A best way perhaps to relax and rejuvenate after a hectic, mundane week is to set off on weekend getaways around Bangalore. There are popular adventure spots like Bheemeshwari and Chikmagalur, and there are some others that only demand a day of your life to give you that quick blissful vacation. Here is a list of top 10 off-beat tripsaround Bangalore that Thrillophilia recommends for the adventurous soul.

1) Savandurga

Situated on Magadi Road about 33 km from Bangalore, Savandurga is one of the highest monolithic hills of Asia. Standing 1,226 meters tall, with peninsular gneiss, granite, dykes and laterites,

Hiking, trekking, caving in Sawandurga hills
Hiking, trekking, caving in Sawandurga hills

Savandurga offers the perfect spots for adventure sports. Formed by two hills, Karigudda and Biligudda, the foothills of Savandurga are kissed by the beautiful Arkavathi River. Popular for its Sri Lakshmi Narasimhaswamy temple, Savandurga was also one of the locations where “A Passage to India” was shot. So get ready for rock climbing, trekking and caving and relive the history of this hill.

2) BR Hills

Located at the confluence of the Eastern and Western Ghats along the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border on the south-east is the Biligiriranga or BR Hills. Situated about 254 km from Bangalore, BR Hills is home to the BRT Wildlife sanctuary and crowned by the magnificent temple of Lord Ranganatha at its peak. To watch BR Hills come alive in all its glory, visit it in April when the temple’s Car Festival begins and the Soliga tribals present the lord with a large pair of leather slippers. And if you’re looking for a quieter vacation, drive down anytime of the year for trekking to Doddasampige, mountain biking and camping.

3) Anthargange

Be it a picnic with family and friends or a corporate outing,

Caving in Antragange
Caving in Antragange

Anthargange is a rocky haven for trekkers and nature enthusiasts. These volcanic rock formations and their numerous caves make Anthargange a perfect weekend getaway and adventure-filled off-beat trip around Bangalore. Situated 70-km away from the IT capital, Anthagange’s interesting rock formations are interspersed with numerous springs providing exotic sites for camping, rock climbing, rappelling, high rope traversing, caving and mountaineering. And those who want an exhilarating experience, go on a sunset trek here.

4) Thattekere

You don’t really have to travel miles away from Bangalore in search of scenic beauty. Thattekere is proof enough! Situated about 25 km from Bangalore, the giant lake of Thattekere lies amid Bannerghatta National Park. An important watering hole for elephants, it’s a haven for bird watchers and nature lovers. Non-commercialised, Thattekere is possibly one of those few picnic spots to where you can cycle and spend a whole day watching birds catch their prey and the sunrays dancing on the waters. The nearby woods offer great nature trek trails for the adventurous you.

5) Devarayanadurga

65 km from Bangalore, near Tumkur, lies the beautiful hill station of Devarayanadurga. These rocky hills are surrounded by forests and dotted with several important temples that make it a great off-beat trip around Bangalore. Standing at an altitude of 3,940 feet, a beatific spot at Devarayanadurga is the natural spring Namada Chilume, believed to have been dug out by Lord Rama. While the hills are great for trekking, rock climbing and rappelling, you should visit the two temples of Bhoga Narasimha at the foothills and Yoga Narasimha at the summit here to marvel the beauty of Dravidian architecture.

6) Hesaraghatta

A man-made reservoir situated about 18 km from Bangalore, the freshwater lake at Hesaraghatta is an important water source for the IT Capital and an off-beat vacation spot around Bangalore. A haven for bird watchers, Hesaraghatta is one of those few places around Bangalore where you get to sight kingfishers, magpie robins, egrets, mynahs, Brahminy kites, black drangos, bulbuls, coucals and purple sunbirds among the 29 species that habitat here.

7) Kunti Betta

A favourite haunt of Kunti, mother of the Pandavas (sic), Kunti Betta or Pandavapura is a scenic spot that has stood testimony to the many happenings in history and has lived to tell the tale. Situated about 130 km from Bangalore in Mandya district, Kunti Betta is adorned by paddy and sugarcane fields. The two rocky hillocks offer perfect slopes for adventure enthusiasts to trek, rappel and mountaineer, besides camping along the pristine lake at the foothills.

8) Madhugiri Fort

Travel 107-km north-west of Bangalore

Trek to Madhugiri fort
Trek to Madhugiri fort

to reach the fascinating hill of Madhugiri. Situated in Tumkur district, Madhugiri is the second largest granite monolith in Asia at an elevation of 3,930 feet. Nestled in its steep slopes is a fort built by Hyder Ali that has three entrances and a Gopalakrishna temple at the summit. So set off for a fascinating trek up the hill, exploring its fort and ruined temple, with a green carpet opening wide at the foothills. And for those who enjoying caving, check out the fine natural tunnels near the Veerashaiva Gurrammana Matha for unparalleled thrill.

9) Muthathi – Bheemeshwari

A quiet village in the banks of the Cauvery River,

Trekking, hiking and fishing in Bheemeshwari
Trekking, hiking and fishing in Bheemeshwari

Muthathi is a great place to visit after the monsoons, between August and December. Surrounded by the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary, the beauty of Muthathi is best enjoyed by crossing the river in a coracle. The crystal-clear waters with a lush green background and silvery sands altogether make Muthathi a great day-camping site, besides offering fantastic treks in the woods. For those who prefer spending the night in these serene surroundings, check into jungle lodges at nearby Bheemeshwari for a complete adventure weekend.

10) Manchinbele

This weekend spend it in a different manner.

Raft building at manchinbele
Raft building at manchinbele

Head 40 km out of Bangalore to the scenic spot of Manchinbele, a not-so-popular dam situated close to the Big Banyan Tree. The beauty of Manchinbele lies in the fact that as you approach it, it begins to entice you. One look at the lake in the shallow valley and you’ll so wish your vehicle would move faster. Perfect for camping and light swimming, Manchinbele is a haven for colourful butterflies, while its nearby hills are perfect for trekking and rappelling. And on your way back, do check out the humungous Big Banyan Tree – a true crown of nature!