The Complete Guide to Nandi One (Brahmagiri) Trek
The Nandi One trek offers a wide range of experiences for trekkers. And for kids, this trek is bliss. To be introduced to the world of trekking and the wonderful outdoors, there is no better trek. The trail has a mix of rocky terrain the lush green vegetation.
From hopping boulders to some brilliant views, the Nandi One trek is safe for kids to explore and have fun. A one day trek that can be done within 4-5 hours time. Apart from this, the adventure for kids is plenty. Watch out for the different flora and fauna on the trek. Birds chirping, butterflies gliding, and insects crawling.
For more thrill, one can enjoy bouldering on a big rock and take the challenge of finding your own way to the top.
Nandi One or the Brahmagiri Trek will bring out the inner child in you. The lush green vegetation and patches that require boulder hopping are a treat to the senses. The viewpoints offer a bird’s eye view of roads cutting through farmlands below. The Eucalyptus groves on the trail will de-stress you right away and the region is filled with amusing stories, both real and mythological.
The trek is situated in the Chikballapur district, which is around 60 kilometres from Bangalore and is easily accessible by road. It is a year-round trek that is ideal for both beginners and seasoned trekkers.
Table of Contents
What to Watch Out for
1. Spectacular view of three hills that make up the Nandi Hills cluster – Nandi Giri, Skandagiri and Channagiri
Five Peaks of Nandi Giri, Brahmagiri, Channagiri (Chandragiri/Nandi Two), Skandagiri, and Hemagiri are what make the Nandi Hills range. Among them, Brahmagiri Hill which is a lesser-known hill is popularly known as Nandi One. It is the twin peak of Nandi Hill.
Channagiri, Skandagiri, and Nandi Giri (from Right to Left) seen from the Brahmagiri trail. The fifth hill, Hemagiri is behind Nandigiri and hidden. Picture by Harikrishnan
2. A walk amidst a mix of eucalyptus vegetation and rocky path
The air is filled with the fragrance of Eucalyptus. The relaxing section of the Eucalyptus Grove is an experience to witness as the trees sway with the cool breeze. You will notice a sudden drop in temperature while trekking through the grove.
Students walking through the pleasant Eucalyptus patch of Nandi One trek. Picture by Harikrishnan
3. Aerial view of surrounding vineyards, farms, and villages of Chikballapur
The View of the entire region from the Nandi One summit. Several farmlands around the Nandi Hill range are dedicated to growing grapes, which are later used to make grape wine. Along with vineyards, you will see banana, maize, and rice plantations. Local Wine tasting is also popular activity tourists indulge in during their visit to Nandi Hills.
View from the top of Nandi One (Brahmagiri) overlooking Chikabalapur. Picture by Dhruva Suresh
4. Bouldering and having fun climbing the big rock
Another highlight on the trek is climbing the bouldering rock. Spend a few minutes here trying to climb it. Kids love it and remember the adventure for a long time. It doesn’t matter if you are young or old to have some fun climbing the rock!
The Bouldering Rock on the Nandi One Trek. Photo Courtesy Izzat Yaganagi
The Nandi One trail starts from the road which leads to Nandi Hills, a popular tourist destination.
The trek can be divided into three sections:
- The first stretch is a trail walk inside the forest with occasional rock patches up to Eucalyptus Grove.
- The second section is a steeper ascent to the summit via the Shaneeshwara temple.
- The final stretch is where you make your way back by following a different route from the temple and by navigating an exposed section at the top.
Trail Map of Nandi One Trek. The Green Marking is an alternative route. Source: Google Earth. Photo Courtesy Suhas Saya
Trek Distance: 1.25 Kilometres
Trek Duration: 30 Minutes
GPS Coordinates of Nandi Hills Main Road: 13°21’50.4″N 77°41’01.5″E
GPS Coordinates of Eucalyptus Patch: 13°21’35.98″N 77°40’38.95″E
Because Nandi One or Brahmagiri is the sister peak of Nandi, it shares the same road. The trail starts from the point on the right where there is a signboard from the Karnataka Forest Department. This can be slightly difficult to spot. So keep your eyes open for this hairpin bend number 20.
From here, you see two routes that lead to Nandi One peak. Park your vehicle at the first trail to your right and start the trek through the second one.
You can start the trek from either of these two trails which lead you to the Eucalyptus grove.
However, we would recommend the second trial. This trail offers you a much better variety and joins the first trail. You also come to a saddle or a clearing where you get to see the route taken driving from the Airport Road towards Nandi hills.
The second trail is a much straight forward trail and can be taken while descending down the trek.
Trekkers starting the trek from the second trail. You can see the vehicle parked on the first one. Picture by Saurabh Sawant
The route takes you through green lush vegetation and some beautiful rocks. Maintain some silence and trek here.
You will hear plenty of birds chirping in this section. If you are trekking early in the morning, you can expect the entire region covered in mist.
Mud trail surrounded by green vegetation in the initial stretch of the trek. Picture by Saurabh Sawant
The trail is well laid out. Follow the path which leads you to the first rocky patch or what we call as the saddle. You get the view of Brahmagiri hill that you will be heading to from here.
Entering the saddle of the Nandi One Trek. Picture by Harikrishnan
To the left of the saddle section, the entire view opens up. You will see the road that you had taken earlier from the main highway and leading towards the Karahalli cross, the further road taken to reach the start point of the trek.
View from the saddle of the Nandi One Trek. Picture by Harikrishnan
PROTIP: If you start your trek from the Karahalli cross, you will reach the saddle. You will have to then continue on the trail ahead given in detail in the documentation.
Follow the small trail towards your East from the saddle. The trail takes you again through the lush green vegetation with trees, bushes, and few thorns. You will see plenty of butterflies and a few insects hopping in this area.
The trail after saddle point. Picture by Saurabh Sawant
There are a couple of rocks where you squeeze through and trek through a few cobwebs hanging from trees.
You need to now join back to the main trail of the trek. Notice a rock section that can be climbed up the slope to your right.
Trail just before the climb to rejoin the main path to Eucalyptus Grove. Picture by Harikrishnan
Take this route and climb up the rock surface to join the main trail of Nandi One (If you had taken the first trail at the start point, you will reach this section of the rock on the way to the Eucalyptus grove)
Students resting and taking a water break after the climb to the rock patch. Picture by Harikrishnan
You can take a small water break here by resting on the rock patch.
Once you are on the main path, you will see the beautiful trail with the eucalyptus grove. The air is filled with the fragrance of Eucalyptus. This section just makes you feel a lot more relaxed as the winds sway the trees around you.
The Eucalyptus Grove on the Nandi One Trek. Picture by Harikrishnan
Trek Distance: 1.10 Kilometres
Trek Duration: 40 Minutes
GPS Coordinates of Eucalyptus Patch: 13°21’35.98″N 77°40’38.95″E
GPS Coordinates of Shaneeshwara Temple: 13°21’18.7″N 77°40’19.6″E
GPS Coordinates of Nandi One Summit: 13°21’16.56″N 77°40’22.39″E
There are two trails that you can take at the end of Eucalyptus Grove.
First trail is to climb up the rocky section as seen in the picture below. This is what we recommend to anybody going on the trek. The trail will lead you to the summit via the Shaneeshwara temple. The descent takes you through the exposed section with brilliant views, big boulder, and back to the point of Eucalyptus grove. It gives a different perspective on the whole trek.
The second one is to take a right turn from this point, visit the big boulder first, reach the summit and then visit the temple on your descent down the rocky terrain. There are a couple of reasons why we recommend not taking the right turn.
One would be the descent through the rocky section later, it can be tricky. If you don’t have good control, it is easy to slip and fall down.
Also, the second major reason is the change in view that you will get later once you start your descent from the peak. The view just opens up drastically and is a major high. You would miss out or not enjoy the views so much while ascending.
The ascend from the mud trail turns rocky at this junction. Picture by Saurabh Sawant
The ascend through the rocks is a good challenge. Take your steps slow and pace yourself. Do not take many breaks and keep taking one step at a time.
| Tip: Follow the technique of climbing in a zigzag pattern to cut the angle of the ascent. If you are trekking in the monsoon season or if there is water after the rains, move with caution as the rocks tend to become slippery.
Look back as you are climbing up to see the majestic Nandi hills standing tall. Stop a couple of times to hydrate yourself and enjoy the view of Nandi hills. You can actually spot the saddle and the trails you take to reach until this point. Kids love spotting the trail from afar distance. If you are going in a group, have a small game to spot the trail taken from the saddle.
Nature classroom with the Indiahikes team. Students getting to know about sustainable trekking/Green Trails with Nandi Hills towering behind. Picture by Harikrishnan
The trail starts to get more steeper from the rest point to the right turn towards the temple. Trek your way up the combination of mud and rocky trail. You will have loose gravel. So wear good trekking shoes or sport shoes at least.
Ascend through this section and you will reach a flatter area. You need to take a right here.
Follow the narrow trail leading to the temple. You might not make out the trail if the overgrowth has taken over the trail and the entire region.
The trail leading to the temple which is filled with thorns and thick bushes. Picture by Harikrishnan
Lantana bushes and flowers are filled here. Many insects and butterflies can be spotted here as well. This trail is filled with thorns and overgrown bushes. One has to crawl at certain places which adds to the excitement.
| Tip: Wear a full-sleeved T-shirt while trekking. It will cover your arms from minor scratches from the thorns and bushes on the trek.
The trail opens up once you crawl your way through the overgrowth. You will reach the Shaneeshwara temple in about 10 minutes.
The trail leading to the temple on the Nandi One Trek. Picture by Dhruva Suresh
The Saneeshwara temple was constructed by Tipu Sultan when ruling this area during the 1700s. The idol inside the temple is from his time, close to 300 years old! The outer portion was later reconstructed.
An interesting fact is even though Tipu Sultan was a Muslim ruler, he understood the importance of having a temple for the locals around the area.
Shaneeshwara temple holds a lot of significance amongst the locals. Picture by Suhas Saya
The local priest from the village comes up all the way and worships here. You will find a structure for them in case it rains in the evening and they have to take shelter.
Just left of the temple, is a very small trail going to the peak of Nandi One. You might miss out on the trail again if it is overgrown in vegetation. There are few initial steps starting out and then a mud trail for two minutes takes you to the peak of Nandi One.
You can ask kids to explore, scout, and spot the trail to the summit here.
The small trail through the overgrowth to the summit from the temple. Picture by Dhruva Suresh
Before you start to descend, make sure you spend at least 30 minutes at the top, exploring different viewpoints and enjoying the scenery. You may also have your packed lunch here.
Reflect on your journey to the top. Try to be quiet and close your eyes for five minutes. Observe the sounds of nature and feel your body getting comfortable and relaxed, preparing itself to descend down a completely different path. It is a beautiful way to spend time at the summit.
Exploring a small reservoir to store rainwater at the summit. This was constructed in 1962. Picture by Dhruva Suresh
Trek Distance: 2.7 Kilometres
Trek Duration: 1 Hour 20 Minutes
GPS Coordinates of Nandi One Summit: 13°21’16.56″N 77°40’22.39″E
GPS Coordinates of Nandi Hill Road: 13°21’49.9″N 77°41’01.2″E
The trek changes completely with the views of the landscape. A lot more open and the trek has a different feeling descending down via the bouldering rock section. This is the longest section of the trek, which is exposed initially, but gradually becomes easy because it is all downhill from here.
The team starting the descent from the summit of Nandi One. Picture by Harikrishnan
Start from the summit by following the small trail towards the West. That would mean the trail to your right from where you had come from. Be careful here as there is a 700-foot drop on your left and the area is quite exposed.
The trail requires you to hop over boulders and descend keeping one foot at a time. Just be extra cautious at this stretch if you are doing the trek in monsoons or taking kids on the trek. Do not go over the edge and always stick to your right side of the mountain slope.
The exposed section on the left side of the trail. To ensure safety, Indiahikes team monitoring students at every exposed section. Picture by Suhas Saya
Once the section is crossed, you will enter a narrow trail that is slightly steeper. You have to be extra careful about your footing here since the trail can be slippery with loose gravel and trail. Make your way slowly as chances of slipping are more in this particular section.
Several farmlands around the Nandi Hill range are dedicated to growing grapes, which are later used to make grape wine. Wine tasting is popular activity tourists indulge in during their visit to Nandi Hills.
The slippery trail wades through vegetation. Be sure of our footing here. Picture by Suhas Saya
Soon you will notice a U-Turn to the right closer to the edge of the hill. Do not carry forward towards the west on a false trail that is visible. Keep in mind that you will now go East which leads to the Eucalyptus Grove that you came from.
The trail turns to the right taking a U-Turn. Picture by Saurabh Sawant
You will see the entire clearing and openness with the views of Nandigiri, Skandagiri, and Chennagiri to the left. Also, you will spot a boulder where you can have some fun and adventure.
This is one of the main attractions on the trek for kids. Spend a few minutes here trying to climb it. It is a lot of fun!
Students have a lot of fun and adventure climbing the boulder. The Trek leader and IH Team helping the student climb up the rock. Picture by Dhruva Suresh
Start your way down the trail. You will come through a small patch of vegetation, a small ascent and then an easy descent, be careful not to slip on loose rocks and dirt, which is common throughout the trail. The trail will lead you soon to reach Eucalyptus Grove within half an hour.
The Descent from the boulder and trail heading towards the Eucalyptus Grove. Picture by Harikrishnan
From the Eucalyptus Grove, the trail is straightforward. Do not take any turns or go away from the main trail. You will reach the start point of the trek in about 20 minutes to end the trek.
How To Reach Nandi One (Brahmagiri) Trek
Since Nandi One is a sister peak of Nandi Hill, it is on the way to the famous Nandi Hill in Chikballapur. It is about 60 km from Bangalore.
Reaching Nandi One (Brahmagiri) By Your Vehicle from Bangalore
If you are planning to reach Nandi One using your vehicle, use this link to help set up navigation in Google maps.
If you do not have access to Google maps, here is how to reach Nandi One:
Take the National Highway 44 and head towards Chikballapur. Pass Bengaluru Airport Toll Plaza and head straight (if you are in a two-wheeler, the entry is free. For four-wheelers a toll fee must be paid).
After about 40 km, turn left from National Highway 44 to State Highway 104 at Rani Cross (Nandi Cross). You will spot Hotel Nandi Upachar on this cross. Continue straight for about 10 km to reach Karahalli Cross.
At Karahalli Cross take left and continue straight for 4 km. You will head to the junction of the Nandi Statue, turn right here which heads to Nandi Hills Main Road.
In about 4 kilometres, at hairpin bend no. 20 you will reach the base of Nandi One trek, which is marked by a signboard by the Forest Department on your right.
Reaching Nandi One (Brahmagiri) By Public Transport System
From Majestic Bus Station —> Bus to Nandi Hills
There is only one bus from KSRTC leaving from Majestic at 8 am which goes straight to Nandi Hills. There are no buses from BMTC going to Nandi Hills
This information is sourced directly from the KSRTC and BMTC Bus Department in 2020.
Do not go by any other sites about bus timings.
The other best way to travel will be taking a bus to Chikballapur. These buses are much more frequent and you can get down at the Nandi Cross (Near the Nandi Upachar)
From Majestic Bus Station —> Chikballapur Bus Station —> Bus to Nandi Hills Signal —>Auto Rickshaw till the base
From Majestic Railway Station —-> Chikballapur Railway Station —> Chikballapur Bus Station —>Bus to Nandi Hills Signal —>Auto rickshaw till the base
Bus Timings to reach Chikballapur and back
There are buses every 10 minutes to Chikballapur from Majestic Bus Station, Bengaluru. The same applies to the buses from Chikballapur as well.
Nearest Railway Station
Chikballapur Railway Station
Train Timings to reach Chikballapur and back
Bengaluru to Chikballapur
Train No: 76551 at 08:30 AM
Train No. 76525 at 06:10 PM
Chikballapur to Bengaluru
Train No: 76526 at 07:55 AM
Train No. 76552 at 03:55 PMT
Nearest International and Domestic Airport
Kempegowda International Airport
Difficult Sections on the Nandi One Trek
There are no sections on the Nandi One trek that can be classified as difficult as such. However, a trekker must know about these sections to keep an eye out while trekking.
Here are a few things you note down.
- The slippery trail through the rocky terrain (Monsoon specific): The trail becomes more tricky during monsoons as the mud and rocks become very slippery and great caution must be taken while traversing. If trekking in the monsoons, trekkers should be very careful with their choice of footwear and should check weather charts to avoid days with anticipated heavy rains.
The exposed section at the top: Although this section is not difficult, it is extremely dangerous. Make sure you always stick to your right and do not go over to the edge until the section is crossed. The 700-foot drop over the edge can be life-threatening if the precautions are not followed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Permission for trekking to Nandi One
Until 2018, you didn’t require any permission to go on the trek of Nandi One. Recently, the forest department has been changing the permission and regulations in this region. You now need prior permission from the forest department before going on the trek.
You can get permission from DCF Chikkaballapur Forest Department.
Contact Number: 08156 263198 (Landline)
Food and Water sources near the trek
The nearest town is Chikballapur. There are a few restaurants and eateries on the National Highway 44 as well, the popular one being Hotel Nandi Upachar.
It is advised to pack your food as there are no restaurants near the base of the trek.
There are no water sources at the base of the trek. Fill your water bottles while starting from home or fill them at one of the restaurants en route.
A Guide for the Nandi One Trek
The trail is straightforward and you don’t need a guide. Go through the trek information, and take a printout of the map with details. You can also use the GPX file which can be downloaded here.
You will get a mobile network for almost all major operators like Airtel, Vodafone & Jio throughout the trek, except for some sections where the network is weak.
Nandi Cross (Outside of Hotel Nandi Upachar) has one ATM which is the closest ATM for the trek.
Other than this, Bangalore or Chikballapur are the main places to withdraw cash. So ensure you carry enough cash with you before starting the trek.
What to pack for Nandi One trek
- Basic First Aid kit*
- Identity Card
- Cap/ Scarf/ Bandana & Sunglasses
- Water (Minimum two litres)
- Lemon and salt OR Electrolyte Powder/Drink (Electral/Gatorade/Glucon D, etc.)
- High-calorie snacks (Nuts & dry fruits, a home-baked cake, etc.)
- Safety Pins, Rubber bands & Whistle (Useful in emergencies.)
- Quick Dry Full Sleeve T-shirts are preferable over cotton tees.
- Poncho, only during monsoons
- Plastic sheet to wrap electronic devices, only during monsoons
- Sunscreen (SPF 50+)
- Optional: Trekking poles
*First aid kit:
- Band-aids (Regular & Waterproof)
- Analgesic spray (Relispray, Volini, etc.)
- Antiseptic Liquid (Savlon, Dettol etc.)
- Antiseptic powder (Povidone-Iodine based powders like Cipladine, Savlon, etc.)
- Cotton roll & Bandage
- Crepe Bandage
- 1-inch wide medical tape (paper or cloth.)
- Micropore tape
- Tablet for motion sickness (Avomine), Acidity (Gelusil, Digene, etc.).
- Mild pain relief tablet (Crocin)
Note: Always consult a doctor before taking any medicine.
Places to visit after your trek to Nandi One
- Nandi Hills – Nandi Hills is very close by and you can drive up to the viewpoint. An ancient hill fortress built by Ganga Dynasty and later enlarged and strengthened by Tipu Sultan. There are many stories and rich history associated with Nandi Hills. You can also visit the famous Tipu Drop.
- Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple – An ancient Hindu temple complex dating back to the 9th century, with ornately carved pillars and a reflecting pool, located in Nandi grama.
- Devanahalli Fort/ Tipu’s BIrth Place – A prehistoric fort constructed in the year of 1501 AD and was passed on to the hands of the Wodeyars of Mysore, the Marathas and under the control of Haider Ali, Tipu Sultan. The present fort is ascribed to Haider Ali and Tipu Sultan which incidentally is his birthplace. It has an east oriented fortification. The bastions are provided with gun points built in brick and lime.
The Devanahalli Fort. Picture by Vishnu Benne
- Muddenahalli – The birthplace of Sir M. Visvesvaraya, the first Indian engineer. It is also the place where he was buried after his death in 1962.
Trek documented by Suhas Saya
Banner image by Harikrishnan
Author: Suhas Saya