If you’re wondering why Bengaluru doesn’t have any late night extravaganza, then Nandi Hills is probably the city’s best excuse. People wake up early, some don’t sleep at all, with the hope of witnessing the morning sun color the sky. Quite easily the city’s favorite sunrise spot, the journey to Nandi Hills is amazing, and as mentioned, Bengaluru really doesn’t have a late night scene. So what else are you going to do?
Quick flashback – Nandi Hills, previously called Ananda Giri which translates to “The Hills of Happiness”, is an ancient hill fortress. Built by Tipu Sultan(the fortress, not the hill) it withstood 3 weeks of siege by the British Raj in 1791. Tipu’s drop, a notorious spot in the hills gained its fame as the spot where Tipu’s prisoners were pushed off from. The hills also feature a rock temple, a house which Mahatma Gandhi stayed at and a wedding hall (They were not attacked in the siege). It also offers a host of adventures including paragliding, cycling tracks, and trekking trails.
Sounds spectacular, doesn’t it?
Well, it is! If you can ignore the traffic jam at the entrance, food wrappers and bottles(alcoholic and non-alcoholic) littered in plain sight, and the many guides asking for too much money. ‘The Hills of Happiness’ once renowned for their tranquil setting and relaxing atmosphere, is slowly becoming louder, more commercial and residential. In fact, Bengaluru even welcomed the New Year with a celebration at the foot of the hills. Hills which provide shelter to several indigenous and migratory birds and wildlife; the numbers of which are constantly on the decline. Slowly, yet surely, the landscape of Nandi Hills is being transformed into that of concrete, steel, and people.
All this still doesn’t take away the charm of Nandi Hills. There’s something inescapable about them to any Bangalorean whether they work in IT or not. The fresh air, the contemplative setting, the birds chirping, it all adds up wonderfully. And this is a year-round feeling!
The future seems to be predicated on the same feeling.
Nandi Hills is currently undergoing development works, including a one-crore renovation of the Tipu Fort. The Department of Horticulture is lining up to set up a one-crore food court. Besides this, a 30-lakh music stage will be constructed in a three-and-a-half-acre grove for any cultural programmes that require scenic backdrops. There are several residential and hotel projects coming up in the vicinity of the hills too.
What’s truly astonishing are three particular projects, i. Exotic Botanical Garden, ii. Planetarium, iii. Gondola Lift System. These three projects go a long way in developing the local biodiversity by taking the stress off the current infrastructure.
The only challenge with the future promise...getting there. Currently, the projects are slow. he crowds only increasing. The lack of an organized infrastructure has resulted in pockets of development and pockets of neglect. For now, Bangaloreans still love Nandi Hills. Only proper management and organization will ensure the future generations run to the hills too.