Nandi Hills or Nandi betta is an ancient hill fortress in southern India, in the Chikkaballapur district of Karnataka state. It is 10 km from Chikkballapur town and approximately 60 km from the city of Bengaluru. The hills are nestled near the town of Nandi. In traditional belief, the hills are the origin of the Arkavathy river.
It is 4,851 ft (1,479 m) above sea level. It is located close to the Bangalore International Airport. In addition, the hills are located about 20 km from the National Highway (NH-7) just after Devanahalli Town.
Etymology and Historical Temple:
There are many stories about the origin of the name Nandi Hills. During the Chola period, Nandi Hills was called Ananda Giri meaning The Hill of Happiness. Another story is that Yoga Nandeeshwara performed penance here, and so it was named after him. Nandi is also commonly called Nandidurga (Fort) because of the fort built here by the ruler Tippu Sultan. It is also perhaps called Nandi Hills because the hills resemble a sleeping bull (Nandi).
Tourist attraction on the Hills:
- Tippu’s Drop – The famous place from where Tippu Sultan had his condemned prisoners thrown to death.
- Tippu’s Summer Palace and Fort – During the Ganga period, the Chikkaballapur chieftains built a fort. Tippu strengthened it further and built a rest house. This used to be Tippu’s summer bungalow. It is not open to the public.
- Secret Escape Route – A secret passage on the west, is believed to have helped the kings to escape during unforeseen attacks.
- Temples – There are temples dedicated to Sri Bhoga Narasimha, Sri Ugra Narasimha and Sri Yoga Narasimha and you can see beautiful old temples.
- Nehru Nilaya – Where Jawaharlal Nehru used to stay, now a guest house of the horticulture department of India.
- Brahmashram – It is said that Sage Ramakrishna meditated here.
- Paragliding – Nandi Hills is one of the unique places in Karnataka which offers paragliding activity.
- Cycling/biking – Nandi Hills is cyclists paradise, around 400 meters of altitude gain in ~7 km of a ride, The bikers/cyclists from Bangalore storm there on weekends and holidays. It’s a very good hill training spot for them
Location: Near Chikkaballapur
Distance: From majestic-approximately 62kms
Time to visit: Can visit all through the day, catching both sunrise and sunset would be recommended.