A memorable trek to Nandi Hills

A panoramic view from Nandi Hills

A panoramic view from Nandi Hills

We had been to Nandi Hills a few times. Whenever someone visits our Bangalore home, Chanchal and I would drive them up to the mild elevation of Nandi–the local hill station for all Bangaloreans. This time, ripe from our Himalayan Trek adventure to KedarKantha Peak, we decided to trek rather than drive up.

Scenic Drive to Nandi Foothills
Scenic Drive to Nandi Foothills
Trekking up Nandi
Trekking up Nandi
The Big Grandpa Tree
The Big Grandpa Tree

Nine of us, Chanchal, I and seven of my colleagues from work woke up early morning (mostly around 4:30 AM) on Saturday (7 Jan 2016) to reach the Nandi Trek start point.

Vidit, Gaurav, Sachin, Vivek, Shefali, Balaji, Chanchal, Adithya and Abhilash. (Clockwise from center bottom)

We parked our cars at the clearing near the Nandi Trek point and started our trek around 8:00 AM. We passed by a small village temple which was a bundle of colour.

A simple village temple on the Nandi Trek
A simple village temple on the Nandi Trek

What an idyllic setting — the cold nip in the air, the winter fog, the grape vines. Yes, the area around Nandi is famous for its vineyards. Both branded (Grover Vineyard has quite a establishment here) as well house wines are quite a story here.

This was our first time walking up the hills of Nandi–an old-world flight of stairs amidst the flora and fauna of the jungle was waiting for us. It took us about an hour and half (with some breaks to reach the top). It was a welcome change from the long que of vehicles the you will get to see (and the burning smell of rubber) around the Nandi Hills entrance if you drive up.

Left to right - Vidit, Bala and Chanchal
Left to right – Vidit, Bala and Chanchal
Through the mystical gateway, Nandi Calls
Through the mystical gateway, Nandi Calls

A fairly easy climb, steps all the way up and you do not have to buy the entry tickets 🙂

I discovered an Shiva temple ‘Gavi Veerabhadra Swamy Temple’ before we reached the hill-top.  When you discover something seemingly hidden or on a less treaded path, you feel a certain excitement–almost like the euphoria of our childhood.

Gavi veerabhadra swamy temple
Gavi veerabhadra swamy temple

On reaching Tipu’s Drop, which is where the erstwhile emperor’s summer home is, most people broke into a frenzy of taking photographs and selfies.

Tipu Summer Home atop Nandi Hills
Tipu Summer Home atop Nandi Hills

One thing you must know about Nandi Hills is the number of monkeys that will make a play for anything edible you have on you. We had a monkey snatch a few juice packets from  our hand and had to be shooed away with a Gulel (a wooden slingshot). They have learnt to respect that if not the concept of personal space and belongings.

We moved on to have a ton of breakfast– Masala Dosas, Aloo Puri, Rava Upma, Bread Omelettes, Chowmein, Chai and Raw Mangos.

Our Brunch atop Nandi Hills, Kaul Saab polishing it off in style
Our Brunch atop Nandi Hills, Kaul Saab polishing it off in style

It is such a wonderful day outing for anyone living in Bangalore. We had fun times together full of banter, jokes and leg pullings. All in good spirit.

Everything is sacred, if you feel
Everything is sacred, if you feel
Nandi
Nandi
There is love that binds us all
There is love that binds us all

Nandi, I shall be back. Hopefully the development work that has ruined some charm of this spot will not completely kill it for nature lovers.

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