Skandagiri is a beautiful hill, approximately 70 kms away from Bangalore city, off the Bellary Road (NH-7 Hyderabad-Bangalore Highway), very close to Chikkaballapura and Nandi Hills: the paragliding destination of Bangalore. The peak with an altitude of about 1400 (Garmin Geko 201) meters, is a paradise for adventure freaks, and ideal for night treks, camping, and bird watching. There is a stone house structure at the top to rest.
About Skandagiri Hills
Skandagiri is home to a hill fort by Tipu Sultan, weathered badly by nature and banyan trees. History tells that this small hill fort was surrendered to the British troops on 19 October 1791 and remained in The British hands until the peace treaty of 1792, which concluded the third Anglo-Mysore war. There are two caves, through the hill as told by locaks – one starts from the base and another one somewhere midway, about 30 feet below , both leading to the temple at the top. Both remains unexplored yet and local people claim pythons in the caves swallowing their goats. It is said that there are 6 Samadhis in the cave.
The nearest town is Chikballapura which has a Police Station and Hospital connected to Bangalore (60 Kms) by frequent bus service from Kempegowda Bus station / Majestic.
Our Trip to Skandagiri
We were a team of two my friend Amruth Raj from Idukki and me while working at Lucid Imaging, Bangalore. We started from Bangalore by morning 8 AM, reached Majestic by around 9 from where we got another bus to Chikbelapore on Platform 11 of KSTRC bus station. We reached The Destination by 10 AM, covering a distance of 60 Kms for 36 Rs. We had our breakfast, and booked an auto the Pappagni Matt, 5 kilometers away at the foot of Skandagiri. The auto charge was 80 Rs.
From Pappagni Matt, which is a dead end, you have to make a right turn and then move along the first left turn. You will moving along a narrow cut road. After moving along this road for 2 Kilometers you will reach the base. (said to be 5 Kilometers) From here you can start trekking the Hill. There route to the top, is clearly marked which can be followed safely. It takes about 2 hours to reach the top.
It was time to start our trek, even though the sun was starting us from above. At first it was not that interesting as there was no green Hills as of Western ghats. The track to the top was clearly marked and so there was no confusion about the route. After trekking for 2 hours, after crossing a valley en route on our left trekking became increasingly difficult along the slope. We were fooled several times by rock in front for the final pinnacle. After a certain altitude, half way up, the cool gentle breeze gave a very pleasant feel.
Views At The Top
The final pinnacle 1400 Meters Above Sea Level (Garmin Geko 201), with deep ridge on three sides, was a small ancient stone temple, very cool interiors: inside which we rested for hours. It is worth making a round around the old Fort and the temple at the top. The fort walls are destroyed by a huge banyan trees.
The view of Decan Plateau and The Eastern ghat at the horizon is amazing. The mornings are very present a beautiful sun rise view and inversion:amidst a wall of mist surrounding the hill…must stay during the night for that.
This is a perennial source of drinking water at the top of the Hill…made little unfit by unhealthy trekking groups from Bangalore.
How to reach Skandagiri hills from Bangalore.
Skandagiri Hills is easily accessible via ChikBalapur Town, 60 Kms away from Bangalore. Refer the Maps below to get an idea of the Route.
From Majestic KSRTC Bus stand get a bus to ChikBelapur from Platform No 11. There are buses frequently, and it takes 1 hour. (Rs 36). The route is along NH 7 the route to Hyderabad crossing the Yelanka, and Devanahalli (Where the new airport is Located).
From Chik balapur, You goto to a place called Pappagni matt, which is the foot of the Skandagiri Hill. The distance is about 5 Kms which can be covered by foot: autorikshwa is also available 80 to 180 Rs . Walk takes around 1 hour admist plantations of papaya, guava, roses and many.
You can follow the NH 7 to reach Chik Bellapur and from there you can move to Pappagni Matt where you can park your vehicles there and start the Trek.
Team from Ludid imaging, Pvt Ltd, Bangalore