Savandurga Hills Trek: Timings, Entry Fee, Best Time to Visit and How to Reach

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Just 60 km away from the bustling city of Bengaluru, lies the serene and majestic Savandurga Hills, a trek that I’ve had the pleasure of undertaking multiple times. Each journey to the top of Asia’s largest monolith hill has been a unique experience, filled with challenges, breathtaking views, and a sense of accomplishment.

Savandurga Hills Trek Board
Savandurga Hills Trek Board

From the panoramic vistas of Magadi, Manchabele and Thippagondanahalli reservoirs, to the winding Arkavathi river, the scenery is simply mesmerizing. The Savandurga hill cluster, comprising the “Karigudda” (Black hill) and “Biligudda” (White hill), along with the historic Savandurga fort, has always been a sight to behold.

Looking for Trekking ideas in Bangalore? Consider reading: 10 Best Sunrise Treks from Bangalore

Savandurga Hills Trek Timings, Entry Fee and Key Details

Here are the Savandurga Hills Trek Timings, Entry Fee and Key Details:

Trek Info
Length4.50 KM
Duration2.50 Hour
Starting PointBettada Dari
EndsKempegowda Fort
Timings6:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Entry Fee for AdultsRs 250
Entry Fee for ChildRs 125
Savandurga Hills Trek Timings, Entry Fee and Key Details

You check the pricing information on Karnataka Tourism website.

History Savandurga Hills

Nestled in the heart of Karnataka, Savandurga, a hill 33 km west of Bangalore, rises to 1226 m above mean sea level.

Savandurga Hills is considered to be among the largest monolith hills in Asia. Comprising two hills, the Billigudda (white hill) and the Karigudda (black hill), Savandurga provides a thrilling environment for trekking and rock climbing.

Savandurga was a prominent place during the Hoysala rule. The hill fort on the top of the hill was erected in 1543 by Samanta Raya.

Savandurga Hills was under the control of Kempe Gowda until 1728 when it was captured by the Raja of Mysore, who subsequently lost it to Haider Ali. In 1791, during the Third Anglo-Mysore War, Lord Cornwallis seized Savandurga from Tipu Sultan’s army.

At the base of these hills, one can find the Savandi Veerabhadreshwara Swamy and Narasimha Swamy temples, drawing pilgrims from across the region.

The journey to these temples is thrilling due to the uneven path, thus making it to the wish-list of rock-climbers, cave-explorers, and adventurers.

Getting to Savandurga Hills

The journey to Savandurga is half the adventure. There are two main routes to get there from Bangalore.

  1. The first is the NICE toll road, which extends from Electronic City to Mysore Road. Despite being a longer route for some, I recommend this route for its well-maintained roads and quick travel time.
  2. Alternatively, you can drive through the city on smaller roads and join Mysore Road. After reaching Mysore road, a drive through the Savandurga forest and some charming villages will get you to the base of the hills.
  3. If you’re taking a bus, you can catch one from Majestic Bus Stop to Magadi and then a shared auto or bus to Sri Lakshmi Narasimhaswamy Temple.

The serenity of the forests at night and the allure of the moonlit road are experiences I highly recommend. However, remember to remain cautious while navigating through this area.

My Savandurga Hills Trek Experience

The Savandurga Hills trek offers two trails – “Karigudda” and “Biligudda”. However, the Forest Department only permits the Biligudda trail for public trekking.

The starting point of this trail is near the Sri Lakshmi Narasimhaswamy temple.

The trek is divided into three main sections, each with its own unique challenges and rewards:

  1. Sri Lakshmi Narasimhaswamy Temple to Rocky Section: This section is a light ascent till you reach the base of the hill. It’s a pleasant 10 to 15-minute walk that always serves as a great warm-up for the journey ahead.
  2. Rocky Section to Fort Wall I: This is where the real challenge begins. The path becomes steeper and demands a good level of fitness. I’ve found that a steady pace can get you through this section in about 20-25 minutes.
  3. Fort Wall I to Nandi Temple (Summit) via Fort Wall II: The final stretch of the trek is the most demanding, but also the most rewarding. The trail transitions into a rocky cave structure and then into a muddy trail right until you reach the top. It’s a tough hour-long walk, but the view from the top makes it all worth it.

From the lush green forests to the sparkling reservoirs and the distant villages of Ramanagara and Magadi, the view from the summit is a sight I look forward to every time I embark on this trek.

Savandurga Hills Trek Photos

Here some pictures from my trek:

  • Savandurga Hills Trek Temple View
  • Savandurga Hills Trek View from Top
  • Savandurga Hills Trek Photo

Best Time to Visit Savandurga Hills

Having done the Savandurga Hills Trek multiple times, I can confidently say that the best time to undertake this journey is between the end of September to February.

The summer heat can make the rocks unbearable, and the monsoons can make the trail slippery and dangerous.

Savandurga Hills Trekking Essentials:

Make sure you are prepared for the Savandurga Hills Trek. Here are my recommendation:

  1. Appropriate Footwear: You need shoes with rugged grip and a robust sole that can withstand the terrain. Test your shoes on the rock surface before beginning your climb. Also, avoid climbing in wet weather as the rocks can become slippery.
  2. Comfortable Attire: Dress comfortably, considering the climate. In the early morning, warm clothes are advisable, while light-coloured, breathable fabric is best for a post-sunrise climb. Gloves can be helpful too.
  3. Assess Your Fitness Level: Take your time and pace yourself. This is not a race. The incline can be daunting, and it’s easy to lose your breath if you rush. It’s important to remember that the same trek back awaits you after reaching the top.
  4. Travel Light: Carry minimal supplies during the day. Vendors sell water and snacks on the way up, but it might cost you a bit more.
  5. Follow the Arrows: The trail is well-marked on Google Maps. Stick to the path, and if something seems too risky, it probably is.

Savandurga Hills Trekking Tips:

Here are some handy tips for your Savandurga Hills Trekking journey:

  1. The Climb is Divisible: The trek can be divided into three stages. The initial climb to the fort is relatively easy, but the final part of this stage has a very steep incline. Take it slow and steady. The climb beyond the fort, to the artificial lakes and hut-like structure, is a bit steep and long but manageable. Finally, the hardest part is the climb till Nandi. It involves traversing through fallen boulders and bare rocks and can be quite the adrenaline rush.
  2. Ideal Time to Visit: Early morning is the best time to start your trek, both to avoid the hot sun and to catch a glimpse of the awe-inspiring sunrise. Avoid trekking here during the rainy season as the plain rock surface becomes extremely slippery.
  3. Who Should Avoid This Trek: This trek is not recommended for the elderly or very young children due to the difficulty level. The entire hill is composed of hard, plain rocks, which can get unbearably hot after noon.
  4. Food Provisions on the Hill: There are several shops at the base of the mountain and a few sellers at the top who offer drinks and snacks. However, prepare to pay double the usual price. You can try the chat sold near the peak for a reasonable 50rs.

Savandurga Hills Parking

There is paid parking available at the bottom of the Savandurga Hills. I have paid Rs 40 for my 4 wheeler. 2 wheeler parking costs Rs 20. Make sure to reach early to get an assured parking spot.

Final Thoughts on Savandurga Hills Trek

The Savandurga trek is an adventure that I find myself returning to time and again.

The unique experience of trekking on a monolith, coupled with the panoramic views from the top, never fails to leave me in awe. Whether you’re a seasoned trekker or a beginner, this trek is sure to offer unforgettable memories and a sense of accomplishment.

If you have read so far, Can I ask you a favor? Please share your experience after your visit to Savandurga Hills in the comments? Thanks a ton in advance!

FAQs on Savandurga Hills Trek

How do I get to Savandurga Hills?

The easiest way to reach Savandurga Hills is by driving or riding from Bangalore. Two major routes are via the NICE toll road from Electronic City to Mysore Road, or through the city on smaller roads to join Mysore road. After taking either of these routes, you drive through Savandurga forest and some villages to reach the hills.

What are the main trails on the Savandurga Hills Trek?

There are two main trails on the Savandurga Hills Trek. The first is the Billigudda trail, which is a bit easier and goes through a ruined fort. The second is the Karigudda trail, which is steeper, less marked, and more challenging. Both trails offer beautiful views and thrilling climbs.

What should I wear for the Savandurga Hills Trek?

Wear comfortable, breathable clothes and sturdy shoes with a rugged grip. Light-colored clothes are recommended if you’re climbing after sunrise. Also, consider wearing gloves to protect your hands from the rough rocks.

Can I get food and water during the Savandurga Hills Trek?

Yes, there are sellers along the trek and at the top who offer water, drinks, and snacks. However, you may want to bring your own supplies as prices can be higher on the hill.

Is the Savandurga Hills Trek safe?

While the Savandurga Hills Trek is generally safe, the rocky and steep terrain can be challenging. It is recommended to trek during daylight, wear appropriate clothing and footwear, stay hydrated, and not to trek alone if you’re inexperienced. During rainy weather, the rocks can become slippery, so it’s best to avoid trekking during such conditions.

Can children and elderly people do the Savandurga Hills Trek?

The trek is fairly strenuous and may not be suitable for very young children or the elderly. However, those in good health and with previous trekking experience should be able to manage, with appropriate precautions.

How long does the Savandurga Hills Trek take?

The trek usually takes about 1.5 hours to climb up and the same time to descend. However, this can vary depending on your fitness level and how many breaks you take.

What is the best time to do the Savandurga Hills Trek?

The best time to do the trek is very early in the morning. Starting around sunrise helps you avoid the hot sun and gives you a chance to enjoy the beautiful sunrise views from the hill.

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