Skandagiri, also known as Kalavara Durga, is a mountain fortress located approximately 62 km from Bangalore city, and 3 km from Chikballapur in the Indian state of Karnataka.
Thing which makes the Skandagiri Trek stand out, is that it’s a night trek. Yes, you read that right. Ever wondered what it would be like walking in the wilderness at dark looming hours of the night.
Woah! That mind sound scary, but trust me, it’s not. It is the best experience you can ever have. Roaming in the mountain and that is in the night time under the open sky will make you feel like a true wanderer.
If you are planning a quick weekend getaway, the Skandagiri Trek is where you should be heading to. It is off Bellary Road (National Highway 7 Hyderabad-Bangalore Highway), and overlooks Nandi Hills and Muddenahalli.
The peak is at an altitude of about 1450 meters. It is accessed from Kalavara village, which has a population of about 1093 according to 2011 census. You’ll need to start from Bangalore at around 11:30 PM-12:00 Midnight, so that you can reach the base camp at around 2 AM which is also the pickup point of the tour operators. We booked our package with Adventuresome. The trek is almost 4 kms long which takes atmost 2 hours depending upon the breaks and stops you would take. So you can start the trek at around 4 AM.
Meanwhile, you can take a power nap, if required or simply walk under the starry lit sky, the hooting of the owls keeping you company. As i said it sounds a bit spooky but it’s fun and thrilling.
The Trekking trail from Kalwara village to Skandagiri hilltop is being regulated by Karnataka Forest Department and Karnataka Ecotourism Development Board. So it’s safe to say that your safety won’t be compromised.
The climb is easy to moderate so it is advisable to wear trekking shoes and do some exercise 2-3 days before the trek to boost up your stamina and get your heart pumping to cope up with the altitude change and physical endurance.
Now, this is where the real action begins, no city street lights to enlighten your way, keep your torches close to yourself, you wouldn’t want to lose track and get lost in the dark forests. Kidding, we went in a group of 8 and a guide from Adventuresome.
These guys are experts, well-versed with the terrain and flora-fauna of this enchanting land, it was easy with their help to navigate the ways. The climb may seem steep at certain places so it’s better to wear comfortable clothes, avoid jeans because of the friction. Despite the weather being pretty cool you’ll start feeling the heat and sweat as the tempo of trekking and climbing on rocks and stony terrains will increase.
The Skandagiri hilltop, over looking Nandi Hills is a sight to behold. You must have heard the phrase of being on cloud nine, well putting it literally, you’ll be on cloud nine. Surrounded by Snow-like clouds all around, your cotton candy land fantasy might come true.
Huge and heavy clouds as far as your eyes can see, the lava lit sun rays of the early sunrise will start playing peek-a-boo with them. The clouds, covered with the blanket of soft orange hues, the sun trying to break open through them to emerge at the horizon, slowly making it’s way to meet the sky. It’s mesmerizing, tranquil and serene. The constant rattling of the winds lashing your earbuds will drain out the humdrum of city life out of your system. This is nature at it’s best. Savour it. Live the moment. Let the warmth of the sun get to your core and just enjoy the moment.
The descend is even more challenging because you’ll be fighting against gravity to maintain your balance on the steep slopes.
Is there anything else, an enthusiast would not love. You can also enjoy a good breakfast once you are back to the base and you are good to head back to reach Bangalore by 1 PM.
Do you get to see sunrises like these in the cities?
I guess not. You should give it a shot, experience it yourself. We had an amazing time in the beguiling mists and clouds of Skandagiri Hills and our tour operator Adventuresome made it all the way convenient for us.
Let them plan your trek, you just enjoy your time in Skandagiri Hills.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask at adventuresome.in. They are pretty quick to respond and revert.
Till then, Sayonara!