Just 60 kilometers away from the Capital of Indian State Karnataka- Bangalore, stands a beautiful hill fortress namely Nandidrug or Nandi Hills in Karnataka’s Chikkaballapur district. Merely 10 kilometers away from the Chikkaballapur town, these hills are also the home to Arkavathy River. Kanivenarayanapura, Muddenahalli and Nandi (neighbouring towns) enclose these hills.
There are many different stories about the naming of these hills. According to one story, during the Chola period, these hills were called the ‘The Hills of Happiness’ or the ‘Anand Giri’. According to a mythological story, these hills were named after Yoga Nandeeshwara who carried out sacrament or penance here. The resemblance of these hills with a Bull (Nandi) is also one of the reasons why people call these hills with this name.
Many also believe that these hills are named as ‘Nandi Durg’ because of a 1300 years old Nandi temple on top of these hills, which has been there since the 9th century.
Plants and Animals in Nandi Hills:
Vegetation here includes trees of Eucalyptus, Coffee Arabica, Rain Trees etc. These flora & fauna species are very commonly noticed on Nandi Hills. Being an evergreen forest, these hills are a home to thrushes, flycatchers, warblers, pill millipedes, species of snakes, nilgiri wood pigeon, peregrine falcon, yellow throat bulbul and many such species.
Attractions in Nandi Hills:
Gandhi House, Secret Escape Route, Horse Way, Tipu Sultan’s Palace, Brahamashram, Nehru Nilaya, Skanda Giri, Pennar, Palar, Tipu’s Drop, Akravathi, Nellikayi Basavanna and children’s park are some of the many place to visit in Nandi Hills.
Travelers can even witness vineyards and practice adventure sports like Paragliding & Trekking in Nandi Durg. However, since the terrains are steep, one should be very careful on these peaks.
Hotels near Nandi Hills:
Eating joints, Hotels and Restaurants are very common in Nandi Hills. Some of the famous eating hubs and hotels are Club Cabana, Shantisagar, Sowmya, Ranjitha, Silver Oak farm et al. The Karnataka Tourism Department owns ‘Mayura’, a restaurant that serves vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian food.
How to Reach Nandi Hills:
By Air: The nearest airport to is the Bangalore International Airport ( 60 kilometers away) from where you can hire a taxi to reach Nandi Hills. Since the route is comparatively easier from the Airport, frequent signboards after Devanhalli and straight roads are enough to guide people to reach the place without much fuss.
By Train: Chikaballapur is the closest railway station from Nandi Hills and is just 9 kilometers away from the destination. Regular trains are scheduled for Nandi Hills from Bangalore.
By Bus: The Government of Karnataka has provided with buses from Nandigrama, Bangalore, and Chikaballapur to Nandi Hills. There are direct buses from Kempe Gowda/ Majestic Bus Stand that leave for Nandi Hills. In case you miss these, you can also take a bus to Chikaballapur and then take a private bus to Nandi Hills.
The ticket cost is very cheap but remember that between 12 pm-4 pm, no buses leave for Nandi Hills from here. It takes a total of two hours from Bangalore or an hour from the Chikaballapur district to reach this place.
By Car/Bike: Reach National Highway number-7and take a left turn after crossing the International Airport( 10km). You will find the distance to be 22 kilometers from here. A signboard mentioning the same information will be seen after you pass the airport road. After traveling straight of the flyover, a distance of just 7 kilometers will lead you towards the Tipu Sultan’.