Place 5: Nandhi Hills

IMG_0627This place is one of the hotspot for people who love nature, calmness, joy, and history.  And it is also one of the most popular sightseeing for Bangaorians.  Nadhi Hills is situated in Chikkaballapur district, which is at a distance of 60km from Bangalore.  The hill is popularly called as Nandidurga or Nandi Giridhama.  The height of the hill is around 1479m above sea level.  History says, during the Chola’s time it was called as “Ananda Hill” (Hill of Happiness).  Even now this phrase is true and you will definitely fall in love for its calmness and pleasant nature when you visit.  Hence most people say that this place is heaven for nature lovers.  The hill includes a Summer Palace built by Tippu Sulthan, Nehru Guest House, Sri Yoga Nandishwara Temple, source point Arkavathi River and a very famous Tippu Drop.  The architecture of Tippu’s summer palace resembles the style of Dariya Dowlath which is located at Srirangapattana.  Inside visit of this palace is closed for public, it can only be seen from outside.  It looks very elegant in its construction.

IMG_0454IMG_0466After taking a quick walk inside the giridhama you will reach Sri Yoga Nadhishwara temple, a temple dedicated to lord shiva.  It looks very old and has rich history in it.  Beside the temple there is an extended sky walk to see the surroundings from the top.  The view from here is incredible.  The chains of surrounding mountains, Skandagiri Hill looks very beautiful from this point.  After this, you should walk little far on rocks to reach the famous point called Tippu’s Drop.  It’s a steep cliff on top of the hill, and the view from here looks very scary and dangerous.  It was said that, during Tippu’s rule, prisoners were pushed to death from this point.  Hence the place was called Tippu’s Drop.  The source point of river Arkavathi can be seen beside this drop.  This river flows across the Bangalore and joins the river Cavery at Sangama, Kanakapura.  There is a beautiful dam constructed to this river near Manchenbelle which is yet another picturesque location to visit.  At last you will find Nehru Guest House, which was constructed during the British Period.  Rooms are available for tourist at this guest house. There is also a Gandhi House, where Gandhiji himself stayed here during his visit to Bangalore, but this guest house is only for dignitaries.

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IMG_0493IMG_0514IMG_0523IMG_0569IMG_0573IMG_0637The houses constructed between the trees by using bamboos are gorgeous.  In case if you pack your food, this junction will become a perfect place for your eating point.  It is worth spending time here which makes us feel very calm and pleasant.  This place becomes heaven if you visit during morning times.  Sun rise behind the cloud looks amazing.  As I said, this is the most popular one day sightseeing place in Bangalore, lot of people visit every year for its beauty, charming nature, pleasant climate and its rich history.  This place certainly gives you a pleasant and a refreshing feeling when you visit.

How to go:

By Road: Bangalore- Hebbal Fly Over- Yelahanka- Doddaballapur- D Cross- (Taka right turn @ this circle)- follow this road until you hit a notice board which says “Nandhi Hills 0km”.

You can also go from Bangalore- Devanahalli- Chikkaballapur- Nandhi Hills.

 Food:

On top there is a hotel called “Mayura” from KSTDC.  And other shops can be found.

When to go:

All through the year.

-Viswa Keerthy S

Place 3:Shivagange and Siddagange

Shivagange

ShivaShivagange is a small holy village in Tumkur District, and it is one of the famous Hindu pilgrim centers in India.  The village got its name due to the hill which is present there. The height of the hill is around 1368mts from sea level and it looks the shape of ‘shivalinga’ when it is seen from far.  It is located near Dobbespete, which is 54km from Bangalore.  The place is very famous for its Gangadhareshwara Temple, which is built for lord Shiva.  And it is popularly called as “Dakshina Kashi” (South Kashi) by South Indians.

Gangadhareshwara TempleApart from the temple, the hill also includes Pathala Gange, Olakal Theertha, Nandi and Shanthala Drop on top.  Each of these places has deep history in its creation.  At the base of the hill you will find lord Shiva temple, which is Gangadhareshwara temple.  The temple is very famous for its mysterious abhisheka.  It is believed that if you perform ghee abhisheka, the ghee will turn into butter.  Inside the temple there is old cave, which is now locked with iron gate and they say this cave connects with the other cave, which is at Gavi Gangadhareshwara temple in Bangalore.  Beside this temple you will find Pathala Gange, which is a small underground spring.  It is formed between two huge rocks and there are narrow steps to go down to see it.  Historically it is said that Pathala Gange is connected with the Antaragange which is in Kolar.  But it is hard to imagine this connection today, as both the places are very far from each other.  Olkal Theertha is another mysterious location in the hill.  This place is found exactly at the mid way while climbing the hill.  One has to go in narrow place between the rocks to find the small spring.  It is a small pot hole in the rock, if you see from top with a torch, you can see water inside.  It is believed if a person is good and dutiful; he can touch and feel the water, others cannot!  After this temple, climbing became very difficult due to the narrow steps of rocks.  On top of the hill you will find Nandi and a small Shiva temple.  You will also find queen Shantala’s suicide point known as Shantala Drop.  The view from top of the hill is mesmerizing.

Climbing...

Olakal Theertha

Climbing to top

view from top

It is place which is a combination of historic temples, religious believes, mystery, trekking and a mesmerizing nature.  The experience you get is unforgettable.  A must visit place for people who love to explore places and the history.  The landscape view from high altitude and some of the breathtaking spots in the hill is amazing.  Most part of the hill is rocky, and a proper iron railing has been put to climb the hill.  You will find lot of monkeys all over the hill, and they are always ready to attack on your belongings.  When you visit, make sure to take something for monkeys.  Overall it is a fantastic picnic spot for one day!

Siddagange

Siddaganga Mutt

Sree Sree Sree Shivakumara SwamijiSiddagange is small village which is 10km far from Shivagange.  It is located near Kyathsandra which can be reached through NH 4 from Bangalore.  Siddagange houses an ashrama called Siddagange Mutt,the oldest ashrama in Tumkur District.  It also has gurukula which offers education, food, shelter for poor children’s.  Siddagange mutt is now headed by Sree Sree Sree Shivakumara Swamiji, who is called as Nededaduva Devaru (Walking God).  He is continuing his humanitarian work even at the age of 107years.  Every day they perform ‘Annasantharpane’ (food) at the free of cost for the pilgrims who visit this place.  It also has a hill which houses the temple of Siddalingeswara and Siddalingamma.  Everyone who visits Shivagange always visit Siddagange.

How to reach

1. Frequent KSRTC Buses available from Majestic.

2. There is a railway station at Dobbaspete and Kyathsandra. And frequent train is available from Majestic Railway Station.

3. It is best if you travel in own transport.  From Bangalore take NH 4, reach Dobbespete.

Food:

There are good hotels at both the places.  Kyathsandra is famous for its “Tatte Idli’s”! Don’t forget to taste it.

When to go:

All through the year.

I with two of my friends Naveena and Naveena went to these places in train.  Our journey was comfortable in train, and we climbed both the hill and even took the blessings of Shivakumara Swamiji.  Meanwhile took some beautiful photos.

-Viswa Keerthy S
10-11-2012