If you like trekking and history and you’re looking for a quick getaway from Mangalore, Gadaikallu in Belthangady is a great choice. This is one of the most favored trekking destinations in south Karnataka. It’s a long trek uphill but it’s a one of its kind experience that opens your eyes to boundless natural beauty and little-known historical trivia.
Read: Tips for Trekking
Must-Know Facts About Gadaikallu
- Timings: 6 am to 4 pm
- Overnight stay is not permitted. The closest hotels are in Belthangady
- Trekking fee: Rs 40 per person
- Best Season: December to May
About The Gadaikallu Trek
Gadaikallu is about 8km away from Belthangady. The public bus service runs frequently or you could hire a cab or even drive down in your own vehicle. What sets this trek apart from others is the climb. Rather than walk over twisted paths, the path here is made up of stone steps.
A total of 1876 steps take trekkers from the base to the summit. These steps are cut out of the granite hill. At the top stands the remains of the Jamalabad Fort and a breath-taking view of the Kudremukh range. It’s categorized as a medium-level trek. It can be quite a long trek to make sure you carry plenty of water and snacks with you.
History Of Jamalabad The Fort
The Jamalabad Fort was built by Tipu Sultan in 1794. It was named after his mother – Jamalabee. It was once also known as Narasimha Ghada. According to local legends, it was built as a watchtower. Tipu Sultan was impressed by the height of this massive granite rock and felt it would give his sentries an early warning of any attackers. During the 4th Mysore War in 1799, the fort was captured by the British army.
The Jamalabad Fort Today
Today, not much is visible of the fort’s main structure. There are a few broken walls and parapets to tell the story of the fort. A tank and mandir stand inside where a daily aarti is still conducted in remembrance of Tipu Sultan. The tank stores rainwater. Visitors can also see the remains of a single cannon at the top of the hill.
How To Reach Gadaikallu
You can drive down from Mangalore to Belthangady, a distance of 65 km or take public transport to cover the distance. From Belthangady buses ply regularly to Manjotti from where you can start your trek.
The closest airport is in Mangalore. From the airport, you can drive down to Belthangady and take a bus to Manjotti.
Mangalore railways station is the closest station to the place. From here you need to take a bus or hire a cab to reach the place.
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