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4 Exciting places to visit around Bangalore
This weekend, pack your bags and plan a trip to these 4 exciting spots from Bangalore– Innovative Film city, Yelagiri Hills, Hogenakkal falls or Shivanasamudram falls Planning a weekend getaway or a day trip from Bangalore can be exciting and confusing at the same time. Everyone’s been there done that or has an opinion. The best option would then be to narrow down your choices based on the type of destination, budget and distance.

1. Innovative Film City Innovative Film City is an amusement park located in Bidadi, about 50 Kilometers outside Bangalore. It is one of the new theme parks that arrived in Bangalore in 2008. Don’t be fooled by the name though. This theme park has attractions such as a wax museum, dinosaur museum, a special section called ‘Cartoon city’ for kids, a mirror maze, 4D movies and more. Tickets are a bit pricey though. You’ll have to shell out between Rs 300 – Rs 1000 per person depending on what attraction you want to see inside. There are decent food courts where you can have your lunch or grab a bite. If you want to spend a fun weekend with your friends or family, Innovative film city is definitely worth a visit. Leave early and you can spend a whole day here. Duration: 1 day

Approximate Budget / person: Rs 500 – Rs 1000 Distance : 50 Kms Which route is it on: Bangalore – Mysore highway How to reach : by bus, car, bike Road condition: good

2. Yelagiri Hills – Getaway from the city madness This less popular hill-station is located near Krishnagiri town on the Bangalore-Chennai national highway. It is about 150 kilometers from Bangalore and around 250 Kilometers from Chennai. Yelagiri Hills is not your typical touristy destination; this place is meant for those who wish to getaway from the regular monotony of the cities to just relax for a couple of days. The hill station is at a height of about 900 meters (around 3000 feet) and the weather is pleasant all year round. The main attractions are a lake where you can go boating, Swamimalai – a trek of 3 Kms uphill takes you to a small temple and panoramic views of the mountains. There are plenty of hotels (many which call themselves as resorts) in Yelagiri. Tariffs start from about Rs 400 and goes upto Rs 4000 for cottages. Book at least a week in advance. The hotels get crowded during weekend and holidays. Duration: 1 – 2 days Approximate budget / person: Rs 1000 – Rs 2000 How to reach: by cars, taxis, buses, train (until Jolarpettai or Tirupattur) Road condition: good 3. Hogenakkal Falls Hogenakkal literally means smoking rocks (in Tamil). The falls comprise of a numer of smaller waterfalls that make up the beauty of the place. Hogenakkal is located in Dharmapuri district and is about 120 Kms from Bangalore. Perfect for a day-trip, you can drive to here over a Saturday and get a day’s off to unwind.

The most popular activity in Hogenakkal is the hot oil massage. For about Rs 50, local masseurs give you a 5-minute full body massage. Though it seems quick, this short duration is enough to loosen tight spots in your body. After the massage, a quick shower under the falls is considered to be therapeutic. You can also take a ride in the famous ‘theppa’ or coracle boats which take you around the Kaveri river that forms Hogenakkal falls. You can also taste local delicacies of fried fish, paniyaram (rice cakes) or Poli (Indian sweet). Staying options are minimal in Hogenakkal. Hotel Tamilnadu, run by the Tamilnadu tourism department, is the only decent one in town. During the tourist season (September – January) you may need to book in advance. You can also stay in Dharmapuri where staying options are better. From Dharmapuri it is a 50 Kms drive to Hogenakkal. Duration: 1- 2 days Budget / person: Rs 1000 Which route it is on: Bangalore – Krishnagiri (Chennai highway) – Dharmapuri Road condition: Good

4. Talakadu and Shivanasamudram – Submerged in time Shivanasamudram (sometimes called Shimsha falls) is home to a couple of lovely waterfalls while neighboring Talakadu preserves history in the form of submerged temples. Located about 150 Kms from Bangalore and about 70 Kms from Mysore, Shivanasamudram and Talakadu are both popular picnic and weekend spots. You can reach here after taking a turn after Maddur on the route that goes to Kollegal. Shivanasamudram Falls actually consists of two separate falls called Gaganachukki and Bharachukki. Shivansamudram is also the site of Karnataka’s first hydroelectric project. Both falls carry the waters of river Kaveri from a height of about 90 meters.

Of the two falls you can enjoy Bharachukki most as it can be reached by a flight of steps near the falls while Gaganachukki falls is off-limits. You can take bath under the falls or spend some time frolicking in the pond near the falls. Both falls are located about 5 Kms between each other. During the monsoon season, the falls are in full flow and present a majestic sight. Talakad is about 20 Kms from Shivanasamudram is famous for the submerged temples that is believed to emerge once in 12 years. Situated on the banks of the river Kaveri it is now a popular picnic spot aside from being a pilgrimage center. The temples in Talakadu were built by the Hoysalas who were staunch devotees of Lord Shiva. Five such Shiva temples were built in honour of the god. A fair is held once every 12 years to honor the lord. The last such fair was held in 2006. There is also folklore that Talakad was cursed to turn into a mass of sand by a woman named Alamelamma, in the 16th century. You can visit Shivanasamudram first and then come to Talakadu, see the temples and go for a swim or just chill out in the waters. Water is shallow, but there are weeds and sharp stones which some may find irritating. Catch the sunset here and head back to Bangalore. There are no good restaurants in Talakadu. It’s better to pack your lunch and have it in Talakad. You will find a lot of monkeys around, but you can eat if people take turns to guard from the monkeys. You can fit Shivanasamudram and Talakadu in a 2 day trip – Spend one day in the nearby Ranganathittu bird sanctuary and Srirangapatna and the next day here. On your way back you can find good number of Dhabas and restaurants outside Maddur on the highway. You can stopover here for dinner while coming back to Bangalore Duration: 1 – 2 days Approximate budget / person: Rs 1000 – Rs 2000 How to reach: by cars, taxis, buses. Private transport is the best option Road condition: From Bangalore – Maddur, you will find excellent roads. The road from Maddur to Shivanasamudram is in a pathetic state. Leave

early in the day to avoid truck traffic and leave before dusk as it can be uncomfortable driving in the dark from Shivanasamudram to Maddur where you hit the highway.

Find more places to visit around Bangalore at www.GoDakshin.com. Go Dakshin provides guides to travel and holiday destinations in South India

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