The rewarding experience of the toil of a trek, the exhilaration of reaching the top and the picturesque landscape are things which cannot be conveyed in words but can only be felt by the trekker. This weekend leave behind the concrete jungle of Bangalore and take your trekking shoes out by making memories at one of the following destinations for trekking near Bangalore.
Distance from Bangalore: 48 km Best time to trek: October to February
The most massive monolith of Asia, Savandurga comprises the twin peaks of Karigudda (The Black Hill) and Billigudda (The White Hill). Surrounded by the forests of Magadi, Savandurga offers a panoramic view of the city of Bangalore. This is a slightly challenging trek and requires prior permission from the authorities. There are two trekking trails to Savanadurga, the Karigudda trail and the Billigudda trail. Given the steepness of the trek, trekking without proper gears is not recommended. People often come here for night trekking to watch the sunrise.
Distance from Bangalore: 60 km Best time to trek: March to May
Nandidurga or Nandi Betta is one of the most popular spots for trekking near Bangalore. With an altitude of about 1350 m, this ancient hill fortress offers a breath-taking view. Travellers have long been in awe of the beautiful mornings here. Summer season is the most recommended time to visit these hills. Not only for trekkers, but this place is also a favourite for cyclists and people who enjoy a little more adventure like paragliding. Other attractions in and around Nandi Hills include Tipu's Drop, Tipu Sultan's fort, Bhoga Nandeshwara Temple, The Yoga Nandeshwara, Amrit Sarovar, Gandhi House and Nehru Nilaya. There are around 1200 steps from the foot of the hill to the top. Self-camping at the peak is regarded as unsafe.
Distance from Bangalore: 61 km Best time to trek: October to January
Situated at a distance of 3 km from the Chikballapur village, at an altitude of 4430 ft, Skandagiri is one of the oldest hill fortresses. It is a famous destination for night trekking, bird watching and camping. The trekking route is well marked out and takes approximately 2 hours. Winter is regarded as the preferable period to trek to Skandagiri. Another way to reach Skandagiri is a detour from the road to Nandi Hills. Apart from the dilapidated fort, the scenic beauty of the lush green hill with the spectacular sunrise makes this trek worth it.
Distance from Bangalore: 72 km Best time to trek: October to May
Located close to the Tumkur district, Devarayanadurga, that is, the Fort of the God is a famous weekend getaway from Bangalore and pilgrimage spot. It is a reserved protective forest surrounded by numerous hills, making it a paradise for trekkers. Apart from being a popular destination to view the sunrise from, Devarayanadurga has other attractions like the spring at Namada Chilume, the Yoga Narasimha Temple and The Bhoga Narasimha Temple.
Distance from Bangalore: 80 km Best time to trek: August to February
Part of the Shathashrunga mountain range, Anthargange is called the Kashi of the South and is not only a tourist hotspot but also has religious significance. Trekkers flock here to see the caves and the ancient Kashi Vishwanatha temple. This temple is located in the midst of heavy vegetation with a spring nearby which originated in the hill with water flowing through at bull statue at the temple. There are two routes to the temple, one being the 500+ broken steps and the other being the 7 km through thick undergrowth and volcanic rocks.
Distance from Bangalore: 55 km Best time to trek: September to January
Famous for the shooting of Sholay, Ramanagara is also popular for its silk along with its trekking spots. The seven hills that surround this district are Shivaramagiri, Yatirajagiri, Somagiri, Krishnagiri, Revana Siddeshwara hill, Jala Siddeshwara hill and Sidilakallu hill. Day treks, camping, rock climbing and bird watching are some of the most popular activities among the tourists here. Other famous attractions here are the Kanva Reservoir, the Mekedaatu nd the Janapada Loka. It is a relatively easier trek near Bangalore.
Distance from Bangalore: 61 km Best time to trek: September to February
The stillness of Makalidurga adds to its tranquillity and thrill. Tourists flock to this hill fort near the village of Makali to see the ruins of the fort and the splendid view of the lake. The fort has a temple of Shiva and Nandi where, as the legend says, Rishi Markandeya performed penance. Boulders marked with directions guide you on this trek. Make sure to catch a glimpse of the train that chugs to through the hill at the bottom. Night trekking is also a popular option which takes approximately 2 hours.
Distance from Bangalore: 106 km Best time to trek: October to March
Asia's second largest monolith, situated in the town of Tumkur, Madhugiri derives its name from the honey bee colonies near the fort of Madhugiri which is located on the slope of the hills. The fort has three gateways, Antaralada Bagilu, Diddibagilu, and Mysore Gate. The ruins of the Gopalkrishna temple lie at the top of the fort. Other tourist attractions include the Malleswara and Venkataramana temples famous for their Dravidian style architecture and towers, the Jain temple within the fort, Channarayana Durga fort, Siddara Betta, Timmalapura Forests and Jayamangali Blackbuck Reserve.
9. Kumar Parvatha
Distance from Bangalore: 280 km Best time to trek: October to February
This is a slightly tougher trek marked by steepness and dense forests. Camping here is not possible, so it is better to take permission in advance to camp at the forest department office or mantapa. Even the trek requires approval in advance from the forest department. But do not be discouraged since the trek offers unparalleled views and experiences like the waterfall, the Kukke Subramanya Temple, and the lights of the town of Somwarpet.
10. Kunti Betta
Distance from Bangalore: 125 km Best time to trek: October to May
Surrounded by paddy fields and coconut trees and consisting of two rocky hills, Kunti Betta located in the Pandavapura Taluk of Mandya district is the best place for trekkers who seek some more adventure. You can go for night trekking here, however, beginners might require anchored ropes. Rappelling, rock climbing, camping, swimming, kayaking, boating and fishing are some of the adventurous activities that you can enjoy here.
Some Useful Tips for Trekking
Start with an easy trek if you are a beginner and prefer group trekking than solo trekking.
Do your research properly about the required budget, permissions, safety precautions, etc.
Carry food, water and first aid kits.
Design your itinerary first.
Do not rely too much on GPS. Hire a guide instead.
Have a sturdy trekking gear.
Invest in good trekking shoes.
You can use trekking poles for stability.
Do not let your next weekend go waste. The bewitching sunrise awaits you.