5 Picnic spots near Bangalore: Gems I explored post lockdown

Have you started traveling yet? What kind of places are you visiting? If you are looking for picnic spots near Bangalore, you have landed on the right page. 

After being locked at home for almost five months, we finally stepped out for the first time in August. It all started with a day picnic to the nearest spot we could find. Given that road trips and day trips are the safest and most convenient options right now, we have been exploring lesser-known places in and around Bangalore. Recently we went on our first road trip to Shimoga. I will soon share all the details. In this blog, I am sharing five picnic spots we visited till now.

Picnic spots near Bangalore

1.Manchanabele dam, Magadi 

Distance: 38 km (approx.) 

Manchanabele is a small picturesque village on the outskirts of Bangalore, known for its scenic beauty and adventure activities. Manchanabele dam along with the water reservoir are the main attractions here. When we visited this place, entry to the dam and the reservoirs were closed. We drove a little further to the village and found a secluded plateau overlooking the water reservoir. We spent the whole day hiking the little hillock, sipping our tea while soaking in the sun. You can read more about this place by clicking here. Other attractions in and around Manchanbelle includes Savandurga hill and the Big Banyan tree. 

Tips: Look for a place away from the main dam. Carry your picnic mat and food. 

Manchanbele, Magadi
Our First outing to Manchanabele dam

2.Chunchi falls, Kanakpura 

Distance: 90 km (approx.)

Have you ever reached a place by chance and then later search its name on google? Well, we did it too! It was a 3 hours’ drive through the narrow roads surrounded by lush green fields lined with palm trees and beautiful hamlets. We planned to visit Chunchi falls, but villagers told us that the falls are closed. So, we parked our car in a field to have our lunch. On one side was something that looked like a dam. Post lunch, we walked till the water body to discover a magical place by chance. The water here was crystal clear and so calm that it looked like a mirror perfectly reflecting the sky above. I think this place was Sai Spurthi power plant on the Arkavathi reservoir. I am still not sure, but it was one of the most impressive discoveries we ever had. The other spots near Chunchi fall include Shivanasamudra and Sangam. 

Arkavathi Reservoir

3.Gudibande fort, Chikkaballapur

Distance: 92 km (approx.)

Built-in 17th Century, this 400-year-old fort makes for a good trekking and picnic spot. The fort is at the mountain summit. It has seven interconnecting escape routes to help soldiers escape during those days. On top of the fort is a Shiva temple supposed to be established by Sage Vishwamitra and Lord Rama. Enjoy a spectacular view of the countryside, fields, and Byrasagara reservoir from the top of the fort. Nineteen rock-cut ponds at different levels of the Fort provided as a source for rainwater harvesting. Apart from that. Fort, Byrasagara reservoir is not her attraction at Gudibande. When we reached the Fort, it was crowded with no places to sit , so we Drove around the reservoir. Unfortunately, the area around the reservoir was littered with plastic bottles, stale food, etc. So we found a secluded place in the fields a few minutes’ drives away from the village. However, the area is very scenic and worth a visit.

 Tip: Visit the fort as early in the morning to avoid heat.


Gudibande Fort
Gudibande Fort, Chikballapur
Gudibande Fort

4. Dandiganahalli Dam/ Srinivas Sagara Dam, Chikkbalapur

Distance: 85 km (approx.)

Chikkaballapur has many attractions to discover. Dandiganahalli dam is one such scenic location nestled in the dense forest. Perfect place to spend a peaceful time amidst nature. However, the day we visited the Dandiganahalli Dam, it was closed for tourists. So, we drove around and landed at Srinivas Sagara dam. Another beautiful water reservoir with a Maheshwari temple beside it. An old bridge takes you to the lookout point in the reservoir, a perfect place to capture some beautiful shots. If you visit the temple, you can climb up a small hillock to enjoy the breathtaking view of the reservoir. 

5. Mandargiri Hills, Tumkur 

Distance: 63 km (approx.)

I have always been fascinated by the pictures of this beautiful structure painted like a peacock feather. I never knew it’s so close to Bangalore until my friend shared a blog on it. We decided to explore this place during one of our outings. 

Mandargiri, also known as the Basadi Betta is a famous Jain pilgrimage in Karnataka. The monolith hillock has around 450 steps and is easy to climb. The summit has four temples constructed during the 12th & 14th centuries along with a small lake. You can enjoy a panoramic view of the village from the mountain top. 

Situated at the base is the most famous attraction of Mandargiri, the Guru Mandir. It’s an 81ft tall peacock feather shaped dome. The bright hues of green, blue, and orange make it a spectacular and perfect photo spot. Here, you can also find a tall statue of Chandranatha Tirthankara. There are plenty of open spaces around Mandargiri where you can enjoy your lunch or snacks.  

Mandargiri Hills
Mandargiri Hills, Tumkur
View from the top of Mandargiri Hills

Some tips to keep in mind before you plan a day outing  

  • Be careful about sanitization and keeping social distancing while visiting these places. 
  • Carry your food and water. 
  • Don’t forget to carry a trash bag, so that you don’t have to leave any rubbish behind. 
  • Do carry picnic mats, hats, and sunglasses. 

In the coming weeks, we are planning to visit a few more such less-known destinations. I hope you found this article useful, do drop in your comments below.

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7 thoughts on “5 Picnic spots near Bangalore: Gems I explored post lockdown

  1. Fabulous Madhu!

    You know, I think this is the one upside of this horrible year. It seems like more of us are exploring locally (enjoying outside) and learning about where we live. I looove the look of these picnic spots. I hope you keep finding gems like there. 🙂

  2. it really looks like you made the most of your time to explore close to you! road trips are definitely the way to go right now and these are some beautiful hidden gems you found, thank you for sharing!

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