South India Tour – Skandagiri Hills is a mountain fortress located just 70 kms from the city of Bangalore,also known as Kalavara Durga. Although much hasn’t been written about the place, the gorgeous photographs suggest that it’s a perfect weekend trip for people living in Karnataka. Off Bellary Road (National Highway 7 Hyderabad-Bangalore Highway), and overlooking Nandi Hills and Muddenahalli, this place guarantees a breathtaking view at an altitude of about 1350 mts. Reaching Skandagiri Hills: There are two routes to Kalawarahalli Betta. One way is to take a turn towards Nandi Hills and go further to kalawara village crossing Muddenahalli. This route is shorter compared to the one from Chikaballapur. Second one is to go to Chikaballapur and then to Kalawara village. From Kalawara village ask for Omkara Jyoti Ashrama / Papagni Mutt. There is a shiva temple and vehicles can be parked there. This is at the base of the hills. Nandi to Kalawara to Papagni Mutt is 6 km. Chikaballapur to papagni Mutt is 3 km. Height: about 1750m from sea level.
Experiences at Skandagiri hills:
We planned a trip to Bangalore, and we thought of a nice adventurous spot. One of my friends suggested us this place and we all unanimously agreed to see this place. We started to this place by bus (this was the worst thing we did initially).We went to Majestic and from there, we took another bus to Chikballapur. We bought snacks, food and water etc….from Chikballapur. And then we got into an auto rickshaw and reached Papagni Mutt. From there we started our trekking to skandagiri hills. Trekking here is moderate and we enjoyed a lot while trekking. We stopped at some very good places and had snacks, shot some good snaps. It took nearly 2 and half hours to reach the top and one hour to come down. Please carry first aid box, water bottles and snacks as there is nothing available at the top of the hill.
Best Time/Season for trekking Skandagiri hills:
It’s a popular belief that it is fun on a full moon night to start the trekking expedition at 12:30 midnight and aim to reach the top at around 5:30 AM early morning. This timing allows viewing of sunrise against the backdrop of golden clouds. Best time to visit this place is November to January (Non-monsoon time).
Entry Fee:Recently the Karnataka Forest Department has shown interest in Skandagiri hills due to the frequent visit of people and has established a parking place for all the vehicles visiting there. An Entry Fee of Rs 15 is charged for each person visiting the hill. No need of any guides while trekking,the way is clearly shown by arrow marks.