Mandargiri Hills in Tumkur is the perfect weekend drive from Bangalore if you're up for an adventure, culture, and a rather beautiful Jain Temple that will have you gaping in awe. Just 60-odd kilometres from Bangalore, Mandargiri Hills also happens to be an important pilgrim place for Jainism in Karnataka. The hill, also known as Basadi Betta locally, is more of a hillock that the hills that dot the backyard of Bangalore. It's an easy hillock to scale up thanks to the 450-odd carved steps. It shouldn't take you more than 15 minutes to reach the top. The views aren't spectacular or anything, but you do get a panoramic view of the village Pandithanahalli. The summit has four temples which were constructed between the 12th and 14th century. There's also a small pond to dip your toes in.
Once you are back to the base, do not miss out on what is arguably the hills most famous architecture -- the pinchi-shaped 81-feet tall Guru Mandir. A pinchi is a peacock feather fan for the uninitiated, and yes, the temple is as beautiful as it can get with all bright hues of blue, green, and orange on the feather-shaped dome. Take plenty of pictures. There's also a tall statue of Chandranatha Thirthankara which is a smaller scale model of the Gommateshwara statue at Shravanabelagola.