Nandi Hills, also known as the hill of happiness, is one of the favourite weekend destinations for many of the inhabitants of Bengaluru. About an hour’s drive (39 km) from the Kempegowda International airport, one can hire an airport taxi Bangalore to the hill.
There is some uncertainty as to how the place got its name. Some attribute it to a mystical yogi who observed his penance there. Others opine that the hill gets its name due to its resemblance to the celestial bull, Nandi.
The journey to the hills is tranquil with a picturesque landscape on either side. The gates open at 6 a.m. so there may be a queue of cars as one gets closer to the hills in the morning. The inclines to the hill can be a little tricky, so effective use of the handbrakes must be made on the way to the top.
Where to Stay
There is only one hotel which is located at the top of the hill called Gandhi Nilaya/Hotel Mayura and is run by the Karnataka Government. The rooms are in the price range of 1500-3300 Rupees. More information can be found here.
What to Do?
Located at 4851 m above sea level, the hills bring crowds primarily for the sunrise. Nandi Hills has a lot more to offer though. Below are some of the places that one can explore along with some activities as well.
- Amrita Sarovar: Formed by the perennial springs, it is a tank that has a staircase leading down to a pool of water. Clean and well-maintained, it brings about a sense of calm and tranquillity.
- Tipu Drop: This infamous place got its name because Tipu sultan would drop his prisoners from here who would plummet to their deaths. It provides a good panoramic view of the area below.
- Trekking: For nature and fitness enthusiast, a seven-kilometre trek can be taken from the base of the hill. It is a relatively easy trek and can be done without any extra training.
- Paragliding: The spot is preferred by paragliders due to its terrain and favourable winds. There are certified pilots who offer their services to soar above for a duration of ten to forty minutes.
If there is enough time to kill, here are some of the other attractions that are close by and include:
- Bhoga Nandeshwara Temple: A Shiva temple located seventeen kilometres away from Nandi Hills, is a hit among newly-weds.
- Grover Zampa Vineyards: Located twenty-five kilometres away from Nandi hills, this place is a pleasant experience for any connoisseur.
- Please don’t feed the monkeys
- Keep the surroundings clean
- The way to Nandi hills is filled with roadside eateries where you can pick up some hot Maggi and chai.
Driving to Nandi hills makes for an off-beat vacation. Several resorts dot the area to welcome travelers to this location, and offer a welcome break to the weary soul. Independent souls could try even out a self-drive car like Zoomcar over the conventional airport taxi to get there.