For a quick 24 hours getaway from the Bangalore city life, we highly recommend spending your time at Nandi Hills. It’s a popular spot that is filled with stunning sceneries featuring, bird’s eye views, mountains, fog, and strong winds. You can visit throughout the year, as weather in and around Bangalore is pleasant, however, during the rainy season; you might want to prepare yourself.
Did you know that Nandi Hills was once called Ananda Hills, which means “a place of happiness”? True to its original name, Nandi Hills is a place where one can unwind and throw worries out the window. On the other hand, the current name comes from an interesting fact: the shape of the hill resembles a sleeping bull, hence the name “Nandi” which means, “bull.” We recommend reaching the top of the hill for sunrise or sunset, as you’ll be spell bound. The combination of the colours, wind, and surrounding views are surreal and yet calm and serene. On a side not, we suggest you carry your own food, water, and other supplies you may need.
Tempted yet? Then let’s take a look at the various things you could do and see while visiting Nandi Hills.
Route and Distance
Located only 35 km from Bangalore, Nandi Hills is 4500 feet above sea level, which can be accessed via the Bangalore-Tumkur Road or Bellary Road. You would have to drive yourself, hire a car and driver, or you could take the bus.
Where to Stay
For accommodation you have a choice between budget hotels and resorts. We recommend Discovery Village or Mount Palazzo Resort, they can even organise activities and entertainment for you.
What to see & What to do
At the foot of the hill is the Bhoganandishwara Swamy Temple, which is a must visit, as it’s dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple has intricate designs made from metal and adorned interior pillars. Also, you’ll see a statue of Nandi, Lord Shiva’s Bull along with other sculptures, images, and depictions of Shiva and the Goddess Parvati. On top of the hill are temples that are dedicated to Sri Ugra Narasimha and Sri Yoga Narasimha, and Sri Bhoga Narasimha.
Tipu Sultan’s (the ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore) legacy can be seen, as some of the ruins and must see spots that were once used by him, are still present. One of the most famous spots is Tipu’s Drop, which is a 600 metre high cliff where prisoners and enemies were pushed down to their demise. Don’t worry, this is barricaded for safety, but you can still imagine the horrifyingly steep fall. On the bright side, you will have a stunning view of the entire city of Bangalore. Another must see from outside, as you can’t enter it, is Tippu’s Summer Residence. The ruler named this residence the “Tashk-e-jannat” which means “the envy of heaven.” The residence features carved arches and pillars and painted walls and ceilings and sits on top of the hills.
Sir Mark Cubbon who was once a Commissioner of Bangalore/Mysore made his residence in Nandi Hills called Nehru Nilaya. This bungalow is now a guesthouse, which has British style architecture. An interesting titbit about the bungalow is that Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Queen Elizabeth II have all stayed here for a retreat!
Because of Nandi Hills’ landscape, terrain, and altitude, it has become a hot spot for adventure sports and other exciting activities. You could go for treks and cycle around. You could also go paragliding! Picture this – getting a bird’s eye view of the hills, valleys, and Bangalore city from high up above.
So what are you waiting for? Nandi Hills is waiting for you.