry packed lunch. Both the places are still unspoilt and are true gems of kodai. Please maintain the strict No Plastic Policy at these spots.
Munnar can also be called as the emerald of south India. It has not acres, but kilometers of Green carpets (Tea plantations) and amidst these tea gardens lies this town of Munnar!
It is an overnight journey from Bangalore (475 kms) and the closest Airport is Cochin (105 kms). The closest railway station is Udumalai. However the connectivity is better from the Ernakulam junction (140 kms away).
Munnar has budget accommodation right in the heart of town and has homestays to lavish star resorts in middle of the tea estates.
You can go on the trails of tea gardens for bird watching, visit the famous tea museum and understand the processing of tea from their plantations to your cuppa.
There are unique gardens and tons of forest where you can find peace. You can take some adventurous speed boat ride at Mattupetty Dam and if lucky, you can spot wild elephants and boars around.
You can soak in nature’s beauty at Mattupetty Dam. Then drive towards ‘Top Station’. On your way to Top Station do stop at the ‘echo point’ where you can hear your own voice echo. Top station offers a bird’s eye view of the valley, you will walk through the clouds at top station to reach the viewpoint.
If you like wildlife you can visit the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary and also opt for a treehouse to stay in. On the way you will also witness huge gardens of sandalwood under the fenced area where once Veerappan used to prowl.
Yelagiri is 160 kms away from Bangalore and around 70 kms away from Krishnagiri. Yelagiri is another perfect weekend retreat for you, at Punganoor lake you can boat and stroll through the park attached to the lake.
You can walk up to the Swamimalai hills, highest point here and watch the sheer nature’s beauty around the place. You can cover the places of interest in a day with ease. However, you have a couple of trekking routes. If you intend to trek up these trails you can stay at resorts/hotels available on top of the hill as a base for the treks.
Initially nick named as ‘Poor’s Ooty’ is not so poor anymore and has various avenues to cater every type of activity! Approximately 270 kilometers away from Bangalore, in the district of Salem, this hill station is on the brink of Salem. The roads, all the way to top are brilliant and this should be one of the top road trip destinations on your list. You can spend some quality time gazing at nature’s beauty on the banks of Big Lake, pay homage at the Shevaroy temple and get some mad off-roading action on ATV’s in the hills! Dip your feet in Kiliyur falls and let go off all the tiredness! You could choose to zip line or just take a stroll through the Botanical Garden. Also, if you want to gaze at the beautiful valley make your way to the Pagoda Point or gents/ladies/children’s Seat!
Do you love lush greenery, coffee and off roading? Or on the contrary sitting back in an old rustic home and read a book on the porch while sipping hot coffee? Well, Sakleshpur can be both at once! Sakleshpur is in the Malnad region of Karnataka and is approximately 200 kms away from Bangalore. The famous green route trek through the railway line’s is not possible off late. But however there are many hills and mountains which are lush green and are untouched where you can trek. There are many resorts around which have private estates spread out to acres and offer camping, trekking and exclusive off roading opportunities. When in the region do try out the Akki rotti & chicken or pork curry. Most of the resorts here offer mud volleyball. Which, certainly is an amazing physical workout and a good team building activity.
There is Manjarabad fort worth the visit and the Sakaleswara temple.
In Kerala another ideal getaway from the city’s hustle bustle is Wayanad. 270 kms from Bangalore, Wayanad is a scenic hill station. From the pre historic Edakkal caves to the Chembra peak’s hike to heart shaped lake, Wayanad will keep you on your toes for exploration. Wayanad is a perfect place for a short weekend getaway. You have unique eco-friendly resorts and most unique tree houses to stay. Added to it, you have the pocket friendly homestays too. If you are physically fit, do hike through the lush jungles of Chembra peak all the way to heart lake. You can take a dip in Soochipara waterfalls and do not miss the sunset at Banasura dam.
On the foot of Mullayanagiri range Chikmagalur is around 250 Kilometers away from Bangalore. It is another perfect place to beat the summer blues! If you like trekking, then this place has a lot to offer. You can trek to Mullayanagiri, Baba Budangiri, Kemmangundi and Kudremukh. If you like wildlife, the can visit the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary. Another place of interest here is Hebbe falls which is gigantic and the roaring waters falling from high cliff makes it a magnificent site!
Looking at the beauty of Coorg Britishers coined it as ‘Scotland of India’. Coorg is region with dozens of activities to do, the main source of coffee and also has most unique culture. Even though Coorg or Kodagu is part of Karnataka, the culture is very different and experiencing its culture should be on the bucket list of yours. Do try out the famous Kadumbuttu and pandi curry (steamed rice balls and pork curry). There is a region reserved for the Buddhist monks known as Bylakuppe and the Golden Temple is a place where you will certainly find peace with the praying monks.
This place also holds a religious importance and is also the starting point of the river Kaveri. You can visit the Talakaveri, starting point of Kaveri, and have a panoramic view of the whole region, where there is also a Ganesha temple and the region also has Omkareshwar temple (1 of the 12 Shivlings). You can take a hike to the beautiful Abbe falls or just sip at the local home grown coffee in the estates!
Biligirirangana Hills, commonly known as BR Hills, is approximately 170 kms away from Bangalore. BR hills is a reserved forest area for Tigers. You can head towards the jungle for a safari experience. Home to many exotic Bird species and the Tiger reserve this place can really sooth your senses. The hills are located in the Chamarajanagar district and the name has history attached to it based on the ancient Ranganatha Swamy Temple. BR hills is in the lap of nature, away from the touristy crowd and you can stay in the middle of the jungle. The road through the jungle makes the drive even more exciting! Do visit the temple along with the safaris, the temple is on the peak which overlooks the northern parts of the sanctuary where the panoramic views offered are mesmerizing.
On the edge of Karnataka’s border in Andhra Pradesh lies Horsley Hills. 150 kms away from Bangalore, this place can be your next ideal retreat to beat the summer heat. At Horsley hills you have all the time to relax and there are just a few points of interest, which are Koundinya Wildlife Sanctuary, Environment Park and Mallama Temple. You can find many species of birds and the wide array of flora in this region which will certainly intrigue you. You can also witness the world’s biggest banyan tree Thimmamma Marrimaanu spread over 2.5 acres.
Do you like long winding hilly roads and no commercialisation? Well, Kolli Hills has 70 hairpin bends to get to the top and they are all packed under 30 Kms of road! So buckle up and enjoy the drive. You can visit Akasha Ganga Waterfalls where the water drops from a height of 70 feet and is a major attraction here in the serene hills. You can see the amazing views from these high raised hills from either Seekuparai or Selur Nadu. There is also a temple at the top called Kollipavai Temple. Apart from these you could also visit the Boat house, the Botanical Garden, Siddhar Caves, Koyilur View point and Santhana Parai Valley.