I HAVE ONLY VISITED Nandi Hills once. That was in 1994. My wife’s grandmother was approaching the age of 97.
We were staying with my in-laws in their two storey house in Koramangala in the south of Bangalore. One day, it was decided that a visit to the Nandi Hills would be fun.
Nandi Hills is about two hour’s drive north of Koramangala. Perched on the summit of a steep hill, Nandi Hills used to be a summer fortress of the great Tipu Sultan, whose life ended at the end of the 18th century.
Given that at our excursion destination there would be steep paths and uneven ground, it was sensibly considered that it would not be a good place to take a frail 97 year old.
My wife’s grandmother (‘Granny’), who was fully alert intellectually, was not at all happy with the idea of missing the trip.
While the family was assembling the copious amounts of food to eat during the journey and at our destination, several of us noticed Granny, who usually never left the ground floor, sprinting up and down the stairs leading to the first floor.
When Granny had completed her athletic feat, she came up to us and said:
“See? I can easily manage the stairs. So, I can join you on the trip to Nandi Hills”
My parents in-law employed a great deal of tact tinged with a modicum of firmness to get Granny to agree, somewhat reluctantly, to remain at home.
The road that ascended from the plain up to the fort at the summit of the Nandi Hills was spectacular. It had at least twelve extremely tight hairpin bends, each one numbered.
We spent a pleasant couple of hours picnicking in the garden amongst rusty old cannons near the fort. My wife and I walked to some stone Hindu temples overlooking a sharp cliff-like drop down to the plain far below. One of the temples housed a large stone carving of a Nandi Bull, a creature found in many Hindu temples.
I suppose that once travel becomes safely feasible again, I would love to pay another visit to Nandi Hills.