When: Early hours of 30th Jan,2011
Who: Me, Smruti, Ashok n Chikun on 2 bikes.
Trip meter: 142 kms.
Route: Silk Board- Audugudi- Richmond Road- Majestic- BEL circle- Hebbal-Airport-Nandi Hills- Hebbal- Mekhri circle-MG Road- Audugudi-Silk Board.
1) Left turn after 10kms from “Airport” flyover. There’s a board to guide.
2) Keep going straight till dead end (10kms). Left turn here.
3) Right turn at a T-junction, after 3-4 kms. The ghat road starts from here. There’s a Nandi Multi cuisine restaurant, immediately after a right turn.
4) Ghat road is ~6 kms, with 10-12 hair pin turns.
In general, road has improved over years, and one can easily cruise in 50-60 speed. But be careful of un-invited speed breakers. Also watch out for monkeys on ghat road. Also there are couple of 24 X 7 petrol pump on airport road, few chai shops which are also open as early as 5AM (after Airport flyover, near Devanhalli village diversion).
Nandi Hills, no doubt is one of the favorite get away for Bangloreans. And its famous for sunrise & sunset. Being the highest hill in the region, its cold n windy for most part of the year. Early morning is one of the most crowded time, with college students, bachelors, couples n love birds thronging the Hill, by bike, car n many in bi-cycle, all to get some adrenaline rush.
Also this being my 5th visit over 4 yrs, I have seen changes in the place. Karnataka Tourism is doing a good job, with improvement in overall infrastructure of the place. Now it has well maintained gardens, toilet facility, tiled footpath etc. It’s now upto us, to help authorities to maintian it.
Best time to visit:
There are 3 avatars of Nandi Hill & each beautiful in its unique way:
1) Bright sunny view. Season: December, Jan, Feb.
2) Slight cloudy view. When Bangalore is bit cloudy.
3) Cloudy. When Nandi hill is completely engulfed in clouds. Monsoon is the season to visit.
What to see:
1) There’s a temple atop. So something for religious people.
2) Atop is a fort (where Tipu Sultan used to spend summer). Circumference of the fort has some stunning views & so walk is worth.
3) There’s a children park.
4) Gardens to take rest.
5) A pond, which regularly features in Kollywood movies.
All of these make it a perfect place for short trip of hrs or even for a family outing for a day. A lodge (Mayura lodge) has couple of rooms & so one can stay overnight. There’s another lodge near parking, but booking needs to be done in Chikballapur.
1) A lodge atop.
2) Restaurants (many open at 6AM). My recommendation: Maggi in Nandi restaurant.
3) Toilet facilities
4) Parking facility
5) Dust bins (so please donot trash)
Rs 5 per person, Rs 15 for 2 wheeler, Rs 25 for 4 wheeler.
Personal vehicle if interested in seeing Sunrise. Otherwise KSRTC bus starts from Majestic (around 6AM) & reaches Nandi Hill by 8-8:30AM. Otherway is to goto Chikballapur (~10kms) & hiring an auto from there.
Be careful of:
1) Drunken driving. Place is unfortunately popular for that.
2) Un-invited speed breakers.
3) Monkeys, if you disturb them first.
Finally on 5th visit, I got to see stunning views from Nandi Hills (a perfect sunny, cold & windy sunrise). It’s definitely a good place to visit and is at its best during sunrise (so natural recommendation). KSTDC has done commendable job over past few years & now its upto tourist like us to follow basic rules like trashing etc., to maintain the place in its glory. Anyways, safe n happy journey.