Somewhere between the bottom of the climb and the summit is the answer to the mystery why we climb. (Greg Child)

SAVANDURGA HILL

Deciding whether we are mountain lovers or beach lovers has become a bone of contention now. While on our trips, we often engage in a battle of wills to decide whether we prefer spending some solitary time in the mountains or some relaxing time at the beach. To a great extent, we found the answer to this question when we went to the recent trek.

We believe in living in the moment. So, when the week of work had taken a toll on our minds, we decided to book a zoom car for the weekend. We didn’t know where we had to go. We just booked. The next thing we did was to search for a day trip. Googling all the possible options, checking the videos on YouTube and reading several blogs helped us decided Savandurga as our destination. Upon asking our friends to join us, they denied right away because we had planned a day trip to the rocky mountain during the summers of Bengaluru. Hence, we decided to go on our own. Since both of us know to drive, driving was not the issue. We started at 5 in the morning.

Known to be the largest monolithic rock in Asia, Savandurga is located 60 km away from Bengaluru. Reaching a height of 1226m above sea level, this rock is characterized by steep slopes and lacks vegetation. Trekking to the summit of this monolith rock is as difficult as nailing jelly to a tree. The arduous task of stepping carefully on a smooth inclined plane might not be everyone’s cup of tea. Driving through the narrow but nearly empty road, we enjoyed every bit of it. The road to Savandurga is smooth.

Road to Savandurga
View from the first stop on the rocky trail

We parked our car and headed towards the entry point of the trek. It wasn’t a guided trek so we were extra careful of the boards or any other indicators. The electric poles and yellow arrows are quite enough to guide you through. The trek to the summit is approximately 2km long. The first half is average, with practically no grooves to hold your foot. Balance and patience are key. This trek wasn’t exhaustive as it involved more of our mind than our limbs. Strategic placement of feet was all it took to reach the summit safely.

There are two temples at the foothills- one of Virabhadraswamy and the other of Narasimha.

Here are a few points to remember before opting for Savandurga Trek:
-Carry enough water. You can find people selling water bottles on the way to the trek but we would suggest that you carry your own bottle to avoid buying and then throwing plastic
-There is a stall at the entry point that sells coconut water, chips and Maggi. You can indulge in snack time once you finish the descend
-Wear proper trekking gear- loose trekking pants, cotton t-shirt, trekking shoes and cap/shades
-Since this trek is not allowed at night, the scorching sun will make the climb even more difficult. Chose the day of the trek wisely
-Monkey alert- the parking area is visited by a lot of monkeys. Keep your belongings safe
-Avoid carrying heavy camera gear. We carried all our equipment in the hope of capturing a time-lapse but failed to do so because the weight added to our exhaustion

Owing to the customary tradition, we did a thorough search to locate any other hidden (or less frequented) place that could be included in the trip and booyah! We found Manchanabele Dam. This dam is built across Akravathy river. Sadly, when we reached there, we found out that it was closed for the public.

View of the dam from far-away!

We researched a little more and found about Ramanagara Ramdevara Betta Hill. Assuming this to be the same hill where the famous Hindi movie Sholay was shot, we started driving towards this hill. Google conned us by diverting us towards the road that wasn’t even there. After one hour of off-roading, we finally reached a motorable road. (Advice: Avoid taking this road. Instead go up to a gate that has a large Hanuman statue on it. Take a turn there and you will be able to avoid off-roading to a large extent)

TheRamanagara Ramdevara Betta Hill
The entry point of the trek

The trek begins with around 400 steps that lead you to the Shri Rameshwara Swamy Temple. Beyond that, another trail leads you to the summit. This trail is for the ones who seek adventure because it is steep and risky as well.

There are enough restaurants (you even have the very famous Raasta Cafe) on the way to RB Hills. So there is nothing to worry about hunger pangs. Carry water. Washroom facility is available in the parking area.

Coming back to the point we made earlier. While people tried to argue with us the choice of time to choose this trek, we realized that in spite of going to these places in the month of February, we still enjoyed our time out in the sweltering sun, for the mountains gave us the much-needed comfort and solace. Hence, we agreed on the fact that we are mountain people!

Overall, this trek was exhausting as well as enriching; it blew away all the cobwebs!

Till the next time,
Happy Travelling!

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