- Destination: Nandi Hills, Karnataka, India
- Time to Visit: Anytime
- Visited during: 25th January 2015
- How To Reach:
- By car or two-wheelers – A half day family trip can easily be done by a car or bike. Bikers also visit in numbers from Bangalore. The deviation road at Oordagere on the Bangalore-Tumkur Road can reach it.
- By Bus – All buses leave from Bangalore’s central bus station “Bangalore Majestic” or “Kempegowda Bus Station (KBS)”. As this is a local bus, tickets (charge around 46/- per head) are sold directly in the bus. You can book the seats from ticket counter at Majestic with Rs. 200/- per head. That ensures your seat, nothing else.In the morning and evening there are direct buses. The KSRTC bus to the top leaves at 8:30AM from platform 13 (it varies, but it will be near to that). Returning direct buses from the Hills to Bangalore leave at 2:30PM, 4:15PM and 5PM. But the timings are not strictly followed. Bus might arrive earlier even. If you miss the direct bus to the top of Nandi Hills, there is a 2nd possibility to reach the hills by public transport. Go to Chikballapur(charge around 42/- per head) and from there with a private bus to the Nandi Hills. The buses leave every half an hour and it takes about 2 hours to reach the hill. Take the bus to Chikballapur from platform 11. After about 1 hour you will reach Chikballapur . From Chikballapur there are frequent mini buses to the top. The journey is about half an hour.There are no buses in afternoon (12PM-4 PM) from Bangalore so make sure that you arrive before time.
About: Nandi hills is an ancient hill fortress in southern India, in the Chikkaballapur district of Karnataka state. It is 10 km from Chickballapur town and approximately 60 km from the city of Bangalore.
The Journey Starts: My friend Niloy joining me for the first time after getting married. So this time we four Me, my friend Anindita, Niloy and Niloy’s wife Saheli were all ready for a trip to Nandi hills. Niloy booked a Mahindra Logan cab for Rs. 2700. Niloy and his wife boarded the cab from JP Nagar and picked me and Anindita on their way at 3.30 AM. On the way we had coffee from a small shop. After a drive of 1 hour we reached at the foot of Nandi hills at 4.30 AM. We had to wait there till 6AM as the road was closed by the traffic department. The road only opens at 6AM everyday. Already we are in a queue among a pool of cars and bikes. The queue extended further as the time moved on. During wait, we observed plenty of stars among clear night sky, which is hardly visible within city limits. Some people already made fire out of bushes and were enjoying the cold night. The gate opened exactly at 6AM. All cars rushed towards the top of the hill as no one wanted to miss the sunrise. The road condition was good. The beautiful winding hilly roads became more scenic with the beauty of the forest. Many bikers stopped their vehicle on the way and got busy taking pictures. We reached the top of the mountain after paying a parking charge of Rs. 100 at 6.15AM. On reaching top, the beauty of the mountain is immense. The surrounding hills were all covered with clouds. One hill just raising its head a bit out of the dense white cloud. We took many pictures there from every possible angle. Then we moved on towards the sunrise viewing point. On the way, we found sun is just rising. Though it was not an official sunrise viewing point, still the view of the sunrise from an unknown point was spectacular. Sunrise has just happened suppressing the blanket of dense white cloud. This is one of the most soothing sunrise I have ever seen in my life. It is like a red fire ball saying “Good Morning” to you. Need not to be mentioned, we have taken uncountable number of pictures there. Was having a feeling of reaching paradise as all the clouds were beneath us, and we are moving over it. On reaching the actual sunrise view point, we found number of visitors are busy taking photographs of the unwinding sun. After having a great sight, we used the washroom there whose condition was terrible with no water. One can have breakfast in the government hotel “Hotel Mayura Pinetop”. We didn’t go there as my friend Anindita was carrying home-made tasty chicken sandwiches with coffee in flask. After having a filling breakfast, we started to roam around the hill. The hill is nicely modified for a perfect family day outing. We took photograph of the forest, hills and fresh morning flowers. To the left of the hotel Mayura Pinetrop, we took stairs to reach the statue of “Nandi bull”. Walking within the forest with continuous soothing view of the cloud covering mountains on the right was beautiful. Then we have reached another view point which is located just at the back side from the earlier sunrise view point. View from this viewpoint was not in compare to the previous one. One may find many view-points over the hill. Then after covering a small distance, we reached a place full of tree houses. We took the stairs to reach one of the tree house. From one tree house we moved on to the other as all were inter-connected. This was also a nice experience. Had to be little careful there, as it was not in very good shape and at some places, the wooden floor was missing. Nevertheless, it was thrilling moving between the tree houses. Niloy was carrying vodka with him. We mixed it with Sprite inside the car as we found out alcohol outside the restaurants is prohibited and gulped sitting under a shady tree. Be careful of monkeys as they eat and drink almost everything. By this time, we got hungry and decided to move to the hotel for snacks. On reaching there, we found breakfast just got over and they were out of food. Need to wait till 12.00 to get lunch. But soft drinks were available. The hotel was located at a nice point just at the edge of the hill. On enquiry, we found they provide accommodation too. All rooms are facing towards east to see a magnificent sunrise in the morning. And they charge around Rs. 1200 per night for a non-ac room. One can book a room online from http://www.karnatakaholidays.net .We sat inside the restaurant, having fun among ourselves and suddenly found all staffs were busy in arranging something. Then realized it’s almost 12 noon and they don’t want to get delayed in serving lunch. Without any delay, we paid at the counter and ordered food. We ordered couple of Kingfisher beer too. Food was good, though will not say great and was towards the expensive side as the food quantity was not too great either. However, having food sitting at the edge of the hill with view of scenic hills on the right should not lead to any sort of complain. Later after having lunch when the heat of the sun was at its best, we decided to leave. We boarded our cab and started our destination towards home at 2.30PM. While returning, we have seen “Tipu’s drop”, where the king Tipu Sultan used to punish all defaulters by dropping the defaulter from that height. On the way, we bought some grapes. Those grapes are being sold by the local villagers and was very less expensive. Also tried a coconut water on the way. Finally reached home at 3.30PM with lots of happy memories. I wake up every morning, and can still visualize that sunrise over a blanket of dense cloud. No-one should miss this place if staying in Bangalore. Suggestions:
- Visit Nandi hill early in the morning. One should not miss-out from seeing the sunrise which is much better over the sunset view
- Washroom could be really dirty. Be mentally prepared
- Carry sunscreen, shades and cap/hat
- Try to reach to the Nandi hill base as early as possible. If you are behind the queue, you might miss-out on the early part of the sunrise
- Wear helmet if driving a two-wheeler