Planning a quick weekend getaway with family or friends from Bengaluru is easy. Karnataka and the neighbouring states are blessed with innumerable destination options. Whether it’s hill stations, pilgrimages, national parks and wildlife sanctuaries or beach getaways, the choices are aplenty. In fact, you might not even require extensive planning or research before heading out. Depending on what kind of activity you want to indulge in, these umpteen holiday spots are the right places to be at. From detoxifying your soul at pilgrimages to getting an adrenaline rush exploring the mysteries of nature, these 8 weekend getaways from Bengaluru are a must.
1. Nandi Hills
The picturesque scenery of Nandi Hills is approximately 60 km from the city of Bengaluru. The place has several legends that never fail to entice the tourists. From being called ‘The Hill of Happiness’ to bearing a striking resemblance to a sleeping bull, you must take this trip for a quick dash out of the city. Apart from the beautiful Yoga Nandeeshwara Temple, Anjaneya temple, and Bhoga Nandeeshwara temple, there are other eye-catching spots in Nandi Hills. Like Tippu Drop, a cliff at an altitude of 600m where prisoners were thrown to death as punishment during the reign of Tipu Sultan. Then there is Amrita Sarovar, a beautiful lake that has been formed by perennial springs. Nandi Hills and its valleys are also famous for paragliding.
It takes around four hours’ time to escape city madness and embrace the serenity of Chikmagalur. Located 250 km away from Bangalore near the foothills of the Mullayanagiri range, the place is favoured by visitors for its pleasant and healthy climate.
Being home to the state’s highest peak, Mullayanagiri, at close to 2000m, provides great opportunities for trekking. Baba Budangiri range is another striking destination which has three intriguing caves. Horanadu Temple is another frequently visited place in Chikmagalur. It is said to be set by sage Adi Shankaracharya. Don’t miss the Kalhatti Falls located at Kallattipura which offers a magnificent view of the cascading water.
Prepare to be mesmerised by the sheer beauty of Coorg or Kodagu. The peerless hill station is bound to bring smiles to your faces irrespective of the duration of your stay. Called the unspoilt “country of million hills”, Coorg is 260 km from Bangalore. Dotted with hills and valleys, beautiful views of waterfalls like Iruppu Falls and Chelavara Falls are a treat to watch.
Coorg also provides several other interesting spots to visit. Raja’s Seat in Madikeri town is a seasonal garden of flowers and artificial fountains. Famous among nature lovers, Coorg is also a haven for bird watchers with 8600 species of birds habituating in there.
If you are interested in seeing some of the architectural wonders of Karnataka, Mysore is your destination. Situated 128 km away from Bengaluru, Mysore is dotted with grandeur palaces and structures. In fact, the Mysore Palace is one of the most famous tourist attractions in India, second only to the Taj Mahal.
Thanks to the presence of palaces, Mysore is commonly described as the City of Palaces. Apart from Mysore Palace, other extraordinary places to visit are Chamundeshwari Temple atop the Chamundi Hills, Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, Somnathpur Temple, Mysore Sand Sculpture Museum, Karanji Lake and St. Philomena’s Church.
If you are an adventurous night owl, Bheemeshwari will serve your needs the best. Situated on the banks of the Cauvery river at 80 km from Bengaluru, the camp offers the ideal weekend getaway. For rafting, trekking, boat rides and fishing along with the water sports, Bheemeshwari is a hassle-free scenic spot. Rich in flora and fauna, it is also great place to connect to nature and de-stress from routine life.
Boasting of being the world’s second largest monolith, Madhugiri is a haven for trekkers. Located 106 km away from the state capital, the single hill is visited all around the year. The Madhugiri Fort, which is celebrated for its impressive architecture crafted in stone, is one of the major attractions of the region. Other notable spots for sightseeing are Jayamangali Blackbuck Reserve, which is 25 km from Madhugiri, Siddara Betta, a place famed for the presence of medicinal herbs and the temples dedicated to Venkataramana and Malleshvara.
This former French colony is a major tourist attraction in the South and is famous for beaches, museums, botanical gardens, churches, landmarks, historical monuments and just about everything.
It takes a little over five hours from Bengaluru to reach Pondy, as it is fondly called by locales. To begin with, the clear 1500 metre long beach is ideal for sunbathing and swimming. Move to the 400-year old Sri Manakula Vinayagar Temple with stunning paintings, the Sacred Heart Basilica and Notre Dame des Anges, and on to the ‘universal city’ of Auroville with its most famous landmark, the Matri Mandir.
A journey of over six and half hours from Bangalore, Kannur formerly known as Cannanore, serves as a perfect weekend getaway. The presence of India’s longest drive-in-beach, Muzhappilangad is one of the important tourist attractions. One can only imagine its importance with the beach celebration that takes place in the month of April. Kannur is also blessed with mesmerizing Payyambalam Beach. Apart from the exhilarating beaches, Kannur has the unique Parassinikkadavu snake park, a farm dedicated to preservation and conservation of snakes in Kannur. The notable places to visit include St. Angelo Fort, Arakkal Museum in Ayikkara, Meenkunnu Beach in Azhikode, Aralam wildlife sanctuary, Tellicherry Fort and Cannanore Lighthouse.