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.
This Post Has 19 Comments
Awesome trek…refreshing…and all the most traveling with Sahil’s team is just amazing.. also Adventuresome had great staff support while booking. Good weather at the top and at the completion of the trek view is great..will surely book my next experience with Adventuresome for further treks and trips around Bangalore… Thanks, Adventuresome and Sahil’s team for such an amazing trek…
Hello everyone, I am more than happy to share my experience with my first-night trek. This trek gave me a lot of new friends, a walk-in nature in the night with so many people around me having a good experience together. This being my first trek I am happy to tell these experiences & moments were possible because of all the coordinators who helped us. I am going to get more of my friends in the future events.
Thank you Adventuresome.
Trek was nice but so much of tiring 🙂 whoever is planning for this trek I would like to suggest them to do few stretching exercises at-least for 3-4 days before this trek. Relaxing on the peak of Skandagiri under sky roof along with Stars and campfire was superb 🙂 Adventuresome is all safe and reliable and organized 🙂 Even I went alone in a group, got good accompany. You will find a decent crowd. Sahil our trek leader was nicely coordinating with everyone.
Some Tips:- 1. Do stretching exercises before 2-3 days of the actual trek
2. Wear Trekking Shoes only
3. Do not wear Jeans as there are so many Rocky patches to climb up.
4. Carry Winter Jacket and cap as the early morning you will find its tough time to survive from cold 🙂
5. Torch by default for Night Trek
6. Try to keep your bag light weighted as much as possible.
The overall experience was nice…
This place is amazing and so beautiful as it gave you the vibe of the morning. The trek is not so tough and the guide dives you the company so you don’t feel boring. In short, a nice trek can go with you people.
Not many tour operators offer the mystical Skandagiri night trek option, but Adventuresome does on demand! This was the ultimate adventure for us, we were a group of 8 people. I did not know such a short trek could be so thrilling! And the whole thing was so immaculately arranged that the Skandagiri trek had to go well. Kudos to Adventuresome for the brilliant planning!
Though it was a short trip, the good planning and hospitality of Adventuresome will always stay with us. I was apprehensive about the service I was about to receive, but I was pleasantly surprised. The car ride was smooth, the breakfast was good, and our guide was patient and helpful. Overall, my Skandagiri night trekking experience was great! A brilliant job by Adventuresome.
Awesome experience. Travel:- If you are opting for a bike it will cost you around 500rs. But you need to travel for 140km up n down. Else opt for the Traveller 1350rs. Level of trekking:- Depends on person to person. For me it was moderate. But if you are a newbie in trekking I will say it’s difficult. You will get tired for sure. It is worth going place. Far far better than Nandi hills. This is overlooked. Required things:- Carry a torch or mobile torch is more than enough. Carry something to eat. Raincoat, water bottle. Zenith:- This is a beautiful experience you will have once you reach. Can’t explain in words. You need to go there to experience it 🙂
Your guidance is very good and knowledgeable, you described very nicely and during the trek we follow your suggestions, we went to some hidden places too. The breakfast place was fine and we enjoyed it. Good to go.
A very beautiful place is full of adventure and a prime location. We did this trek twice and both time we enjoyed very much. The perfect break from the hustle-bustle of the city and super relaxing. Must book from Adventuresome as they provide you the best guide of this place and pick up service too. Full-on adventure. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
We trekked to Skandagiri from the foothill in hot summer. This will be a superb trek after the rainy season. Please note that it is not a well-marked route and without mobile connectivity, so keep a track of your bearing. I will call it a mild trek, but a very long one(3-4km one-sided). Nature is amazing and one needs to figure out a route based on a general direction. Keep a compass or GPS, or you are sure to get lost. Also, there is nothing to eat or drink so carry enough food/water. The only place you can eat is on the way back at the temple.
Thanks a lot for the article post. Many thanks again.
The Trek was well planned and executed by you people. I had a very good Experience, Nice conversations & a lot of fun after a long time. I have done many good treks in the past and this was my first with this group. So, thinking that this review is sheer out of my first trek experience would not be true. Prashant, Abhishek & Shifali managed it very well. All people in the group for this trek were cool in their own way. Improvements are always there to adopt. I would recommend people travelling with Adventuresome.
Oh! I have been doing so many mistakes.
I always thought my travel blog has to be only about me or experience-based. 🙁 I am beginning to see a different perspective to travel blogging. Lots to correct now.
Thank you very much for these pointers.
I’m impressed, I have to admit. Seldom do I encounter a blog that’s equally educative and amusing, and without a doubt, you have hit the nail on the head.
I am very happy that I stumbled across this during my search for Skandagiri hills.
Always great advice. It’s more than just writing – you need to be an experience as well!
If anyone plans on trekking to Machu Picchu during the winter, see my post on why you should NOT GO during this time 😉
Love your advice! Thanks for some down to earth realism as well! I’m a traveler just starting out and love to hear this itinerary as I will navigate myself for trekking. I also love your blogs list! Some I have read and some I don’t but you have enough great ones I do have trust you enough to get the ones I don’t and read ASAP! This was very helpful and valuable! Thank you for sharing your insight and for bringing some balance to the field.
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