By Meenakshi Gupta
Also known as Kalavara Durga, Skandagiri hills famous for their gorgeous sunrise and sunset views hold historical significance as the ruins of the 18th century Tipu Sultan fort can be seen at the top. Trek up the hills for a mesmerising sunrise over the floating clouds or trek during the day and witness the breathtaking sunset.
A moderate to challenging level trek is quite popular amongst aspiring trekkers and seasoned as well. The night trek to view the sunrise is something that one is looking for that adrenaline rush. Crossing the treacherous trails, steep inclines, and rocky boulders will give you an experience of a lifetime.
Skandagiri is one of the most sought treks around Bangalore for its spectacular misty views and the clouds over the hills. The night trek is a dream come true for trekkers, and nature lovers and is a paradise for photographers. Climb up the hills through the wilderness and lush green dense forest to reach the top of the hills. Skandagiri stands tall at a height of approximately 1350 mts overlooking Nandi hills and Muddenahalli.
Trekker’s paradise and a delight for nature lovers, Skandagiri takes about 6-8 hours to complete the 8 km trek distance. The ruins of the fort and a Shiva Temple on the top of the hills will leave you awestruck. Just 70 km away from Bangalore, Skandagiri is famous for its sunrise views and hence the night trek. The picture-perfect sunrise views after the strenuous trek are worth the effort.
The main fortress of Skandagiri historically is known as Kalwarbetta or Kalavara Durga and holds immense importance in the historical past. Built by Tipu Sultan, the fortress has been abandoned since 1791 after he lost the Anglo-Mysore war. However, the beauty and charm of the place have increased over time even more. This is what makes the trek, the most popular sunrise trek near Bangalore.
One needs to take permission from the forest department and the trek can be booked online at Karnataka Eco-tourism.
Best Time to Visit
Skandagiri is famous for its sunrise trek which can be done throughout the year. However, if you do not wish to trek during the night, winter is the best time to trek Skandagiri. Summers are harsh and should be avoided. Although the fauna and flora add beauty to the mesmerizing trek during monsoon, it should be avoided. The rocks and the boulders become slippery and challenging to trek.
How to Reach
Skandagiri is around 70 km away from Bangalore and can be reached by own vehicle. It takes about an hour and 30 minutes to reach by road. Travel from Bangalore to Chikkballapur, and reach the base or the trek starting point at Kalawara village.
Bangalore is well connected via air, rail and road with all the major and small cities of the country.
1. The trek difficulty level is moderate.
2. Wear proper trekking shoes.
3. The trek’s distance is around 8 km.
4. Carry enough water and snacks for the trek.
5. A headlamp / Torch is a must for the night trek.
6. DO NOT LITTER.
Image Credits : Vini Katyal, Rama Krishna, Amiyangshu Nath, Jyoti Kataria