Morning Drive to Hesaraghatta & Nrityagram

If you are fed up of the tourist places to visit in Bangalore, take an early morning drive across Byalkere peacock sanctuary and Hesaraghatta Lake. It is a completely different world from the Bangalore we know, with farms, vineyards, birds, forests and grasslands, making this a refreshing change from the usual places to visit in Bangalore. The menu offers rustic villages, farm animals, migratory birds, Nrityagram the unique dance gurukul, Adarsh Film & Tv Institute and the last surviving grasslands near Bangalore. There isn't any other place to visit in Bangalore that offers such rustic beauty!

Bird sanctuary, places to visit in Bangalore

Driving directions

Byalkere and Hesaraghatta are in the North Western part of Bangalore and not very difficult to reach among places to visit in Bangalore. Byalkere is 13 kms from Yeshwantpur. Reach Yeshwantpur circle and then head towards Mathikere. Go past the flyover to BEL circle. Carry on straight through Jalahhali east, Vinayak Nagar and Dodda Byalkere. Hesaraghatta is 15 kms from Byalkere. Head back to Dodda Byalkere and then go past Silvepura, Tirumalapura. There are directions for Nrityagram all the way from the Lake.

A novel way to see places around Bangalore is through 5 Senses Tours who organise experiential tours that stimulate all the 5 senses while traveling. The tours are organized on Royal Enfield motorcycles as well as private cars. Visit 5 Senses Tours

Bike ride, places to visit in Bangalore 

Travel tips

Start at 530 am so you can reach the Bird Sanctuary by 630 and can  spot as many birds as possible. Take prior permission from Forest Department if you want to enter the Byalkere Sanctuary. Otherwise just have a look from outside. One can hear peacock sounds all along the fencing in the wee hours of the day. The sound of Peacocks is a welcome change form the urban noises you hear in other places to visit in Bangalore

The road is reasonably good and bad in only a small stretch just before Hesaraghatta. Carry snacks and water as there are no restaurants on the way. Taj Kuteeram is the only decent Hotel in the entire area.

HMT Factory is located in Jalahalli. If you want a piece of nostalgia on your wrist, you can buy a manual winding HMT classic watch from the company showroom near Jalahali bus stop. This would make for a nice moment of this unique trip among places to visit in Bangalore. They give as much as 40% discount on these ancient pieces! 

hmt watch, places to visit in Bangalore

Byalkere Peacock Sanctuary

Byalkere is the last surviving piece of grassland in Bangalore. It is a bird sanctuary and a haven for peacocks and other birds. Prior approval is required from the Forest department to enter the Byalkere reserve. It is an amazing experience to hear the cacophony of Peacocks at dawn, a welcome change form the urban noises one hears in another places to visit in Bangalore

Bird sanctuary, places to visit in Bangalore

Peacock, Bird sanctuary, places to visit in Bangalore

Bird sanctuary, places to visit in Bangalore

However, there is plenty of bird activity in the periphery of the reserve and can be seen without actually entering it. Some of the birds spotted here at dawn are marsh harriers, Indian roller, barn swallow, kestrel and Siberian stone chat.  

Bird sanctuary, places to visit in Bangalore

Bird sanctuary, places to visit in Bangalore

Bird sanctuary, places to visit in Bangalore

Bird sanctuary, places to visit in Bangalore

If such a rural ambience appeals to you, you can also check Ramanagar of Sholay fame, which also proves to be a refreshing ride in the mornings.

Hesaraghatta Lake

Hesaraghatta Lake was conceived by Sir K. Seshadri Iyer, the Dewan of erstwhile Mysore state and the M. C. Hutchins, the chief engineer of Mysore to store a three-year' water supply to the city. This is another notable destination to visit among places to visit in Bangalore.

Hesaraghatta lake, places to visit in Bangalore

Unfortunately most of the water has dried up and during summers, the lake is barren. A visit during monsoons is a much better idea as the Lake would look much better full of water!

A much better option around Bangalore for a Lake would be Thattakere, which is another recommended destination for a short getaway from Bangalore. 

Hesaraghatta Lake, places to visit in Bangalore

But the good news is that the Lake still attracts birds such as), Brahminy kites, black drangos, bulbuls, kingfishers,  magpie robins and  common mynas. There aren't many places to visit in Bangalore that can boast of this variety of birds. 

Bird sanctuary, places to visit in Bangalore

 

Bird sanctuary, places to visit in Bangalore

Grasslands

The last surviving grasslands near Bangalore are in Hesaraghatta. It is a refreshing world of vast open spaces where you can see for miles. Just drive around over these plains and soak in the concept of open spaces before it is time to go back to claustrophobic Bangalore! The grasslands are the last word when it comes to most surprising places to visit in Bangalore. For more Nature getaways visit Nature Holiday ideas.

Grasslands, places to visit in BangaloreGrasslands,  places to visit in Bangalore

There are many Farms around Hesaraghatta and the every day life of the people living here itself makes a great photograph. It is a different world altogether from the other places to visit in Bangalore. 

Village scene,  places to visit in Bangalore 

Mango farm,  places to visit in Bangalore

Adarsh Film and TV Institute

On the way from Hesarghatta Lake towards Nrityagram you will pass by Adarsh Institute. Founded in 1973 by BRP Swamy and supported by legendary Nagendra Rao, The Adarsh Institute is a premier source for training artists in Karnataka for TV and Film industry. The popular courses are on acting, playback singing, direction, cinematography and editing. The Kannada Silver and Small Screen has gained a galaxy of stars and hundreds of technicians from Adarsh Institute.

IF you are a movie buff, then the place for more movie trivia and theme based entertainment would be Innovative Film City

Adarsh film institute, places to visit in Bangalore

Nrityagram Dance School

Nrityagram is the famous dance village and India’s first modern gurukul. Set up by the famous dancer Protima Bedi, Nriyagram is a residential school  where students learn  Indian classical dance forms like Odissi, Mohiniattam, Kathak, Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathakali and Manipuri. Nrityagram adds a dose to culture in this unique trip among places to visit in Bangalore.

Nrityagram, places to visit in Bangalore

The pedagogy follows ancient Indian system of gurukuls and the schedule runs for 8 hours a day and 6 days a week for 7 years! Visitors can enter the school from 10am – 2pm on all days except Mondays. Considering that most people will visit here on a Sunday, Nrityagram conducts special Sunday classes for the local village boys and girls. It is a good cultural experience. For more details check Nrityagram.

Nrityagram, places to visit in Bangalore

The best way to finish this amazing journey is with a lunch at Taj Kuteeram, just opposite Nrityagram. One can recollect the amazing glimpses of rural life captured during this unique trip among places to visit in Bangalore, over a sumptuous lunch.

Taj Kuteeram, places to visit in Bangalore

If you fall in love with the country side in this drive, then you can always stay over at Taj Kuteeram and indulge yourselves with another day out here! For more details on Taj Kuteeram and bookings visit Taj Kuteeram. 

Homestay Suggestion

For homestays in India where you have a hospitable host and home cooked food, visit India Holiday Ideas.

IF you would like a weekend farm stay near Bangalore then you can check details at Bangalore Weekend Farm stay.

Other Places on the way

On the drive back, some of the other places worth having a look are Chikkabanavara Lake, Linganahalli and Manjunatha Temple.

Temple, places to visit in Bangalore

For my travelogues on other weekend getaways from Bangalore, visit Bangalore Weekend Ideas.

A novel way to see places around Bangalore is through 5 Senses Tours who organise experiential tours that stimulate all the 5 senses while traveling. The tours are organized on Royal Enfield motorcycles as well as private cars. Visit 5 Senses Tours

 

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