‘The farther you go, however, the harder it is to return. The world has many edges and it is easy to fall off’– Anderson Cooper
Ever tried explaining to your boss why you took an off on a Monday or a Saturday? Feels like falling off the edge, isn’t it? The scales of life balance each other out and so do the various emotions we experience. Monday blues which haunt every individual starting Sunday afternoon are now being offset by Friday Frolics. Planning long vacations in advance is fast being replaced by the weekend getaway planning. Taking an off on a Monday or a Friday only to enjoy a vacation is a new idea now.
All it needs is packing a few cases of your favorite beer and dumping the overnighter in the car boot. You are then, all set for a short vacation that fits into your weekend or an extended weekend if you are lucky. A sojourn to one of these offbeat destinations is also lighter on your pocket than a trip that entails air travel for instance. Even the dog doesn’t mind chewing the neighbor’s sofa for a change over the weekend when you are away for your ‘Weekendation’. The lingo is trending more in metros where your lifestyle demands that you take a weekend break from the rigmarole, merely to maintain your sanity levels.
Bangalore is one such metro that is thriving with millennial, ready to take off even before the Friday evening traffic ripens. The list that we have here, offers a good choice in terms of weekend getaways from Bangalore.
A trip to Gudibanda is more for the day traveler than the weekend one. The 400 years old Gudibanda Fort built by Byre Gowdas, is the ideal spot for a day getaway. The surrounding villages of Nicchanabandahalli, Bramharahalli and Chinna Halli can be included in the mini trip. Do not forget to stop by the big grand lake that adds a sparkle to this panchayat town.
- Distance from Bangalore: 91 km
- Activities: Explore the Gudibanda fort, hill, and lake
- Best time to visit: Winter offer the ideal weather to enjoy a picnic at the fort
If you love nature and you love trekking then pack your bags for a weekend trip to Galibore, faster than you can actually say the word ‘Galibore’. Located on the banks of River Cauvery, Galibore has a nature camp that is characterized by the famous rapids. Encompassed in a thicket of deciduous trees, Galibore is a hamper of amazing wildlife. From the endangered grizzled giant squirrel, spotted deer and marsh crocodiles to a variety of turtles and snakes, it’s a nature lover’s paradise. Carry your binoculars to feast on the sightings of fish eagles, woodpeckers, and kingfishers.
- Distance from Bangalore:3 km
- Activities: Trekking, fishing, angling and nature walk
- Best time to visit: Months between August and February when the monsoons make the river boisterous
3. Kunti Betta
The unbeatable option for night trekking, Kunti Betta is like candy for the adventure seeker. Popularly known as the sunrise trek, watching the sunrise from a vantage point fills you with positive energy enough to last several days. This place also known as Pandavpura has a special mention in Hindu Mythology. The Pandavas and their mother Kunti were extremely fond of this hillock according to legends. Trekking on the twin rocky hills of Pandavpura and swimming in the open Thonnur Lake reinforces the aura that these untapped destinations have. If you are not up for the adrenaline pushing adventures which the place has to offer, spend some time fishing on the lake.
- Distance from Bangalore: 130 km
- Activities: Trekking, swimming, rafting, rock climbing, rappelling, kayaking and the underrated activity of enjoying nature’s glorious gifts to mankind
- Best time to visit: October to May
Nestled between Bangalore and Mysore, Kabini offers the visitor an elixir of relaxation in its backwaters. The banks of River Kabini reflect the salubrious beauty of Kabini located on its banks. One of the best wildlife sanctuaries in Karnataka with its magnanimous bounty of flora and fauna is right here in Kabini. Wildlife enthusiasts will see the best of wildlife in Kabini. The lush green landscape and sightings of elephants add to the allure of this offbeat weekend getaway from Bangalore. It is a fantastic sight to see the elephants swim in the river merrily. A boat ride on the sparkling Kabini River takes around 3 hours. As far as accommodation is concerned, the private lodges and resorts are a little expensive than the hotels in Bangalore. Kabini is frequented by tourists all the year round and hence booking for a trip in advance is advisable.
- Distance from Bangalore: 215 km
- Activities: Jungle Safari in the Nagarhole National Park, Elephant Safari, and boating in River Kabini are the top things to do when in Kabini. The coffee and spice estates in Kuttu, Rameshwara Temple, and Iruppu falls cannot be missed.
- Best time to visit: Summers is the best season to explore Kabini
Tibetans flags fluttering in the winds welcome you to this offbeat weekend getaway from Bangalore. Bylakuppe is located between Bangalore and Mysore and was one of the first Tibetan Refugee Settlements in India, with thousands of Tibetans staying there today. The Golden temple, with 40-foot-high statues of Padmasambhava, Buddha, and Amitayus is frequented by Tibetan expatriates for learning. The chanting of the monks descends a sense of calm on anyone visiting the temple.
- Distance from Bangalore: 218 km
- Activities: Golden Temple, Sera Je Monastery, Sakya Monastery and Tashi Lhunpo Monastery should top your list of things to do on your weekend trip. Pamper the shopper in you at Tibetan shops while sampling authentic and delicious momos and thukpa.
- Best time to visit: During festivals when the monasteries have masked dances performing in colorful costumes
If you are a traveler on the lookout for destinations adorned with architectural delights interlaced with history, Gandikota is the best weekend spot for you. Fringed by the majestic Erramala hills, the 13th-century fort which holds the 300 years of history of the Kamma kings, stands tall on the brink of River Pennar. The Ranganatha Swamy Temple, Granary, Fort Entrance, and the Gandikota Gorge Viewpoint hold the power to take you back into the time when these places were the hub of activity. Indian holiday destinations offer a charm that matches one offered by holiday locations internationally. The Gorge Viewpoint which bears a striking resemblance to the Grand Canyon of Arizona in America gives an exhilarating sense of adventure. The rocky and rugged terrain is not for the faint-hearted in the least and when packing your bags, don’t forget to keep your trekking gear. Gandikota is one of those untapped weekend getaways from Bangalore destinations that envelope pristine beauty in the folds of their hills. A bus or a cab ride from Bangalore is best suited to reach here. You will enjoy the scenic views on the way. You can also drive down to the place yourself. Travel by train till Muddanur, the nearest railway station is also a viable option.
- Distance from Bangalore: 280 km
- Activities: Indulge your taste buds in some spicy and authentic Andhra food. Traverse through Belum caves and visit the Lepakshi temple which makes for a fascinating tourist site.
- Best time to visit: Winter is a pleasant time to plan a trip to Gandikota to enjoy the outdoors
The picturesque beauty of the family holiday destination Kalpetta beckons the weekend traveler who is up for some soul searching in the quiet of the tea and coffee plantations, sipping on soothing tea. The place is brimming with waterfalls with as many as two of them in the area. The Sentinal Rock waterfall can be visited following a 2km trek down the main road. The three-tiered waterfall is home to monkeys and deer. Kanthanpara waterfalls are also around 22kms from Kalpetta. It would take a day trip only if you are only enticed to see the waterfalls. To see the other interesting places like Koottamundu Glass Temple, Ananthanatha Swami Temple and Hriday Saras Lake you would need 2-3 days.
- Distance from Bangalore: 284 km
- Activities: Visit temples, waterfalls, and the lake
- Best time to visit: December to February offer a pleasant weather and are ideal for a visit.
Literally translating into horse-face, Kudremukh is named after a scenic and undulating mountain range that goes by that name and looks like the face of a horse. The winding roads give a thrill mixed with a feeling of ecstasy seeing the tea and coffee plantations on way to Kudremukh. Where it takes five hours from Bangalore to the start of the Ghats area, the journey onward is quite tiring and takes up almost three hours. Once there, a trek to the Kudremukh peak will take you through a mesmerizing trail, resounding with the sweet whispering of the wind and chirping of the birds. Stop over for a selfie at the cascading waterfalls that you will cross and relax by the banks of the serene streams.
- Distance from Bangalore: 340 km
- Activities: Kudremukh National Park, Hanuman- Gundi and a trek which is few steps down the slope to the waterfall, should be part of your itinerary.
- Best time to visit: Monsoons cover the place with dense foliage and the green blanket is absolutely soothing to the eyes and soul.
This is one of the closest and most offbeat weekend getaways from Bangalore. Untapped, and far from the madding crowd as one would say, Dandeli is the haven for an adventure seeker. Water sports in River Kali are the highlights of this place and are a must do. For the wildlife admirer, there is the night safari and bird watching on the banks of Kali, frequented by pied kingfishers, egrets, and other birds. The safari takes you into the heart of the dense forest where you might catch a glimpse of the majestic tiger or the mighty elephant. Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary is home to the magnificent Syntheri Rock, a 300 feet granite marvel. Naturally carved out caves in this rock through erosion over a period of time, are now inhabited by a wide variety of pigeons. Hives of bees hanging along river Kali are also a work of beauty. Dandeli ranks high in a list of family destinations near Bangalore. Shiroli Peak, Dandelappa Temple, Kavala Caves, Sri Mallikarjuna Temple, and Kulgi Nature Camp are some other tourist attractions that need at least 2-3 days of stay in Dandeli. Some of the best hotels in Dandeli are made in a thatched cottage style adding rural magic to it.
- Distance from Bangalore: 460 km
- Activities in Dandeli: Long river rafting in the winding waters of River Kali give a tough competition to the iconic rafting of Rishikesh. Add kayaking and canoeing to the list for added adventure.
- Best time to visit: To enjoy the enthralling experience of water rafting, the period between October to March is the best.