Nandi Hills: Breakfast with the clouds
Nandi hills is a group of hills located about 65 km from the Bangalore city. With an average altitude of 1478 meters above sea level, one can enjoy a picturesque view from a highest elevation of about 2000 meters.
The Amrit Sarovar Lake is surrounded by these hills and rivers Arkavati, Pennar and Palar are said to have their source from the hills.
Being a hill station, and enjoying pleasant to cool temperatures in all seasons, these hills are mostly frequented during summer by people to get away from the city heat.
Enroute, one will see vineyards and locals selling grapes, if you must stop and taste the produce of the area. A little ahead at the foothills there is the Bhoganandishwaraswamy temple.
The long winding single road to the top is about 8 km with around 40 turns, some of which are steep that requires attention while driving at all times as the road usually gets foggy.
There are public bus services from the city to the hills at stipulated timings, but this road is much enjoyable in the luxury of one’s vehicle.
You will reach a checkpoint beyond which no motorbikes are allowed and there is an entry fee of 5 rupees per person. Most people prefer to park their vehicles and walk to the top of the Nandi hills.
At this point one must be wary of the monkeys and not consume food in the open to avoid snatching by them.
There are two routes to choose from, one is the motorable road and the other is a forest trail. You must look out for vehicles if you choose to enjoy the view of the hills from the road. Either way, there are small seating areas and stone benches at regular intervals for people to enjoy and assimilate the beauty of nature around slowly.
Once on top you have restaurants and lodging options like Nehru house, Mayura and Gandhi house, where Mahatma Gandhi himself is said to have stayed, among others at Nandi hills.
There are activities like trekking you can indulge in to fully experience the rich natural habitat of the hills and paragliding.
The Yoga Nandeeswara temple is situated on top of the hills that you can visit. Another attraction here is the Tipu’s drop where, it is said that the prisoners were dropped off from.
The entry and exit to the hills is limited from 6 am to 6 pm to safeguard visitors from the daunting drive up and down once it gets dark.
Mesmerizing sunrise, the rich green flora and fauna, the surreal clouds at Nandi hills will make you wonder if you’ve been having breakfast with the clouds.