The Big Banyan Tree or locally called as the Dodda Alada Mara is a 400-year-old banyan tree in the village of Kethohalli near Bangalore. Sprawling over a vast 3 acres of land, the tree is one of the largest of its kind. In the 2000s, the tree got infected with a natural disease and the chief roots died of contamination. Ever since the giant tree looks like an amalgamation of several smaller trees. Tourists from all over India gather here just to soak in the impeding sunlight amidst the labyrinth of its enormous roots.
Distance from Bangalore: 23 Kms
Cited to be one of the earliest rock climbing sites in India, Ramnagaram is an almost essential destination for rock climbers. With popular hills like Ramadevarabetta, SRS betta and Thenginkalbetta, Ramnagaram has an average altitude of 747 meters and it has several tall gigantic hills which are famous for many short rock climbs, typically 1 to 2 pitches in length. Picnic spaces here are available in plenty at the foot of the rock formations.
Things to Do: Rock Climbing
Distance from Bangalore: 48 km
Muthyala Maduvu, popularly known as Pearl Valley is located to the south from Bangalore. This beautiful picnic spot is located within a valley which is nestled amidst the hills. Pearl Valley is rich in flora and fauna, and houses many exotic species of birds, owning to the waterfall. The main attraction of Pearl Valley is a mesmerising waterfall whose waterdrops falling on the rock surfaces creates an illusion of a pearl-like appearance, hence the name ‘pearl valley’. For trekkers, this is a great option as the dense forest through the mountains, offers great adrenaline rush. The only thing to beware of are the monkeys in this area.
Things to Do: Trekking, Bird Watching
Distance from Bangalore: 43 Kms
A dance village located near Hesarghatta in rural Karnataka, Nrityagram was conceptualized by renowned Odissi dancer Protima Bedi in 1990. Situated to the north-west of Bangalore, Nrityagram is "a community of dancers in a forsaken place amidst nature" in Protima Gauri's own words. Apart from the exceptional dance school, another tourist attraction is the beautiful village which consists of mud houses, greenery and open spaces to give a calm and serene feeling for picnickers and road trippers alike.
Distance from Bangalore: 40 kms
Best Time: February to Apr, October to December
Known For : Tipu's Drop Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple Tipu's Summer Residence
Nandi Hills lies to the north of Bangalore. It is also known as Nandidurg and is a delightful place to enjoy a weekend getaway. It is a famous trekking spot (the ancient hill fortress). The hills got their name from the beautiful statue of Nandi, the bull at the entrance of Yoganadeeshwara Temple. One can also visit other places situated nearby including Muddenahali and Amrita Sarovar.
Restaurants/Food Stalls: Stalls and small cafes serving tea and snacks are available.
Things to Do: Photography, Sunset and Sunrise Viewpoints.
Distance from Bangalore: 57 km
Best Time: October to June
Situated to the west of Bangalore, Savandurga is considered to be one of the largest single rock formations in Asia. It is one of the most frequently visited spots near Bangalore by those who want to visit the temples situated at the foothills. One can trek all the way to the top of the hill and get an extraordinary view of the Akravati River.
Things to Do: Trekking, camping and rock climbing
Distance from Bangalore: 48 km
Best Time: November to May
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Janapada Loka is a very famous folk art museum situated near Bangalore. It houses a collection of masks, artefacts, folk music, videos of folk dances and costumes. Folk puppets, utensils, instruments, weapons and masks are also on display. Olden household items such as a variety of baskets, utensils, earthen jars to store pickles can be found here. There is also an amazing amphitheatre present in the museum. The museum also has a lake which is present at the other end of the gallery along with boating facility.
Distance From Bangalore: 52 Km via Mysore Road
Known For : Cauvery Fishing Camp Doddamakali Nature Camp Boat Rides in Bheemeshwari
Bheemeshwari, in Karnataka's Mandya district, is popular as a paradise for fishing enthusiasts as it is home to the Mahseer fishes - one of the finest game fish in the world. Due to its proximity with the Cauvery River and its extensive forest cover with a variety of flora and fauna, Bheemeshwari is visited by adventure lovers and bird watchers for boating, adventure camps, trekking up the hills and its varied species of birds present here.
Things to Do: Boating, Camping, Fishing, Bird Watching.
Distance from Bangalore: 102 km
Best Time: Throughout the year
Chunchi falls, is an almost 50 feet high cascade of falls, which is fed by the river Arkavati. Chunchi Falls lies en route to Mekedatu and Sangama from Bangalore. This spot is extremely popular as a picnic spot. It derived its name from a tribal couple, Chuncha and Chunchi. On the way to Chunchi Falls, travellers also come across a watchtower which offers a breathtaking panoramic 360-degree view of the rocky terrain.
Distance from Bangalore: 90 Kms
Skandagiri, a hilltown near Bangalore, gives one the opportunity to trek and explore the hills in the night. Also known as Kalavara Durga, is at an elevation of 1450 meters and guarded by the Nandi Hills. The hill has a ruined fort on the trek path which makes the night trek even more interesting by adding the element of horror. Many also choose to camp while here to make the experience more wholesome.
Things to Do: Overnight Trekking, Camping
Distance from Bangalore: 62 Kms
Known For : Vivekanand Falls Ranganathaswamy Temple Kaivara
Chikballapura town is located to the north from Bangalore and is an important port link in North Bangalore area and also a major educational hub. Nandi Hills, Bhoga Nandeehwara, Vivekananda Waterfalls and Yoga Nandesshwara temples are some of the famous places here providing opportunities of sight-seeing, rock climbing and exploring nature as well as man-made attractions. This town is famous for its gold and silver trade and for its incense industry.
Things to Do: Trekking, Photography
Distance from Bangalore: 76 km
Best Time: Throughout the year
Anthargange which is famous for its trekking and caving is situated to the north-east of Bangalore. The hills here at an altitude of 1712 meters from sea level with rocky boulders, small caves and dense plantations are one of the best getaways for trekking, rock climbing and cave exploration enthusiasts. The ones who love studying ancient history and artefact are likely to have a fruitful time here with all the caves formed from rocks present. It also houses the Kashi Vishweshwara Temple which attracts devotees as well.
Things to Do: Trekking and Caving
Distance from Bangalore: 67 km
Best Time: October to March
This place is famous for its waterfalls and is situated at a distance of 181 km from Bangalore. It is a place which should be present on your list of must-visit places around Bangalore. It is a small and beautiful village present in Tamil Nadu where the Cauvery River splits into multiple streams creating exquisite waterfalls. This place is also known as the Niagara of the East. One can enjoy coracle rides from one end of the boat to another and visit the Melagiri Hills situated nearby.
Things to Do: Bamboo Boat ride
Distance from Bangalore: 125 Km
Balmuri falls is a small water cascade located at Srirangapatna in Karnataka. Though known as a waterfall, it is a human-made check dam over the Cauvery river, which allows the water to flow in a 6-foot cascade over the Cauvery. Green coconut palms and trees adorn the banks. The spot is quite scenic where many song sequences in Kannada and a few Hindi films have been shot
Things to Do: Swim at the waterfall pool, hiking
Distance from Bangalore: 136 Km
Thottikallu Falls is more popularly known as TK Falls and locally as the Swarna Mukhi falls. The word Swarna Mukhi translates to ‘Golden Face.’ The venue is excellent for trekking or to spend an entire day away from the clatter of the city. Since this place is relatively close to Bangalore, college students and others often pay a visit to this place on weekends.
Things to Do: Hiking Trails
Distance from Bangalore: 35 km
Located in the state of Karnataka, Manchanabele Dam is visited by a lot of people because it is an ideal getaway to drive to from the city and enjoy some serenity in the lap of nature. The dam is also surrounded by lush green trees in small hills that make the place look even more mesmerizing. The panoramic views of the sky and the earth can be best observed during sunrise or sunset.
Distance from Bangalore: 38 kms
This small town is famous for its waterfalls which have been formed by the Kaveri River. The river further splits into two segments giving rise to the formation of two waterfalls namely Barachukki and Gaganachukki. This town lies at a 3-hour drive from Bangalore. Apart from the waterfalls, one can also go trekking in these rocky terrains or go fishing near the falls.
Things to Do: Hiking, Photography
Distance from Bangalore: 125 km
Best Time: August to February
Known For : Trekking in Shivagange Temples in Shivagange
Shivagange, a hillock situated 56 km from Bangalore, is a combination of temples and scenic beauty that makes it both a pilgrimage as well as an adventure sports spot. The place has a Shiva temple near it and a spring named Ganga from where the place gets its name. Here there is a trekking trail as well where people can enjoy a trek of about 3 km to the top of the hill and also rock climbing on offer. This spot has by far been recognized as one of the best picnic spots near Bangalore.
Things to Do: Trekking, Rockclimbing
Distance from Bangalore: 29 km
Best Time: October to March
Located to the north-east from Bangalore, Chhota Ladakh (also known as Dodda Ayur) is a tiny abandoned quarry that has been filled with rainwater and is flanked by solid rocks. It has a slight resemblance to the Ladakh landscape. The place is best known among the bikers who go here to enjoy a nice bike ride. However, it is recommended that you go only during early morning or in the late evening since the harsh sun gets unbearable during the day with no nooks to hide.
Things to Do: Photography, Hiking
Distance from Bangalore: 60 Kms
Located in Karnataka, the Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary in Srirangapatna is a haven for bird watchers as it houses a wide array of bird species. It is the largest bird sanctuary in the state and comprises of six small islands on the banks of the river Kaveri. This destination offers many things to do for its tourists; the most popular ones include bird watching, boating, and some good old nature photography.
Things to Do: Boating, Photography, Bird Spotting
Distance from Bangalore: 130 Kms
Bilikal Rangaswamy Betta, almost 16 kilometres from the town of Kanakapura is a great trekking destination for a day trek. It is one of the highest hills in the neighbouring area with an elevation of 3780 feet and it also houses a temple devoted to Lord Rangaswamy that is constructed under a large white granite monolith. The hill is also a great place for a trekking excursion, it is relatively unknown to tourists and hasn’t been heavily commercialised yet and is perfect if you are seeking to explore the hills at your own pace and unwind over the weekend away from the crowds.
Things to Do: Trekking, Camping
Distance from Bangalore: 173 km
Let us know down in the comment sections below which of these picnic spots near Bangalore have you checked out from your list.