Sharp hairpin bends, wild rustic paths, unfavourable conditions, a sturdy 4×4 ride, and a stunning location down south at the end of your journey—these adventurous road trips from Bengaluru will put your driving skills to test. By Sushmita Srivastav
Best road trips from Bangalore for your next adventure –
Bengaluru to Nandi Hills
Nandi Hills is probably the most popular day-trip destination around Bengaluru, and the reasons are aplenty. Well-kept but challenging hilly roads, multiple pit stops, great hikes, Chola temples, an impregnable fort and several remnants of Tipu Sultan’s empire, rolling farmlands, and nearly 410 acres of vineyards at the Grover Zampa—the region has a lot to offer. Though just a short ride away, the rugged terrain and steep slopes make the ride real fun.
Duration: 2 hours (61 km)
Best time to visit: September to May
Where to stay: Discovery Village
Where to eat: Pair your lunch with your choice of wine at Grover Zompa’s Lounge de La Réserve.
Bengaluru to Bisle Ghat
If you need to choose one place to go off-roading from Bengaluru, pick Bisle Ghat without any second thoughts. Around 34 kilometres ahead of Sakleshpur, the road to Bisle Ghat gets narrower as you keep driving through dense rainforest. Think minimal traffic, lots of greenery, and whooshing past 15 cascading waterfalls! The main viewpoint here offers a panorama of a sleepy valley covered in a thick blanket of clouds with three mountain ranges—Yenikallu Betta, Doddabetta and Pushpagiri, and Kumaraparvatha—towering on the other end.
Duration: 5 hours (247 km)
Best time to visit: October to March
Where to stay: Mookanana Resort (Sakleshpur)
Where to eat: Enjoy lunch with the backdrop of stunning coffee plantations at the Mookanana Resort’s in-house restaurant.
Bengaluru to Coorg
The route to Kodagu, or Coorg as it is popularly called, is packed with interesting detours and curved roads right after crossing the main highway. Pick the Ramanagara-Nagarhole route to enjoy a long stretch dotted with little hamlets, breathtakingly low hills, rolling teak and sandalwood forests, roaring falls, and acres of coffee and spice plantations. The Nisargadhma Forest and Nagarhole National Park falling en route, make the drive all the more interesting.
Duration: 5 hours 35 minutes (266 km)
Best time to visit: October to April
Where to stay: The Tamara Coorg
Where to eat: Enjoy traditional dishes like pandi curry and kadambuttu at Coorg Cuisine in Madikeri (094496 99864).
Bengaluru to Coonoor
An adventurous road trip doesn’t need to always have an ill-mannered route. The drive to Coonoor will take you through the swollen forestland of Bandipur, the winding roads of Ooty, to finally the cool and quiet confines of Coonoor. What makes this road trip interesting are the risky bends that you find while climbing up and the destination’s whopping height at 1,850 metres. As you keep moving up, the gorgeous plains spread out below continue to turn smaller, the slopes grow deeper, and clutters of thick clouds veil everything that falls your way.
Duration: 7 hours (285 km)
Best time to visit: October to March
Where to stay: Gateway Coonoor – IHCL SeleQtions
Where to eat: The La Belle Vie restaurant at 180 Mciver – A Heritage Villa offers some delicious Italian and authentic regional options (0423 223 3323).
Bengaluru to Munnar
You can be done with honing your skills by driving till Coonoor and go back. Or better yet—you can choose to start driving down the same route post-Coonoor, taking the winding road to Palakkad, then crossing the beautiful art town of Kochi, and finally reaching Munnar in Kerala for added fun. Alternatively, you can pick the Salem-Udumalaipettai-Marayoor route on which abrupt turns and steep ghats on the later part makes the journey more thrilling. Post that, the road from Marayoor to Munnar is narrow but surreal views around are enough to make you forget about altitude sickness if there’s any.
Duration: 10 hours (478 km)
Best time to visit: December to February
Where to stay: Ragamaya Resort & Spa
Where to eat: Try Sameera, the restaurant at Ragamaya for an elaborate spread at lunch or a BBQ dinner with a view.
These adventurous road trips from Bengaluru will not only test your driving skills but will ensure you make memories of a lifetime.
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