Skandagiri Hill is Located in the village of Kalavara Halli, hence it is also known as Kalavara Durga. The Papagni Mutt, located on the slopes of Skandagiri, is one of Karnataka’s oldest and most ancient mutts. The walk begins at Papagni Mutt and leads to the top, where the ruins of an 18th-century fort can be found. Tipu Sultan acquired a local ruler’s fort and later used it as a fortress to fight the British, but it was eventually abandoned in 1791 when Tipu Sultan was defeated. The peak provides a breathtaking panoramic view of the four neighbouring ‘Giris,’ or hills. Skandagiri is less than 60 kilometres from Bengaluru and only three kilometres from Chikballapur, and it is well accessible by road and rail. As a result, it is an excellent year-round walk for novice and experienced trekkers, and it can be done in 5 hours quickly.
How to arrive?
Visitors can drive to the Skandagiri base because it is only 62 kilometres from Bangalore. Both the nearest railway station and airport are in Bangalore. You can alternatively take a bus from Majestic Bus Station to Chikkaballapura and then an auto-rickshaw to the Papagni Temple. There is paid parking at the base camp.
Skandagiri Hill Trekking at Night
Skandagiri Trek is around 4 kilometres long and takes about 3 hours to complete. It begins near the Kalavara settlement at the Papagni Temple. The Skandagiri Hill climb is difficult because there is no well-defined path and one must step over large rocks and stones to progress. The terrain is arid and dusty, with shrubby vegetation along the road. If you choose the night journey, which normally begins at about 3:15 a.m., you should bring flashlights because the entire trail will be dark. Many travel organisations also offer camping choices, which is a fantastic experience. Each group will usually have at least 2-3 guides. They will lead you down the road and ensure that everyone stays with the group because wild animals such as tigers are known to appear. The last section of the Skandagiri Hills walk is a little steeper than the others, and you must be careful as the rocks are loose and slippery. From here, you have a fantastic view of Chikkaballapura.
Once at the top, you’ll need to find a nice position to see the sunrise. Because each group may have 20-25 individuals, it will be congested and you may not be able to find a nice location. It is quite windy and freezing at the top, so dress warmly and shield your ears. The guides will be aware of the precise time of sunrise. It’s a good idea to use your phone’s compass to determine the sunrise’s direction. You will be able to see the sky changing colours throughout the morning, which is a spectacular sight. After sunrise, it becomes quite sunny, and the view from the hilltop is breathtaking.
Skandagiri Hill Temple
You can explore the hilltop after sunrise. The remains of the Skandagiri temple, dedicated to Lord Siva, are a popular photo location for hikers. Even in its crumbled state, it is a sight to witness after the difficult hike. Tippu Sultan built this fort, and the ruins clearly show that it was once a grand construction. Even if only a few walls remain, they add to the enigmatic atmosphere of the location. A deeper exploration of these remains indicates the presence of two caves and six samadhis within the building.
Return to base camp
The descent is the same, even though it appears to be in a completely different location in the sunshine. The drop is fairly steep, and the descent may feel more difficult than the ascent. Take care with each step because the rocks are slippery. The Papagni Temple will mark the end of your journey. Please keep in mind that the guides may not accompany you on the way back. Most travel agencies offer pick-up and drop-off services, so you’ll have plenty of time to meet up at the starting location. The Skandagiri Hills Night Trek is one of the best trekking experiences around Bangalore and a fantastic weekend break for those who live in and around the city. The joy of walking among the boulders with your flashlight cannot be described in words.
Skandgiri is a gorgeous weekend hideaway that also acts as an adventure weekend escape, located 3 kilometres from Chikballapur hamlet. It is a hill that has the ruins of an 18th-century fort. The fort is in disrepair, as is the temple nearby, but this does not detract from the hike to the summit of the mountain.