Nandi Hills

One of the really lovely places to get away from the rush of Bangalore is just 60-odd km from Bangalore…Nandi Hills. In spite of a large influx of tourists at weekends and consequent litter and trash, it remains a lovely place. If you can, of course, going on a weekday, getting there early in the morning, and getting back by 4pm, would ensure that you beat the traffic both ways, and also that you get to see the Hills in a much quieter way.

The best way, of course, is to take a car or bike there; but buses are also available.

Here’s the milestone thay says you have arrived at Nandi Hills, or Nandi Betta:

Nandibetta 0

And as you alight from the vehicle, this sign with the details of the Nandi Hills station greets you:

Nandi Hills Board 19Jun07

When we went, the monsoon had just about caught up with Bangalore, and this is the beautiful sight that we were privileged to see….

View of monsoon showers from Nandi Hills

The amazing views of the areas below is one of the greatest attractions; here is the view of the hamlet below:

View of the hamlet below

And here’s a view of the crossroads we passed on our way up:

Crossroads view

And here is the steep “u” pin bends that we negotiated on the way up:

View of the road coming up

And as we walked over the hills, there were the various sights we saw; First and foremost is the repeater station at Nandi HIlls, with the small windmill in the foreground; here, the top is obscured by the monsoon mist:

Nandi repeater station and windmill

Near the “Nandibetta 0” stone is this lovely archway which once must have formed a part of Tipu’s fort:

archway

Further down is this landmark, the place where the Arkavathi river has her source, and where, accordingl to legend, Tipu’s enemies were pushed off the steep cliff:

Arkavathi river source Tipu drop

And you can also go to see the summer palace that Tipu had:

Tipu sultan summer palace board Nandi Hills

But right at the centre of the tourst area is Nehru Nilaya, which used to be called Cubbon House after Sir Mark Cubbon:

Sir Mark Cubbon House (Nehru Nilaya)

The gardens here are still very beautiful and the building is gracious in its architecture.

As we wandered here and there in the course of our birdwatching, we also saw the source of the river Palar, which runs through Tamil Nadu. Alas, it is now dry for most of the year…and even more unfortunately, spelling does not seem to have been the strong point of the sign-painters!

WhSource of Palar

There is an immense amount of history in Nandi Hills, and one comes across historic cannon scattered here and there on the hillsides, as well as the old ramparts and fortifications. But Nandi HIlls is a haven for wildlife, too, and I will close with the pictures of birds and animals that we found there….

Here’s the Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher, there were quite a few in the gardens around Nehru Nilaya:

Tickell's Blue Flycatcher

We watched one feeding her baby!

Here’s a Peninsular Rock Agama, it was amazing to watch her trying to dig a hole to lay her eggs in:

Un id lizard

This is the Dhatura flower; the fruit is highly poisonous, but the flower looks so beautiful!

Dhatura flower

And here are is one bonnet macaque grooming another in time-honoured fashion…

Macaque grooming

If you would like to see a naturailist’s glimpses at Nandi Hills, do see my Live Journal post; here, I only emphasize the variety of things that hold one’s eyes at Nandi Hills….a great getaway, hardly an hour’s journey out of this city of ours!

Here’s a P

5 Comments so far

  1. shande (unregistered) on June 25th, 2007 @ 10:56 pm

    nice post with equally good snaps.


  2. Swapna (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 10:50 am

    Lovely snaps.


  3. Nav (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 10:29 pm

    Deepa,

    Nice post and lovely pictures of Nandi hills. Brought back some good old memories. I went to college close by and we used to visit the hills every now and then. At that time (around 7 years ago) the only thing that is missing nandi hills was a place serving fresh and good food. The only restaurant which was there was over-prices and food was mediocre. Any different now?

    Cheers,
    Nav


  4. Viewer (unregistered) on June 27th, 2007 @ 12:59 pm

    Lovely shots… esp the animals…

    mumbai.metblogs.com


  5. sakthi (unregistered) on June 27th, 2007 @ 6:27 pm

    Nice photos!!!Couple of times I went to Nandi hills when I were worked in Bangalore,its really nice place to visit.I felt really good,to be in nice calm surrounding and fresh air,nice place…
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