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Bangalore is known as the Silicon Valley of India. This city is located in the Indian state of Karnataka. Also known as the Garden City of India, Bangalore is one of the cities that has a large number of international visitors every year. Over the past few years, the city has become highly urbanised. To beat the everyday stress and rigour, the residents and people living in Bangalore avidly look for tourist places near Bangalore. Luckily, the city is nestled around a number of places of tourist interest.
1. Mysore Palace
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The palace is located in Mysore, which is a district close to Bangalore. You can visit the Mysore Palace at all times of the year. When visiting places near Bangalore, you must visit this place during the Dasara festival. Also known as Amba Vilas Palace, it is now the residence of the Wodeyars, who are members of the erstwhile royal family of Mysore. In the South, Mysore is known for its palaces. Hence it is also referred to as the City of Palaces. Of the handful of palaces, the Mysore Palace is the most famous and visited. More than two million visitors enjoy the majesty of this palace every year.
You cannot take photographs inside the palace. The architecture of the palace is unique. It is a blend of various styles of architecture including Hindu, Muslim, Gothic, and Rajput styles. Consisting of three storeys, the structure is flanked by a large garden. There are some unique rooms in the palace. For instance, the amba vilas was used by the king to receive visitors privately. The room is essentially an opulent hall. The doorway is elegantly carved. All around the room are stained glass ceilings. There are impressive chandeliers that adorn the room.
Similarly the kalyana mantapa is another such hall which was used for marriages. The pavilion of the mantapa is octagonal shaped. The floor is decorated with peacock murals. The peacock theme permeates everywhere including the stained glass ceilings. Adorning the walls of the hall are oil paintings.
The palace has twelve Hindu temples. The oldest one was built in the 14th century. There are some rooms that are a must-visit. The Public Durbar is one such room. Over here the general public would congregate and meet the king at appointed times.
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2. Mysore Dasara
During the festival, the palace is illuminated. More than one lakh bulbs are used. The government spends more than Rs 1 crore on this illumination feat every year. During this time religious and cultural events are held here. There are various performances from local and national artists. The whole place is abuzz with music, arts and crafts.
[Unravel the fascinating royal heritage with our Mysore Walk Tour]
There are various processions and ceremonies. The highlight of this festival is the elephant procession. Elaborately decorated elephants trudge their way across Mysore city and to the palace. They are welcomed at the entrance of the palace with traditional drumming and music. The receivers are courtiers. They are dressed in durbar costumes. Women are dressed in white saris. The elephants are then taken to temporary sheds in the palace premises. They stay there till the festival concludes.
[Don't miss to check out famous resorts of mysore]
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Coorg is the anglicised name of Kodagu district in Karnataka. This region boasts of numerous coffee estates and also of being a home of warriors. There is an impressive number of Coorgis in the armed forces. The people in this place speak the Kodava language. There are plenty of things to do and places to see in Coorg when looking for tourist places near Bangalore. The rugged and picturesque settings of this place are the perfect venue for holiday and relaxation when visiting places near Bangalore.
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Given that Coorg is located in a mountainous area, it is a great venue for whitewater rafting in Coorg. The gradients available here offer the perfect setting for voluminous and downward water flow. The Kithu-Kakkatu River is popular with tourists for rafting. The river flows through the Brahmagiri Wild Life Sanctuary.
This activity is probably the best way to experience the region. It is a pleasure to trek in Coorg. The terrain is multifaceted. It can range from easy to moderate to challenging. There are some recommended trails. The Tadiyandamol trek is moderately difficult. This place is the highest peak in the region and the third highest in the state. Although the terrain poses some challenges now and then, the results are breathtaking. You can get amazing views at all times during the trek.
The next recommended trek is the Brahmagiri trek. This trek is in the Brahmagiri mountain range. Situated on the border with the Wayanad district in Kerala, this mountain range is home to many wild animals. Rising to a peak of more than 5000 ft, this trek won’t be easy. It challenges your stamina and patience.
The Nishani Betta trail is lesser known but not less exciting. This trekking trail is located in the Brahmagiri mountain range. Located in the Western Ghats, it will seem like nobody has visited this place for centuries. The beauty of this place is still intact. The trail is flanked by dense vegetation. Sprinkled across the trail are gurgling streams. The scenic and sublime trek offers so many beautiful rewards along the way. There are enough and more places to explore.
When in Coorg, the Civet Creek is a popular spot for camping activities. This place is located in North Coorg. The Civet Creek area offers a range of outdoor activities. There are many things to see and places to explore here.The other frequented camping area in Coorg is in Herur. There are local attractions here. Some of them are Harangi Dam, and Dubare Elephant Camp. Madikere is also a camping site. There are many camping companies that offer camping facilities here.
6. Plantation Walks
Coorg is known for its coffee plantations. If you have a friend in Coorg who owns a coffee plantation, then you can walk through this plantation to experience what it feels like.
There are numerous plantations in Coorg. Some of them are owned by people, some by the government, and the rest by tourist companies. If you want to take a plantation walk, you can check with a Coorg tour company. They can organise one for you at nominal rates.
[Check out all our tours and experiences of Coorg]
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This city is located in Chikkamagaluru district of Karnataka. Located on the foothills of the Mullayanagiri range, Chikmagalur is known for its production of coffee. Apart from being informally called the coffee land of Karnataka, this place has lovely hill stations as well. There are several notable places to visit in this place. The picturesque Kemmangundi hill is one. You can see flora and fauna at Mutthodi National Park. Some other places are Kudremukh and Mahatma Gandhi Park.
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Chikmagalur offers plenty of destinations for adventure sports when visiting tourist places near Bangalore. Rafting is one such popular adventure sport. The best place for this activity is the Bhadra River. The river is about 280 km from Bangalore. It is about 70 km from Chikmagalur.
On the banks of the river lie unexplored verdant lands. You will be truly besotted by nature. The pristine countryside looks like a postcard of paradise. Small villages, dense forests and coffee plantations are on the banks of the river. Amidst these settings you are engaged in rafting.
The rafting expedition is only for about 8 km. There are different grades of rapids on the river. Grade 3 and 4 are possible. These rapids flow through thick jungles. It will be fun and exciting to pass through these regions. You can also indulge in some other allied activities here. Wildlife safari is one such activity that lets you experience the flora and fauna of the region. There are recommended trekking trails in and around this region as well.
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Chikmagalur is known to have many peaks. The Mullayanagiri region has the perfect settings for trekking and other such rejuvenating activities. In fact, there are many places along the Western Ghats in Chikmagalur that offer trekking trails and nature walks. The entire Baba Budan Giri range is an excellent place to trek.
The Mullayanagiri peak is challenging. It is located more than 1500 m above sea level. Sprinkled along and around these regions are coffee estates. Given that this region receives high levels of rainfall, these regions are always brimming with vitality and are among the best places to visit when visiting places near Bangalore.
Sometimes the rainfall gets a bit too much. This aspect can lead to difficult trails, making the trekking expeditions difficult. But if you have prior trekking experience, it should not be a problem.
When it comes to camping, Kemmenagundi is a popular site in Chikmagalur. This place is a well-known hill station. Also known as the KKR Hill station, this place was originally a summer camp for King Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV.
This place is regarded as one of the most beautiful places in the region and among the very popular tourist places near Bangalore. Enriched with lush verdant land, and full of exotic birds, Kemmenagundi is an experience that can last a lifetime when visiting places near Bangalore.
10. Plantation Walks
There are numerous idyllic plantations in Chikmagalur. These are ideal places to lose yourself in. You can take in the vibrant spirit of these blissful lands when on plantation walks. Given that this region is a fertile valley, it is common to see many coffee estates. As you walk into the misty hills on plantation trails, feel the delicate pinch of natural forces tugging at you.
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Photo Credit : Chandru
Wayanad District is located in Kerala. It is known to be The Land of Paddy Fields. This region has indigenous tribals. In fact, in the whole of Kerala, the maximum number of indigenous tribals are found here. The location of this district is on a high altitude plane of the Western Ghats. The average altitude of the region is between 700 m and 2100 m.
A large portion of Wayanad is forest area. The highest mountain in this region is the Chembra Peak. The Banasura Peak and Brahmagiri peaks are the second and third tallest mountains. The Chembra Peak is more than 6000 ft in height. The Kabini River flows through this region. This river serves the entire needs of this region. On one of the tributaries of the river, a dam has been built. This dam is called the Banasura Sagar Dam.
Wayanad is blessed with pleasant climate. The forest cover in the place creates a very pleasant atmosphere. The winters here are relatively cooler than other parts of Kerala. The summers are only moderately warm. Summers in Kerala are known to be humid. But in Wayanad, summers are serene. Some of the major towns of this district are Sulthan Batheri, Kalpetta, Vythiri and Pulpally.
11. Trekking in Wayanad
Being a hilly district has its advantages. Trekking expeditions are not just exciting but positively exhilarating. There are no linear routes in Wayanad. Most trails are small. You can finish them in a day’s time. Some trails only take a few hours to traverse.
Although the duration of these trekking expeditions may not be overwhelming, these are challenging trails. Some terrains have gentle slopes. Some others require either prior experience on it or a good amount of fitness.
The Chembra Peak Trek is the popular one. It is a safe trek. The district forest office is a vigilante of trekkers. The initial part of the trek is steep but after a while the gradient settles down. The Pakshipathalam Trek is another popular trek. This is at Pakshipathalam which is located near the Brahmagiri Hills. There are plenty of caves to explore here as well.
12. Unique Resorts Stay
Wayanad is a place of the finest resorts. Vythiri Village is the most famous among them. There are plenty of activities organised by this resort. Some of them include Vythiri Retreat for Team Building, archery, trekking, sightseeing and zip-line. Kerala is often considered the epicentre of Ayurveda. So you can get plenty of ayurvedic treatments not only in this resort, but other resorts too.
[Check out all unique stays and tours of Wayanad]
Ramanagara is located in the Indian state of Karnataka and is one of the important tourist places near Bangalore. Out of the thirty districts in the state, this is one of them. This place is famous for its silk production industry. Some of the biggest silk productions happen in this region.
Ramanagara is colloquially known as Silktown. Ramanagara has a terrain that is full of hilly granite regions. Many rock climbing expeditions are conducted in these regions. Some of oldest outcrops of granite are in this region. Ramadevarabetta is one such place that was also shown in a movie. A lot of quarrying activities are conducted in these regions.
Ramanagaram lies on the Bangalore-Mysore highway. This place shot to fame when the iconic movie Sholay was shot here. Ramanagaram also has forest regions with wild animals such as bears, panthers and elephants. One of the chief attractions in this place is the gigantic boulders.
Given this terrain, mountain climbers from around the world visit this place to negotiate these structures when visiting places near Bangalore. Tourists set up camps at such places. There is plenty of rock climbing activities conducted. Some of them are rappelling, face climbing and bouldering. At campsites, there are activities such as dance and music conducted around a bonfire.
When it comes to trekking, most Bangaloreans prefer Ramanagara given that it is nearby. Located at just about 50 km from the city, Ramanagara boasts of challenging terrains. Some terrains need rock climbing experience. But this aspect makes for exhilarating trekking.
The terrain is a combination of granite hills and rocky slopes. Given that this region has sparse vegetation, the temperature levels here could be on the higher side. Along the way you might see some exotic birds. If you get lucky you might see a Long Billed Vulture which is one of the exotic species of bird that are present here.
The slopes on the granite rocks could descend at a 50 degree gradient. The trek could be challenging at first but you get used to it gradually. The Revana Siddeshwara Betta is the popular trekking trail in this region. On this hill there are many temples like the Sri Renukamba Temple, the Bheemeshwara temple, and the Revana Siddeshwara Temple. On this hill you can see hundreds of monkeys. You could be either entertained by them or they can be a nuisance.
Trekking and rock climbing go hand in hand in this place. You can try this activity to put your body to the test. There is pitch climbing and bouldering. The latter is recommended for newcomers. If you are going on a trekking expedition as part of a tour package, you can also include rock climbing in it.
An interesting form of rock climbing is chimney climbing. You have to squeeze yourself through narrow passages. You need a little practice for this. Chimney climbing does not require the same amount of strength as is required for rock climbing and trekking.
14. Adventure Activities
The adventure activities in Ramanagara are restricted to rappelling, rock climbing, trekking and chimney climbing.
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Located in the Vellore district in Tamil Nadu, Yelagiri is a serene hill station. This region is located at an altitude of more than 1000 m. The history of this hill station dates back to several centuries when the British ruled India. Formerly, this whole hill station was owned by the Yelagiri Zamindar Family. Currently, this hill station is a developing one. The state government is making concerted measures to improve the infrastructure of this place for people visiting places near Bangalore.
Yelagiri is visited every year by hundreds of trekkers. It is a good place for trekking. Given that this hill station is more than 1000 m above sea level, it offers interesting trekking trails. Swaminathan Hill is the place which is the highest altitude point in Yelagiri. When you stand here, you are higher than 4000 ft above sea level. Swaminathan Hill is a popular trekking trail. When you get to the summit, the view from here is breathtaking.
The Yelagiri Summer Festival is a well-known cultural event. It is celebrated in the month of May. There are flower shows, cultural programmes and dog shows. An assortment of dog breeds is on display at this festival. People from far and wide converge for this event, as it is considered one of the colourful tourist places near Bangalore.
There are many places to visit in Yelagiri. Jalagamparai Waterfalls is one. This is the point where the Attaru River falls down steeply. You can take a direct route that connects Yelagiri with these waterfalls. The falls are located off Tirupattur.
If you want to see hills in the shape of a cake, then you have to see this one. Called the Swami Malai Hills, this terrain is used extensively by trekking enthusiasts. Another attraction is the telescope observatory which is located in a building near Yelagiri Hills.
There are a handful of places to trek at Yelagiri. One of them is Yelagiri Hills. The best thing about this place is that it is not overcrowded like some of the other hill stations in Tamil Nadu. The hills are at an altitude of more than 1000 m. The climate here is moderately cool for most part of the year. Summers are warm.
Yelagiri gives you the perfect opportunity to trek and enjoy the pleasant vagaries of nature. After navigating through the dense forest and mountainous region, you can take a shower at the Perumadu Water Falls.
16. Resort Stay
There are excellent resorts in and around Yelagiri when visiting tourist places near Bangalore. Staying in a hill resort in Yelagiri is a great way to interact with nature closely while still feeling at home. Given that this place witnesses a sizeable number of visitors each year, the resorts are equipped with all amenities. They have special tour plans in place as well.
[Don't forget to see some more places to visit in yelagiri]
The resort management can provide you transportation and guides to show you around. You will enjoy the ambience as well as the food in these resorts. You can check online for reviews on resorts in Yelagiri when visiting places near Bangalore.
Located in the Salem District in Tamil Nadu, this place is a popular hill station. Yercaud is located at an altitude of more than 1500 m. Servarayan Temple is the highest point in this place. Yercaud is named so, given the abundance of trees and forests here. The place is categorised as a forest near the lake.
A beautiful place, the temperature here is always moderate. Even in the summers, the temperate does not go beyond 29 degrees Celsius. Yercaud is known for its oranges. The people here have orange orchards and grow these fruits in abundance. Apart from oranges, there are plenty of other fruits grown in this place as well.
Yercaud is a perfect holiday spot. This is a picturesque hill station. Trekking here is a pleasure given the serene climatic conditions. The geography of this region is a rugged mass of hills. You can find teak, sandalwood and teakwood trees in abundance here. You can visit the National Orchidarium and Botanical Garden located here. Spread over eighteen hectares, this place is home to more than 3000 trees.
The hills of Yercaud have rich flora and fauna. There is also an active wildlife that thrives here. You can see hoards of bison, foxes and deer. There are also snakes and mongoose. In the bird species, there are no exotic ones. However, you can see sparrows, bulbuls, kites and paradise flycatchers.
There are plenty of places to visit here. At the Yercaud Lake you can engage yourself in boating activities. There is a place called Lady’s Seat. From this place you get a panoramic view of the plains. You use a telescope for this purpose.
At the Kiliyur Falls, you will see an impressive waterfall descending from a height of 90 ft. You can visit the Servaroyan Temple in the month of May. The summer festival is held at this place during this time. On first impressions, the temple is unconventional. It is a narrow and dark cave, which makes it an intriguing place to visit.
Photo Credit : Thangaraj Kumaravel
Trekking in and around the Kiliyur Falls is a joyful activity. The waterfall is more than 300 ft deep. You can trek at the bottom of the falls. This trek is only recommended for adventure trekkers. There is some level of difficulty associated with this trek.
The Kaveri Peak is another trekking trail that allows you to experience the vitality of nature. This is a nature hike like no other. The trek will take you through hairpin bends, and ultimately you will pass by the beautiful Yercaud Lake and towards the peak.
18. Resort Stay
Staying at a resort is a good way to be pampered by nature and also by the resort. Yercaud being a popular trekking spot is home to a large number of resorts. Most resorts are equipped with the latest and greatest amenities. You can search online for such resorts and read their reviews.
Masinagudi is located in the Mudumalai National Park in the Nilgiri District of Tamil Nadu. Masinagudi is actually a range of this wildlife sanctuary. Even then, this place has a distinct identity of its own. There is a reserved forest section here. No one is allowed to walk through this place. You will stay in resorts that are certified and recognised by the state government.
19. Jeep Safari
Image Credit: Sinha
Everyday Jeep safari in Masinagudi are organised at the National Park. These van safaris take you through the jungles and wildlife. The timings are typically between 6.30 to 8.30 in the morning and 3 to 6 in the evening. Van safaris are generally for 45 minutes each. En route you can see spotted deer, bears and elephants.
You can see more elephants at the forest department elephant camp. There are scores of pachyderms at this place. There is an opportunity to even do a pooja for them in their presence. The local elephant administration will regale you with their stories of elephants. It is interesting to observe the behaviour of these gigantic creatures. The interesting anecdotes from people who have interacted closely with these creatures are priceless.
Next on your itinerary should be the Nilgiri tea plantations. Over here you can see a sea of green tea leaves flourishing. You can visit a coffee or tea plantation to get a ground level view of what elapses on these verdant fields – sure to be an enchanting experience.
Photo Credit : Ashwin Kumar
From Masinagudi you can also visit Gopalswami Betta. On the way you pass through Bandipur and Mudumalai. At Gopalswami Betta is situated an ancient temple. This place is located amidst the Tiger Reserve area. So once you reach the peak, you can peer down at the Tiger Reserve area. If you are lucky you might sight a tiger.
Kallikudar is another popular trekking destination. Previously this whole region was a real estate. Now this area is used to grow tea, pepper and spices. The rest of the area is converted into a wildlife conservation centre. When you reach this place, you get the real essence of the Nilgiris, simply because the place is endowed with stunning natural beauty. You can even sight leopards, elephants and gaurs in these regions.
[Set off on an trekking adventure to the lush land of Masinagudi]
At Masinagudi there is no dearth of activities that you can undertake. This area is home to more than 300 species of birds. The jungles here provide them the perfect habitat for that. You can visit the Wild Canopy Reserve to go on a bird watching expedition. These expeditions are conducted by actual ornithologists. It will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience as this expert will explain the behaviours, characteristics and lifestyle of these birds.
As much as there is no dearth of trekking spots, there is also no paucity of camping spots at Masinagudi. Some notable camping spots are Rufus Babbler, Yellow Cheeked Tit, and Wayanad Laughing Thrush. The best time to visit Masinagudi is from June to September. During this time, the climatic conditions are congenial for outdoor activities.
[Click here for a list of amazing stays in Masinagudi]
Also known as the Rajiv Gandhi National Park, Nagarhole is located in the Kodagu district of Karnataka. It is a Tiger Project Reserve. Nagarhole has rich biodiversity. The place is blessed with thick forest cover. There are small streams, valleys and waterfalls.
This land is home to tigers. There is a healthy mix of other types of wild animals as well, such as bison and elephants. This park was originally the hunting reserve of kings. It was used by kings and princes of the Wodeyar Dynasty. It was only in the 1950s that this place was recognised as a potential wildlife sanctuary.
[Spot abundant wildlife with our Nagarhole Wildlife Adventure tour]
One of the best things about Nagarhole is that it provides visitors an opportunity to see wild elephants at close range. When you traverse through the park, you will know that human inhabitation has been scant here, for the whole park teems with unspoilt wilderness. Initially it could be intimidating if you have never visited a wildlife sanctuary before, because the dense cover is really thick.
Apart from tigers, Nagarhole also has leopards. Sighting these animals is not easy as they do not come in the open like tigers. They are mostly perched atop trees and live in oblivion. You can see bears and wild boars. Bears openly trudge on the road. When wild animals appear on road, you are advised to go slow. It is important to take a guide or go on chartered safaris by experienced forest professionals. At Nagarhole there are more than 250 types of birds as well.
22. Wildlife Safari
The best time to take a wildlife safari would be between March and April. This is the summer season. Animals come out in the open to beat the heat. So this presents an opportunity to see tigers. There is a lake in Nagarhole. Tigers are almost always spotted at the lake during the summer.
When on safaris, you have to comply with the rules and regulations specified by the forest department. On any wildlife safari expedition at Nagarhole, a forest official is present with the visitors. These guided safaris are an opportunity to see wildlife at close range and in their natural habitat. Elephants are sighted along the river banks. You will not see tigers here. Even if they are seen here, it could be a stray incident. Tigers are not seen in the areas inhabited by elephants.
The main forest reserve office is tucked deep into the forest. So you have to go through the park to reach this place. Which means you will see quite a bit of wildlife en route. Trekking is not allowed and is also dangerous in these regions. You may not be allowed to alight from the safari even for taking photographs.
23. Resort Stay
One of the popular resorts at this place is Kabini River Lodge. It is a popular choice with almost everybody who visits this place. This resort provides safari packages. They have guided boating expeditions, jeep safaris, and elephant rides. There is one more resort named The Jungle Inn.
[Click here to check out all unique stays and resorts of Nagarhole]
The Bandipur National Park is a tiger reserve. This place was once a hunting reserve for the kings of the Kingdom of Mysore. Bandipur is an important national park given that many endangered wildlife species are protected here. The national park is located in Nilgiris. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful wildlife sanctuaries in India. This place is home to exotic flora and fauna.
Bandipur is known to be the home of Royal Bengal Tigers. There are Asian elephants and chitals here too. Also on location are sambars which are the favorite food of lions. There are wild boars, barking deer and langurs in abundance. Bandipur is home to a large number of king cobras that thrive here. If you are lucky you could see a gigantic python hanging from a tree.
As much as wildlife has predominance here, so are bird species. If you are bird lover, then Bandipur won’t disappoint you. There are over 200 species of birds here. Bandipur is home to a substantial population of teak and rosewood trees. The highest peak in Bandipur is the Himada Gopalswamy Betta. Located at an elevation of more than 1400 m, you can sight elephants in and around this peak.
24. Wildlife Safari
Bandipur Wildlife Safari is one of the chief attractions here. Open jeeps and vans traverse dense jungles. Experienced guides lead you to places where wildlife can be spotted. Guides explain to you the minutest details of the forest. They show you different species of birds and explain their lifestyle. The park is mysterious and beautiful.
The thick forest cover makes it even more intriguing. You won’t be alone in these wildlife safaris. Multiple safaris are arranged. There are other jeeps and vans with people giving you company.
25. Resort Stay
The best time to visit Bandipur is between March and May. There is no dearth of resorts in Bandipur. Most resorts have safari plans and allied activities. You can book accommodation online.
[Sell our Bandipur tours and offbeat stays]