Sunday, June 6, 2010

As weDSC04487 pass the gate towards the hill, we need to ascend some steps and we again come to a steep road up. It would be painstaking to walk the road especially for someone like me who carry some extra pounds.

We walk along and reach the top of the hill where there is more walking to be done. There are rocks everywhere and one has to walk on for 15 minutes to reach a flat patch of rocks which we have to ascend. The rocks are wDSC04500ith dew and slippery to walk during early morning, so be careful while walking.  

Then we reached the place where everyone on Nandi Hills wants to visit early in the morning. After climbing up the man made steps shown in the picture here, we reach the summit where we can relax with a cup of hot tea. There is an old temple dated somewhere around 16th Century, which will come to laDSC05553ter. Now we walk a little further where every visitor to Nandi Hills would want to be early in the morning.

We reach the edge of the hill where there is a vast valley in front and we face the rising sun. The Sun rises from within the clouds cover the valley and the nearby small hillocks. It is one scenery that is best viewed than said about. As the sun rises, the clouds become visible more and there is a cool breeze that refreshes the people. DSC04534

This is one scene that fascinates even me, who prefer historical monuments over scenic beauty. We stayed there for almost an hour and started roaming around. The best way to move around is reach one end of the outer wall and walk along it and that's what we did. It is a nice trek with ups and downs. We became kids and climbed trees (Yes i did too.. :) ). The outer wall on the hill was built during Tipu Sultan's period and it is still very intact. There are some places where the wall fell and is is a littDSC04708le dangerous to go go to the end as there is slippery dry land. There are small crevices within the wall for every 100 metres or so probably for the soldiers to keep an eye outside. There are round bastions from place to place where the soldiers could hide them selves during attacks.

The whole view outside was amazing till noon when the clouds slowly lifted. We reached a place where again every visitor would visit. It is a small gap in the wall and we need to pass underneath it to go the edge of the hill. There are no barricades and its very dangerous.  This place is exactly in the middle of the circumference of the wall. We took some pictures and moved on.  We rested in a shady place for some time and started off again. There are two triDSC04749butaries which are said to be starting from this hill but it did not seem likely after visiting the place. That water is more of a drain than a river. After some walking again, we reached the Nellikai Basavanna statue.

The idol of Nellikai Basavanna (Bull) measures 10 feet in length and 6 feet in height and carved in Chola style. This is called Nellikai Basavanna as there is a Nellikai Tree (Phyllanthus Emblica) in front of the statue. It is through this that this hill was named after (Nandi means Bull). It was noon then and we were really tired of the trekking. We came back to the point where we started, had some nice lunch and moved on to visit tDSC04760he old Vishnu temple on the hill.

This temple is old but raw. Not much of an art and architecture can be found here. With my knowledge of old architecture, i date this one to 16th century. The temple is clearly reconstructed in the 19th century as you can find cemented joints. As any  hilly place, this temple is also infested with monkeys. So please be careful not to carry any eatables with you as they snatch them sometimes injuring people in the process. There is a pavilion around the temple which offers a cool atmosphere during summer. The inner architecture is fairly decent with some beautiful sculptures on the pillars. We had a darshan and moved on to DSC04635the Tipu’s Lodge.

Tipu’s lodge is a rectangular two-storied structure built in east west orientation measuring 12 x 7 mts. and is situation within a fortified area on the summit of the hill. Constructed of brick, mortar and wood, it has a series of compartments. Towards the eastern end there is a flight of steps leading to a verandah which in turn leads to the room built at north.

This building is now in a bad condition and its high time that the local government takes steps for conservation of this landmark monument. There are stone arches to this building and even though the building is plain and simple, it looks good. The rDSC04627ooms are all locked and inaccessible to the general public. A close look inside the rooms through the windows suggests that the rooms are empty with very simple designs inside.

The walls accommodate niches and originally appears to have been decorated with paintings. The verandah has pierced balustrades. Tipu Sultan is said to have stayed in this building whenever he visited the place during expedition/hunting.We spent some time exploring the place and moved on the most fearsome place on Nandi Hills, the Tipu’s dDSC04777rop.

Tipu Sultan is not only feared by others for his valour but also for his anger. He is known to feel pleasure when his enemies spies are killed. Tipu’s drop is the highest point of the hillock where there is a steep drop to the base. Tipu used to get the spies dropped down this and so the name. In all probability, a person used to die even before hitting the grouDSC04793nd as the outer side of the drop is laden with rocks. This is one place where it is most dangerous as the ground is steep and there are no supports to hold. Be very careful as tourists are known to have gotten killed here.

Nandi Hills is often busy all through the year except in mid summers. People come for drives with friends, have a small barbecue and a couple of beers to go with.

It was around 3 in the afternoon and we decided to return back to Bangalore. We had tea and bid goodbye to the most nearest tourist destination from Bangalore,  Nandi Hills.


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