Saturday, March 27, 2010

Places to visit around Bengaluru / Bangalore part-2

The list goes on..... Second part :
13. Nandi Hills
    Type :Hill, Fort , Temples, Mosque
    Nearest Town: Devanahalli
    Distance from Bangalore: 45kms
    Trek Distance: About 2 km (one way)
    Trek level: Easy
    Directions: Take the Hyderabad highway NH7 till Devanahalli. Then take a left turn ,travel for about 22kms to reach the peak
    About: This is the highest peak around Bangalore . It is about 1400mt above MSL . This  is the most commonly visited places around Bangalore. The fort was built by Doddaballapur Nadaprabhus and later improved by Tippu Sultan. This place is an excellent place for bird watching. People who don't wish to trek, can take their vehicles up to the peak.
Place to visit around Bengaluru Nandi Hills
A Water Pond at Base of Nandi Hills
Trekking route to Nandi Hills
Mantapa on the Way to Nandi Hill Peak
14. Melukote 
           Type :Hill, Temples, Wildlife
           Nearest Town: Nagamangala
           Distance from Bangalore: 160kms
           Directions : There are two ways A) Take the Mysore road , cross Mandya and then take a right turn and follow directions to reach Melukote. B)Take  the NH 48 Mangalore highway till Belluru cross , then take a left turn, proceed  a little further to reach a Y fork. Take a right turn here and follow directions to reach Melukote.
         About: This place is also known as 'Thirunarayanapuram'. It is built on rocky hills known as Yadavagiri or Yadugiri overlooking the Cauvery valley. Approach roads to this place are very picturesque. It is a temple town with many temples, main ones being Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple and Yoga Narasimha Temple  .There are many Kalyanis here .There is also a secret cave underneath the Yoga Narasimha temple . It is believed that the great Srivaishnava saint Sri Ramanujacharya did penance for 14 years here . But the entry to the cave is prohibited now. Other attractions are the wildlife sanctuary and the museum. If one is  fond of Puliyogare , then this is the place to taste it the best. Excellent Puliyogare is served here at all hotel and eateries. Overall, a great place for family outing .     
Yoganarasimha Swamy Temple, Melukote
Yoganarasimha Swamy Temple, Melukote
Incomplete Rajagopura, Melukote
Incomplete Rajagopura, Melukote
15 Gudibande
           Type :Hill, Fort , Temple
           Nearest Town: Gudibande
           Distance from Bangalore: 75kms
           Trek Distance: About 3kms (one way)
           Trek level: Easy
           Direction :  Take the Hyderabad highway NH7 till Chikballapur.Continue until you reach   Perasandra. Take a left turn to reach the Gudibande.
           About: Gudibande fort was built by a local chieftain named Byre Gowda. With  more than 13 (locals say there are 19) rock ponds at different levels, this fort seemed to have a perfect rainwater harvesting system.There is a temple on the peak dedicated to Lord Shiva , which  has been renovated recently with marble flooring. The Shiva linga in the temple  is believed to be one amongst the 108 jyothirlingas in India. When  viewed from here, the Byrasagara lake  looks like the map of India.              
Place to visit around Bangalore - Gudibande Fort
Gudibande Fort
Gudibande fort
Ruins of Temple inside Gudibande Fort
Fort Walls
Amani Byrasagara Lake, Gudibande
Amani Byrasagara Lake (just look like Map of India)
16 Narsapura Betta
           Type :Hill, Temple
           Nearest Town: Kolar
           Distance from Bangalore:40 km
           Trek Distance: About 3kms (one way)
           Trek level: Moderately Difficult.
           Direction: Via NH4 Kolar road, travel till you reach Kamat Upachar , from here take a right turn adjacent to Volvo godown. Travel  a little further till you reach a small hamlet . Then take  a left turn to reach the base of the hill .
            About: This hill is a paradise for rock climbers. Steps are laid up to the cave  temple which is dedicated to Lord Hanuman . Here on, one can go up till the peak, but there is no definite way or directions. One can use the line of electrical poles for guidance. There are  a lot of caves along th e way to the hill top. The view  from the top is awesome .
Places to Visit around Bangalore - Narsapura Betta
View from the Top 
17 Antaragange
           Type :Hill, Water, Temple
           Nearest Town: Kolar
           Distance from Bangalore:60 km
           Trek Distance: About 6kms (one way)
           Trek level: Easy.
           Direction: Via  Kolar road  till you reach Kolar. From the bus stand,  take a right turn , this road will lead to Antaragange.
           About: Antaragange is a mountain situated in the Shathashrunga mountain range in Kolar . Antaragange literally means "Ganges (Holy water) from deep" in Kannada.  Antaragange is famous for the temple situated on the mountain. In the temple is a pond which gets a continuous flow of underground water from the mouth of a Basava (stone bull). There is a steep, narrow path to the top of the mountain. The mountain contains volcanic rocks and lot of caves around.
Antara Gange Hills, Kolar
Antaragange Spring
Rajagopuram, Theruhalli
18 T G Halli Reservoir 
           Type :Dam, Water
           Nearest Town: Magadi
           Distance from Bangalore:30 kms
           Direction: Via Magadi road till you reach T G Halli
           AboutT G Halli Dam or the Thippagondanahalli Reservoir, also known as Chamarajsagar is located at the confluence of the rivers of Arkavathi and Kumudavathi. It serves as a major source of drinking water for Bangalore west. The dam was built under the supervision of Sir M Visvesvaraya. Entry into the dam premises requires prior permission from concerned authorities, although there are many ways one can enjoy the dam surroundings. This place is a heaven for bird watchers.  Read more

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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Places to visit around Bangalore / Bengaluru part-1

 This is our humble attempt to compile the places we have visited  in and around Bangalore. It may or may not be surprising to know that there more than 150 places around Bangalore which is worth a visit. Places around Bangalore include Ramanagara, Chikkaballapur, Kolar, Tumkur and Mandya districts and borders of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh .This post is more towards providing information on the places  that are  rather unpopular and seemingly less explored. Hope this will  let  many of us appreciate everything nature offers. All the listed places are best suited for one day outing .
 Best Practices when you are on an outing:
1. Carry lots of water and snacks.
2. Remember not to litter the place.
1 Savandurga
     Type :Hill, Fort , Temples
     Nearest Town:  Magadi
     Distance from Bangalore: 45kms
     Trek Distance: About 4kms (one way)
     Trek level: Moderately difficult
     Direction: Via Magadi road: just before you reach Magadi, take a left turn, then travel for 3kms ,take another left turn  and travel for about 4kms to reach the destination . There are direction boards on the way for guidance.
      About : This is probably  the most favorite spot among the regular trekkers in Bangalore  .  Savanadurga is considered as one of the biggest monoliths around Bangalore.There are temples and a forest garden at the bottom of the hill. There are also Fort  ruins  atop the hill which was built during Kempegowda times. There are a few water ponds on the way to the top. This place comprises of two hills called, Karibetta (Black Hill) and Billibetta (White hill), due to its appearance.This hill is surrounded by forest. One can have a bird's eye view of Magadi town, Manchinbele backwaters and the surrounding forests. The view is awesome.  This trek will always remain close to our  hearts , since it was our first trek.
Savanadurga fort, Magadi
A Water Pond in the Back Drop of Machinbele Reservoir
Savandurga Fort, Bangalore
On the Top
 2 Mandharagiri
    Type :Hill, Jain temple
    Nearest Town:  Tumkur
    Distance from Bangalore: 55kms
    Trek Distance: About 500m (one way)
    Trek level:Very easy
    Direction: Via Tumkur road (NH4) : just before reaching Tumkur, you will find this place on your right side with its name painted on the hill.
    Landmark: There is an arch at the entrance and a weighbridge besides the arch..
    About:  There is a Jain temple at the top of  the hill, a small lake besides it and a few ruined structures here and there. A huge lake is present behind the hillock (we are not aware of its name though) which is a good place to spot water birds.
Mandharagiri Hill
Mandharagiri Hill
Jain Temple, Mandharagiri Hills

3 Kalavarabetta/Skandagiri  
    Type :Hill, Fort
    Nearest Town:  Chikkaballapur
    Distance from Bangalore: 50kms
    Trek Distance: About 3kms (one way)
    Trek level: Easy
    Direction: Via Hyderabad road (NH7): reach  Chikkaballapur, then take a right turn and travel for about 1km to reach the destination .
    About: This is our only night trek till date. This place is famous for night trek, sunrise and  clouds . There is a temple and a mutt at the base of hillock. One can find  a lot of remains of fortification on the way to the peak. The Sunrise here is very beautiful. One can also  view of Nandi hills from the top. Kindly carry a source of light while trekking during night. More details here 
Skandagiri Fort
Sunrise at Skandagiri
 4 Devarayanadurga
    Type :Hill, Fort,Temples
    Nearest Town:  Dabaspet
    Distance from Bangalore: 55kms
    Direction: Via Tumkur road (NH4): Travel up to Dabaspet flyover, take the road which goes besides the flyover  and  turn right to reach Devarayandurga (FYI: Taking a left turn  leads to Shivagange Betta)
    About: The rocky hills are surrounded by forests and the hilltops are dotted with several temples including the Yoganarashima  and the Bhoganarasimha temples. The Yoganarashima temple is on the top of the hillock and the Bhoganarasimha temple at the base . There are three sacred ponds or Kalyani's here, known as Narasimha-theertha, Parasara-theertha and Pada-theertha. Places nearby include Namada Chilume , myth has it that Sri Rama on his way to Lanka halted here. As he did not find water anywhere around to wet the "Nama" (a kind of paste Hindus apply on their forehead), he shot an arrow into the ground, and water sprung from there. Thus the name (Rama)-Namada Chilume. The spring can be still seen, and there is a foot impression of Lord Sri Rama next to it. There is a deer park  in the garden of Namada Chilume. Another place worth a visit is the very famous temple of  Mahalakshmi  at Goravanahalli.
Sri Yoganarasimhaswamy Temple, Devarayanadurga
Sri Yoganarasimhaswamy Temple, Devarayanadurga
  5 Adichunchanagiri Mutt 
    Type : Hill, Temples, Wildlife
    Nearest Town:  Bellur Cross, Kunigal
    Distance from Bangalore: 120kms
    Direction: Via NH48 Mangalore highway till you get Adichunchanagiri crossing, take right  and travel  from about 12 km .
    About: Major attraction here is the temple and mutt. This place is considered one among the Pilgrimage sites of Karnataka. Very well maintained temple and good facilities for the lodging is available here.There is a provision for rock climbing with the help of chain and pegs at certain places.We heard that this place also has a peacock sanctuary. We tried looking around for it, inquired a few locals but in vain. On walking around for a long time in search of peacocks if any,  we were lucky enough to get a glimpse of a colorful peacock. It was a pleasure to the eye. We also read that the forest department  ran jeep safaris and made provision for trekking inside the sanctuary . This probably was a long time ago since we did not see any such facilities.
Adichunchanagiri Mutt
Adichunchanagiri Mutt

6 Makalidurga 
    Type :Hill, Fort
    Nearest Town:  Doddaballapur
    Distance from Bangalore: 55kms
    Trek Distance: about 2kms (one way)
    Trek level: Moderately Easy
    Direction: Via Hindupur state highway  reach Makali village which is about 12kms from Doddaballapur . Hillock is to  the left side of the road.
   About: This place is very close to Ghati Subramanya. It is a 7 tiered fort out of which  the remains of only 3 tiers are found today . There is a Shiva temple on the peak. There is another temple and two lakes at the base of hill. One can have a bird's eye view of Ghati Subramanya , the lakes and railway  track from the peak . 
Makalidurga Fort
Makalidurga Fort
Forts near Bangalore
Lord Shiva Temple Atop of Makalidurga Fort
Fort walls, Makalidurga
Fort Walls of Makalidurga
 7 Hutridurga/Huthridurga
    Type :Hill, Fort
    Nearest Town:  Magadi
    Distance from Bangalore: 65kms
    Trek Distance: About 2kms (one way)
    Trek level:  Easy
    Direction: Via Magadi road: Travel till Magadi, then continue towards Kunigal to reach Hosapalya village which is about 8kms from Magadi, the take a left  turn and travel 8kms further to reach Santepalya,  take another left turn over the zigzag road  to the base of this hill.
    About: This fort is believed to be built by Kempegowda (founder of Bangalore). This is  a classic example of  an 8 tiered fort, with major part of the fortification still intact. Yes its surprising .There are two fortified hillocks around this village. It has a small temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and Nandi. Puja to deities is performed only on Mondays and Fridays. Despite being so close to Bangalore, very few people are aware about this place. Read more 
Places to visit near Bengaluru
The Gateway to Huthridurga Fort
Hutridurga Fort near Bengaluru
Lord Shiva Temple and Ponds
Lord Anjaneya Temple, Huthridurga fort
Sri Sankeshwara Temple
8 Nijagal Betta
    Type :Hill, Fort,Temple, Mosque
    Nearest Town:  Dabs pet
    Distance from Bangalore: 50kms
    Trek Distance: About 2kms (one way)
    Trek level:  Easy
    Direction: Via Tumkur road : Cross Dabs pet flyover, travel for about 2-3km to reach this place which is on the the left side of the road.
    About: There is a temple and a mosque on the top of the hill. There are many cave temples. This place is a local pilgrimage center. Animal sacrifices to the deity is common  here. The fort is believed to be built by Vijayanagara Kings, which was later captured by Hyder Ali, Marathas, Nayaks, and the British.
Nijagal Fort, Dabaspet
Nijagal Fort
Cave Carving, Nijagal Fort
Beautiful Carvings of Karthikeyan and Lord Shiva (Bhikshatana murti)
A ruined Temple inside the Fort
9 Sangama, Mekedatu
   Type : Water, Picnic
   Nearest Town: Kanakapura
   Distance from Bangalore: 65kms
   Direction: Via Kanakapura: Travel up to Kanakapura , take a  left turn  till you reach Sangama.
   About: This place is the confluence of river Arkavathi and Cauvery. One needs to cross the river and walk for about 3kms or take any other mode of transportation available to reach Mekadatu (goat's leap). Nice place with lot picturesque hills surrounding the place. There is  also a water fall nearby called Chunchi falls which is about 6kms before the Sangama.
Chunchi Waterfalls, Makedatu
Chunchi Waterfalls
Waterfalls near Bangalore
Chunchi Waterfalls
  10 Bannerghatta National Park 
       Type :Wildlife
       Nearest Town:Bangalore
       Distance from Bangalore: 25kms
       Direction: Via Bannerghatta road
       About:  This place houses a zoo, safaris, museum ,butterfly park, and reserve forest. There are many places inside the national park apart from the safari and zoo to be explored such as the Swarnamukhi Falls, Doddaragi Betta, Chikkaragi Betta and the Mirza Hill. This place is well maintained and is a popular one in Bangalore.  It is closed on Tuesdays .
Places to visit in Bangalore
Elephant Enjoying its Food
Bannerghatta national Park, Bengaluru
Hippo Family at Bannerghatta National Park
  11 Kanva Reservoir 
     Type :Dam, Water 
       Nearest Town:Ramanagar
       Distance from Bangalore: 65kms
       Direction: Via Mysore road: Travel till you reach Kengal ,take a right turn and travel about 8kms to reach the dam .
       About: This is an artificial lake . A dam constructed across river Kanva forms the reservoir.It is a good place for bird watching. There is a temple in Kengal dedicated to Lord Hanuman which is also worth visiting. 
Kanva Dam near Bangalore
Evening at Kanva
Kanva Dam near Bengaluru
Kanva Dam
12 Ramohalli 
     Type :Picnic  
        Nearest Town: Bidadi
        Distance from Bangalore: 25kms
       Direction: Via Mysore road: Travel up to Rajarajeshwari Dental college. Take a right turn and travel about 6 km to reach this place.
       About:There is a huge Banyan tree which is believed to be around 400 years old. The area is about 3 acres.

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