Showing posts with label Ramanagaram. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ramanagaram. Show all posts

Fort Bhairavadurga

    On a lazy Sunday noon, after a sumptuous lunch at home, we decided to explore a fort situated close to Bangalore. Our target this time was the Bhairavadurga Fort. After gearing up suitably, we drove towards Bhairavadurga. On reaching Hulikal, we stopped by to get directions from a local. He instructed us to drive through the mud road just after passing out of the village and on reaching a mango grove, we could start our trek. We parked our vehicle and headed straight towards the hill base. We came across another local whom on inquiring about the route to the hill top, warned us about the presence of leopards and bears in the dense areas surrounding the hills and advised it would be better if we explored this place during the early hours. He then calmed us down by assuring our safety if we returned before sunset and informed us we had to walk  about a kilometer to reach the base of the hill and then follow the path to the hill top. Since we were already  late, we made an instant and a strict decision of  trekking only up till 5:30 pm and returning to ensure safety. That meant we had about an hour and fifteen minutes as our trek time limit, which we thought would be just enough.
Fort Bhairavadurga
Into the Woods
     As we walked further, the vegetation gradually changed from shrubby to woody and though it was summer, the walk through the woods was quite pleasant. We reached the hill base and also found a path for our trek uphill. We followed the path and all of a sudden, reached a dead end on the path with all sides covered with thorny shrubs. We had nowhere to go further. Somehow, we spotted a small opening in between the shrubs and realized that if we crossed a few yards, from there on the walk would be easy and so we did. We were excited to see a flight of steps that lead to a gateway that was completely engulfed by shrubs.
The Dead End
Under Shrubs
Steps leading to the Gateway
 The Gateway
   After passing the gateway, and walking ahead, it seemed like we had lost our way as there was no path to climb up. Though the upper most tier of fort was in sight, we could not find a way to the hill top. We tried different routes that we thought would lead us to the fort but in vain. Since it was late evening, we decided not to venture further and planned to return.
Area engulfed by Shrubs
Upper Tier

Read the next part .....

Critters of T G Halli Reservoir

 'T G Halli Reservoir' is located on the Bangalore Magadi Highway. Entry to the dam is possible only with prior permission from Cauvery Bhavan, located in Bangalore. Yet, there are many ways of enjoying its surroundings.This place is a heaven for bird watchers and nature lovers. 
Peacock Pansy
Common Castor
Plain Tiger
Plain Orange Tip
Stale Flash
White Hairy Caterpillar
Praying Mantis
Stick Case Pupae

Places to visit around Bangalore/ Bengaluru part-4

23. Varlakonda
             Type: Hill, fort , Temple
             Nearest Town : Chikkaballapur
             Distance from Bangalore : 75 kms
             Trek Distance: 2kms ( one way)
             Trek Level : Easy
             Directions: Take the Hyderabad highway NH7, cross Chikballapur,  proceed on the highway till the village of Varlakonda is reached. On the left, one can sight the Hill with some fortifications on it . Take a left turn and drive for about half a kilometer.
             About: It falls under the lesser explored place category. Climb is easy but there are no exact routes to the top. There is a small temple on the top and some old ruins. The temple is dedicated to Lord Rama.
VarlaKonda Trek near Bengaluru
View of Varlakonda Hill from the Road
Temple on the top of the Hill
24. Bilikal Rangaswamy Betta 
            Type: Hill, Temple, Wildlife
            Nearest Town : Harohalli
            Distance from Bangalore : 50 kms
            Trek Distance: 4 1/2kms ( one way)
            Trek Level : Moderate
            Directions : Take the Kankapura road up to Harohalli ,then take a left turn after the bus stand and immediately take a right  to reach DoddaMarlawadi. At the circle, take a right and continue straight for 3kms till you reach a village named Konnaldoddi. Here on, take a left , travel about 300mts, take another left turn to reach the temple.
            About: This is a popular place. People have a fair idea about it. There are many cross tracks on the way ahead but do not deviate . There are directions up to the top but confusing. View from the top is  awesome . One can see the entire region of Banerghatta  National park on one side and  the town of Kankapura on the other. Caution: Avoid making noise and use of mobile as it is known to distract elephants. Yes, this hill is a habitat for the big mammals . 
Bilikal Rangaswamy Hill, Kankapura
View of Bilikal From The Road
Bilikal Rangaswamy Hill, Trek Near Bengaluru
Temple on the top of the Hill
Route to the Top
25. Somanathpuram
           Type: Temple, Historical interest
           Nearest Town : Malavalli
           Distance from Bangalore :140 kms
          Direction: Take the Mysore Road till Maddur, reach Malavalli and follow directions to the temple.
          About: It is a very nice stone carved temple. It was built by Hoysala Kings Narshima III under the leadership of Somanatha. Thus, the name. Take a guide if  interested in knowing the details of the carvings, etc. Behind the temple is the river side (about 1km form the temple)  where peacocks can be spotted if lucky. Places to visit nearby include Shivanasamudram, Cauvery fishing camp and Talakad .
Carvings on the walls of the Temple

Keshava Temple
26. Akkayamma Betta 
            Type: Hill, Temple
            Nearest Town : Chikjala
            Distance from Bangalore : 25 kms
            Direction : On the way to the new Airport, at Chikjala,  take a right  turn to reach the hillock.
          About: It is one of the less explored  places around Bangalore. There are a lot of temples and cave temples on the top. The place seems more lively during Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays with special kind of pujas .
View of the Hill
Welcome to Akkayamma Betta
For more places around Bengaluru. Click here
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Places to visit around Bangalore/ Bengaluru part-3

 A few more places to visit around Bangalore.
19 Horsely Hills 
          Type : Hill Station, Resort, Wildlife
          Nearest Town: Madanpalle
          Distance from Bangalore: 140kms
        Directions : Take the Kolar road  up  to Hoskote. Take a left towards Chintamani , keep  driving to reach Madanpalle , take a left turn and proceed further to take another left turn to Horsely Hills. On entry to Andhra Pradesh, it is very easy to reach this place as there are  sign boards for directions all along.
         About: It is an ideal place for a long  weekend getaway. There are a few cottages under the Forest Dept. and a resort run by the AP Tourism Dept. (Make sure that prior-bookings are made). The major tourist places around Horsely hills are Lake Gangotri, High View seeing point, Gaalibanda, Environmental Park and the Horsely Hills Museum.Other places include the Rishi Valley school and Mallamma Temple. Just the walk around this place is very soothing .

20. Manchinbele Dam

         Type : Dam
         Nearest Town: Kengiri
         Distance from Bangalore: 40kms
         Directions : Via Mysore road, take a right turn at RajaRajeshwari Dental college, travel about 14 kms and take a left turn  to reach Machinbele dam.
         About: Manchinbele is a small reservoir. This dam built across the river Arkavathi, mainly for  irrigation purposes,  also provides water to Magadi Town. Many adventurous activities such as Kayaking are carried out here. It also proves an excellent place for bird-watching .
Manchinbele Dam, a place to visit around Bangalore
Manchinbele Dam
          Type : Hill ,Jain temple
          Nearest Town: Shravanabelagola
          Distance from Bangalore: 150 km
          Directions : Take the Mangalore highway to reach the Hirisave, then take a left turn to reach
          About: This is an important Jain Pilgrimage center in Karnataka. The monolith Gomateshwara Statue (Bahubali) lies on the Indragiri Hill and  rises up to 58 feet. An inscription at the base has records of its consecration in 981 AD by Chamundaraya, a minister of one of the Ganga Kings.  Every 12 years, the great festivals of Jains, the Mahamastakabhisheka  is held here. The hill has to be climbed bare footed. There are about 700-800 granite cut steps that lead to the Statue.
Lord Gomateshwara, Shravanabelagola
     Statue of Lord Gomateshwara

        View from the top of Chandragiri Hill
22. Kabbaladurga 
          Type :Hill, Fort , Temples
          Nearest Town: Channapatna
          Distance from Bangalore:80kms
          Trek Distance: About 4kms (one way)
          Trek level: Moderately difficult
          Directions :  1. Via Kanakpura, reach Sathnur,take a right turn to reach Kabbaladurga.
                               2. Via Mysore road, take a left turn at Channapatna towards Sathnur and follow directions to reach Kabbaladurga.
          About :There is a temple dedicated to Kabbalamma  at the hill base. This is a local pilgrimage center . Ruins of the forts and some structures are visible on the way to the peak . There are two temples on the top. One dedicated to Kabbalamma and the other to Lord Shiva. Temple is  open on all days . 
Kabbaladurga fort, A place to visit around Bangalore
   Kabbaladurga Fort

Places to Visit around Bengaluru

Places to visit around Bengaluru / Bangalore part-2

The list goes on..... Second part :
13. Nandi Hills
    Type :Hill, Fort , Temples, Mosque
    Nearest Town: Devanahalli
    Distance from Bangalore: 45kms
    Trek Distance: About 2 km (one way)
    Trek level: Easy
    Directions: Take the Hyderabad highway NH7 till Devanahalli. Then take a left turn ,travel for about 22kms to reach the peak
    About: This is the highest peak around Bangalore . It is about 1400mt above MSL . This  is the most commonly visited places around Bangalore. The fort was built by Doddaballapur Nadaprabhus and later improved by Tippu Sultan. This place is an excellent place for bird watching. People who don't wish to trek, can take their vehicles up to the peak.
Place to visit around Bengaluru Nandi Hills
A Water Pond at Base of Nandi Hills
Trekking route to Nandi Hills
Mantapa on the Way to Nandi Hill Peak
14. Melukote 
           Type :Hill, Temples, Wildlife
           Nearest Town: Nagamangala
           Distance from Bangalore: 160kms
           Directions : There are two ways A) Take the Mysore road , cross Mandya and then take a right turn and follow directions to reach Melukote. B)Take  the NH 48 Mangalore highway till Belluru cross , then take a left turn, proceed  a little further to reach a Y fork. Take a right turn here and follow directions to reach Melukote.
         About: This place is also known as 'Thirunarayanapuram'. It is built on rocky hills known as Yadavagiri or Yadugiri overlooking the Cauvery valley. Approach roads to this place are very picturesque. It is a temple town with many temples, main ones being Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple and Yoga Narasimha Temple  .There are many Kalyanis here .There is also a secret cave underneath the Yoga Narasimha temple . It is believed that the great Srivaishnava saint Sri Ramanujacharya did penance for 14 years here . But the entry to the cave is prohibited now. Other attractions are the wildlife sanctuary and the museum. If one is  fond of Puliyogare , then this is the place to taste it the best. Excellent Puliyogare is served here at all hotel and eateries. Overall, a great place for family outing .     
Yoganarasimha Swamy Temple, Melukote
Yoganarasimha Swamy Temple, Melukote
Incomplete Rajagopura, Melukote
Incomplete Rajagopura, Melukote
15 Gudibande
           Type :Hill, Fort , Temple
           Nearest Town: Gudibande
           Distance from Bangalore: 75kms
           Trek Distance: About 3kms (one way)
           Trek level: Easy
           Direction :  Take the Hyderabad highway NH7 till Chikballapur.Continue until you reach   Perasandra. Take a left turn to reach the Gudibande.
           About: Gudibande fort was built by a local chieftain named Byre Gowda. With  more than 13 (locals say there are 19) rock ponds at different levels, this fort seemed to have a perfect rainwater harvesting system.There is a temple on the peak dedicated to Lord Shiva , which  has been renovated recently with marble flooring. The Shiva linga in the temple  is believed to be one amongst the 108 jyothirlingas in India. When  viewed from here, the Byrasagara lake  looks like the map of India.              
Place to visit around Bangalore - Gudibande Fort
Gudibande Fort
Gudibande fort
Ruins of Temple inside Gudibande Fort
Fort Walls
Amani Byrasagara Lake, Gudibande
Amani Byrasagara Lake (just look like Map of India)
16 Narsapura Betta
           Type :Hill, Temple
           Nearest Town: Kolar
           Distance from Bangalore:40 km
           Trek Distance: About 3kms (one way)
           Trek level: Moderately Difficult.
           Direction: Via NH4 Kolar road, travel till you reach Kamat Upachar , from here take a right turn adjacent to Volvo godown. Travel  a little further till you reach a small hamlet . Then take  a left turn to reach the base of the hill .
            About: This hill is a paradise for rock climbers. Steps are laid up to the cave  temple which is dedicated to Lord Hanuman . Here on, one can go up till the peak, but there is no definite way or directions. One can use the line of electrical poles for guidance. There are  a lot of caves along th e way to the hill top. The view  from the top is awesome .
Places to Visit around Bangalore - Narsapura Betta
View from the Top 
17 Antaragange
           Type :Hill, Water, Temple
           Nearest Town: Kolar
           Distance from Bangalore:60 km
           Trek Distance: About 6kms (one way)
           Trek level: Easy.
           Direction: Via  Kolar road  till you reach Kolar. From the bus stand,  take a right turn , this road will lead to Antaragange.
           About: Antaragange is a mountain situated in the Shathashrunga mountain range in Kolar . Antaragange literally means "Ganges (Holy water) from deep" in Kannada.  Antaragange is famous for the temple situated on the mountain. In the temple is a pond which gets a continuous flow of underground water from the mouth of a Basava (stone bull). There is a steep, narrow path to the top of the mountain. The mountain contains volcanic rocks and lot of caves around.
Antara Gange Hills, Kolar
Antaragange Spring
Rajagopuram, Theruhalli
18 T G Halli Reservoir 
           Type :Dam, Water
           Nearest Town: Magadi
           Distance from Bangalore:30 kms
           Direction: Via Magadi road till you reach T G Halli
           AboutT G Halli Dam or the Thippagondanahalli Reservoir, also known as Chamarajsagar is located at the confluence of the rivers of Arkavathi and Kumudavathi. It serves as a major source of drinking water for Bangalore west. The dam was built under the supervision of Sir M Visvesvaraya. Entry into the dam premises requires prior permission from concerned authorities, although there are many ways one can enjoy the dam surroundings. This place is a heaven for bird watchers.  Read more

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Places to visit around Bangalore / Bengaluru part-1

 This is our humble attempt to compile the places we have visited  in and around Bangalore. It may or may not be surprising to know that there more than 150 places around Bangalore which is worth a visit. Places around Bangalore include Ramanagara, Chikkaballapur, Kolar, Tumkur and Mandya districts and borders of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh .This post is more towards providing information on the places  that are  rather unpopular and seemingly less explored. Hope this will  let  many of us appreciate everything nature offers. All the listed places are best suited for one day outing .
 Best Practices when you are on an outing:
1. Carry lots of water and snacks.
2. Remember not to litter the place.
1 Savandurga
     Type :Hill, Fort , Temples
     Nearest Town:  Magadi
     Distance from Bangalore: 45kms
     Trek Distance: About 4kms (one way)
     Trek level: Moderately difficult
     Direction: Via Magadi road: just before you reach Magadi, take a left turn, then travel for 3kms ,take another left turn  and travel for about 4kms to reach the destination . There are direction boards on the way for guidance.
      About : This is probably  the most favorite spot among the regular trekkers in Bangalore  .  Savanadurga is considered as one of the biggest monoliths around Bangalore.There are temples and a forest garden at the bottom of the hill. There are also Fort  ruins  atop the hill which was built during Kempegowda times. There are a few water ponds on the way to the top. This place comprises of two hills called, Karibetta (Black Hill) and Billibetta (White hill), due to its appearance.This hill is surrounded by forest. One can have a bird's eye view of Magadi town, Manchinbele backwaters and the surrounding forests. The view is awesome.  This trek will always remain close to our  hearts , since it was our first trek.
Savanadurga fort, Magadi
A Water Pond in the Back Drop of Machinbele Reservoir
Savandurga Fort, Bangalore
On the Top
 2 Mandharagiri
    Type :Hill, Jain temple
    Nearest Town:  Tumkur
    Distance from Bangalore: 55kms
    Trek Distance: About 500m (one way)
    Trek level:Very easy
    Direction: Via Tumkur road (NH4) : just before reaching Tumkur, you will find this place on your right side with its name painted on the hill.
    Landmark: There is an arch at the entrance and a weighbridge besides the arch..
    About:  There is a Jain temple at the top of  the hill, a small lake besides it and a few ruined structures here and there. A huge lake is present behind the hillock (we are not aware of its name though) which is a good place to spot water birds.
Mandharagiri Hill
Mandharagiri Hill
Jain Temple, Mandharagiri Hills

3 Kalavarabetta/Skandagiri  
    Type :Hill, Fort
    Nearest Town:  Chikkaballapur
    Distance from Bangalore: 50kms
    Trek Distance: About 3kms (one way)
    Trek level: Easy
    Direction: Via Hyderabad road (NH7): reach  Chikballapur, then take a right turn and travel for about 1km to reach the destination .
    About: This is our only night trek till date.This place is famous for night trek, sunrise and  clouds . There is a temple and a mutt at the base of hillock. One can find  a lot of remains of fortification on the way to the peak. The Sunrise here is very beautiful. One can also  view of Nandi hills from the top. Kindly carry a source of light while trekking during night.
Skandagiri Fort
Sunrise at Skandagiri
 4 Devarayanadurga
    Type :Hill, Fort,Temples
    Nearest Town:  Dabaspet
    Distance from Bangalore: 55kms
    Direction: Via Tumkur road (NH4): Travel up to Dabaspet flyover, take the road which goes besides the flyover  and  turn right to reach Devarayandurga (FYI: Taking a left turn  leads to Shivagange Betta)
    About: The rocky hills are surrounded by forests and the hilltops are dotted with several temples including the Yoganarashima  and the Bhoganarasimha temples. The Yoganarashima temple is on the top of the hillock and the Bhoganarasimha temple at the base . There are three sacred ponds or Kalyani's here, known as Narasimha-theertha, Parasara-theertha and Pada-theertha. Places nearby include Namada Chilume , myth has it that Sri Rama on his way to Lanka halted here. As he did not find water anywhere around to wet the "Nama" (a kind of paste Hindus apply on their forehead), he shot an arrow into the ground, and water sprung from there. Thus the name (Rama)-Namada Chilume. The spring can be still seen, and there is a foot impression of Lord Sri Rama next to it. There is a deer park  in the garden of Namada Chilume. Another place worth a visit is the very famous temple of  Mahalakshmi  at Goravanahalli.
Sri Yoganarasimhaswamy Temple, Devarayanadurga
Sri Yoganarasimhaswamy Temple, Devarayanadurga
  5 Adichunchanagiri Mutt 
    Type : Hill, Temples, Wildlife
    Nearest Town:  Bellur Cross, Kunigal
    Distance from Bangalore: 120kms
    Direction: Via NH48 Mangalore highway till you get Adichunchanagiri crossing, take right  and travel  from about 12 km .
    About: Major attraction here is the temple and mutt. This place is considered one among the Pilgrimage sites of Karnataka. Very well maintained temple and good facilities for the lodging is available here.There is a provision for rock climbing with the help of chain and pegs at certain places.We heard that this place also has a peacock sanctuary. We tried looking around for it, inquired a few locals but in vain. On walking around for a long time in search of peacocks if any,  we were lucky enough to get a glimpse of a colorful peacock. It was a pleasure to the eye. We also read that the forest department  ran jeep safaris and made provision for trekking inside the sanctuary . This probably was a long time ago since we did not see any such facilities.
Adichunchanagiri Mutt
Adichunchanagiri Mutt

6 Makalidurga 
    Type :Hill, Fort
    Nearest Town:  Doddaballapur
    Distance from Bangalore: 55kms
    Trek Distance: about 2kms (one way)
    Trek level: Moderately Easy
    Direction: Via Hindupur state highway  reach Makali village which is about 12kms from Doddaballapur . Hillock is to  the left side of the road.
   About: This place is very close to Ghati Subramanya. It is a 7 tiered fort out of which  the remains of only 3 tiers are found today . There is a Shiva temple on the peak. There is another temple and two lakes at the base of hill. One can have a bird's eye view of Ghati Subramanya , the lakes and railway  track from the peak . 
Makalidurga Fort
Makalidurga Fort
Forts near Bangalore
Lord Shiva Temple Atop of Makalidurga Fort
Fort walls, Makalidurga
Fort Walls of Makalidurga
 7 Hutridurga/Huthridurga
    Type :Hill, Fort
    Nearest Town:  Magadi
    Distance from Bangalore: 65kms
    Trek Distance: About 2kms (one way)
    Trek level:  Easy
    Direction: Via Magadi road: Travel till Magadi, then continue towards Kunigal to reach Hosapalya village which is about 8kms from Magadi, the take a left  turn and travel 8kms further to reach Santepalya,  take another left turn over the zigzag road  to the base of this hill.
    About: This fort is believed to be built by Kempegowda (founder of Bangalore). This is  a classic example of  an 8 tiered fort, with major part of the fortification still intact. Yes its surprising .There are two fortified hillocks around this village. It has a small temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and Nandi. Puja to deities is performed only on Mondays and Fridays. Despite being so close to Bangalore, very few people are aware about this place.
Places to visit near Bengaluru
The Gateway to Huthridurga Fort
Hutridurga Fort near Bengaluru
Lord Shiva Temple and Ponds
Lord Anjaneya Temple, Huthridurga fort
Sri Sankeshwara Temple
8 Nijagal Betta
    Type :Hill, Fort,Temple, Mosque
    Nearest Town:  Dabs pet
    Distance from Bangalore: 50kms
    Trek Distance: About 2kms (one way)
    Trek level:  Easy
    Direction: Via Tumkur road : Cross Dabs pet flyover, travel for about 2-3km to reach this place which is on the the left side of the road.
    About: There is a temple and a mosque on the top of the hill. There are many cave temples. This place is a local pilgrimage center. Animal sacrifices to the deity is common  here. The fort is believed to be built by Vijayanagara Kings, which was later captured by Hyder Ali, Marathas, Nayaks, and the British.
Nijagal Fort, Dabaspet
Nijagal Fort
Cave Carving, Nijagal Fort
Beautiful Carvings of Karthikeyan and Lord Shiva (Bhikshatana murti)
A ruined Temple inside the Fort
9 Sangama, Mekedatu
   Type : Water, Picnic
   Nearest Town: Kanakapura
   Distance from Bangalore: 65kms
   Direction: Via Kanakapura: Travel up to Kanakapura , take a  left turn  till you reach Sangama.
   About: This place is the confluence of river Arkavathi and Cauvery. One needs to cross the river and walk for about 3kms or take any other mode of transportation available to reach Mekadatu (goat's leap). Nice place with lot picturesque hills surrounding the place. There is  also a water fall nearby called Chunchi falls which is about 6kms before the Sangama.
Chunchi Waterfalls, Makedatu
Chunchi Waterfalls
Waterfalls near Bangalore
Chunchi Waterfalls
  10 Bannerghatta National Park 
       Type :Wildlife
       Nearest Town:Bangalore
       Distance from Bangalore: 25kms
       Direction: Via Bannerghatta road
       About:  This place houses a zoo, safaris, museum ,butterfly park, and reserve forest. There are many places inside the national park apart from the safari and zoo to be explored such as the Swarnamukhi Falls, Doddaragi Betta, Chikkaragi Betta and the Mirza Hill. This place is well maintained and is a popular one in Bangalore.  It is closed on Tuesdays .
Places to visit in Bangalore
Elephant Enjoying its Food
Bannerghatta national Park, Bengaluru
Hippo Family at Bannerghatta National Park
  11 Kanva Reservoir 
     Type :Dam, Water 
       Nearest Town:Ramanagar
       Distance from Bangalore: 65kms
       Direction: Via Mysore road: Travel till you reach Kengal ,take a right turn and travel about 8kms to reach the dam .
       About: This is an artificial lake . A dam constructed across river Kanva forms the reservoir.It is a good place for bird watching. There is a temple in Kengal dedicated to Lord Hanuman which is also worth visiting. 
Kanva Dam near Bangalore
Evening at Kanva
Kanva Dam near Bengaluru
Kanva Dam
12 Ramohalli 
     Type :Picnic  
        Nearest Town: Bidadi
        Distance from Bangalore: 25kms
       Direction: Via Mysore road: Travel up to Rajarajeshwari Dental college. Take a right turn and travel about 6 km to reach this place.
       About:There is a huge Banyan tree which is believed to be around 400 years old. The area is about 3 acres.

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