Top Weekend Getaways from Bangalore
Bangalore, the IT Capital of India is not only known for a chosen destination for someone to build a good career, it is also known as a paradise for nature lovers. We have national parks, rivers, sea shores and many other places of tourist attraction which you can cover over the weekends. Let’s explore a few of them through my eyes.
Nandi Hills – Watch the sun rise from horizons
This is one of the first weekend destinations I had visited when I relocated to Bangalore way back in 2003. Take your bike or car, rev up the fuel and zoom out in the wee hours of a Saturday morning. This place is also known as Nandi Betta or Nandi Durg which is located in the Chikkaballapur District of Karnataka and is only 60 Kms from Bangalore. This place is even a cyclist’s paradise due to the hairpin bends and you can enjoy the lush greenery passing through the cycling trails.
Watching the big round red disc rising from the horizons on a hilltop with gusty wind was an exciting experience for us who were so accustomed working in night shifts. We hardly get a chance to see normal sunrise from our terrace, and watching the Sun coming out from the Eastern sky was a heart-warming experience.
Talkaveri – The origin of river Cauvery/Kaveri and Madikeri/Coorg
Take a KSRTC bus from the corporation circle and head towards this holy place where the river Cauvery started its journey on mother earth. There are various packages which will include Abbey Falls, Dubare Elephant Camp, Golden Temple – Tibetan Monastery on the way to Coorg. KSRTC will arrange for a night stay in one of their hotels in Coorg.
If this destination packed itinerary might not be to your liking, you may choose to stay in one of the luxurious hotels in Coorg for a few days and enjoy the beauty of Raja Seat and Madikeri Fort. There are amazing massage parlours and spas which will take away your fatigue of travel and day to day life. Don’t forget to buy several bottles of Coorg honey to gift to your friends back in Bangalore.
If you are in the KSRTC trip, then on the way back they will pass through Nagarhole National park and you can take various pictures of wildlife. This trip is also recommended for photographers who love nature photography as there are ample opportunities to take pictures of temples, falls, flowers and insects.
National Parks – spend some time with the animals in the wild
There is a Bannerghatta National Park in the outskirts of Bangalore which can serve as a serene weekend destination. The kids will love this place amidst animals and they will get to see them with their own eyes what they see on the national geographic channel. There are description of the birds and the animals which will not only increase their knowledge but they will understand the importance of food chain.
There are animal shows which are conducted at regular intervals in the amphitheatre and the entire family can enjoy it when they are tired of walking around. My favourite time of the trip was the trip in the closed van where I got to see a family of white tigers which roamed around without any fear. All of us took many pictures through the wired mesh of the van which are installed for our protection from the wild animals.
There is another National Park in the borders of Karnataka and Tamilnadu – Bandipur National park. It is only 220 KMs by road and you can think about enjoying a cool drive with your family and friends and check in to one of the luxury resorts there. You can even take a luxury bus which on a Friday night to reach Bandipur in the morning. This is a Tiger reserve and there are safaris conducted by all the forest resorts. I loved the night camp fire where we made friends and went for a small night drive on a moonlit night in the jeep provided by the resort.
Close to Bandipur is another National Park – Masinagudi, Mudumalai. Often the corporates of Bangalore organise team outings and Orange County is a great resort to stay overnight. I remember going there with my Accenture Quality Team and Infosys team twice. It is a five and half hour drive from Bangalore which covers around 260 KMs. This place is famous for bird-watching. I loved the swim in the pool in the day time and post lunch we went for a jungle trek. When we reached the top of the small hillock, we all took a group photo which is still there in my facebook album.
On the way back to Bangalore we spotted peacocks, herds of deer and even one elephant.
If you love sea more than mountains and forests, then Murudeshwara is a destination which you should not miss. Book a cab and take a road trip with your friends and family. It is only 480 KMs from Bangalore and you can either start on a Friday evening and travel overnight or if you are conscious about the safety, then you can start on a Saturday morning and reach Murudeshwara by evening. On the way enjoy some fresh fruits and coconut water sold by the locals.
We had gone from Infosys as a group who loved travelling and checked into a regular hotel as we wanted to spend more time in the sea. We spent the entire Sunday morning playing in the sea water and visiting the adjoining Shiva temple. The cuisine mostly consisted of sea food and we washed down several plates of fresh prawns and crabs with beer.
Apart from these there are many other weekend destinations in and around Bangalore like Mysore, Hogennekal Falls etc. Just take your car and picnic basket and zoom out. Sometimes just follow your GPS on your phone and you might even end up discovering some new places which are not tourist attractions at this moment. The people are simple and the food is awesome in these small towns and talukas. You just need to have the travel bug in you to explore everything which comes your way.