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Located a whopping 1,000 metres above sea level and the third-largest city in India, Bengaluru is a fast-paced city with temperatures that can reach up to 43°C during summer. The nearby plush green-capped mountains of the Deccan Plateau, however, are an ideal refuge from the heat and chaos. Famous for the scenic beauty, pleasant weather and relaxed atmosphere, these hills provide a perfect setup to escape Bengaluru – here are our top retreats.
Distance from Bengaluru: 270 km
Go for: Coffee estates, cool weather, and trekking
Stay options: Tamara Coorg, Amanvan Resort, Porcupine Castle
With its highest peak, Tadiandamol, at 1,750 meters, Coorg is a must-visit in any weekend getaway list from Bengaluru. The mystical origin of the Kaveri River, waterfalls such as Irrupu, Abbey, and Mallali, rafting in Barapol River, and the close proximity to various wildlife sanctuaries make Coorg one of the most popular destinations among Bangaloreans. Coorg also offers a challenge for the trekking enthusiasts, with Tadiandamol Peak. Amidst the scenic beauty one can also connect with the spiritual side at the beautiful and ornate Tibetan Golden Temple of Coorg. All in all, Coorg is one of the highlights among all the hill stations near Bengaluru.
Distance from Bengaluru: 230 km
Go for: Wildlife sanctuary
Stay options: Jungle Lodge, Serai Kabini, and Orange County
One of the most popular wildlife sanctuaries in the southern part of India, Kabini is the perfect getaway from the monotonous and fast-paced life of the city. The striking features of this place include the jungle safari and boat rides along the Kabini River. The breezy Jeep tracks of the Kabini National Park offer an amazing view of the jungle life in its most unadulterated forms. You can spot elephants, deer, and even leopards if you are lucky. With barely any network connection and the elegant accommodation in and around the area, Kabini is the most-visited national park of southern India all year around.
Distance from Bengaluru: 460 km
Go for: Tea estates
Stay options: Woodbriar Bungalows
Located 1,100 metres above the sea amidst the Anamalai Hills of the Western Ghats, Valparai is one those places where one can literally lay back and relax. The green hills, covered with terraced tea plantations, guarantee a site that will make you forget all about the urban life and its associated troubles. With over 40 hairpin turns covered by misty clouds, the hills form a beautiful backdrop for an incredibly scenic road trip with friends, family, or your better half. Major attractions include the Sholayar Dam, Nirar Dam, and the Aliyar Dam.
Distance from Bengaluru: 230 km
Go for: Lady’s Seat and the beautiful mountains
Stay options: GRT National Trails Sky Rocca
Located 1,515 metres above sea level, the entire area around Yercaud is covered by the Shevaroy Hills of the Eastern Ghats. Eco-tourism, coffee plantations, rose gardens, and silk farms form the major attractions of this area. The highest point of the place is the Servarayan Temple located at 1,623 meters above the sea level. Yercaud has two viewing points viz. Lady’s Seat and Pagoda Point, where tourists can enjoy a kaleidoscopic view of the plains below. With a cool climate, Lake Forest and an array of rivers alongside, Yercaud is one the major tourist spots near Bangalore.
Distance from Bengaluru: 210 km
Go for: Ruins, temples, and street shopping
Stay options: Various small hotels and homestays
If the mountains make you nauseated, Halebidu is the right option for a quick weekend summer getaway near Bangalore. The name Halebeedu translates to ‘old city’ and functioned as the capital of the Hoysala Empire. The major tourist attraction is the ruins of the Hoysaleswara Temple built by the Hoysala rulers. The temple walls house beautiful workmanship depicting scenes from Hindu mythology, animals, and dancing figures. Facing the temple are two beautiful lakes that accentuate the beauty of two Monolithic Nandi images. Apart from the temple, tourists can also indulge in the local shopping of souvenirs, clothes, and figurines.
Distance from Bengaluru: 470 km
Go for: Water sports, wildlife
Stay options: Treehouses
Deriving its name from a local deity, Dandelappa is a city marked by a tropical climate owing to its dense forest cover and a moderate elevation of 473 metres. Located close to Goa and Gokarna, this place is often visited by travellers looking for a break/change from the monotony of visiting the aforementioned places. Dandeli offers a perfect blend of adventure water sports and scenic beauty. One can beat the heat with a wide variety of activities ranging from white water rafting and kayaking to enjoying the jungle safari at the wildlife sanctuary. Ganeshgudi Hills, Kali River, Kaval Caves, and Sinteri Rocks are the real highlights of this area.
Distance from Bengaluru: 475 km
Go for: Tea plantations, green-capped mountains, Devikulam Lake, Mattupety Dam
Stay options: Royal Retreat, Tea Valley Resort
1,700 meters above the sea, Munnar enjoys a cool and favourable climate throughout the year. In close proximity to various wildlife sanctuaries, this is a perfect destination to enjoy the picturesque green hills covered with tea plantations. The name Munnar is believed to mean ‘three rivers,’ referring to its location at the confluence of the Mudhirapuzha, Nallathanni, and Kundaly rivers. Major attractions in the vicinity include Eravikulam National Park, Mattupety Dam, and Anayirangal Dam. Surrounded by the mountains on three sides, this place serves as a perfect location for beautiful boat rides and acts as a safe haven from the crowded and heated environment of the city.