Place 4:Makali Durga

indian railwayMakali Durga is a fort hill which is 60km from Bangalore.  The place is located in the state high way of Bangalore-Gauribidanur and it is just 10km from Doddaballapur.  The height of the hill is around 1350mts above sea level.  As I said it’s a fort hill, on top you will find the wreckages of the fort, built by Tippu Sulthan.  At the base of the hill, there is a temple of lord Shiva and Nandi.  The railway line which passes near the hill ads up to the beauty of Makali Durga.  There is a small railway station near the hill, which makes easy accessible to Makali Durga through trains.  Unlike the other places for example Savandurga, this place is isolated from common people.  That is, you hardly find peoples here.  No shops, no hotels, no people around makes you still more exciting.

This place is a paradise for trekkers.  It’s a moderately difficult trekking place.  The hill is covered with small thorny shrubs, trees and rocks.  Route markings for climbing the hill are not so good.  Better to search our own route and explore the place.  This makes trekking really exciting and challenging.  If you are a first time visitor it is advised to take at least one person with you who has seen this place earlier.  There is high degree of chance that you may go in a wrong way and end up in worst situation.  As I said there are no shops, hotels around this place, it is good to pack your food.  Most importantly you must take plenty of water.  Remember you don’t get water at this place.  And make sure to drink less water during trekking.  While climbing, the sight from top of the hill is magnificent.  The view of Gundumgere Lake is really an awesome experience.  And the view of the passage of trains and goods carriages through the curved paths will make you still more exciting.  On top of the hill there is a fort built by Tippu Sulthan.  It is almost at its last stage of destruction, and it needs proper maintenance from government. Breathtaking view of the chains of mountains from top is unforgettable.  You could see Nandi Hills and Skandagiri Hill from top.  Night trekking can also be done, but it needs proper planning and arrangement. Overall this place is one of the best one day trekking destinations for Bangalorians.

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IMG_9622I and my friends (Pramod, Naveen, Achyut) left Hebbal Fly over at 9pm in the morning, reached Makali Durga in Naveen’s Innovae car.  Innova car took all the responsibility of making sure that our journey was comfortable.  Thanks to Innova!  My frined Achyut was a professional trekker.  Except Achyut, for all of us, it is our first time visit to Makali Durga.  With Achyut professional guidelines we started to climb the hill.  At first, we felt hard to climb due to rocks and shrubs. But after adjusting to the surroundings climbing was very easy and we took many pit stops while climbing.  Based on Achyut guidelines we took plenty of water with us.  During our trekking we were making sure that we were not dehydrated.   At half way through our climbing, we met other group from ‘Suvarna TV’, who had come for trekking.  After meeting, all of us went together.  The sight from high altitude was awesome.  After reaching top and having the glimpse of the Tippu’s fort, we finished our lunch.  Our descending journey was equally difficult like the climbing; searching route was very difficult while descending.  At last we came down and all through the day our lens was making noise and took some beautiful photos.  Finally Innova took the job of returning us safely to home.  Thanks to Naveen and his Innova.  A one day trek was completed in its high fashion.

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How to go:

Makali Durga is well connected by road.  The state highway to Gauribidanur from Bangalore will pass through Makali Durga.

By Road: Hebbal Flyover- Yelahanka- Rajankunte- Doddaballapur- Follow the Gauribidanur Raod until you get Makali Durga Railway Station. (There is no proper notice board beside the main road. It is advised to ask locals after Doddaballapur)

By Train: There is train which runs all day from Yeshwanthpur at 08:15am and stops at Makali Durga Railways Station.  Return train is at 02:00pm at Makali Durga Railway Station.  Except this train no other train stops at this railway station.

Food:

No hotels, no shops nothing.  Pack your food.  Take plenty of water.

When to go:

It is difficult to climb during monsoon season.  Summer season is the best.

Some of our photos…

Viswa Keerthy S
30-03-2013.

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Place 3:Shivagange and Siddagange

Shivagange

ShivaShivagange is a small holy village in Tumkur District, and it is one of the famous Hindu pilgrim centers in India.  The village got its name due to the hill which is present there. The height of the hill is around 1368mts from sea level and it looks the shape of ‘shivalinga’ when it is seen from far.  It is located near Dobbespete, which is 54km from Bangalore.  The place is very famous for its Gangadhareshwara Temple, which is built for lord Shiva.  And it is popularly called as “Dakshina Kashi” (South Kashi) by South Indians.

Gangadhareshwara TempleApart from the temple, the hill also includes Pathala Gange, Olakal Theertha, Nandi and Shanthala Drop on top.  Each of these places has deep history in its creation.  At the base of the hill you will find lord Shiva temple, which is Gangadhareshwara temple.  The temple is very famous for its mysterious abhisheka.  It is believed that if you perform ghee abhisheka, the ghee will turn into butter.  Inside the temple there is old cave, which is now locked with iron gate and they say this cave connects with the other cave, which is at Gavi Gangadhareshwara temple in Bangalore.  Beside this temple you will find Pathala Gange, which is a small underground spring.  It is formed between two huge rocks and there are narrow steps to go down to see it.  Historically it is said that Pathala Gange is connected with the Antaragange which is in Kolar.  But it is hard to imagine this connection today, as both the places are very far from each other.  Olkal Theertha is another mysterious location in the hill.  This place is found exactly at the mid way while climbing the hill.  One has to go in narrow place between the rocks to find the small spring.  It is a small pot hole in the rock, if you see from top with a torch, you can see water inside.  It is believed if a person is good and dutiful; he can touch and feel the water, others cannot!  After this temple, climbing became very difficult due to the narrow steps of rocks.  On top of the hill you will find Nandi and a small Shiva temple.  You will also find queen Shantala’s suicide point known as Shantala Drop.  The view from top of the hill is mesmerizing.

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Olakal Theertha

Climbing to top

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It is place which is a combination of historic temples, religious believes, mystery, trekking and a mesmerizing nature.  The experience you get is unforgettable.  A must visit place for people who love to explore places and the history.  The landscape view from high altitude and some of the breathtaking spots in the hill is amazing.  Most part of the hill is rocky, and a proper iron railing has been put to climb the hill.  You will find lot of monkeys all over the hill, and they are always ready to attack on your belongings.  When you visit, make sure to take something for monkeys.  Overall it is a fantastic picnic spot for one day!

Siddagange

Siddaganga Mutt

Sree Sree Sree Shivakumara SwamijiSiddagange is small village which is 10km far from Shivagange.  It is located near Kyathsandra which can be reached through NH 4 from Bangalore.  Siddagange houses an ashrama called Siddagange Mutt,the oldest ashrama in Tumkur District.  It also has gurukula which offers education, food, shelter for poor children’s.  Siddagange mutt is now headed by Sree Sree Sree Shivakumara Swamiji, who is called as Nededaduva Devaru (Walking God).  He is continuing his humanitarian work even at the age of 107years.  Every day they perform ‘Annasantharpane’ (food) at the free of cost for the pilgrims who visit this place.  It also has a hill which houses the temple of Siddalingeswara and Siddalingamma.  Everyone who visits Shivagange always visit Siddagange.

How to reach

1. Frequent KSRTC Buses available from Majestic.

2. There is a railway station at Dobbaspete and Kyathsandra. And frequent train is available from Majestic Railway Station.

3. It is best if you travel in own transport.  From Bangalore take NH 4, reach Dobbespete.

Food:

There are good hotels at both the places.  Kyathsandra is famous for its “Tatte Idli’s”! Don’t forget to taste it.

When to go:

All through the year.

I with two of my friends Naveena and Naveena went to these places in train.  Our journey was comfortable in train, and we climbed both the hill and even took the blessings of Shivakumara Swamiji.  Meanwhile took some beautiful photos.

-Viswa Keerthy S
10-11-2012