Acquiring the name from the tall statue dedicated to the deity Nandi built on the hilltop, Nandi Hills is a hill station that has gradually been discovered by visitors over the years. Now a famous weekend getaway for the residents of Bangalore, it was also the place where Tipu Sultan sought to escape the heat of the plains and the din of battle.
Situated at a height of 4,851 ft above sea level, all the prominent dignitaries like Queen Elizabeth II, Mahatma Gandhi, and more have enjoyed a stay in Nandi Hills. It is scattered with monuments and shrines featuring majestic pillars and beautifully carved arches with intricately painted walls and ceilings. Being a hidden gem surrounded by enthralling views of hills and valleys, a convoy of weekenders travel here in the early hours just to catch a glimpse of the sunrise from atop.
The weather here is pleasant throughout the year but the best time to visit these hills is between September and May since the roads could be slippery and difficult to climb up during the remaining monsoon months. It is best if you are on the hilltop before sunrise since afternoons can be sweltering during summer. So plan your trip early in the morning at around 5.30 AM to catch the beautiful sunrise. The Nandi Hills remain open from morning 6 AM to 10 PM at night.
This Nandi Hills guide will help you plan out every aspect of your trip, adding to the overall experience of the place and making it an absolute paradise to be in.
How To Reach Nandi Hills?
At a distance of 210 km from Mysore, 166 km from Mandya, 80 km from Kolar, 75 km from Tumkur, and 61 km from Bangalore, there are several ways to reach Nandi Hills. You can easily get there by all three means of transport—road, rail, and air. As single-person entry is not permitted, make sure you go with at least one companion. If you are travelling solo, talk to and join another group before heading to the ticket counter.
Situated at a distance of about 33 km from Nandi Hills, the nearest airport is the Kempegowda International Airport which caters to both domestic and international tourists. Hereinafter, you could take a bus from here to Nandi Hill.
Situated at a distance of 9 km from Nandi Hills, the nearest railway station is the Chikkaballapur Railway Station from where you could take a cab or a bus to the destination. Additionally, Bangalore Railway Station is the major railhead that is well-connected to all prominent cities of India, including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, and Kolkata.
Government buses regularly commute from Nandigram, Chikkabellapur, and Bangalore to Nandi Hills. Visitors can also hire a cab or self-drive but would have to park their individual vehicles at designated places at the foot of the hills. The parking fee for four-wheelers is INR 60 and for two-wheelers is INR 15. There are also buses and other transport provided by the Nandi authorities which is a better arrangement as you get to avoid traffic on the road uphill.
By Local Transport
Although most sites in Nandi Hills are best explored on foot, taxis, as well as autorickshaws, can be opted for by tourists to travel within the city. All buses leave from Bangalore’s central bus station, Kempegowda Bus Station (KBS) locally known more commonly as Majestic.
Also read: 8 incredible one-day trips from Bangalore
History Of Nandi Hills
Previously the summer retreat of Tipu Sultan, these hills are reminiscent of his reign. The Tipu Sultan trail is a famous historical attraction here known for the most well-known spot, Tipu’s Drop, a 600 metre-high cliff that was used to execute prisoners during his reign. Tipu’s Summer Residence is another must-visit attraction, named by Tipu himself as the Rashk-e-Jannat, translating to ‘the envy of heaven’.
Home to quite a few temples, you must visit the Bhoga Nandeeshwara temple in the Nandi village which is dedicated to Shiva and his consorts Nandi and Parvati.
Places To Visit And See In Nandi Hills
Here are eight places to visit during your trip to this nature’s delight. Although Nandi Hills does not have specific timings, these places have their own timings that you need to keep in mind before visiting.
1. Tipu’s Drop
Located on a hilltop on a cliff that lies 600 metres above the elevated ground, Tipu’s Drop is one of the oldest and most famous tourist attractions in Nandi Hills. This place is known for being the cliff from where prisoners were pushed off the cliff as a punishment for their crimes. It is believed that the sound of the rustling leaves is the screams of the inmates who were pushed off the cliff. A must-visit for nature lovers, it gives a sense of peace and satisfaction away from the hustle of the city. You can get a picturesque view of the entire city from the hilltop. It is open from 6 AM to 6.30 PM with an entry fee of INR 5 for Indian Nationals and INR 100 for Foreign Nationals.
2. Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple
Dedicated to lord Shiva, the Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple also known as Nandi Temple dates back to the 9th century and is one of the oldest temples in Karnataka. Situated at the base of Nandi Hills, it’s a beautifully designed work of Dravidian architecture with intricately detailed carving. Inside the main temple, wedding ceremonies are still conducted. Now, under the management of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), it is open for tourists to visit and explore the shrines. The timings of this place are from 6 AM to 7 PM and it has no entry fee.
3. Tipu’s Summer Residence
Initiated by Haidar Ali and completed by Tipu Sultan, Tipu’s Summer Residence referred to as Rashk-e-jannat is another popular place to see in Nandi Hills. A must-see on your trip, it’s built with wood and has beautifully painted ceilings and walls along with carved arches and pillars. It is open from 8 AM to 6.30 PM daily and has no entry fee.
Used by the sage Ramakrishna Paramhansa, a devotee of Goddess Kali, for meditation, this cave has now become a popular tourist attraction and is among the places to visit here. If you’re seeking silence and solitude, then this place near Nandi Hills in Bangalore is the perfect place to visit for rejuvenating your body, mind, and soul. It is open from 7 AM to 7 PM every day.
5. Amrita Sarovar
A major source of water supply near the Nandi region formed by the perennial springs, the Amrita Sarovar, known today as the Lake of Nectar is a famous destination that you shouldn’t miss out on your Nandi Hills trip. The shimmering waters of this pristine lake make it among the popular places to visit for nature lovers. It is open from 7 AM to 7 PM every day and has no entry fee.
6. Yoga Nandeeshwara Temple
Built during the period of the Chola dynasty, this temple is dedicated to lord Shiva and is one of the popular places to visit. Said to be over 1,000 years old, it is situated atop the hill and has two dwarapalakas or guardian deities guarding the temple doors. The beautifully designed carvings in the interiors and the beautiful kalyana mantapa (marriage altar) attract a lot of tourists. It is open from 6 AM to 7 PM every day and has no entry fee.
7. Nehru Nilaya
Recently converted into a guest house by the Horticulture Department of India, Nehru Nilaya is the summer retreat of Sir Mark Cubbon, the Commissioner of Mysore situated in Nandi Hills at the time. The British architecture of this bungalow attracts many tourists. The location of this guest house makes it a beautiful place to either visit or spend the night. It is surrounded by a beautiful garden that is maintained by the Horticulture Department. The timings for this place is from 9 AM to 6 PM and it has an entry fee of INR 8 per person and the parking fees are INR 100 for cars while INR 20 for two-wheelers
8. Grover’s Zampa Vineyard
Located about 27 km from the base of the hill, the Grover Zampa plantation is a vineyard spread over a region of 410 acres. If you are fond of wine tasting you must stop here on your way from Bangalore to Nandi Hills or on the way back. The gentle breeze and tranquil setting will soothe your mind. A guided tour will introduce you to the nuances of winemaking.
You can also spot exotic avian species like puff-throated babblers, blue-capped rock thrush, Asian paradise flycatchers, and tawny eagles flying in and around this place. It is open from 10.30 AM to 5 PM. The basic individual package (includes vineyard tour, winery tour, and wine tasting) costs INR 767 for adults (above 20 years), INR 590 for children, and free for children below 10 years while a basic group package with more than 15 people (includes vineyard tour, winery tour, wine tasting, and grape stomping) costs INR 1,180 for adults (above 20 years), INR 590 for children and free for children below 10 years.
Things To Do In Nandi Hills
Nandi Hills is not only famous for its tourist attractions but also for the adventure activities and other interesting things to do here. Here are three things you can do to get your adrenaline pumping:
Cycling on these hills is a complete adventure in itself. With its beautiful trees and the chilly early morning fog of the forests that lead to the top, you can have an unforgettable cycling or biking experience at these hills. Given the terrain, landscape, and majestic altitude, many cyclists from Bangalore ride to Nandi Hills in the early hours of the day as the highways are emptier and the sun isn’t out yet.
Also Read: 10 best cycling trails in Bangalore
While there’s so much to see and do in Nandi Hills, it is also a famous trekking spot. There are several trek routes, through the Nandi hill for beginners and experts. Beginners can work their way up through a simple rustic route while mid-level trekkers can trek up a strenuous route to Channarayana Hills. For extreme enthusiasts with a passion for challenges, there is a multi-terrain trek circuit through rivers, grasslands, rocky ways, and paved roads. Not only will you get to witness the charm of the town, but you also capture the beauty of nature during your trek.
Nandi Hills offers an extraordinary paragliding experience that has been attracting many nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. Just make sure, you have checked the weather beforehand. The timings for paragliding are from 8 AM to 1 PM every day and it costs INR 3000 for tandem (a 20 min flight with a professional flying along with you) and INR 15,000 for individuals (includes a 5-day training and from the third day onward, you can fly by yourself).
Animal Migration In Nandi Hills
These hills are an amazing winter destination for migratory birds from the Himalayan region. Tiny warblers from the Himalayas are the main attraction for bird watchers here. Besides, you can also spot some exotic birds of Nandi hills like the Nilgiri wood-pigeon, puff-throated babbler, white-cheeked barbet, gray wagtail, oriental magpie robin, Indian paradise-flycatcher, orange-headed thrush, ashy prinia, pale-billed flowerpecker, purple sunbird, etc. This is among the best places to visit for bird watching close to the city.
Crow, Brahminy kite, black kite, jungle mynah, and common mynah are some of the common birds found here.
Blyth reed warbler, booted warbler, pied warbler, and olive-backed pipit are some of the migratory species that can be found in and around Nandi hills during the winter season.
Food In Nandi Hills
There are a number of restaurants and food stalls in and around Nandi hills that serve popular cuisines. You will find local dishes such as bisi bele bath, kesari bath, akki roti, dosa, idli, vada, sambhar, uppittu, etc., along with traditional and local sweets like chiroti, Mysore pak, etc., here. The local chaatis a must-try here. For a wider range of dishes, you will have to travel to nearby cities like Bangalore.
Resorts Near Nandi Hills
Having earned a reputation as a popular weekend getaway, Nandi Hills gives you the opportunity to experience some outstanding views from the top. Here are three of the best resorts around Nandi Hills to enjoy your time off.
1. Discovery Village Resort
Located in Chikkaballapur Taluk, Discovery Village Resort is among the most sought-after nature resorts in Nandi Hills, as it is run on the concept of ecotourism. If you love being surrounded by refreshing greenery, there is no reason why you wouldn’t enjoy a stay at this resort. It’s perfect for spending time with friends and family members or colleagues in the lap of Mother Nature. Adorned with customisable facilities, it embellishes itself in different shades of green. Apart from air-conditioned cottages that guarantee a seamless stay amidst nature, there is a wide range of fun activities too.
Amenities: Rappelling, Survival Camping, Trekking, Zorbing, Manicured Lawns, Multi-Cuisine Restaurant.
Price: Starting from INR 3,000 per night
Distance from Bangalore: 62 km
2. Mount Palazzo Resort
Located at a distance of 42 km from Bangalore, Mount Palazzo is one of the best resorts in Nandi Hills if you are craving an escape from the bustle of city life. It has a large outdoor swimming pool and well-appointed rooms making it ideal for a comfortable stay. You can indulge in fun and make lifelong memories here with your family or friends. To enhance your time here further, you can refresh your taste buds at the on-site restaurant, Spice and Spirits with their wide range of mouth-watering delicacies.
Amenities: Indoor and outdoor games, outdoor swimming pool, multi-cuisine restaurant, banquet, fitness centre, and bonfire
Price: Starting from INR 2,100 per night
Distance from Bangalore: 42 km
3. Silver Mist Club & Resort
Located in Sultanpet village, Silver Mist Club & Resort is a popular resort in Nandi Hills known for combining top-notch services and world-class amenities. In addition, if you are a foodie, you will enjoy the food made from the vegetables grown in their kitchen.
Amenities: Cycling tours, trekking, bird watching, farm activity, indoor games, restaurants, and hillside locations.
Price: Starting from INR 2,500 per night
Distance from Bangalore: 54 km
Best Food Joints Near Nandi Hills
- Indian Paratha Palace
- Nandi Upachar
- The Olives Multi-Cuisine Restaurant
- Falcon Greens
- Motor City Cafe
- Tribal Cafe
Best Time To Visit Nandi Hills
While Nandi Hills might be considered one of the best weekend getaways from the city of Bangalore and you can visit them throughout the year, you should visit them during the months of October to February.
How To Travel Better In Nandi Hills?
The best way to travel in and around Nandi Hills is on a cycle, as it is eco- as well as budget-friendly. A wonderful place for nature lovers with scenic views, one can definitely enjoy a pleasant ride here. If possible, try to wake up early so that you can catch the legendary hills’ sunrise.
Here are a few tips to help you travel better during your visit to Nandi Hills:
- When travelling with family, you should make sure to keep a watch on your kids as most of the roads have very steep edges.
- Don’t forget to carry your camera as there are a lot of picturesque places in Nandi.
- To avoid crime, most places are closed to tourists after 6 PM. So, make sure you plan your itinerary accordingly and do not wander on the streets after that.
- Avoid feeding monkeys or stray dogs.
- Nandi Hills has been declared as a plastic-free zone, so avoid littering here.
Why Should You Visit Nandi Hills?
Nandi Hills is a gorgeous place for mountain lovers, adventure lovers, and all those looking for a pleasant getaway over the weekend. It is worth travelling to and one of the best places to visit for a quick, refreshing holiday experience before you need to go back to your routine. Be it for a get-together with family and loved ones, just a group of friends, or a corporate day out, you will enjoy your visit as it has amazing views to offer. Surrounded by lush green hills and grounds, there is a lot of entertainment, adventure, and places to visit in and around these hills. So, don’t think any further and start planning your trip to the Nandi Hills right away to experience sheer bliss amidst nature.
Nandi Hills is a well-known hill station located near Bangalore at a height of 4,851 ft. These hills are scattered with places to visit such as monuments and shrines featuring majestic pillars and beautifully carved arches with intricately painted walls and ceilings. Being a hidden gem surrounded by enthralling views, a convoy of weekenders travel here in the early hours just to catch a glimpse of the sunrise from atop.
Yes, Nandi Hills are among the places to visit for a quick getaway and is also a famous escape from the heat of the plains.
There are two theories behind the name for Nandi Hills: one is because the hills resemble a sleeping bull and the second is because of an ancient, 1300-year-old Dravidian-style Nandi temple which is situated on this hill and one of the noteworthy places to visit at Nandi Hills.
There are many places to visit and activities that one can do at Nandi Hills. They arezipLine, trekking, rappelling, paintball, nature camping, paragliding, cycling, biking, and trekking.
The weather here is pleasant throughout the year but the best time to visit Nandi Hills is between September and May since the roads could be slippery and difficult to climb up during the remaining monsoon months.