Around 60 km away from the city of Bengaluru in the Chikkaballapur? district exist this famous ancient hill fortress called Nandi Hills, also known as Nandydroog or Nandidrug. Chikkaballapur town is 10 km away, while other towns in the vicinity are Kanivenarayanapura, Nandi and Muddenahalli. River Arkavathi originates from the Nandi hills.
Nandi hills witnessed the first ever attack of the army led by Cornwallis against Tipu Sultan of Mysore in 1791. Tipu Sultan and later the British used this place as a retreat during the summer seasons and a residence was built by Francis Cunningham for Sir Mark Cubbon.
The place due to its favourable climatic conditions also instilled interest amongst horticulturists who experimented with different species of plants. Many trees including Eucalyptus, Coffea Arabica are found here. Birdwatchers and photographers consider it as one of the ideal places of interest with the presence of rare species of birds like the Nilgiri Woodpigeon, Peregrine Falcon and Shaheen Falcon. Uropeltid snakes, Whistling Thrush and Yellow throated Bulbul can also be traced. This place is also one of the favorite abodes for migrant species like flycatchers and warblers during the winters.
Slowly it is gaining prominence as a popular tourist destination. It was developed as a proper hill station during the British Raj. One has to climb about 1,175 steps to reach this mesmerizing spot. It has become quite popular weekend outing spot for the Bangaloreans.
Tipu's Drop - History reveals that this 600 meter high cliff was used by Tipu to throw the condemned prisoners of his kingdom.
Horse Way - It is a doorway to the fort, made of stone located in the north eastern side. The soldiers used to climb the wall on horse back.
Summer Palace and Fort of Tipu Sultan - Though it is not open for public viewing, one can take a look from outside. The Chikkaballapur chiefs built the fort which was further developed by Tipu Sultan apart from constructing a rest house.
Secret Escape Route - Located on the west side, this passage was a route used by the kings during adverse situations.
Temples - Old temples of Sri Ugra Narasimha, Sri Bhoga Narasimha and Sri Yoga Narasimha are there to visit. On top of the hill there is Gavi Veerbhadra Swamy temple which is beautifully formed by natural boulders.
Brahmashram - It is a cave where Sri Ramakrishna meditated. As the cave is quite cold the rishi munis (saints) used to smoke together to warm themselves before starting their day. Today you will find youngsters gathering together and smoking - in a way maintaining the tradition.
Rivers and lakes - River Palar, River Arkavati and River Pennar finds their origin from Nandi Hills. There is also a beautiful lake called Amruth Sarovar in the hills.
Apart from the above historical spots, tourists can find umpteen options for recreation. There is a lovely playground for children in a garden maintained by the Horticulture Department that surely is a different fun in the midst of a hills. You can opt for paragliding activities or go for trekking or cycling. Lot of cyclists and bikers are seen on weekends and holidays. A walk through the vineyard on the hills can be a different experience altogether.
Time for entry and exit is 6 am to 10 pm
Rs. 5 per person
Rs. 15 for parking two-wheelers
Rs. 60 for parking a car
Location and How to Reach
It is situated near the new Bangalore International Airport at a height of 4,851 feet about 20 km from National Highway 7. The nearest airport is in Bengaluru from where one can reach Nandi Hills by road. The nearest railway station is Chikkaballapur from where the road distance is quite approachable. Hotels, guest houses and PWD accommodations are available for night stay. Buses from Kempegowda Bus Station (KBS)? or Bengaluru Majestic can be availed at around Rs 46 per head. It is the central bus stand in Bengaluru. Mini buses are also available from Chikkaballapur that takes you to the spot in about half an hour. You can also take a hired car to reach Nandi Hills.
Safe driving is very important as there is a single road that is used for the two way traffic. After the check point only four wheelers are allowed as the road can prove to be too slippery for the two wheelers. Beware of monkeys and stray dogs.
Last Updated on : 05/08/2013