Trekking the Fort of Death

Last weekend, we friends decided to go for some adventure, taking the advantage of Bangalore’s nice weather. We all agreed to go for a trekking Saturday early morning. And finalized the trekking spot: Savandurga. I had heard this place name very often but have never been there. So I decided to google it find some info about it.

And this is what I found from Wikipedia:

DSCN0341Savandurga is a hill 60 km west of Bangalore (Karnataka, India) off the Magadi road and is considered to be among the largest monolith hills in Asia. The hill rises to 1226 m above mean sea level and forms a part of the Deccan plateau.  The Arkavathi River passes nearby towards Manchanabele dam. Savandurga is formed by two hills known locally as Karigudda (black hill) and Biligudda (white hill). Savandurga means the fort of death. There are no steps to reach the hill top and it was covered by bamboos and other trees forming a barricade. Megalithic burial urns have been found in the area. Saavana in Sanskrit also means three time rituals. The main deity of the place is Sri Savandi Veerabhadraswamy. The temple is situated in the foot of the Savandurga hill. There is a Temple of Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy, where there is an Idol of Lord Narasimha has been worshiped for many generations. This was also a location for the making of David Lean’s movie A Passage to India and one of the greatest Hindi move Sholay.

So, we were all excited for the day ahead. We took the straight road from Marahalli towards Corporation circle and hit the Mysore road. We took a right on Magadi – Ramanagara Road.

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We had our breakfast on the way and hot tea. Then we reached the base of the mountain. We stopped to visit the Sri Savandi Veerabhadraswamy temple and took few pics of the huge monolith.

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Opposite the temple we located a Masjid as well.

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From there we rode till the point from where we have to start our trekking. On the base of the monolith is the Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy.

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We parked our cars opposite to the temple. Brought few bottles of water and biscuit packets and started our trekking.

There are guides available for very cheap rates, but for trekking in Savandurga, guides are not required. In the rocks one can see the arrow marks pointing the way to take till the hill top.

Here starts our adventure. We were a group of 8 people including friends and colleagues. We were so excited for the trekking; we didn’t bother to ask any local or the people around about the right way to start our trekking. The hill was too steep staring at us. Few of us started climbing the steep hill (which looked almost 90 degrees to the flat ground). Others started following the suit. After reaching almost the mid of the steep hill, when we turned back, we could see the arrow marks on the rocks from the top, guiding the right path to start the trek. The others had started to panic already. The three of us leading the group, asked others to climb down and take the right path. We three took a parabolic turn on the top to get to the right path. We had a wrong start and the rest others were reluctant and afraid to continue the trekking. But eventually we all made it to the top of the hill. We were happy about the team work we did. We, who were ahead of others, where shouting from the top and encouraging the others to continue. The other guys in the group were helping the girls on their trek and kept encouraging and pushing them ahead.

Our efforts paid off. The view from the top was breathtaking. The wind was so strong, we felt its roaring. We took few more pics and celebrated our victory. As the sun was setting down, we started climbing down the hill.

View of the Nandi at hill top just before the last climb up the hill:

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The Nandi at hill top:

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Its time for the team selfie…at the hill top:

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The view of the monolith hill from behind Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple:

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It will take 2 hrs approx. to climb the hill, breaks included. If you have forgotten to carry a water bottle with you, there is no need to worry. As you can find the locals on the way, selling fruit drinks. The rock structure landscapes are so beautiful and clean that one can lie on them. Do stop at places and take pictures. It suggested wearing rubber sole shoes for better grip while trekking the rock mountain. And have a good breakfast as there are no restaurants or dhabas in near proximity for lunch. Only thing available are biscuits and snacks with tender coconuts.

A memorable trekking experience and for few of my friends this was the first ever trekking experience. Looking forward to more such adventures.

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