Savanadurga Trek, one day trip from Bangalore

Savanadurga Trek is a good one day trip from Bangalore, especially for those who seek trekking in Bangalore. Located 60 Km from Bangalore off Magadi road, Savanadurga is one of the largest monolith hills in Asia. The cluster of boulders form a lovely backdrop against Arkavathy river flowing into the Thippagondanahalli reservoir and then into the Manchanabele Dam. This erstwhile secondary capital of Kempegowda who ruled from Magadi, is equally popular today for trekking in Bangalore as well for a pilgrimage to Savandi Veerabhadraswamy Temple at the base of Savanadurga. Savanadurga is also home to birds like the yellow throated Bulbuls, long billed vultures and white backed vultures. A night halt at Savanaduraga can mean a possible encounter with sloth bears and leopards! 

Savanadurga trek, one day trip from Bangalore

Reaching Savanadurga

Savanadurga is located 60 KM west of Bangalore off Magadi Road, near Ramnagara. While on Magadi road keep a look out for the 50 KM mark, where a monolithic rock structure will be visible towards the right. Take a left from the highway and go further for another 12 KMs. A left here and Savanaduraga base will appear in 3 KMs. You will spot a temple for Savandi Veerabhadraswamy at the base. 

KSRTC buses are available from Magadi road to Hospete gate. Autos are also an option from Magadi road. 

We had ridden on motorcycles and it was fantastic experience with the picturesque backdrop of monolithic hills and villages.

Savanadurga trek, one day trip from Bangalore

If you are interested in a guided motorcycle tour from Bangalore for weekend or week long trips, visit 5 Senses Tours. The tours are from Bangalore to Mysore, Belur, Halebid, Ooty, Coonoor, Thekkady, Kolar Hampi and Badami.

There is a Choultary or Convention Hall just opposite the temple where a washroom is available. The security person there can also help in arranging a guide. 

Stay options

There is no option to stay near Savanadurga. If you are in a group and have trained guides with you, then a overnight camp is an option. But do not attempt it without the company of professional guides as wild animals do come out at night. The slopes around the hill are dangerous enough during the day, one can imagine how treacherous it would be at night! 

For home-stay options near Bangalore and other parts of India, you can visit India Holiday Ideas. They offer an option to stay which is cost effective and more fun as you get to interact with the host and his/her family. 

Precautions for Savanadurga Trek

Savanadurga trek is not a long one, however Asia's largest monolithic hill is quite steep. Proper shoes with excellent grip is mandatory for this one day trip from Bangalore. The terrain can be tricky with slippery algae on top of rocks. One needs to avoid these green and black patches. A reasonable level of fitness would be required to complete the climb. While the uphill journey will challenge your lungs and ankles as you negotiate the gradient, the downhill will be a test for the knees! Having said that, Savanadurga is the nearest and most covenant option for trekking in Bangalore. 

Do not venture towards the slopes of the hills where ugly graffiti is visible. There have been accidents when people tried to go near the slopes of the hill. Please carry water, glucose and snacks as it can get very hot during the day with the rocks radiating heat from the Sun. As the terrain is very slippery with steep slopes, avoid the climb during rain. While planning Savandurga trek make sure you return to the base before sunset. It will be very dangerous to negotiate the climb after dusk.

Savanadurga trek, one day trip from Bangalore

It might be advisable to take a guide. Many young boys will be available at the base camp who can help you reach the summit in quick time through the easiest path.

Food at Savanadurga

There are no restaurants at Savanadurga. The best option is to have breakfast on the way from Bangalore. One of the best options is to have Thatte Idli at Bidadi. Close to Savanadurga, there is a restaurant at Nayakaanapallya, located 3Km before the base camp where again the legendary Thatte Idli will be available.

 

Tender coconut, biscuits, chips, tea and water will be available at a few shops at Savanadurga base camp. 

We found a tender coconut shop where a monkey was attending to the customers while the master was away on an errand!

Savanadurga Trek

Savanadurga is formed by 2 hills, Karigudda or Black hill and Billigudda or White hill. Kempe Gowda, the founder of Bangalore had built a fort here at the top. Remnants of his structures are still there at the top. In 1791, Lord Cornwallis captured Savanadurga from Tipu Sultan during the Third Anglo Mysore war. Savanadurga trek is the most popular choice for trekking in Bangalore. The 2 granite granite cliffs are at a height of 4000 feet and Savanadurga has a circumference of 13 Kms. The climb from base to the top will take between an hour to 2 depending on the breaks being taken and fitness levels.

Savanadurga trek, one day trip from Bangalore

savanadurga Trek, one day trip from Bangalore

Half way up the climb is when you will reach the structures built by Kempe Gowda. This area was in the thick of action during the Third Anglo Mysore war in the late 18th century. 

Savanadurga trek, one day trip from Bangalore

Savanadurga trek, one day trip from Bangalore

Savanadurga trek, one day trip from Bangaloreadurga trek, one day trip from Bangalore

Juices are available near the fort albeit at a premium. Vendors sell Rs 12 juices for Rs 40! But it is worth it. After all the guys carry the juice packs over 4000 feet tall granite boulders day in and day out. 

Savanadurga trek, one day trip from Bangalore

Right at the summit of Billigudda is located a beautiful shrine of Nandi. It is a great place to rest after the climb, as the breeze is strong and the views fantastic.

Savanadurga trek, one day trip from Bangalore

The view from the top is simply amazing. The mountains all around with the Arkavathy river meandering between the reservoirs of Thippagondanahalli & Manchanabele, make for lovely picture postcards. 

Savanadurga trek, one day trip from Bangalore

Thippagondanahalli reservoir & Manchanabele Dam

Thippagondanahalli reservoir can be seen from most points of the Savanadurga trek. It is at the confluence of 2 rivers Arkavathy and Kumudavathy. It is a manmade reservoir built by constructing a dam. Inaugurated in 1933, the construction was supervised by the legendary Bharat Ratna Sir M Vishveshwariah. Today its a source for drinking water for Magadi. Manchanabele Dam is located downstream on the Arkavathy river. Kayaking is possible here.

Thippagondanahalli reservoir & Manchanabele Dam have many fault lines, slush and boulders and not safe for swimming. Infact many people have lost their lives trying to swim here. 

Temples at Savanadurga

There are 2 ancient and famous temples at the base of Savanadurga. Savandi Veerabhadraswamy temple & Lakshinarasimhaswamy temple attract many pilgrims rounds the year from many parts of Karnataka.

Veerabhadraswamy Temple, Savanadurga

Lakshminarasimha swamy temple, savanadurga

I also had a nostalgic moped ride on a TVS-50 after 20 years. These days it is tough to find one in the cities where motorcycles have taken over. I borrowed one from the caretaker of the Choultary for a small spin through the village. After riding the 200 kg Royal Enfield Classc 500, the TVS 50 felt like riding the breeze!

Big Banyan Tree

Dodda Aladha Mara is a 400 year old Banyan Tree. Popularly called as the Big Banyan Tree, it is spread across 3 acres. The main tree has over the years spread out with several prop roots as is typical of the Ficus Benghalensis species. Some of the prop roots have dies down, but new ones are still growing making it a wonder to visit from Bangalore. Situated in Kethohalli village and 28 Kms from Bangalore it can be seen on the way back from Savanadurga to Bangalore-Mysore road.

Big Banyan tree 

For more on this giant Bayan Tree spread over 3 acres visit Big Banyan Tree

If you are interested in a guided motorcycle tour from Bangalore for weekend or week long trips, visit 5 Senses Tours. The tours are from Bangalore to Mysore, Belur, Halebid, Ooty, Coonoor, Thekkady, Kolar Hampi and Badami.

For other weekend getaways from Bangalore visit Great Weekend Ideas from Bangalore. 

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