City folks are off on their favourite excursion trips around the city as the week comes to an end

The idea of the quintessential weekend escape seems not so unattainable a task for Bangaloreans considering the city is accompanied by the great weather all year round. But with city dwellers itching to backpack more often, a whole lot of travel spots in its vicinity are always crowded.

“What has happened in the last few years is that with a growth of the IT industry and plenty disposable income, people have been travelling on weekends thereby fuelling growth in tourist infrastructure,” explains Santosh, founder of “getoffurass”, an adventure travel company that organises trips around the country as well as places around Bangalore.

Home away from home

It is also seen as safe to vacation around Bangalore. “We travel often, making three trips in a couple of months. You don't find anyone rubbing up someone the wrong way; it feels safer here,” says Srihari, a businessman in his forties.

Plenty of home stays and off beat places lie in proximity; a haven for those who choose to stay away from commercialised places. One such stay nests amidst the forests of Mudumalai Tiger Reserve in neighbouring Tamil Nadu. La Petite Maison, a villa with three cottages, is meant for those who want to take their pets along while out for a holiday. Nagina Reddy, the owner is quite selective in choosing her guests. “I prefer elderly people and families to stay over. I make inquiries about my guests before agreeing,” she says.

With Bangalore hemmed in by national parks like Bandipur, Nagarhole, Mudumalai, in the radius of 250 kms, they have become ideal spots for wildlife lovers to hop over during the weekend. Wishbone, an organisation that packs in some educational tours for children and adults, says, “Everything we do revolves around wildlife education and experience.” They organise workshops and wilderness expeditions for children and adults. “We are strongly committed towards wildlife education and conservation. Nature trips to Bannerghatta are an ideal way for a family to spend a weekend in the forest. All we need is a group as small as five and a maximum of 12. Usually we have scheduled wildlife trips for three days every month (on Friday, Saturday and Sunday) in the Western Ghats. We also organise weekend programmes, and up to 15 expeditions,” says Kaushik Bajibab, founder of Wishbone.

With the onset of the monsoons, more day-trippers throng natural spots for trekking and mountain climbing. Neeraj Malve of Bangalore Mountaineering Club says, “Something that people really hate is leeches. But even though the terrain becomes muddy and slippery during the monsoon, people like to experience the misty mountains, green landscape and gushing waterfalls.” Bangalore Mountaineering Club organises river rafting, trekking, rock climbing and paragliding programmes during weekends as well.

With young folks opting for adventure sports and trekking, older people like Saroja and Shivashankar, have something simple to say about their idea of holiday. “Nice waterfront, good beer, lazy meal and small hike is my holiday package,” Shivashankar sums up.