Weekend Getaways Near Bengaluru: Places to Visit On Long Weekend
The festival season is right around the corner and there is already a rush around the country, with many trying to head home for the holidays. People are travelling from far and wide to reunite with their families and celebrate the auspicious festivals.
Bengaluru is known for its cosmopolitan culture, vibrant work places and warm people. But as they say, all work and no play can make Jack a dull boy. So once in a while, it is important to take a break, sign off from your busy life, and explore the city beyond its borders.
There are a number of weekend getaways near Bengaluru that offer a peaceful break from the hustle and bustle of the city. Here are some options for you to plan a trip with your friends and make the most of the weekend:
1. Trek to Kunti Betta
Kunti Betta is one of the most beautiful hills located in the quaint town of Pandavapura. Two hills conjoined at an elevation of 2,882 metres are behind the picturesque location.
Have an adventurous weekend getaway at Kunti Betta by undertaking a night trek to the top. The trek usually starts around 9 pm, and you can expect to reach the top by 3 am. Do wait for the sunrise – you won’t regret it. While you descend, you can spend some time at the lake, followed by a delicious breakfast at one of the surrounding eateries.
2. A Visit to the Mecca of Dance – Nrityagram
Witness the simple side of life in this dance village, where the sound of ghunghroos and earthy vibes will summon you to an atmosphere of extreme tranquility and serenity. Built by architect Gerard da Cunha, Nrityagram was Odissi dancer Protima Gauri Bedi’s dream translated into reality. The dance village is located in Hessarghatta, 30 km from Bengaluru and is spread across 10 acres.
Nrityagam follows the gurukul mode of living where dancers take care of their surroundings, take up gardening, practice dance and live in harmony with each other. What an alternative lifestyle for one to experience on a weekend!
3. Go to Bylakuppe for a Tibetan Retreat
To experience Tibetan life, head to Bylakuppe, which is just a five hour road trip from Bengaluru. The town is known for its two Tibetan refugee settlements and Buddhist monasteries, nunneries and universities. The Namdroling Monastery and Sera Monastery are must visits. These have frescoes on their walls depicting Buddhist mythology and are adorned with Thanga paintings – offering a beautiful glimpse of Tibetan life.
The town is dotted by shops selling traditional herbs, fabrics, paintings. While you’re visiting, don’t forget to gorge on some traditional Tibetan delicacies such as Thukpa, Shapta and Gyathuk!
4. Find Peace in the Beaches of Gokarna
Gokarna happens to be one of the most popular weekend getaways from Bengaluru owing to its beautiful beaches and general serenity. It takes approximately 8-10 hours from Bengaluru via road, but is totally worth the time.
Om Beach is quite popular amongst youngsters. You can sit, eat and relax – or, if you’re more the adrenaline rush kind of a person, you can indulge in adventure sports like Banana rides and jet-ski rides. If you are a trekking aficionado, venture out on a small trek from Om Beach to Half Moon Beach.
If you want to explore lesser known places, there are a number of beaches, cafes and temples to choose from.
5. Kodaikanal: A Trip to the Hills
A weekend in Kodaikanal is sure to be a refreshing change from the hot and humid conditions of the city. The area is full of flora and fauna and is home to the rare Kurunji flower, which blooms just once in 12 years. There are a number of options for sight-seeing which can be covered during the weekend. These include Berijam Lake, Kodaikanal Lake, Coakers Walk and Bryant Park.
If you wish to see the Kurunji flower, head straight to the Kurinji Andavar Temple, which is home to the deity Murugan or Kartikeya. The Bear Shola Falls is a perfect picnic spot if you want to have some fun with family.
6. Experience the Bounty of Nature at Hogenakkal Falls
Originating from River Kaveri, Hogenakkal Falls is known for its medicinal baths and boat rides. You can easily reach the place in three to four hours as it is just 180 km away from Bengaluru. After spending some time at the waterfall, you could head towards Melagiri Hills which has a number of trekking options.
If you wish to witness village life, head towards Pennagram Village, which is just about 20 km from Hogenakkal Falls. Do not forget to visit the Parameshwari Temple in the town which has a number of legends associated with it. Curious? Find out this weekend!
7. Learn the Benefits of Organic Living at Hamsah Organic
Do something different this weekend by volunteering at the Hamsah Organic Farm located at Sarjapur Road. In fact, this is the perfect time to experience a slice of rural life as you would be able to participate in the seasonal mango harvest.
The place is always brimming with activity – new things are constantly being sown, reaped and harvested. You can also pick up organically produced food from the farm for healthy living. What’s more? You can walk cows and volunteer for tree planting in the rainy season. Truly a unique weekend experience!
8. Experience Wilderness at BRT Wildlife Sanctuary
BRT Wildlife Sanctuary is an ideal retreat for nature lovers. The sanctuary is situated between the Kaveri and the Tungabhadra rivers and the distance from Bengaluru can be covered in approximately four or five hours by road.
You can witness a number of endangered species such as gaurs, chital, sambhar, barking deer, four-horned antelope in the sanctuary as you take a jeep safari or an elephant ride. The sanctuary is also home to over 200 species of birds.
The best part about the BRT Sanctuary is that it is less crowded, unlike other famous wildlife sanctuaries, and hence, you can enjoy the jungle safari in peace.