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Best Places To Visit Near Bangalore - Weekend Getaways
Bangalore, the IT hub of India, the ‘Silicon Valley’ of the subcontinent, is not only rife with a rapidly growing Computer and IT sector but also a beautiful metropolitan hub of the south. Obviously, being a city, Bangalore may not fulfil all your travel goals and even the locals prefer to escape it from time to time in order to seek greener pastures. Literally.
Hence, here is a list of best places to visit around Bangalore, especially on weekend getaways that mostly make up restful holidays peppered through the year, until you get that big summer break!
One of the most significant cities of Karnataka, Mysore is known for its grander than grand palaces, gardens, Tipu Sultan and the delicious Mysore Pak. It is only about 160 km from Bangalore, making for an easy getaway for the weekend. You can make a pitstop at Channapatna to see the vast toy emporium there, head to the marvellous Mysore Palace, explore its Roman, European and Dravidian architecture, go to the Chamundi Hills and picnic by Karanji Lake. Here you will also get to go boating and see pelicans and swans splashing about. If you have time, do also visit the Brindavan Gardens.
The hill station of Coorg, nestled in the Madikeri district of Karnataka, is around 265 km from Bangalore. And is beautiful for a nice cool holiday of 2-3 days. With its natural highlands and verdant emerald forest cover, waterfalls and year-long mist, Coorg is often referred to as Scotland of India. You can visit the Dubare Park to bathe elephants and play with them, sit by the famous Abbey Waterfalls, explore the coffee plantations and orange orchards and shop for fresh spices like cinnamon and cardamom. Brahmagiri Sanctuary and Nagarhole National Park are also coveted attractions close-by.
A small town on the banks of River Kaveri, Bheemeshwari is all verdant landscapes and peaceful surrounding, adventure camps and river rafting, fishing expeditions and kayaking and trekking too. It is the kind of place where you can enjoy adventure as well as peace. The waterfalls Mekedatu and Barachukki make it all the more inviting, and you also get regular sightings of birds like Kingfisher, Ibis and Cormorant in the vicinity. The best part? Bheemeshwari is only 95 km away from Bangalore!
A small city in the vicinity of the Ramdevara Hills, Ramnagara is most famous for the chain of hills here that doubled up as the shooting location of Bollywood blockbuster hit Sholay. So much so that these hills are now called ‘Sholay Hills.’ Ramnagara is 49 km from Bangalore and hosts weary city-dwellers who come here for a quick escapade through the weekends. Strolls through hills, wild treks, rock-climbings and waterside picnics make your time here too special to miss.
Lepakshi is named after the anecdote of Ramayana, when Ravan injured Jatayu fighting for Sita, and Lord Ram, merciful as he was, murmured the words ‘Le Pakshi’ which means ‘rise bird,’ and Jatayu was liberated. Thus this place has a close connect to history and mythology. Today there are treasured 16th century temples, a giant carved Nandi statue, frescoes that have murals from the Vijayanagar empire time and art across temples and ruins that transcends time. Kalyana Mantapa, an open mandap is said to be the alter where Shiv married Parvati.
Kabini is a tributary of River Kaveri, and the region of its bank was once a hunting lodge developed by the King of Mysore, later also use by other Indian royalty and British Viceroys. Around 170 km away from Bangalore, Kabini is today a coveted place to escape over weekends from the city. Book yourself into one of the lodges or luxury resorts by the river, with natural surroundings and incredible views, go bird and elephant watching, trek up rocky mountains and enjoy your time away from all the noise at Nagarhole National Park nearby.
A hill station only 60ish km from Bangalore, Nandi Hills is alll about great heights and misty clouds over verdant greens. There is the famous Tipu Sultan Fort here, along with a couple of old temples that are best explored on a winter afternoon. Nandi Hills may not have all that thrill and adventure, but it oozes peace from its seams. A tranquil place with silence to spare, what better way to spend an idle weekend with your beloved? You still do get to enjoy paragliding, cycling and mild hikes in the hills.
Imagine a parallel flow of numerous streams, a pool at the end filled with the roar of water, milky white and frothing, inviting… and all this amidst lush greenery? Yes, that’s Shivanasamudra for you. Visit the two major waterfalls - Barachukki and Gaganachukki, check out the Talakad Temples, indulge in some local fishing tactics and open a picnic basket over lunch! Since Shivanasamudra is only 135 km from Bangalore, it can easily be a day or a weekend trip.
Night trekking, camping, water sports… you are in for a thrilling treat at Kanakpura. This city is located 69 km away from Delhi and is an easy drive. A perfect family weekend getaway, with its Mekedatu picnic spot and Chunchi Falls. Explore places like Kabbaladurga, Shivagiri Kshetra and Bananthimari Betta. Winters are ideal for holidaying here but monsoons may prove good too.
Wayanad is a beautiful South Indian holiday destination, nestled on the border of Kerala and Karnataka, ensconced in the hills of the Western Ghats. What makes Wayanad such a hit among tourists, domestic as well as international is the fact that it is home to everything that signifies South India - waterfalls and caves and elephants, dams and backwaters and spice plantations. From Bangalore, Wayanad is 278 km away, hence it takes a long drive to reach it. But once there, you can take a long weekend off and enjoy the sights of Wayanad - Soochipara Waterfalls and Edakkal Caves, Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary and Banasura Sagar Dam.
Renowned for its night treks, Skandagiri has beautiful trails lit by the night sky stars and moon and manmade lamps. Most people choose Skandagiri for these night treks, followed by a splendid sunrise, and a relaxing day touring temples and ruins of forts. There are yoga workshops, Ayurvedic massages and spas at chosen luxury resorts, as well as camps organised by tour companies for trekkers. Skandagiri is 62 km from Bangalore and highly visited by trekking enthusiasts and adventurers.
A tiny village with hill fort of the same name, Makalidurga is also known for its surrounding beauty, greenery, hilly regions and vineyards. There are temples like the Chikka Madhure Shani Mahatma Temple and Ghati Subramanya Temple, coveted trekking trails, the Grover Zampa Vineyards and Makalidurga night hikes and camps. 65 km from Bangalore, Makalidurga is best visited through autumn and winter months, i.e. from September to March.
Biligiri Ranga Hills
The Biligiri Ranga Hills are also known as BR Hills, while the forest part around it is known as the BRT Wildlife Sanctuary where you can spot elephants, chitals, gaurs, leopards and more. There are also activities like rafting, fishing, angling, trekking, coracle boating and hiking to indulge in at BR Hills. Other than these, you can visit the grand Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple, Dodda Sampige Mara and K Gudi Wilderness Camp to make the most of your getaway.
Named after the presiding deity of the town ‘Hassanamba,’ which means the smiling goddess, Hassan is a splendid little place away from Bangalore. Here you shall get to see the unique Hoysala architecture, in temples and 12th Century ruins. Visit the Hasanamba Temple, Kedareswara Temple and spend an evening at Gorur Dam with your family. Hassan is only 183 km from Bangalore.
Bannerghatta National Park
Bannerghatta National Park, 22 km from Bangalore, is a an escape into the wild. It is the ideal place for butterfly lovers as well as those enthusiastic to see tigers, the place to see tranquil forests and enjoy the night-time camps that thrill the hell out of you (with animal and forest noises to spook)!
Pristine hills and land suffused with waterfalls, Yelagiri is the best place to be in for any season, be it summer, monsoon or winter! Located 160 km from Bangalore, this hill station is perfect if you want to indulge in activities like rock-climbing, trekking, paragliding and boating. Mainly coveted by backpackers from Bangalore nowadays, Yelagiri is also golden for a nice tranquil trip away for a weekend. With its rose and orchid gardens, forests, farm lands and waterfalls, you will feel a new kind of relaxation seep into your bones.
Kunti Betta, the place makes for two landmark hills that are revered by the Hindus. The hills are also highly coveted for the night treks, rock-climbing expeditions and other activities that spell adventure. You can visit the serene Pandavapura Lake in the town that goes by the same name, listen to legends of how the Pandavs lived here with their mother Kunti and she grew to love the surroundings. Other things to spice up your weekend include rappelling and kayaking.
A small town near Bangalore, Kolar is beautiful in that rustic kind of way. With gold mines buried deep underneath and temples dedicated to Shiva built over, Kolar is a great treasure hunt for travellers. Visit the 12th century Someshwara Temple and the 5th century Kolaramma Temple, bring out your best cameras and snap away, relax, enjoy your time away from city grime. That's what a little weekend getaway should be now, no?