History & Horticulture of Nandi Hills

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There are many beliefs as to why this region was called ‘Nandi’ hills. Some say because the entire hill range looks like a sleeping bull. Formerly known as ‘Aanandgiri’ (Hill of pleasure) traditionally called Kushmandagiri after the sage Kushmanda performed austerities here. It was changed to Nandi Hills or Nandidurg. Rising 4850 ft.

We the trek from the bottom close at a hidden away trek spot, after parking the vehicle.82292077_3094059630709434_4886822289129078784_n As we walked towards up beautiful ancient stone steps greet you and come across colourful inscriptions as you walk up. The first beautiful stupa has the most exquisite engraving of Nandi bull with all the colours still intact. As we started walking up, every 150-200 m there were places to rest which shows that this location was well traversed

The trees here that stand out the most is the Eucalyptus variety. The fresh aroma emanating in the atmosphere lifted our senses and leaving us super fresh, making the trek all the more rejuvenating. We collected shredded barks of the trees as we walked, examined various species, pointed out beautiful birds such as drongo, bulbul, sunbird, mynas and watched as the leaves waved lazily in the breeze.

82434556_3094060070709390_3768351133815275520_nIt was a cool day, thankfully without the sun beating on us making the trek an extremely pleasant one. As we walked along stopping time to time and admiring our surroundings, the group noticed a big rock and one of the children immediately said it looks like a hippo. The rock was aptly names Hippo Rock and had a massive Mango tree close by, we pinned this tree down to be at least 100 years old. We also explained how the mango (Magnifera Indica) is the national fruit of India and historical data that goes back to 5000 years.

The Banyan tree, has an interesting and somewhat cruel way of surviving, literally survival of the fittest. Grown from the dropping of a bird or mammal if this falls on a tree, this sapling starts to grow roots and stem which draw nutrition from the host tree, eventually strangulating it which gives the Banyan Tree the name of ‘Strangler Fig’. You can see these species in Cubbon, Lal Bagh even till today.  Despite its brutal growth, this tree gives the maximum shade and commonly known as an umbrella species. A favourite of the cobra, the shade of this species is extremely unique.

As we walked, the kids pick up dry pieces of wood, seeds, pods of Gul Mohor make the 82408697_3094062250709172_9038003108080254976_nbeautiful earthy sound when shaken! Felt for a moment as if the earth was speaking to us! Delonia Regix (Gul Mohor) originates from Maagascar, planted years ago by travellers and loved by Tipu Sultan, this species adapted extremely well to our soil, a joy and splendour to look at in the later summer months of Bangalore.

As we walked further up, we passed the historic spot of ‘The Battle of Nandidurg’ where the fierce warrior king rebutted the British enemy led by Cornwallis back into their lines in 1790. It is here that the view of the hills and clouds gets truly spectacular! Our panorama pictures does little justice to what this looks in real. It was hard not to say wow, why didn’t I know this before.

82398115_3094061540709243_7143056725266923520_nWe also reached Tipu Sultan’s famous summer house which is surrounded by extremely old Coniferous tree species; we got our group to hug them to show how old these giants really are! It took 2 full grown adults and 2 kids to get their arms around the massive Eucalyptus variety.

After a quick auto ride to the final top (legs and arms aching) We reach the final destination which is a wide expanse of Rock and the massive Nandi durg structure. There are lots of options to wait, we enjoyed freshly cut fruits which was healthy and had a picnic by the rocks!

We recommend this to everyone to do, it is an amazing trek and truly beautiful and unforgettable

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