Bangalore is known the world as being the IT hub of India. Most loved for its awesome weather, effervescent culture, strong literary mindset, innumerable drinking spots and an unending list of descriptors make this South India’s most “happening” city.
Bangalore can also be a springboard to explore beyond the ordinary.
For the people of Bangalore, sitting at home on a day off should not be an option — not while these breathtaking unique places near Bangalore are waiting to cast their spell.
As you go through this list of lesser known serene destinations near Bangalore, pack your bags to embark on a truly blissful weekend retreat.
1. Govardhanagiri Temple, Bull Temple Road
The Govardhanagiri Temple is an entirely man-made cave, crafted to appear natural and ancient. The temple has been constructed as a replica of Govardhana Hill, built around an existing hill.
In place of the traditional sanctum sanctorum, residing in the cave’s interior is Sri Krsna holding Govardhana hill.
As you enter and proceed, you find the small cave temple beautifully ornamented with carvings depicting scenes from the Mahabharata.
Most beautiful is the statue of Sri Krishna lifting Govardhana, for which the temple is named. Dim lights and lifelike colours and textures very successfully replicate a natural ancient cave temple.
It is located very close to the Dodda Basavana Gudi, or ‘Big Bull’ temple in Basavangudi. This temple is managed by the Puthige matha of Udupi and hence it is also known by that name, Puthige Mutt.
Diversity spices life and if anyone is looking for it, Nrityagram is the place to be. Nrityagram is India’s first modern Gurukul for Indian classical dances and a community in the form of a dance village, set up by Odissi dancer Protima Gauri in 1990.
Nrityagram will definitely enrich you with vibrant colours of Indian dance forms. Designed by famous Indian architect Gerard da Cunha, Nrityagram is situated near Hesaraghatta Lake 30 km away from Bangalore.
It is located at a distance of around 30 KMs from Bangalore. Explore the modern Gurukul set up and try to value the classical bonding of Guru and Sishya (teacher and disciple). You can also visit Hesaraghatta Lake, which is nearby
3. Microlight Flying
Adrenaline junkies interested in having adventures up in the air can take to flying microlight aircraft to get their dose of thrill.
Microlight is a kind of aircraft which is of light weight and can be easily flown with basic flight controls. It is mostly used for recreational and adventure activities.
There are multiple flying clubs in the city and there has been a surge of enthusiasm among people of all age groups to try their hand at microlight flying.
4. Janapada Loka
On Mysore Road, a few kilometers after the town of Ramanagara, you can find this place on your right. The word ‘Janapada’ in Kannada means folklore, and this place is a folk museum and is the brainchild of Sri. H. L. Nagegowda, a famous folklorist and a civil servant.
5. Legends Motorcycling Cafe and Museum
The Legends Motorcycling Cafe and Museum in Fraser Town is a small but handsome cafe in Bangalore where you can have a sip of coffee or tea and snacks looking at some of the older generation of motorbikes.
It’s an unusual combination of a cafe and a museum under one roof. This cafe is owned by a biker, S.K.Prabhu, who began collecting in 1992.
The café sum museum is perhaps the first of its kind in India and the two storied building has a range of old bikes. The café too is tastefully done up and it reeks of a motorbiker’s love for the machines.
The cafe is on the ground floor and the setting is appropriately vintage. What adds to this ambience is the biker memorabilia and “motorcycling quotations”.
Jazz and blues notes playing from an old record player compete with the din of bikers discussing spare parts and accessories. The aroma of coffee wafts through the space.
There is a hand-operated coffee grinder and roasted beans (the south Indian Arabica variety) are ground every day, so an aromatic cup is assured.
The first floor has on display no less than twenty motorcycles, some of which are imported from countries like the United Kingdom and New Zealand.
A few of the motorcycles date back to the 1920s and 1930s. You can get to see England made, military-modelled motorcycles of the second world war like the BSA 500 cc, Norton 500 cc and James ML 1942 Handgear.
Not many people know that there is a beautiful waterfalls just 35 KMs from Bangalore. The name of this surprise attraction is Thottikallu.
Thottikallu is a place near Bangalore off the Kanakapura road which is famous for a falls called Thottikallu falls more popularly known as TK falls.
It is also known as ‘SwarnaMukhi’ water falls. SwarnaMukhi translates as ‘Golden-Faced’. If you de route at Kagalpura (Kaggalipura) off the Bangalore – Kanakapura road, it will lead you to a place called Byalemaradadoddi, from where a mud road leads to the falls.
There will not be much water in summer and hence better to visit in or just after monsoon. Check out the blog ‘Thottikallu Falls – Surprise attraction near Bangalore’ for more details about this place.
7. The Maha Bodhi Society
Snuggled away in a quiet corner of Gandhinagar is the Maha Bodhi Society that teaches about Lord Buddha, and provides inspiration and facilities for bringing that teaching into action through spiritual, social and educational activities.
Established in 1956 for the purpose of resuscitation of Buddhism the temple at Maha Bodhi Society is visited by a very diverse mix of people from diverse backgrounds and interests.
Stepping inside the temple feels like walking into another world, and the noisy streets suddenly seem to be very far away. The temple reflects oriental charm and spiritual ambiance.
The architecture is very traditional with lots of dragon motifs, and lions guarding the gates. The structure radiates a calming sensation and the central altar has a giant statue of Lord Buddha.
8. NIMHANS Brain Museum
The Brain Museum showcases the human brain and its functions. It is located at National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) and is run by its department of neuropathology.
The Museum seeks to help visitors see the brain, understand how it works and get an insight into the kinds of diseases that can affect it.
The museum has a diverse collection of over 600 brain samples and is the result of over 30 years of research. The Museum is open to the public for guided tours on Saturdays between 9 AM to 4:30 PM and on Wednesdays between 2 PM and 5 PM.
On remaining days, the museum is open between 9 AM and 4.30 PM. The Museum remains closed on Sundays and other public holidays.
Over 300 brain specimens are preserved in jars at the brain museum managed by the Department of Neuropathology.
And each brain has a story to tell — whether chilling, tragic or fascinating — which you discover during a guided tour of the museum with its conceptualiser, S.K. Shankar, who has been a professor at the Department for the past 32 years.
9. Omkar Hills
The peak point of Bangalore is surprisingly among the lesser known places in the city. A cool breeze touches you softly as you reach Omkar Hills to see the what is claimed to be the world’s second biggest clock tower.
Situated in the south of Bangalore, Omkar Hills is both a tourist spot and a multi-religious forum amid enthralling forest environs.
At each hour, the clock, made by HMT, makes a unique loud sound of conch followed by the “Omkar” sound five times and rings the bell that many times, matching the hour it indicates.
The recently built Dwadasha Jyotirlinga Temple attracts thousands during the festival of Mahashivaratri. The banyan tree atop the hillock, appears like an umbrella.
There is a pavilion under the banyan tree, situated on the highest elevated hillock from where many parts of Bangalore are visible.
10. Pyramid Valley
Pyramid Valley is an international meditation centre that houses the world’s largest meditational pyramid.
It is a centre dedicated to the quest for self-realisation among individuals, societies and organisations and in their journey for attainment of spiritual wisdom.
The Pyramid Valley is located in a village called Kebbedoddi, around 30 km from Bangalore. Nestled in the middle of a serene and lush green valley and surrounded by rocky hills on all sides the Pyramid Valley is an ideal place for meditation and relaxation.
It is considered to be one of the seven wonders of Bangalore. The meditation centre is also known as “Maitreya-Buddha Vishwalayam”.
The campus of the meditation centre is a splendid sight to behold. The mystical valley is situated in the lap of nature, in an environment that is completely devoid of pollution and noise.
The pristine beauty of the campus is enhanced by various elements of nature such as natural rocks, water bodies, hills and a pleasant weather. The main attraction of the amazing campus is the magnanimous Maitreya- Buddha Pyramid.