This range of Nandi on the craggy hills (the highest peak being 2004 m) holds the shimmering Amrita Sarovar Lake and offers walks of sylvan beauty. A popular health resort today, it was also the place Tipu Sultan and assorted royalty retired when they sought to escape the din of battle and the heat of the plains.
The hills are located about 35 km east of Bangalore and about 4,851 ft (1,479 m) above sea level. The deviation road at Oordagere on the Bangalore-Tumkur Road can reach it. On the top of the hill, there are temples dedicated to Sri Ugra Narasimha and Sri Yoga Narasimha. On the lower hill there is a temple dedicated to Sri Bhoga Narasimha. There is a Traveler's Bungalow and a Kalyana Mantap on the top of the hill and a Forest Lodge and Taluk Board T.B. at the foot of the hill.
A flight of 1,175 steps leads from the base of the hills to the top. On top was Tipu Sultan's summer retreat and the remains of Tipu's fort bear this out. Tipu's Drop, a 600 metre high cliff face, where prisoners were hurled down the precipice, is an awe-inspiring sight.
Sir Mark Cubbon, when he was Commissioner of Bangalore made this his summer residence. Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Queen Elizabeth II were among the other dignitaries who enjoyed their stay here. More recently, former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi and the SAARC delegates chose this spot for a retreat after their international deliberations.
You can visit this place at any time of the year. In the rainy season it is extremely wet on the hill. A summer visit will make you spell bound. It's best if you are on top of the hill before sunrise. The wind, fog and clouds that blow towards you in the morning is just amazing. To be on top of the hill by 5:30AM, you need to leave Bangalore at around 4AM. If you are not sure about the route, leave even earlier.
Sometime the entry gate opens at 6AM.
|Nandi Hills sunrise|