Nandi Hills, approximately 60 km from Bengaluru, is an antediluvian hill fortress in Southern India. The hill actually resembles a sleeping bull named Nandi and hence it gets the name Nandi Hill. However, there are many stories on the derivation of the name that have emerged over the years. According to one legend, Yoga Nandishwara accomplished penance on the hills and hence it also takes its name. Another legend says the hill got the appellation from an almost 1,000-1300 year-old Nandi temple here. However, another story talks about how Nandi gets its name from the Hill of Happiness, during the Chola period. Nandi Hill is also called Nandidurga Fort as Tipu Sultan, the ruler of Mysore, built a fort here.
Some people also call it a cloud forest because of the moisture from the clouds that settle down here. Though it behaves like a cloud forest, there is a lack of research on the same. Shyamal Lakshminarayanan, an independent researcher from Bangalore, tells The News Minute, in a cloud forest the clouds cover the forest like a blanket and the vegetation receives regular moisture.
The trees are typically bedecked in mosses and liverworts – plants that need a lot of moisture. The term is far more popularly applied to the forests on the high Andes and some other parts of the world.
A mix of experiences
Due to its location, Nandi Hills has been attracting tourism activities. In the recent past, this ancient hill fortress has witnessed increased commercialization. This place draws tourists not only from Karnataka but also all over the country. Nandi hill is a sanctuary for nature lovers and it often attracts cyclists, walkers, joggers, peace-seekers, photographers and heritage enthusiasts. You will find the visitors enjoying the scenic beauty, jogging and sometimes even trekking.
Last year, the Karnataka department of Tourism planned a Nandi Hill Utsav to showcase the hill as an eco-tourism destination and spread awareness about the place. Their aim was to offer a mix of cultural experiences varying from heritage, nature, adventure, culture, and religion. Nature walks; rock climbing, marathon and cyclothon, bird watching, heritage trails, and cultural events at the foothills were planned as part of the festival.
Located at the foothills of Nandi Hills is the Nandi Temple. The temple was constructed during the period of the Banas, Cholas, Hoysalas and the Kings of Vijayanagara. Beautiful and attractive pillars and metal work fills up Nandi Hills temple
Nandi Hills weather
Nandi Hills Bangalore does witness a pleasant weather throughout the year although it builds a perfect panoramic view for the photographers during winters. There is a lot to see and experience here. Have you heard of Tipu’s drop? It is on top of a small hillock that is about 600 meters high and from here you can actually get a fantastic view of the valleys around Nandi Hills. It was during Tipu Sultan’s rule; the jailbirds given a death sentence were pushed down from this cliff into the valley. Hence, people still address it as a ‘suicide spot’.
A drive to Nandi in the wee hours on a rented bike can be one of the most exhilarating journeys. If you want to make the most of it don’t forget to stop at Kempegowda Bangalore Airport to gorge down some delicious food and coffee. You can easily spend a couple of hours here. After this you can ride away to Nandi Hills. Ensure to reach by 5 am to be a spectator to the most entrancing sunrise. It will be one of the most captivating marvels you will ever see. Dearest photographers – don’t forget to tag us on the glorious and thought-provoking pictures you manage to click!