Nandi Hills also called Nandi Durga is arguably the most popular weekend destination for the city crowd of Bengaluru. The rivers North Palar, South Pennar, Chitravathi, Arkavathi and Papaghni take their birth at Nandi Hills. It has been under the control of Paleyagars of Chikkaballapura, Tipu Sultan, Marathas and finally the British. It was called ‘Nandigiri’ in the ancient inscriptions. The bracing air and serene environs of Nandi Hills, perched at an altitude of 4850 feet above sea level, provided the British and Tipu Sultan with an idyllic summer retreat. The weather at the hills is pleasant throughout the year and here, you can take leisurely strolls. Adventure sports lovers can try their hand at parasailing. An ideal trekking destination, the prominent places which can be visited from Nandi hills are to the north-west-Channakeshava Betta (4762 ft), south-west Brahmagiri (4657 ft), north, Skandagiri (4749 ft) south the steep precipice and the well at the bottom called “Shravana Tirtha.”
Why visit Nandi Hills:
It is believed that the fort walls here were built by the Paleyagars of Chikkaballapura and later strengthened by Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan. It was under the Maratha control for some time. The precipice to the south-west has the name “Tipu’s Drop”, which is believed as the place where prisoners condemned to death were pushed down to the valley below. At the centre of the plateau, a big water pool has been dug out and a rectangular stone structure is built for the storage of water. The pool is named “Amrit Sarovar.”
Temples in Nandi Hills:
Two ancient temples dedicated to Lord Shiva are located in the Hills. The Yoganandishwara Temple on top of the Nandi Hills has the architecture of the Chola style. The garbhagriha entrance of this temple has decorative brass covered doors and dwarapalakas (door keepers) on either side. It is said that these doorkeeper images were the gifts of Krishnadevaraya, the Vijayanagara ruler. Located in a village Nandi Grama near to Nandi Hills is the Bhoganandishwara Temple. The original temple belongs to a period prior to the 9th century A.D. with later additions during Chola, Hoysala and Vijayanagara periods. In this Bhoganandishwara temple complex, there are two separate garbhagrihas in one straight line, with separate Nandimantapas. Of these Nandimantapas, one has a little garbhagriha also. The temple to the north is dedicated to Lord Bhoganandishwara and the southern one to Lord Arunachaleswara. The exquisite stone fringes in them display ornate workmanship and artistry.
Tippu’s Summer Residence:
Remains of a small two-story building, used by Mysuru ruler Tipu Sultan can be seen on top of the Hills. A pond and a garden are nearby.
Parks & Play areas:
Nandi Hills has a garden/play area for families and kids to relax and play.
Sunrise on top of Nandi Hills is captivating. Aim to reach before sunrise time to enjoy the view.
A line of eateries are available on top of the Hills and caters to your culinary needs. Several shopkeepers and sellers also cater to the requirements of the visitors. More restaurants can be found on the highway en route to the Hills
Points to note:
Beware of monkeys trying to snatch food. Also, traffic restrictions may be enforced during busy weekends. Visitors may be required to park at the base of the hill and avail shuttle buses to reach the Hills. Otherwise, you can drive up to the parking lot and climb your way to the top.
How to reach Nandi Hills:
Nandi Hill is best reached in a private vehicle or taxi from Bengaluru, 60 km away. Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru is just 35 km from the hills.