5 Nature-Based Day Trips From Bengaluru For A Slower Pace Of Life

Escape the hustle and bustle of Bengaluru with these nature-based day trips
The Dodda Alada Mara is a big banyan tree in Ketohalli village
The Dodda Alada Mara is a big banyan tree in Ketohalli villageWikimedia Commons: T. R. Shankar Raman

Bengaluru's residents live in a fast-paced city where traffic snarls stretch on endlessly and the busyness of life often leaves no room to breathe and relax. Microadventures are short adventure trips that people can undertake without having to book expensive overseas holidays, all the while benefiting from a slower pace of life.

Here are five day trips for those looking to immerse themselves in natural landscapes.

Dodda Ayur

Dodda Ayur is an abandoned quarry whose basin filled up with monsoonal rains and turned into a lake
Dodda Ayur is an abandoned quarry whose basin filled up with monsoonal rains and turned into a lakeCopyright: Holidify

Also known as Chhota Ladakh or 'little Ladakh', the hills are part of an abandoned quarry whose basin filled up with monsoonal rains and turned into a lake. It is the ideal spot for a picnic and comes with a view that is pleasing to the eyes. While there is no drinking water or washrooms around, the quiet and calm of the area soothes the spirit.

Dodda Ayur is located to the east of Bengaluru at a distance of around 60km. It takes around 90 minutes to reach and it's best to travel early in the morning or during the evenings as shade is hard to find when the sun is overhead.

Kokkarebellur Bird Sanctuary

A painted stork at Kokkarebellur
A painted stork at KokkarebellurCopyright: Shutterstock

The name of this bird sanctuary comes from the eponymous village located in Mandya district. ‘Kokkare’ means 'stork' or 'pelican' and ‘bellur’ means 'white village'. There are over 140 species of birds who migrate here annually and have made this area their home. Kokkarebellur was declared a community reserve under the Wildlife Protection Act in 2007. The relationship between these feathered beings and humans exemplifies mutual co-dependency. The locals of Kokkarebellur village think of the storks, pelicans, grey herons and other birds as their own children returning home.  

Located some 88km from Bengaluru, the best time to witness the marvel of these avian species is from November to May. There are no entry points or timing restrictions and locals are often glad to guide visitors around.

Thottikallu Falls

Thottikallu Falls
Thottikallu FallsWikimedia Commons: Manjukirans

Also known as the Swarna Mukhi waterfall and TK falls, the Thottikallu Falls are best enjoyed when the monsoons arrive as it typically dries up during the summer season. To reach it you have to walk a steep trail but you can reward yourself by taking a shower underneath the waterfall. There are two adjacent falls to Thottikallu: one has a wide shower while the other is a narrow jet stream. The place also offers an opportunity to take a walk through the forest and appreciate its verdant landscape.

The waterfall is 33km from Bengaluru. Bannerghatta National Park is a 25 minute car drive away.

Nachikuppam

Hammocks in the Nachikuppam forest
Hammocks in the Nachikuppam forestCopyright: LingerLeisure

Nachikuppam is a village located amid the Krishnagiri hills of Tamil Nadu with splendid natural features like a lake, woods and 24 hectares of mango farms, alongside a plethora of temples and a nearby astronomical observatory. In the lush forest visitors can lie on a hammock to nap, read, and savour the peace and quiet of the hills. Trekking is another activity tourists can undertake.

Nachikuppam is around 95km from Bengaluru and private businesses run campsites for visitors looking to stay longer than a day.

Dodda Alada Mara

The Dodda Alada Mara is a sight to behold
The Dodda Alada Mara is a sight to beholdWikimedia Commons: BostonMA

Translated as 'big banyan tree', Dodda Alada Mara is a beautiful tree and an esteemed elder as it's around 400 years old. According to the Department of Horticulture, the tree covers an area of 3 acres, has a circumference of about 120m and is considered the world's fourth biggest banyan tree. Sometime in the noughties, the primary trunk was ravaged with a natural disease that now appears to viewers as groups of different trees.

The Dodda Alada Mara is in Kethohalli village, 27km from Bengaluru, and can be accessed via the Bengaluru-Mysore highway. Visitors can cycle and take long walks in the tree's vicinity, visit the Turahalli Forest 30 minutes away, and check out the Manchanabele Dam which is 20 minutes away.

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