I visited the Nandi Hills once, only to visit it again a year later with another group of friends. Unlike my first visit, we got there late after sunrise and didn’t make it to the top. But we walked in the inner paths of the stone buildings and narrow pathways and had a much better experience. Here goes my Nandi Hills travel blog!
Though situated 50 kilometers away from Bangalore, it’s always listed on the city’s best things to do checklist. Many people rush to visit Nandi Hills for its early sunrise view. Vehicles begin lining up before 5 am at the hills’ gate just to race up and catch glimpses of the sunrise at the viewpoint.
The view is no doubt one of a kind and is worth the rush up the hills. However, the greenery on Nandi Hills, the temples (Tipu’s Drop and Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple), and the ancient stone pathways leading up to the hills are equally mesmerizing.
Nandi Hills Travel Blog: Visiting on a Weekday
It’s tough to talk of the best time to visit Nandi Hills. It’s great to visit all around the year and any day of the week. Whether it’s the weekend or a weekday, it’s always a crowded spot. But the morning around 6:00 to 6:30 is the perfect time to be there to experience the sunrise. Get an hour early to avoid the long vehicle queues.
We on the other hand didn’t mind missing the sunrise and left at 6 am and made it there by a good while after the sunrise. It was around 7:15 when we started walking up the place. We didn’t head straight to the top with our vehicle.
Instead, we parked it below at the parking and started walking up the green paths and the forted stone path edges of Nandi Hills. I found out that the fort’s called Tipu Old fort after I returned.
Visiting the infamous hills during the spring was definitely worth the late visit for the greenery bloomed all over the place. The stone pavements and old structures added up to the scenic views.
With the perfect balance of sunlight, blue skies, and crisp wind, we got many picturesque shots of ourselves and the panoramic view from the hills.
Getting there on a Tempo!
There are many ways to get to Nandi Hills. Some prefer bikes, others cars, and some even trekking or cycling up the hills. There’s no ‘best’ way to get to Nandi Hills but a car is usually comfortable and safe up the narrow hill roads while a bike is more adventurous. I’d prefer the car.
But being in a group of 14 members, we booked a Tempo Traveller so that we’d all get there together. Nandi Hills wasn’t the only place to visit on our trip – we’d planned to visit Wonderla later on as well, thus the Tempo.
We parked it at the bottom and began to walk up the hills.
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Tickets and A Tiny Shop
It was still chilly at 7 as we got off the Tempo and walked to the gate. Up to the entrance, there was a guy behind a table collecting entry tickets and they cost Rs. 25 per head. The prices vary for 2-wheeler and 4-wheeler, and also whether you park it at the bottom or at the top of the hills (It’s higher for the hilltop parking, of course)
With the COVID-19 still lingering on people’s minds, it was a compulsion to have our masks on upon entry. All of us already had it, except Cherry Wine – she lost it before we even began the trip. Very sensible lady.
There was a tiny shop before the ticket counter where we got her a mask that barely was worth its price. It’s a tourist place, after all, things were overpriced here. I remembered a similar encounter when I bought coffee on my last Nandi Hills visit – it was priced higher as well.
But a coffee with that view, why not?
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Also, make sure to bring cash with you because no one accepts cash here. Luckily, one of us (not me) had cash and paid for all our entry tickets.
Aesthetic Shots and a Short Walk
I’d always thought getting to the top view was the main attraction of Nandi Hills. But the walk itself is something to remember.
The stone pavements, shrubs that lay like natural carpets, the ancient stone structures, majestic doorways, and the fort-like compounds (Tipu fort) overlooked the view of the villages below as far as one’s eye could catch.
Added to it, the skies were extra blue when we visited (or maybe it was just the altitude) making the walk heavenly.
The best part was though we were in a hurry to get going as we had to leave for Wonderla soon, we didn’t bother walking till the top. We just wanted to take a walk and get some pictures – and we did!
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Even the worst of cameras could get great pictures because of the modest daylight and the altitude views. Here are some shots we got.
What to Wear for Nandi Hills: Jackets – but we took it off!
In the first article I wrote on the place, the Nandi Hills travel guide, I wrote about what to wear for the itinerary. While it’s good to keep clothing in mind, it doesn’t big of a difference.
I had a thick jacket and it helped when we arrived as the mist floated over our heads. But as we climbed the hills, I had no choice but to take it off. Some of us didn’t even bring jackets along and it wasn’t an issue. In fact, it got hot later.
While sports shoes are comfortable for the rough paths, some wore flip-flops up the hills. It didn’t seem to matter. After all, it was no more than a steep walk and barely a trek.
However, we didn’t walk all the till the Nandi Hills sunrise viewpoint. We didn’t get inside any of the temples either. We made it halfway up the stone pathway and sat for a while on the ledges. That’s where we got most of our pictures. And that was it – we began to descend as we were running out of time.
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Breakfast Near Nandi Hills
On my last visit, when I’d bought the coffee on Nandi Hilltop, I remember wondering where we were going to have breakfast. Most of my trip budget was spent on renting out the car and fuel prices. Though the restaurants around Nandi Hills cost an average of Rs. 500 for two, that wasn’t on our budget.
People flocked into the main food court here after their visit to the sunrise viewpoint while we walked away and around the rich gardens though we were hungry. Later, we had cheap dosas for Rs. 20-25 after we drove back down the hills at a food truck.
Similarly, this time we found a tiny breakfast spot right on the Nandi Hills main road after driving back through the curvy pins and down to Hegadahalli. It was right on the route and there were many cheap dhabas around.
Most weren’t open yet and we chose one of the few that were open. We didn’t mind the quality, but the tiny cafe actually had crisp hot dosas, idlis, and egg omelets. I tried finding its name on Google Maps but its name doesn’t seem to be listed at the location.
But it’s somewhere in between Up Hill cafe, Sinchana Palace, and Shivanandi on Nandi Hills main road before meeting the Nelamangala and Chikkaballapura junction.
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Things to Do in Nandi Hills
I haven’t done all the things I can do at Nandi Hills – I’ve yet to trek, yet to set foot on every Nandi’s pavements to the temples and forts. But I’ve mentioned all the things to do in my travel guide, but I’ll mention some to conclude this Nandi Hills travel blog.
- Stand at the Sunrise Viewpoint at Dawn: The main attraction is foremost and that’s experiencing the sunrise on Nandi Hills at its viewpoint. Hurry up the hills at 6 am and be sure to wear a jacket!
- Visit the Ancient Temples: There are
- Walk on the stone pavements and fort
- Stay at Nandi Hills!
- Visit the pond and stroll through the flora.
Yes, you can actually stay at the top of Nandi Hills, it’s called KSTDC Mayura! As the name suggests, this is a group of guest houses run by KSTDC and it’s actually a sweet weekend getaway idea. Check for the best pricing on Booking.com below!
It takes around 2-3 hours if you visit Nandi Hills in the morning to cover and walk through all the places mentioned above. Most people who’ve been around before, typically Bangalore’s travel enthusiasts, are mindful of these things to do in Nandi Hills. These activities are any person’s game.
But there are other options here as well. Some exotic things to do here are:
- Paragliding (By Aero Sports)
- Wine Tours
- Trekking and Camping
For trekking, there are other hills around the Nandi Hills range such as the Channagiri betta and Skandagiri betta.
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More Pictures on Nandi Hills
This is a travel blog, right? Before I proceed, to most of the pictures being shot on iPhone (not mine), I give credits to Cherry wine (Lady with curly hair), Sourabh, and Ronit (The last two are my roommates and the same guys going in for the kiss). Want to see more of our pictures? You should check out my Wonderla blog!
Now, here are a few more pictures of Nandi Hills I’d to share with you:
Nandi Hills Travel Blog: Tailpiece
Not long ago I bought a hybrid bike and that’s my next destination – cycling to Nandi Hills. It’s a 50-kilometer trip to the spot and a total of 100 kilometers of riding. That’s a lot, but it does sound exciting!
I’ll let you know when I go there. Subscribe to my weekly newsletter to stay tuned or simply follow me on Instagram:
That sums up this post on the Nandi Hills travel blog. I hope I was of some help. Did you visit Nandi hills too? Let me know how it went in the comments below!
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