Nandi Hills, also known as Nandidurga, are small hillocks near Bangalore. It is located 65 km from Bangalore and 1,478 meters above the sea level. It was the summer resort of Tipu Sultan. This hill station is a famous tourist spot because it is blessed with a pleasant climate throughout the year. Before being conquered by the British forces under Lord Cornwallis, Nandi Hills was a Mysore Fort. It was captured by the British in the year 1791. The hill slopes towards the west where it overlooks a rugged and woody valley. It is also a birthplace of several rivers, most important of them being Palar, Arkavati, and Pennar. The average temperature on the hill is generally about 10 degrees lower than in Bangalore. Thus on the hilltop, throughout the summer, there will be a most enjoyable and salubrious climate with agreeable cool temperature.
Historically the Marathas took the hill and held it for some time. After many sieges by opposing forces of Madhava Rao Peshwa in 1770 A.D, the hill passed into the hands of Hyder Ali of Mysore. Hyder and his son Tippu Sultan strengthened that time. This place was traditionally known as Kushmandagiri which was named after the sage Kushmanda, and Aanandagiri which was later changed as Nandidurga, Hill of Nandi,the vehicle of Lord Shiva during the Cholas Regime. Reminiscent of an affluent heritage and unique colonial charm, Nandi Hills is a popular location for a getaway. The crystal clear water, the misty hills and the aura of the ancient past blends into creating the perfect getaway.
Yoganandeeshwara Temple is the dwelling of Shiva the austere on the top of the hills and this temple was built by the Cholas. This antediluvian temple also has a dedication in the name of Sambhaji who was the son of Chhatrapati Shivaji. The flora of the hills is distinctive of high hills. Besides Coffea Arabica, there are some more aboriginal species. Eucalyptus is grown inside the fort which is an exotic plant. The forest around the hills acts as a substratum for the condensation of clouds and this is the reason that most of the trees are covered with water in the mornings. Many species of birds and animals can also be seen in the hills.
Best time to visit:
There are 3 avatars of Nandi Hill & each beautiful in its unique way:
- Bright sunny view. Season: December, Jan, Feb.
- Slight cloudy view. When Bangalore is a bit cloudy.
- Cloudy. When Nandi hill is completely engulfed in clouds. Monsoon is the season to visit.
Places of Interest
- Amruth Sarovar: A beautiful water lake that brims with lucid water all the year round.
- Tippu's Summer Palace and Fort: During the Ganga period, the Chikkaballapur chieftains built a fort. Tippu strengthened it further and also build a rest house. This used to be Tippu's summer bungalow.
- Gavi Veerabhadra Swamy Temple: on the way to the Sultanpet, from Tippus palace, a natural formation of huge boulders have been transformed into a temple.
- Fort: The fort is on a sprawling area of 90 acres and is above 4851 feet above sea level. A soldier could hide in this well-constructed fort and shoot in all four directions at the same time.
- Horse Way: A stone doorway in the fort on the North-eastern side, is believed to have been the horse way for helping soldiers to climb the wall on horseback.
- Palar River Origin: Palar river takes its birth as a small spring on the eastern side of the hill.
- Brahmashrama: A serene place for the spiritual minded, this ashram is built by huge natural boulders.
- Yoga Nandeeshwara Temple: A temple of exquisite, intricate carvings, it also has a beautiful Kalyana Mantapa.
- Tippu Drop: During Tippus reign, criminals were pushed down from this point to their death as punishment.
- Arkavathi River Origin: Arkavathi River takes its birth on the south-west of the hill.
- Secret Passage: A secret passage on the west, is believed to have helped the Kings to escape during unforeseen attacks.
- Children's Playground: The Horticulture department maintains a lovely garden for children to play games like the slides, merry-go-round, swings etc.
- Muddena Halli: Muddena Halli, situated 21 kilometers from Nandi Hills, is the birthplace of Sir. M. Vishveswarayya. His ancestral home, where he was born, has been preserved for public viewing.
Apart from these, there are other interesting places like Anjaneya temple, Nellikayi Basavanna, Antaragange, Baananthi Bande, Bhoga Nandeeshwara temple etc
- Mayura restaurants: The Karnataka Tourism Department runs a vegetarian / non-vegetarian restaurant "MAYURA".
What to see:
- There’s a temple atop. So something for religious people.
- Atop is a fort (where Tipu Sultan used to spend summer). The circumference of the fort has some stunning views & so walk is worth.
- There’s a children park.
- Gardens to take rest.
- A pond, which regularly features in Kollywood movies.
All of these make it a perfect place for a short trip of hrs or even for a family outing for a day. A lodge (Mayura lodge) has a couple of rooms & so one can stay overnight. There’s another lodge near parking, but booking needs to be done in Chikballapur.
An own vehicle is interested in seeing Sunrise. Otherwise, KSRTC bus starts from Majestic (around 6 AM) & reaches Nandi Hill by 8:00 AM -8: 30 AM. Another way is to go to Chikballapur (~10kms) & hiring an auto from there.