Nandi Hills in Karnataka State, India, is extremely relaxing and breathtaking. Vacationers to this part of the world make sure to visit this spot. It is a very peaceful, quiet and lovely place, a perfect getaway for honeymooners, families and young people, if only for the few moments of complete serenity away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
The nearest major city is Bangalore, the capital city of the state, about 35 kilometers to the east. It is a very busy and modern metropolis that is never without noise, traffic or smoke. Nandi Hills is the most popular picnic area in Karnataka, which is why Balangorean families flock to the place every Sunday. It is advisable, therefore, for foreign tourists to avoid visiting on Sundays as much as possible. In ancient times, the sultans and royals came here to rest after engaging in battle or simply escape the pressures of life as a leader.
The highest point along the craggy Nandi Hills is 2,004 meters above sea level. On top are a number of temples, a traveler’s bungalow, forest lodge, lake and several walks. The most popular structure on the hill is Tipu Sultan’s Summer Retreat house that may be reached by climbing a 1,175-step stairway from the base to the top of the hill. VIPs from around the world have enjoyed staying in Tipu Sultan’s wooden lodge on the hill. They include former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi Pandit, Jawaharlal Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi, and Queen Elizabeth II, as well as delegates from the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and Mark Cubbon, former Commissioner of Bangalore.
Tipu Sultan was the powerful ruler of the Mysore Kingdom. He was known by the title “Tiger of Mysore” and ruled with much power and controversy, which made him very unpopular among the people. Yet, his contributions to the local culture and development of Bangalore is unequalled by many. He built a palace, fort and this summer retreat house on Nandi Hill that regularly draw thousands of local and foreign tourists. Also notably horrific and historically forgettable is the 600-meter high cliff called Tipu’s Drop, where the sultan hurled prisoners to their deaths. Today, the drop offers a breathtaking view of the plain below.
To get to this famous hill, travelers may take several buses from Bangalore, specifically the Bangalore Majestic or Kempegowda Bus at the city’s central bus station. When going by car, travelers take National Highway 7 from the Hebbal flyover and then make a left at the “Nandi Hills 22 km” signboard, after about 10 kilometers. Along the way, tourists get to pass by Tipu Sultan’s birth place. There is only one road, a long and winding road with about 40 curves that leads to the top.
Although the place is lovely anytime of the year, the best time to visit Nandi Hills is in summer when the view is spectacularly clear. There are several hotels and lodge areas on and around the hill. While on top, tourists check out the vineyards, the Brahmashram cave, Bhoganandishwaraswamy Temple, and Club Cabana. Paragliding is a popular activity here.