A half-day mid-week visit. I had never been to the legendary Nandi Hills made so popular by fellow INPians especially intrepid photographers Clement Francis and Suresh V.S.
Nandi Hills is a small ‘hill station’ on the Bangalore-Hyderabad highway (NH4) 65 Kms from Bangalore and 1,478 meters above sea level. It was Tipu Sultan’s summer retreat and Tipu’s fort walls still stand as testimony to history. The Tipu’s Drop, a 600 meter high cliff, where prisoners were hurled down the precipice is an awe-inspiring sight. Atop the hill is the Yoganandishwara temple.
Finally, it was a weekday that Clement and I picked to do the 70 km drive to Nandi Hills. We reached when the sun was rising and was almost immediately greeted by a lone Nilgiri Wood Pigeon (a Western Ghat endemic) foraging in the undergrowth at eye level. We did see several more NW Pigeons that day but higher up in the fig trees. The day, however, belonged to the India Blue Robin. Clement picked up the bird by it’s call and soon we were at point blank range of the bird. This fascinating and absolutely beautiful winter visitor was reasonably comfortable with two photographers with really long lenses! We managed to make frame filling shots of this 15 cm beauty! We turned back at 9:30 AM and headed straight to work. Thanks, Clement!