TREKS

Treks/Hikes - "Few events where in the fastest one doesn't win, neither does the slowest one!"

Savandurga

1. SAVANDURGA: (The Trekker’s Paradise)
Distance = 40kms
Height = 4022feet
Trek Difficulty = 3/5
Trek Rating = 4.5/5
Savandurga is one of the most famous hikes around Bangalore. It is the largest monolith of Asia. It can be seen even from Bangalore quite clearly. It is a moderate difficulty trek. I must say, it is more of a scenic and enjoyable experience. The hill comprises of two sections “Belligudda” & “Karigudda” (White Hill & Black Hill).  Karigudda requires Forest Department permission prior the ascent. Manchinbele Dam & Tippgondanahalli Dam can be seen as one ascends the hillock.
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2. SHIVAGANGE: (Ascent to the Clouds)
Distance = 60kms
Height = 4500feet
Trek Difficulty = 3/5
Trek Rating = 3.5/5
Shivagange is another very famous hillock around Bangalore. The hillock looks like a Shiva Linga from a distance. The hiking trail consists of a lot of stone steps which make the climb, knee shattering, but this adds that safety element. Let’s not go too far, you can be safe from pain but not from hoodlum monkeys of Shivagange. So, it is best to avoid bag packs & cameras. Shanthala Drop on top of the hill is a famous tourist attraction at this place. In case you want to carry a bag pack, we have a few tips for you.
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Mekedatu Trek
3. MEKEDATU: (Jungle walk)
Distance = 100kms
Height =  - feet
Trek Difficulty = 3.5/5
Trek Rating = 4.5/5
Mekedatu is known for its gushing waters. But the walk from Sangama to Mekedatu is something one must try out some point of time. We had done this in 2011 and it turned out to be one of the most memorable treks. It is filled with Elephants, Bullocks and Snakes, so safety is of much importance. We did spot all 3 of them during our trek to the place. Also, there exists a beautiful spot just before Mekedatu where the waters are calm and peaceful. Check more about it!
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Madhugiri
4. MADHUGIRI FORT: (Battle to the skies)
Distance = 100kms
Height =  3930 feet
Trek Difficulty = 4/5
Trek Rating = 4.5/5
Madhugiri is the second largest monolith in Asia after Savandurga. This hillock offers quite some challenge. The view of the hillock from the town of Madhugiri is pretty intimidating to be honest. The hike mostly is on  pure rock faces passing through gates after gates until you hit the top. Few cross sections now have been posted with railings to provide safety. Many of the hikers have given up on their first attempt to this hill. Pick a wise season and head out here to get the best out of it!
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Makalidurga 
5. MAKALIDURGA: (A Railway Trek)
Distance = 65kms
Height =  4430 feet
Trek Difficulty = 4/5
Trek Rating = 4.5/5
Makalidurga is railway trek. I believe the closest to Bangalore. The trek is quite challenging as one has to walk a  good 2-3kms on the railway track and then start the hike. So lots of waters and refreshments is advised. This I tell from my own personal experience at this place having not carried the same. But the trek is neat and smooth and the view of the railways as you ascend is really nice.
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Kabbaladurga
6. KABBALDURGA: (For the Insane Ones!)
Distance = 100kms
Height =  3600 feet
Trek Difficulty = 4/5
Trek Rating = 4/5
Kabbaldurga is one of the 1% ers trek. it is almost as high as the other hillocks, but can be ascended in 45mins. This is due to the steep rock faces it offers. Also it quite doesn’t have any shady places to rest in between, so it surely tests your endurance and your stamina. This is the place I generally go to have my stamina checked. Also the “3point phase” is one of the steepest rock face I have climbed on a hillock around Bangalore.
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Channarayanadurga
7. CHANNARAYANADURGA: (Ruined Fort of Gold)
Distance = 100kms
Height =  3734 feet
Trek Difficulty = 3.5/5
Trek Rating = 4.5/5
Channarayana durga is one of the Navadurgas which surrounds Bangalore. It offers strong climb to the first fort wall after which it soothes down. There is small pond on the first tier of the fort. After the first fort wall it is more of an exploration of the lost passages and ruined buildings. First time we had tried to descend via alternate route and got bashed up pretty bad my mother nature. So, explore the alternates and stick to the main one on this one.
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Skandagiri
8. SKANDAGIRI: (Walk on the clouds)
Distance = 75kms
Height =  4429 feet
Trek Difficulty = 3/5
Trek Rating = 4/5
Skandagiri is a very famous night trekking spot. I have tried both night and day trek at this place and both ended up well. The path of the trek is pretty straightforward and leads one right to the top. But this path runs through various terrains and gives the climber a very good experience to take back with. The witnessing of sunrise from this place is something not to be missed.
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Kuntibetta
9. KUNTIBETTA: (Duel Hillocks)
Distance = 135kms
Height =  2882 feet
Trek Difficulty = 3.5/5
Trek Rating = 4/5
Kuntibetta is situated in Pandavpura. It offers a decent challenge to the climber. Night trek at this place is pretty famous. Our 100th trip was done at this place and so it holds a special place in my heart. This trek consists of making it on top of a first hill then getting back to base zero and then climbing the actual hill. It pretty much took a toll on my knee after all that riding as well. So carry enough supplements to keep yourself nourished.
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Bananthimari betta
10. BANANTHIMARI BETTA: (Lost in the Jungle)
Distance = 65kms
Height =  3350 feet
Trek Difficulty = 4/5
Trek Rating = 4.5/5

Bananthimari betta is close to Kanakpura and is the twin of Bilikal Betta. If only the hike is considered, it takes 30mins to reach the summit. But during our visit we explored the forest as well. And this made the trek very interesting. The forests are really thick and gave us chills as we went deeper into them. But the ascent does consists of some steep faces which one can enjoy.
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Pearl Valley
11. PEARL VALLEY: (In Search of Elephants)
Distance = 60kms
Height =  - feet
Trek Difficulty = 2.5/5
Trek Rating = 4/5
Pearl Valley (Muthyala Maduvu) is neat jungle walk. It is situated near Anekal. A lot of elephants reside in the forests so taking precaution is of utmost importance. The trek begins at small waterfall. There is also a resort where one can park the vehicle. Our trek went upto 7hours as we got lost in the forest. Asking locals for direction we made it back to the base.
Medigeshi Fort
12. MEDIGESHI FORT: (Fiery Fort)
Distance = 150kms
Height =  >3500 feet
Trek Difficulty = 4/5
Trek Rating = 4/5
Medigeshi fort is just ahead of Madhugiri. It is a less heard of fort. But offers quite some challenge to the climber. One can park you vehicle in the town below and trek the hill. Initially the treks passes through gate ways after which the rock face becomes little steep and one can enjoy the climb. During our hike we got caught amidst a fire on top of the hill and had a hard time getting out of it!
Huthridurga
13. HUTHRIDURGA: (500 Year Old Fort)
Distance = 85kms
Height =  >3500 feet
Trek Difficulty = 3/5
Trek Rating = 3.5/5
Hutridurga is one of the Navadurgas around Bangalore. The trek is a more of an exploration than a trek. It offers minimum challenge but a lot of places to explore. Passing through the various gate ways keeps one mesmerised throughout the climb. Savandurga can be spotted from the top of this hillock. We call this the twin brother of Narayanagiri which is few kilometres away from this place.
Bhasmangi Fort
14. BHASMANGI: (Flaming Fort)
Distance = 135kms
Height =  3011 feet
Trek Difficulty = 2.5/5
Trek Rating = 3.5/5
Bhasmangi Fort is situated in Andhra Pradesh. One can leave the vehicles near the temple at the base of the hill. Once can chose the normal steps path to ascend the hillock or like us can take the tricky boulder terrain to spice things up. We conquered this hillock in the year of 2016. Overall it is a decent climb, nothing much to write about.
Siddarabetta
15. SIDARABETTA: (Ancient Caves of Meditaion)
Distance = 125kms
Height =  - feet
Trek Difficulty = 4/5
Trek Rating = 4.5/5
Siddarabetta is situated very close to Channarayanadurga and offers a very good explorative experience. The Government has forbidden the locals to act as guides and take the tourists on tours. So one has to enter them at their own risk. The caves are spooky and gives one mega chills down the spine. The entrance to the caves begins at a temple, so one must enter the caves bare-footed. Our exploration went several layers deep and we finally met an Agohri(baba).
Narayanagiri (Jalamangala)
16. NARAYANAGIRI (JALAMANGALA): (Dangerous Ascent)
Distance = 125kms
Height =  3845 feet
Trek Difficulty = 4/5
Trek Rating = 3.5/5
Narayanagiri is the twin of Hutridurga Fort. It is one of the few underrated climbs around Bangalore. Few places the rock faces are insanely steep and one begins to enjoy the hike. Savandurga again can be spotted from the top. At the top there is a temple and breeze is pleasant. This hillock can be reached via Ramnagar.
Nijagal betta
17. NIJAGAL BETTA: (Mini caves)
Distance = 65kms
Height =  <3000 feet="" o:p="">
Trek Difficulty = 2.5/5
Trek Rating = 3.5/5
Nijagal is another under-rated trek. It is quite close to Shivagange and the hillock is just beside the highway. The climb is not at all difficult. The caves on top offers a nice place to rest and explore. It is one of those climbs we do to just catch up with old friends. Shivagange can be spotted almost all throughout the climb.
Gudibande
18. GUDIBANDA: (Border Trek)
Distance = 110kms
Height =  2709 feet
Trek Difficulty = 3/5
Trek Rating = 3.5/5
Gudibanda is situated in Andra Pradesh. It is a less known hillock. It offers a decent climb with lots of steps. So a safe climb with exploration can be expected with this hillock. The vehicles can be parked at the town near the base of the hill. We had covered this hillock on a Sunday in 2015 and we weren’t disappointed.
Devarayanadurga
19. DEVARAYANADURGA: (Monkey’s Clan)
Distance = 75kms
Height =  3950feet
Trek Difficulty = 2.5/5
Trek Rating = 3/5
Devarayanadurga is one of Navadurgas. One can ride upto the temple. After which one must climb the final section to the Bell on top. The temple premises opens at 10AM. So plan accordingly. Also like in Shivagange, it has some of the most aggressive monkeys around Bangalore. So, watch out if you want to carry bag packs.
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Mandharagiri
20. MANDHARAGIRI: (Small Bump)
Distance = 70kms
Height =  <2500feet o:p="">
Trek Difficulty = 1.5/5
Trek Rating = 2.5/5
Mandharagiri is the smallest hill I have trekked. it hardly takes 10mins to reach the top. But once on the hill, one can explore the vast lands surrounding it. The exploration one does gives the best out of the place. There is a temple on top and has a lot of meaningful pictures painted on the walls.
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Melukote
21. MELUKOTE: (Lake View)
Distance = 150kms
Height =  2952feet
Trek Difficulty = 1.5/5
Trek Rating = 3.5/5
Melukote is usually known for the temple and the greenery surrounding it. It is also known for the various amount of lakes & ponds which surrounds the place. Once can go upto the Kalyani at this place. After which one can trek amidst the boulders and explore the perimeters at choice. Our trek in 2015 turned out to be one of the most breath taking ones.
Gingee Fort
22. GINGEE FORT: (Troy of the East)
Distance = 250kms
Height =  800feet
Trek Difficulty = 1.5/5
Trek Rating = 3.5/5
Gingee is called the “Troy of the East”. It is a magnificent fort to witness. The climb is a decent one and can be done without much difficulty. We had clubbed this trek along with the ride to Pondicherry so it pretty much took a toll on our energies. As it was a summer season, we were totally dehydrated by the end of the trek.
Bilikalbetta
23. BILIKAL BETTA: (Forest Trek)
Distance = 75kms
Height =  3000feet
Trek Difficulty = -/5
Trek Rating = -/5
This is the twin hill of Bananthimari betta. It is also situated close to Kanakpura. The trek requires Forest Department permission. We rode to the top on our bikes. And trust me it was scary. It is flooded with elephants and gets scarier by the minute. The Ranganathaswamy temple on top of the mountain is dear devotee of many.
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Mulliyangiri
24. MULLIYANGIRI: (Tallest Peak of Karnataka)
Distance = 250kms
Height =  6330feet
Trek Difficulty = 4/5
Trek Rating = 4.5/5
Mulliyangiri is the tallest peak of the Karnataka. It is situated in Chikamagalur. It offers a spell bounding trekking experience. One can park the vehicle near the ashram mid-way and proceed to climb the hillock. Early in the mornings the hill is shrouded in fog and brings down visibility to a few meters. There is a temple on top and amidst the fog it appears surreal.
Revanasiddeshwara
25. REVANASIDDESHWARA: (A small climb)
Distance = 50kms
Height =  3066feet
Trek Difficulty = 2/5
Trek Rating = 2.5/5
Revanasiddeshwara is situated close to Ramngara. The climb up is pretty bland as it has stairs right till the top. Once can combine this with Ramadevara betta across the SH-17. When we had ascended the hillock, the view from the top was really nice and made the trip worthwhile.
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26. RAYAKOTTAI TREK: (Perfect for starters!)
Distance = 100kms
Height =  3000feet
Trek Difficulty = 2/5
Trek Rating = 4/5
This is Tippu's one of the southern forts. It offers you a decent climb up. But the view you get from the top is something even i was amazed. Its a small hillock, but offers you a complete 360degree view of the surroundings. It was like the perfect outpost. For people who are getting into treks i would strongly recommend this one!
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Ratnagiti Trek

27. RATNAGIRI TREK: (Hidden Jewels)
Distance = 150kms
Height =  3000feet
Trek Difficulty = 3.5/5
Trek Rating = 4/5
This was an awesome find. It offers a perfect fort hill climb, not too tough. There is twin of this hillock called Rajagiri so one can cover both in a day. The well laid out fort walls and design of the gateways might leave you speechless and impressed.
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8 comments:

  1. wonderful accounts.. thanks a lot for documenting it so well. I am planning a photoshoot in Mekedatu in early october. I guess the river will be still flooded by then.. Any restrictions on photography?

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    Replies
    1. Thank you,yeah the water will be flooded. Take care while crossing Sangama. No restriction on photography.

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    2. thanks Karthik.. I know there is a KSRTC bus that runs between sangama and mekedatu. Proabably that will be a safer way to reach there. What do you recommend. Albeit, I would prefer to walk :)

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    3. Cross the river and walk :D ( if you feel uncomfortable, be ready to stop the bus in between and hop on :P)

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