Trekking in Savandurga: A Detailed Guide
Photo Credit: Andreas Metz
The Savandurga hills are located about 60 km to the west of the city of Bangalore in India. The hill is considered to be one of the largest pieces of single rock formations in all of Asia.
The Savandurga hill rises to a height of about 1,200 meters above sea level and is also considered to be a part of the Deccan Plateau. This hill is ideal for individuals, groups and couples looking for a nice, peaceful, secluded and adventurous spot for trekking.
Savandurga consists of two hills, the Billigudda and the Karigudda. An extremely deep valley known as Ramanagara separates these two massive rock formations. A lot of adventure enthusiasts have undertaken trekking in Savandurga.
As one moves up the Savandurga, they come across the ruins of a majestic fortress, which was built by the Kempe Gowda II and later occupied by the legendary Tipu Sultan.
Although there are many options for trekking near Bangalore, trekking in Savandurga remains an extremely popular activity. The gentle slopes of the hills allow easy trekking and the entire course can be easily covered within a period of 2 days by even the most novice trekkers.
While trekking in Savandurga, trekking enthusiasts can climb from either side of the hill and spend a couple of days on it to experience some of the best camping adventures possible.
Savandurga is the one of the largest monoliths in Asia. Of the two hills, Billigudda and Karigudda, which constitute the Savandurga trekking trails, the former is preferred by most trekkers over the latter due to its gentler slopes.
In addition, the yellow marking placed along the trail will guide you safely up to the peak. However, such markings are not available in case of Karigudda and there are very high chances of lesser acquainted trekkers getting lost in the area.
Image credits: Sudar Muthu
From the foot, the trek uphill will not take much time. You will pass through rocky trails with scanty vegetation. The slopes may appear a little steep and may not provide a great grip but as you climb higher, you will get used to the terrain.
As you gain altitude, you will be able to enjoy a breathtaking view of the surroundings. Though the vegetation on the hill is quite sparse, the surrounding greenery will soothe your eyes. You will find very few plants on the hill.You may come across frangipani trees and some shrubs, but hardly any other plants.
[The rocky and natural terrain of Ramnagar is perfect for an adventurous team outing]
After an hour or so of trekking, you will come across a podium with granite columns. This podium has two or three entrances and provides some great opportunities for photography. You can also take a break for rest and enjoy the scenic surroundings from here. Snack on something before you take up your journey ahead.
The clear blue sky and the expanse of green below it make for a mesmerizing sight. Excellent place for photography, trekking in Savandurga provides an excellent vantage point for landscape photography.
Ahead of the granite pedestal, you will find two trails. One of these trails leads into the forest and has a dead end. However, there is a sculpture of Hanuman carved onto a rock. If you are in mood for some exploring too, you can find your way to the Hanuman sculpture, come back to the pedestal and take the other route.
En route to the peak, you will come across rocky caves. You can explore these caves or continue on your journey upward. During your journey towards the peak, you will come across many fort walls.
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There are four such fort walls that you will come across as you climb higher and higher and you can use these to measure your progress.
The last leg of the journey is the steepest part of the hill. You will have to be careful and after a climb of 20 minutes, you will reach the peak. The Nandi tower welcomes you and the splendid view of the surroundings is sure to blow your mind away.
Image credit: Andreas Metz
Spend at least an hour on the hill top and enjoy the view. The sea of green that stretches below and the clear blue sky that domes above it is a sight to behold. Being able to enjoy the scenic vista amidst such tranquil stillness is in itself a rewarding experience.
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The trek downhill is much easier and takes much lesser time. However, the slopes can get really treacherous if it starts raining. The untrustworthy nature of these slopes earned them the name Savandurga which means the Fort of Death in Kannada.
Trekking in Savandurga was considered dangerous in the earlier days. This attribute of these slopes was used to his advantage by Tipu Sultan, who used his fort on top of the hill to fight off the British.
However, this hasn’t deterred adventure enthusiasts from Savandurga trekking. Although the ideal time to trek this area is during winters, the hills play host to visitors during every season.
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Nevertheless, Thrillophilia has a few tips that you can use to make Savandurga trekking an enjoyable and safe experience:
- Pack enough food and water in your rucksack before you start out for a Savandurga trek.
- Do not go alone on a Savandurga trek. Hire a guide or follow a group or contact organizations such as Thrillophilia for assistance.
- Avoid heading for a Savandurga trek in the rainy season. The slopes can get dangerously slippery.
- Consumption of alcohol is prohibited on these hills.
?Also check out a detailed guide on trekking in Karnataka