Showing posts with label Bangalore Rural. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bangalore Rural. Show all posts

Sunrise Trek to Huthridurga - Uttari Betta, Treks Around Bengaluru

'Huthridurga/Hutridurga', also popularly called as 'Uttari Betta' among the trekking community is one among the popular trekking trails around Bengaluru. It is rated as one of the easiest treks around Bengaluru suitable for all age groups. It is a great place for beginners who desire to trek. A word of caution for first time trekkers is to better be accompanied by people who are familiar with this place. Huthridurga is about 55 km from Bengaluru and is one of the Navadurgas (nine forts) built by Sri Kempegowda. This fort was built in the 16th century CE and has later undergone a few modifications during the reign of Hyder/Tippu and the British rule.  Click here for more details about this fort.
We, from #RTCBengaluru had planned a drive cum trek to Huthridurga this Sunday. Though initially many were interested to join the trek,  the number gradually decreased as the week progressed and after the last minute dropouts, our group comprised of 6 adults and 2 kids. We started our journey on time to Huthridurga and traveled in 2 vehicles. We started from home around 3:15am early morning although our scheduled time of departure was 3:00am. We were a few minutes late as we were waiting for one of our friends to join us. Unfortunately, he failed to pick our call and without wasting any more time we drove to our next assembly point which was Magadi Road. The rest of the group  were already present there. We joined them around 3:45 am and began our drive to Huthridurga, via Magadi.
Since it was that hour of the day when traffic is the least, we were able to cross Magadi in time and reach Huthridurga crossing at 4:45 am as per our plan. Here on we had to drive on a small section of ghat road and as we drove ahead, we were informed that Ravi Sir's vehicle had a break down. An inspection of the vehicle revealed that the issue was with one of the tensioner pulleys that had given way.  A wise decision of stopping the car was made to avoid any further problem. We were a little ahead of them and had to return to check on the situation. The vehicle was parked by the road side leaving enough space for the movement of other vehicles without any hindrance. All of us now drove ahead in one vehicle and reached  Huthridurga which was about 1 km from here. We decided to complete our trek first and check on the availability of a mechanic after our descent. 
Sunrise Trek to Huthridurga
Crescent Shaped Moon
We found a proper place for parking at the hill base and started our trek  at 5:15 am. It took us about 45 minutes to reach the top of the hill including a 10 minute break, under the clear black sky dotted with millions of stars and the lone crescent shaped moon. At the break point, I tried my hand at photographing the stars though I couldn't manage capturing a decent picture of the star lit sky. I realized that I should spend some more quality time to learn photographing the skies! We were greeted by a carving of Lord Anjaneya housed in a shelter a little further from here. We trekked  at a slow pace and reached the peak top comfortably. The weather was quite windy and chilly up there and amidst this, we patiently waited for the sun to rise. There is a temple atop the hill built by Sri Kempegowda dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is Sri Sankeshwara Temple which houses a shivalinga with an idol of Lord Nandi opposite to it. Attached on one side to the temple is a mantapa with pillars and roof covered with stone slabs. While my wife and kids took shelter inside the temple to keep themselves warm, the rest of us made ourselves comfortable and took respective positions so we could catch the first glimpse of sunrise.
Sunrise Trek to Huthridurga
Yes! He Finally Arrives!
Best Sunrise trek around Bengaluru
Lord Surya above Savanadurga Hill
Top Place to Watch sunrise around Bengaluru
What a View!
It was cold and quite breezy, and finally at 6:50 am the Sun made his appearance just like the description of Lord Surya arriving on his seven horsed chariot! Every Sunrise is a unique experience. For the next 20 minutes we enjoyed the showdown utilizing every opportunity for photo ops. After the sun rose and the weather turned warmer, we decided to explore the other portions of the fort. We spent some time between the boulders that acted as wind breakers for having snacks and chatting. Finally we descended and reached the starting point where we again halted for a short break to bask under the sun. It was time for breakfast as we all were quite hungry and drove down towards the town of Magadi for some hot Thatte Idli's (Plate Idli's) and filter coffee. After satisfying our hungry stomachs, our next job was to find a mechanic to fix the car, but being a Sunday most of the shops around remained closed. A few who were open were quite reluctant and refused to come along as the destination was quite far. Meanwhile Ravi Sir contacted his regular mechanic who agreed to come by and fix the car. We dropped everyone at the required stops and reached home safely. The weather turned pretty hot along our return journey and we were only reminded of how pleasant it was atop the hill amidst nature! We were informed by evening that Ravi sir got his vehicle repaired and reached home safely. He is quite an inspiration for all of us and his stories kept us engaged all through our trek and drive. It was yet another great experience. If you wish to join us on such drives, kindly visit the website of Road Trippers Club for more information and be a part of many such fabulous drives across India.
Hutridurga Trek
Kempasagar Lake
Uttari Betta Trek
Team on the Top
Trek, Trail and Tales

The Trek Team
1. Teamgsquare (Me, Amrutha, Adhi and Diya) in our Loyal Xylo
2. Ravi Shankar in Mahindra Scorpio
3. Vishwas Gowda, Natesha and Shiva Prakash, car pooled

Related Posts:
1. Moonlit Sunrise Trek to Channagiri 
2. 101 Places to Visit Around Bengaluru
3. Channarayana Durga Fort

Places to visit around Bangalore/ ಬೆಂಗಳೂರು/ Bengaluru - Part 12

Continued from here..
Type: Hoysala Temples
Distance from Bangalore: 220 km
Directions from Bangalore: Bangalore - NH 48 - Tumkur - NH 73 - Arsikere - Left turn - Mavuthanahalli
About: The Mahalingeshwara Temple here serves as a very good example of Hoysala architecture which  flourished during the 12th century. The temple is extremely beautiful despite being in ruins. The locals offer their daily prayers. More.
Mahalingeshwara Temple, Mavuthanahalli
Mahalingeshwara Temple, Mavuthanahalli 
Type: Hill Fort, Temple Town
Distance from Bangalore: 70 km
Trek Distance: 2 Km (One way)
Directions from Bangalore: Bangalore - NH 77 - Hoskote - Left towards Chintamani - Till Kaivara
About: The hill fort here was built by Tippu and later improvised by the local Palegars. Much of the fortification remains intact and is currently being maintained by the Forest department. There is a temple dedicated Lord Veerabhadraswamy and a water pond. More
Rehmangarh Fort, Kaivara
Rehmangarh as Seen from Ambajidurga 
Type: Hill Fort, Temple Town
Distance from Bangalore: 70 km
Trek Distance: 2.5 km (One Way)
Directions from Bangalore: Bangalore - NH 77 - Hoskote - Left towards Chintamani 
About: The hill fort here was built by Tippu and later improvised by the local Palegars. Much of fortification remains intact but this place is now abandoned. Trekking here is strictly prohibited. There is a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman. More
Ambajidurga Fort, Chintamani
Ambajidurga Fort 
Type: Hill Fort, Temple Town
Distance from Bangalore: 122 km
Trek Distance: 3 km
Directions from Bangalore: Bangalore - NH 47 - Dabaspet - Right towards Madhugiri
About: The hill fort here was built during the Vijayanagar period and later improvised by Hyder Ali. Though much of the fortification remains intact, the ASI have taken additional measures to restore this fort along with all precautionary measures in order to ensure a safe climb to people venturing this fort. More
Madhugiri Fort
Madhugiri Fort 
65. Nallur
Type: Bio-diversity Site, Temple Town
Distance from Bangalore: 50 km
Directions from Bangalore: Bangalore - NH 4 -  Hoskote - Towards Devanahalli - Nallur
About: Nallur's Tamarind Grove is regarded as the first bio-diversity heritage site in India. This site covers around 53 acres in area having more than 300 tamarind trees. The oldest tree here is confirmed to be around 410 years old. There are numerous ruined temples here which were built during the reign of Chola dynasty in the 12th century. More
Nallur Biodiversity Heritage Site
Nallur Biodiversity Heritage Site 

PS: A new page has been added to our blog, which has a collection of our Vlogs. Click here to view.

Good Bye -2015

"We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day."-Edith Lovejoy Pierce

Wishing all a very Happy New Year - 2016. Have a great, fun-filled and an adventurous year ahead!


Bandallidurga Trek
Ride atop Nandi Hills
Cycling around Sharavathi River Valley (Photo credit: Prashanth M)
Drive through Bisle Ghat
Walkway leading towards Bisle View-Point
Twin Hills of Chandragiri and Vindhyagiri at Shravanabelagola
Betteshwara Temple at Agrahara Belaguli, Hassan
Lakshminarasimha Temple at Javagal, Hassan
Chennakeshava Temple at Ambale, Chikmagalur
Asokan Rock-Edicts at Gavimatha, Koppal
Mahadeva Temple at Itagi, Koppal
Age no bar for travel-An inspiring young lady from Bengaluru at Itagi Temple
Venkatappa Baavi (Well) at Kanakagiri, Koppal
  Cave Temple at Amminabhavi, Dharwad 
The Fortress of Chitradurga  
The Mighty Gol-Gumbaz, Bijapur
World's Heaviest Medieval Cannon (weighing 56 tons)  at Bijapur, 'Malik-E-Maidan'


Places to Visit Around Bangalore/ ಬೆಂಗಳೂರು/ Bengaluru Part -11

Continued from here..

Type: Hill, Fort, Temple Town 
Distance from Bangalore: 110 km
Trek Distance: 1.5 km (One Way)
Directions from Bangalore: Bangalore - Old Madras Road - Till Mulbagal 
About: Mulbagal forms the eastern gateway to Karnataka and is popular for its Anjaneya temple and Namkeens (Savories). The fort is supposed to have been built during the Vijayanagar period which later underwent renovations during Tippu's rule. There are 2 big boulders on the peak of the hill known as Mahadeva Gundu and Babaiah Gundu. More
Mulbagal
Mulbagal Fort 
57. Hulukudi 
Type: Hill, Fort, Temple Town 
Distance from Bangalore: 80 km
Trek Distance: 1.5 km (One Way)
Directions from Bangalore: Bangalore - Doddaballapura - Right turn towards Devanahalli -  Right turn after 6 km - about 4 km to reach the hill base
About: Hulukudi is an erstwhile town of the Cholas. There are many inscriptions here belonging to this period. There are also many temples on the hill and in the village - Veerabhadraswamy temple, Narashima temple, Mukaneshwara Temple, Anjaneya temple and others. There is no much history known about the fort . More
Hulukudi
Nandi Enclosure, Hulukudi Fort
58. Lepakshi 
Type: Temple Town 
Distance from Bangalore: 110 km
Directions from Bangalore: A) Bangalore - Doddaballapura - Gauribidnaur - Hindupur - Lepakshi
                                           B) Bangalore - Devanahalli - Chikkaballapura - Bagepalli - Lepakshi 
About: The Vijayanagar King Virupanna is known to have built the Veerabhadra temple here. Though it has passed through the hands of many kingdoms, the  contribution of the Vijayanagar Kings is vast. This place is also associated with the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. The fresco paintings on the ceilings are remarkable, leaving one to only wonder about the immense skills people possessed during those times. The statue of Nandi situated at about 600 meters from the temple is another excellent piece of artwork of the Vijayanagar period. More
Lepakshi
Veerabhadra Swamy Temple, Lepakshi 

Type: Hoysala Temples
Distance from Bangalore: 120 km
Directions from Bangalore: A) Bangalore - NH 48 - Right turn at Nayakanahalli - Santhe Bachalli
About: The Mahalingeshwara Temple here serves as a very good example of Hoysala architecture that flourished during the 12th century. The temple interiors are beautifully executed. The Veeranarayana temple is supposed to have be built during the Vijayanagara period. More
Hoysala Temple
Mahalingeshwara Temple Santhe Bachalli
60. Kendatti Madivala 
Type: Prehistoric Site 
Distance from Bangalore: 50 km
Directions from Bangalore: Bangalore - NH 7 - Left turn at Kendatti - Kendatti Madivala
About: The standing stones/Menhirs here tell a wonderful story about the skills of these prehistoric people. This site is spread across a few acres and one can witness the various prehistoric burials. More 
Pre historic Site
Stone Circle, Kendatti Madival


India's First Biodiversity Heritage Site - Nallur Tamarind Tree Sacred Grove

Road to Bliss 
"Nallur" is a the small village located off  the Devanahalli - Hoskote highway. We heard of this place first from a friend's tweet  and then Google revealed more information about it. It was quite surprising that such a wonderful site was not very well known to the outside world and a trip to this place was definitely on. On a holiday, we decided to explore the Tamarind Grove and headed towards Nallur. After a while, owing to the presence of good direction boards all along, we found ourselves right in front of this sacred grove. We could hardly believe our eyes while we witnessed the scenic beauty of the tamarind trees against the backdrop of the blue sky and white clouds.

 An information board at the entrance of the grove read, " This site covers around 53 acres and there are more than 300 tamarind trees. This site is believed to have had its origin during the period of the Chola Dynasty, who ruled this region during 12-13th Century AD. The oldest trees have been confirmed to be older than 410 years now while the others have been here around for 200 years. One can find 5 types of crown, 4 types of foliage, 3 types of inflorescence and 3 types of trunk".
Nallur Tamarind Grove


The Bark of the Oldest Tamarind Tree
There are many ancient temples in and around the grove. While the main temple dedicated to goddess Gangamma  has been renovated, the other temples are in ruins which stand tall and beautiful. The temple of Lord Gopalaswamy  has some magnificent carvings of  Lord Krishna. After exploring this place a little further, we found more ruined temples around and a big Banyan tree. The site has been maintained by the Karnataka Biodiversity Board, Dept. of Forest, Ecology and Environment. The National Biodiversity Authority (Government of India) has listed 5 such sites in India as of now, two of which are the Nallur Tamarind Grove and my college campus of GKVK, Bangalore. 
Lord Gopalaswamy Temple

Goddess Gangamma Temple 
Banyan Tree

Places to visit around Bangalore/ ಬೆಂಗಳೂರು/Bengaluru - Part 10


 Continued from here..

  51.   Midigeshi
Type: Hill, Fort, Mosque, Temples
Distance from Bangalore: 120 km
Trek Distance: 2 km (One Way)
Trek level: Easy
Directions from Bangalore: Bangalore – NH4 – Dabspet – Right Turn – Madhugiri – Bypass - Midigeshi
About:  The fort of Midigeshi is believed to have been built by a local Chieftain named Nagareddi, who named the fort after his wife Midigeshi, called so because she had hair (kesha) long enough that reached her heel (midi). This place was ruled by queens of the same family for a long time. Read more……
Fort Midigeshi 

Type: Ancient Capital, Temples
Distance from Bangalore: 50 km
Directions from Bangalore: Bangalore – NH 4 – Dabspet – Right Turn Towards NH 207 –  Drive Till Railway Crossing – Left Turn – Manne
About: 'Manne' is the erstwhile capital city of the Gangas, who shifted their capital from Avani of Mulbagal Taluk to here, and later to Talakad. There are many temples present here which were built during the reign of the Gangas. While most of them are completely renovated,  a few such as the Kapileshwara temple (though in  ruins now), proves a  great witness to the excellent  style of  Ganga Architecture. Read more…..
Kapileshwara Temple , Manne 
53.   Sheelanere
Type: Hoysala Temples
Distance from Bangalore: 145 km
Directions from Bangalore: Bangalore – Mysore Road – B R Koppal – Right Turn – Pandavapura – Towards K R Pete – Right Turn (Board in Kannada) - Sheelanere
About: 'Sheelanere' is a small village located near K R Pete. The Eshwara temple here was built by the Hoysalas in 1157 AD. This beautiful soap-stone temple is situated near a huge lake. Read more…..

Sunk Eshwara Temple, Sheelanere 
   54. Nagalapura
Type: Hoysala Temples
Distance from Bangalore: 150 km
Directions from Bangalore: Bangalore – NH 48 –  Right Turn – Myasandra –  Left Turn After 3 km –(There is a School on the Right Side) – Left Turn At The Dead End – Right Turn After 6 km – Nagalapura
About:  'Nagalapura', a village located in Turuvekere taluka , has two significantly beautiful and ornate Hoysala temples.  Nagalapura was a prosperous town under the Hoysala rule, whose grandeur can be felt when we look at these temples. Like most of the Hoysala towns, this too has a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva (Kedareshwara) and another temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu (Chennakeshava). Read more…..
Wall Panels of Kedareshwara Temple

Chennakeshava Temple - Rear View

Ceiling of Chennakeshava Temple

    55.   Narayanadurga
Type: Hill, Fort, Temples
Distance from Bangalore: 148 km
Trek Distance: 2 km (One Way)
Trek Level: Easy
Directions from Bangalore: Bangalore – Mysore Road – B R Koppal – Right Turn – Pandavapura – K R Pete – Right Turn – After 7 km Turn Left – Sindhaghatta – 3 km Further is Narayanadurga.
About: This place is also known as 'Kailaseshwaradurga' because of the Kailaseshwara temple present at the top. The fort is believed to have been built by a local chieftain under Vijayanagar Kings. There are many legends associated with this place, suggesting its association with the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Read more…..
Narayanadurga Fort 
Kapileshwara Temple