As one of the fastest growing cities in India, Bangalore sure has a lot to offer – job opportunities, a booming real estate, an ideal environment for startups, and, of course, a place that is true to its rich heritage while also serving as a melting pot of cultures, with scores of people from across the country choosing to migrate to Bangalore. And despite having a thriving pub culture, with new bars and breweries mushrooming up across the city, the residents would still crave for a change of scenery every now and then. Keeping just that in mind, we have compiled a list of some of the popular getaways from Bangalore, for that long weekend or simply a much-needed break!
A great way to spend your weekend away from the ever-so-busy state capital, welcome to the cultural capital of Karnataka! A welcome break from the maddening hustle and bustle of Bangalore, Mysore offers true respite to anyone seeking to explore the rich history of the erstwhile Mysore kingdom, which, at one point, ruled over a majority of the state. Located just about 150 km from Bangalore, a short drive will take you to the seat of the erstwhile Wodeyar dynasty which now houses some of the most historic landmarks of cultural significance in Southern India.
The Mysore Palace is the obvious showstopper here. Draped in spellbinding beauty and sporting a splendid architecture, the palace is a fitting image of the affluence and pride associated with the former rulers, the Wodeyars, who continue to live here. The Mysore Palace decked up in lights in the evening post sunset is a true sight to behold. There’s a reason why it attracts a sizeable chunk of tourists in the state, and as a Bangalorean, it should not be missed!
Another noteworthy place to visit is the Chamundi Hills. With a temple dedicated to Goddess Chamundi at the peak, the location is thronged by tourists and pilgrims alike. Simplicity and beauty of the 11th-century temple will leave you in awe of architectural finesse and dedication of the bygone era. Coupled with the pious songs and melodious chanting, a visit here is a definite change from the cacophony of traffic that is normal to the big city.
Other attractions include the Mysore Zoo, pristine waters of the Karanji Lake, and many other smaller palaces and temples one is sure to find in Mysore. Apart from these, celebrations of the Indian festival Dasara deserves a special mention, solely because of how the city springs to life amidst all the pomp and splendour, in the grandeur that is brought forth by the erstwhile royalty.
The best time to visit the palace is the month of October or November when Dasara festival is around the corner.
If you want to escape the hoi polloi of Bangalore in October, the Dasara procession in Mysore would make you want to take a break. Tourists come from across the world to witness the procession that is carried out by the erstwhile royal family every year and the entire celebration is a sight to behold.
Stone carvings, historic teachings and religious rituals of a bygone era, all of which still remain alive in the ruins of Hampi – how does that sound for a weekend getaway from the Bangalore? The World Heritage Site has kept alive the art and architecture of lost empires from centuries ago.
Predominantly known for the ruins of the Vijayanagar Empire, the place also finds mention in the Ramayana as the mighty Bali ruled over this place. Hampi is reputed for being a living legacy of the Vijayanagar Empire, as a testimony of its influence and prosperity. The battle of 1565 between Vijayanagar Empire and the United Muslim states led to the village of Hampi and the beautiful buildings to be left behind in ruins. Despite the ravages, exquisite carvings and constructions of the historic capital serve as a reminder even centuries later, of the grandeur of the fallen empire. The significance of Hampi in history and religion propelled it to be one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
A humongous chariot carved out of stone stands at Vijaya Vittala temple as a tribute to the meticulous architecture of the bygone era. Visit the Royal Enclosure, which is said to be the centre of power in the Vijayanagar Empire as this was the king’s place. The area is fortified and an Audience Hall, which is also called 100-pillared Hall, is present inside. There is a beautiful stepwell that was the source of water, now serving as a popular location for the sightseeing tours organized here.
On the Anjanadri Hill, you will find a serene spot, which is sometimes referred to as the Monkey Temple, dedicated to Lord Hanuman. The concrete structure houses a granite statue of Lord Hanuman. Also, don’t miss out the magnificent Vijaya Vittala temple and Virupaksha Temple in this amazing weekend getaway from Bangalore. You also have the flowing waters of the Thungabhadra river, on the banks of which Hampi is located. A sunset by the river would be a great way to spend a lazy evening.
Finish your search of weekend getaways from Bangalore at the Archeological Museum of Hampi where you can see the antique sculptures. The central hall is shaped like a Hampi temple which consists of Dwaramantapa, Shivalinga, and Nandi. In the galleries, you will find the statues of gods and goddesses along with ancient armour and prehistoric stones and tools.
And to top it all, the Riverside Ruins located towards the north of Kodandarama Temple is a perfect place to pay a visit and respect to the Shiva Lingas finely carved on a rock surface. The place also has a statue of Anandashayana Vishnu, which has been carved on a rock cleft. Visit Hampi to get acquainted with the glorious history of the Vijayanagar Empire and to learn more about ancient India.
From the world-renowned historical ruins of Karnataka to the serene and salubrious environment of the neighbouring state, Tamil Nadu – Ootacamund, or Ooty in short, is a hill station nestled in the Nilgiris. This place known for its coffee plantations and view of hills is one of the best weekend getaways from Bangalore.
The Botanical Gardens in Ooty is one of the prime factors behind this city being one of the top weekend getaways from Bangalore. Since 1948, this garden located on the slope of Dodabetta, covering 22 acres of land, has attracted tourists from across South India. If you love photography, then visit this place after monsoons as landscape adapts to vivid shades of green that would excite even the most widely travelled photographers. A walk along the terraced garden or rolling down grassy slopes or even capturing the magnificent essence of the gardens in your photographs are some experiences you would want to remember.
The tea factory is another attraction at this weekend getaway from Bangalore. You can find ginger tea, green tea, cardamom tea, chocolate tea and even tea flavours which you must have never imagined of as well. You can taste different tea flavours for free and can also buy some for your loved ones. Tea lovers will get seduced by this factory as the factory produces tea powders of different flavours.
At this weekend getaway from Bangalore, don’t forget to visit Doddabetta, the highest peak in the region. Standing at an elevation of 8,650 feet, the place offers you the unparalleled view of the emerald green landscapes all around. A small eatery will welcome you with its delicacies.
Chikmagalur is a charming little town located on the Mullayanagiri range. This famed coffee hub offers a invigorating blend of lush greenery, majestic waterfalls, historic temples and plenty of wildlife spotting opportunities. To top it off, the crisp, clean and oxygen saturated air offers the perfect respite for city folks looking for a relaxing short break.
The highest peak in Karnataka, Mullayangiri is part of the Baba Budan Giri Hill ranges and is riddled with several hiking and nature trails. The 27 km ascent to the top is narrow and arduous. However, the panoramic view of the the landscape and the charming Shiva temple more than makes up for the trek. On a clear day, visitors can even catch a glimpse of the Arabian Sea from the summit.
Kudremukh is located at a distance of 97 km from Chikmagalur, at an altitude of 1800 meters above sea level. The place is famed for its serene environment and pleasant climate, even during the harshest of summers. The entire region is covered by a melange of coffee and tea plantations and dense forests. Most of the trekking trails leads to the origin of three important rivers : Bhadra, Nethravati and Tunga.
A picturesque hill station surrounded by thick forests, Kemmangundi is located at a distance of 55 Km from Chikmagalur. The town is flanked by the majestic Baba Budan Giri range and is home to vibrant gardens, charming valleys and sparkling mountain streams. Get your adrenaline fix by exploring secluded jungle trails and hiking any of the numerous peaks. Other attractions include a beautiful rose garden and the Z-point – a viewing spot that give panoramic views of the Western Ghats.
Sringeri is a popular temple town located on the banks of River Tunga. It is around 90 km from Chikmagalur and is home to the Sharadamba and Vidya Shankara temples. Don’t miss the 12 zodiac pillar in Vidya Shankara shrine, which are crafted so that the rays of the sun fall on the pillar corresponding to the month.
Adventure, nature, grand beauty of the Western Ghats, coffee & wine, with campfires and trekking trails – can you think of a better place to spend your weekend away from Bangalore? Welcome to the ‘Scotland of India’, Coorg! One of the best weekend getaways from Bangalore to unwind and rejuvenate your soul, land of the Kodavas attracts a large number of tourists each year, and rightly so!
The Barapole River in Coorg is famous for its rafting opportunities. The white waters of the Cauvery River add an altogether different kind of thrill to the adventurous spirit of a traveller. Moreover, you will pass through forests on both the sides of the river and this will make your experience even more valuable as you will cherish the sight of lush green landscapes.
The trekking trails at this place make the experience of walking through the forests even more surreal. Abbey Falls is surrounded by coffee estates and a walk through the plantations is rejuvenating and equally romantic. Nature lovers and photography enthusiasts can also think of visiting Mandalpatti as a tourist spot. The place is close to Abbey Falls and is located at a height of 1600 meters. The view of the sunset and sunrise from this place still stands unrivalled. Mandalpatti is said to be a favourite amongst those who want to experience the local culture without obstructions.
As for the trekkers, you have Tadiandamol which is the second highest peak in Karnataka, located in the Western Ghats. The sight from the top is incredible and one does indeed feel to be at the top of the world. Coorg is one of the weekend getaways from Bangalore which is replete with hills and peaks to be climbed. Pushpagiri peak provides an amazing visual treat to the travellers as the picturesque landscapes wait to hypnotize you with their splendour.
Coorg is also famous for cottage stays. Homestays are the best option when you visit Coorg as they offer an immersive and engaging experience of the local Kodava culture with delectable cuisine that will leave you wanting more!
When your surroundings are beautiful, you just feel calm. Time slows down and you unwind without any effort. Even if you are doing something adventurous, it does not seem like a strain. And that is a mini holiday that we all crave for every now and then. If you are in Bengaluru (Bangalore), then you are in luck today, for here is where I share a holiday just as I describe. Introducing you to an offbeat hill station – Sakleshpur where a weekend is all you need to freshen up and beat down your stress.
Sakleshpur, which is part of the Bisle Forest Reserve in Wild Karnataka, is a beautiful and uncrowded weekend getaway from Bangalore. This hill station near Bangalore is filled with natural beauty and surrounded with slopes of coffee plants and rolling hills covered densely with flora and fauna, making it a perfect place to relax and rejuvenate your inner self.
Let’s end our search for weekend getaways from Bangalore at a beach. Goa might be the party destination but nothing beats the coastal charm of the erstwhile French colony, Pondicherry. How about being at a place that still carries the legacy of French colonies and is a hub of tourist activity? If the words sound like music to your ears, then head to the east coast and soak up the best of what’s left behind, right in Pondicherry!
This weekend getaway from Bangalore was under French jurisdiction till 1954 and even after the liberation from foreign control, the foreign culture has left an indelible mark on this place. Some people here still speak French and English with a French accent. One of the best places in this weekend getaway from Bangalore is the Pondicherry beach. A flowing creek on one side adds enigma to this place and the tree houses, located on the backwaters, attract a large number of visitors.
The beach is quite friendly to your pocket and accommodation here is quite cost-effective. You can opt for volleyball, trekking, catamaran rides or cruises in backwaters at this place. Don’t miss the Raj Niwas, which is the official residence of the Lieutenant Governor at this weekend getaway from Bangalore. Famous as the former residence of French Governor, Dupleix, this place teems with parks, sculptures, and gardens.
The Pondicherry Botanical Garden is not only a hub of various species of flora but also a memoir of how French architecture developed and how colonization brought French architecture to India. Visit Puducherry for living the best moments of your life. And don’t miss the seafront Promenade for its boulevards and refreshing morning walks.
Weekend getaways from Bangalore are not hard to find. But you need to know which weekend getaway from Bangalore is the perfect fit for you. Is it a beach or a hill or a religious place? Some locations will cleanse your mind and soul, while others will infuse a new gush of energy, whereas a few others may transport you back in time. Spend some time to decide what kind of place you want to visit.
But one thing common to all the weekend getaways from Bangalore is that they help you to unwind. So, if you are stressed with your work or if you see your kids and family entering a gloomy state because of the usual routine life then hit the brakes this weekend and book your tickets for the best weekend getaway from Bangalore.