Hiking Asia’s biggest monolith, Savandurga!

[Disclaimer: this is an old post published earlier on my medium blog. This post is now moved here as part of migration from medium account]

It is said that “The best of views come after hardest of climb” so on the eve of 30th January this year I and my friend Shravan decided to validate this saying and planned to visit the Asia’s biggest monolith, Savandurga Hill.

Savandurga Hill is located 60 km west of Bengaluru (Karnataka, India) off the Magadi road, in India. We started our journey at 7 am in the morning from Electronic city on our bike.

Some facts about the hill

Savandurga trail is famous for its challenging climb and amazing views of Magadi, Manchabele and Thippagondanahalli reservoirs and Arkavathi river.

“Karigudda” (Black hill) and “Biligudda” (White hill) make the Savandurga hill cluster.

Savandurga fort was the secondary capital of the Magadi rulers such as Kempegowda and from 1638 to 1728, it was occupied by Dalavayi Devaraja of Mysore.

It is also called as ‘Savinadurga’ or the Fort of Death, because of the steep incline and defense structure.

Savandurga has two temples at the base. Savandi Veerabhadraswamy temple and Sree Lakshmi Narasimhaswamy temple. They attract devotees from many parts of Karnataka.

These temples date back to 1340 AD and are believed to have been built by the Hoysala rulers.

Parking

There is ample space for parking two and four wheeler vehicles outside the hill area and it is free of cost.

Preparation

Food: just take ample amount of water (two bottles at least) and cucumbers if you can carry some weight otherwise at few points on the hill you will find food vendors selling buttermilk, water and other soft drinks

Clothing: try to wear dry-fit gym t-shirts and avoid jackets or heavy clothing. Since the hill is purely rocky wear good gripping sports shoes.

Before starting the climb we drank the coconut water which you can buy right outside the hill’s starting point.

Starting the hike

It starts with a short walk towards the rocky section of the hill. There is a pavement which leads to the trail (around 200–300 metre walk). The route is relatively easy to find as tourists and trekkers will be seen walking on the trail.

At the start of the trek we saw many trekkers prepared to begin the hike. We also witnessed a group of Army soldiers on the hill. They probably came for training.

As we started the trek I realized it was a little challenging due to the slippery surface and steep path but we slowly continued the hike until we became aware of the surface and the trail.

We reached a point where we could see the Manchanabele reservoir.

We just covered the 30% trail only at this point but we were already getting exhausted due to little hot weather but the view was worth the effort.

From here on the hill became a lot steeper but we continued the journey.

Below videos will show you the rest of the journey.

The trail now transitions into a rocky cave structure and then into a muddy trail right until you reach the top. However, you’ll enjoy this section as it is a lot less taxing on your calves and there is a certain buzz to walking through caves, trees and roots.

Once you are across the boulder farm (the point where you hop and jump over boulders), you soon reach the top. Now all you have to do is walk towards the Nandi temple and breathe in the wonderful view.

The entire journey from the Sri Lakshmi Narasimhaswamy Temple to the Nandi temple should take around 2 to 3 hours maximum.

We clicked some picks during our way and after reaching the top.

We rested for a while and then started the return journey which surprisingly was no less challenging.

Here is a random pic and a video while going downhill.

So what do you feel when you finish hiking the asia’s biggest monolith? — HUNGRY!! 🙂

We were so hungry that as soon as we came out we drank a couple a tender coconut water and ate a plate of idlis at the nearby small restaurant.

A final click of the full hill while returning

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