Karnataka’s capital Bangalore is set on the Mysore Plateau and is surrounded by a diverse landscape. Forests, hills, valleys and water bodies all come together to provide the city with plenty of natural escapes.
Drive for a couple of hours away from the city, and you find yourself among some great trekking and hiking spots. From simple trails for beginners and children to more complex trails for seasoned trekkers, Bangalore has it all within easy reach. Here we give you a comprehensive insight into some of the best places to trek and hike around Bangalore along with everything you need to know about these destinations.
Trekking and Hiking Trails around Bangalore
- Savandurga Hills
- Sri Revana Siddeshwara Betta Hills
- Nandi Hills
- Kunti Betta
- Devarayanadurga Hill
1. Savandurga Hills
The distance between Savandurga Hills and Bangalore, and the Significance of Savandurga Hills
Savandurga Hills are located in the Deccan Plateau about 60 Km from Bangalore. The monolith is 4,220 ft above sea level and quite an interesting trek. The twin peaks Karigudda and Billigudda, also known as the Black and White Hills respectively make for two separate treks. The Billigudda Hill is home to the ruins of a fort prison which dates back to the Hoysala Empire.
How to reach Savandurga from Bangalore
Savandurga can be reached by road on the Bangalore-Mysore highway or by train from Bangalore to Bidadi Railway station which is 17 Km from the start of the trek.
Difficult level of different trek trails at Savandurga
Karigudda Hill is a steep climb and recommended only for seasoned hikers. A permit from the authorities is required for this trek, and it can only be done with climbing gear.
Billigudda is not as steep as its twin and does not require a permit. However, climbing gear is required for this trek as well.
Attractions at Savandurga
The main attractions on this trek are the Nandi temple and Rock of Peace.
Best time of day to go trekking at Savandurga
Hiking up these hills during the day can be tiring as there are few trees offering shade from the hot sun. Many trekking enthusiasts like to trek up Billigudda in the night and enjoy a campfire at the top. Spending the night on the peak, lets you wake up to a spectacular sunrise.
2. Sri Revana Siddeshwara Betta Hills
The distance between Bangalore and Sri Revana Siddeshwara Betta Hills
Sri Revana Siddeshwara Betta Hills are 65 Km from Bangalore. It takes about two hours to get to the trekking site by road. The hills are elevated at 3,000 feet above sea level and overlook the Devakere Lake.
How to reach Sri Revana Siddeshwara Betta Hills from Bangalore
The hills can be reached from the Mysore road a little ahead of Ramanagara.
Attractions at Sri Revana Siddeshwara Betta Hills
At the base sits the Renukamba Temple where many devotees go to worship. Inside the rock, in a cave, there is another temple in honor of Lord Bheemeshwara. Outside this temple, there is a sign showing hikers the way to the start of the trek. At the top of the hill is a third temple which is the Sri Revana Siddeshwara Temple.
The difficulty level of different trek trails at Sri Revana Siddeshwara Betta Hills
The trek is actually a climb of steps that have been cut into the stone to help people get to the top. There are however options for rappelling and rock climbing at the spot. The trek is good for beginners as they are assisted with the steps and protective grills.
Precautions to take when trekking at Sri Revana Siddeshwara Betta Hills
There are a lot of monkeys in the area so be careful not to have any snacks visible. All eatables should be carried in a backpack. The climb is steep in places, and it can get very hot at some times of the year to make sure to travel light but with sufficient water.
3. Nandi Hills
The distance between Bangalore and Nandi hills
Nandi Hills is a popular trekking destination for residents of Bangalore. The main hill that is about 65 Km from the city has steps cut into it that makes it ideal for beginners.
How to reach Nandi Hills from Bangalore
The starting point of the trek is Sultanpet and can either be reached by road or by train. By road, you need to drive down the Bangalore-Hyderabad highway and turn left at the Nandi Cross after the Devanahalli Bypass. There is parking space at the base of the hills. Alternatively, you can take a train to Nandi station from where you can hire an auto rickshaw or walk the 8 Km to the starting point.
The Nandi Hills trek, attractions and when to visit
The trek is 10 Km uphill and but the steps make it a lot easier to climb. There are no refreshment stalls on the way, but there are shops and restaurants at the top. One of the attractions at Nandi Hills is the Amrutha Sarovara tank which is quite large. The view from the top is stunning. For early morning treks, it is recommended that you travel to Nandi the previous day and stay at one of the many guesthouses in the area for the night. The advantage of an early morning trek is that it is much more pleasant at that time of the day and the crowd is also much less.
Weekends can get very crowded up on Nandi Hill so you might want to consider a weekday for your trek if possible.
The distance between Bangalore and Skandagiri
Skandagiri is also known as Kalavara Durga and is about 70 Km from Bangalore and 3Km from Chikballapur.
How to get to Skandagiri from Bangalore
Getting there via road is on the Bangalore-Hyderabad Highway just three hours out of Bangalore.
The difficulty level of Skandagiri trek
The trek uphill is considered moderate to difficult by hikers and would depend on individual experience. The starting point of the trek is the Papagni Temple in Kalavara Village. The ruins of Tipu Sultan’s fort still stand on this hill.
The terrain is covered with dense shrubs, and the climb is quite steep. The 8 Km trek can take up to three hours to complete.
When to attempt the Skandagiri Trek
You can do a day or a night trek at Skandagiri and enjoy a breathtaking sunrise or the beautiful view of the surroundings from the top.
What to carry on Skandagiri Trek
You will need a good pair of trekking shoes and plenty of drinking water for this trek. Keep your other belongings down to the minimum so that you have less weight to carry. Do bear in mind that early mornings on the hill can get very chilly so you will need to carry a jacket and a warm cap or scarf. Torches are also recommended for the night trek. However, before planning a night trek, check with the local authorities if night trekking is allowed. There are times when trekking after dark is not permitted.
Several tour operators offer adventure activities like rappelling and rock climbing on the Skandagiri hill.
The distance between Bangalore and Madhugiri
In Tumkur District, 120Km NorthWest of Bangalore is Madhugiri Hill.
The difficulty level of Madhugiri Trek
A fort stands on the way to the top of the hill which can be accessed via a steep climb. Steps have been cut into the rock reaching about halfway up, and the points that don’t have steps have iron railings fixed into the hill for support. The steps and supports make this trek a moderate level hike despite the steep incline.
What to carry on Madhugiri Trek
Because the hill is steep, it is advisable to wear good quality trekking shoes and choose a day with good weather. Rainy and windy days can prove tricky navigating your way up the hill.
Attractions at Madhugiri
At the top, the Madhugiri Fort it a great place to explore. There are a lot of structures still standing including the canal system, granaries, and some rooms. Beyond the fort, the trek continues to the top of the monolith. The peak is forested and offers a panoramic view of the surroundings.
When to visit Madhugiri
Early mornings are recommended as the best time to make the trek as it can get very hot later on in the day. It takes two hours to reach the summit although this could vary depending on individual fitness levels and speed of climbing. The whole trek along with exploring the fort can be completed in half a day. If you plan to make the trip down the hill after dark, make sure to have torches too light the way.
The distance between Bangalore and Anthargange
Anthargange Hill with its caves and boulders is just 65 Km from Bangalore.
How to get to Anthargange from Bangalore
The hill is close to Kolar and is easily accessible by road. Anthargange is about 4 Km from the main road once you enter Kolar. The hill is a popular nighttime trek offering a beautiful view of the sunrise.
The difficulty level of Anthargange trek
The climb to the elevation of 1,712 meters, is about 3 Km long and the trek falls under the easy to moderate level. Some spots along the way are a little more difficult to navigate.
Attractions at Anthargange
The hill is a favorite because of the many boulders along the way that assist in climbing. There are several good places along the trail where trekkers can stop for a snack or enjoy the view. The caves at the summit are intriguing and waiting to be explored. Halfway up the hill, there is a temple where many devotees come to worship.
What to carry on the Anthargange trip
There are few trees in the area so be sure to carry your caps and sufficient drinking water when trekking during the day. For nighttime treks, headlamps are recommended as they light your way while keeping your hands free.
The Anthargange trek takes you through different terrains including forests, steep climbs, rocky outcrops and of course the caves. The trek provides opportunities to try your hand at rock climbing as well.
7. Kunti Betta
How to get to Kunti Betta from Bangalore
Kunti Betta is actually two rocky hills located in Pandavapura which is 130 Km from Bangalore. The base of the hills is about 4 Km from the town. There is a government school close to the starting point of the trek. The starting point has ample place for parking cars and bikes.
Landmarks guiding trekkers on Kunti Betta
The start of the trek is marked by steps that lead you to a temple. Beyond the temple to the right is the way to get to the hill with a pillar at the top. It is much easier to see the path during the day, but if you want to do a night trek, it would be best to go with a guide who knows the way well. There are other hills in the area that can also be explored.
The difficulty level of Kunti Betta trek
The trek is relatively easy, and even novices can do the climb without too much effort. At the top, views of the paddy and sugarcane fields in the valley below will greet you. Watching the sunrise at the top of Kunti Betta is a memory you will hold forever. The way own can be a little tricky with a lot of large boulders to navigate but usually takes about an hour. Trekkers who have done the trail before, recommend a glass of sugarcane juice from one of the local plantations.
The distance between Bangalore and Narayangiri
Narayangiri is located around 70 Km from Bangalore and is a popular nighttime trekking destination. The hill which is at a height of 3,800 feet is in the village of Jalamangala just 20 Km from the town of Ramanagara.
The difficulty level of Narayangiri Trek, What to Carry on Narayangiri trek
The level of the trek varies from moderate to difficult due to the changing terrain. You will experience everything from barren rocky areas, forests, and shrubs along the trail. There is a lot of wildlife and birds in the area, and if you are lucky, you might spot a few small mammals. Experienced trekkers recommend starting the day trek early in the morning to avoid the heat of the sun in places where there is no tree cover.
There are no stalls for snacks or water on the trail, and at the top, so you will need to carry adequate food and drink. Please do not litter the area but bring back all the garbage to be disposed of properly.
The hill is quite rocky which in some cases is a blessing where the rocks provide hand and footholds but in other cases can be tricky to navigate. Nighttime trekkers will require to carry powerful torches to light the way and extra batteries as a backup. The popularity of the night trek is the breathtaking sunrise that can be witnessed from the summit. Daytime trekking is also popular, but caps and adequate drinking water are required.
Attractions at Narayangiri
The two main attractions during the day are the ruins of an ancient fort that go around the hill and a Laxmi Temple at the peak that is open for worship on the weekends.
9. Devarayanadurga Hill
The distance between Bangalore and Devarayanadurga Hill, How to get to Devarayanadurga from Bangalore
Devarayanadurga Hill is close to Tumkur around 70 Km from Bangalore along National Highway 48. 20 Km on the right of Dabaspet, the hill is home to two temples and lots and lots of monkeys.
The difficulty level of Devarayanadurga Hill
The trek is rated easy to moderate, and this is thanks to the 200 or so steps cut into the hill to aid devotees getting to the temple. Beyond the temple, the last few meters to the top is where things get a bit difficult. The hill rises to an elevation of 3,940 feet and presents a stunning view of the surroundings.
When to visit and what to experience at Devarayanadurga
Natural springs and ponds grace the landscape. The hill is surrounded by beautiful countryside and lush forests. While most of the trek enjoys good tree cover and shade from the hot sun, the peak is mostly rock and void of trees. Early morning trekking is recommended so that the top can be reached before it gets too hot and the descent can start by late morning as the heat picks up. There are no restaurants along the way, but a few stalls can be found close to the temples where you can get snacks and water. However, it is always recommended that you carry your own drinking water and eatables.
There is a deer park close to the hill that can be visited after the trek. Many hikers like to stop here for a picnic lunch before heading home.
The distance between Bheemeshwari and Bangalore
About a 100 Km from Bangalore by the Cauvery River lies Bheemeshwari.
What to experience at Bheemeshwari
The landscape lends itself to excellent trekking especially for beginners due to the gentle slopes. The area is covered in a green canopy, and the rivers heighten the beauty of the surroundings. The Bheemeshwari trek is ideal for nature lovers and bird watchers, with lots of birds all around.
What to carry on Bheemeshwari trek
Some hikers like to use the trail that runs along the Cauvery river going both uphill and down, but others suggest that you go up one way and come down another to make the most of the diverse surroundings.
While there are a lot of trees providing shade along the way you should still wear a cap for those places where the sun beats down. As with every trek you will need to carry adequate drinking water as well as a few snacks to keep you hydrated and your energy levels up.
There are places at Bheemeshwari where you can take part in adventure sports like river rafting, rock climbing, rappelling, etc. If you don’t only want to go trekking, you can always combine the activity with a few adventure sports.
Trekkers recommend finding a watch tower along the trail to stop for a picnic and to try and make your trip between August and February when the river flows at full capacity.
The distance between Bangalore and Ramanagara
Ramanagara is 50 Km from Bangalore and can be reached via the Bangalore-Mysore Highway.
Attractions at Ramanagara
The area has a lot of hills for hiking and is frequented by hiking enthusiasts all year round. The Ramgiri Hill in Ramanagara was the site for the classic film Sholay and remains famous as the Sholay Hill till date. The area is home to hills and forests and even a vulture reserve. Birdlife is aplenty and night treks are popular in the hills here.
What to experience at Ramanagara
Ramadevara Betta is one of the hills that is preferred for trekking in Ramanagara. You can find restaurants serving South Indian food near the base where you can enjoy a nice breakfast. There is parking for vehicles at the base of the hill, and steps cut into the side to aid climbing. 400 steps later you come to a temple on the hillside. To the left of the temple, the trail continues all the way to the top of the hill. Tender coconut stall along the way provide a refreshing drink of coconut water while trekking in the hot sun.
What to carry to Ramanagara Trek
Don’t forget to wear good quality hiking shoes and carry at least two liters of water. Aside from energy bars or light snacks, you don’t need to carry a lot of food with you unless you plan to spend the whole day at the top. Make sure to have torches if your descent is going to be after dark.
The distance between Kabbaladurga and Bangalore
The Kabbaladurga hill is about 80 Km from Bangalore on the road to Mysore. The hill which is elevated at 3,600 feet above sea level, is located in a village called Sathnur.
The difficulty level of Kabbaladurga Trek
The trek is not for the fainthearted and better suited for seasoned hikers. Right from the start, the climb is quite steep, and a pair of good quality hiking shoes or boots will serve you well. If you plan to do the trek during the night headlamps are preferable over torches so that you can have your hands free to hold on to rocks or railings wherever they are placed.
What to carry on Kabbaladurga Trek
It takes about three hours to get to the summit where you will find a small abandoned temple. There is not much tree cover at the top so make sure to carry caps for daytime trekking. Carry your cap even if you are doing the nighttime trek as it could get very sunny the next morning on your way down. Sufficient water is a must for the Kabbaldurga trek because there are no stalls on the way or at the top. The quantity of food and snacks you carry will depend a lot on how much time you plan to spend at the summit at how much weight you are willing to carry on the way up. Some refreshments are a must to keep energy levels up.
That’s our pick for the twelve best treks and hiking trails around Bangalore. One thing to keep in mind when going on a trek is to the respect the place that you are visiting and leave it a little better than you found it. May you have plenty of adventures along the way!
Before you go, here’s a break-down all the dos and don’ts of trekking so that you not only know where to go but also what to do and what not to do while you are there.
Trekking tips to follow to get the best experience out of treks and hikes
Here are a few points to remember when you are going trekking:
- Plan your time: Make sure that you check all distances and take note of the time you require to get places. If you want to be back before dark, then plan accordingly so that you are at the start of the trek at a time that gives you enough leeway to make it up and back again while the sun is still up.
- Equipment: The type of equipment you carry will depend a lot on the type of hike you are going on. While some more difficult climbs might require special climbing gear, easier treks might need fewer contraptions. However, remember to always wear good hiking shoes, adequate water, and a first aid kit on all treks. Keep a torch handy for nighttime treks.
- Emergency contacts: Always make sure to let someone know where you are going and when you are expected back. Also, learn the locations and numbers of the nearest emergency services like hospitals, police, etc. in the area that you are trekking.
- Groups: Whenever possible trek with a group because as has often been said – there is safety in numbers.
Trekking and hiking are fun and exhilarating experiences, once you have the basics down, you are set for new adventures.