A weekend at B R Hills from Bangalore

B R Hills or Biligiriranga Hills is one of the many beautiful hill ranges near Bangalore. It makes for a perfect weekend getaway from the metropolitan city of Bangalore. Although, we had heard a lot about it, we were yet to visit here. So, ultimately, one weekend, tired of the boring corporate life, we decided to rejuvenate our souls here.

B R Hills
Beautiful green stretch of BR Hills

 

Little did we know that our plans will be twisted by the Karnataka Bandh (A strike) called out the very same weekend. As a result, at the end moment we had to cancel our plans.

But we were not the ones to give up so easily. Since it didn’t seem feasible to go this weekend, we decided to shift our booking. So, we called up our resort, Gorukana and asked them to shift our booking dates to October 1&2. Not only did they move our bookings, they actually didn’t charge us anything extra for it! (Although, their policies mentioned some shifting charges). So, delightfully, we started waiting for the day of the trip to arrive.

In between, we had our awesome trip to Rajasthan. After coming back from the Rajasthan trip, we started eagerly counting the days to this weekend getaway. Soon, arrived October 1. As usual, to avoid city traffic and get a lead, we started around 6 in the morning. It’s always refreshing to feel the morning air once in a while, for us the city dwellers. Soon we were zooming out of Bangalore city premises.

Off to B R Hills

We took the NICE road to Kanakura and further. Although, this road is a little longer. But it is traffic free. And, it is also in an excellent condition. As a testimony to the road condition,  by 8 am, we had already reached near Shivsamudra. We were now carving for breakfast. Alas, there are not many breakfast options in this route. And those which are there, were not yet open. The options that are there are mostly small bakery shops and and ready to eat snacks outlets or general grocery shops. Finally, after much hassle on what to have for breakfast, we decided to stop near a bakery. And from here we bought some bananas and chips. Then we had these in our car itself while we drove further. It was actually good to have a light breakfast while we were still on the winding roads. And, it also saved the time that we would otherwise waste sitting in a food outlet. So, eventually, we made good use of the tough condition we were put in with respect to food.

The road on this route is mostly 2 lanes. Hence, you cannot speed too much. But, this route is not at all crowded compared to the other route. (That one being the Bangalore – Mysore highway). The distance to BR Hills is almost 180km when going via this Kanakpura route, which is the shortest compared to other routes. And the scenery is good. As the road mostly passes through villages with green farms and very scattered population.

B R Hills 2
Road to B R Hills

Beautiful meadows

Almost 30km from Shivsamudra, the road takes a diversion from the main highway towards B R Hills. Somehow, I had cultivated this notion that the resort had to be on top of the hills. We were still driving through the meadows and plane lands. So, I started feeling little disappointed. I even started getting a little restless. However, soon we entered into an expanse which has beautiful green meadows and pasture lands. This meadow is lined by the B R Hills at the other end. And in between, farm animals can be spotted grazing. I found myself immediately re-glued to my car window. And, I completely forgot about climbing on the hill top. I rather felt like stopping the car and running into the utterly green fields that stretched till eternity.

There is only one word that comes to my mind to describe the kind of feeling you feel upon seeing fields lush green and full of healthy crops. And that also in a country that is primarily agricultural. And that word is “happiness”. That was exactly what I felt while passing through this patch of land. I spotted farmers, men and women, working in the field. Their colorful cloths made scattered spots of vibrant color in the overall green meadows. Some were ploughing their land with the help of their farm animals while others were harvesting their crops.

B R Hills 3
Beautiful meadows on way to B R Hills

Into the thick forest

The roads start winding a little into the mountain ranges at this point. Soon, we arrived at the entrance of BR Hills. The entrance is marked by the forest check post. We have to make entries of our vehicles before entering. As one enters inside, there is a beautiful narrow road leading inside the forest. This road is marked by super dense forests on both sides. The forest department advices not to blow horn loudly and avoid stepping out of the vehicle on this stretch.

Rendezvous with wildlife

People often spot herds of elephants crossing the road inside this forest stretch. The forest department again advices to turn off your vehicle ignition and wait at a distance if you spot a herd of elephants. Basically, leave them at peace and so will they. However, we were not lucky enough to spot elephants or tigers. We did spot some beautiful deers though! The whole stretch of drive inside the forest is very beautiful. While driving through you will get the rich moist aroma of rainforest. The constant melodious chirping of birds will add to it. It’s like getting transported into another world.

Out of the forest

However, like all good things, this road has to eventually come to an end. Upon crossing the forest road, we again started spotting some habitation. Our mobile phones started catching signals back. Immediately, we put on the GPS and looked for directions to our resort. Almost 1 km down this stretch, google commanded us to take a kaccha rasta (untarred path) down the main road. This road leads to Gorukana in almost half a kilometer.

Do note that you have to be a little careful here. In case you don’t get a gps connection, you have to keep a watch for the board of Gorukana soon after you are out of the forest area. Otherwise you might miss the turn. And the road downhill that leads to the resort is really a very narrow one, so, it might take a little bit of effort to spot it from a vehicle moving with high speed.

Our resort : Gorukana

Soon we arrived at our resort, by 10:30am. We were given a warm welcome with fresh grape juices. Then, we spent rest of the day peacefully, enjoying thoroughly at Gorukana. Read our full experience of stay at Gorukana. In short, we loved every bit of our stay at the resort. Cut off from the world, amidst thick forests, enjoying our chats and interacting with the flora and fauna of the forest !! It turned out to be the best of what we had expected from B R Hills and our resort. There were lots of things to do at Gorukana including bird watching, forest safari, camp fire, traditional tribal performance and visit to their NGO, to name a few. Must mention, our little one had a wonderful time as well.

Gorukana cottages
Gorukana cottages

 

Next day, we started from our resort post breakfast. Gorukana is maintained by an NGO. They are doing many good things in this area. We visited the schools and education center maintained by the NGO. The tribal kids are educated in these schools. Along with education, they are also provided lodging and food. Volunteer teachers are welcome at the school. So, if you are looking to do some good volunteer work in teaching, don’t hesitate to contact them. We also visited a honey processing plant. Basically, raw honey extracted from the honey bees are processed here organically. The organic honey is then packaged and supplied to the towns.

All the money earned from the ventures is in turn again invested in the welfare of the tribal community in BR Hills. We really loved the way the NGO is working day in and day night for the tribal welfare.

B R Temple

But, no visit to BR Hills would complete without paying homage to BR Temple. Next, we decided to visit the temple, before starting on our journey back home. BR Temple is perched atop a beautiful hill. The hill provides breathtaking panoramic view of the whole valley. Behind the valley, enormous green hills stay guard. The air is crisp and fresh as ever.

B R Hills 5
B R Temple perched atop the hill

After offering our prayers in the temple, we decided to trek a little along the roadside, to soak into the panoramic view around us. I am simply falling short of words to describe the view in front of us. So, I would let the pictures do the talk.

B R Hills 6
View from the trek to B R Temple

B R Hills 7

B R Hills 8
into the clouds 🙂

Shivsamudra

From here, we embarked on our return trip, refreshed, rejuvenated, full of energy. We reached Shivsamudra by 12:30pm. We decided to visit the waterfalls on our way. Before taking the diversion towards the waterfalls, we decided to have lunch. However, we were again disappointed by the options present. Nevertheless, we satisfied our hunger with a few plates of idli. Then we started on our journey further to the waterfalls. Though, the falls were not on their peak charm in this month. Already, water volume had reduced. Nevertheless, it was refreshing to stop midway and have a look at one of the most majestic waterfalls of South India. The area near Shivsamudra waterfalls has recently been developed a little. There is a nice restaurant. Refreshment options are also abundant. We had an icecream each.

And, back to home

From here, we started on our trip back to Bangalore, by 2:30pm. And we were home by 5pm. Overall, this turned out to be an awesome two days weekend getaway from Bangalore. However, like all awesome things, it has left me yearning for more. This got me thinking why we are not doing more two days journeys from Bangalore. I was simply amazed by how much we could do and enjoy in just two days!! Definitely, I am going to soon embark on more such journeys and bring to you more amazing stories!!

So, what is your favorite two days weekend getaway from Bangalore? I would love to know. (And, visit next!!).

Tips for visiting B R Hills

  1. There are two routes that you can take to B R Hills : Bangalore – Mysore highway and Bangalore – Kanakpura main road.
  2. The Bangalore – Mysore highway is multi lane and have lots of food and refreshment options. But this route is little longer. You will take 5 hours to reach B R Hills from here. Assuming you will stop in between for food etc. Traffic is also higher on this route.
  3. The Kanakpura road is two lanes only, but has almost nil traffic. It is shorter. It took us just 4 hours to reach B R Hills inspite of taking breaks in between.
  4. If you decide to take the Kanakpura road, carry some food with you for the way. Since, there are not good refreshment options on this route. You can have the food while driving. This way, you also save time.
  5. Start early from Bangalore, no matter whichever route you decide on. You will be able to avoid the city traffic and take a lead.
  6. Weather is mostly pleasant at B R Hills all through the year. Light jacket or sweatshirt would do in the morning and evening. For daytime, light cloths are fine.
  7. Wear comfortable cloths as you will most likely do lots of trekking on hilly terrain. Even inside the resort it’s hilly pathways.
  8. If you have kids with you, carry one warm jacket for them. They will need it during morning and evening hours. In the day, they should be fine.
  9. It must be charming to visit here in winter. November – February. You might require little warmer cloths at this time.

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86 Responses

  1. This looks like such a great place to visit. I love the idea of escaping for a few days. The resort also looks really tranquil. Shame you didn’t get to see any of the rarer wildlife, but at least you got to see some deers!

    • Truly it was such a rejuvenating feeling that we got here, we said to ourselves, let’s do at least one such trip every month.

  2. Love those beautiful hills, and it’s all so green! In this cold winter day I’d, for sure, prefer to be there!

  3. BR Hills looks so lush and green. It’s not al all like the picture so have of India in my mind.

  4. Soraya @ Hello Raya

    This spot looks absolutely delightful – the resort looks lovely, and the views are amazing. What an awesome weekend getaway. Great tip to leave early from Bangalore…would hate to be stuck in traffic.

  5. B R hills is loaded with natural preserves… such a perfect escape for a busy lifestyle. The greens, the wildlife, the forest and even at the top of the mountain, this place can calm a weary soul. I’ll keep this itinerary for the future.

    • Exactly Louiela, this place is very soothing and calming. Away from the hustle and bustle. We had a great energizing weekend here.

  6. Best locations and it is useful to everyone who didn’t visit these places. Nice information.

  7. Wow, I couldn’t imagine a better weekend getaway! Scenic drive, beautiful resort, historic sights, a little nature and relaxation. It would have been so incredible to see the elephants though. Glad you were able to reschedule the weekend and make it work!

    • You are right Dang. It was wonderful. Just that we would have loved to have a little more encounter with the wildlife 🙂 However, we still had quiet a wonderful time

  8. What an amazing story! You are doing great with those pictures, I really dig them. Can’t wait for the next story.

  9. After reading this I regret for what I missed on my trip to Bangalore which I had about 6 years back

  10. BR Hills is an absolute delight. Did you manage to interact with the tribals there? They are amazing. They even display their honey collection . Glad you had a good time there.

    • Totally agree. We did visit the honey extraction unit, tribal school and saw their performance. It was a delight interacting with them

  11. Having lived in Bangalore for so many years, I must confess, I have never visited B.R.Hills. I think I should head out there some day soon. The Gorukana resort also looks like a great getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city.

    • We will be waiting to hear about your trip 🙂 and we are sure you will have a wonderful time!!

  12. I had no idea about the nature in Bangalore. B R Temple Looks like an amazing crescendo to the trip.

    • Thats the beauty of the places around Bangalore. So much to do and so much to explore at max of overnight distance. This one was merely 4hrs drive

  13. I never realized Bangalore was so pretty and green what a lovely trip and your photographs were just great.

  14. Have heard so much about Shivsamudra waterfalls and the B R Hills. Definitely going to plan a weekend trip to the hills when I’m in Bangalore next. The cottages look so cozy, perfect if one is looking for a getaway from the city. What is the approximate travel time from Bangalore?

    • It takes just 3.5-4 hrs with stops in between for breakfast/lunch. If you start little early, because Bangalore is known for its notorious city traffic, you will be able to make it by 8:3-9am.

  15. Wow what a great day of road trip bonus those stunning scenery as well.a

  16. I feel like this is exactly what I need right now, just an escape to a place with such wonderful views. Comprehensive itinerary, the resort looks great too, will be sure to check that out when I plan a trip there, thanks!

    • The resort indeed was. And there is enough to do here as a part of volunteer tourism as well

  17. The BR hills looks so stunning on a sunny day! The road trip there through the meadows and pasture lands sounds amazing. I wish you could add more photos of your road trip to show us how beautiful it is! Nice pictures.

    • Yes Julie, it was very beautiful. I will definitely add more photos of the road trip. It was wonderful

  18. The scenery of BR hills is beautiful. Everything looks so green and vibrant. The cottages at Gorukana look quaint and cozy and seem to fit in great with the setting of the BR Hills.

  19. Those cottages are charming! I had no idea that Bangalore had such a beautiful countryside. Thanks for the lovely photos and narrative of your experience. Really enjoyed the post.

  20. wow this place looks amazing! And the panoramic views are breathtaking! Thank you for sharing and putting this place on the map for me 🙂
    Alessandra

  21. That looks absolutely stunning and not somewhere that I’d heard of before. Thanks for writing the detailed guide. Also, gorgeous pictures!

    • Thanks Julianna. I guess thats why we travelers feel we are such tiny entity in the world. However much you have travelled there is always gem of a place somewhere in some corner of the world. A lifetime doesn’t seem enough to be able to see all of it 🙂

  22. This place looks beautiful! Bummer you had to rearrange your itinerary, but it seems like it worked out!

    • Yes, in the end it worked out wonderfully. We had a great time. Even the temperatures had dropped a little compared to the earlier schedule, making the weather more pleasant

  23. Great tips! Especially the one of taking food on the Kanakpura route.. Knowing me, I’ll always be on the look out for food so good to know I should stock up beforehand! Looks so lush and green… and oh my that view! Amazing 😀

    • Thanks Caroline! My toddler is like you. Tours, especially car tours means she should constantly have some munching options 😀

  24. B R Hills looks beautiful! It’s a pity there was a strike during the original dates you booked. There was a silver-lining that the resort was able to change your dates and not charge you extra, that’s quality customer service ☺

  25. nomadepicureans

    Wow, that looks like a great getaway. Will definitely consider it should we ever be in the area, haha! I love that on any road trips through India you can buy snacks along the road and just munch on it in the car 🙂

    Jacky

  26. B R HIlls looks like an amazing weekend getaway. The route winding through the lush green fields is refreshing and rejuvenating from the hustle bustle of the busy city. Would love to visit on our next Bangalore trip

  27. I’ve always pictured Bangalore as an industrial city packed with buildings and people. So it is quite a lovely surprise to discover there are green hills nearby. The scenery looks lovely!

    • Actually Christina, Bangalore is an industrial and software hub of India. But as soon as you step out of the city limits, from within 50km radius lots of interesting, beautiful and natural weekend getaways start sprouting. Even inside Bangalore, there are some interesting places to visit, will soon write about them as well

  28. I never knew Bangalore had such a great forest and nature. I guess I really didn’t know anything about it. The B R hills ooks like a great place to visit

    • You are right Lewi. There is so much to do and see around bangalore. I will dedicate a post to weekend getaways from Bangalore

  29. Munchkin Treks

    I love your photo of the B R Hills. The contrast between the blue sky and the green hills really got my attention. I would love to spot a herd of elephants. I took a Kenyan safari a few years ago, and I have been fascinated with elephants ever since.

    • Thank you! It is always nice to spot these animals in their natural habitat and watch them go through their daily chores 🙂

  30. Great pictures…I never knew that wildlife was an option here ! Do you have arrange for a safari in advance and take permits? How expensive is the accommodation?

    • The accommodation was INR 3500 per person, including all the meals and high tea and many other activities, nature walk etc. You can take the safari at an additional cost of INR 500 per person.

  31. How delightful. I have yet to visit Bangalore but the scenery looks so inviting. I love the idea of being around wildlife and chirping birds! The village looks very charming as well.

  32. Wow this looks amazing!! Will definitely have to check it out if I ever get a chance! Thanks for the detailed travel guide!

  33. What a beautiful place! I love the rolling hills and the green in the photos! The resort you stayed looks like straight out of a fairytale. Thanks for sharing!

  34. This is a great weekend getaway from Bangalore. I remember when I was in Bangalore some years ago, I went to one such hill near Bangalore. In fact Bangalore has many such great getaway options. Sometimes I wish I stay in Bangalore for few years just so that I could visit all the nearby destinations, haha.

    • You are right. Bangalore beats most of the other metropolitans in India when it comes to weekend getaways. There are 100s of them. We are going to complete a decade in Bangalore but are still to explore so many

  35. I can totally relate to your comment about loving the trip but having it leave you wanting more. I’m the same way no matter where I go 🙁 I also try to cram 100 different things into a 2 day trip because I want to see everything so I feel ya there. Great info, thanks for sharing!

  36. The BR hills looks beautiful and definitely worth a visit. There are some good tips in this blog – I would freeze and haven’t a clue what to do if I saw random large animals nearby. The view from the top looks incredible and worth the visit! Thanks for the post!

    • Thank you. Don’t worry the animals are mostly spotted at quiet a distance 🙂 Yes, some huge snakes did cross our path

  37. It looks like an absolutely beautiful part of the country, so lush and green!!!!

  38. I never gave a Bangalore a thought as a possible travel destination. This blog has changed my mine. Thank you

    • I am glad that you feel this way now. Actually Bangalore has 100s of beautiful weekend getaways around it, comprising of hills, beaches, cultural and historical places. So, you basically have everything

  39. The Gorukana cottages look amazing! Noting!

  40. benandjessadventures

    What beautiful photos! Those cottages look so nice!

  41. So many beautiful shades of green! Looks like a wonderful place to relax.

  42. Beautiful hills! Too bad you missed out on the elephants. That would have been cool!

  43. Great post.. loved reading it

  44. PackYourBaguios

    What gorgeous pictures! We do most of our travel on weekends and agree that you can cram in a lot of activities in just 2 days!

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