First wave. Second wave. And now, everyone is talking about the third ONE! Will this pandemic ever end? We don’t know. For now, it’s best to go with the flow. That’s the new normal!
Along with everything else, the way we travel has also changed. Since last year I have been trying to explore hidden treasures in and around Bangalore. After all, travel and exploration have to go on in some way or the other. I am surprised to find that there are so many places around Bangalore which we never heard of. Our very first-day outing was to Manchanabele dam, where we could find a secret paradise. Read all about it.
Next was Mandaragiri hills, another beautiful hill situated a little away from the city. If you are looking for a day outing, Mandaragiri can be a perfect spot. In this blog, I am sharing the details about this spot and our personal experience too.
Day outing from Bangalore, post lockdown: Mandaragiri hills
Also known as Basadi Betta, Mandaragiri hills is a famous Jain pilgrimage situated on a monolith hillock in the Tumkur district. Mandaragiri is approximately 60 km from Bangalore and it takes 1-1.30 hours to reach the place. The summit houses 4 Jain temples built during the 12th to 14th century and a small water body. Trek to the summit is an easy climb, with approximately 450 steps cut out on the mountain. You can enjoy a panoramic view of the surrounding villages, which is impressive during the monsoon.
One of the main attractions in Mandargiri is the peacock feather-shaped Guru Mandir, painted with vibrant peacock feather colors. Guru Mandir is a popular spot for photography.
How to reach Mandargiri
Roads from Bangalore to Mandargiri are in good condition. Driving or riding to the place is a pleasant experience.
Places to visit around Mandaragiri hills
2. Mydala kere lake
3. Devarayanadurga Sri Bhoga Narasimha Swamy Temple
How we planned to visit MANDARAGIRI Hills
Spotting “the beautiful Guru Mandir” on Instagram
I came across some beautiful pictures of Guru Mandir on Instagram. The green and blue painted building standing against the orange glow of the setting sun was mesmerizing. It was surprising to find, something so spectacular existing so close to us and we never knew about it. So, on one of the weekends, we planned to visit Mandargiri.
Reaching Mandargiri hills
One fine Saturday, we packed our picnic bag and drove to Mandaragiri hills. After an hour of pleasant drive, we reached the place and realized that the parking ground was full of cars. People were sitting all over the place having their meal and enjoying. We were apprehensive as we wanted to find a quiet place away from all the crowd and fear.
Thankfully we reached there during the afternoon, by then most people were already descending.
What makes me sad is seeing how people sometimes care only about themselves. Find a nice place, enjoy your food, and then leave the place all dirty. I think it’s important to travel responsibly and keep your surroundings clean.
Finding a secluded place
Past experiences have taught me to avoid the main spots and look for a secluded place in and around. This was no different, so we scouted for a clean and secluded place nearby to enjoy ourselves peacefully without any worry. Thankfully we found a place in the field covered with huge rocks. The rocks provided shelter from the shade and hide us from the crowd. From there, we could spot the hill and a fleet of stairs that we were supposed to climb. Our children could run around in the area freely. We laid our mat and enjoyed the lunch that we carried.
Climbing the Mandaragiri hill
After lunch, we started walking towards the hill. With steps cut out on the mountain, it was not very difficult to climb. It took us around 20 minutes to climb 400+ steps and reach the summit. On the top, it was windy; I could feel the breeze against my face and ears. The panoramic view of the surrounding villages and mountains covered with greenery was soothing. We spent some time at the top, soaking in the beauty of nature (Temples were closed for renovation, we couldn’t visit them)
The Guru Mandir
After descending, we visited the iconic landmark of the Mandaragiri. The peacock feather-shaped Guru Mandir. We choose not to go inside the temple as it was crowded.
After exploring the nearby fields for some more time, it was time to return home.
1. Visiting the place on a weekday is better to avoid the crowd.
2. Best time to visit the place is either early morning or towards the evening. There is no shade on the
3. Look for a secluded place in and around the vicinity.
4. Carry your food and water as there are no shops in and around the place
5. Don’t forget to follow pandemic protocol and maintain social distancing
6. Do carry essentials like a picnic mat, sunglasses, sunscreen, etc.
7. In the end, travel responsibility. Carry your bin bag. Don’t litter. Let’s keep these beautiful places garbage-free.
It was a short and quick trip which we really enjoyed. After all, Joy of exploring a new place can not be compared to anything.
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