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 1: Savandurga Hill

     This is one of the most beautiful scenic location for Bangaloreans which is located just outskirts of Bangalore city.  Savandurga is a small village situated off Magdi-Ramanagara state high way.  The village has two hills namely karigudda (Black Hill) Biligudda (White Hill) and a temple.  Most interesting fact about the hill is, it is the largest monolithic in Asia.  The height of the hill is 1226m above sea level.  This hill is surrounded by Savandurga Reserve Forest with lots of flora and fauna. This makes the place very scenic.  Most of the people don’t call these hills by their actual name; instead they are celebrated as Savandurga hill.  The origin of the name date back to the 14th century.  It was called as Savandi.  Later Samantharaya ruled Magdi for several years, during those days it was called Samanthadurga.  But over centuries the name changed to Savandurga hill.  This hill is also called as “Mrutyu Kupa” means people were pulled to death here.  Even the name ‘Savandurga’ also resembles the same meaning in Kannada.  Kempegowda is another ruler who ruled Magdi in 17th Century.  He built the tower (Kempegowda Tower) on top of the hill.  The tower also houses Nandi.  This is the ultimate point of Savandurga hill.

      The hill is a paradise for trek beginners.  At some point while climbing the hill, rock climbing is thrilling.  A proper route marking can be found throughout the hill.  The scenic view of forest and Manchenbelle Reservoir while climbing the hill is beautiful.  And good place for shutterbugs.

     Manchenbelle Reservoir is a Dam constructed to Arkavathi River, which originates from Nandi Hills.  This reservoir can be seen on the way to Savandurga and can be visited. This is one of the good location for bird watching during morning time.

     Other nearby Places:

  • Manchenbelle Reservoir (10km from Savandurga hill.)
  • Magdi Ranganathswamy Temple (13km from Savandurga hill)
  • ISRO Telemetry Tracking System (can be seen on the way to Bangalore via Ramohalli)
  • Doddaladamara (Near Mysore Road)

How to Reach:

  • Savandurga is well connected by road; best way of transport is to go in bike or car.

Route:
a) Bangalore-Mysore Road- Doddaladamara- Ramohalli- Manchenbelle- Magdi                         Ramanagara Road- Savandurga.
b)Bangalore-Magdi Road- Hospet circle, Magdi Road- Magdi Ramanagara Road- Savandurga.

  • KSRTC shuttle service available from K.R. Market to Savandurga. Time: 6:30am departure from K.R.Market.

Food:

      No good hotels around Savandurga.  Fruit juice, tender coconut and water bottles can be available at the shop near savandurga hill.  Better to pack your food.

When to visit:

Throughout the year, preferably on weekend.  Travel in groups.

 I and kiran planed one day and covered Savandurga hill, Manchenbelle Reservoir, Ranganatha swamy temple in my Hero Honda bike.  Our overall distance was around 120km.  We manage to take a decent time lapse video of cloud moving from the top of hill.

here is our time lapse video…

some of our photos…