Bangalore is a great place to live with its fantastic climate and urban lifestyle. However, let us be real – the hours-long traffic jams and the breakneck pace of daily life can be tiresome sometimes. Coupled with the festivities and upcoming holidays, that office cubicle might now seem grey and dreary. Fret not; we have come up with a list of hill stations you can visit from Bangalore for a short weekend getaway to unwind and recharge your batteries. So take out your car or book the flight tickets and enjoy an immersive experience away from all the cacophony and coding of Silicon Valley –
Coorg (242 km from Bangalore)
Coorg has earned the moniker ‘The Scotland of India’ with its alluring blend of vistas of hills, adventure spots, luxurious resorts, and mouth-watering cuisine. Nestled by the rolling hills of the Western Ghats, this renowned coffee-producing hill station offers a rich cultural heritage of the hospitable local Kodavas clan, the historic trip to Madikeri Fort via a challenging trek, and adventurous outdoor activities at Abbey falls. Add trips to the nearby towns of Pollibetta, Gonikoppal, Kushalnagar, Virajpet, and Somwarpet if time permits. Enjoy their famous local heart-melting sweet handmade truffles and the popular local festivals such as Huttari (harvest), Cauvery Shankaramana (return of the river goddess), and Keil Poldu (worship of weapons).
Nandi Hills (61 km from Bangalore)
For many thrillseekers, the office cubicle may seem like captivity or prison they occasionally need to take a break from. Nandi Hills, less than an hour-long drive from Silicon Valley, provides the recluse they desperately need. Cycle down the steep roads or go gutsy paragliding among the hills to minimize that adrenaline rush. You can also take a leisurely stroll or tag along with a picnic basket and enjoy the dying lights of the day falling on the vistas of hills from a quaint spot. You can also visit the famous Yoganandeeshwara temple on the hilltop, with a fascinating statue of Nandi at the doorstep.
Chikmagalur (242 km from Bangalore)
The serene town of Chikmagalur in Karnataka has a fascinating history tied to its name. The word ‘Chikmagalur’ translates to ‘Young Daughter’s Town’ in the native language, signifying its history of being offered as dowry to the younger daughter of the Chief of Sakrepatna, Rukmangada. And it will entice you with its tranquil aroma, arousing from the coffee plantations, earning the moniker ‘The Coffee Land of Karnataka.’ Visit the multitude of temples – Vidyashankara Temple, Amruteshwar Temple, Kodanda Ramaswamy Temple, and Sharadamba Temple – or plan a trek along any of the peaks of the glorious Mullayangiri ranges. Standing at an altitude of 3,400 feet from sea level, it also offers numerous waterfalls, ranging from Hanuman Gundi Waterfalls, Kadambi Falls, and Jhari Waterfalls to Shankar Falls.
Yercaud (229 km from Bangalore)
A stimulating hill station in Salem, Tamil Nadu, Yercaud has an elevation of 4,970 feet above sea level and is nestled in the laps of the Eastern Ghats in the Shevaroy Hills. The dazzling emerald green hue of the Emerald Lake situated in close vicinity adds a whole new dimension to the less-explored Tamil Nadu town. One of the significant advantages of planning a trip to Yercaud is its astonishing low budget, earning it the moniker ‘Ooty of the Poor.’ You can enjoy the foggy skies above the mist-covered hills, abundant local oranges, and the perfect cuppa of coffee as you sit on the verandahs of any homestay or hotel. Epitomized as the Jewel of South India, Yercaud also offers numerous famous parks and gardens for nature lovers to explore.
Sakleshpur (221 km from Bangalore)
Sakleshpur is the quintessential Karnataka town, enveloped by coffee, spice, and tea plantations, which play a significant role in its economy. However, discovering the treasure trove of sightseeing, it offers tourists has encouraged recent bouts of tourism, earning it a permanent spot in any list of getaways near Bangalore. The two absolute places on your itinerary should be the grand 600-year-old Sakleshwara temple by the river Hemavathi and the Bisle View Point. While the former is a fine specimen of ancient craftsmanship, the latter offers a mind-boggling panoramic view of the rainforests in the vicinity and as far as Kumara Parvatha, Dodda Betta, and Pushpagiri Hills.
Savandurga Hills (48 km from Bangalore)
This list is incomplete without mentioning the Savandurga Hills, the largest monolith structure in Asia, situated less than an hour’s drive from Bangalore. While some may argue there is not much to see regarding tourist attractions, this 1,226-metre tall peak offers a wonderful view from the top. The barren hills are perfect for honing your climbing and trekking skills before conquering higher and more challenging peaks. You can also visit the nearby Sree Savandhi Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple while enjoying your stay at the Eagleton Golf Resort or Wonderla Resort.
The small district of Wayanad in Kerala, a train ride through the slopes of Nilgiri in Coonoor, and the quaint Ramanagara hill station can also feature in your list of short weekend getaways from Bangalore. There are many options to choose from – Ooty, Skandagiri Hills, Anthargange Hills, Yelagiri Hills, and Horsley Hills – within stone-throw distance. Select the destination that suits your needs, pack your bags, and go for it. Happy travelling!
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