Makali Durga is a hill fort situated 60 KMs north of Bangalore and a fantastic place for trekking in Bangalore. Just 1.5 hours away, Makali Durga is a fort on top of a huge granite hill, which was used to train armies of Vijayanagar Empire! A couple of hours of climb will take you to an ancient Shiva temple where the legendary sage Markandya is supposed to have performed penance in olden times. The approach to the base camp is an enjoyable affair as you pass through a railway line cutting across fields. On the way back from this popular destination for trekking in Bangalore, you can also visit the famous 600 year old temple of Ghati Subramania where snakes are worshipped.
Makali Durga is 10 Km beyond Doddaballapur while coming from Bangalore. Take the Bellary Road and turn towards Doddaballapur road after reaching Yelahanka. If you start at 6am from Bangalore, you can have breakfast at 630 at Yelahanka. There is a Udupi restaurant on the right as soon as you take the Dodballapur road after Yelahanka.
Look for a arch which says "Welcome to Ghat Subramania", a few KMs after Dodballapur. Take that left and this road will take you to Ghati Subramania temple. Go past the temple and you will spot the Makali Durga Hill towards your left. The approach to base camp is via a small field and a railway line. Go past the railway line and the trail starts with a temple at the base camp. Vehicles can be parked just before the railway crossing.
Another approach is to get down at Makali Durga railway station. Walk with the tracks for 3 KMs till you come to a sign 54/400. Take the left and you will reach the temple at the base camp.
Once you go past the temple for 900 meters you will spot 2 huge boulders on the right and arrow marks depicting a turn to the right. Take this turn and follow the arrow marks all the way to the top. The climb will take between 2-3 hours depending on how many breaks you take.
Once you are half way up there would be view point for a magnificent lake which stangely looks to have taken the shape of the content of South America!
The final climb will be a little exhausting but will bring you the ancient fort. It is a good time to have some glucose water to energize yourself for the final push.
The Fort was used as a training ground for the armies of Vijayanagar empire. In the later years the Fort was captured by Shahji, father of Shivaji Maharaj the great Maratha King. The fort was also under Kempe Gowda, the founder of Bangalore.
The temple at the furthest end of the Fort belongs to Lord Shiva. The great sage Markandeya was supposed to have performed a penance here for many years. As you take a walk around the small temple, you will see broken idols of Garuda Gamba , Basava and Shiva Linga.
The areas surrounding Makali Durga can get very hot especially due to the granite rocks radiating heat from the Sun. It is advisable to carry drinking water, snacks, a good hat. A pack of glucose will also be handy for hydration and energy.
As it is a thorny terrain a good pair of shoes with good grip is mandatory.
We had taken 3 hours to go to the top and were back to the base camp by 1pm. We took some final snaps of this beautiful landscape before heading back to Bangalore.
This trek can also be done as a guided motorcycle tour. For guided motorcycle tours from Bangalore to experiences in South India, visit 5 Senses Tours.
For other trekking destination around Bangalore visit Great Trekking Ideas.
For weekend getaways from Bangalore visit Great Weekend Getaways from Bangalore.