Bangalore, the world’s 4th largest tech hub is not just about corporate campuses, traffic, and beer, it is also a perfect city for professionals with wanderlust spirit. If you are one of them, I’m sure you might be searching for the best ideas for one day trip from Bangalore, so that you can go outdoorsy on Saturday and just rest and reminisce on Sunday. Somehow even on Quora I just find people listing out all 500 places to visit near Bangalore to answer the question of day trips – as if everything can be done in a day.
So I came up with the list based on my own experiences of wandering around the city. The list includes scenic long drives, easy hiking trails, stunning architectural spots, nature-parks, and camping spots. The list excludes the beaten track records of Nandi Hills, Wonderla and Bannerghatta National Park which are great but over-crowded.
Woke up on one lazy Sunday and want to go off-city for a while? Looking for some adrenaline rush on weekend? Or just up for a really long drive to see some stunning places? The list has something for all your needs. I have also suggested a combination of more two or more locations which come under the same route for those who want to travel more (and optimize their fuel spend )
All distances are 1-way and the journey gets longer as you scroll down the list!
This is the easiest getaway from Bangalore, a favorite among corporate junkies yet surprisingly devoid of the crowd in the weekends. Originally constructed for irrigation purpose, the place is now famous for water-sports and corporate team-building activities. If you are not into this type of thing you can simply park your car away from the entrance, walk on the hills and enjoy the beauty of nature. The view of the blue water blending with the clear blue sky is spectacularly serene. It is also a great picnic spot for family and friends.
On your way back you can head to Dodda Alada Mara, the 400-year-old Big Banyan Tree near Bangalore. Covering 3 acres area, this is one of the largest trees of its kind and is home to a beautiful park.
Distance: 55 km | Things to do: Trekking, Camping| Duration: 12 hours
This is the place where the famous dacoit Gabbar Singh used to live with his gang. Yes, Ramnagaram is the shooting location of the legendary Indian movie “Sholay” but this is not its only claim to fame. Amidst the dense forests stand the granite hills that you can never miss being awestruck at. A trek to the peak will take roughly 2-3hours for rookies. This is also one of the few places that are still open for night trek and camping near Bangalore. You can easily start the early morning at 5 am and reaching the peak at night and waking up to the golden sunrise is an experience you do not want to miss.
I came across Avalebetta while searching for an alternative to the over-crowded (nevertheless spectacular) Nandi Hills. You can start early morning and reach the foothills in 2 hours. After that, a 1.5 km trek will lead you to the cap-shaped rock-cliff, an attractive point for photography. Unless you visit in the dry summer months you will get to see a pond at the hill-top which adds to the beauty. The peak offers a breathtaking view of the lush green forests around.
After descending from the peak you can either drive back home (why the hell? ) or drive just 24km ahead to reach the Gudibande Fort. This is a massive 17th-century fort with well-preserved walls, which can be reached by a flight of steps.
If you are new to Bangalore you can definitely check out Nandi Hills, Bannerghatta, and Wonderla, which are all within a 100km radius. I said I would leave them out on my list for they are just too cliched. But you can combine your one day trip to Nandi Hills with a trip to Devanahalli Fort, which is emerging as a great location for photo-shoot these days.
Another idea is to follow your safari and zoo-walk at Bannerghatta National Park with the beautiful Thottikallu falls. The Thottikalli falls is located just 35km from Bangalore city but the rural landscapes will make you feel that you are far away from the city life. If you find the falls crowded , you can retreat into the forests orjust drive to the river nearby.
Distance: 115 km | Things to do: Scenic drive, Nature| Duration: 8-11 hours
A scenic 2-hour drive away from Bangalore lies the beautiful natural spot, the confluence of the two most important rivers of Karnataka – Arkavathi and Cauvery. On your way, you will drive through winding uphill road lined with seasonal trees on both sides which look surreal in summer when they dry-up. It was a hot summer afternoon when we visited the place, but it was still throbbing with travelers. There’s nothing much to do here except sitting on the boulders with your feet under the river water soaking in the beauty of nature all around. In and around the monsoon, when the water is more, you could take a mesmerizing coracle ride too.
Drive just 4km from here to reach Mekadatu to see the stunning natural designs formed on granite rocks formed by the river Cauvery cutting through it for thousand years. On your way back you can also trek to the Chunchi Falls. A trip covering all these three locations will take 10 hours.
Distance: 124 km | Things to do: Scenic drive, Nature| Duration: 8-11 hours
Hogenekkal falls is wide plunge formed by the Kaveri river in Dharmapuri district of Tamil Nadu. It is a charming perennial waterfall and one of the most popular places near Bangalore for one-day trips despite its distance. You can also take a coracle or boat ride in the river here. Unlike Shivanasamudra Hogenekkal still allows tourists to reach till the bottom of the waterfall. Since it is a perennial fall, it is better to visit between October – March. My friends visited in the monsoon and found mussy water plunge like the picture below.
Distance: 130 km| Attractions: Temple, Architecture | Duration: 6-8 hours
Lepakshi is a historical town in Andhra Pradesh which is home to the iconic Veerabhadra Temple. The temple is an architectural masterpiece which has so many mysteries surrounding it. Did you hear of a temple with a hanging pillar? This is that temple. Apart from this, you can find the giant Nandi Statue (a monolithic bull structure) and the Jatayu theme park. These 2 attractions apart from the great temple is enough to keep you engaged for 4-5 hours at Lepakshi, if not more.
Distance: 135 km | Attractions: Nature| Duration: 8 hours
Drive about 30 km more from Talakadu and you will reach this picturesque village Shivanasamudra which is home to the Barachukki and Gaganachukki falls. These perennial waterfalls have been consistently ranked among the 100 most beautiful waterfalls in the world. Earlier you could climb down the stairs to the bottom of the majestic falls but it was closed by the authorities after accidents caused by people trying to pull off unnecessary stunts.
Apart from this, you can visit the Shimsha dam in Shiavanasamudra for sightseeing and boating. Shivanasamudra is also home to two beautiful and well-maintained Ranganathswamy temples. The trip to Shivanasamudra can be clubbed with Talakadu, Somnathpura or BR Hills for a really long day trip.
Distance: 163 km | Attractions: Heritage,Sightseeing | Duration: 8-9 hours
If your parents are in town and you want to make them sing your praise forever, this is where you should take them for one day trip from Bangalore. Somnathpur and Talakadu are sites with a large number of ancient temples, but most importantly they are architectural hotspots near Bangalore which you would enjoy visiting irrespective of your faith. In simple words, you can call this mini-Hampi which is accessible in one day trip.
Your first stop will be Keshava Temple in Somnathpura, an icon of the skills of Hoysala craftsmen. 24km from Somnathpur lies the mythical village of Talakadu, once known as the Benaras of the South. Talakadu was a Hindu Pilgrimage site which went under dunes of sand few hundred years ago. The archeological survey of India unearthed ancient temples from this site, and they are still frequented by religious pilgrims for Panchalinga Darshana. Talakadu is as famous for its temples as it is for the mysterious sand-dunes and the stories around their existence. You can end your trip with a magical coracle ride in the serene waters of the Cauvery.
Distance: 165 km | Attractions: Wildlife Watching | Duration: 12 hours
Mysore is also the city famous for amazing natural beauty and wildlife. If you have kids, my bet is they will definitely enjoy this Mysore day trip more than the one above. Mysore Zoo is easily one of the best and largest zoo facilities in India. There are many cafes and parks in the zoo, and this is itself could be a great day trip from Bangalore. However, I love to see the wild in the open, so my favorite is Ranganathittu wildlife sanctuary.
An ideal one day trip would be to start early in the morning, drive about 3 hours to reach Ranganathittu bird sanctuary where you can explore the terrain on foot or take a boat ride to watch the birds. From here you can reach Mysore zoo in just 40 minutes. Remember to carry your binoculars and a high-zoom camera to feast your eyes with the sight of colorful birds and capture them through your lens.
Distance: 178km | Attractions: Heritage,Nature,Sightseeing | Duration: 12 hours
The BR hills are located at the border of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, in the Western Ghats. It is named after the Biligiriranga temple built atop the hill. It is an ecological hotspot with a large variety of wild beasts including sloth bear, antelopes, peafowls and even tigers. These are not easy to catch a glimpse of though, as they are scattered all over the region. You can, however, see a lot of monkeys and birds in the picturesque wildlife sanctuary. The view from the hill is also a sight to behold. It is on the same route as Shivanasamudra so you may try to club it with the same.
Distance: 181 km | Things to do: Scenic drive, sightseeing, picnic| Duration: 15 hours
The cultural capital of Karnataka and the cleanest city of South India is not a place that you can explore in less than two days. The two iconic landmarks of Mysore are the Mysore Palace, the home to the Royal family of Mysore and the Vrindavan Gardens, one of Bollywood’s favorite Desi location. In a round-trip spanning 12 hours, you can easily cover both these places even after considering the dense traffic in both the cities on any given day. Another landmark you can add to this daytrip from Bangalore if time and energy levels permit is the Chamudeshwari temple. It is a must-visit place for temple-lovers but is also famous for the scenic viewpoint at the Chamundeshwari Hill.
Distance: 223 km | Attractions: Ruins,Nature| Duration: 9-10 hours
The Shettihalli Church is the ruins of a French Gothic church built in 1860, but the ruins have their own appeal. The Shettihalli Rosemary church is famously called the drowning church as it drowns under the Hemavathi river in monsoon and emerges back in the summer! In 1960 the villages near the church were deserted due to the construction of the Gorur dam, and the church was left abandoned. The dilapidated roofless church has its own charm and has become a sought after location for photo shoots, which make you wonder if the church in its former self-was as attractive as the site of ruins.
A peaceful area tucked away from the main city of Hassan, is an ideal place to relax, take a boat ride and watch the sunset. While the distance is more, the road is a breeze and the scenic trails make the drive worthwhile.
Distance : 285 km | Attractions: Fort, Nature | Duration: 15 hours
The last two in this list is for crazy road-trippers who can drive more than 600 km in a day. I recommend these for a one day trip is due to the dearth of accommodation options nearby. Gandikota is a village named after the Gandikota fort, a 14th-century fort that was established during the powerful Pemmasani Dynasty. The fort, in turn, got its name from the giant gorge formed by the Pennar river cutting through the Erramala Hills. Its structure and beauty earn it the name Grand Canyon of India.
If you are into overnight camping you can spend a night at the campsite.
Distance: 300km| Attractions: Ruins,Nature| Duration: 15 hours
Belum caves is a natural cave which is estimated to be millions of years old. There were many vessels and sculptures found inside the caves which date back to the ancient period. It is the longest cave in the Indian sub-continent that is open to the public and is home to the mysterious Patalganga, a perennial water-flow inside the caves. You can club this with the Yaganti cave temples 44 km away or Gandikota which is slightly closer to Bangalore.
The list above is not exhaustive and every week we just keep exploring new places to visit near Bangalore either for a one day trip or for a weekend getaway. The list above is of my favorites. What is your favorite day-trip destinations near your own city? Let me know in the comments.
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Wow, I didn't know that southern India had such interesting landscapes. I already had plans to visit the northern part via motorbike, but now it makes me wonder if I should take a longer holiday and expand my trip 😀
Oh wow! I didn’t realize how much nature there is so close to the city!
Great post- I love posts that list day trips from a location. It feels like you can expand a visit to your original location and see so much more!!
Bangalore is one of the places that I wanna visit, and I liked your post a lot. Thank you I will take it as a guide
It’s funny. Your first sentence describes exactly what I used to think about Bangalore before reading your post! Thanks for educating me.
Wow That is crazy. I had no idea of these places. I would love to travel to India someday and discover all the great things the country has to offer.
Wow! I fell in love with your pictures of the waterfalls! Can't believe you can fit all these places in one day!
I will definitely use your post as a guide for when I get to Bangalore. These places looks amazing! Thanks for sharing 🙂
I have been to Bangalore once, with not with the right people, couldn't enjoy a lot! 🙁
I must return
So many places here I've never heard of. Definitely lots for me to discover in India, thanks for sharing some great ideas.
I am always shipping things to Bangalore for work. There is definitely a lot to see. Gandikota Is simply beautiful, would love to go there!
What a wonderful experience, Shettihalli Church was my favorite. A lot of fantastic places to see and explore.
I would love to go soon!
Im in love with Shivanasamudra. those waterfalls look so beautiful! Ive heard about all the great places to visit but thanks to your pictures i can finally tell how stunning it is.
What a great list of places to visit from Bangalore. I really like to drowning church – that’s amazing how it floods and then is back to dry. And there are so many waterfalls! It’s a shame that some tourists have forced the closing of some of the close observation decks. The waterfalls are probably less muddy when it isn’t rainy season.
Thanks for sharing wonderful day trips from Bangalore. I would love to see 400 year old nearby Manchinbele Dam and the whole place looks beautiful. Good to know that famous Sholay was shot in Ramnagaram as I always thought it was shot in M.P.. All places look wonderful and worth visiting.
I am so glad your list doesn't feature Nandi Hills. Haha. Anyway, having stayed in bangalore for more than 5 years now, I have kind of ran out of destinations to visit in a day.
Loved this post so much! A great comprehensive review of some amazing places. I travelled to India last year but unfortunately didn't get to visit Bangalore. Definitely will be looking into returning 😀
I love the Falls and Lepakshi already. That statue and the footprint are just so unique and I'd love to know the story behind them. Lemme go Google…
Woah! Incredible list, Sinjana! Great work here. Gandikota, Hampi, and Lepakshi are on top of my to-do list but don't know when. Hopefully, soon.
Never thought Bangalore as diverse as this! Crazy how you have canyons, falls, amazing landscapes and architecture at the same place! Chunchi alone is enough to make me go there. I'm crazy about waterfalls lol
I haven't yet been to India, but every time I discover new things about it from travel blogs, it's yet another confirmation, another reason to move it up the bucket list 🙂
What an amazing list! I visited some of these places when I went to Bangalore and was surprised to find such amazing landscapes in South India.
I really want to travel through India more and more. Bangalore looks beautiful and so much culture as well. It's definitely on my bucketlist.
These are amazing day trip suggestions from Bengaluru. There is so much to be explored. Would love to rely on this post for weekend getaways and share with my friends in the city.
What a crazy collection of hikes and sites from Bangalore! I had no idea that there was so much so close. I think visiting Bannerghatta National Park and seeing Thottikallu falls would be the first up on my list!
I didn’t know that South India had such beautiful mountainesque landscapes the first time I visited. I went to Mysore and Gandikota and was absolutely awed. However, now I see that there are a few more places that I missed. Hopefully, I can make up for it during my next visit. Thank you for this amazing list, Sinjana!
Wow. Never knew there was so juicy to see around Bangalore. I have visited the city several times and always try and get away from the concrete jungle Done Mysore and other places. Would live to visit the waterfalls at chinchi and the Lepsshki. Thanks for sharing these offbeat places a short drive away.
his is a really handy post, as I have family working in Bangalore so could potentially do these trips during a visit. Am particularly drawn to the first place in your list, the Machinbele Dam and also the Big Banyan Tree on way back. All the rest of ideas also look great, such as Madhugiri and Lepakshi. Some of the others, perhaps we could do as part of a road trip, rather than there and back in a single day.
I had no idea there’s so much nature and hiking around Bangalore! i would honestly want to take almost all of these trips, which may require me to move to Bangalore for a year! The Hogenekkal Falls look incredible and like nothing I’ve seen before. If I could only pick one trip, that’s probably what I’d choose. Awesome list!
This is a fabulous list of “cliche” or typical tourist destination and those off the beaten path. I would love to visit Lepakshi and the Shettihalli Church. Both of these places look so massive and beautiful! I’m stunned just by your photos. Definitely will visit these destinations when exploring Bangalore.
Wow being the 4th largest tech hub, it’s pretty incredible how much nature there is here in Bangalore. I would love to visit the 400-year old Banyan Tree at Dodda Alada Mara. And wow the Belum Caves being millions years old sounds incredible – it’s incredible that it’s one of the longest that’s open to the public. I totally would love to visit this amazing work of nature.
I never imagined Bangalore with a good nature spots! Wow! I’m very amazed! It makes me want to go back again to India soon. Great sceneries! I want to put it in my travel list.