Just a day-long drive from Bangalore

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Bangalore is not just the IT hub of India, its also a traveler's paradise. With year-long weather that is neither too hot nor too cold its a very pleasant city to live in. Though in recent times, the city has witnessed a rise in temperature year on year it still is one of the best urban places to live in India. One of the most beautiful aspects of living in Bangalore is that the place is a valley and is surrounded by hills all around. Leave in any direction out of Bangalore and you will find a serene landscape full of hills, vegetation, waterfalls welcoming you.

1) Nandi Hills

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Nandi hills can easily be called the number 1 weekend destination for the people of Bangalore. Swaths of bike riders and tourists can be seen flocking the 60 km long drive along the beautiful NH-7 every weekend that too early in the morning. Couples, this could be the perfect long ride with your love, so get out of your hotel rooms in Bangalore and reach the spot in wee hours to catch a glimpse of the best sunrise that you would have ever seen. The hilltop has several shrines, monuments with brilliantly carved arches and huge pillars that make the view on top even more magnificent. You can only witness the beauty to comprehend its depth and understand why it is called the "Hillocks borrowed from heaven".

2) Devnarayanadurga Hills

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If you love peace, calm and tranquillity head towards this ‘Fort of the God’ located near Tumkur district in the state of Karnataka. The place is just 73 km away from Bangalore and is a perfect weekend getaway for trekkers and nature lovers. You can easily reach atop the hill on your vehicle and then find a spot to witness the beauty of the region. There is a small water body at the base of the hill which looks splendid from the top. The Devnarayandurga hill is home to several species of wildlife and is a reserved protected forest. The hills also have historical, cultural and religious significance. There are two temples built around 2000 year ago situated here, one on the top- Yoga Narasimha and another at the base- Bhoga Narasimha. The Dravidian style of architecture will leave you awestruck.

3) Chhota Laddakh

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Also known as Dodda Ayur this place is called Chhota Laddakh because of its slight resemblance to Laddakhs barren mountainous region. This picturesque location is around 60 km away from Bangalore. However, this place is very barren and there is no shelter of trees to hide so make sure you visit this place in the early morning or late evening. The place features a small water body in the centre surrounded by hills which make this site ideal for camping activities. The lit camp-fire and the backdrop of majestic mountains only add to the charm of this picturesque location. Couples, spend a night camping here with a group of friends. It will surely be one of the most memorable and better than the night at a hotel in Bangalore.

4) Chunchi falls

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Chunchi Falls is located at a distance of 83 km from Bangalore and lies on the road to Mekedatu and Sangama. Mekedatu is a rocky valley and Sangama is a point where three rivers meet. Fed by the river Arkavati, the Chunchi falls is a 50 feet high waterfall. The name of the waterfall is after a tribal couple, Chuncha and Chunchi. The waterfall is a favourite picnic spot and attracts large no of visitors. You can also find a watchtower on the way to Chunchi Falls which gives a panoramic view of the entire landscape replete with dense forests and hilly terrain. You can also trek down to the falls to fully relish the beauty of the falls. However, one should not get too close to the falls as several accidents have also happened in the past. Don't go swimming as well since the current is strong and also there are many crocodiles in the water. Best time to visit this waterfall is in monsoon months or winter season when the fall swells with water and its beauty is magnified.

5) Savandurga

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Another of the trekker's delight, Savandurga is around 50 km away from Bangalore and makes for a perfect one day drive from Bangalore. Just the drive to get here along the Mysore road is a refreshing experience. The Savandurga hill is one of the largest single rock formations in entire Asia and is the perfect destination for trekkers, campers and rock climbers alike. There are two peaks known as Karigudda (black hill) and Billigudda (white hill) and the latter is more popular among trekkers due to its even slopes. There is also a temple and a small pond at the base of the hill. The hills offer you a splendid view of the Arkavathi river flowing nearby and add to the serene atmosphere and the thrilling experience. The flora and fauna are also abundant here. and with a little patience, you can easily spot the endangered yellow-throated bulbuls, leopards and sloth bear. Thus, the Savandurga hills offer a good trek, an amazing view, and a ruined fort at the top.

6) Manchanabele Dam

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Manchanabele Dam is built on the river Arkavati and is designed by Sir M. Vishweshwarya. The Savandurga hills surround the dam making the view a view a mesmerizing one. The dam is around 50 km away from Bangalore. The clear waters of the river and the lush green vegetation on small hills all around make the place a must-visit for nature lovers. Sunrise and sunset bring about various hues in the sky mixing the green of the forest, blue of the river and red of the sky together in this exquisite background to create a spellbinding view that is simply just magical. Several adventure sports like that of kayaking, rappelling and raft building can also be done here. If you are really miffed with the busy schedule of life and buzz of the city life then this place is the perfect destination to unwind and destress yourself.

7) Hogenakkal

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Hogenakkal waterfall is located about 180 km away in Dharmapuri district of Tamil Nadu. Also known at Marikottayam, Hoge actually means smoke and Kal means rock. The waterfall is actually the stream of Kaveri river falling from the hilly region. One of the oldest waterfalls in South East Asia, the Hogenakkal waterfall is famous for its medicinal baths, oil massages by locals and the coracle (basket boat) ride in the local boat that is known as Teppa. These waterfalls are also referred to as the "Niagara Falls of India" and should be on your bucket list of one-day rides from Bangalore. This is one of the best places to be visited by lovers as the view is sure to light up the romance. Don't worry couples, there are a lot of couple friendly hotels in Bangalore where you can stay while vacationing.

8) Bheemeshwari

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Bheemeshwari is a small town in Mandaya district of Karnataka around 105 km away from Bangalore. The place is popular among trekking and camping enthusiasts and there are a lot of Jungle lodges that offer a chance to spend your nights in the lap of nature. The place is close to Kaveri river and has dense forest cover and home to a number of rare birds and animal species like crocodiles, wild boars, leopards, jackals and deers. Bheemeshwari has several fishing camps like Mekedatu, Sangam, and Kokrebellur Pelicanry where fishing enthusiasts come to catch one of the finest game fishes in the world, the Mahseer fish. You can also indulge in several adventure sports here such as trekking, raft building, jumaring, river rafting etc or you could just sit on the bank of the river with your loved ones and just immerse in the calm and tranquil atmosphere. You can even set up camp and cook your favourite food while being there. Just make sure you avoid littering and keep the place clean.

9) Shivanasamudra Falls

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Shivanasamudra waterfall is primarily a hydropower project location but the majestic waterfall has made it a tourist spot. The meaning of the name is 'Shiva's Sea'. The tourists can enjoy the noise of water splashing and the spectacular view from the many vantage points at the location. There is also the Ranganatha temple here which makes the locality a bit of calmness and invokes spirituality. There is also the Kaveri wildlife sanctuary here where several adventure sports are also available. The waterfall is a must-visit during monsoon time when water is flowing at full capacity and the view is magical. Beware of monkeys at this place who tend to snatch away your belongings. Don't feed them or indulge with them if you don't want your trip ruined. There are no restaurants nearby so pack your food while leaving the hotel room in Bangalore or you might need to head to the nearby town for food.

10) Balmuri falls

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Balmuri falls is a man-made check dam over the Kaveri river which allows the water to flow in a 6-foot cascade over the river. The waterfall is located at Srirangapatna in Karnataka which is around 138 km from Bangalore. The region is lined with coconut and palm trees through which the clear and transparent water from the cascade flows which makes the location quite scenic and hence a tourist attraction. The place is also featured in many songs of Kannada and Hindi films. Go out there with your friends or lover and click some beautiful pictures for your Instagram IDs.

Please make sure you travel responsibly and keep the place litter free.

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