Tea Plantations, Ooty

Top 10 weekend getaways from Bangalore

Need a weekend break from the hoi polloi of Bangalore? Want to skip the usual pub hopping or lazy weekend for something more rejuvenating and refreshing? Well, the city’s location in Southern India offers you some of the best destinations for a relaxing weekend away.

Bangalore captivates the attention of tourists through its vacation escapades, voyagers, scenery fanatics, and nature aficionados. The city is a fine blend of contemporary, mysticism, and inheritance. Words fall short when it comes to the description of the city. There are many places located a day’s drive or less, from Bangalore, for that much-needed break one might seek.

Let us have a look at the top-10 weekend getaways from Bangalore.

1. Mysore

Mysore is on the top of our list of weekend getaways from Bangalore. The city is simply celebrated for its splendid imperial customs and glorious memorials and edifices, being touted as the cultural capital of Karnataka. Sightseeing is the foremost diligence of Mysore; the city tenders a multiplicity of lures. Over the years, Mysore has only grown as a hub for tourism, catering to travellers looking to explore the rich heritage of this region in southern India.

Mysore Palace

From the magnificent Mysore Palace to the lively celebration of Dasara around the time of October, from Chamundi hills to the many smaller palaces and temples that dot the city, it is no surprise that Mysore attracts a large chunk of global tourists who wish to explore South India. The major economy in tourism is gained during the Dasara Festival. The following day’s Ashtanga Yoga in Mysore city is an additional trump card catching the attention of the tourists globally, through its status as India’s greatest consigns for performing yoga.

Day-tripper holds comprise of antediluvian situates tombstones, museums, shrines, and, of course, the Mysore zoo! Some of the most beautiful places to be visited the in Mysore region are Srirangapatna, Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, Brindavan Gardens, Somnathpur, Talakadu, Chunchanakatte Falls, and Shivanasamudra Falls.

2. Hampi

The City of Ruins, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the seat of the former royalty of the Vijayanagara Empire – Hampi is without a doubt, one of the most awe-inspiring attractions in the entire state. If you have done even a little research on the attractions, then you would have seen the flagship of Karnataka tourism, the stone chariot. The expert craftsmanship in the carving of this iconic monument is a mere glimpse into the rich heritage that is replete throughout Hampi.

Vastuchitra Stone Chariot Hampi

The warehouse for fibre, zests, pony, and nugget granites, Hampi is now one of the major sites of the tourist attraction, located on the banks of the tributary Tungabhadra. From the towering charm of the Virupaksha temple to the palaces and shrines in ruins surrounding it, you also have the curious charm of the musical pillars! The majestic edifices stand proud as evidence of the prosperity and splendour of the Vijayanagar monarchs. It is no wonder that Hampi is touted as one of the best weekend getaways from Bangalore.

Additional lures of Hampi are the Hazara Rama temple, Lotus Palace, Vijaya Vittala temple, Matanga Hill, Lakshmi Narasimha temple, Tulapurushandana (King’s Palace), Queen’s Bath, Archaeological Museum, Daroji Bear Sanctuary and much more.

The ruins aside, Hampi is also a popular choice for adventure enthusiasts. The landscape is perfect for some bouldering and rock-climbing. If you wish to cross the river and explore the islands, you would find the lesser known hippie culture that is thriving, away from the tourists’ eye. If you want to avoid the scorching summer heat and messy monsoons, then the best months to visit and relish the beauty of Hampi is between October and February.

Things one must do, without fail in Hampi:

  • Hire a chalet on the skirts of the rice pasture and get pleasure from the natural splendour.
  • Set off for rock face jump, but do observe the crocodiles gazing at you!
  • Take pleasure in visions from Matanga Hill following your entire sanctuary tourism.
  • When you visit the Lotus Palace; sit and loosen up on the verdant ground and have the chilled coconut.
  • Do hire a complete set of boat for the lake view; do go for a bath too.

3. Hogenakkal

Hogenakkal Waterfalls - Karnataka

Situated at a distance of 180 km from Bangalore, on the banks of river Kaveri; Hogenakkal is one of the most breathtaking locations for a quick getaway from Bangalore. The gushing cascades of the Hogenakkal Falls often referred to as the Niagra of India, are recognized for its therapeutic baths. Take a coracle ride and you might even get as close to the milky waters as possible!

Melagiri Hills is the second most beautiful site after the Hogenakkal falls in the region, that one must surely visit. The Hills are located just at a short distance away which possesses a variety of tramping preferences up to the mount that adds to the ecstasy of lastly viewing the series. Another site to be visited in Hogenakkal is the village Pennagram which is situated about 20 km from Hogenakkal. The rural community is legendary for the fun-fair that is held weekly throughout the month for attracting tourists from several places in the world. Other places to visit in Hogenakkal are Theerthamalai temple, Parameshwari temple, and Hanuman Theertham temple.

4. Yercaud

Offering the quintessential holiday in the hills is Yercaud. Located between the in between the series of Shevaroys hills in the Eastern Ghats in the Salem District, the hill station has it all – a lake, green misty hills, and a quiet environment removed from the bustling throngs of tourists that are often found in places of tourist attraction.

Yercaud Mountains, Tamil Nadu

Titled as the ‘Crystal’ of South India; Yercaud has the most pleasing and charming sights for attracting its voyagers.

Following are the places nearby Yercaud to be visited without fail:

  • Lady’s Seat: One can grab the landscape view of the plains underneath via shrivel escalated at the Lady’s Seat.
  • Green House: This botanical garden nearby consists of diversity in floral and zest species.
  • Yercaud Lake: The Lake is entirely encased by backyards and woods.
  • Pagoda Point: A further attractive sight which was formerly festooned amidst granite fabricated pagodas, it is now domicile for the oversized shrines.
  • Servarayan Temple: This sanctuary is located at the top of Servaroyan hills in Yercaud.

Additional places to be looked up for getaways in Yercaud are the Kiliyur Falls, the Grange, Karadiyur viewpoint, the famed silk farms and rose gardens and Sri Lalitha Thripura Sundari Amman Sanctuary.

5. Coorg

No list of getaways from Bangalore is complete without a mention of Coorg. Land of the valiant Kodava warriors, Kodagu, or Coorg, is one of the most scenic getaways just a short drive from Bangalore. From the dense woods of the Western Ghats to the rolling landscape enveloped in coffee plantations, Coorg offers a definite respite from the traffic and pollution of the city.

This hill station is celebrated for its spectacular striking landscape and flourishing foliage. Wooded area wraps these hills from all the four directions. The region is equally famous for its spicy local cuisine, from the chicken and pork to traditional dishes like pattu, akki roti, pulva and the likes. If you’re not aware of this, fret not! With homestays forming the majority of accommodations for tourists and travellers, most of these offer delicious homemade food and you would have many opportunities to indulge your palate in the flavours of Coorg.

Coorg scenic paddy fields

Also touted as the Adventure Capital of Karnataka, you can try rappelling, river rafting, ATV rides and follow the trekking trails into the mountains. A guided walk through the coffee plantations is quite common and can usually be availed through the homestay owners itself. Apart from the rich culture and the greenery, Coorg is also home to the second largest Tibetan settlement in the country – Bylakuppe. Not to mention the site of Talakaveri which is famously believed to be the origin of Kaveri river that is a major source of water for North Karnataka as well as Tamil Nadu.

The hill station is much more than its scenic beauty which offers its tourists abundant places to cherish and relive their moments of life. Following is the list of places to be visited in Coorg:

  • Namdroling Monastery: The hill station Coorg also provides the quarters to the Namdroling Monastery which is worshiped by the Sangha community. The shrine consists of the idol of Lord Buddha which is gold coated.
  • Iruppu Falls: This falls situated in the series of the Brahmagiri Mountain are one of the major sources of attraction for the tourists due to the beauty it encaptures within itself.
  • Honnamana Kere Lake: Honnamana lake is a must visit place in Coorg which is considered to be the spiritual and largest lake of that specific area.

Few more spots to be viewed in Coorg are Burude Falls, Nagarhole National Park, Raja’s Seat, Talacauvery, Tadiandamol Peak, and much more.

6. Ooty

Tea Plantations, Ooty

Hills stations are the best among all the spots for weekend getaways from Bangalore and here is another on the list. Ootacamund, truncated as Ooty has located 80 km from Coimbatore, in the northern reaches of the Nilgiri hills and is one of the best hill stations of South India for tourism. The innate splendour of Ooty plays a major role in attracting vacationers and is a popular place to be visited during summer holidays. This hill station can be crowned as the king of the Nilgiri hills.

The town presents many more places to view like several ponds and dams, museum, backyards and recreational areas, reserved woodlands, and ancient constructions.

Things one should cherish while being in Ooty:

  • Ooty Lake: One of the most beautiful spots to visit in Ooty.
  • Doddabetta Peak: A breathtaking location that offers a panoramic view of the entire landscape around.
  • Rose Garden: A quiet evening spent amidst the colourful, fragrant blooms of the rose garden is an evening well spent.
  • Dolphin’s Nose: Like its name, the spot is also unique among all the viewpoints in Ooty. Another popular location that offers sights to die for. But be careful! This location is also infamously called the Suicide Point.

Additional places to be mandatorily visited in Ooty are the Thread Garden, Ooty Botanical Garden, and Toy Train, especially for children, Emerald Lake, Kalhatti Falls, and much more.

7. Pondicherry

Pondicherry Beach

Move over Goa, Pondicherry is here! The capital of the Puducherry Union Territory, French Riviera of the East, the former colonial town is now one of the growing coastal attractions in the south. Perfect for anyone looking for a change in scenery without having to deal with the thronging tourists found in places like Goa, Pondicherry offers an experience of the foreign culture that was once replete here. A new place with a rich heritage, a forgotten era that’s kept alive in the cobblestone streets and French patisseries, it is sure to offer an experience that is like none other.

From the cathedrals and churches to the promenade in the White Town, there’s the experimental township of Auroville too! You will find the quiet streets of this former French colony has much to offer. The beaches are not usually swarmed by people, unless you count the avid surfers, of course.

The additional places one must surely visit near Pondicherry are Ousteri Lake, Chunnambar Boat House, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Eglise de Sacre Coeur de Jesus Church, Statue of Dupleix, Jawahar Toy Museum, Raj Niwas, Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and much more.

8. Munnar

Munnar - Tea Plantation

One of the most popular attractions in God’s Own Country, Munnar is probably one of the most sought after hill stations in Kerala. Located in Idukki district which itself is pretty famed for its rich flora and fauna, the misty hills of the rolling landscape here are home to the world’s highest tea gardens. All you need to do is visit Munnar to truly understand the hype. From luxurious to the simple, the bungalows and homestays in the many tea estates here are where you should choose to stay, to truly experience the charm of Munnar.

Some of the popular locations include:

  • Pallivasal: It is situated 3 km from Chithirapuram in Munnar town. It personifies an enormous picturesque exquisiteness and is regularly privileged by sightseers as a getaway spot.
  • Matupetty dam: A beautiful waterbody surrounding by the rolling misty hills and dense forests of the Idukki district.
  • Eravikulam National Park: This Park serves as the major source of attraction near the Munnar town. Eravikulam is home to several species of flora, fauna, and insects.
  • Tea Museum: One of the best places to visit in Munnar where a range of fine species of tea is preserved. Try the tea tasting, indulge your palate in a palette of new flavours, buy some tea for yourself and don’t forget to pick up the fragrant spices and homemade chocolates!

Top station, Anamudi peak, and Chinnakanal & Anayirangal also add to the beauty of the Munnar town.

9. Yelagiri

Another of the lesser known but equally beautiful hill stations in Tamil Nadu, Yelagiri is a great place if you’re looking for some quiet time, a break from the usual.

Yelagiri, Tamil Nadu

Trekking and paragliding are the major attractions here. It offers options in plentiful for hiking and bird watching through the woods.

  1. Jalagamparai Waterfalls: These falls are located just to the opposite side of the Yelagiri hills at an extremely petite distance. The mumbling Attaru tributary gushes in the course of the Yelagiri Hills and softly drops down to outline a fascinating cascade which gives a pleasant sight.
  2. Punganoor: This spot is the utmost admired attraction near Yelagiri Hills which is a mock lake bordered with nature’s square.

Telescope Observatory and Swami Malai Hills also add to the splendour of the Yelagiri hill station.

10. Mahabalipuram

Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu

Last but not least is the spot Mahabalipuram, perfectly suitable for weekend getaways from Bangalore. Located at a distance of 60 km from Chennai city, Mahabalipuram is mainly popular for its grand prehistoric tombstones which are marvellously carved. The mainstays, statuettes, and shrines also act as the source of attraction for tourists.

There are many more spots to be explored which drag the attention of the tourists towards Mahabalipuram, the most common one being Krishna’s Butterball, a massive round rock seemingly unmoved on a slope, and of course, the Varaha cavern. Some of the religious places to visit in Mahabalipuram are the Draupadi Ratha, Mahabalipuram temple, and the Varaha mandapa.

One of the outstanding traits is that all the monuments are huge – colossal formations which are engraved from a solo astound only. Following are the places around Mahabalipuram, which one should definitely visit- Cave temples, Arjuna’s penance, Dakshina Chitra, Pancha Rathas, Crocodile Farm, Thirukadalmalai, and many others.

Few travelling tips to be kept in mind are:

  • The period between October and February is often the best time to visit Mahabalipuram.
  • Hire mountain bikes or cycles for exploring the beauty of the township.
  • Opt for homestays to lodging and hotels in which are nearby the sea-facing area.

What are you still waiting for? Pack your bags and get ready for embarking on one of the best getaways of your life!

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