Bangalore is a great place to live is common knowledge. But apart from its weather and people, what makes this place so attractive is its location. Bangalore is strategically located around many wonderful places which on visiting will make you feel like you have been transported to another world. Each of these places is unique and will leave a distinct mark in one’s memory. Here is a short summary on some of the weekend getaways from Bangalore.
Coorg (259kms from Bangalore)
Coorg is a land known for its distinctive life style, chivalrous people, beautiful women, unique food and characteristic coffee. This is the ideal place to visit if you are keen on experiencing a different culture, love adventure sports and trekking, have some great food and leave feeling proud of your country (the Coorgs, as they are called are known for their fierce patriotism). It is not uncommon to see a rifle collection in every house you visit, as well as a sword collection! There are many hotels in Coorg, but the ideal way of gaining maximum experience would be to book a home-stay (a guest house or a guest room, belonging to any of the local civilians). You will get to interact with the Coorgs, who are a very interesting lot and they will help you arrange all your trekking and other such activities.
Horsley hills(177kms from Bangalore)
A great place to visit if you wish to glimpse some outer-worldy scenery, it is the starting point to the Koundinya wildlife sanctuary, is known for its natural foliage (including eucalyptus, gulmohar and allmanda among others), the famous Horsley hills museum, and long drives thanks to the exquisite scenery on either side of the road. This place is famous for their Punganoor cows, which yield high quality milk. It is also known for the annual boat race, which is a must see, both for the skill and unique technique.
Hassan(187kms from Bangalore)
The ideal place to visit if you are an archeological junkie, this place is fondly called the archeological capital of India, has some of the most historically significant places in the world within a 50km radius around it. There is Belur and Halebidu, two cities which were the capitals of the Hoysala empire. The distinctive architecture has made this place a world renowned site. There is also a little town called Gorur, which is known for its warm and friendly people, who have been immortalized in the novella by Gorur Ramaswamy Iyengar, called ‘namma oorina rasikaru’, written in Kannada (a must read, both funny and insightful). And one cannot forget Sravanabelagola known for its monolithic statue of Bahubali.
Bandipur(235kms from Bangalore)
A wildlife reserve, this scenic beauty is nestled in the Niligiri hills is a famous tiger reserve. Not only will you thoroughly enjoy your visit, if you can contribute in any way to the protection of the dwindling tiger population, you will also have done real service to the society.
Shivanasamudra(135kms from Bangalore)
The name of this place literally translates to ‘The sea of Lord Shiva’, after the famous waterfalls by the same name. The waterfall has a distinctive style of flowing, which is very fast and turbulent, making a roaring noise as it flows. The river Kaveri actually splits into two, hence making two waterfalls called the Gaganachukki and Barachukki(which is wider and less fierce). This was one of the first places to harness hydro-electric power in all of Asia. Trekking enthusiasts and water sport enthusiasts can have a fruitful weekend here.
Bheemeshwari (100kms from Bangalore)
This is a fascinating little town situated near Bangalore. One can spot a historically significant little temple tucked away in every street, a stream flowing in the most unexpected place, greenery which can only be found in the blessed land of Karnataka. There are some pretty cottages which are located among exquisite scenery (for Bheemeshwari is surrounded by waterfalls on most sides). Fishing is very popular here, tourists enjoy fishing Mahaseer (but the conservationalist in me beseeches you not to indulge in this activity). Boating is also popular.
Kabini(175kms from Bangalore)
Kabini originally served as a jungle lodge for the Mysore maharajas and then for the British Viceroys. It is named after the Kabini river which flows though it. It is a beautiful wildlife sanctuary where one can spot many wild elephants, deer and their family, wild boars, hares etc. There are many cottages which are located right beside the river, where water sports, wild life treks and similar such are very popular.
Belum caves(320kms from Bangalore)
If you love adventure with a hint of mystery, excitement and wonder, here’s your ideal holiday. It is a little far from Bangalore but the worth the distance. Belum caves are the second largest in the subcontinent of India and the longest. They are world famous for their stalactite and stalagmite formations, their underground rivers which offer a continuous supply of water apart from forming wide chambers underneath. It is also of historic significance as there have been many findings of Buddhist and Jain relics here.
This is the first of many such lists thanks to the abundance in number of places around Bangalore. There will definitely be a sequel to this list, with more such exciting places to enjoy your weekends.
Want to explore something in Bangalore itself? Here is what all you can do: 25 Things to do in Bangalore
Sriraksha, pursuing a degree in Electrical&Electronics, is a self confessed patron of creativity. A quintessential Jack of all trades, she loves to write, is a doodle bug, has a photography fetish and considers herself a par-genius cook. A philosophy junkie, she enjoys walking her dogs, gardening, celebrating television and music, and reading/collecting as many books as she can lay her hands on.