Nandi Hills is one of the famous hill fortresses, 60 kilometres from Bengaluru, Karnataka. Considered as an exciting place for newbie trekkers, we visited it last week. Even though vehicles are allowed till the top, people generally prefer to climb, as there is a proper paved path. Visitors from cities such as Bengaluru prefer to hang out there to observe the sunrise.
The ruins make one wonder about the scientific and technological advances, from centuries before. The steps, the caves, and a 1,000-year-old temple, where the statues are just marvellous. The temple nearby is frequently renovated. Special observation and resting spots have been installed all around the place to give one a complete holiday vibe.
The hills have a history of more than 1,300 years. The hill got its name because of its resemblance to a sleeping bull. It is also said to have got its name because of the Nandidurga Fort built by Tipu Sultan. It played a very important role as it was considered impregnable during Tipu’s first war against the British. It was the summer residence of the Sultan, and served as a punishment point for the criminals with a death sentence. ‘Tipu Drop’ is a spot on the hill from where convicts were thrown into the valley. Even after centuries, this spot is considered as a ‘suicide spot’.
Few years ago, it was open 24/7 but due to recent rise of suicides and criminal activities the admission has been restricted only to the daytime. Surveillance has been increased and officials take rounds to keep a check.
More ventures planned
The hills are currently under renovation, including the Tipu Fort, and it will no longer just be a hill station. The Department of Horticulture is setting up a one-crore food court in the area. A Rs 30-lakh music stage, located on a three-and-a-half-acre grove, will be used to conduct cultural programs. Furthermore, the department is developing 140 acres of land in the Nandi Hills region with the creation of a large-scale exotic botanical garden. A planetarium with an initial one-crore investment is also being constructed. More ventures have been planned in the foothills.
Skandagiri is another popular hill station near Nandi Hills, but reportedly it has been closed since May 2016 due to a pending murder case. Hope it reopens soon.