Bangalore lies at the center of a fascinating region – where green mountains blend into the arid Deccan plateau – a land of lush forests and dramatic coastlines. There are many not-so-popular destinations, known locally but seldom mentioned in the traditional itinerary. With the easy availability of self-drive cars, one can plan a weekend road trip to these unique destinations very quickly. Here are some top recommendations for the road trips from Bangalore.
A weekend Drive from Bangalore to Lepakshi – Gandikota
Located on the banks of the Pennar and 280 km north of Bangalore, Gandikota is a town of rich heritage. It is a perfect weekend drive from Bangalore. The major attractions here are the Gandikota Fort and the grand mosque in the fort complex. Gandikota offers visitors a blend of natural beauty and medieval architecture. From the fort, one can enjoy views of the spectacular river basin below. Camping on the river beach is another activity one can indulge in.
A mere diversion half-way towards Gandikota will take you to Lepakshi. It is frequented for its architectural wonder of a floating pillar. The temple complex hides some of the excellent
Chikkamagluru – Kudremukh
A 7-hour drive west into the high Western Ghats, Kudremukh is a destination for the adventurous. The Kudremukh peak is known for its unique shape – resembling the head of the horse. The summit is covered by a pleasant and cool green meadow, usually with a touch of mist. The trek here is very invigorating as one gets to enjoy the fascinating surroundings and panoramic views of the forests and valley. The peak is located in a prime wilderness area which is a habitat for the lion-tailed macaque as well as other iconic and rare sub-continental species. As part of the Kudremukh trek, one should visit the Hanumana Gundi falls. Wildlife lovers can also venture into the Kudremukh National Park.
The road is scenic and adventurous as you drive through the coffee plantations of Chikkamagluru. If you are an adventurous soul, you must be opt for camping in one of these plantations. A night amidst the aroma of coffee is as energizing as a cup of freshly brewed coffee.
Bangalore to Bidar is a 670-km journey north, perfect for a long weekend. There are many interesting stops on the way in the Andhra Pradesh leg of the trip. One can take a pause at Hyderabad, a city with many interesting sites on the outskirts. Kurnool is famous for the Konda Reddy Fort.
Bidar’s most prominent landmark is the Bidar Fort, built in the 15th century. Inside the fort complex, there are dozens of monuments built using the Islamic style of architecture – highlighted by geometric shapes and the incorporation of grand arches and domes. From one of the higher bastions, one can watch the walls of the fort snake along the gentle countryside, interspersed with green slopes and lawns. The red-hued fort is surrounded by a triple-layered moat and there are seven impressive gateways through which one can enter the structure. Some of the highlights inside the fort include the MahamudGawan and the Rangeen Mahal with its intricate frescoes.
Chitradurga Fort – Hampi – Badami
Covering a total distance of 498 km, this road is an ultimate dope for the architecture lovers and nature enthusiasts. Badami being the eventual destination, you can cover Chitradurga Fort and Hampi on the way. Chitradurga fort is quite intriguing with its 11th and 13th-century ruins spread over the hillocks overlooking flat pasture land. The ancient name ‘Chitrakaldurga’ means a ‘picturesque fort’ which stands true for the view it provides.
Chilling on the bank of river Tungabhadra in Hampi is as interesting as exploring around this capital of the then Vijayanagara Kingdom. The history of Hampi dates back to the Ramayana period where a few of the places have been described in Kishkindha Kaand. Ruins of the old town, Lotus Mahal, Virupaksha Temple, and the iconic stone wheel chariot are the main attractions.
Ramnagara – Channapattana – Shivanasamudram – Kanakpura
A vast ocean falling from the height of 300 ft is how ‘shivanasamudram waterfall’ appears to be post-monsoon. The road also takes you to the rocky hills of Ramnagara and the ‘Toy Town of Karnatak’, Channapattana. A bite of Madhurvada while heading to Shivanasamudram is a must-do thing on this road trip. Boating activity is available almost throughout the year in the backwaters of Shivanasamudram check dam.
On your way back, you can opt for a different route through the Silk Town Kanakpura which is known for its vicinity to Chunchi Falls.
Other Destinations for a Road Trip from Bangalore
Plan Your Next Road Trip – Get Behind the Wheel in a Self Drive Car
The best way to travel on a road trip is on one’s own terms. For those looking for self-drive cars Bangalore has the top options. App-based Zoomcar is known for its easy and no-questions-asked booking process. Travellers also get to ride in the latest car models – from cosy hatchbacks and classy sedans to spacious, sturdy SUVs that are perfect for group travel. Even car owners are hopping on to a rental for long trips because of the wide choice of vehicles. 24/7 on-road support is another important feature of a modern rental – so the trip can be done without any trepidation.
Note: I have written this post in collaboration with Zoom Cars, check out their variety of self-drive cars that I frequently opt for on my family/group travels.
Enjoy these few of the best road trips from Bangalore.
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