Savandurga from Base

Savandurga Trek

Trekking to Savandurga is a different experience altogether and I must say a trekker’s life is incomplete without completing the Savandurga trek.

Details of Savandurga Trek

Total distance : 4 to 5 kms (both ways)

Level of difficulty : Easy

Time duration : 4 hours in total

Permission required ?: No. But you can also book a guide through myecotrip website by paying 250 rs. You will get a guide along with you.

Details about Savandurga

Savanadurga is the largest monolith in Asia . Located at a distance of around 60 kms from the city Bengaluru, savanadurga is a center of attraction for pilgrims and adventurists . Savanadurga which provides a unique experience of trekking the single stone surely deserves a top place in their bucket list for the trekkers in Bangalore.

Savandurga from the base
Savandurga from the base
How to reach Savanadurga?

Reaching savanadurga should be of the least thing to bother as there are direct buses from majestic Bangalore . The bus with route number 241-A directly drops you at the Lakshmi narasimha swamy temple which is where the trail of the trek starts.

One can also choose to travel on their own vehicle. The place is located near magadi . One can reach there via magadi road or through the kengeri road and then Manchinbelle road.

Experience :
Reaching Savandurga

Our plan was to reach savanadurga by 4 am and reach the peak by 6 am or 6.30 and watch the sunrise. As a part of preparation, I googled trying to find every possible information about savanadurga and most importantly, is trekking allowed before 6 am as most of the treks are either banned or require forest permission. Unable to get a clear information we decided to start late and reach the base camp by 6 am.

As planned, we started from Bangalore around 5 and keyed savanadurga in the Google maps. The google lady suggested to take the route of kengeri but we missed taking a left near Nayandhalli and were forced to choose magadi road. On the way we picked some biscuits and water bottle . After travelling for nearly an hour , Google lady asked us to take left .

As I took left, we entered into a small village with not so good road. In couple of mins we reached a place in the village where it did scare us for a while.

Scary road in a village on the way to Savandurga
Scary road in a village on the way to Savandurga

Finally taking the guidance of the villager (thanks to the aunt who woke up early)we reached the base camp. We choose to have a breakfast before starting our trek.

From Savandurga to Peak

After breakfast we started our trek around 6.30 . As I looked at the mammoth stone , I was thrilled to trek. This was surely going to be a different experience in my short trekking life. As we started climbing, we watched the sunrise (sun had already risen but thanks to the clouds it appeared as though we are watching the sunrise ).

Sunrise during Savandurga trek
Sunrise during Savandurga trek

We realized it is unlike other treks where you have a ascend, flat surface and even descend at times. Savandurga trek offered no flat or ascend until we reached the 90%.

Pic of Savandurga while trekking
Pic of Savandurga while trekking
Machinbelle from savandurga
Machinbelle from savandurga

we made sure to take rest every now and then and keep ourselves hydrated. We reached the peak in about 2 hours with lot of breaks in between. After spending sometime at the peak we headed back and took roughly 1.5 hours to reach the base.

Suggestion for Savanadurga Trek
  • Like I mention in every trek, starting the trek early has an added advantage of less crowd, less heat, savanadurga makes no exception.
  • Take water. There is no water source. Take enough energy bars such as snickers
  • Trekking shoes are always mandatory.
  • There is no forest permission required and I have gathered the information from the local villagers that few people start at 2 in the night to witness the sunrise.

Check out more trekking destinations near Bangalore

Makalidurga

Makalidurga trek

A perfect weekend trekking within 100 KMS of Bengaluru, Makalidurga Trek is one of the top destination. Located to the north of Bengaluru around 60 KMS away from Bengaluru and 15 kms from Doddaballapur, Makalidurga offers an enthralling experience for the trekkers around Bengaluru.

Details of the Makalidurga Trek:

Distance: 7 Kms (both ways included)

Difficulty Level: Easy

Time Taken: 3 to 4 hours

Ideal time to Visit: October to March

Suggested Age group: 12 to 50

Reaching Makalidurga Trek:

Makalidurga trek has got very good connectivity as compared to most other trekking places

  • Train: Most preferred mode of transport for most of the trekkers would be to go by train. There is a direct passenger train from Bengaluru cantonment station which starts at 07:20 AM and reaches there by 08:55. If you are planning for an early morning trek, catch the evening train Hindupur passenger and stay overnight at Makalidurga.
  • Bus: To reach by bus, take a direct bus to Doddaballapur from Bengaluru and then from Doddaballapur, take a local bus (which are less in frequency) or hire a local taxi or auto
  • Own Transport: Travelling by own transport should be a good option as it is just around 55 to 60KMS from Bengaluru. Localities ask for parking charges of around RS 50.
Taking the Train Route?

If you are travelling by train, get down at Makalidurga railway station and walk along the direction of the train for about 2 kms. The walk on the track is a unique experience that only Makalidurga trek provides. You need to walk till you will find a board which reads 53/400. This is where the trek actually begins.

Train track leading towards to the trail of Makalidurga
Train track leading towards to the trail of Makalidurga trek

Take a left just after the board and you see the trail of the Makalidurga Trek. If you are travelling by your own transport, you can either park your vehicle at the Makalidurga railway station and walk on the railway track or choose to park in the open space just near the track. Park your vehicle and cross the railway track and your trek begins. Villagers charge around INR 50 to 100 based on the number of visitors during your visit.

Entry Fee:

There is an entry fee of RS. 250 which needs to be booked online through Myecotrip. Make sure you book well in advance as the crowd is more during the peak season i.e. from October to March.

About the Makalidurga Trek:

As you are about to start the trek, you find a temple of Krishna at the right side. Take the blessing and proceed for the trek. The initial trail of the trek is a plain road which lasts for a very short distance. The trek then elevates by a small angle where you get the feel of the trek actually beginning. Make sure you follow the arrow marks (marked in green) through the entire stretch. Failing to identify the path at any point of time, pause for a while and look for the arrow. There are plenty of arrows marks put which help the trekkers not to lose the path. After travelling for some more distance, you see the elevation has increased suddenly where you find bit difficult especially if you are beginner. This particular part of the section provides you the experience of trekking through the rocks. After travelling for a good 45 minutes or an hour, make sure to look back to provide your eyes a wonderful view of the lake. The lake is very well maintained and is a treat to watch the scene.

View of the lake during Makalidurga trek
View of the lake during Makalidurga trek

Total time to reach the top might take around 1 hour 30 minutes for beginners and for a regular trekker, 1 hour would be sufficient. As you complete 75% of the trek, you would see the walls of the fort which is the peak of the trek. The trek from this place to the top is easy as compared to the already traveled distance. As you reach the top, go to the extreme left to get the full view of the lake, which you saw earlier.

 

Temple at the top of Makalidurga

On the right side, there is a Shiva temple.

Take the blessings of the Lord Shiva and move the right most part to get a view of the train. This being a busy route, you would find plenty of trains passing through. Walking down the Makalidurga is easier but a few places take extra precaution as the rocks are slippery

The best time to trek is obviously early morning. Start your trek 8 AM if you are travelling by your own transport as it gives you spend most of the trekking in cooler temperature.

Know the important points:
  • Carry at least 2 liters of water. The last point of water resource is Makalidurga railway station. However, the station is very small and hence suggest not to keep this option. Carry your own food like biscuits, juice etc. The nearest place where you find food is Doddaballapur. Make sure you have your breakfast and arrive before lunch.
  • Register at myecotrip.com . There will be a forest officer at the start of the trekking who asks for the registration details.
Skandagiri hill

Night Trek to Skandagiri

It was nearly 2 months I had done my last trekking Pangarchulla and the urge to go back and climb the mountain was increasing in me. The feeling in accomplishing the trek is totally different and I am sure every trekker can relate to it. On a fine day, I came across a post by Bangalore Adventures about the Night trek to Skandagiri.

Having heard from few of my friends that night trek is banned in Skandagiri, I looked at the post with suspicion. On the other side, the trekker in me was elated to experience as the dream of night trek to Skandagiri to witness the sunrise was possible now. After reading the complete post by the organizers, I was assured that the night trek(I would be more right if I call it as early morning trek) is legal with forest permission. Since it involved the forest permission and also in the night, I decided myself not to miss the opportunity.

On a Saturday night 11 PM, we arrived near the Majestic(Kempegowda bus stand) where the mini buses were ready for us to take the base camp of Skandagiri – Kalavara Durga. There were 2 groups named as Group 7 and Group 8 – 20 in each of them. We left Bangalore around midnight and reached Kalavara durga which is where our base camp was there.

Skandagiri which is located at around 70 KMS from Bangalore requires approximately 1 and half an hour to reach the base camp Kalavara Durga. As forest department allows us to start the trek only after 4 AM, we were forced to kill the time. Organizers conducted some team activity which helped to pass the next 2 and half hours.

As the clock was about to tick 4 AM, we started the trek. Within a few meters, we were at the forest check post. After quickly undergoing the check, the trek to Skandagiri started. Within a couple of minutes, the trail got steeper. The moonlight due to just completed full-moon day helped us to enjoy the trek without our torch. After nearly half an hour of trek, we were getting into the thick forest. The moon was helpless so were we. Few switched on the torch and others walked in the same path.

Entering into the thick forest of Skandagiri
Entering into the thick forest of Skandagiri

After the forest adventure, we then had to climb the mighty rocks.

Steps while trekking Skandagiri
Steps while trekking Skandagiri
Thick rocks during the Skandagiri trek
Thick rocks during the Skandagiri trek

Trekking through all the tough terrain in the dark was a new experience and fun. We took around 2 hours 15 mins to reach the top. The trek took a little longer as there were 40 of us and it was ensured that no one is left far behind. We reached the top around 6.15 and we were happy to make it before sunrise. However, the happiness was ephemeral as we realized the clouds forming and sun happily hiding behind them

Glipmse of Sun from Skandagiric
Glipmse of Sun from Skandagiri
View of cloud movement from Skandagiri
View of cloud movement from Skandagiri

Although disappointed for not getting sunrise view, the fact of trekking in the dark for the first time was something soothing.

We had samosa and also Soan papadi before we started to descend. On the way back we realized how big were the rocks that we actually climbed. It took us around 1 hour 45 mins to descend. After having a heavy breakfast, our target was to reach Bangalore and cover for the sleep of last night. I slept for continuous 8 hours 😀 had dinner and then again slept rejoicing the trek.

Here are few details of Skandagiri Trek

Total distance of the trek: 4 KMS

Total time taken: Approx 2 hours to ascend

Permission required? : Yes, from Forest department of Karnataka

How to take the permission? : Visit MyEcotrip

Fees applicable? : Yes, 250 Rs

Reporting Timings: Trek is allowed only from 4 AM to 9: 30 AM. You are supposed to finish the trek by 17:00

Difficulty level : Easy

Follow me on Instagram