With lots of options for trekking in Karnataka, there is no dearth for trekking destinations around Bangalore. Here are 5 of the must do treks near Bangalore, which refreshes the mind and revives the spirits of adventurists.
1. Bidarakatte Trek
About 62 km from Bangalore, lies Bidarakatte, an unexplored trekking point. Offering spellbinding views, Bidarakatte lies in the vicinity of Savandurga and is still not popular amongst tourists. You will have to book the trek on the Karnataka Eco Tourism website of the Karnataka forest department. The Bidarakatte trek begins at Kempegowda tree park and goes on to reach the summit of the hill at Doddarebylu.
One treks along the path with small bushy trees interspersed with rocks and encounters butterflies, beetles, Rock Agama and a variety of birds including the Yellow Throated Bulbul and Sirkeer Malkoha. You can come upon an ancient fort and the remains of an old walled city in its precincts. There is also an old temple as you walk along the trail. The trek comprises uphill walks, walks through the forest amidst lush greenery, encountering waterbodies with lilies and much more. Once you reach the summit, you can also get to see the view of the surrounding city. Bidarakatte, nevertheless is one among the must do treks near Bangalore.
- Best time to visit Bidarakatte: Monsoon and post monsoon season when the surrounding greenery comes alive is the best time for trekking in Bidarakatte.
- Difficulty level of Bidarakatte trek: Easy (subject to one’s fitness level)
- Trek length of Bidarakatte: 4.6 km out and back
- Time taken for Bidarakatte trek: About 1 hr and 30 minutes
- How to reach Bidarakatte: From Bangalore proceed to Ramanagara preferably through the NICE Ring road to keep off the traffic. From the Ramanagara Bus station, take a right and proceed straight for around 40 minutes. Then, take a right under the arch, which says ‘Kempegowda Vanadhama Savanadurga’ to reach the Ramanagar division forest department in just about 5 minutes.
- Facilities in Bidarakatte: There are no facilities around the area, and hence, remember to carry food and water.
- Nearest place to Bidarakatte: Magadi is the nearest town, about 38.9 km from Bidarakatte.
- Permission for Bidarakatte trek: Prior booking on Karnataka Eco-tourism is compulsory. A day before the trek call the number on the website for details of the guide, who will accompany you throughout the trek.
Around 50 km from Bangalore lies Savandurga, the acclaimed trekkers’ point, which is the largest monolith hills in Asia. The hill bears an imposing look as one draws closer to it. Savandurga is formed by two hills, the Karigudda (black hill) and Biligudda (White hill). There is historical significance attached to Biligudda, as it was the fort prison during the Hoysala period. On the summit of Biligudda, you will come upon the ruins of the fort, which was built by Kempegowda. There is also a shrine dedicated to Nandi on top of this hill.
The trek up the Biligudda is moderately difficult, but the view from the top is absolutely stunning. The trek up the Karigudda hill is relatively difficult and is for the experienced lot. There aren’t proper markings along the path to guide you and is less explored. Savandi Veerabhadreshwara Swamy and Narasimha Swamy temple situated at the foothills of Savandurga hills. Savandurga offers stunning views of Magadi, Manchinbele dam, Thippagondanahalli reservoir and Arkavathi River as one treks up the hill. Trekkers need to be very cautious while descending, as the rocks are very steep. Wear shoes with a good grip and carry basic first aid kit, as it is one of the difficult treks near Bangalore.
- Best time to visit Savandurga: The best time for undertaking a Savandurga trek is during the Winter. The end of September to February is the ideal time to do a Savandurga trek. The monsoon season should be strictly avoided for trekking in Savandurga owing to the very slippery rocks.
- Difficulty level of Savandurga trek: Difficult (subject to one’s fitness level)
- Max altitude of Savandurga: 4022 feet
- Trek length of Savandurga: 5 to 6 km up and down
- Time taken for Savandurga trek: 4 to 6 hours
- How to reach Savandurga: The convenient way to reach Savandurga is by taking one’s own vehicle. From South Bangalore, you can take the Mysore road and take the right towards Doddallada Mara. The road will take you through Manchanbele Dam to reach Savandurga.
- Facilities in Savandurga: Owing to the presence of two temples in Savandurga, there is considerable crowd during the weekends. There is a restaurant near the Lakshmi Narasimha temple and a public toilet at the right side of the temple. During weekends and public holidays, there are a few stalls along the trekking trail and on the summit which sell water and some basic refreshments. However, it is ideal to carry some food and water when you embark on your journey towards Savandurga.
- Nearest place to Savandurga: Magadi (10.5 km) is the nearest town to Savandurga.
- Permission for Savandurga trek: You must make an online booking on Karnataka Eco Tourism for a fee of INR 300 for trekking in Savandurga.
3. Hutridurga Trek
About 80 km from Bangalore lies Hutridurga, a popular trekking destination. It is one among the Navadurgas or the nine hill forts around Bangalore. As you trek along the trail of Hutridurga in the wilderness, you will encounter ruins of an ancient fort and the Sankareshwara temple on the summit. The trek does not end with the temple but takes you further to a cave and then to an open grassland and a rock from where you can have breathtaking views of the surroundings.
The Hutridurga trek is moderate as in some places it is steep and the terrain is rocky. You will come across small ponds, age-old stone structures, huge boulders and thriving vegetation all along the way. Though frequented by trekkers, Hutridurga is still not as popular as Savandurga and hence there is less crowd. However, it is one of the must-do treks near Bangalore.
- Best time for Hutridurga trek: The best time for Hutridurga trek is between October and February during the Winter season when the weather is ideal for trekking. It is not advisable to trek during monsoon as the path would be slippery during summer, which makes it all the more difficult owing to scorching heat.
- Difficulty level of Hutridurga trek: Moderate (subject to one’s fitness level)
- Max altitude of Hutridurga: 3708 feet
- Trek length of Hutridurga: 5 km up and down
- Time taken for Hutridurga trek: 2 to 3 hours
- How to reach Hutridurga: From Bangalore one can proceed to Bidadi to Ramnagara and then via Jalamangala reach Hutridurga.
- Facilities in Hutridurga: It is advisable to carry water and food as there are few facilities in the Hutridurga area.
- Nearest place to Hutridurga: Kunigal (18 km) is the nearest town to Hutridurga.
- Permission for Hutridurga trek: No paperwork or prior permission is required for Hutridurga trek.
4. Narayanagiri Trek
Narayanagiri lies 65 km from Bangalore in Jalamangala village in the Ramanagara district of Karnataka. It is an unexplored trekking destination, which makes an ideal one day trip from Bangalore. Situated at an altitude of about 3800 feet, the hill is fortified and one can get to see the remains of the fort wall on the top. The trekking Narayanagiri is very easy and short, as the slope is quite gentle. There are about 560 steps that lead one to the top of the hill, where there is a Lakshmi Narayana temple. There is also a lake adjacent to the hill, which you can visit or view from the summit.
The Thimmappa Swamy temple, which lies about 8 km from Jalamangala can be seen from the top of Narayanagiri. The temple is also worth the visit, owing to its proximity to Narayanagiri. Narayanagiri is a perfect destination not only for trekking but camping as well. To view the sunrise from Narayanagiri is mesmerising, making it one of the most interesting treks near Bangalore. You can also participate in Kayaking, swimming and other activities in the Machanabele Dam, which lies about 26 km from Narayanagiri. People also do night trekking in Narayanagiri.
- Best time to visit Narayanagiri: The best time to trek in Narayanagiri is between September and May. It is advisable to avoid the monsoon season for trekking here.
- Difficulty level of Narayanagiri trek: Easy (subject to one’s fitness level)
- Max altitude of Narayanagiri: 3800 feet
- Trek length of Narayanagiri: 3.5 km out and back
- Time taken for Narayanagiri trek: About 1 hr and 35 minutes
- How to reach Narayanagiri: From Bangalore, to reach Narayanagiri, you can take the Bangalore – Mysore road and take the right turn before the Ramanagara bus stand from where Narayanagiri lies about 18 km.
- Facilities in Narayanagiri: Carry snacks and water as there are no shops near Narayanagiri.
- Nearest place to Narayanagiri: Ramanagara is the nearest city to Narayanagiri, which lies about 20 km from it.
- Permission for Narayanagiri trek: There is no prior permission required to trek or camp in Narayanagiri.
5. Gudibande Fort Trek
Gudibande lies 92 km from Bangalore and in the Chikkaballapur district of Karnataka. It is an offbeat trekking destination and perfect for a one day trip from Bangalore, slowly gaining popularity amongst trekkers. The Gudibande fort is yet to be explored and resembles the Madhugiri fort. Situated at a maximum altitude of 3805 feet, the trek is an easy one. The 400 years old Gudibande fort of the 17th century was built by a local chieftain called Byre Gowda.
There are about 500 steps to climb to reach the fort, which is not difficult. Atop the fort is a Siva temple called the Rameshwara temple believed to be established by sage Vishwamitra and Lord Rama. The fort is of seven levels with interconnecting escape routes for soldiers to escape in case of emergency. One can get a beautiful view of the Byrasagara reservoir and the surrounding villages from the fort. The trail is open with less shade so it is advisable to start early in the morning to escape the heat. It is good to go in a group, owing to the fact that the place is yet to get popular.
- Best time to visit Gudibande Fort: The best time to visit the Gudibande fort is between October and February.
- Difficulty level of Gudibande Fort trek: Easy (subject to one’s fitness level)
- Max altitude of Gudibande Fort: 3085 feet above sea level
- Trek length of Gudibande Fort: 4 km out and back
- Time taken for Gudibande Fort trek: 1 to 2 hours
- How to reach Gudibande Fort: From Bangalore, one can reach Gudibande by taking the Airport road, following the sign boards after Chikkaballapur on both the left and right sides of the road. If taking public transport, take a bus from Kempegowda Bus terminal to Chikkaballapur. From there, you can take a bus to Gudibande, from where you can access the fort in about 750 meters.
- Facilities in Gudibande Fort: There are few shops at the base of the hill, so carry snacks and water for your trek.
- Nearest place to Gudibande fort: The Gudibande city is just 750 meters from the fort.
- Permission for Gudibande Fort trek: No prior permission is required for the trek to Gudibande fort.