Siddara Betta is a popular tourist attraction in the Tumkur district of Karnataka immersed in rocky boulders, temples and caves with an elevation of 1700 feet. The hillock is popular amongst trekkers and spiritual seekers alike, with one of the main attractions of the hill being the Lord Shiva temple enclosed in a cave that sees a fair number of devotees throughout the year. The hill is also really popular among trekking enthusiasts too with many climbers taking a hike up to the summit for the amazing panoramic views of the surrounding villages and the serene environment atop. The trek has a moderate difficulty level. Siddara Betta has a host of activities and offerings for people from all walks of life and is perfect for a day trip away from the mundane routines of daily lives.
Siddara Betta has ages of rich history behind it, the story behind the hill is that several years ago some saints came here for atonement and meditation and that’s how the hill came to be known as Siddara Betta which translates to Hill of Saints.
Places to See
1. Lord Shiva Temple
The temple is one of the most prominent attraction in Siddara Betta, very close to the summit. The unique part about the temple is that the whole shrine is encompassed within a cave surrounded by rock structures. There is also an underlying stream of water that flows beneath the temple and is said to have medicinal benefits.
2. Madhugiri Betta
Madhugiri Betta in the Tumkur district of Karnataka is approximately 24 kilometres from Siddara Betta. Madhugiri is a singular rock structure and the second largest monolithic structure in Asia. Embedded on the slopes of the hillock is a fort named Madhugiri Fort that draws its name from the hill. The hill is mostly frequented by trekking enthusiasts and is an excellent trek location. The upward climb to the top of the hill is said to get tougher as you progress, the climb has basically 4 phases with the first one being a flight of stairs and then as you go higher the width of the stairs keeps getting decreased but there are railings present to aid the visitors except at the last phase where the steps become narrow and curved and there is no physical support. The trek is totally worth the effort and time because of the stunning bird’s eye view of the entire village.
3. Channarayana Durga
It is another hill fort within the Tumkur district about 11 kilometres from Siddara Betta. The location is relatively untouched and sees a smaller influx of tourists compared to the other surrounding hillocks. The fort consists of a few religious shrines and some antique structures. The trek up to the fort in this hillock is said to be moderate and would take about half a day to trek up and then return back.
4. Siddaganga Mutt
Siddaganga Mutt is a Veerashaiva monastery about 40 kilometres from Siddara Betta. The mutt is a religious point of interest with devotees visiting the establishment to seek blessings from the spiritual leader Sri Shivakumara Swamiji who resides in the mutt. The mutt also houses educational establishments for kids from school through college.
Things to Do
Siddara Betta is mainly famous for the trek along the hill among the locals and tourists alike, the trekking path is moderate in terms of level of difficulty. The trek pathway starts with a flight of staircase and later progress on to a more rugged stairway carved in to the hill with a steeper gradient. The trekking trail traces through some huge boulders and caves that you have to navigate through, making this a must visit for all adventure enthusiasts and the view from the apex of the hill is just an added bonus to the incredible trek.
2. Cave Exploration
Siddara Betta has a couple of caves embedded along its slopes, that one has to pass through to reach the top of the hillock. The caves have several bylanes within them that you could explore on your own accord.
There are no restaurants at this hill but there are small refreshment and packed snacks stands lining the hills. There is also an Ashram at the foothill that serves food to all visitors.
Siddara Betta is a prime trek location in Karnataka, with a unique temple and a couple caves embedded within the temple. The place is also a perfect spot for adventurers apart from the Lord Shiva devotees who visit the temple. The trek provides you with a sense of accomplishment and also leads up to a viewpoint for a bird’s eye view of the surrounding areas.
The best time to visit is in the winter months from November to February, the climate is usually pleasant during this time compared to the harsh summers.
Tips For Visiting Siddara Betta
1. The hill has a huge populous of monkeys, so don't leave your belongings unattended. 2. Carry a flashlight for the caves. 3. Many people mistake the temple for the top of the hill but the actual summit can be reached by a pathway behind the temple.
How To Reach Siddara Betta
The nearest airport is the Bangalore Airport around 100 kilometres from Siddara Betta and the nearest railway station is the Bangalore Railway Station. There are direct private taxis from Bangalore to Siddara Betta, alternatively you can take a bus up to Koratagere which is 12 kilometres from the hill and later hire a cab up till the hill.