Savanadurga Hills (Ramanagara - Karnataka)


Sorry.... I know, I vanished for almost a month from blog-o-sphere.... Well, I'm back now and I'm pretty much tanned.... Here's more of the recent trip to Bangalore and surrounding places. Took suggestions from a couple of bloggers and read a few blog posts and the first place to venture in Banglore turned out to be Savana Durga. I found this place at The Loapers blog. 
8 of us in 2 cars, we left early... We managed to find a nice place to eat in the NICE road and reached the base hill before 10 am. The road was pathetic for about 15km to reach the location. There's a temple there, and to cater to the temple, there are quite a space for parking. 

I enquired a tender coconut seller there, Mr.Gulzar, about which is the Karigudda (black hill) and which is the Biligudda (White hill). Biligudda is supposedly more accessible than Karigudda, which requires permission and rappelling equipment. We headed to the Biligudda through a small dirt track which shares its entrance with the Savanadurga MPCA (Medicinal Plants Conservation Area).
There were arrows painted on the rocks that lead you to the top of the hill. By all means, its a slope-y, rocky, terrain. No shade, no trees, no soil, nothing!!! 
There's a fort atop. Sections of the fort was visible from the base. There were some walls, some pillared mandap-s etc. The fort was supposedly built in 1543 under Vijayanagara Empire. It 1791 it was taken over by British by Lord Cornwallis.

From one side, the hill is almost vertical and perfectly vertical in the top half. One of our friends managed to climb it from that side till half and walked across to join us in the more accessible passage. 
What do you see first in the above pic? The 'Abhay Eesha' graffiti on rock? Spot a little green T-shirt in that expanse of slope-y hill? That's one of our guys. Those letters are 'that' huge!!! I still can't comprehend how could someone climb all that way up and write something larger than human size???

At almost one third, there's a section of the wall in ruins with a mandap behind it. But helps to provide shade. There are quite a lot of people who climb till this point. I thought the view from here was fabulous, but I had more coming up. 
From there further atop was a little pillared mandap which served as a home for an uber friendly dog there! Beside the mandap, the top a portion of the fort wall itself served as the pathway to reach atop. 
There were certain crevices in the rocks that were, well... pretty much comfortable! Till this point a cool drink seller kinda accompanied us hoping to sell some and we didn't disappoint him. 

Further atop there was another point with 2 walled mandaps - a brick one that was pretty much intact and a granite one that was almost in ruins. This place have been used as an accommodation(!) or cooking area (!) for some trekkers!!!! 

Behind this was a small pond created by a water hole. The plants that grew in here and their reflection in the water was beautiful.

A bit higher was another pillared mandap and the slope-y rocks almost came to an end and there were boulders with dirt tracks between them. At that altitude, there were some trees atop. Right atop was a little mandap with a Nandi in it, facing south.

Yup, I had reached the top. 4024 ft. high from ground. The wind was awesome. Cauvery was flowing beside. The view was breathtaking.... Not many reach atop, very few do. When we went, there were none there. When we were leaving, another group of about 5 people reached. I could even sleep there, it felt that peaceful!!!!
I could definitely give you a tip or two. 'When' you venture here, is very important. When its too hot, you'll get dehydrated, when its raining, the wet rocks get slippery and are just deadly... Venture in cooler months, when there isn't rain. Even then take enough water. Wear good shoes - in our gang the ones who wore Reebok Reeflex and Zig Pulse felt the most comfortable! No, its a fact, I'm not endorsing the brand!!! There's a little kiosk type place, where food is available. Well, its actually home cooked food. For better hotels & restaurants you have to reach NICE road. The last 15km of the road is like the crater of the moon - be prepared! Take cash, esp. in smaller denominations - there are no atm-s anywhere in vicinity and for all the tender coconuts, water, cool drinks, tipping, food you've gotta pay in cash!

TO GET THERE:
From Bangalore: 50km via Kengeri

Photo Courtesy: Pics 5 & 10 by Gokul; Last pic by Sundeep.

Dedicated to Venkat & gang!

Bhushavali N

An ardent traveler by passion. I am a wanderlust.. Read more about me here.

6 comments:

  1. Nice shots :) Good to have you back after a break :)

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  2. Nice captures. Am yet to trek this. :)

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  3. Savanadurga Hills seem to be a great place for people who love photography. The images you have shared out here are cute and I wish I could click such beautiful pictures with my mobile camera. Thanks for sharing this beautiful blog post.

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  4. Before reading this article, i am unaware of savanadurga hills, but after reading this article, i m so happy to know about such beautiful place. Thanks for explaining this place.

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  5. Thanks you so much Siddhartha, Harshita, Varun, Harish.
    Niranjan, How come????!!!!!!

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