6 Unexplored Places Near Bangalore You Must Visit
Summer time, when the holiday bells are tolling, it beckons for a vacay with family! And jostling crowds — not your idea of a holiday? Then these offbeat locations near Bangalore might work for you!
By Vidya Nesarikar
Don't be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth — Rumi, a Persian poet and Sufi master
As Rumi says experiencing a place yourself would give you the true picture. The best part of summer holidays must be planning a trip. While it is not always possible to plan long holidays, short trips and weekend breaks can be extremely rejuvenating too. There is nothing like a road trip for some family bonding. But what does one do when everyone seems headed to the same places as you? Read on to get the skinny on some offbeat destinations.
While the sprawling green beauty of Agumbe has been depicted in many erstwhile Kannada movies, Agumbe is only now getting its due as a nature holiday destination. Agumbe is a high-altitude village in the southwest Indian state of Karnataka. It is surrounded by the Western Ghats and lush rainforest. Shashank Ananth, avid trekker and parent of two children says, “Agumbe is a trekker’s paradise. A visit to the Kalinga Center for Rainforest Ecology is a must. Children can meet and interact with the founder, Gowrishankar, the founder of the centre and renowned herpetologist. It’s a great way to introduce the kids to the rainforest and king cobra conservation. Volunteering options are also available for students.”
Distance from Bangalore: 350 km, driving time close to 7 hours via NH 75
Nearest Railway station: Shimoga
Chikmagalur which translates to the younger daughter’s town in Kannada is the perfect antidote for a break from the city. The climate is cool, the locale is quiet and the scenery is picturesque. There are plenty of homestays to choose from which works very well for parents travelling with babies and toddlers. Older children will love exploring a coffee estate. There are several trekking routes — the Mullanayanagiri peak which is the highest peak in Karnataka is a popular trek. For history junkies, the nearby 12th century Belur and Halebid temples will make a good pit stop. “The sculptures will leave young and old spellbound. I always try to visit the temples if I am in the vicinity. Of course, my two children and now three grandchildren have always loved the atmosphere on a coffee estate,” says Dr Sivananda, parent and grandparent.
Distance from Bangalore: 250 km, driving time close to 4 hours 20 minutes via NH 75
With the new Dumbo movie hitting the theatres this summer, children are bound to be more interested than ever in elephants. Dubare Elephant Camp near Coorg would be a good destination to spend time with elephants. Children can observe elephants go through their daily routine, even feed and bathe them in the Cauvery river which flows at the entrance of the camp. “While naturalists may point out that these elephants are captive, it is a good destination to understand about these beautiful animals and talk about wildlife conservation and the dwindling numbers of wild animals in forests,” says Anilkumar N, who travelled with his kids to Dubare recently. “Children can try their hand at river rafting as well and splash about in the water,” he added.
Distance from Bangalore: 250 km, driving time 4 to 6 hours
For a complete jungle experience and an actual chance to spot wild animals in the forest, the buck stops at Kabini. Elephants, bisons, deer always get children excited. The best part is, it is easily accessible from Bangalore. The landscape is beautiful and it has plenty of resorts to choose from. From relaxing by the river, outdoor games, jeep safaris and campfires — Kabini is the ideal weekend getaway for some family bonding and creating memories. “If one is lucky – kids may spot the elusive wildcats too. “If your child is picking up an interest in photography, this is a must-see destination. My son loves the safari,” says Harish Shanti Kumar, avid traveller and photographer.
Distance from Bangalore: 210 km, driving time 4 hours 31 minutes via Mysore Road
While most tourists speed right ahead to Mysore and miss exploring this once important town, Srirangapatnam is a charming option if you want to experience a bit of history and architecture without the overflowing crowds. Children can spend some quiet time at the Tipu Sultan Summer Palace, museum and the fort. There are temples and a mosque within the fort premises — which makes a good lesson on integration. Older children studying Indian history in school can check out the spot where Tipu Sultan lost his life in battle with the British — a death which became a turning point in East India’s company’s fortunes. Budding ornithologists can also visit the nearby Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary. Go in the wee hours of the mornings to beat the crowds.
Distance from Bangalore: 125 km, driving time 2 hours 42 minutes via Mysore Road
This sleepy little town is the perfect quick getaway from the city. It is close to nature and the mighty Cauvery flows here. It has long been known as a fishing paradise as it is the home of the toughest sport fish Mahseer. It is now coming up as a camping and adventure sports destination. Several travel companies are offering camping facilities and activities such as kayaking, river rafting, coracle rides and adventure sports. Children will enjoy staying by the river and spotting the flora and fauna. They can try their hand at fishing too!
Distance from Bangalore: 100 km, driving time 2 hours 50 minutes
Go out and explore the nooks and corners of lesser-known places near you. Children learn so much from travelling.
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