Monsoon is at its best this year. Rivers and reservoirs are in spate, enhancing the beauty of waterfalls across the state manifold. Weekends are your chance to revel in the lap of nature and water, more so if the weekend is long.
Citizen Matters lists some destinations that are not very far from Bangalore, where you can spend your weekends this monsoon. Google maps or GPS navigation would be your best friend for all these journeys, if you are driving on your own.
Located on the banks of river Cauvery, 120 kms away from Bangalore, Shivanasamudra is also called as shimsha, and Bluff too. You can reach here either through Kanakapura road or through Mysore expressway towards Mandya.
If you want to spend your weekend enjoying beauty of waterfalls and visiting religious places, this is the best-suitable place.
The twin picturesque waterfalls, Gaganachukki and Bharachukki, located nearby, are the highlight. Remember the Mani Ratnam-directed Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai-starrer Ravan which was shot here! During monsoons, the falls are at their best where calm river Cauvery is in full spate and divides into two, before plummeting 75 metres deep into the rocky gorge.
The two falls are located 1.6 kilometres away from each other and are listed as one of the top 100 waterfalls in the world. You can watch the waterfalls from the Shivanasamudra watch tower.
After enjoying the beauty of the falls, do not forget to visit Asia’s first hydroelectric power station (established in 1902 and commissioned by the Diwan of Mysore. Electricity generated here was initially supplied to Kolar Gold Fields – the first Asian town to get electricity. You can also visit the famous ancient Ranganatha temple built by the Hoysala rulers, dedicated to goddess Cauvery and the Hazrath Mardane Gaib dargah.
The Karnataka state tourism department (KSTDC) has provided a restaurant and hotel for tourists at Ganganachukki and Bharachukki. There are many private hotels and restaurants located on the highways, that charge around Rs 900 to 10,000 per room.
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Thalakadu is a famous destination located just 133-km away from Bangalore. It is considered to be an ideal picnic spot. But tourists can arrange accommodation nearby Mandya, Srirangapatna, Mysore or any hotel near Cauvery fishing camps.
Galibore, Bheemeshwari and Doddamakali fishing camps are the other places to visit. There are resorts run by private players and Jungle lodges and Resorts (JLR) here, offering river rafting, angling, fishing, sport fishing, camping, barbeque, bonfire, outdoor sports and trekking in the surrounding forest patches. The biggest freshwater fish – Mahseer- can be seen here and fished as a part of sport fishing.
There are many hotels and restaurants enroute. The KSTDC also provides hotels and restaurants at Thalakad, that range from Rs 900- Rs.10,000.
This Is a popular tourist spot, just 60-km from Bangalore on Bellary road. It was considered as the ideal summer retreat of Tipu Sultan and the Britishers.
Located in Chickbalapur taluk, it is also called as Nandidurg. It is 1455 metres above sea level. The spot is famous for the beautiful sunrise and sunset views. Many locals also visit Shiva temples and the holy Amruth Sarovar, which is full all through the year.
Adventure lovers visit the place for trekking and paragliding. The spectacular beauty of the hills, the scenic environs and the cool climate makes it an ideal escape from the humdrum of city life.
There are hotels and restaurants here. You can visit the place for a day trip and then head back to Bangalore. If you wish to stay, you can opt for a room either in Nehru House or Gandhi House.
Do not forget to visit Tippu’s Summer Palace, Tippu’s fort, Gavi Veerabhadra temple, Horse way (a stone doorway at the north eastern side), a natural easter spring called as Palar River origin, Yoga Nandeeshwara temple, another natural spring which is the origin of Arkavathi river, the famous Tippu Drop (spot from where criminals were pushed down to death from the hill top) and walk through the secret passage on the west which used to help kings escape attacks.
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Gorur Hemavathi dam
River Hemavathi is at her best now, and the Gorur dam is brimming with water. Officials are releasing water from the dam, which itself is a sight to behold. Gorur dam is 189-km away from Bangalore. It can be a one-day trip.
Krishna Raja Sagar
Krishna Raja Sagar (KRS) is the best place to visit during monsoons as the reservoir is full. The dam built on Cauvery river in Mandya also has the popular botanical park- Brindavan Gardens.
The reservoir has boating facility. All package tours involving Mysore have KRS dam in their itinerary.
Many hotels and restaurants by private players and the KSTDC offer stay and food facilities. It is enjoyable to spend the evening in the garden, enjoy the musical fountain and the lighting. Located just 153-km away from Bangalore, KRS is well-connected by road. Many private and government buses ply to the dam and Brindavan gardens.
Located around 100-km away from Bangalore, Muthatti is a settlement on banks of Cauvery river. This village is next to Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary. There is also a small Anjanaya temple here.
Though the river is attractive, it is equally dangerous for swimming in the absence of a proper guide because of the fast-flowing water, strong currents and whirlpools. There is a small waterfall, where one can see Cauvery river gushing down. Adventure lovers seking to trek should take permission from the state forest department.
However there aren’t many restaurants nearby. Either pack your picnic baskets with food and water, or eat on the way.
The place is well-connected by road, so many private and government buses frequent here.
Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta
The highest peak in Bandipur Tiger Reserve is just 220 km away from Bangalore. This wooded snowy hill, with cool weather and serene atmosphere, is the most-prefered place of people with wanderlust.
The place is always predominated with dense fog, which when translated in Sanskrit, is called as Himavad, hence the name.
There is a healthy population of wildlife here. The destination is also famous for Venugopalaswamy temple, built during the rule of Chola dynasty.
Tourists are not allowed to stay here beyond 5.30 pm. So visitors usually start their trip early morning and end it before sunset. The area is well-protected by the state forest department, thus prior permission is required to trek here.
Pack your own food and water, as there are not too many eateries available. Many private and government buses ply to the venue.
Located 230-km away from Bangalore near Salem in Tamil Nadu border, in the Eastern Ghats, is a popular hill station at an altitude of 1515 metres above sea level.
Commonly called as the Jewel of South India, this wooded hilly region has a cool climate and picturesque locations.
The destination has been named so because of the wealth of trees it houses. The hill station also houses a lake which is near the forest, thus is called as Lake Forest.
The other places to see in the hill station include- Lady’s seat (this offers a telescope placed at a height to get a panoramic view of the place) , Pagoda point (another viewpoint that also has a temple), Heaven’s ledge (a west-facing cliff offering scenic view of the place), Karadiyur View Point (another sight-seeing viewpoint), small waterfall called as Killiyur falls (water here falls from a height of 27 metres), bear’s cave which is said to be one of the abodes of Lord Murugun, Servaroyan temple dedicated to goddess Cauvery and Lord Servarayan, Grange (this is one of the oldest buildings here and was built in 1820. It was the summer resort of general of East India Company, Robert Clive), green house (which cultivates flowers and spices), Silk farm and Rose garden.
There are many hotels and restaurants in and around the hill station, where the hotel tariff ranges from Rs 1000- Rs.12,000.
Many buses and trains ply to Salem regularly. You can also choose to drive.
Agumbe, located in the lap of Western Ghats in Shimoga district, 365-km away from Bangalore, has the only rainforest research centre of India. Many courses on reptiles, especially King Cobra, are conducted in this monsoon paradise by Agumbe Rainforest Research station, located in the Agumb Reserve forest.
It is now a World Heritage Site, along with entire Western Ghats, as declared by the UNESCO. The place is frequented by students, environmentalists, adventurers, learners and families.
Agumbe is one of the places in India that receive record rainfalls during monsoons, and receives highest rainfall Western Ghats. The destination has many spectacular waterfalls which include Barkana Falls (10th highest waterfall in India), Onaki Abbe Falls, Jogi Gundi and Koodlu Theertha falls.
Visitors can stay in research station or nearby hotels around the reserve forest with the tariff ranging from Rs 150- Rs.2,000. Stay in the reserve forest properties of the forest department is prohibited as per the rules by the Ministry of Environment and Forest. Though a bit too far from Bangalore, the destination is worth visiting during this season.
The pride of Karnataka, situated 380-km away from Bangalore, is now in splendid glory. One can see Sharavathi river cascading down from a height of 253 metres in the form of four falls- Raja, Rani, Rover and Rocket.
Located in Shimoga, near Sagar, this is the second highest waterfall in India and is also called as Joger Gersoppa Falls.
Apart from many private hotels and restaurants providing facilities to tourists, KSTDC also has provisions for tourists. The hotel tariff ranges from Rs 200- Rs.2000. There are many buses which ply to Jog Falls.
The dream destination of a tourist, Kodagu makes one forget all worries and relax. It is just 256-km away from Bangalore. It is also in the Western Ghats and known for coffee, honey, sweet-hearted hospitable people and brave-hearted warriors.
The destination also surrounds the pristine forests of Karnataka- Nagarhole Tiger Reserve. Tourists from here also visit Dubare reserve forest and Dubare elephant camp run by Jungle Lodges and Resorts.
The hills of Coorg, invite one to trek. Tourists cannot miss an opportunity to walk through the coffee estates and pick them, sip the home made coffee and enjoy the local delicacies of the region. The serene atmosphere, the scenic beauty and the calmness make the place attractive to visitors.
Thalacauvery (the birth place of river Cauvery and the natural perennial spring), the famous Abbey Falls, Buddhist monastery at Bylakuppe, Bhagamandala (which is the confluence of two rivers – Cauvery and Kanika), Mallali falls and Omkareshwara temple built in 1820 century.
The itinerary is incomplete without visiting Raja seat. This is the perfect place to catch a sunset just like king of Kodagu Veerarajendra used to do during his era.
Those seeking homestays can avail them for Rs 500- Rs.8,500. Hotel tariffs range from Rs 150- 12,000. There are many buses plying between Bangalore and Coorg. However you can also choose to drive.
Located 235-km away from Bangalore is a place, located in the foothills of Mullayyanagiri range of hills. Chikmagalur hill station is popularly known as the coffee land of Karnataka. Picturesque scenic spots like Mullayanagiri, Baba Budangiri (which is 1930 metres above sea level) Kemmanagundi Hills, Muthodi national park, Bhadra wildlife sanctuary are the places to visit.
A Chickmagalur visit can be combined with home stays, uphill treks through forest (after permission from the state forest department), boating at Tungabhadra river, and revelling in the green environs. While the hotel tariff ranges from Rs 60- 4,500, the home stay tariffs range from Rs 750- Rs.3,000.