Nandi Hills is a very popular getaway from Bangalore, especially among the teenagers and the motor bike riders. The trip to Nandi Hills can be covered in a day and it is a great spot to relax and unwind the city life. I have been to Nandi Hills plenty of times and every time I have visited the place, I have loved it.
For the places around Bangalore that can be covered in a day, refer the section of my blog, One day trips from Bangalore.
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Where is Nandi Hills?
Nandi Hills, also known as Nandidurga, is a hill outskirts of Bangalore. With an elevation of 1478 metres, Nandi Hills is a place where one can see clouds below the peak of the hill. The top of the hill has Tipu Sultan’s fort. According to history and cultural belief, the Nandi Hills is the origin place for five rivers, Arkavathy River, Ponnaiyar River, Papagni River, Penna River, and Palar River.
- There is an entry fee of INR 50 per person and the hill is open everyday between 6 AM and 10 PM.
The best time to visit Nandi Hills is during the winter season (between the months of October to February) as it is pleasant and cooler. During the summer season, the weather becomes very hot and is difficult to spend a day on top of the hill.
How to get to Nandi Hills?
Nandi Hills is around 60 kilometres from the Bangalore city towards Chikkaballapura and takes only 1 hour 30 minutes to reach by a vehicle. The destination is very popular among the bike riders. However, the bikes or the cars have to be left at the foothills and the public transportation must be taken to reach the top.
- If you are visiting Nandi Hills on a weekday, then you do not need any permission. But if you are visiting Nandi Hills on a weekend, then you need to register your travel with KSTDC website.
- Ensure to drive carefully as Nandi Hills has around 8 hairpin bends and can be dangerous if you are not an experienced driver/rider.
- Make sure your vehicle is in good condition before attempting to drive/ ride to Nandi Hills.
- The parking charges are INR 20 for two wheelers and INR 50 for four wheelers.
- Be prepared for lots of people, even on weekdays.
Nandi Hills can be reached by a public transportation such as a bus. The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSTDC) runs frequent buses between Majestic in Bangalore and hill top of Nandi Hills. One can easily take the bus from Bangalore and return the same day. Buses can be boarded directly by getting to the Majestic bus stop and buying the ticket from the bus conductor or ticketing office at Majestic. There is no need to pre-book the tickets. The only drawback of taking the public transportation is that the timings of the buses do not provide the opportunity to the visitors to reach the hill for sunrise.
The other way to reach Nandi Hills is by train. The train station at Chikkaballapura is around 9 kilometres from Nandi Hills. There are frequent trains between Chikkaballapura and Majestic train stations. IRCTC is the website to book the trains. From the Chikkaballapura train station, one can easily get local auto rickshaws to be dropped at the Nandi Hills.
Things to do in Nandi Hills
Nandi Hills is a great place to have a panoramic view of Chikkaballapura. The surroundings places and the bird’s view of those places are truly amazing.
DO NOT throw garbage and take your thrash with you. Keep the environment clean and it is our responsibility to take care of our nature.
- Watch sunrise and sunset. Nandi Hills is open every day between 6 AM and 10 PM. Be prepared for large crowd as watching sunrise or sunset at Nandi Hills is the most famous thing to do. The sky is very dramatic and during sunrise, one can see clouds at a very low level.
Ensure to check for the sunrise time and plan your travel in such a way that you reach Nandi Hills on time to see the sunrise.
- Paragliding. One can indulge in an adventurous activity of paragliding in Nandi Hills. Paragliding is the best way to enjoy the panoramic views of Nandi Hills and surrounds. The cost of 15 minutes paragliding in Nandi Hills is about INR 3500 per person and can be booked on the Thrillophilia website. And the activity can be done anytime between 6:30 AM and 6 PM.
- Hike to the peak – There are 1175 steps to reach to the peak and one can climb up the stairs. The hike to the peak takes around 2 hours one way.
- Make sure to wear a sturdy and comfortable hiking shoes.
- If you have problems with your knees then it is unadvisable to climb the steps.
Also read | Night trek to Skandagiri Peak.
If you wish to stay at Nandi Hills then there are Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) guest houses (Hotel Maurya PineTop KSTDC Nandi Hills) where visitors can stay and wake to the breath taking views of Nandi Hills.
- Visit the temple – There is a Yoganandeeshwara Swamy temple at the peak of Nandi Hills. It is one of the oldest temples in the region and it dates back to 11th century. The temple was established by the Chola Kings. During the 14th century, Vijayanagara Kings renovated and improved the temple further. The temple is built with the Dravida and Chola style architecture. There are inscriptions mentioning the names of the Chola Kings.
- See the post office and police station – I was pleasantly surprised to see a post office at the peak of Nandi Hills. This is very cool and it was amazing how India Post has reached every corner of India. If possible, do send out a post card for yourself or your friends/ family members from Nandi Hills post office.
- It is best to carry a post card with you from Bangalore so you can post it from Nandi Hills post office.
Is it safe for solo female travelers?
Nandi Hills is usually very crowded and is monitored. And hence it can be safe for solo female travelers. But unfortunately, according to the article on Times of India, single or solo travelers are not allowed to visit Nandi Hills. If you are a solo traveler, have a look at reputed travel agencies, meetups or couch surfing events so you can visit Nandi Hills with a group.
Beware of the pick pocketers when you are in Nandi Hills. Make sure to take care of your belongings.
Nandi Hills is a favourite destination for the local Bangaloreans. We love the quick getaway from the city where we can soak in the nature and witness beautiful sunrises and sunsets. I have been to Nandi Hills multiple times and every time I have loved it.
Have I missed anything that can be done in Nandi Hills? Let me know in the comments below.
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