Day Trek to Aandi Gundi

It had been 2 months after completing the deoriatal-chandrashila trek and I was itching to go for another one. Karthik and Rashmi were having the same feeling of hitting the slopes again for another trek. Checking on the net for possible treks I can came across Aandi Gundi (Handi Gundi) hill near ramanagar which looked to be a good option. Indiahikes had a writeup on the same and a quick look at their site for the entry to the hill.

Karthik and Rashmi agreed to join and we headed to explore handi gundi on sun. A quick stop at kadu mane for breakfast and we were cruising along mysore road. Basavanapura from where the trek starts is 5 kms before ramanagar.  There is a board with the name basavanapura in the main road pointing left. One needs to look for the board when travelling. Take left and proceed straight crossing the railway tracks. Proceed further till you see a huge tree in the middle of the road. Take right at the tree and proceed a little further. We parked our car at the entrance of the village and started the trek

Handi Gundi


Couple of photos at the start and we began the trek. The initial part of the trek is through wide path which took us to a small tilled field. Crossing the field we began the climb via a steep rocky surface with loose stones. We had to place our legs careful as one wrong step and we would slide down. Helping each other we climbed higher and soon we were on a flat surface.

Hillocks and Greenary


We would see lush green hillocks at a far distance and we took a break to catch our breadth and take few snaps of the lush green surroundings. A short break later we continued the climb.

The climb became more easier as we progressed higher. The scenery also improved as we climbed. Couple of photos and few short breaks later we reached the top of the hill.

The view from the top is simply magnificient. With a deep valley towards one side and huge hillocks on the other, one can spend enough time at the top as there is a good breeze blowing.

View from top of the hill


There is also a flag pole which unfortunately has fallen down. We spent some time there taking snaps in various poses and spent sometime exploring the hillock. With a strong wind blowing, we settled down for a good break for close to an hour.

Fun time atop the Aandi Gundi




Soon it was time to head back and we were back to the base in an hour. After  a good lunch in Rasta cafe it was time to head home.

A relatively empty mysore road saw us reach home by 3 PM thus ending an eventful day


Kengal Gudda

It was already 3 weeks in Jan and I yet to start the new year with a trek. When Kiran sent a mail with a plan to climb madhugiri, I immediately jumped at the chance. With the tragic death of a trekker recently in madhugiri, I was not sure if the permission would provided for the trek. For worst case in case we could not trek in madhugiri, I suggested two other forts in the vicinity which were also offbeat.

We decided to go to madhugiri and try our luck, in case we were denied permission, we would then head to the other forts. With the plan ready and participants ready we headed to dabbaspet and stopped for breakfast before proceeding further. Madhugiri is 40 kms from dabbaspet and we were hopeful of reaching there in couple of hours. As we proceeded further, the road condition deteriorated further and there was enough deviations shown due to road digging. We were hopeful the conditions would improve and continued ahead, however it remained the same. Driving for another couple of kms, we asked a group of people, and were told the condition is the same. This prompted us to change our course back to shivgange as we knew we would not reach madhugiri, driving on such bad roads.

While heading towards shivagange we saw another hillock, which tempted us to climb that rather than shivgange, something which all of us had already done. Upon inquring further we came to know this was called as Kengal Gudda. We proceeded towards this hillock after getting the directions.

Kengal Gudda

IMG_9018_resizeSoon we were near the school from the trek starts after taking couple of wrong turns and going further ahead. Couple of youths from the village showed us the way to the base of the hillock and we started the trek. As usual there is no direct path for these hillocks and one needs to make our own route to the top, which is what we did

Negotiating the steep and slippery rocky surface we climbed further, supporting each other. Soon we were at the half way mark and the climb became more steeper. We could find couple of rock cut steps towards the end and support to climb the steep gradient.An hour into the trek we were at the top with couple of acrobatics and rudimentary rock climbing techniques to reach the top. There is a small mantap and couple of nandi statues at the top.

Selfie and Solo Snaps to commemorate the climb



Few solo, group and selfies later we were planning to get down, after taking some well deserved rest. The climb down in the steep gradient was slow as everyone were careful not to fall down. Reaching the half way point we saw another route which seemed to be much easier than the path we took, and following the path we reached the base very soon. Upon inquiring in the village we were told, the route we took to come down is the normal route.

Scenery from the top

IMG_9070_resizeWe bid adieu to the villagers and headed to back home. Couple of stops for lunch and dessert I was back home by 4 thus completing a nice and short trek.

Snaps can be found here

Channagiri Trek

Channagiri is one of the tallest peaks around bangalore. The rest being Skandagiri, Bramhagiri, Nandigiri and Dibbigirri. Standing at 1400 meters it is only couple hundred meters less than nandi hills. These hills are ideal for a one day trek due to the close proximity to the city.

I had read about this trek after completing horagina betta and was planning to do it. With Oct 2nd being a long holiday I decided to do this trek and giving me company were Vinay, Chetana and Vikyath in this exploratory trek.

Members for the trek (Vinay, Chetana, Vikyath-1st photo and Me – 2nd Photo)


To get the exact route to the peak, I had referred various blogs and all of them mention about the trek starting from Sultanpet. We however decided to go to muddenhalli, the birth place of Sir M Visvesvaraya and start the trek from there. Our initial plan of starting the trek at 7.30 went for a toss and by the time we started the trek it was 9.30 with the sun already blazing.

The initial path was through fields and lake bund where we could see mountains in the backdrop. Here as well there is no direct route and we have to make our own route to reach the top.

Scenary enroute to channagiri


A short stop at the lake for couple of snaps and we began the long climb to the top. The sun was beating down hard and it was a slow climb to the top. We passed through some trees and a dried up water path on the way to the top.

Way to the top through trees and rocks


As we climbed further we found two large stones next to each other and we climbed we found a narrow passage through them. The scenery improved as we climbed higher. Couple of snaps and we continued on our way. It was already 11 by the time we reached the half way point and we took breaks in between where ever we found trees and to quench our thirst

Vast Greenary


Climbing for another 45 min we were at the top. There were already couple of other trekkers there. At the top there is a temple and a small pond. We relaxed for a while and chatted with the others. They had mentioned they had climbed from sultanpet and they were planning to stay back till evening. Spending some time at the pond while dipping our feet in the cool waters made our tired bodies relax more.

Pond atop channagiri


There is also a hanuman temple atop the hill and we found some tall stones present there. Since we had enough time, various poses were tried and photos were clicked. Enjoying ourselves we spent an hour or so there before deciding to head back.

One of the guys mentioned there is a temple just below from where we came and we took a short detour to have a look at the temple before heading back.

Cave Temple


Another hour and half we were back to the car thus ending a good trek which was pending for a while.

Our next place to visit was Sir MV’s house in muddenhalli. The samadhi or the legendary statesman is also present very close to his house and there are directions given when we reach the place. A short stop at his samadhi to pay our respects and we went to see his house

Statue of Sir MV


Photography is not permitted inside the house which is converted into a museum. All the achievements of the great man are cataloged there. The museum also contains the various awards he had received including Bharat Ratna.

Our last place on agenda was the Bhoganandeeshwara temple which is built and rebuilt by the Cholas, Gangas and the Hoysalas. The different parts of the temple were built by different dynasties. The priest at the temple told us about the different parts of the temple. The intricate carvings remind of the hoysala temples in belur and halebid.

Bhoganandeeshwara Temple





The temple has also has a pond and as it was a long holiday there were hardly any visitors there. Looking at the fishes in the pond, we spent some time there chatting and relaxing before heading back to the city thus concluding a well spent day.

Pond @ Bhoganandeeshwara Temple


Snaps can be found here

Horagina Betta

Horagina Betta Aka Nandi One, is a hillock adjacent to nandi hills is an unexplored hillock was the destination of this weekends trek. A chat with my friend regarding a trek around nandi saw me searching the net for this hill when I got the link to BMC site. Searching further for the route, one of the blogs had  mentioned about stopping at karahalli cross and trekking from there.

With the details in hand me and Mohan decide to explore the unexplored hill. Instead of taking the normal route to nandi we headed the long way via chikballapur. One of the blogs had mentioned the trek starting at nandi cross but we took the route to karahalli cross and reached there at 9 in the morning. Parking the bike at the hotel we inquired about the route, we were told to take the road going next to the hotel and go straight which we did. We found there was no direct route hence we decided to make our own. The climb to the top was just beginning.

Crossing the trench we headed slowly to the top. There was enough throny shrubs and rocks to keep us on our toes. With couple of big boulders along the way, we could practice some rock climbing along the way. A short stop along the way for couple of photos and we continued the climb

View from top


As we were climbing next to nandi the top was always visible to us. We found the hill to be at a lesser height when compared to Nandi.

Nandi Top


As the climb progressed the shola became more dense and we had a tough time crawling through the shrubs and the foilage. Finally after an hour and 10 min of climbing we were at the top. I had read about a shaneshwara temple, but couldnt find any when we reached the top. We spent some time looking around but couldnt find it. Taking some photos at the scenic view from the top, we relaxed for a while

Panaromic view from horagina betta


The descent was much faster as we found there was a direct route to the top which starts from half way through on the road to nandi, however we found the route we had taken to be more adventurous. Since our bike was at karahalli cross, we took an auto to the base. From the short conversion with the driver , we came to know there are other small hillocks which could be climbed easily. He had also mentioned, the temple is present and is not visible easily. One has to go around the big boulder which we found and climb little more to get to the temple and a kalyani which is also present there.

It was another long walk from the base to the bike and back home thus ending an eventful trek

Snaps can be found here

Gummanayakanapalya Fort – Revisit

After a recee to GN Kote in december, it was time to pay another visit to the fort. Time constraints prevented me from trekking to the fort during the last visit. Now that the route was known, I could reach the place easily. With the new flyover opened on airport road,it was a easy ride all the way and soon I was at Devanhalli while enjoying the drive on the new flyover. The drive continued after a short stop for a cuppa. Another hour of driving saw me reach bagepalli. Taking right here I proceeded further, careful not to miss the left turn which we get after few kms.

From here on it was one straight road which was covered easily. I soon came across the sign showing the fort to be another 11 kms. Take another left at the signboard i continued the drive and soon reached the fort. Upon reaching the fort, the next order of business was to find out how to get inside and explore the fort. I had remembered a local guy saying it would take 2-3 hours to explore the fort completely. Upon inquiring from the locals, i came to know the fort can be explored in an hour max 1.5 hours which is quite less. With the time estimation done, the next question was who would take me around. Surprisingly i found couple of small kids who had been to the fort and they were to become our guides for the day.

The initial path to the fort goes through the village fields before we begin the ascent to. One can see a ruined structure at a distance which I was not sure what it was.

Ruined structure near GN Kote

IMG_6361_resizeThe ascent continued and I could soon we reached first tier of the fort where I could find some inscriptions written. Couple of  snaps there and we continued the climb. The builders of the fort have constructed steps everywhere which allows for easy movement. As the locals said it took around 1.5 hours to roam the fort completely.

Path to the Top


The only remnants left standing are couple of minarets and walls. The rest of the fort is completely damaged.

Look around at GN Kote








Snaps can be found here

Bhairavadurga Fort

Bhairavadurga is part of the 9 durgas or Navadurgas i.e forts surrounding Bangalore. The remaining 8 are as follows : Nandidurga, Savandurga, Channrayanadurga, Devarayanadurga, Huliyurdurga, Huttridurga, Kabbaladurga and Makalidurga. Searching the net on about the place I got the location and headed out to pay a visit to this fort. The plan was decided and Chetana, Vikyath and Teddy joined for the trek.

The route for to reach bhiravadurga is as follows : Bangalore -> NH 48 -> Solur -> Take right -> Kudur -> Travel another km, u’ll get an arch -> Take left and proceed till you reach the base of the fort.

We left bangalore on sat early morning and soon we were cruising on the the mangalore highway. Solur was reached in no time and the journey continued while asking for directions to kudur. A brief stop for couple of photos of the tree covered route and we resumed our journey.

Road to Bhairavadurga

IMG_6305_resizeWe spotted the fort atop the hill and we took the photo of the hill which we were about to takle.

Bhairavadurga fort atop the hill

IMG_6307_resizeWe met two local kids who had been to the top and they agreed to take us to the top. The path is confusing as there is no direct route to the top. The path we took was steep and we had to climb to the top on the rocks while doing a balancing act. The path is strewn with thorns and the long grass makes the path virtually invisible. It was a slow progress and soon we reached a clearing where we could see the countryside. A short stop for couple of photos of the country side and we proceed to climb further

vast serene country side


Climbing little more we reached the first tier of the fort where we could see the crumbled walls. The fort also has a few standing stones and dilaplated ruins of stuctures

Ruins of Bhairavadurga Fort



IMG_6334_resizeWe spent some time roaming around the fort and the kids showed us couple of foot prints which they said belong to lord bhairava. Spending some more time there before heading back.


IMG_6344_resizeDescent was again a tricky affair as we took a different route. The overgrown grass made it difficult to place our feet and there was always a possibility of slipping. An hour and half of descending took us back to the car thus concluding the trek

Snaps can be found here

Rayakottai Fort – Tippu’s forgotten fort across the border

75 kms from Bangalore lies a sleepy town of Rayakottai just off hosur. The place contains a forgotten fort of tippu sultan. The fort is one of ancient structures present in krishnagiri district and is under the protection of ASI. The fort was ruled by Tippu and his father Haider Ali in the 18th century. Major Gowdie captured this fort during the Angl0-Mysore war before it changed hands to the british during the treaty of Srirangapatna.

The fort was chosen for a short trek and myself, chetana and vikyath headed there on sat morning. The early morning sun made the drive pleasant. Navigating the early morning traffic to get out of the city and soon we found ourselves stuck in a big traffic jam at one of the diversions which again made us lose some time. Taking a diversion at hosur we proceeded towards rayakottai while taking a short stop for breakfast.

The sun was up by now and the scenary gradually changed as we proceeded. Couple of photos of nearby hillocks and we reached Rayakottai.

Hillocks near rayakottai


There is a ASI board at the entrance of the fort, however we found the place is vanalized by people with many scribbling their names all over the place. As per ASI board any damage to historical monuments will set the offender back Rs 1,00,000. The trail is pretty well marked and it makes it easier for a first time trekker to find his way to top.

Start of the trek

IMG_6188_resizeThe sun was beating down by the time we started the trek.  One tends to gain a lot of elevation initally, however the trail flattens out as we go higher.  We found lot of markings of religious significance as we climbed higher.

We soon reached the first tier of the fort where one can see a dilapated wall marking the entrance

First tier@fort



IMG_6200_resizeAt half way point the trail splits into two. The left side of the trail leads to a cave where one gets to see a small vaishnava cave and smaller caves where one can rest.

Vaishnava Cave

IMG_6209_resizeTaking few snaps of the cave and fooling around we spent some time relaxing before we headed back on the trail and to the other end of the fort. The scenary changed gradually as we climbed and soon we could see greenary everywhere.

Lush Greenary

IMG_6234_resizeApproaching the second tier of the fort, we found another cave another break was taken along with few snaps. Soon we reached the entrance of the second tier which is predominently marked by a big arch. This is the final tier of the fort and as you go further one can see a big pond and lot of ruined structures which were probably used to store food grains and even ammunition.

Spending some time roaming around the place, we proceeded further for the final climb.

Pond and ruins on the fort


As one nears the top there are small steps which is carved in the steps which helps to get an easy grip. We found more structures as we went towards the top and after a short climb we reached the top.

View from top of rayakottai fort

IMG_6286_resizeIMG_6279_resizeWith a nice breeze blowing we took a good rest at the top for a while before we proceeded the trek back down which took us about 40 min.

Lunch was at A2B on the way back and it was back to the usual chaotic traffic before before reaching home thus ending a day well spent exploring a wonderful fort

Snaps can be found here

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