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 these amazing picnic spots near Bangalore. The outskirts of our busy city are studded with gushing rivers, serene hills, and breathtaking waterfalls that promise endless adventures. Now with the pandemic in picture it is also safer this way to meet your friends, in the open with enough space to practice social distancing. LBB maps out the must-visit picnic spots that are under 5 hours away from Bangalore. Thank us later!
LBB's Guide To The Best Picnic Spots Around Bangalore Under 5 Hours
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 make it a great picnic spot with your family. 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.)
Surrounded by thick jungles and the river Cauvery, Bheemeshwari is a beautiful road trip near Bangalore for 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, or just a picnic surrounded by nature.
Distance from the city: 102 kms
Time: 2hr 30 minutes (approx.)
The powerful gush of the waterfalls 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,and enjoy your picnic from afar, and return to Bangalore in one piece.
Distance from the city: 136 kms
Time: 2hr 50 minutes (approx.)
Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary
A visit to the bird sanctuary near Mysore can be a rewarding experience especially during the winter months and around June (so plan your picnic accordingly) . 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.)
Start early and cross over to Tamil Nadu’s Dharampuri district to spend a day by the majestic Hogenakkal Falls for your picnic with bae. 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 Bangalore, the sprawling Big Banyan Tree (or Dodda Aalada Mara as it is known locally) covers over three acres and is known to be around 400 years old. Sit around with your friends and enjoy nature’s marvel at the peaceful spot 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, and less than two hours from Bangalore. Featured in David Lean’s classic – A Passage to India, Savanadurga is a picture of serenity and offers a welcome break from city life. Once you're done trekking up, spread out your blanket and enjoy the picnic before you trek down before sunset.
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.)
Popularly known as Pearl Valley, Muthyala Madavu is located just beyond the Bannerghatta National Park, on the outskirts of Bangalore. The hills nestle a gurgling waterfall where you can spend a few tranquil moments with bae, and for that perfect "picnic by the waterfalls" Instagram post of course.
Distance from the city: 41 kms
Time: 1hr 30 minutes (approx.)
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 picnic 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.)
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, and enjoy your snacks and the view before heading back to Bangalore.
Distance from the city: 90 kms
Time: 2hrs 15min (approx.)
The historical, ghost town of Talakad near Mysore 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.)
If you want to skip Avalabetta (or do more in and around the area), head to Gudibanda. The most distinctive attraction is the 400 year old fort built by Byre Gowda (from the Vijayanagar empire), and supposedly a replica of the Madhugiri Fort. The fort itself has plenty of openings, secret passageways, and the charms of a ruin, and you can open your picnic basket along the way. The view of the Byra Sagara Reservoir, and pools of water by the fort thanks to the erstwhile chieftain’s rainwater harvesting systems are beautiful cherries on the top and make the visit worth your while.
Distance from Bangalore: 93 kms (approx.)
Time: 2 hours 10 minutes (approx.)
Shettihalli Rosary Church
Though a bit of a drive, the abandoned Shettihalli Church is a lovely picnic spot for something different. Built by the French in the 1860s, it was abandoned in 1960 as the Hemavathi Reservoir resulted in flooding of the area. The hauntingly beautiful Gothic structure makes for quite the lovely picnic backdrop. In fact, you can get two picnics out of it with a very different vibe. During the monsoon, the church is half submerged, and during winters and spring you can explore the church’s skeletal structure.
Distance from Bangalore: 200 kms (approx.)
Time: 4 hours (approx.)
Ramanagara is a village near Bangalore best known for being where the iconic film Sholay was shot (the hillocks near town are now called Sholay Hills!). While the village itself is fairly picturesque, it’s the seven hills around that make for great picnic spots. A few are easy climbs, but most are great for rock climbing enthusiasts. Yatirajagiri, Shivaramagiri, Somagiri, Revannasiddeshwara Betta, Krishnagiri, Sidilakallu Betta and Jalasiddeshawara Betta are the hills. There’s also a vulture sanctuary nearby if you want to make a day of your outing.
Distance from Bangalore: 48 kms (approx.)
Time: 1 hour 15 minutes (approx.)
This is a state maintained forest park beyond Yelahahanka. It’s a looped forest trail technically, and is a great favourite with hikers, nature lovers, and off road cyclists alike. The park is used for research purposes so they have plenty of boards and signs detailing the biodiversity and research initiatives. While the walking path is flat or gently sloped, they also have dedicated rest stops and a few benches where you can sit and enjoy the environment. The space is open between 6 and 10 in the mornings and 3 to 6 in the evenings, so plan your picnic accordingly. You will need to pay an entry fee of INR 10 (cash only, the last time we checked).
Distance from city centre: 45 kms (approx.)
Time: 1 hour (approx.)
Antharagange is a hill near Kolar. The name means “Ganga from the deep”, and there’s always water (from a perennial underground spring supposedly) around the area. The main attractions here are the hill views, the temple, and natural beauty, so if you want a family picnic where everyone gets something out of it, this is it. You can access the hills and the nature trails and forests (and caves too!) from behind the temple, and after an easy hike up, enjoy a panoramic view of Kolar town.
Distance from Bangalore: 67 kms (approx.)
Time: 2 hours (approx.)
Pro-Tip: Access to the caves is seasonally restricted for safety reasons. You’ll need to reach there and enquire about visiting the caves.
Avani is a small town near the Kolar Gold Fields. The town has a lot of mythology related to Sita and plenty of temples (Ramalingeshwara group of temples) that you can explore if you’re a history and culture buff. A short distance away is Avani betta that has a pretty view point. But if it’s an out and out picnic you need, then there are plenty of small and large lakes around like Ramapura lake, Devarayasamudra, and Oorukunte Kere.
Distance from Bangalore: 95 kms (approx.)
Time: 2 hours (approx.)
This temple in Chikkabalapur district is over 1000 years old, and is currently maintained by the Archeological Society of India. Just a 15 minute drive from Nandi hills, the temple is still functional and the lawns around the temple complex make a lovely picnic spot. With plenty of places to sit in the lawns (under the shade of massive trees or ruins) as well as mantapas by the outer walls. Parking might be a bit of an issue as you cannot park inside and will have to find a free spot in the village, but the unobstructed view of Nandi Hills behind the temple makes it a pretty picnic location.
Distance from Bangalore: 54 kms (approx.)
Time: 1 and a half hours (approx)
Bannerghatta National Park
The Bannerghatta National Park and zoo is a great picnic spot if you don’t want to worry too much about food, facilities, and safety when you’re out with your family. You can happily take food with you, and there are dedicated spots for sitting and eating. That being said, there are plenty of stalls that serve everything from Indo-chinese food to fruit salad and juices. If you don’t want to go to the national park, however, the area around the islands of development still includes hills, waterfalls and lakes. That being said, they border the state forest, so there’s a light risk of running into wildlife.
Distance from Bangalore: 21 kms (approx.)
Time: 1 hour (approx)
Pro-Tip: Nearby are Gulakamale Lake, Tottikallu Falls, Tobo Hill Top, Ragihalli State Forest, Sagaru Hills.