Nandi Hills or Nandidurg (Anglicised forms include Nandidrug and Nandydroog) is an ancient hill fortress in southern India, in the Chikkaballapur district of Karnataka state. It is 10 km from Chickballapur town and approximately 60 km from the city of Bengaluru. The hills are nestled near the town of Nandi. All buses o Nandi Hills leave from Bangalore's central bus station "Bangalore Majestic" or "Kempegowda Bus Station (KBS)". As this is a local bus, tickets are sold directly in the bus. You can book the seats from ticket counter at Majestic with Rs. 200/- per head. That ensures your seat, nothing else. In the morning and evening there are direct buses. The KSRTC bus to the top leaves at 8:30AM from platform 13 (it varies, but it will be near to that). Returning direct buses from the Hills to Bangalore leave at 2:30PM, 4:15PM and 5PM. But the timings are not strictly followed. There is a motorable road to the top of the hill.Beware there is only one road to the top. You can expect vehicles coming from the other side as well. Around 40 curves to be negotiated before you reach check point cum entry gate where entry tickets (Rs. 5/- per head) are issued. Two wheelers are not allowed beyond this point as road is not well formed / slippery while 4 wheelers are allowed to proceed. You can choose to climb up thru steps and be in the midst of natures lap savouring many different things such as old temple, a very large open tank, Tippus rock, Hanuman Temple etc.. There are many aggressive monkeys on the way and visitors are advised not carry food or prepackaged food.
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This range of Nandi on the craggy hills (the highest peak being 2004 m) holds the shimmering Amrita Sarovar Lake and offers walks of sylvan beauty. A popular health resort today, it was also the place Tipu Sultan and assorted royalty retired when they sought to escape the din of battle and the heat of the plains.
The hills are located about 35 km east of Bangalore and about 4500 ft above sea level. The deviation road at Oordagere on the Bangalore-Tumkur Road can reach it. On the top of the hill, there are temples dedicated to Sri Ugra Narasimha and Sri Yoga Narasimha. On the lower hill there is a temple dedicated to Sri Bhoga Narasimha. There is a Traveler’s Bungalow and a Kalyana Mantap on the top of the hill and a Forest Lodge and Taluk Board T.B. at the foot of the hill. A flight of 1,175 steps leads from the base of the hills to the top. On top was Tipu Sultan’s summer retreat and the remains of Tipu’s fort bear this out. Tipu’s Drop, a 600 metre high cliff face, where prisoners were hurled down the precipice, is an awe-inspiring sight.
Sir Mark Cubbon, when he was Commissioner of Bangalore made this his summer residence. Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Queen Elizabeth II were among the other dignitaries who enjoyed their stay here. More recently, former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi and the SAARC delegates chose this spot for a retreat after their international deliberations.
You can visit this place at any time of the year. In the rainy season it is extremely wet on the hill. A summer visit will make you spell bound. It’s best if you are on top of the hill before sunrise. The wind, fog and clouds that blow towards you in the morning is just amazing. To be on top of the hill by 5:30AM, you need to leave Bangalore at around 4AM. If you are not sure about the route, leave even earlier.