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Saturday, March 10, 2007

SkandaGiri Hills-Bangalore-photos videos and tourist information

Note: This post was originally written during March 2007 but was regularly updated. We went there again recently in Feb 2009- more details in this post

SkandaGiri Hills, also known as Kandavara betta or Karavara halli betta is a hill some 60 kms off Bangalore (Karnataka, India) near Chikballapur town. 

First half of this post gives all related tourist information about this place and second half is my personal experience during the trek to Skanda betta: (Go to 2nd Half directly-
Click here)

Part I: All possible Tourist Information on Skanda Giri hills: FAQs, Tips etc
1.
How to reach Skandagiri betta?
Find this place on Wikimapia
here (Navigate as you need)
To reach here you need to take Hyderabad highway from Bangalore. Reach Yelahanka (via Majestic -Sanky Tank- Mekhri circle - Hebbal or via outer ring road to Hebbal), proceed towards Hyderabad, travel some 40 kms (from Yelahanka) and you will reach Chikballapur town. From here you need to take a left turn to reach Papagni Math. Seek help from local people for exact directions. There's motorable road till Papagni Math, which is at the bottom of the Karavarahalli betta. You can park your vehicle here and start off. Its is around 60-65 kms from Majestic- So one hour would be ideal travel time from Bangalore city.

Alternatively, you can try this also: You'll see the hills from mainroad as you near Chikballapur town. So instead of going till Chikballapur city you make take a left turn somewhere, explore the land on your own, make your own road and reach the hill. (We did the same, found a good grape garden on the way)

3rd option: I'm told there's a motorable road from Nandi hills to this place. You may go to Nandi hills, spend time there and later take that road and reach here (take help from locals for guidance)

2. What is the best time / season to go Skanda Giri?: Post rainy season is best time to increase the chances of seeing that lovely clouds you saw in first slide show.(Such clouds/fogs can be felt in high altitude during post rainy season (Say October through winter months till early Feb) Luck also plays a role. One the day of travel if the sky is clear you'll miss the fun.

3. Should we take anyone's permission to trek at Kandavara betta?
There is a forest department office near Papagni Math. Take permission from them

Read about my another
trekking expedition to AnantaGiri hills (A.P) here
4. Can we spend night there? (On top of the Skanda hill)?
Lots of people do that these days... Moonlight trek and overnight camp... Seeing the popularity some villagers have even set up stalls selling Omlet and Tea...

5. Safety aspects at Karavaralli betta
Carry first aid, lots of water. No water source is available on the hill. No help will be available within 5-10 km radius. 

6. Will it be too tough for ladies to climb?
Not at all. They can join. There're spacious places on the way up where you can pause and take rest.
Shrinidhi Hande and friends resting for a while on top of Skanda giri hills7. Should we hire a vehicle? Or Public transport is available?
Best go in personal vehicle. Cabs would charge minimal of 300 kms or so while total to and fro distance will be just around 150-200 kms. Buses are available at irregular intervals from Chickballapur town, auto or other vehicles can also be hired...

8. How much time it takes?
Travel time from Bangalore city to this place-90 mins approx. Time to climb: We started at around 10 AM and were down by around 3 pm (Including breaks and rests and lunch etc). If you plan well you can cover Both Nandi Hills and Skanda betta on Same day.

History of Skandagiri Fort
Check this

PART II- Experience Account

I received an email forward early 2007 with some interesting photos of this place which triggered my interest in the same. See slide show below:
I circulated a mail to my Bangalore based friends to check a possible outing to this place. After a month’s time, after irritating everyone with a picnic proposal more formal than a business proposal , the mission was accomplished with 8 enthusiastic participants, as detailed in the photo below
Shrinidhi Hande and friends leaving for Skanda Giri trekkingThe team: From right to left: Jayasimha U, Giriraj B M , Venugopal G R , N R Bhat, Deviprasad Shetty, Subramanya A, Vishwanath. (Note: The eight person is Shrinidhi H, who is not in picture because he was taking this snap. We also clarify that the person with a cigarette in his hand, standing between yellow coin phone and yellow banana bunch, is not a part of the our team and his image is inserted by Google to promote a cigarette brand, as a part of its adsense program :)
Grape garden near skanda giri hills
Having enough bikes eliminated the need for renting a vehicle and we were on track almost on time. We finished breakfast at a restaurant near Yelahanka. Traffic was less and road was clear, soon we were far away from city. NR Bhat had done some research using Google Map and stopped us at a shortcut road which would take us to the hill. We had to call back Subramanya who had cruised several miles ahead on his Karizma. Taking guidance from villagers we reached the Papagni Math, at the bottom of the hill. (We also spent a few moments at a grapes garden on the way)

Couple of people from Forest department conducted a brief inquiry before giving us a business visa to the hill. We started off with an unconventional route and slowly but steadily reached the top of the hill in few hours time. We exhausted our water resources but the water melon we carried all the way quenched the thirst. There is a small water body on top of the hill but unfortunately we could not locate it. The sun and the wind were friendly and the uphill journey wasn’t that difficult. The view from top was beautiful.

All images I took with my Olympus FE 170 are below.

If you are facing trouble viewing the flash slideshow above, pls check here

We were down the hill by 3pm. We could have covered some more places before reaching home but everyone had different plans, so we departed after that.

This place can be made more tourist friendly by proving enough information and infrastructure (The nearby Nandi Hills is well maintained and far more popular). Not much info is available on net about this place. Chikballapur municipality has some info which can be found
here

Check the videos:


Update: Photos taken by Jayasimha can be viewed on flikr here
Giri has uploaded one of his videos
here

Similar:
Anantagiri Hills Hyderabad | Trekk to TADA Hills AP | Was this post useful? Consider dropping a comment.

48 comments:

pavan karthik said...

dude..
why weren't any girl involved in this trip???

i hope you guys had a nice time...

Shrinidhi Hande said...

The invitation was open to all but no one opted

Sandesh said...

cool that you went there! Will go soon!

Diablo Reigns said...

Hi,
Could you please give me the directions to this place. or a map in Google Earrth?

Thanks in Advance.
/Diablo

Shrinidhi Hande said...

@sandesh: Have good time

@ Diablo:

Have updated the post with link to wikimapia as well as text info on how to reach there. Hope you'll find it useful

vijay said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
santosh said...

Hi Guys!!!

I want to know is it possible to reach to the hill in night, so that we can view the wonderful scenes in the early morning with clouds?

Please anyone reply to me. Its urgent.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Take permission/assistance from forest guards there... When you spend night there you'll be lighting campfire etc, for which they may object. Spending night on top of hill not recommended. Reaching there early morning (say 5 or 6 AM)is another feasible option

Surya Kiran Jois said...

Hi Srinidhi, Can you tell me the best time to vist this place? When did you visit? Did you get to see the clouds?

Shrinidhi Hande said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shrinidhi Hande said...

@Surya:
Best time would be the post monsoon season-say October to early Feb. But if you're unlucky and the sky is clear on the day of your trip you wont see the clouds.

Best option is to stay prepared, get up very early in the morning and check the sky/weather. If the sky is cloudy and is likely to rain, start immediately and reach Skanda Giri in next one hour or so.

I wasn't lucky to see them

All the best, have nice trip..

Arjun Ramesh said...

Hi Shri..

Can you please let me know the approximate time you took to climb up and down the hill..? can you please send me an email too... i would like to get some more info from you.
my email id is jontyjun@gmail.com

Shrinidhi Hande said...

@ Arjun: We Started climbing at around 10 AM and were back down by 3 pm. (Approx timings) Time includes breaks etc.

shankar said...

hey thnlk for the info>>:))
we r leaving tommorow>> can i have ur contact number >>if u dont mind>>
i want to clarify some doubts >>plz

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Shankar,
Wish you a nice trip at Skandagiri.

Regarding contact number, I can't mention it in public place like this. You could have left your email ID I would have mailed you.

Also I do not work from Bangalore. It will be STD call for you to call me.

ALl available information I've already added in the post. Please take help from locals in case of confusion regarding how to go etc.

Regards,
Nidhi

murahari said...

hey dude,
Nice trip you had there. We a group of 5 are planning to go to this place. Can u give me your mobile no. please (if u don mind). i have few clarifications.
Thnx & Regrds
murahari

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Murahari,

I'm hesitating to list my mobile number in public domain.

Whatever info I have about the place is already listed in the post. I dont have much to add.

Drop a comment if you have anything specific to ask.

Please take help from local people if required.

Anonymous said...

Hi.. Could u plz tell me whether this place is safe for couples to go..???

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Looks a bit risky 2 me. With no one around to help, risk involved outweighs the fun.

Not recommended, but based on your confidence you can decide.

Anonymous said...

Its 25 Km from Our new International AirPort, have to go in rainy season.... its not too dampy .. road is really good

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Yes... devanahalli airport was not operational when this post was first written...

Praveen said...

Hi Mr. Nidhi,, am praveen, i read all the details that u had uploaded,, since i have doubt? we need to take a permission to climb the hill, ok, but is that the forest officer place is close by to the hill or its on the way how it is situated can u send a detailed on tihs.. If yes plz mail back. deshpande84@gmail.com

Shrinidhi Hande said...

The office is near Papagni matt near foot of the hill. You can go there and take permission.

- ruudVAN - said...

Hi,

I am planning to visit Bangalore next week along with my friends. Is it good time to visit SkandaGiri hills this time of the year??
Will the view be as beautiful as in the pics u've put??

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Its good time, but the clouds are unlikely at this point of time.

vijeth said...

Hi Shrini

I am planning to visit SkandaGiri hills this time of the year around may 1st week.
Will the view be as beautiful as in the pics u've put??

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Pls refer my previous reply for your answer.

the said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Karthik said...

hey,tis is karthik..v r a group of 7 wid 4 girls..v r planin to go to skandagiri at arnd 2 and start the climb n reach in time for sunrise..is the nite trek safe? is it necessary to hire a guide?

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Guide is not necessary. There's well defined path and during weekends there will be other people climbing as well.

No negative incidents have been reported here and is assumed to be safe. Go in a slightly larger group if possible.

karthik said...

hey,thanx for ur advice :) the trek was really amazin..

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Karthik,
You're welcome

karthik said...

good , we will post our experince once we explore this place. thank yu for info

vignesh s said...

hai....if v can start by 10 in morning can v see the fog whn v reach ther...n v r plannin to go on oct 2nd week.....plz help me

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Karthik,
You're welcome.

Vignesh,
I can't promise that- depends on that days weather and your luck. Early morning on a winter day is when you'll have very high chances

narsing said...

hey. we are planning to go there in november. can you please send ur number or drop a mail to my id i have few questions to clarify

narsing.rao9@gmail.com
thanks in advance :)

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Narsing,

I really do not have any additional info other than what I've mentioned in the blog post. It will be better for you to comment your queries here so that other readers also may help. Else you can mail me at admin@enidhi.net

err said...

hi frnds ...actually photos have very nicely... even i had been to that place ..the place is really like having a heaven in this earth.... india is so grt of having such beautifull places.. hats of...i really enjoyed treking at nigth..1:00am it was very memorable..

Praveen said...

Thanks for info Anna. We are goin there tomo :)

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Err, ok

Praveen: ok, have great fun.

I'm told night camping is not permitted there now- not sure- share your experience later

Anonymous said...

interesting post. I would love to follow you on twitter. By the way, did any one know that some chinese hacker had hacked twitter yesterday again.

abhishek said...

hey there ...im a hardcore trekker too..d last time we visited was in mid November n its was damn cold n super windy we were literally blown off by d wind,...we d day we came there we got on d wrong mountain n got lost (d one opp 2 the actual hill)we spent d night on a "V" shaped rock n found d way at 10:55pm we got on top of d hill in d dark n it was cold with thick fog , we couldnt see anything for a 5 ft before us , it took 3hrs to get on top n spread our tent ( of course we didnt ask for permission from d forest officials coz there was no one there....we didnt get 2 see the sun rise but saw some really thick clouds..now we r planning 2 go 2 savandurga hills next week so i'll have fun...so great treking experience of yours n have fun too...

Guruprasad said...

hi there, any body who can assist me on my trip to skandagire, i had planned this trip on my enfield along with few of my friends, do i need to seek prior approval from any department, please write back to me,

guruprasad.2244@gmail.com

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Guru,

No permission was needed earlier. Do not know about current situation

Abhishek: thanks for sharing your experience

srikanth said...

we found a new place near skandagiri to trek Rangadhama hills which was organised by localaite it was supreb for details and contact visit skandagiri.in

srikanth said...

a trek was organised to rangadhama by local people near skandagiri it was awesome very adventures trekking in green forest, rock claimbing, watch sunrise, lovely clouds and camp fire, accn including food great experience for more details photos visit skandagiri .in

srikanth said...

a trek was organised to rangadhama by local people near skandagiri it was awesome very adventures trekking in green forest, rock claimbing, watch sunrise, lovely clouds and camp fire, accn including food great experience for more details photos visit skandagiri .in

balu said...

hiiii..in wikipedia they have mentioned that "As of December 2011, Skandagiri trekking has been completely banned by Chickballapur police, during night as well as day. Any attempt of trekking would end you up in the Chickballapur police station along with your vehicle. Police guard the base of the hill and they have set up some locals as well to catch anyone who attempts a trek."

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