Nandi Hills or Nandidurg, is a hill fortress that falls in the Kolar district and the Chickballapur Taluk of Karnataka. It forms a part of a group of hills that lie at an elevation of approximately 1458 metres from the sea level. From Bangalore, it falls at a distance of about 60 kilometres.
Many believe that it derived its name from a Dravidian style ancient temple of Nandi Bull statue that sits on top of the hill. According to mythology, Lord Shiva’s mount was Nandi. The other theory behind the origin of its name is that the hill resembles a sleeping bull or Nandi. There’s another Nandi temple present at the foot of the hills which is believed to have been built in the 9th century by the Banas. During the Chola Dynasty, the place was called Ananda Giri or in other words the ‘Hill of Happiness’. The temple of Yoga Nandeeshwara located on top of the hill is one of Karnataka’s most ancient temples. Several dynasties have ruled this areas in the past – the Banas, the Cholas, the Hoysalas, the Vijayanagara Kings, Haider Ali, Tipu Sultan, and then finally the British army. Nandi hills had served as the summer retreat of Tipu Sultan. He had built a fort here, hence the alternative name – Nandidurga (fort).
Nowadays, lovers of nature are often found thronging the hill. The winding roads and rolling green slopes lead to the top of the hill that overlooks a breath taking view. The hills surround a lake called the Amrit Sarovar Lake which has been formed by perennial springs. Nandi hills is considered to be the source of the rivers Arkavati, Palar, as well as Pennar which meets the river Cauvery further in its course. The evergreen forests in the hills are home to varied flora and fauna. Shaheen Falcon, Uropeltid snakes, Pill millipedes and Malabar Whistling Thrush are a few of these. Besides the temples, a few scenic and historic attractions worth visiting are Tipu’s Drop, Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace and fort, Secret Escape Route, the huge Amrit Sarovar Lake, and Brahmashram.
It is therefore no wonder that this location is sought after by several real estate developers. Citrus Ventures is one such group who have utilised this location by constructing a 20-acre wide property – Belmont. This integrated mini township, self-sustained in every way is only a 15-minute drive from the Bangalore International Airport.