What are the best experiences you have had in Bangalore? Is it just pubbing and clubbing, eating out, going to multiplexes, getting stuck in traffic or something more…
Bangalore is a city of many unique experiences and there’s a lot to explore in the outskirts too. As we all know – Bangalore is surrounded by hills and many of these hills offer an exhilarating view from the top. We trekked all the famous hills near Bangalore and realized that there’s one hill trek which stands out from the rest.
Can you make a guess?
Yes, that’s Skandagiri hills Trek!
Skandagiri hills has another name which is Kalavara Durga or Kalawara Betta. Skandagiri hills is situated in the small town of Chikballapur in Kalwara village which is just about 60 kms from the heart of Bangalore, which is about an hour and a half minutes drive from the city to the foothills. There’s an old temple at the foothills called Papagani Mutt. Many vehicles are parked near Papagani Mutt which marks the start of the Skandagiri trekking trail.
Skandagiri used to be a hill fort garrison for the rulers in the 18th century. Skandgiri’s hilltop fort is in a dilapidated condition and ruins of the fort remind you of an erstwhile era of rulers such as the Palegars or Tipu Sultan of Mysore who ruled these hills till 1791 after which it was surrendered to the British who held it till the peace treaty of 1792.
Adventuresome offers many hill treks around the city. For Skandagiri trek, you can choose between a day or a night trek. Skandagiri hills is a 1400 metres high peak. The Skandagiri Trek is fairly easy but are recommended to be taken under the guidance of an expert. Early morning or the wee hour treks are the most famous at Skandagiri.
Skandagiri hills Trek Permissions
Skandagiri hills has been a very famous trekking spot amongst Bangaloreans and groups of trekkers have been swarming the place from many years (Mostly on Weekends). Many people visiting Skandagiri would throw waste and destroy the pristine hillside area. Some responsible trekking groups like NTC (Night Trekkers Club) and Adventuresome also organised drives to pick up as much waste as they could with the help of many volunteer trekkers. Many cases of techies falling and other trekkers getting injured due to unguided adventures have been reported in the past years.
Now-a-days any trekker or a trekking group who want to trek Skandagiri must take prior permissions by applying online. The entry fee for Skandagiri hills is 250 rupees. The parking charges are extra.
Sometimes the online booking waiting period increases due to many trekkers applying at the same time.
Adventuresome offers a unique experience at Skandagiri where we offer an overnight camping clubbing it along with an early morning or wee hours trekking experience at Skandagiri hills.
The Skandagiri trek is marked by small and large boulder and rocky trails. The Skandagiri night trek or the wee hours trek which starts at 4 AM at Skandagiri hills is quite exhilarating and rewarding because by the time the group reaches the hilltop its well timed for a day-break view. The early morning view from the hilltop is what most people climb up the hill for. The early morning view from the peak is mystical with clouds surrounding Skandagiri and other hills in the area. The ruined fort has an enchanting aura which transcends your notion of time and reality. There’s a Nandi statue which is a part of the temple on this forthill. You can also view the Nandi hill top from Skandgiri’s peak.
Why should you experience trekking in Skandagiri?
Skandagiri trek is for you if you live in Bangalore or are visiting Bangalore and have free time in your schedule to explore, if you’re an adventure junkie who would love to spend time up high on the peaks near Bangalore with a view, if you’re looking for a peaceful weekday getaway or even if you got nothing to do and are just sitting around wondering if you’ve become a couch potato but looking to explore something new to experience in Bangalore.
Frequently Asked Questions About Skandagiri hills
1. What’s the level of trek at Skandagiri?
Skandagiri is a moderate level trek for beginners and can be considered an easy trek for regular trekkers.
2. How much time does it take to complete the Skandagiri Trek?
It takes 2 hours to complete the trek to Skandgiri from the starting point at the foothills.
3. How far is Skandagiri hills from Bangalore ?
Skandagiri hills lies towards the north of Bangalore in a village called Kalwara in the small town of Chikballapur.
4. What’s the best time to visit Skandagiri hills?
October to March is the best period to visit Skandagiri as you can witness the cloudy atmosphere surrounding the hilltop in these months.
5. What to wear & carry while going for Skandagiri trek?
Trekking can make you sweat or pant according to the level of difficulty involved. Weather in Skandagiri is usually quite chilly in the early morning hours when most people trek. It is a must to carry the following stuff when you plan a trek to Skandagiri:
- Good trekking boots
- At least 2 litres of water
- A strong backpack.
- A sun cap or a winter head gear (according to the weather)
- Headlamps to see clearly in the wee hours or night trek
Sun shades & Sunscreen lotion are optional according to your needs as in summers the scorching sun may harm you post the early morning hours while descending.
6. Is it possible to camp on the top of Skandagiri hill?
No, it’s not possible to camp on the hilltop as it is not allowed but Adventuresome offers you a great camping place near the Skandagiri foothills which is a great campsite with tents, hygienic toilets and an awesome swimming pool. Good food options are available at this camping spot. You can camp at this place by booking the Skandagiri trek package on the Adventuresome website and camp here the night before the trek or throughout the day as you wish.
7. Is there parking available near the Skandagiri foothills?
Parking at the foothills is available in Skandagiri near papagani mutt. It costs 20 rupees for parking a cycle, 50 rupees for two wheeler parking and about 100 rupees for car parking at this parking spot.
8. Is night trekking allowed in Skandagiri and how do I get permission for the same?
Night treks were banned in Skandagiri for many years as there were some incidents of people getting injured and lost due to unguided trek attempts.
Since April 2018, the local government has regularized trekking in Skandagiri by launching an online website for acquiring trek permissions. There’s a forest department outpost near the starting point of the trek to check illegal trespassing of trekkers into the Skandagiri hills area.
With the new rules in place, you can trek in Skandagiri after taking the required permissions and reach the starting point at 4 AM in the morning when the trek starts for the day. So technically night trek at Skandagiri is banned but an early morning trek can give you the same thrill with a rewarding view to secure when you complete the trek.
9. How to reach Skandagiri?
Skandagiri can be reached by road from Bangalore. It is just about 60-70 kilometers from the city depending on your location in Bangalore.