Away from the maddening traffic that spins a wearisome web around the tech capital of India, there are some hidden gems around Bengaluru (erstwhile Bangalore) which bring you tranquillity and peace. While the city fosters a healthy biking culture, its busy traffic and narrow high streets just aren’t enough for the wheels to rotate freely. Thankfully, though, the roads which exit the city are mostly in great shape and they take you to serene places which are in stark contrast to the exasperating city hustle. Away from the infamously choked Bengaluru streets then, here are five weekend riding getaways which will give you the much-needed break from the chaotic city life.
A fantastic stretch of road connects the coffee estates and soothing climate of Chikmagalur to Bengaluru. Roughly 250 km away from the city, the town is situated at an elevation of 3,580 ft above sea level. The route till Hassan is a fairly straight, well-paved highway, but post hassan, a two-lane stretch of topsy-turvy tarmac takes you to the destination.
Since this is where coffee in India was first cultivated, post the ride, you can decide to laze around and enjoy the weather along with a cup of coffee or visit places around the town. The Kudremukh National Park, which is a UNESCO World heritage site, is nearby and so is Mullayanagiri, the highest peak in Karnataka. For those who feel adventurous, they can tackle the rapids of river Bhadra or plan a day trip to the rock garden at Kemmanagundi.
Located at a distance of roughly 150 km from Bengaluru, Hoggenakkal is a mammoth waterfall, formed by the gushing waters of the Kaveri River. Also referred to as the “Niagara Falls of India“, it is one of the oldest waterfalls in the World. The water here, is said to contain medicinal properties which helps to detoxify your body. there are also specific spots under the falls where you can safely take a dip.
If that sort of activity isn’t your cup of tea, you may choose to go boating in a unique structure called the ‘Coracle‘. These round shaped floating boats are made of bamboo and are steered using a single paddle. The bottom is usually lined by hide or plastic to prevent leakages. Leave early in the morning and you can enjoy the ride to the falls, relish the vistas at the spot and come back home in time for your evening tea.
The location of one of the first hydro-electric power stations in Asia, which was set here in 1902, the Shivanasamudra Falls, like the Hogenakkal, has also originated form the Kaveri river. A segmented waterfall where the flow of water is broken into two or more channels before dropping over a cliff, the flow of water here is perennial. However, it is during the monsoons when the flow gets heavy.
At a distance of approximately 140 km from Bengaluru, the place is also home to many temples which are built in the Dravidian style of architecture. Like Hogenakkal, there are coracles here too which take you closer to the magnificence of the falls.
A summer hill resort in the state of Andhra Pradesh, Horsley Hills is located at a distance of roughly 150 km from Bengaluru. Wildlife enthusiasts should note that the Koundinya Wildlife Sanctuary is just 87 km away from Horsley Hills. There are multiple routes which can take you to Horsley hills, but the one which goes via Chintamani towards Madanapalle is often suggested.
The journey towards the destination consists of mostly straights, but it’s the final 10.5 km towards the top which will make you smile. Once at the top, you may decide to stay for a while and ride back or stay longer and indulge in some adventure activity which happens there. There are many viewpoints at the top and a Grand Old Eucalyptus Tree which was planted by Horsley W.H. himself in the year 1859. The tree has a girth of 4.7 meters, stands 40 meters tall and some say one could see it from 70 km away on a clear day.
At a distance of approximately 215 km from Bengaluru, Yercaud is a hill station situated in the State of Tamil Nadu. The 32 km long loop road with its 20 hairpin bends is a call by itself for riders and one of the must-do things in Yercaud. Located in the Shevaroys range of hills in the Eastern Ghats, Yercaud is situated at an altitude of 4970 ft above sea level and enjoys pleasant weather throughout the year. It is known for its coffee and citrus fruits, most notably oranges, which are grown here in abundance apart from bananas, pears and jackfruit.
At the top, you may enjoy some boating in the Emerald Lake, which is the only natural lake among all the hill stations in South of India. Like most hill stations, Yercaud too has high points which let you enjoy some splendid panoramas. One of the two orchidariums run by the Botanical Survey of India is situated here and has a large collection of native orchids.
Got some quick getaways from Bengaluru of your own to share? Enrich the community by adding to the list through the comments section below.