Working in a city like Bangalore is a blessing for anyone who is a travel enthusiast thanks to the myriad destinations you can visit in and around the ‘Garden City’. But there is always a serious shortage of time due to which we are at the mercy of those long weekends when we all make a beeline for one of the hill stations near Bangalore. It doesn’t always have to be be this way though, and especially not for bikers who don’t need an excuse to set off on their next trip. So, for the benefit of those who have the wanderer spirit but no time, here are some tourist spots in Bangalore for riders that are within an hour or two driving distance from the city. If you start from your home by early morning (around 4-5 am), you can spend a couple of hours there and still be back in time for work.
Big Banyan Tree
Known as Dodda Alada Mara in Kannada, the Big Banyan Tree is a four century old Banyan tree surrounded with its close to thousand areal roots, covering a massive area of 3 acres. By walking one round around the big banyan tree, you will be covering quarter of a km. The sheer magnitude of the tree complex commands respect and brings an aura to the place.
Big Banyan tree is about 30kms from Bangalore city centre, off Mysore road. Once on Mysore road, take a right turn near Rajarajsehswari Engineering College (Kumbalgod Junction), from where it is one straight road all the way till Big Banyan Tree.
A kew kms further from Big Banyan Tree is the Manchanabele Dam. Situated on river Arkavati, Manchanabele is a man made irrigation dam, the beauty of which can be enjoyed from nearby hills that offer an excellent view of the water body. Various Bangalore based adventure groups often conduct watersports and other camping activities here at Manchanabele while regular tourists flock here for picnics.
Turahalli Forest Viewpoint
Turahalli Forest view point (aka Karishma hills) is a small rocky area off Kanakapura road, overlooking NICE road. It is about 13 kms from Banashankari. Once at Kanakapura road, after crossing the NICE road underpass, you need to take a right turn at Vajarahalli road. (If you’ve crossed Nandi Toyota on your left, you’ve gone too far) After few kms, you’ll enter a forest like area (Turahalli Forest area in Google maps). The viewpoint only has a small temple and few rocks, but it offers a stunning view of the city and watching the sunset from is here is mesmerising.
Thattekere is a hidden lake about 60 kms from Bangalore. It lies towards the south, beyond Bannerghatta National Park. This lake rarely gets listed as a tourist destination, but this less-explored and scenic destination is certainly worth a short visit. Thattekere has one big lake, a small temple of Mahadeshwara, a few watch towers nearby and lots of birds. One needs to park their vehicles on the main road and walk on foot for about a kilometre to reach Thattekere lake. Lots of birds can be spotted in the area thanks to its serenity and isolation; Lapwings, Bee Eaters, Kites, storks and Kingfishers are the most common ones. If you’re a fan of bird watching or photography, then this is the best place to visit. The lake looks absolutely amazing in the early morning hours, so be sure to reach there in time for sunrise.