Monday, December 6, 2010

Techie's favourite picnic hotspots around Bangalore

IBangalore: "What's the plan for this weekend?" - This is the most common question raised among friends on a Friday night. We make lots of plans, but in most cases all these plans do not work out and we end up spending the weekend in a shopping mall or with a boozing party at the most. What about exploring some weekend destinations in and around Bangalore, something close, not too far? Following is a list of five weekend destinations that one can visit from Bangalore for picnic or as a one day trip. Check this out.Jog Falls
Approximately 400kms from Bangalore, Jog Falls is one of the highest waterfalls in India and is one of the major attractions in Karnataka. Located in Shimoga District of Karnataka, Jog is the place where river Sharavati falls from an unbelievable 300 meters high. If you are fit and can manage to climb down to the base of the fall, this is the perfect place for you, where you can spend your entire day around the waterfall.

For a Tour to Jog Falls, the best time to visit is between the months of August and December. You can take bus or train to nearest town - Sagar and travel on local buses to Jog. If you are driving, take the Tumkur road (NH 4) from Bangalore, turn left to NH 206 in Tumkur and drive via Shimoga and Sagar towns. From Sagar town you need to go another 30kms on the highway.

Ranganthitu Bird Sanctuary and Balmuri Falls
An island created by river Kaveri near Srirangapatna, Ranganthitu Bird Sanctuary is an excellent picnic spot. It offers good isolation and protection for the birds and hence is flocked by a lot of them. If you love watching birds floating in the air, then Ranganthitu would be a perfect feast to your eyes. Good time to visit the place would be early in the morning or in the evening hours. Ranger-guided boat tours of the isles are available throughout the day, and are a good way to watch birds.

Balmuri Falls is the primary attraction at the Ranganthittu Sanctuary. A small checkdam constructed here across Kaveri has made this an excellent picnic rendezvous. Good time to visit is winter season when there is just enough water in the river. Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary is about 130 kms away from Bangalore. You need to take the Bangalore-Mysore highway till the bridge at Srirangapattanam. After that directions on the roadside will guide you to the bird sanctuary.

After Jog Falls, Shivanasamudra is probably the largest waterfall in the region. This is the place the river Kaveri falls into a valley in two separate places called Gaganachukki and Bharachukki and re-unites downstream. Gaganachukki is a steep fall where water pours down with great velocity. The two waterfalls are around a 15-minute drive apart and make ideal picnic destinations.

Shivanasamudra can be reached either via Bangalore - Mysore road or Kanakapura road. If you hit the Mysore road, you need to turn left at Maddur and drive some distance. If you are taking the Kanakapura road, you need to drive for around 120 kms on the highway. Shivanasamudra is very close to the highway.

Nandi hills
A short 50km drive from Bangalore, Nandi hills is the ideal location for those who want to witness the magnificent foggy mornings. Once you reach Nandi hills in the early morning and go up, cold breeze will hit your face and amidst a feeling of longing refreshment, you'll find clouds above and below yourself, magically separated by a line of blue sky.

Nandi Betta is a hill 1200m above sea level. If you want to explore this place, plan a trip in winter mornings or in the monsoon days as this is time when it gets filled with fog and spreads a mystical magic on the hill.

Chunchi Falls
Located in Kanakpura taluk in Bangalore, Chunchi Falls satisfies the nature lovers' appetite for waterfalls and natural surroundings. To be honest, it is not the waterfall that strikes you first once you reach Chunchi Falls. It is the spread of rocks all along the banks of Arkavati River that will make spellbound. With the Kanakapura town located in its vicinity, Chunchi Falls is a popular picnic spots with a tranquil milieu. Visitors can halt at the nearby small-scale hotels in the Kanakpura town. 

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