Most people in Bangalore are on the lookout for destinations away from traffic hassles of the city. On a weekend, it's nice to drive on NICE road, get off to Bangalore-Mysore Road, cover a few destinations and return via Magadi Road. This loop gives you options to relax, enjoy the scenic beauty, and outdoor activities like trekking, rock climbing or a picnic. Let us take you through three such destinations within 60 km from Bangalore city.
Dodda Alada Mara
Dodda Alada Mara, otherwise known as 'big banyan tree' is a perfect picnic spot. It's a giant 400-year-old tree situated in Kethohalli part of Bangalore. The tree is spread over a 3-acre plot. The big banyan tree is the largest banyan tree in the state of Karnataka and the fourth largest in the country.
There is a fenced boundary around the tree. Benches are provided for people to sit and relax making it a fine picnic spot. The tree is abode to many monkeys and hence tourists are advised to be cautious of them. Many research students visit this place as part of soil exploration.
How to reach: Kethohalli is a small village in Ramanagara district of Karnataka. This location is 32 km from Bangalore city railway station on the Bangalore-Mysore Road. This spot is accessible via NICE Road as well other non-tollway routes.
Manchanabele is a village in Magadi taluk in Ramanagara district. Manchanabele Dam is located 10 km from Dodda Alada Mara. Backwaters at the dam with Savandurga on the backdrop, give the place a picturesque look.
Glimpse of the blue water of this dam from distance is just awesome. But visitors not allowed to go anywhere nearer as the entry has been restricted after few unfortunate accidents in past. The Manchanabele is built across the Arkavati for irrigation purposes for Magadi town.
How to reach: Drive 10 km from Dodda Alada Mara
Savandurga – Asia's largest monolithic hill trek
Savandurga is one of Bangalore's most popular trekking destination, especially for those looking for an easy trek. Located 1226 m above sea level, it has all elements for an adventure seeker. It's a short 5-6 km trek which can be completed within 2 hours, one way. At a distance of 48 km from Bangalore City Junction, 31 km from Ramanagara and 13 km from Manachanabele dam, it is a perfect destination for adventure lovers who have a time crunch.
Savandurga is considered to be Asia's largest monolithic hill.
Savandurga is formed by two hills known locally as Karigudda, which in Kannada translates to 'black hill' and Biligudda which translates to the 'white hill.' The Karigudda trail is steep and well exposed but less explored, so trekkers prefer Biligudda which is equally adventurous and challenging. This trek starts from Sri Narasimha Swamy Temple at the foothills, and a lot of pilgrims can be seen as it is quite famous in the region. Another popular temple at the base is Savandi Veerabhadreshwara Swamy Temple.
The rock climbing trails also begin from near the temples. The routes for climbing are marked in white on these monolithic hills. The midway of rock climbing is marked with the brick wall of Kempegowda Fort, occupied during reigns of Tippu Sultan and the summit with a statue of Nandi.
How to reach: Drive 13 km from Manchanabele dam on Mysore Road. You can also reach via Magadi Road.
What to carry
Plenty of water
The Thippagondanahalli reservoir and Sayyed Ghulam Qadri's tomb are the other attractions in this region
It is recommended to commute to Savandurga by private vehicles
Majestic Bus Depot of Bangalore is the starting point of buses going towards Savandurga.