Count your lucky stars if you are planning a one day trip near Bangalore. With a plethora of options, you can choose from historic sites, ancient temples, hill stations, jungles, old towns, and scenic countryside.

Let us help you plan your next weekend getaway from Bangalore!

For Day Trips

Shravanabelagola – World’s largest monolithic statue

Shravanabelagola

An ancient inscription near the Bahubali statue. (c) – Gitika Saksena

The story goes as follows. A mighty king, Bahubali, abdicated his kingdom and worldly affairs to become a Jain monk. He undertook a year-long meditation till he attained omniscience. Bahubali stood motionless for the entire period, and creepers grew over his arms and legs. Later, a 57 feet tall statue was built atop Vindyagiri Hill in 983 AD to honour Bahubali. Shravanabelagola is the world’s largest monolithic statue, and the complex also houses other exquisite stone idols of Jain Tirthankaras. Do plan a trip in February – 2018 for the ‘Mahamastakabhisheka’. Held once every twelve years, the grand ceremony sees devotees congregating to bathe the statue top down with milk, sugarcane juice, saffron, sandalwood powder flowers, et al.

Best time to visit
September to March
Getting there
Shravanabelagola is about 145 kilometers away from Bangalore via NH75.

Nandi Hills: An invigorating cycling trip

Nandi Hills

A sericulture unit near Nandi hills. (c) – Gitika Saksena

Pedal away to glory as you plan a cycling trip to Nandi Hills. The journey needs a reasonable physical fitness as the steep uphill journey takes you to a height of about 1480 m. At the top, admire the views of the cloud-bedecked valleys.

There are guided cycling tours available – Art of Bicycle trips and Unventured are good options. Places to visit in the area include the ancient Bhoganandeeswara and Yoganandeeswara temples.

Best time to visit
All year round
Getting there
Nandi Hills is about 60 kilometres away via Bellary Rd from central Bangalore.

Shettihalli – The ruins of a church

Shettihalli

Ruins of the Shettihalli Church. (c) – Gitika Saksena

Visit the atmospheric ruins of the Shettihalli Church. French missionaries built this Gothic architecture church in the 1860s. It was abandoned about sixty years ago after it got submerged in the waters of the Gorur Dam reservoir.

Best time to visit
After monsoons, when the ruins are half flooded.
Getting there
The ruins are about 200 kilometres away from Bangalore via NH75. The roads and scenery are great for you to enjoy the drive.

Channapatna – known for its traditional wooden toy-and-doll craft

Channapatna

A Channapatna toy in the making. (c) – Gitika Saksena

Channapatna is located in the Ramanagara district. It is famous for its bright shiny toys, made from wood and natural colours. This traditional work in Karnataka owes its origin to the erstwhile ruler of Mysore – Tipu Sultan. On his invitation, artists from Persia had travelled to teach the artwork to local artisans.

There are many toy making units at the town where the toys are handcrafted. When you get an opportunity, do visit the toy manufacturing unit of Maya Organic, a social enterprise that works with local artisans. A walk can be arranged between 10:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on all days (except Sunday) with prior permission.

Best time to visit
All year round
Getting there
Channapatna is about 66 kilometres away from Bangalore via NH275.

Belur and Halebidu – Temples with exquisite craftsmanship

Hoysaleswara temple at Halebidu

Hoysaleswara temple at Halebidu. (c) – Gitika Saksena

The temples of Belur and Halebidu are about 16 kilometres apart. A legacy of the Hoysala dynasty, these ancient stone temples are still operational. They are gems of South Indian architecture. The 12th-century Chennakesava Temple at Belur was commissioned after a critical military conquest and took about a century to build. Inside the complex, there are a number of small temples and shrines, with the primary star-shaped structure built on a raised platform. The inner sanctum sanctorum houses idols of Vishnu and other deities, many stone pillars and embellished ceilings. The exterior walls are simply breathtaking – they are covered from top to bottom with intricate stone carvings of dancing nymphs, elephants, horses, musicians etc. The 12th-century Hoysaleswara temple at Halebidu is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Carved from soapstone, the outer walls are a celebration of artistic skill – they are covered with horizontal panels of mythical beasts, animals, dancers, and scenes from Hindu mythology and scriptures. If you are into distance running, plan for the scenic Go Heritage run in Halebidu!

Best time to visit
All year round
Getting there
You will have to start early from Bangalore for a day trip. Belur is about 220 kilometres away via NH75.
Where to stay
You can choose to stay overnight at Hassan. The Ashhok Hassan is recommended.

For Overnight Stays

Sakleshpur – On the Western Ghats

A great weekend destination if you enjoy cooping up with a book and a tumbler of steaming filter coffee. Located in the Western Ghats – among world’s 18 biodiversity spots, Sakleshpur is a destination for birdwatchers. Wake up to the chirping of hornbills, bulbuls and barbets amongst other bird calls. The Sakleshpur valleys and rolling meadows are great for day-long hiking, runs or even a short nap under a tree.

Best time to visit
November to April
Getting there
Sakleshpur is about 220 kilometres away via NH75.
Where to stay
I stayed at Mugilu, an excellent family run homestay with independent cottages.

Yercaud – The Jewel of the South

Located in the Eastern Ghats, Yercaud was founded in 1827 by the British governor of the Madras Presidency. The British started cultivating coffee, pears and apples and later introduced tea plantations and cinnamon trees as well. Stroll past old European estates, Gothic architecture churches and forgotten graveyards. Visit Lady’s seat – a tourist place from where you can admire the panoramic views of the valleys through a mounted telescope.

Best time to visit
All year round
Getting there
Yercaud is about 215 kilometres away via NH 44.
Where to stay
Great Trails Yercaud is a recommended stay option.

An overgrown graveyard at Yercaud

An overgrown graveyard at Yercaud. (c) – Gitika Saksena

Kabini – Where the big cats rule

A wild elephant at Nagarhole

A wild elephant at Nagarhole. (c) – Gitika Saksena

Once an exclusive hunting ground of the Mysore royalty, Nagarhole (also known as Rajiv Gandhi National Park) is located in the Kodagu district of Karnataka. It is a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, a rich biodiversity hotspot. You can go on a jeep safari or a boat ride. The jungles are home tigers, leopards, wild elephants, deer and other animals. Chances of bird sighting are aplenty – you can see ospreys, serpent eagles, orioles and kingfisher.

Best time to visit
September to May
Getting there
Orange CountyRed Earth and Waterwoods are eco-certified and highly recommended.
Where to stay
Kabini is about 230 kilometres away from Bangalore via NH275.