Globetrotters always say, ‘the best places to visit are often off the map’. Bangalore is a high-tech city that is known for its nightlife and beautiful parks. But there are some other places in Bangalore which take you close to nature. Nandi Hills in Chikkaballapur district of Karnataka is the perfect testimony to this. I have visited Bangalore many times but could make it to the most gorgeous and picturesque location until now.
The Nandi Hills is an ancient hill fortress built and enlarged by Tipu Sultan in ancient southern India. Located 60 km from Bangalore city, this place has seen an overwhelming response from tourists over the years. I was completely awed by the breathtaking views, serene winds, lush green landscapes, and terrific trekking terrains the trip offers. This place is a paradise for travelers like me.
Top 8 Reasons For Visiting Nandi Hills
Nandi Hills is an absolute haven for those seeking a refreshing escape amidst the lap of Mother Nature. This quaint little town has much more to explore than you would expect. Here are a few reasons why you must visit Nandi Hills, Bangalore.
- Quick weekend gateway
- Has drop-dead gorgeous landscapes and terrains
- Adventurous trekking and camping destination
- Just a road trip away from Bangalore city
- Tipu Sultan’s residence is mesmerizing
- Dignitaries like Queen Elizabeth II, Mahatma Gandhi, and more have stayed here
- Can visit Nandi any time of the year
- Picture-perfect locale is worth a thousand Instagram likes
3 Things To Do In Nandi Hills
I am a wanderer who seeks tranquility from nature’s delight and this place is just my dream locale. History and adventure buffs like me must plan a visit to this little spot once in a lifetime.
I started my journey to the Nandi Hill before dawn, owing to the city traffic I was hooked in the jam but still managed to reach before time. The timing for visiting the hilltop is 6 am to 6 pm but people reach here sooner than that. The hilltop gives you a stunning valley view.
Most of you may think that this place is limited to mind-blowing attractions, breathtaking sightseeing, and worship haul. But I assure you Nandi Hills is a gem hidden on the map. There are a lot of adventure activities you can indulge in.
1. Take A Stroll Around
I parked my vehicle in the parking at the foothills and climbed up to grab the scenic beauty of nature in my camera. The winds were high and there was too much fog for me to capture the stunning valley view.
You can make the most of your mornings and evenings as you take a stroll on the walkway along the hillside. Also, make sure to check the weather forecast before you visit the hills as you don’t want to miss the best scenes from nature’s basket.
I have done paragliding in Goa and it has been a memorable experience for me. Nandi Hills also offer this amazing adventure sport and allows you to fly high and descend the valley with thrill.
This overwhelming experience can never be forgotten. Check the weather before you schedule your flight. Take some amazing videos and photos for your collection.
3. Cycling Through Nandi Hills
As I walked along the hillside you may indulge in the biking or cycling trail of 30 km and let the stress melt away. The lush green landscape, spectacular terrain, and pompous altitude make it a perfect paradise for bikers and cyclists.
Paddling up the hills will be the most heart-quenching experience of the trip. On the way, you can explore rare species of animals and birds and the throbbing winds on your face. Don’t miss the sunrise in Nandi hills after the ride.
9 Places To Visit Near Nandi Hills
I was one a weekend trip to Bangalore to meet my folks. So I could cover limited spots on this trip. I hope to visit Nandi Hills again and take a full-fledged vacation in nature’s lap.
Let me take you through the best places to visit near Nandi Hills:
1. Tipu Sultan’s Fort
This fort is Tipu Sultan’s summer residence, which is also known as Tashk-e-Jannat (Heaven’s Envy). The fortress was originally built by Haidar Ali and Tipu Sultan completed its construction. It is a destination of supreme interest among architecture and history buffs.
Standing atop the hills, Tipu Sultan’s Fort features five arches with minarets adorned in beautiful art and architecture of the ancient era. The walls and ceiling are engraved with mesmerizing paintings. Many trekking trips go around the fort with scenic surroundings making it a sanctuary for trekking enthusiasts.
2. Tipu’s Drop
Located on a cliff that’s 600 meters above the sea level, Tipu’s drop is the oldest and famed tourist destination in Nandi. It gives you a panoramic view of the city below. This is also a legendary place from where the king used to push down prisoners to meet their death, thus the name Tipu’s Drop.
Click many pictures from the top and enjoy the gushing winds when on the top. All the safety arrangements have been made for the visitors here, but make sure you are alert.
3. Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple
Also known as the Nandi temple, the Bhoga Nandeeshwar Temple dates back to the 9th century. It is one of the oldest temples in Karnataka. The ancient temple is located at the base of Nandi Hills, making it an ideal gateway for weekend worship and a popular picnic spot.
The beautiful complex is twinned with the Yoga Nandeeshwar Temple at the top of the hills. Nandi temple boasts a fascinating architecture that makes the visit worthwhile.
4. The Yoga Nandeeshwar
This is the twin temple of Bhoga Nandeeshwar, located atop the hill. It is famous for the huge statue of Sacred Bull, Nandi built at the entrance of the temple.
It houses three temples dedicated to the three forms of Lord Shiva –Arunachaleshwar, Uma Maheshwar, and Bhoga Nandeeshwar – representing his youth, marriage, and repudiation. Built-in monolithic pillars, these temples are an architectural masterpiece devoted to Lord Shiva.
This is a cave made from natural boulders and was used by Sage Ramakrishna Paramhansa for meditation. It is one of the important pilgrimage sites in Karnataka. Rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul at this place when in Nandi, Bangalore.
6. Amrita Sarovar
Also known as ‘The Lake of Nectar’, this beautiful lake is the major source of water supply to this region. This beautiful water body is formed by perennial springs. The grand steps that lead to the well are a majestic example of Dravidian Architecture.
The lake remains open for visitors all day long, but you must take a tour to the lake when the sun is down and stars and moon have lit up the sky. Don’t miss a chance to soak in the shimmering waters in this tranquil zone.
A tiny village situated 7 km from the Chikballapur district in Karnataka houses a memorial dedicated to an artist named M. Visvesvarayya in Mysore. You can also indulge in historical artifacts, ancient writings, photographs, and paintings of him displayed at the museum.
People have built his Samadhi next to the museum as a subtle reminder of his great works portraying Indian art and culture. Also visit Baanathi Bande, Anjaneya Temple, and Antharagange located nearby.
8. Gandhi house
If you’re a fan of Bapu, you must definitely stop at the Gandhi House on your trip to Nandi fortress. This was once Mahatma Gandhi’s residence and is now maintained by the DPAR Government of Karnataka.
9. Nehru Nilaya
The British architectural beauty of this 150 years old colonial house attracts tourists by the throngs. Before independence, this place was a summer retreat of Sir Mark Cubbon, the Commissioner of Mysore.
It has been converted into a lavish guesthouse by the Horticulture Department of Karnataka. If you have to stay here make bookings in advance.
How To Reach Nandi Hills?
This small hill station in Karnataka is well-connected and can be reached by all modes of transport: air, train, and road. You can take a road trip from Bangalore, which is a 60 km serene ride to the fortress.
If you’re flying in, the nearest airport is Kempegowda International Airport in Bangalore from where you can hire a taxi. Get off at the nearest railway station, Chikkaballapur to avail buses and taxis to your destination.
Nandi Hills is a stunning locale far from the city, and needless to say that it’s worth traveling to this place for a soul-satisfying experience.
Missing on the most important view at Nandi Hills will drag me back to this spot soon. Till then stay tuned.
Have you ever been to Nandi Hills? Share your travel diaries with us in the comment box below.
Frequently Asked Questions
The best time to visit Nandi Hills Bangalore is between March to May. If you’re comfortable with the chilly weather, October to February is a good time to explore the cold weather. However, the temperature drops quite low in the winters so avoid traveling during that duration.
Nandi Hills is a popular hill station. Formerly renowned as an ancient hill fortress of South India it is the best weekend gateway for trekking and camping. You can also do adventure activities like paragliding and cycling here.
Located in the Chickmagalur district of Karnataka, Nandi Hills is a safe place to visit. Take a camping or trekking trip up the hills and you’ll have the most memorable experience in this place.
Yes, private cars are allowed in Nandi Hills. You can drive straight to the hilltop in your car. You’ll have to pay a parking fare of ₹15 for two-wheelers and ₹60 for four-wheelers.
Plan a day’s trip to explore the hills in spring or summer months. Picnics and camping are the most popular activities here. You may also take a cycle ride to the hills.
The fortress is open all day from 6.00 am to 10.00 pm. The picnic spot is open for the public on all days of the week, including public holidays and Sundays.
You will have to ascend around 1000 steps to scale the fortress. The steps constructed over 200 years ago need restoration now. The weeds that have grown alongside the stairs mark the beauty of this place.