Yesterday we went to a nice place for trekking called skandagiri mountains. locals know it as kalwarahalli beta. It is off Bellary Road (NH-7 Hyderabad-Bangalore Highway), and is very close to Nandi Hills and Chikkaballapura. The peak is at an altitude of about 1350 meters. It is every adventurer’s paradise with beautiful night trek, stunning sunrise, and serene and swimming clouds that sometimes limits visibility to just a few meters. Its actually famous for its Moonlight trek, but we din't have time, so went at day time..
Skandagiri is one of the hill forts in the Nandi Hill ranges. The dilapidated walls of Tipu Sultan's fort can be seen even today . History says this was a small but strong hill fort. Tipu Sultan reportedly captured this fort from a local ruler by bribing two milk women who used to supply milk to the ruler to poison him and his men to death. It surrendered to British troops on 19 October 1791. It remained in British hands until the peace treaty of 1792, which concluded the third Anglo-Mysore war.
How to get there ?
We actually took bus, but if u have your own vehicle, it will save time and money. We started from our place in whitefield to majestic bus stand. From Majestic bus stand, we took a KSRTC bus to a place called Chikballapur(70 kms). It takes about 60-75 mins to reach chikballapur from bangalore. Once there we took a Auto to a place called Papagni Matt (5 kms). Ask for Papagni matt or Papagni betta, no one knows kalvarahalli betta or skandagiri. Once you reach there, u'l find a temple at the foot of the hills. u got ample parking space there. There will be some people who will be asking if u need guide. Dnt take it, the routes are straightforward. There are arrows everywhere and its straightforward. Though we somehow managed to loose track and wandered into dense jungle.. that was scary. We somehow got back on track, with a help from some local goats:)
It takes about 2 hrs to climb up for professionals, for amateurs , it might take about 3-4 hrs depending on ur skills. and about 1 hr to come down. We were very much amateurs so it took as bout 3 hrs to reach the top. The best part of the trek was it never seem to end. You reach one point at the top, thers another dilapidated fort remains to reach, it never seems to end. Though it got a little frustrating and tiring for us, we somehow managed to reach the top. But the view from the top was so spectacular, we were all energized after that. By the time we started coming down, it started raining, but we managed to come down safely within an hour.
Things to take
Make sure you hae enough water, food and first aid. There is nothing available for the entire trek. Take good torches, if ure doing a night trek.
Finally as we got down and left, we got a beautiful view of the hill we just climbed, it was beautiful. Over all we were happy that we conquered the peak :)