Twiddling your thumbs over a long weekend without a thing to do? Fear not! We recommend you pack a humongous picnic basket and get exploring. The outskirts of our busy city are studded with gushing rivers, serene hills, and breathtaking waterfalls that promise endless adventures. LBB maps out the must-visit picnic spots. Thank us later!

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Hogenakkal Falls

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Nandi Hills

Just beyond Bangalore’s airport, Nandi Hills loom. The ancient hill fortress, from Tipu Sultan’s time, houses old-world temples, a dilapidated palace, and a lake. Spread your picnic blanket and settle in to take in the panoramic views that unfold.

Distance from the city: 61.7 kms

Time: 1hr 30 minutes (approx.)


picnic spot at bheemeshwari in hagalur

Photo by: Ashwin Kumar

Surrounded by thick jungles and the river Cauvery, Bheemeshwari is a favourite with nature lovers and adventure seekers. Park yourself at the Jungle Lodges property and indulge in a tranquil day of bird watching or opt for adrenaline pumping activities like mountain biking and kayaking.

Distance from the city: 102 kms

Time: 2hr 30 minutes (approx.)


The powerful gush of the falls at Shivanasamudra are a sight to behold. Gape at it for sometime and splash about in the water before settling down with your picnic basket. While the cold spray is tempting, do stay a bit further from the falls themselves. 

Distance from the city: 136 kms

Time: 2hr 50 minutes (approx.)

Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary

A visit to the bird sanctuary can be a rewarding experience especially during the winter months and around June. Flocks of storks, pelicans, ibises, herons, patridges and egrets come by to Ranganathittu and a coracle ride along the sanctuary’s waters can introduce you to these winged beauties. Say hello to crocodiles and otters too, if you’re lucky.

Distance from the city: 130 kms

Time: 2hr 40 minutes (approx.)

Hogenakkal Falls

Start early and cross over to Tamil Nadu’s Dharampuri district to spend a day by the majectic Hogenakkal Falls. The carbonatite rock formations around this area are said to be one of the oldest in Asia and the water infused with medicinal properties. 

Distance from the city: 180 kms

Time: 3hr 45 minutes (approx.)

Big Banyan Tree

Just a short drive away from the city, the sprawling Big Banyan Tree (or Dodda Aladha Mara as it is known locally) covers over three acres and is known to be around 400 years old. Sit around for sometime and enjoy nature’s marvel before heading out to a more secluded spot for your picnic, away from the monkeys.

Distance from the city: 28 kms

Time: 1hr (approx.)


A popular trekking spot, Kolar’s Savanadurga is an imposing monolith, one of the largest in Asia. Featured in David Lean’s classic – A Passage to India, Savanadurga is a picture of serenity and offers a welcome break from city life.

Distance from the city: 50 kms

Time: 1hr 45 minutes (approx.)

Sangama & Mekedatu

The meeting of the Arkavathy and Cauvery rivers at Sangama has been a favourite with the picnickers. It’s a great spot to soak your feet and enjoy a coracle ride. Swimming or wading the waters is however not advised since strong undercurrents are common. Once you cross the Sangama and take a short bus ride, you’ll arrive at Mekedatu. The river Cauvery runs forcefully through the deep gorges over here and makes for a stellar sight.

Distance from the city: 100 kms

Time: 4hr (approx.)

Muthyala Madavu

Popularly known as Pearl Valley, Muthyala Madavu is located just beyond the Bannerghatta National Park. The hills nestle a gurgling waterfall where you can spend a few tranquil moments.

Distance from the city: 41 kms

Time: 1hr 30 minutes (approx.)

Balmuri Falls

Located just right outside Mysore, Balmuri Falls is easily recognisable if you are an avid follower of Sandalwood (the Kannada film industry not the actual tree) productions. Lay out your blanket by the banks of this gentle waterfall or move on to the nearby Edmuri Falls if you want to skip the hordes of tourists.

Distance from the city: 140 kms

Time: 3hrs (approx.)

Chunchi Falls

The rocky trek to Chunchi Falls is totally accounted for at the sight of the gorgeous cascade. Pick a solitary spot just outside the falls’ area and bring out that picnic basket.

Distance from the city: 90 kms

Time: 2hrs 15min (approx.)


The historical, ghost town of Talakad has long been abandoned, covered in sand dunes. It however is still home to intricately carved and ornate temples that are worth visiting. And if a slice of history is appreciated on a picnic, we highly recommend Talakad.  

Distance from the city: 137 kms

Time: 3hrs (approx.)

Featured image via: Prem Kudva


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