A Paradise above the Clouds – Nandi Hill


Sunrise from Nandi Hills.
Sunrise at Nandi Hill

In every ancient as well as modern civilisation, rising sun has always been a symbol of hope, power, positivity. The metropolis city Bengaluru has it’s own view point to witness the mesmerising moment of sunrise. Although not as high as the famous Tiger Hill in Darjeeling, Nandi Hill or Nandidurg provides captivating vistas.

Actually Nandi Hill is a small hill fort (that’s why also known as Nandidurg, ‘Durg’ means the fort) in the Chikkaballapur district, an adjoining district of Bengaluru in south Indian state of Karnataka. At an elevation of 1,478 m, it was a fortress and a summer retreat of Tipu Sultan, a 18th-century ruler. It is said that prisoners were thrown to their death from Tipu’s Drop, now known for its panoramic views. There is also a local Hindu temple at the hilltop known as Yoga Nandeeshwara Temple, guarded by huge statue of a bull (nandi), from where Nandi hill got its name.

There are number of sites on internet detailing the history of Nandi Hill and Tipu Sultan, so pausing the past here and returning to present. We were in Bengaluru (in the month of July) for the second time to visit our brother and family and already had visited Bannerghatta Biological Park (to read about it, click here). During the first visit we could not plan for Nandi hill because of hectic schedule and bad weather, but this time we didn’t want to miss the opportunity as we had heard so much about sunrise at Nandi hill and the wonderful scenic drive to the hill. So on a fine day we started our journey at 3.30 am (although aimed for 3 am) from Whitefield which is about 60 km from Nandi Hill. It was a pleasant drive as the metropolis was still sleeping and our Hyundai Creta was really very comfortable. Zipping the otherwise busy roads, we reached the turning point for Nandi Hill on Bengaluru-Hyderabad Highway. Since we were well within time so we stopped at a road-side tea stall just to remove somnolence and breaking monotone. After having tea, we started our onward journey and reached the foothill at around 4:30 am.

We had to stop just before the ascent as the security officials didn’t allow vehicles before dawning. Moon was still there in the sky. Usually people were disciplined and parking their vehicles properly except few rowdies who were making a lot of noise, overtaking other vehicles from wrong side and spoiling the calm and quite morning scene.

On the way to Nandi Hills.
The moon was still there

Finally the security officials lifted the barriers and allowed us to go for the hilltop. Those hooligans were driving like crazy but we were driving very carefully enjoying the natural beauty. The road to the top is very good and wide enough so we absolutely faced no problem in driving although some times clouds were playing hide and seek with us. We had just completed a road trip to Munsiyari in Uttarakhand (click here to read) so compared to driving in those mountains, this ascent seemed like a child’s play to us. After crossing the gate of outer wall of the fort, taking turns and enjoying the nature, we reached the hilltop.

The road to Nandi Hill.
The beautiful road to the top
The way to Nandi Hills.
A surreal drive
The outer wall of the fort of Tipu Sultan, on the way to Nandi Hills.
The outer wall of the fortress of Tipu Sultan

There at the top, the winds were so powerful as it would blow us away. It was cold enough and since we were not wearing any woollen, the wind shook us. I would suggest to take light jackets or woollen with you while visiting Nandi hill (specially early morning). Several watch towers are there but people usually love to enjoy the panoramic view from the rocks itself. Few parks have also been developed where people can sit and relax.

A bird's eye view from Nandi Hills.
A bird’s eye view from Nandi Hill
At Nandi Hills.
View from Nandi Hill
View from Nandi Hills
View from Nandi Hills

The Yoga Nandeeshwara Temple at the hill top is dedicated to Lord Shiva. There is also a pond in the temple premises, which collects rain water and was the main source of water at the hilltop.

Old Idols at the temple
 The Shiv temple at Nandi Hills.
The Shiv temple at Nandi Hill
The sacred pond in the temple ayt Nandi Hills.
The sacred pond in the temple
Eating joints at the Nandi hill top.
Eating joints at the hilltop

Several eating joints are there on the hilltop where you can have tea, coffee, Maggie, snacks and lunch etc. A pay ‘n’ use toilet facility is also there. There are several good eating joints down the hill also, where one can have delicious stuffed ‘Parathas’. While returning we stopped at ‘Indian Paratha Palace’ and had our breakfast there.

Indian Parata Palace on the way to Nandi Hills.
Indian Parata Palace
A random click

How to Reach:

The nearest city to Nandi Hill is Bengaluru which is 25 km away. One can reach Bengaluru by railways, roads or air. Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru (BLR) is at a distance of 39 km from Nandi Hill while Bangaluru City Railway Station is 60 km away. From Bengaluru, one can take cab or self driven car to Nandi Hill. We also saw people coming here by bikes and even by bicycles.

Where to Stay:

Bangaluru has hundreds of good hotels to fit every budget. KSTDC’s Hotel Mayura Pine Top is right at Nandi Hill. Apart from this, some popular hotels and resorts in Nandi Hill area are Valley of the Wind, Aura Foothills, Valley of the Wind 4BR by Jade, Pomona Farm, Calista Millennia etc.

If you have query or need any suggestion, you can ask as comment.

Categories:Mountains, Nature

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