Weekend Getaways From Bangalore

  • What do we visualise when we think about Bangalore?
  • Great weather??? Well yes but global warming is slowly but surely taking care of that.
  • Traffic snarls??? True that!!! And it’s quickly becoming a bigger & bigger problem.
  • Yuppie crowd??? Yeah but there are also entire families staying together.
  • Great places to visit around on weekend???? BINGO!!!

The first thing most of us do as soon as a new year starts is look at the holiday calendar and see which long weekends we can make use of for quick getaways. However, sadly there are only so many such weekends and the need for quicker breaks is more ….. much more. So, we need to have places nearby which are different and satiate our desires for short breaks.

Bangalore is blessed by its location to have lots of awesome places around to visit all year round. Right from hills to beaches, & Historical architecture to coffee and tea plantations. It’s got something for everyone.

Let’s look at the top five places near Bangalore that we can visit over weekends, the best time to visit them and the things we can do ….. And the budget we would need, of course.

1. Coorg- Scotland of India

Coorg- Scotland of India

Popularly known as the Scotland of India is also known as Kodagu. This hill station is known for its coffee plantations, beauty and lip smacking food. It’s got something for everyone. Kodavas (local tribe) are known for martial arts and hospitality. This hill station, situated in Karnataka, is surrounded by lush hills and the serene views of rivers passing along them at different places. If you do travel here, which you must, you need to try the local delicacies like Kadambuttu, Bamboo shoot curry, Paputtu and the list will go on.

Why to Visit:

  • Abbey Falls: Surrounded by spices and coffee plantations, water falls from a height of about 70 feet is a spectacle of nature. The walk to this fall is worth taking in itself.
  • Talacauvery: Source of the river Kaveri at the height of over 1,200m from the sea level, from here you can take a walk to top of the hill and get a breathtaking view of the valley.
  • Namdroling Monastery: Also called the Golden Temple because of the work of gold on the statues of saints. It is home to over 5,000 lamas (Buddhist Monks) and has a school and college too.
  • Tadiandamol Peak: The highest peak in Coorg at the height of over 1,700m. Though the trek leading to the peak is difficult, the view offered from there are second to none.
  • Adventure activities: From camping to river rafting and wild life safari to microlighting, Coorg has something for everyone.   

Other Details:

  • Distance: Coorg is less than 300 kms from Bangalore (Bengaluru).
  • Budget: Typically a trip will cost you around Rs. 6,000.
  • How to travel: One can travel by road by taking a bus, taxi or own car.
  •  Best time to travel: The peak season here is quite long, from November to July (Winters, Summers and Monsoon) especially, if you love trekking, Monsoon is the best time for you.
  • Who to travel with: Take a trip with your partner, family or friends, Coorg has something for everyone.
  • Mysore- City of Palaces of South

Mysore is a Goliath when it comes to the popularity of cities in South India. A city known for its palaces, Mysore is situated at the foothills of Chamundi Hills, this city has a population of over 9 lakh people making it the 3rd most populated city in the state of Karnataka. Mysore also called Mysuru, is a city rich with culture, heritage and the Mysore Palace is said to be one of the most finest and stunning palaces in all of India, giving others a run for their money.

Why to Visit:

  • Mysore Palace: The residing place of the royal family of Mysore, this palace was built in the year 1912, just looking at it during the night leave people awestricken and houses over 50 lakh visitors annually which is only seconded by Taj Mahal.
  • Somanathapura Temple: Also known as the Keshava temple, is a magnificent stone carved temple. This temple is arguably the last of the Hoysala monuments left.
  • Brindavan Gardens: The gardens build on the side of KRS Dam, and took 5 years to be built. Spanning over an area of over 60 acres, this terrace garden offers boat rides, nature walks, fountains that light up after sunset. A must go place when in the city of Mysore.
  • Chamundeshwari Temple: A temple situated at a height of over 300 metres is if not the oldest, one of the oldest temples in Mysore. Take a walk or drive through the curvey Chamundi Hills to reach this temple dedicated to Goddess Durga.
  • Adventure Activities: Trekking to boat rides to safari rides, Mysore has it all.

Other Details:

  • Distance: Distance between Mysore and Bangalore (Bengaluru) is less than 150 kilometres.
    • Budget: Typically a trip will cost you around Rs. 5,000.
    • How to travel: Considering the short distance, one can take a train or travel by road to reach Mysore, the time taken by road and train is relatively the same.
    •  Best time to travel: Winters are considered to be the best time to visit Mysore, from late October to February.
    • Who to travel with: Take a trip with your partner, family or friends.

2. Ooty- Nilgiris’ abode

Ooty

Ooty is commonly known as the ‘Queen of Hills’ credit to pleasant weather, ample places for sightseeing, and the serene environment. Udagamandalam is another name of this hill station, which is nested amidst the Nilgiri hills at the height of over 2,200 m from the sea level, in the state of Tamil Nadu. One who travels to Ooty is not only find the hill stations picturesque but the journey in itself is mesmerizing.

Why to Visit:

  • Toy Train Ride: As childish as the idea of ‘Toy Train Ride’ sound, we promise you, once you take this train ride you’ll be left speechless.
  • Ooty Lake: Covering almost 70 acres of area, you will see lush greenery and stunning hills wherever you will see.
  • Botanical Garden: Ooty’s botanical garden are not only famous in the South, but throughout India. Covering over 54 acres of land, has been there from over 160 years.
  • Adventure Activities: From train rides to boat rides and trekking to cycling to heritage and nature walks, Ooty has it all.

Other details:

  • Distance: Distance between Ooty and Bangalore (Bengaluru) is less than 300 kilometres
    • Budget: Typically a trip will cost you around Rs. 4,000.
    • How to travel: Nearest railway station is Coimbatore Nrth which is again almost 100 kms away from Ooty, also, the nearest airport is in Coimbatore which is again 100 kilometres away, best bet will be travelling by road, bus will take around 10 hours and by car/taxi it’ll be less than 5 hours drive
    •  Best time to travel: One will thoroughly enjoy this hill station during Winters and Summers (Late October to June), however, winters in Ooty are cooler when compared to rest of south India.
    • Who to travel with: Take a trip with your partner, or friends.

3. Hampi- Mountain Range

Hampi Mountain Range

Hampi, a site recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage is renowned for its archaeological importance. Huge group of mountains, ruins of palaces that speak about the bravery and glory of Kings, Temples, picturesque sunrise and sunset, Hampi is a paradise for adventure seekers and enthusiasts of cultural heritage alike.

Why to Visit:

  • Virupaksha Temple: Dedicated to Lord Virupaksha, considered to be an incarnation of God Shiv (Shiva) is said to be amongst the oldest in India.
  • Vithala Temple: Famous for its huge chariot made out of stone, this temple is amongst the biggest structures with historical importance in all of Hampi.
  • Hanuman Temple: Also knows as Monkey Temple, one will have to climb over 500 steps to reach this temple sitting on top of Anjaneya Hill, which is said to be the site where Lord Hanuman were born.
  • Virapapur Gadde: Also known as the ‘Hippie Island’, is situated on the north side of the North side of the town. You will have to take a 5 minute boat ride to reach this island. This island have a number of cafes, shacks which even offer booze.
  • Adventure activities: Part take in camping, trekking, sightseeing, rock climbing, cliff jumping, and much more in Hampi.

Other details:

  • Distance: Hampi is around 350 kilometres from Bangalore (Bengaluru).
    • Budget: Typically a trip will cost you around Rs. 4,000.
    • How to travel: Nearest railway station is Hospet Junction which is just 15 kms from Hampi, though, if you travel by Bus, it’ll take you the same time as by Train. If your hire a cab or decide to self drive, it shouldn’t take longer than 5 hours.
    • Best time to travel: Winters season is undoubtedly the best time to Visit Hampi (October to early March).
    • Who to travel with: Take a trip with your family, or friends.

4. Wayanad- Paradise in Monsoon

Wayanad

Arguably home to the best peppers, Wayanad is a district in Kerala, which is famous for caves, spice plantations, wildlife, adventure activities, and last but not the least picturesque views. Wayanad’s highest elevations is recorded at over 2,000m. If you are taking a road trip from Bangalore, not only you will witness some amazing views but also cross three national parks.

Why to Visit:

  • Banasurs Dam: topping the list of biggest earthen dams in india, the view offered from this dam is magnificent.
  • Chembra Peak: The highest peak in Wayanad district offers a view that is a treat for the sore eyes.
  • Edakkal Caves: The carvings on the walls of these caves are testaments of human settlements during the ‘New Stone Age Era’ in Wayanad.
  • Adventure activities: Wayanad offers wide options of activities to its visitors like, wildlife safaris, hiking, trekking, nature walks, and boating.  

Other Details:

  • Distance: Distance between Wayanad and Bangalore (Bengaluru) is just under 300 kilometres.
    • Budget: Typically a trip will cost you around Rs. 4,000.
    • How to travel: The nearest railway station is in Nanjangud, which is over 100 kms from Wayanad and the nearest airport in Calicut which is around 90 kms from the district. By road it will be around 5hours drive.
    • Best time to travel: Monsoon season (From July to October) is said to bring the best out of Watanad. However if you are a wildlife lover, we would recommend you to visit this place during Summers (March to early June).
    • Who to travel with: Take a trip with your partner, family or friends.

5. Munnar- Hill Station oozing tranquillity

Echo Point Munnar

Munnar, the hill station nestled in between the three hills, Nallathanni, Kundala, and Mudrapuzha, sits at the height of around 1,700m. Munnar was the summer resort of the former British Empire in Southern part India. Apart from the world renowned tea plantations, Munnar is famous for its breathtaking view points, rare and preserved flora and fauna, beautiful waterfalls, and much more. Munnar in Malayalam means ‘Three Rivers’, as three rivers flow through this hill station.

Why to Visit:

  • Echo Point: Contrary to standing at the edge of the cliff, you will find this echo point near a lake surrounded by lush green hills.
  • Atukkad Falls: Several waterfalls falling from the lush green hills offers a feel where you tend to forget everything.
  • Anamudi Peak: Highest peak in South India, you can go for trekking with prior clearance from the forest and wildlife administration.
  • Adventure Activities: From boat rides to nature walks, and wildlife safaris to rock climbing, Munnar will not cease to amaze you.

Other Details:

  • Distance: Distance between Munnar and Bangalore (Bengaluru) is around 450 kilometres.
    • Budget: Typically a trip will cost you around Rs. 5,000.
    • How to travel: Nearest railway station is in Aluva which is over 100 kms away from Munnar, also, the nearest airport is in Cochin which is again almost the same distance. You can travel by road as well, if you take a taxi or decide to drive yourself, it should not take more than 8 hours to reach Munnar.
    •  Best time to travel: Munnar sees heavy footfall during both Winters and Summers (October to May), but since summers in this hill stations are a bit warm, we recommend you to pay a visit during winters (October to February). Monsoon is considered to be off season.
    • Who to travel with: A famous place for honeymooners can also be enjoyed with friends and family.

6. Pondicherry- Touch of France

Pondicherry

One of the 9 union territories (Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh added to the list of UTs) Pondicherry is officially called Punducherry was a French Colony up until 1954. As soon as you enter this UT, you get the vibe of France, the roads lined with trees and building that dates back to 18th century depict the French architecture. 

Why to Visit:

  • Paradise Beach Island: You will have to take a half an hour boat ride to reach this beach which is known for its serenity and calmness.
  • Seaside Promenade: this seaside promenade is unpolluted and well maintained and can be compared to the one in Nice, France.
  • Sri Aurobindo Ashram: Set up by Sir Aurobindo Ghosh, who came to Pondicherry to escape the persecution and punishment from the Britishers.
  • Adventure Activities: From scuba diving to jet skiing, and kayaking to surfing, and bicycle tours to zorbing, Pondicherry will not disappoint you.

Other Details:

  • Distance: Pondicherry is right about 300 kms from Bangalore (Bengaluru).
  • Budget: Typically a trip will cost you around Rs. 4,000.
  • How to travel: The train services between Bangalore and Pondicherry are not frequent, however if you want to travel by air, Pondicherry has its own domestic airport. However, the best way to travel has to be by road, not only you get the option to use good bus network, but if you are travelling by tax or own car, the drive is typically of less than 5 hours.
  •  Best time to travel: Winters season is the best time to visit Ponidcherry (from Novermber to February), however one can travel during Monsoon as well.
  • Who to travel with: Take a trip with your family or friends.

7. Ramanagara- Holy grail for Bollywood fanatics  Ramanagaram

Ramanagara

Ramanagara, also known as Ramanagaram is the place where the iconic scenes of the movie Sholay were shot. Ramanagara, which was a small village then has now become a lively town, is a perfect getaway for people living in Bangalore and nearby places.

Why to Visit:

  • Ramanagara Hills: with an average height of 750 metres, they offer beautiful view of the town and places around.
  • Ramdevara Temple: One have to walk for over half an hour to reach this temple which is said to be built over a millennium (1000 years) ago.
  • Ramadevarabetta Hills: Featuring in a handful of movies, this places is quite favourite among Bollywood enthusiasts.
  • Adventure Activities: From rock climbing to trekking to camping to bird watching, this town will not let you down.

Other Details:

  • Distance: Distance between Ramanagara and Bangalore (Bengaluru) is less than 50 kilometres.
    • Budget: Typically a trip will cost you around Rs. 2,000.
    • How to travel: Travel by road, take a taxi or drive by yourself as there are no direct buses to this town.
    • Best time to travel: Winters is the best season to travel to this twon (from November to February).
    • Who to travel with: Take a trip with your friends.

8. Nagarhole- Of wildlife

Nagarhole

Nagarhole, situated in Karnataka, is home to the Rajiv Gandhi National Park (also called Nagarhole National Park) is one of few national parks which houses Tigers along with Indian Bison, Asiatic Elephants, and endangered and rare birds. Nagarhole gets its name from two Kannada words ‘Nagara’ which represents ‘Cobra and ‘Hole’  which represents ‘River’, which is apt to this place as it has numerous rivers and streams flowing in the shape of a snake slithering.

Why to Visit:

  • Nagarhole National Park: Also known as Rajiv Gandhi National Park is host to over 200 species of flora and fauna cover almost 650 sq kilometres in area.
  • Iruppu Falls: Also known as Lakshmana Tirtha Falls offers a beautiful feeling which makes you forget everything else. Trekking for the Brahmagiri peak starts from here.
  • Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary: Established almost 45 years ago, this sanctuary is names after the Brahmagiri peak.
  • Adventure Activities: Wildlife safaris, trekking, camping, and rafting, Nagarhole is a place that brings to you close to nature.

Other Details:

  • Distance: Nagarhole is around 220 kilometres from Bangalore (Bengaluru).
    • Budget: Typically a trip will cost you around Rs. 5,500.
    • How to travel: The nearest Train station is Maysore Jn and airport is in Kannur which are 90 kms and 110 kms from Nagarhole, respectively. There are no direct buses either as of today. If you choose to take a cab or drive yourself, the ride should not take you more than 4 hours and 30 minutes.
    • Best time to travel: Winters and mid Summers are considered to be the best seasons to visit (from November to May). On would find it hard to spot wildlife and trek during monsoons.
    • Who to travel with: Take a trip with your friends and family.

9. Chikmagalur- town of the younger daughter

Chikmagalur

Chikmagalur gets its name from Chikkamagaḷa ūru which in Kannada literally means ‘The little daughter’s town’. Situated at the height of over 1,000 metres this place is famous for its coffee plantation along with scenic views, lush greenery and soaring hills. Chikmagalur, along with Kodagu and Hassan are the biggest producers of coffee in all of India.

Why to Visit:

  • Mullayanagiri: Not only the highest peak in all of Karnataka, but also there is no other hill his tall between the Nilgiris up until the Himalayas. Along with breathtaking views atop the hill, there are caves below that one can explore.
  • Kudremukh National Park: One of the UNESCO world heritage site, is situated at the height of over 1,800 metres and covers well over 600 sq kms.
  • Hebbe Falls: Gushing down from the height of over 500 feet, the waterfalls makes a natural Jacuzzi which is said to be a healthy dip because of the herbs mixed in the water.
  • Adventure Activities: Just like Nagarhole, Chikmagalur is famous for its wildlife safaris, trekking, camping, and river rafting activities.

Other Details:

  • Distance: The distance between Chikmagalur is around 250 kilometres from Bangalore (Bengaluru).
    • Budget: Typically a trip will cost you around Rs. 6,500.
    • How to travel: The nearest Train station is in Dharmasthala which is almost 100 kms from the city and airport is in Mangalore which is over 150 kms. There are no direct buses either as of today. If you choose to take a cab or drive yourself, the ride should not take you more than 4 hours.
      • Best time to travel: Winters and early Summers are considered to be the best seasons to visit (from October to April).
      • Who to travel with: Take a trip with your friends and family.

So pack your bags, get, set and go!!!

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