Bangalore in Karnataka is known as the Silicon City of the country and is internationally famous for its IT boom. However, what makes Bangalore a favoured destination for travellers is not just its own charm, but also because it is so close to many amazing getaways. Here is a list of a few road trips one must make while in Bangalore!
For A Colonial Getaway: Pondicherry/Puducherry, Tamil Nadu
Distanced at 350 kms from Bangalore, Puducherry, for most parts will not feel like India. This former French colony with its still intact French charms and the old world sleepiness will let you slip into the essence of another place and time altogether. Auroville and Sri Aurobindo Ashram are a must visit there besides Goubert Avenue, also better known as Beach Road. Its fairly easy to discover places around with a map at hand. The Creole cuisine available here is scrumptious and should definitely be on the list.
For Enjoying Outdoors: Coorg, Karnataka
This pretty little hill station which is at 235 kms away from Bangalore is a great way to make a road trip to. You know you’re entering Coorg when the temperatures drop, when you find thick groves of tall supaari trees and the likes of scenic backdrops. There are many activities which will keep you engaged the whole time and outdoors. Staying options are nice and warm and cosy with a lot of county resorts there.
For Rural Fun and Seafood: Oyster Opera, Kerela
This place is 380 kms from Bangalore and is obviously quite a drive. But it is fun as well. Situated in Kasargoda District in Kerela, this is a hidden treasure. This place offers decent and affordable accommodation to visitors and definitely, oysters and mussels are a part of the experience here. There are mussel farms which can be easily visited to and almost every eatery and home stay here offers oyster and mussels on the menu. There are kayaking options available here for spending a lazy afternoon better.
For Adventure: Ashram Surf Retreat, Mulki, Karnataka
This place lets you surf with the swamis themselves. A lot of us have probably done river-rafting, rappelling, paragliding and parasailing in India and abroad as well. This place has been set up by Jack Hebner and Rick Perry and FYI, they were considered surfing gurus on the east coast of the United States in 1963. And they treat surfing as religion and they also practice vegetarianism and celibacy in their ashram and expect the guests to follow the same. They meditate, do the morning puja and then hit the waves. It has a range of surf sports that fit a rookie, an advanced level surfer and anyone who’s in between.
For Spiritual Retreat: Belur-Halebidu, Karnataka
Although spoken in the same breath , Belur and Halebidu are the twin towns for spiritual retreat which are 30kms and 50kms from Hassan(which will be your base) respectively which happens to be 185 kms from Bangalore. Halebidu is the capital of erstwhile Hoyasala kingdom and home to the Hoyasaleswara temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple has carvings depicting scenes from Ramayana and Mahabharata and the depiction of the mythological seven-in-one animal, Makara. Belur houses the Chennakesava temple which has some interesting soapstone carvings. However the most eye-catching feature is the 50ft high tower which strangely stands without a foundation.
For History: Hampi, Karnataka
This UNESCO World Heritage site with its ‘rock-show’ will captivate you with its beauty. Crumbling buildings, ornate carvings, broken doorways and pillars filled with stories of old kingdoms are a beauty to look at. Vithala Temple should be on the list of places to visit at Hampi to see the king’s balance(where the king was weighed against gold and then distributed to the poor), Hazara Rama temple for its depictions from Ramayana on the frescoes and the Achyutaraya temple. The rocks tend to change colour in the sunlight and that in itself is a delight to watch.
Oil those brakes and hit the road already !