It’s never too easy to get bored in a city like Bengaluru. Come weekend, and the travel bug within me wanted to get away and explore someplace I had never been to. The craving for a long drive, the urge to explore ancient temples and a dose of nature was want I was seeking for and found it on the map, 133 kms away from Bengaluru – in a place called Melukote. This lesser-known historical place is nestled on the hilly region called Yadugiri, surrounded by a verdant valley that offers spectacular views of the greenery around.

The long corridors of Melukote Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple

This small town offers a perfect backdrop to see history, culture and tradition intertwined with its old temples, people and way of life. Alongside the temples, there are several maths (monasteries), choultries, colleges and schools for teaching Sanskrit. The town is occupied by Vaishnavas, (those who follow Lord Vishnu), particularly the Madyam Iyengars and is also an important place of pilgrimage for followers of Sri Ramanujacharya. You wouldn’t want to miss out on the food here, which is very distinctive of the Iyengar community, comprising of puliyogare and sweet pongal. It’s a great place to spend an entire day basking in the charm of this town, that still retains its timeless character.

Traditional houses in Melukote marked with Vishnu symbol

We started from Bengaluru at 7am in the morning, following the location on google map, that took us through the Nelamangala route. Our breakfast stop was at the Shark hotel where the idlis served with chutney are quite a treat.

On the way to Melukote

The route further deviates from the highway passing through small villages and fields and as we get closer to the destination, we come across small patches of land where Marigold flowers are cultivated. We reach Melukote at 11am and head straight to the famed Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple where the presiding deity is Lord Vishnu in the form of Cheluvanarayana.

Temple corridors of Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple

This ancient temple constructed during the Hoysala period (10th – 14th century) has received the patronage from Vijayanagar kings and the Wodeyars of Mysore, who have contributed to the temples wealth in the form of jewellery and crown. The possession of these is in government’s custody and is brought out during the famous Vairmudi festival to adorn the idols during the month of March-April.

Broken sculptures on the parapet of the temple wall

Besides the main deity being worshipped there, the Hindu spiritual leader Sri Ramanujacharya is also revered here and is said to have spent 14 years during the 12th century. The temple idol is believed to be established by him and this has attracted the Iyengar community to settle down in Melukote. Hence besides the deity of Lord Vishnu, people also come to offer their prayers to this holy saint.

One of the pillars depicting scenes from Ramayana inside the temple premises

We proceeded to the main sanctum of the temple to seek blessings, where the priests were busy offering special pooja to the main deity. The temple interiors have beautifully carved pillars and stories of Indian epics like Ramayana come alive on it. You can easily spend some time just walking through the corridors and gazing at the beautifully sculpted stones. This is just what we did before proceeding to see other sites of interest outside of the temple.

Inside the temple corridors

A little away from the temple we come across twin step-wells called the Akka Thangi Kolaga, Akka meaning elder sister and Thangi meaning younger sister. I’m guessing there should be a story to this name something that the local folks would probably be happy to share. Given the heat of the day, a lady sat on the steps with her umbrella, while her children stood near the water gazing at it, out of curiosity.

Akka-Thangi kalyani

Walking away from this we see a grand entrance way of a temple, left unfinished looming across us. Called the Rayagopuram, this was constructed during the Hoysala period, built with huge granite slabs with carvings on it. If you have watched the Hindi movie Guru or Rowdy Rathore, you will recollect that a dance sequence was shot at this very location. Not surprisingly a couple dressed in traditional attire, were getting their pre-wedding photo shoot done here, while a lot of other tourists were wandering about, some climbing atop the stone steps to get a better view of the place.

Unfinished entrance-way at Rayagopuram

Further away from this attraction is where you can get a good view of Melukote’s surroundings, called the Danushkoti. History has it that this was the place where Lord Rama shot an arrow to the ground, after which water came oozing out to quench Sita’s thirst, when they were wandering around in the forest. The water supposedly doesn’t dry up at all, and a small shrine of Lord Rama can be found here, with his feet carved out on the granite surface. Soaking in the views of the greenery below, we head back to the main temple area, in search of food.

View from Dhanushkote

Given that Melkote is mostly occupied by the Iyengar community, the food here is pretty much a specialty prepared by the locals. There are several small eateries called the’ mess’, all catering to more or less the same food but the popular one goes by the name Subbana Mess. Lunch consisted of a fixed menu comprising of Puliyogre (spiced tamarind rice) and Sweet Pongal (rice sweetened with jaggery) which is a delicacy, followed by other items like chapati, rice, vegetables etc.

Traditional meals served on a leaf

With our stomachs full, we proceeded to see another important temple called the Yoga Narasimha Temple, situated on the hill and overlooking the town. We got the timing wrong for this, as it was closed and should have visited this earlier in the day. This didn’t deter us from making a small climb to the top, after covering much of the distance in the car as far as we could. The climb from the base is about 300 steps and definitely breaks a sweat, but not for the temple priest who carries a vessel full of water from the base to the top, hardly spilling a drop. We are told this is part of his daily routine!

Priest carrying water to the temple top

On the way up, you will see vendors seated on the steps, selling spiced buttermilk, alongside some basket weavers, making their colourful creations. I couldn’t resist a purchase and picked up a small flower basket for my mother.

Colourful baskets made by the locals

The very name Melukote meaning ‘High fort’ is derived from this temple, which surrounds it and from the top you will get spectacular views of the town below. Even though the temple was closed, the gatekeeper allowed us a small peak into the shrine that houses the deity Narashima, one of the forms of Lord Vishnu, in a yoga posture and hence the name Yoga Narasimha.

View from Yoga Narasimha temple

From the top you can also see a very large and beautiful Kalyani (different from the Akka-Thangi stepwell), surrounded by corridors held up by stone pillars. This is where we rested after climbing down the steps. There were few families, where the men and children after having their head shaved were dipping themselves in the water, regarded to be holy. A man blowing his trumpet was offering the service of drawing Lord Vishnu’s religious symbol on the forehead, for a small fee. It was evening already and we decided to make one final stop to a lake nearby for sunset before heading back to Bangalore.

Summer tank at the base of Yoga Narasimha temple

About 30 mins drive away from Melukote town is Thonnur lake. A fairly large lake that serves water for irrigation purpose for the town. It is said to have been developed centuries ago and also has the statue of Sri Ramanujacharya in the surrounding area. We had carried a small picnic basket with some sandwiches and coffee. Although we couldn’t get to spend much time here, we watched the sun go down, and then made our way back to the city. It was pretty late but we didn’t mind the drive back after dark.

Sunset at Thonnur lake

Melukote made a perfect day trip, full of adventure and a longing to go back again.

Route from Bangalore

Bangalore to Melukote via the Mysore road: Bangalore –> Nice road –> Maddur –> Mandya –> Beechanahalli –> Melukote

Bangalore to Melukote via Mangalore road: Bangalore –> Nelamangala –> Kunigal –> Yadiyur –> Nelligere –> Nagamangala –> Melukote

Some handy tips for visiting Melukote

  • Plan to leave early if you are travelling from Bengaluru. The distance from Mysuru is only about 50kms.
  • The temples have timings. Its best to visit them first and then head to the rest of the other attractions.
  • Out of the two routes, I would recommend taking the one through Nelamangala. Mysore road is presently undergoing expansion and traffic can stall you here for a long time.
  • Don’t expect fancy restaurants in this place. The eateries serve good local food and are hygenic. If you have specific preferences, its best to take packed lunch.
  • Summers can be very hot. Carry sunscreen, sunglasses, hats and stay hydrated.
  • Having your own vehicle is advantageous if you plan to visit the many attractions here. It saves time.

There are so many places one can visit away from Bangalore on a day trip. Be it a bike ride or a car drive, you can forget about the traffic woos once you hit the highways and make an early start to the day. I had heard about the Dodda Allada Mara or the Big Banyan tree and never had a chance to visit it. So on this trip I combined this along with a visit to Mandargiri hills.

Ideally if you are on the way to Mysore, the Big Banyan tree is just a small deviation from Mysore road. The combination of my trip took me from Mysore road to Tumkur road which is not so ideal, but nevertheless I had no other agenda and had an entire day to spare.

Big Banyan Tree
Big Banyan tree Bangalore

From where I stay – JP Nagar, we followed the google maps to reach the Big Banyan tree. Our journey started around 8am in the morning and the distance was approximately 27kms which took us roughly around 50 minutes, given that we had to navigate through inside roads which were narrow. On reaching the place we realized there were not too many options for having breakfast, and landed up eating some dosa’s (very average taste and price) at a local eatery nearby. I would recommend you to eat before arriving at this place, due to lack of options.

Big Banyan Tree
Big Banyan Tree

The Big Banyan tree is truly magnificent to look at. It is approximately 400 years old and said to be amongst the 4 biggest banyan trees in India. (The other three are in Andhra Pradesh, Kolkata and Chennai.) The main tree’s circumference is around 250m and the highest branch rises to over 95 feet, with the aerial roots from branches spread across 3 acres. The main trunk of the Big Banyan Tree died due to some disease a couple of years back, and now lives on through the aerial roots and branches.

In India we revere this tree not just for the shade that it provides and longevity (Banyan trees are known for their long life) but also because people associate this with a happy marital life. You would get this symbolism by just taking a walk under the vast canopy of this tree. After having spent a few minutes here soaking in this atmosphere, we hopped back into the car for the next leg of our journey.

Mandagiri Hills
Statue of Chandranatha Tirthankara – Mandargiri hills

From the Big Banyan tree Mandargiri hills was at a distance of approx 60 kms away and took nearly an hour and half to reach. The travel took us through inside roads to exit the Kethohalli village, till we hit upto the Tumkur highway, which makes for a better and faster drive to reach this place. It was almost 11.30am when we parked our vehicle near the gates of the Jain temple.

Mandargiri hills
Peacock shrine – Mandargiri hills

It was the month of November and the sun didn’t really show respite to the oncoming winter months. After taking off our shoes at the entrance we entered this place which had the statue of Chandranatha Tirthankara, which was installed recently in 2011. After a quick walk around the statue, we visited the dome shaped peacock shrine, very unique and said to be the first of its kind in Jain history. This Guru mandir is dedicated to the Digambara Jain ascetic Sri Shantinsagarji Maharaj.

Jain temple Mandargiri hills
Jain temple-Mandargiri hills

Next to these temples is the Mandargiri hillock containing 4 ancient Jain temples dating to the 12th and 14th century. The climb up this hillock is about 450 steps easily accessible, and takes about 15-20 mins. to get to the top. We had to take the keys to the temple above by the gatekeeper at the base, since there is no active worship or temple guardians on the top. Armed with an umbrella to beat the mid-day heat, we reached the top to take in sights of the neighbouring villages below. The temple itself was fairly well maintained. We were the only visitors at that point and took our time to look inside and explore this place.  While 3 of the shrines had the marble statues of the Jain Tirthankaras inside them, the 4th shrine did not. We found a broken statue by the window of the 4th shrine. Vandalism perhaps?

Mandargiri hills
Outside the temple complex – Mandargiri hills

After locking up the temple complex we went around the back to find a beautiful lake below. We did not climb down, but explored the backyard for some time. If it wasn’t for the heat of the day, it would have made a good picnic spot.

Mandargiri hills
Walk towards the lake – Mandargiri hills

We left the place around 1.45pm, hungry and in search of food back on the Tumkur highway. We found a great Punjabi Dhaba beside the main road and immediately took to ordering some stuffed parathas and side dishes. After a scrumptious lunch we made our way back to the city and were home by 4.30pm.

Punjabi food on the highway
Punjabi food on the highway



  • Begin your journey early specially if you are visiting the Mandargiri hills, as it gets hot during the day.
  • Your socks will come to the rescue against the hot granite flooring, when you have to take off your shoes at the Jain mandir.
  • Carry an umbrella each and be armed with suntan lotion. Its easy to get tanned even in the November months when the temperature comes down.
  • Plan your meals either before or after visiting the temples on the highways itself. There are hardly any eateries surrounding the Mandargiri hills or the Big Banyan tree.
  • The key to the temples on the Mandargiri hillock has to be collected by the gatekeeper at the base. His name and phone number; Shivaraj – 8550036564.


A day out in Bangalore city

A vibrant, cosmopolitan and a beautiful city, Bangalore is a great place to visit if you are a tourist or travelling on work. Known as the Garden city, Silicon Valley, Pub capital and the Start-up capital of India, the city’s ethnography includes people from all over the country, making it the most diversified city in India. Being born and raised here, I am jotting down a list of top ‘Things to do in Bangalore’ if you have only a day to spare and these include some of my favourite experiences, places to visit and eat.

Lalbagh Botanical Gardens: There’s no better way than to start your day early, than by visiting this beautiful green garden space. This otherwise popular tourist attraction, is best utilized by locals early morning. You will see people of all ages, doing all kinds of exercises, while you walk around to see the many things here such as the 3000-million-year-old rock formation, The glass house, India’s first lawn clock, A 300-year-old tree and many more. The garden itself is abundant in flora and was built in the year 1760 by Tippu Sultan, as his own personal garden space by importing plants from all over the world. Every year twice, flower show takes place inside the glass house showcasing various themes, and attracts several thousands of people to come watch it.

Tip: There are 4 gates to Lalbagh gardens. Lalbagh Main gate is close to MTR restaurant, which you can visit next after exploring this place. Plastic bottles are not allowed inside the gardens, so if you are carrying bottled water make sure it’s steel, glass or a Tupperware bottle. Buggie cart is also available for a fee of Rs.100 per person, for a 40- minute tour inside the gardens.

Lalbagh Gardens

MTR (Mavalli Tiffin Rooms): There are several MTR branches spread across the city, but the one that I recommend is the original restaurant on the Lalbagh road (close to the East side entrance of Lalbagh botanical gardens). This is a great place for breakfast and its history goes way back to 1940’s, serving delicious South Indian breakfast with the star being the Masala Dosa, generously coated with ghee and best washed down with a cup of filter coffee. This place has served a lot of dignitaries and famous actors with some of their photographs displayed on the walls, and it still continues to hold the charm of the yesteryears.

Tip: This place can get really crowded specially on weekends, try getting there as early as possible. Sharing a table is common here, but this is also a great way to chat up with people most of whom are locals, who would tell you their love for this restaurant.

Bull Temple

Bull temple: Visit this 500-year old temple to see the monolithic statue of a bull carved out of granite stone, which won’t fail to impress you. Closely located to the MTR restaurant, this temple attracts a lot of devotees and tourists everyday and is also open throughout the day unlike other temples which closes down during the noon time. The story of this temple is quite an impressive one, the reason for which the area is called Basavanagudi meaning ‘The abode of the bull’. I would recommend you to go all the way inside and take blessings (the priests are friendly towards tourists). Sit here for few minutes and observe people come in and go, it will give you a lot of insights into the temple customs.

Tip: It is mandatory to leave your footware outside the main temple area which will be guarded by the caretakers for a small fee. When you go inside to take the blessings, do leave a small tip inside the donation box, since this will go towards the maintenance of the temple. You can be dressed casually and modest for this temple and anything knee length or sleeveless will also do.

Chitrakala Parishath: The Parishath is a one-stop space for a school of art, museum, gallery and also a space where art & cultural performances take place. The gallery contains beautiful paintings of students and few renowned artists and gives you an idea on the artists inclination on various subjects, specially people and Indian architecture. Very often local flea markets also take place in this premises, where craft makers display unique items from different states like blue pottery, glassware, silks, traditional jewellery etc. Once a year in January month, the biggest street art festival in India called ‘Chitra Sante’ takes place on the open road next to the Chitrakala Parishat, where art work from artists across the country display their work for sale and thousands of people throng this place for it.

Chitra Sante

Tip: The gallery is closed on Sundays, although the local sante if any, operates in the common grounds outside the building.

Bangalore Palace: Built by the Mysore kings in the 1800’s during the British rule, this palace is inspired by Tudor architecture and has a charm of royalty to it. The inside of the palace has a Royal Ballroom, Durbar hall with neo-classical furniture, an open courtyard with Spanish influence, separate quarters for the ladies and men and many more. Beautiful paintings of famous artists and old photographs of the royalty adorn the walls. There are also lovely wooden furniture’s, artefacts, and items of decoration bearing both Indian and European influence. Hunting was a favourite pastime of the Kings, and you will notice a huge elephant tusk on the wall, along with a stool made from its legs.

Bangalore Palace

Tip: The tickets cost Rs. 240 for Indians and Rs. 480 for foreigners. Mobile and camera fee are charged extra. The audio guide tour comes with the ticket fee, but make sure you carry an ID card for procuring it.

Soda Bottle Opener Wala: This Bombay café Irani bar is just the place you want to visit for some great finger licking food, suited for vegetarians and non-vegetarians. The restaurant is almost always crowded, with old Bollywood music playing in the background of chitter chatter of people. The décor is quite colourful and quirky with some amusing signages to laugh at while you wait for your order. There is also a train track that circles the restaurant near the ceiling, and if you’re lucky you might see that functioning too. Some of their dishes that are worth trying are the Bori Kheema Pav, Vada Pav, Khanda Bhajjiya, Dhan Shak, Crispy Okra and my favourite dessert the Matunga Coffee Cake!

Tip: This place can get really crowded, specially weekends and the wait can be long, so getting there early is advisable. They also have season specialties like Mango dishes in the summer time, which is worth trying.

Soda Bottle Opener Wala

Cubbon Park: One of the reasons why Bangalore is called the Garden city, is because of this green lung space in the city centre established in the year 1870. This huge park boasts of children’s play area, a tennis pavilion, and colonial structures like the Museum building, State library and the High court of Karnataka built pre-independence. A leisurely walk through this space will make you forget about the busy traffic and pollution in the city. It’s a great place for running and exercising which is what you will notice in the morning hours. This is my favourite go-to place for just relaxing or reading a book and also a great way to see few pre-independence buildings, that are painted brick red and stand out against the park’s greenery.

Tip: This is a great place for kids, specially the children’s play area, where you can enjoy a ride in the toy train running inside the premises. You can also visit the government museum for a small fee and the state library for free.

Vidhana Soudha: The pride of Bangalore is this Parliament house built post-independence where the state government functions, and you cannot leave Bangalore city without taking a picture here. It is the largest legislative – secretariat building in the country and is very impressive in terms of its architecture which is Dravidian, in contrast to the High court building on the opposite side having colonial architecture. There is a newer building next to this, having similar architecture and much smaller called the Vikasa Soudha, built few years ago to accommodate the growing members of the state administration. A huge statue of Mahatma Gandhi sits between these two buildings.

Tip: For a better picture of the Parliament house, get onto the opposite side of the road. Entry is restricted inside this place due to security reasons.

Vidhana Soudha

Commercial Street: Although mall culture in Bangalore is picking up, by and large commercial street is still the place you will want to visit if you have shopping in mind or not! It’s a good place to walk around for window shopping as well, and this is where locals frequent for pretty much all things branded and local – clothes, shoes, accessories, home décor, antiques, dress materials and even stitching where some tailors have an amazing turnaround time of just 2hrs! While the main shopping street has just about everything, there are smaller streets, by-lanes and buildings know for some specialization like silver jewellery on Jewellery’s street, Silver Plaza for fabrics, Narayan Pillai street for dupattas etc.,

Tip: You can bargain only in the local stores/street shops/Kashmir handicraft stores. At the branded stores you have to pay a fixed price. The shops shut down by 8.30pm, so plan your shopping if you have a big list.

Commercial street

Brigade Road: Bangalore’s smaller shopping area compared to the commercial street, the Brigade road is all things entertainment with stores branded and unbranded, cafes, bars and restaurants. A famous pastime for college going students, just taking a walk down this road will give you an idea of the pulse of the city and its outgoing culture. At the beginning of the street is the landmark Cauvery Emporium, an old building best visited for shopping souvenirs and handicrafts items.

Glimpse into a small street called the rest-house road and you will spot many pubs here like the famous Pecos, which is a rarity to find in Bangalore where the pub culture and rock music has died down. At the end of the street is the Opera house that was once famous for its entertainment during the British era, now restored and reopened as the Samsung Experience centre.

Tip: Take a walk down this road, rather than driving past it, to get a better vibe of this area.

Permit Room: Permit Room is the place you want to visit to celebrate the best of Indian food and beverages with a twist. The dishes have a strong affiliation to South India cuisine with some popular ones including Cubbon Park salad, Non- resident Idlis, Brain dry fry, Nalli Biryani and Baked Mysuru Pak to name a few. Even the bar menu is exciting with cocktails like Fizzy Kosambari, Ammachis Kashayam, Guntur Liquid Chutney adding an Indian touch to it. Whats even better is the ambience and décor. You won’t get bored looking around the place, matching up its theme to make it look as quirky as possible. From movie posters with interesting themes to pillars sporting old matchbox designs, this is a great place to visit for family and friends.

Tip: You can reserve this place in advance specially during the weekends when it gets crowded very fast. You can always check with the waiters to suggest you dishes depending on your taste and spice levels.

Permit Room

If you want to explore these places or want to do much more than the places listed out here, browse through our tour pages, or write to us to customise you one.

Bangalore’s own little hill-station

Nandi hills needs no introduction to a lot of people from Bangalore. Ask any Bangalorean a quick getaway location away from the city for a day trip and viola, ‘Nandi hills’ is the place most suggested.

To a lot of people it is just a small little hillock best enjoyed for its cool weather along with beautiful sunrise/sunset, having the remains of the fort built by the 18th century ruler Tippu Sultan. There is a certain truth to that statement, but there is more to it than that.

Quite recently I decided to explore this place. We were 3 of us who set off at 7am in the morning from South Bangalore, covering a distance of approx. 70kms in 2.5hrs. This included a quick breakfast stop in between, in a place called Sri Krishna Garden, where some idli, vada, kara bath and puri did the job of filling us up with carbs for what was to come ahead.

Trekking path Nandi Hills

Most people drive up to the hills. But our plan was to trek up using the old stairway, used during Tippus time. So instead of taking the left turn on the Nandi hills road, we took a right and headed to Sultanpet for the starting point of this trek. Google map shows this as ‘Nandi hills trek starting point’ but we took the help of locals in finding the direction the old – fashioned way.

Trekking path – Nandi hills

On reaching the foothills of the trek point at 9.30am, we set off on foot climbing the stairs which is relatively easy but takes around an hour to reach one of the fort entrances. The trek itself was a pleasant one, where we pass through few resting points along the way made of granite stones which look old. The path is well shaded with a lot of trees and pleasant breeze to counter our sweat, and beautiful view points along the way to treat our eyes.

Old stone steps – Nandi Hills

On entering the fort walls we first pass through a small Shiva temple called Sri Gavi Veerabadhra Swamy temple which is inside of a small cave formation. The priest told us that the temple is an old one dating to more than 500 years back. Continuing further we come across Tippu’s rest house which is a two – storey red building, which the Sultan used often during his glory days.

Tippu’s Guest House

Further up we came across the Amrutha Sarovara, a step well reservoir built in 1928 and if you spend some time here looking at the water you can see big orange fish jump out of the water, which is quite fascinating. It is also a great spot for taking pictures, and the reason why a couple were dressed elaborately for what seemed to be a pre-wedding photoshoot accompanied by their photographer.

Amrutha Sarovara

While trying to get around the step-well we discovered a spot right behind it, which often misses the visitor’s eye. The entrance to this was quite tricky, and we really had to break a few rules to get across the fence to this place, and boy was it worth it! It looked like a place out of a fairy tale, where a small path, above which there was tree branches hovering over, led to a small statue of a Nandi and an even smaller one beside it, looking over at the Amrutha Sarovara.

Hidden pathway

Soaking in the vibes of this magical place we walked further up the hills and made a climb towards Tippus drop point and although we did not go all the way towards it, the views from here are quite nice. On a summer day this would be very hot place, being a barren rock with no trees in sight. Walking up, this boulder formation gives way to old stone steps that goes up to the Yoganandeeshwara temple. This is an old Shiva temple dating back to 1000 years, which represents his final renunciation stage (his childhood, youth and married stage is depicted in the beautiful Bhooganandishwara temple at the base of Nandi hills). We spent a bit of time here looking around the temple, where you can see carvings on the granite flooring, inscriptions on the entrance wall and even a small step well inside the temple premises.

View from the top

A glass bridge near Hotel Mayuri, is where you can see lot of tourists hovering over for the view point. There are quite a few monkeys in this area too, and we spotted one on this bridge, eating away some ice-cream reluctantly given away by a tourist, who anticipated some trouble if he hadn’t. Hotel Mayuri located besides the bridge is the only proper sit down restaurant on the top where you can grab some lunch, and although the food isn’t so great, the view from here, certainly is! There are a few smaller tea/coffee shops that serve some quick fast food and snack items.

Monkeys on tree-top

After lunch we took the small pathway towards the fort walls and walked around a little getting lost, but finally reached the point which happened to be the source of the river Palar. Right around the same area is also a small shrine of Nandi which is referred to as the Nellakai Nandi (Nellakai meaning gooseberry) whose tree is outside of the shrine.

It was time to head back early, since we also had a descent to make through the same stone steps we took up. On the way back we made a last stop to have a look at The Cubbon House, which was built in the mid 1800’s as a summer retreat for Mark Cubbon (the British commissioner after whom Cubbon park has been named). This was undergoing renovation, but you could still see some old chandeliers and wood work from that period.

Trekking to Nandi Hills

The descent takes about the same time as getting on top, which is about an hour, although I took a few minutes longer due to my bad knees. It was 3.30pm at the base of the Nandi hills, and getting back to Bangalore city wasn’t too much of a problem leaving the part near the Hebbal flyover (there is always such slow-moving traffic here) We made it just before the peak hour traffic could begin.

A nice cup of coffee back home was what made the perfect end to this day’s adventure 🙂