It was a lazy Sunday morning and I was, as usual, rolling on my bed, body refusing to wake up after a week ( 6 days !) long hectic schedule of office work. My phone rang and then, on the proposition of my friend, we started off for a bike tour to Nandi Hills, just 60 kms from the North Western corner of Bangalore city. Nandi Hills, about 1480 mtrs above MSL, is an ancient hill fortress located just outskirts of Bangalore, near the town of Nandi. Also called as Nandidurg, because of the impregnable fort of Tipu Sultan of Mysore, which Cornwallis could capture after 3 weeks of siege during First War against him. After the Britishers controlled the fort, it became a popular summer retreat for British officers also.In traditional belief, the hills are the origin of the Arkavathy river. During the Chola period, Nandi Hills was called Ananda Giri meaning The Hill of Happiness. At present, Nandi Hills has become a popular picnic spot among the Bangaloreans who love weekend breaks.Coming back to my itinerary, we reached Nandi Nills after about 2 hours of riding through the city traffic and after 2 to 3 tea breaks in between. During our ascent to the Nandi hills, we stopped at several places to mesmerise ourselves with the panoramic view points, including the serpentine roads which we travelled to reach the top. The beautiful and the vast stretch of cultivable fields on one side and the fast expanding city infrastructure on the other side, was a reminder of the desperate metro life ready to run over the green & calm countryside. Firstly upon reaching at the , we booked our entry tickets ,which was quite nominal and packed some snacks before starting out ascent. One should be very careful of the monkey menace at Nandi Hills. They will be always looking for an opportunity to snatch away your eatables. The Horticulture Department of the Govt. maintains a garden for the tourists at the top along with a play area for children. Some of the important attractions on the hilltop as we saw, are as follows:-(i) Tipu's Summer Palace - Strengthened and fortified by Tippu Sultan, it was the place of summer retreat and relaxation for Tippu usually after tiresome battle campaigns. (ii) Nandidurg :- The fortified part of the hills, which offered impregnable defence from the enemy who had to attack from a steep height. The fort finally fell to the Britishers after 3 weeks of siege led by Corwallis.(iii) Yoga Nandeeshwara Temple :- It is located on the top of Nandi Hills and has no festivals at all as it signifies Shiva in his renunciation stage. There are significant carvings in and around these temples.This temple is a combination of the architectural styles mainly of the Gangas, Cholas, Hoysalas and the Vijayanagara rulers.(iv) Tippu's Drop :- A giant 1000 feet steep cliff, from where Tippu used to issue orders to hurl the condemned prisoners.(v) Amruth Sarovar: Amruth Sarovar is a beautiful water lake that brims with lucid water all the year round.
Nandi Hills offers panoramic sceneries from the hill top, which was not only breathtaking but also enthralling, especially during winters. There are many other places in and around Nandi Hills, that one can explore, and thus spend some quality time on weekends. A quick search on Nandi Hills on internet can give you loads of information about this beautiful spot, located away from the hustle and bustle of the city life. If not by bikes, one can easily travel by car or hire one to reach this place, with kids, family or friends for a relaxing weekend.
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