On Sunday, 29th June, we had a day break at Nandi Hills. It is a small but beautiful hillock about 60 KMs North of Bangalore. Though it is famous as Bangalore's own Hill station but geographically, it is part of Chikkaballapur district of Karnataka state.
It is 4851 ft. (1478 meters) above sea level and is located in close proximity to the newly constructed Bangalore International Airport, the second largest in India.
We took the outer Ring Road and then NH-7 (Hyderabad Highway). Just after Devanahalli town take a left turn from NH-7. Nandi Hills is about 21 KMs from there. One small sign board is there to guide.
Due to its location, Nandi Hills is rapidly developing and numerous commercial and residential ventures are underway in the region. But I feel these things may ruin the delicate environmental fabric of the area.
During the Chola period, Nandi Hills was called Ananda Giri meaning The Hill of Happiness.
Nandi hill is also the source of the Arkavathi and Palar rivers. Now the sources are dried up and the rivers are more like a "Rainy Season Rivers".
Nandi Hills gets its name from an ancient Nandi temple situated on this hill. This temple has a thousand year old sculpture of Nandi. It is known as Nillekai Basvanna. An ancient Lord Shiva and Parvati temple also adorns this hill. This is known as YogaNandishwara Temple.
Ashutosh Pandey and his family accompanied us.We started from house at around 9 AM reaching nandi Hills at around 10:30 AM.
The road is good except a few rough patches near Nandi Hills. The last 3-4 KMs are very exciting with steep slopes and blind turns. Few slopes are very steep and as road is not very wide extra caution is needed. In this patch, road is not very good also. This all makes driving a little challenging.
Nandidurg was traditionally held impregnable, and its storming by Lord Cornwallis in 1791 was one of the most notable incidents of the first war against Tipu Sultan of Mysore. It was formerly a favourite resort for British Raj officials during the hot season. Francis Cunningham built the summer residence here for Sir Mark Cubbon. Now it is known as Nehru Nilayam.
After reaching there, I parked my Alto near the KSTDC Mayura Hotel and then started our day. First of all we visited Shri Yognandishwara Temple. This temple is said to be built during 11th century. When we reached in the Sanctum Sanctorum, some pooja was in progress and chanting of Mantras felt very soothing.
Then we did some trekking and visited Nandi Temple and Brahma Ashram. This is a cave made of big boulders. It is said that RamKrishna Paramhansa did meditation here.
Next we saw the source of Palar River.
Then we came to Mayura KSTDC Hotel and took the lunch. Food was not very good but just ok.
After lunch we again started roaming. The area just behind the YogNandishwara Temple is very exciting. The reason is that it is made of a very big and quite flat rock and the wind speed so high that it was becoming difficult to stand sometimes.
Next we pass through Nehru Nilayam. Jawahar Lal Nehru used to stay here. It is now a guest house of the horticulture department of Karnataka. Then we went to Children's park and thought of taking some rest but Alaknanda made sure that I have to run full time behind her the whole time. Similar situation was for Ashutosh also in handling his son Kartikeya.
Then a refreshing tea and a visit to source of Arkavathi River and Tipu's drop. It is the place from where Tippu Sultan made his prisoners fall.
We started back at around 3:30 PM and reached Hebbal at around 4:30 PM. Then we dicided to visit Lumbini Garden. It is a new attraction in Bangalore. The old Nagawara Lake has been converted for a site for picnic. Boat ride as well as a lot of other joy rides are there. It is also a good break on week-ends for a family.
From Hebbal we started at around 6:30 and were at home at around 7. I was badly tired and so slept early for another tiresome week ahead!!