Nandi Hills in 4 hours…

When visited:  April 2014               Temp:  20-24C

In Bangalore for the weekend again and this time I had a morning free to visit a birding site and most people seemed to suggest that Nandi Hills, 60km from Bangalore was a pretty good bet. I arranged a car to pick me at 530am (on retrospect I should have made it 500am to get there for the sunrise).  It took us just over an hour on an interesting drive on highways initially and as we approached Nandi Hills the scenery was very attractive.  Ascending the 40 curve hill road, I caught the tail end of the sunrise which was still impressive.  Apparently if weather conditions are right, you can sometimes see a sea of clouds surrounding the hills.

sunrise over nandi hills

sunrise over nandi hills

morning glow over nandi

morning glow over nandi

 

We didn’t but you should stop just beyond the main entrance where there is large step well and a giant map of the top of Nandi Hills. Having not stopped to study this map, I probably spent more time than I should have at the top of the hill rather than down by the step well and nursery where the birding was somewhat better.

Nandi Hills Map..check it out first

Nandi Hills Map..check it out first

Parking by the road side at the top, near where the ‘Special Officer’s House’ was, I set off for a slow ramble towards Tippu’s Drop where the Tippu Sultan used to have the condemned pushed off the sheer cliff.

Tippu's drop

Tippu’s drop

 

Cells where the condemned were held prior to being cast down below

Cells where the condemned were held prior to being cast down below

Finding a tree fill of orange cherries, I saw the following attractive birds…white cheeked barbet, oriental white eye, red vented bulbul etc.

teh common but pretty red vented bulbul

the common but pretty red whiskered bulbul

 

Oriental white eye

Oriental white eye

 

white cheeked barbet

white cheeked barbet

white cheeked barbet

white cheeked barbet

white cheeked barbet

white cheeked barbet

 

golden oriole

golden oriole

magpie robin

magpie robin

Indian Blue Robin

Indian Blue Robin

purple rumped sunbird

purple rumped sunbird

Black kite

Black kite

 

And by the hillside near Tippu’s drop, the view was magnificent…

view to the valley

view to the valley

It was here I came across this delightful pair of lizards…I’m reliably told by Nishant that they are:

Peninsula Rock Agama

Peninsula Rock Agama

Oriental Garden Lizard

Oriental Garden Lizard

After finishing off at the top, I drove down to the step well and then discovered the nursery right next to it where the birds were very interesting as well….In India, Step wells are common and basically are wells with steps cut into the side walls so people can walk down deep to fetch water…they are beautiful in design and symmetry..

step well

step well

another perspective of step well

another perspective of step well

 

Checking out the path that went beyond the well and up towards the top of the hill, there were a few more interesting things…

female blue indian robin..but it's not v blue!

female blue indian robin..but it’s not v blue!

Asian Paradise Flycatcher

Asian Paradise Flycatcher

Sunlight catching the blue eye of the APFC

Sunlight catching the blue eye of the APFC

tawny bellied babbler

Tawny bellied babbler

 

?Puff throated babbler

Another shot of the female blue indian robin

 

The nursery next to the well was quite pretty too..P1170544

Flower nursery was pretty…and the macaques were everywhere..

 

family moment

family moment

It was just under 1.5 hours to get back to my hotel at the Sheraton.  It was a great outing for a morning and I would recommend it.

A few shots of Bangalore scenes in the evening…

street by night..

street by night..

happy flower lady

happy flower lady

 

distinguished gentleman

distinguished gentleman

 

family of 4? No problem...

family of 4? No problem…

 

 

 

3 thoughts on “Nandi Hills in 4 hours…

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