A steep climb that has a treasure in full sight as well something hidden to be explored- thats what describes Kalwarbetta. This hill, located about 68 km from the city of Bangalore, is as much about exploring history as it is about exploring the present sights and wonders.
Kalwarbetta is located near the village of Kalwara in the Chikkaballapur district, the nearest town being that of Kolar. It is one of the many hill forts of Karnataka, lying in the Nandi Hill Ranges. At the top of the hill lie the dilapidated remains of the Tipu Sultans fort. According to historical evidence, it was a strong but small fort which surrendered to the British troops in 1719.
Trekking in Kalwarbetta
Trekking in Kalwarbetta is a tricky and a teasing experience. The trek starts from the Papagni temple, which lies at the base of the hill. Apart from a few thorny areas, there isnt much difficulty in the rest of the path. However, the steep climb of the hill makes it an exhausting journey indeed.
The lack of water along the way adds to the woes. Thus, you are well advised to carry at least four liters of water with you before beginning the trek. It is a teasing trek because of two features of this fort hill which are pretty interesting to note.
Along the trekking path, you will come across two caves, one at the very beginning and the other somewhere in the middle of the journey. Although the caves seem tempting to be explored, you wouldnt be allowed to because of the myths and legends surrounding the caves. Both the caves have been hitherto unexplored, with some locals believing that there are large pythons in the caves which are dangerous.
If you resist the temptation of exploring the caves and reach the top, you would be greeted with another surprise. Just when you think you have reached the top of the fort hill, you would notice a series of six fort walls to be conquered, which you must. Nestled among these fort walls is a small temple, which may not be much in terms of architecture, but the thought of conquering another summit is what makes it special.
The complete trek can be done in about 3 hours one way, which means you would need just a day to reach the top, camp a bit at the temple and come back.
Best time to visit
The best time to trek in Kalwarbetta is between the months of September and February, with rains at bay and conditions perfect for climbing. If you can, you must go on a night trek here especially on a full moon night. The experience of a night trek here is scintillating.