If you are a beginner and would like to experience some trekking around Bangalore, Shivagange trek is a place that should be in top of your list.
Shivagange, popularly known as dakshina kashi(Kashi of the south) is one of the must visit places around Bengaluru(Bangalore). Shivagange is an awesome place which provides the traveler the experience of an amazing trek and also the blessings of the gods. Located at a distance of around 50 Kms on the Tumkur highway, Shivagange makes in the top of the list of the places to visit around Bengaluru.
Details of the Trek:
Distance: 3 – 4 Kms
Difficulty Level: Easy to Medium
Time Taken: 4 hours for the beginners
Ideal time to Visit: October to March
Suggested Age group: 12 to 50
Shivagange is located at around 52Kms from Bangalore and 27 Kms from Tumkur.
By Bus: If you want to travel by bus, you can catch the Bangalore-Tumkur bus and get down at Dabaspete. It is around 8kms from here. You need to catch local transport from Dabaspete to Shivagange.
By Train: Tumkur is the nearest railway station but this is not convenient mode as you would again travel by road for 27Kms.
By Car: Travelling on your own vehicle is one of the best option. The Bangalore Tumkur highway is a well constructed road. Deviate left near Dabaspete and you find signboards for Shivagange from there on. There is a flyover just before Dabaspete and you need to take the service road and take a left if you are travelling from Bangalore. There are 2 Tolls where you would need to pay but the charges are low.
Starting the Shivagange trek early (before 9 AM) has couple of advantages. One, the temperature will be better. Two, the crowd will be less making it is easy for the trek. The Trek has a combination of steps and some big rocks making it an awesome experience. As you start the trek, in just about 50 steps, you find the Ganesh temple to the left and Veera bhadra swami on the right. Proceed your trek with the blessings of both the gods. In few more steps, you find the path being divided into two. One on the left is for the trekking and on the right leads to the Patalagange temple. Make sure you visit the temple before proceeding to the trek. As you move ahead, you find a mammoth Nandi. As you take few more steps, you find 2 paths. One which has the steps and the other which is a mud road. The mud road is a little longer than the steps route but easier compared to the steps. Both the routes merge again after some distance.
If you take the route on the left, you get to see the Valakallu teertha which is known for its unique characteristics. You need to put your hand in the Valakallu and it is believed that if you are able to touch the teertha(water) you are lucky. It is found that few people cannot touch the water even after multiple attempts whereas few get it at first go. There is an entry fee of Rs 5 per person to visit the Valakallu teertha and the temples inside.
If you take the right route, make sure you deviate and visit the Valakallu teertha while coming down. It is a place that you cannot miss.
At nearly half of the trek distance, there are big statues of Shiva and Parvathy. There is a story behind this. Long back, a family had come this place and the two children went missing. As the day ended, the children were scared and prayed to god. During that time, a couple of very old age appeared and provided the shelter to the kids. In the morning, the old couple had disappeared. It is believed that this old couple was Shiva and Parvathy. Behind the statues, there are 12 jyotirlingas.
Statue of Shiva and Parvathy on the way to Shivagange
The trek after this place is a little steep and contains more rocks. The steps are very narrow making it difficult to trek. People above 50 age and below the age of 12 years are strictly advised not to go beyond this point. At the top of the hill, you find another Nandi and a temple of Ram. There is ample space to sit and spend some time here before you start your trek down.
- Do not carry water or any eatables. There are monkeys which will attack you the moment they see any eatables or water with you
- Before you start the trek, few people suggest you to leave your footwear. Please ignore them. The trek requires footwear.
- There are good number of shops located on the way to trek which offers you some eatables and drink. So there is no need to worry about that. However, the cost is double.
- Strictly avoid trekking with children below age 12.
- Have breakfast and start your trek and try to reach back by lunch.