Skandagiri Trek is a great trekking area in Bangalore’s outskirts that we can easily traverse in a day. My decision to visit Skandagiri was spur-of-the-moment; two of my other friends encouraged me to join them the day before, and I jumped in without any prior planning or preparation. I also brought two of my pals, Aishwarya and Bhavana, to make a trekking gang.
When to begin the journey
- We began early in the morning, at 3 a.m., to reach the summit in time to see the sunrise.
It’s the same road we take to get to Nandi Hills, except instead of taking the highway detour, you’ll have to travel further in front. You will notice a difference once you leave Highway. We arrived at 4:45 a.m. and were required to pay an entry fee of around $250 to the forest guards, which was collected at a forest reception counter.
● The journey begins near the town of Kalwara, at the Papagni Temple.
The previous days had been rainy, so the trail was a little muddy, but thankfully not too slippery. To get to the summit, we’ll have to hike for approximately an hour and a half. The vista was becoming better and better as we climbed higher. During your hike, you can see the Kalwarbettar fortress directly ahead of you. You’ll arrive at the fortress after passing through some impenetrable jungle, but the adventure has only begun.
Six of these fallen fortifications lead to the ancient city. The scenery is breathtaking throughout, and there are little samadhi caves along the way where you can stop for a while. People have been camped there since the night before to catch a glimpse of the sunrise. Because the day was cloudy, I didn’t hold out much hope for the Sun.
We arrived at the viewpoint, which is about 200 meters down from the peak; there were already a few people there, and the view was breathtaking. Because we knew we wouldn’t get a nice view of the sunrise today owing to the cloudy morning, we spent more time at the vantage point and took a lot of photos.
My yogi girls (Aishwarya & Bhavana) were ecstatic to pull out some advanced asanas to show off their flexibility, and ya people would love having their photos taken at such a stunning location. From there, we could see clouds passing very close by, and it was a wonderful sight to behold.
We went up to the summit after spending enough time there, where the wind was howling. On top of the mountain, there was a little temple where we spent some time. We took several photos, took in the scenery, and then began our journey back. By 10 a.m., we had arrived at Bangalore City, and by noon, we had entered the city. If you’re looking for something to do on your weekends, Skandagiri is the place to go.
HOW DO I GET THERE?
From Bangalore, you can take a bus to Chikkaballapur. You can either take a 15-minute auto-rickshaw ride or walk to the base point in Kalawara village from there. Alternatively, you can book a cab from Bangalore to Chikkaballapura.
NOTES TO REMEMBER
- Stay hydrated by carrying plenty of water during night camping.
- Bring a backpack that is comfy to wear.
- In the rain, bring a raincoat, and in the winter, bring a windcheater jacket.
- Wear sturdy hiking boots or canvas shoes for greater traction and to avoid falling.
- Bring some energy bars and light snacks with you.
- Carry a battery-operated torch to aid visibility at night.
- Put on a hat and sunglasses.
- Bring only the most basic toiletries with you.
Skandagiri is one of the five “Panchagiris” (Nandi Giri, Chandragiri, Skandagiri, Brahmagiri, and Hema Giri) of Chikballapur district.
The Papagni Mutt, located in the Skandagiri foothills, is one of Karnataka’s oldest and most ancient mutts.