Thursday, November 10, 2016

Horsley Hills

Horsley Hills, named after W.D. Horsley, a British collector, is in Madanapalle Taluk of Chittoor district in Andhra Pradesh at an altitude of 4000 feet. Horsley had built his home here in the 1870's.

It is just 150 km from Bangalore and promises a very pleasurable driving experience, hardly any traffic throughout the journey on nice, smooth roads. SO MANY biker groups ride to the hill station especially on a weekend because, in less than 3 hours, including pit-stops, you reach a place that is strikingly serene.    
          The silence of the valley is a draw for many. Sit here and enjoy the absolute solitude.

Horsley reminded me of Nandi Hills. The similarities are many - the nice drive up to the hills, the pleasant weather, and many scenic view points. Here are a few of the view points:

Imagine sitting here - watching the sun rise or set - with the only sound being the whoosh of wind blowing your hair...

Sit here in the evening with a book or at night with a drink and let the world pass by.
Walk around on these paved pathways with the monkeys on the trees and the birds on the branches. My solo, early morning walk along here was a cherished one.

The difference between Horsley Hills and other hill stations is that there is no commercial activity here. None at all. No endless rows of shops selling silly winter scarves & hats or kids plastic bat & ball or chaat corners or other assorted hole-in-the wall eateries. We only found 1 guy selling guava on his cycle.  

And that is reason enough to go see Horsley Hills, at least Once, for a Day. 

Ooty is completely commercialized and over-crowded. Horsley caters well to the government officers who come for a conference or office outing and is a favorite among families and couples too. Families love the peace and quiet and unhurried pace of things and couples enjoy the privacy the Hills offer. And with 4-5 engineering colleges in Madanapalle, the closest town just half an hour from the base of the hill, there is no dearth of lovers who throng the Hills or of boy gangs who come here for a quick ride from the town. 

You can explore the hills in a single day because everything is within a 2 km driving radius. 
Walk around and enjoy the quiet, listen to the constant chirping of birds and soak your skin to the warmth of the sunlight peering through thick foliage.


          Well paved roads, swimming pool, comfortable accommodation and decent food facilities all managed and run by the state tourism board. 

When we went (5-6th Nov weekend) we knew there were a lot of people staying, going by the number of cars parked in various parking spots. Yet, when you walk around the property you won't find them, the sense of solitude and 'me my thoughts and the nature' vibe is very strong.

Enroute to the Hills, there is this beautiful Saibaba Temple. 

It looked newly built. I checked the donation list displayed on the wall. One devotee had donated Rs 15 Lakhs!! The priest gave a biscuit each as prasad !! Marie biscuit ! That was a first for me!
So, for a hill station visit from Bangalore, 1N 2D stay, over the weekend, just to relax and recharge your batteries, fill your car with petrol for Rs 2000, pay Rs 3500 for AC accommodation in the Governor's Bungalow and then head straight to Horsley Hills.
Governor's Bungalow
Rest House