August 2, 2011

Modern India - Nandi Hills

SueReno_Nandi Hills 1
From Bangalore I made a day trip to the nearby Nandi Hills, an ancient hill fortress / hill station.  The hills rise dramatically from the flat plains, and afford wonderful views of the surrounding countryside.
SueReno_Nandi Hills 2
There are several paths to explore, and a large swath of the unique peninsular gneiss rock also found at Lalbagh gardens.
SueReno_Nandi Hills 3
You can see how happy I am to be outdoors and hiking around!
SueReno_Nandi Hills 4
At the edge of the gneiss outcropping, there is a fence in progress, to prevent the kind of potentially perilous behavior these teens are indulging in.  The rock is slippery, so I exercised due caution.  At the right of this picture, you can see very old fortifications:
SueReno_Nandi Hills 5
The walls have small spy holes / rifle ports.
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Yet another spectacular view:
SueReno_Nandi Hills 7
As I hiked around in the lush environment, I kept encountering plants I’m familiar with as houseplants, like this Hypoestes:
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This temple was built into and extended out from the rock:
SueReno_Nandi Hills 9
Appropriately, there’s a large Nandi statue on the Hill; here’s  the signage:
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And the tree, covered with offerings:
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And the Nandi:
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The statue is regularly anointed with butter, into which are pressed flowers:
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Also nearby is a small Muneswara temple under a spreading banyan tree:
Sue Reno, Nandi Hills, 14
There are some small guesthouses and restaurants available:
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As well as a large Horticultural Guest House and formal gardens to stroll in.
SueReno_Nandi Hills 16
The weather was ideal, with pleasant temperatures and cool breezes.  It was another very good day in India.

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