In 1990, Shankar Nag, thinking hero of Sandalwood and the person behind Ranga Shankara’s inception, met with a tragic end. Before he passed away, Mr Nag had envisioned a cable car ropeway going up to the Nandi Hills, and opening out into an amusement park and entertainment hub.
This year, the Chikballapur Tourism Council plans to resurrect the project with the idea of setting up two ropeways at the base of the hills heading up to Tipu’s Drop. The council sees this not just as an opportunity to bump up tourism, but also as a way to eliminate traffic heading up the serpentine roads.
Every respectable Bangalorean, old and new, has done the early morning drive up to Nandi Hills, peeked down from the peak at Tipu’s Drop and complained about the service at Nandi Food Court while gorging on butter dosas. Our trail has none of these.
Eat Pizza Paratha In A Garden: Indian Paratha Company, a beautiful open-air café is a favourite with super bikers who head out of the city for their Sunday rides. The IPC’s menu has everything to fix your weekend cravings: parathas stuffed with cheese, aloo, paneer; onion pakoras; and their popular pizza paratha. End with masala chai in the garden.
IPC is a 30 minute drive from the hills on the Devanahalli Highway.
Take A Wine Tour: One of Bangalore’s first vineyards, Grover Zampa, is now open for wine tours, which is a great excuse to start drinking at noon. The three-hour visit maps the 400-acre property and ends with a gourmet lunch, which of course, includes several bottles of wine. Make sure you hire a driver.
1 hour drive from the Nandi village on the Devanahalli Road.
Every respectable Bangalorean has done the early morning drive up to Nandi Hills & peeked down from the peak at Tipu’s Drop.
Rent A Pool: Prestige Golfshire is Bangalore’s buzziest new staycation spot. Each villa here comes with a pool and lush garden where trees are more swish than your set. If you play golf, you’ll never leave.
1 and a half hour drive from the base of the hills in Karahalli Post.
Get Married Under Chola Dynasty Arches: More serious pilgrimages can be made to Bhoga Nandeeshwara, a Shiva temple dating back to the 9th century. Atheists can go to marvel at Kannadiga architecture - ornate pillars, arches and kalyanis reminiscent of the Chola, Vijayanagara and Hoysala dynasties. In the recent years, Bhoga Nandeeshwara has become the romantic venue for intimate wedding ceremonies and the perfect royal backdrop for those all-important pre-wedding photo shoots. You in? Knot.
15 minute drive down from the top of the hill.
Trek The Way Tipu Sultan Did: One of the area’s best-kept secrets is the picturesque trek up Nandi Hills that leads you to a spot just behind Tipu’s Drop. You will be aided by a staircase and rewarded by gorgeous views of the valley and lake. Along the way, spot several species of native plants, and dilapidated arches, pillars and statues. This was probably the only route up before Tipu Sultan built the fort around the betta.
Park your vehicle the base of the hills and take the narrow passage on the right to arrive at the stairway.
Image Credit: Wild Planet
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