As if not travelling wasn’t enough, the monsoon season is only adding to our miss-ery (see, what I did there?)! As one of the first few states to open up, if there’s one place in the country that feels normal, it is Karnataka. Every person in Bangalore looking at staycation options near Bangalore will agree that a road trip is simply ideal. With over 12 staycation options near Bangalore, I have crafted road trips that will give you a taste of the diverse palate of each region as well as SaffronStays’ fully-serviced private vacation homes.
Our first route is ideal for families.
Route: Bangalore -> Kanakapura -> Mysuru -> Coorg
No. of days: 10
(PS: We’ve mentioned the quickest routes to reach the destination.)
- Bangalore to Kanakapura
Route: Located to the South of Bangalore, Kanakapura is 29 km from the city centre making it an ideal route for a road trip. Take the NICE Bangalore Mysore Expressway to reach here.
Tell me more: Located in Karnataka’s Ramanagara district, on the banks of River Arkavathi, this town is famous for its silk and granite, which goes on to explain its diversity. So while it is ideal for the adventurous souls, there’s also something for history buffs and wildlife enthusiasts.
You may want to halt at one of the several local eateries for some piping hot sambar with crunchy vadas and chutney along with some kaapi.
Things to do:
- In my head, Bangalore road trip and trekking somehow go hand-in-hand. At Bilikal Rangaswamy Betta, a great terrain for trekkers, do exactly that. Located at an altitude of 3780 feet, it offers picturesque views of the surroundings plus there’s a temple dedicated to Lord Rangaswamy at the summit.
- Say waterfall and we can already hear the sound of it. One such famous fall in Kanakapura is Chunchi Waterfalls, which is close to the confluence of the Cauvery and Kollidam river. The route is quite breathtaking, and it is best visited during monsoons.
- If you’re in the mood for a picnic, Kanakapura Park with its sprawling lawns and greenery, offers you the right space to do that.
- If you’re deep into wildlife, Prani – The Pet Sanctuary won’t disappoint you. You can feed and bathe all their rescued exotic birds and animals.
- Love amusement parks? Ideal for kids as well as adults, and spread over 58 acres is Innovative Film City in Kanakapura that features a range of attractions. Adventurous rides, interactive attractions like haunted mansions, cartoon city, museums, and shoot sets make this place ideal for a getaway with your kids and family.
- Touted to be one of the largest meditation pyramids, Maitreya Buddha Pyramid is situated here. With a gorgeous landscape, greenery, and a library filled with spiritual books, it’s where you should head to if you’re looking for some peace of mind.
We think you should stay at…: SaffronStays Coconut Grove in Harohalli.
Get a tour of different towns in Karnataka while here. How? This pet-friendly countryside farmhouse has rooms furnished in a way to represent different towns in Karnataka including Mysuru, Coorg, Malnad, and Channapatna. For everyone who’s craving for some greens, large lawns, and lots of pampering, this home is ideal. Enjoy home-style food prepared by our in-home cooks and have a barbecue-and-bonfire night. You could also try your hand at picking some veggies from the organic veggie patch.
2. Kanakapura to Mysuru
Route: To the West of Kanakapura is Mysuru, which is 97 kms from the Kanakapura centre. Take the NH948 and Malavalli-Mysore Road to reach here.
Tell me more: Situated on the foothills of Chamundi Hills, Mysuru for me is all about the melt-in-your-mouth Mysore Pak. I can almost taste it even as I write about it. Or even the over 100-year-old Mysore Sandal Soap. With historical significance – it was the capital city of the Kingdom of Mysore for almost 6 centuries – it was briefly also ruled by Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan in the 18th century. Known as the Cultural Capital of Karnataka, it is known for its palaces, silk sarees, paintings, and heritage structures including the magnificent Mysore Palace.
When on a road trip from Bangalore to Mysuru, stop by at a local eatery to try some Aloo Bonda, Bisibele Bhath, and Kori Gassi (Mangalorean Chicken Curry) with Neer Dosa or Rice.
Things to do:
- Get a taste of royalty at the magnificent Amba Vilas or Mysore Palace, the erstwhile palace of Mysore’s royal family. A must-visit for every tourist, this is one of the biggest palaces in the country. Opulent with stained glass windows, mosaic floors, carved wooden doors with intricate work and lavish paintings, one can see Chamundi Hills on its eastern side. This place is especially famous for its light & sound show during Dussehra.
- Ideal for families and picnics, Brindavan Garden offers the perfect spot for unwinding and catching picture-perfect views. At night, the gardens are lit up with colourful LEDs inside the fountains.
- Situated 175 feet above the ground, St. Philomena’s Cathedral is one of the oldest and the second tallest churches in Asia. One can spot the spires of this church from different corners of the city centre.
- Established in 1892 for the royalty, one of the oldest zoos in the country, Mysore Zoo is a must-visit for all animal lovers. Spread over 157 acres, it houses a variety of animals ranging from the big and small cats to elephants, reptiles, and birds.
- Karanji Lake, which was earlier part of the Mysore Zoo, is another famous spot here. One of the biggest walk-through aviaries, one can not only find a variety of exotic birds and rare species, but there’s also a waterfall, a butterfly park and a museum of national significance.
- Mysore is also known for its several lakes including Kukkarahalli and Lingambudhi.
- Mysore is home to several adrenaline rushing activities. For instance, at Varuna Lake, one could go river rafting and kayaking, and spot several birds.
- Get a taste of an average Mysoreans life as you walk through the local markets here. Stock up on fresh fruits, veggies, spices, sandalwood agarbattis, souvenirs, and more…
- If you’re a water baby, we bet you’ll fall in love with the waterfalls here. From the Chelavara Falls to the Chunchanakatte and Balmuri Falls, Edmuri Falls and KrishnaRajaSagara Dam, witness nature’s magic at these spots.
We think you should stay at…: SaffronStays Riverstone.
This is a massive 3-bedroom modern, bare-brick home in Srirangapatna, set on the banks of River Kaveri. If all you choose to do is nothing, this home is perfect. With sleek, contemporary decor, the views from the home are soothing to the eyes. Bonfire or spending time by the river – the choice is yours.
3. Mysuru to Coorg
Route: Heading westwards from Mysuru takes you to Coorg, a hill town located in the Western Ghats situated 119 kms from Mysore. Take the NH275 to reach here.
Tell me more: Sky’s peck on your cheek, nature embracing you, the sound of the waterfall as your background score, and the aroma of coffee teasing your senses – Coorg or Kodagu, as it is officially called, is all-things-romantic. Located on the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats, this hill station with don’t-blink-your-eyes-else-you’ll-miss-the-scenery can be visited throughout the year. Majestic waterfalls and rivers, dense forests, temples, and museums justify its sobriquet, Scotland of India.
While you drive through here, try out some local favourites like Kadumbuttu (rice dumplings), Koli Curry (chicken curry), Nool Puttu (rice noodles), and Bamboo Shoot Curry.
Things to do:
- While construction on the two-storeyed Madikeri Fort started in the 17th Century, this heritage site has been built and rebuilt by rulers from varied dynasties. Interestingly, the Madikeri Deputy Commissioner’s Office is located inside the Fort premises. Set against the mountains with unobstructed views of the sky, it also houses a temple, church, prison, museum, and library.
- Much like most of Karnataka, Coorg too has several waterfalls for tourists to choose from. Abbey Falls, located at a height of 70 feet, offers a panoramic view of the surroundings. Set amidst coffee plantations, these falls join River Kaveri and also ideal for short treks.
- Originating from the tributary of River Kaveri is the Iruppu Falls that flows to the Brahmagiri Hills. You can go on a trail, swim or opt for river rafting from here.
- Mallalli Falls, located at the foot of the Pushpagiri Hills, offers a sense of quietude and natural beauty. The jeep drives here are what most visitors look forward to. The trek around the falls and the river rafting experience around it is equally spellbinding.
- Raja’s Seat – a self-explanatory name – is where various kings have visited. Encircled by the Gandhi Mantap garden, it has a toy train and a musical fountain dotted by pretty flowers. Capture stunning sunrises and sunsets while here.
- Located on the banks of River Cauvery, at Dubare Elephant Camp, is an immersive elephant centre where you can bathe or feed them. If you enjoy going on safaris, this place is perfect for you to spot tigers, deers, and gaurs. You can also choose to go camping and trekking organised by different groups here.
- Part of the Kadamakal Reserve Forest, Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary is amongst the 21 Wildlife Sanctuaries in Karnataka. The sanctuary houses a variety of exotic and rare species of flora and fauna, including otters, mouse deer, brown palm civet, lion-tail and bonnet macaque, giant flying squirrel, grey-breasted laughing thrush, and orange flycatcher among several others. Visitors can also go for a trek to Kumara Parvatha on the Shola grasslands and go camping and on a safari.
- Streams, valleys, and waterfalls – the Nagarhole National Park, one of India’s leading Tiger Reserves, has all of this and more. Part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, it is spread over 247 sq. miles and provides habitat to a large number of animals. From Bengal tiger to leopards, hyena, sloth bear, antelope, chital, and birds like Oriental white-backed vulture, the Nilgiri wood pigeon blue-winged parakeets and Malabar grey hornbill among others.
We think you should stay at…: SaffronStays Calamondinn Bungalow.
Spread over 6000 sq ft, this 4-bedroom eco-friendly heritage home dates back to the 1890s. With a pet-friendly cottage, this home gives out major English vibes, thanks to its construct, interiors, and pretty garden. There’s also an in-house production of milk and honey along with homegrown herbs. You can also take a tour of the live coffee plantation and follow it up by enjoying a hot cup of coffee. While you’re here, hope that the homeowner is around. Why? Well, in his presence, you can learn more about bees and beekeeping. Additionally, if yours is a group of 8 and above, he can also conduct a special masterclass to help you learn the basics of baking.
4. Coorg to Kanakapura
Route: The road from Madikeri to Kanakapura is around 4 hours 40 minutes. NH275 is the quickest route from Coorg to Kanakapura.
Things to do: Everything you missed doing when you started your road trip from Bangalore.
We think you should stay at…: SaffronStays Iris.
Straight out of a canvas, this is a 2-bedroom garden pool home near Bangalore. Not only is this pet-friendly home ideal for 2-3 families looking for a road trip near Bangalore, but it can also host large gatherings. A kids’ play area, a pool that offers you privacy, a large living room, and the 1.5-acre garden perfect for outdoor events makes it versatile for various occasions including family get-togethers as well as intimate celebrations. Located near Sri Sri Ravishankar’s Art of Living Foundation and is 50 minutes from Bangalore.