Life in the city can become monotonous quite quickly, especially amidst the pandemic and work from home arrangements. While staycations hold their charm, if you’re someone who is looking for a quick getaway from Bengaluru that will challenge as well as rejuvenate you, hiking and trekking are good options for a weekend activity. Fortunately, there are quite a few places near the city, where you can head to with little planning, and enjoy some fresh air and scenic views. Here are some places you can check out for a quick trekking adventures.
Skandagiri: This is the perfect little getaway if you want to catch a picturesque sunrise on your trek and it happens to be not too far from the city. Located around 70 kilometres from Bengaluru and at an elevation of 1,450 metres, Skandagiri hill town is also known as Kalavara Durga amongst the locals. The trek to the hilltop is ideal for scenic views, and also offers moderate to high difficulty levels for trekkers who want a bit of a challenge. There are some temples to see on the way, and one can also see what remains of the Tipu Sultan Fort on the hill.
Savandurga: At a maximum altitude of 4,022 feet and 60 kilometres from Bengaluru, the Savandurga hill is considered the largest monolith in Asia. The trail is known for stunning views of Magadi, Manchabele and Thippagondanahalli reservoirs as well as the Arkavathi river. There are also two temples at the base of the hill – Sree Savandi Veerabhadraswamy temple and Sree Lakshmi Narasimhaswamy temple – which reportedly date back to 1340 AD.
Madhugiri: This is a popular trekking destination located in Karnataka’s Tumkuru district, approximately 100 kilometres from Bengaluru. Madhugiri, which translates to ‘honey hill’ owes its name to the honeybee colonies that were found in some parts of the fort which was built by Raja Hire Gowda in the 17th century. It is also said to be Asia’s second-largest monolith after Savandurga and is at a maximum altitude of 3,930 feet. Expect some adventure on this fairly challenging hike. Along the route, you will spot architecture such as gateways, bastions and water tanks. Picturesque views of the Thimmalapura forest surrounding the hill are a bonus. While near Madhugiri, you could also go up to the Channarayana Durga hill fort, which is a moderate level trek.
Antharagange: For those looking for a night trekking option, Antharagange in Karnataka’s Kolar district is a good choice. Located around 80 kilometres from Bengaluru, Antharagange has gorgeous views of the Shathashrunga range. The name of the hill translates from Kannada to ‘the Ganges from the deep’ or ‘inner stream’, derived from the seven villages in the vicinity of the hill bestowed with a natural supply of groundwater. Famous for its volcanic rock formation, one can also enjoy cave exploration and visit the Sri Kashi Vishweshwara Temple while here.
Makalidurga: Located 60 kilometres from Bengaluru, this trek has the novelty of starting from the railway track at the base of the hill and takes you up to a fort that sits right on top of the hill. The Sri Makali Malleshwara temple can also be seen along the route, where worshippers still visit for a glimpse of the idol. Along the way, you can also spot stunning views of Gundamagere Lake.
Huliyurdurga: One of the nine fort hills or Navadurgas on the outskirts of Bengaluru, Huliyurdurga is located in the Kunigal taluk in Karnataka. Known for its unique appearance as an inverted cup known as ‘Kumbi betta’, the trek here will take you through springs, ruins of a fort (apparently built by Kempe Gowda), durbar hall and other remains. It is said that Kempe Gowda, the founder of Bengaluru, had the temple of Mallikarjuna built near the hill. The climb provides challenges to keep the advanced trekker on their toes too, and the view from the top is quite breathtaking. This is located around 95 kilometres from Bengaluru.
Kunti Betta: About 130 kilometres from Bengaluru, Kunti Betta trail is a favourite for adventure enthusiasts. Some believe that the Pandavas and Kunti ended their 14-year exile here and hence the name of the surrounding area – Pandavapura. Kunti Betta provides challenging and interesting trails, and is near to the Thonnur lake as well, which you can trek down to. Another advantage of choosing Kunti Betta are options for a night trek as well. The trek is around 4 to 5 kilometres to and fro and provides mesmerising views from the top.