Western Ghats

Western Ghats (5)

To abode of Lord


Shiva Ganga or Shivagange is hillock where Adventurous trek and pilgrimage comes together to offer you instant weekend getaway. Located just 60Km. Mountain peak of about 2600 feet. Mountain is in the form of a Shiva ling and a spring flows from top of Hill , referred as Ganga and hence place gets the name ShivaGanga. The place is known as Dakshina Kashi and a Hindu pilgrimage center.

From Bangalore and being well connected by road makes it an ideal tourist attraction. It is said that the hills looks like a ‘Shiva Linga’ when seen from one of the sides. Also it is said that the spring water found here is from the sacred water of ‘Ganga’. Cave temples of Gavi Gangadhareshwara , Gavi Honnadevi , Gavi Veerabhadreshwara , Patala Gange , Olakallu Punyatheertha can found in the hillock .

From the religious point of view there are several temples and holy locations like ‘Patalagange’, Monolithic Nandi in Shivagange. Shiva ganga hills is also known as Kashi of the South. A surprising phenomenon of Ghee when offered on Shivalinga turning back to butter may be witnessed here - which could be due to temperature difference. The ornate pillars & carvings gave us glimpses of Hoysala architecture. Most of the place is rocky, with railings to hold on to as you climb, and monkeys to make sure you don’t take any offerings to the deity on top.

Inside some of the rocks and even inside the temple and the deities and sannidhis, you could find some small fountains or water bodies, that never dry up throughout the year. But the most intriguing of all was a tunnel which supposedly led into the heart of Bangalore.

With sun beating tiredness takes its toll. But the spirit motivates one to reach the hill top. The cool breeze and very sight of Basavanna / Nandi Idol soothes the tired nerves. A scenic view of Shivangage & surrounding villages stretch is a pleasureful experience. There are 2 temples on top dedicated to Veerabhadreshwara & Gangadhareshwara . Besides is the spot known as Shanthala Drop , where queen of Hoysala King Vishnuvardhana during 12th century had committed suicide by jumping from top of hill.

Surrounding hills , water bodies , rocks , Sunrise and sunset is a a sight to behold..!

Skandagiri Night Trek


Among the hill forts around Bangalore , Kalawara betta (Skandagiri), situated about 68 Kms from Bangalore is prominent among the hill forts often referred to as giridurga in the chain of hills in the Nandi Hill ranges. Situated at a altitude of 1450 metres above sea level and stands high dominating the landscape.The dilapidated walls of Tippu's fort can be found today on steep Kalawarbetta (Skandagiri), near the village of Kalwara. History says though this was is small , but strong hill fort. It surrendered to British troops on 19 October 1791. It remained in British hands until the peace treaty of 1792, which concluded of the third Anglo-Mysore war.

For the adventure seekers. This is a tedious trek as the hill is precipitous and high. The trek starts from the Papagni Temple at the foothills of Kalawara village. The fortress of Kalawarbetta is in full sight throughout the walk uphill. This steep and fantastic trek through a maze of dense shrub is highly intriguing. Kalawarbetta is a teaser. Just as you reach the fort wall contended that you have topped the hill, you see another ring of fort. No sooner you reach there; you will find another majestic fort wall waiting to be conquered. There are six such series of stonewalls protecting an abandoned temple on the hilltop.

There are 2 caves, one starts from the base and as per locals, leads to the temple at peak and another one is somewhere midway which is about 30 feet only. Both are yet unexplored, especially the first one.

        Older than the Himalaya mountains, the mountain chain of the Western Ghats represents geomorphic features of immense importance with unique biophysical and ecological processes. The site’s high montane forest ecosystems influence the Indian monsoon weather pattern. Moderating the tropical climate of the region, the site presents one of the best examples of the monsoon system on the planet. It also has an exceptionally high level of biological diversity and endemism and is recognized as one of the world’s eight ‘hottest hotspots’ of biological diversity. The forests of the site include some of the best representatives of non-equatorial tropical evergreen forests anywhere and are home to at least 325 globally threatened flora, fauna, bird, amphibian, reptile and fish species.
        The Western Ghats comprise the mountain range that runs along the western coast of India, from the Vindhya-Satpura ranges in the north to the southern tip. The ecosystems of the Western Ghats are located mainly in the following regions: the tropical wet evergreen forests in Amboli and Radhanagari; the Montane evergreen forests in Mahabaleshwar and Bhimashanker; moist deciduous forests in Mulsi and the scrub forest in Mundunthurai.
        There is a great variety of vegetation all along the Ghats: scrub jungles, grassland along the lower altitudes, dry and moist deciduous forests, and semi-evergreen and evergreen forests. There are two main centres of diversity, the Agashyamalai hills and the Silent Valley. The complex topography and the heavy rainfall have made certain areas inaccessible and have helped the region retain its diversity.
         Almost one-third of all the flowering plant species in India are found in this region. Of the 450-odd plants found in this region, 40% are endemic (these are species that have adapted to this particular area and the conditions existing in it.) There is an equal diversity of animal and bird life. There is only one biodiversity reserve in the Western Ghats, the Nilgiri biodiversity reserve,which helps in conserving endemic and endangered species. A few of the indigenous and exotic tree and plant species in the Western Ghats are the teak, jamun, cashew, hog plum, coral tree, jasmine, and crossandra.
         Some of the national parks situated in this region are the Borivali national park in Maharahshtra near Mumbai, which is home to a large variety of birds, and the Nagarhole national park, which borders the Bandipur national park, famous for its tiger leopard, sloth bear, barking deer and mouse deer. More than 250 species of birds are found in this park. There is the Anamalai wildlife sanctuary in Tamil Nadu, which has evergreen forests and tall high-altitude temperate grasslands. The Nilgiri languar, the rare lion-tailed macaque, spotted deer, and the giant squirrel are some of the animals found here. Racket tailed drongos, hornbills, fairy bluebirds are some of the birds seen here. The famous Periyar national park in Kerala is home to a large number of elephants, gaur, sambhar, and lion-tailed macaque and a variety of birds.

 Western Ghat Programs 
Sl No.
Grade Cost Dates
1 Kumara Parvatha Moderate ₹3,250 Oct-03,17,31, Nov-07,14,21 Dec-05,19, Jan-02,09 Bangalore to Bangalore
2 Kudremukha Moderate-Difficult ₹3,500

On Request

Bangalore to Bangalore
3 Amedhikallu Moderate ₹3,250


Bangalore to Bangalore

Bandaje Arbi

Moderate  ₹4,000


Bangalore to Bangalore
5 Bandalli durga
Moderate  On Request
 On Request Bangalore to Bangalore
6 Narasimha Parvatha
Difficult ₹4,000

Oct-31, Nov-21, Dec-05,19

Bangalore to Bangalore
7 Agasthyamala Difficult-Challenging ₹10,500

Dec 28April

Bangalore to Bangalore
8 Messapulimala
Moderate ₹7,000

Feb 07

Bangalore to Bangalore
9 Mukurthi Moderate-Difficult ₹6,000


Bangalore to Bangalore
10 Minchukallu and Kumbhakallu Difficult ₹3,250  On Request Bangalore to Bangalore
11 Kudremukh  Trans Trek Moderate-Difficult ₹3,500  On Request Bangalore to Bangalore
12 Murkannu  Gudda  & Hadlu Waterfalls Easy ₹3,250

Feb-07, 14

Bangalore to


13 Thirumalaguppe Moderate ₹3,250 OCT-03,17,31, NOV-07,14,21, DEC-05,12,19,26, Jan-02,09 Bangalore to Bangalore
14 Kurinijalu Moderate ₹3,250 OCT-24, NOV-14,28, DEC-12,26, Jan-02,09 Bangalore to Bangalore
15 Gangadi kallu Moderate ₹3,250 OCT-31, NOV-14,28, DEC-12,26, Jan-02,16 Bangalore to Bangalore
16 Brahmagiri Moderate-Difficult ₹3,500 Nov-21, Dec-05,12 Bangalore to Bangalore
17 Belligundi Waterfalls Moderate-Difficult ₹4,000 Oct 31, Dec 23, Jan 09 Bangalore to Bangalore
18 Vellarimala – Vavulmala Difficult-Challenging ₹8,000  Feb-21 Bangalore to Bangalore
19 Jenu Kallu Gudda Moderate ₹3,500  Jan 9 Bangalore to Bangalore




The Mysterious Hump Beckons


     Bandallidurga is a hill fort situated at an altitude of 4700ft above sea level near a hamlet called Bandalli in Kanakapura taluk – making it an ideal short getaway from Bangalore. The mysterious humped shape makes it an intriguing object of interest. Not much is known about the history of this fort. Today, the fort is more or less in ruins. The fort is protected by three levels of wall and it seems impregnable. The top of the hill is not visible from the base of the hill. After a steep climb 3 hrs, one reaches the ruins of the fort. There is also a perennial well built by the Palegars (the locals). The trek passes through Lantana bushes, bamboo forest and green meadows. From the top of the hill one can see a panoramic view of M M Hills, B R Hills and other nearby hill ranges. The place is haven for birdwatchers. Birds like Hoope, Bushchat, Woodpeckers, Coppersmith Barbet, Jungle fowl, Green Barbets and Wagtail are found in large numbers.

Bandalli Durga is an ideal short getaway for history lovers, birdwatchers and the Bangalore escapist!

"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves."
John Muir

Summiters in Khabar Magazine

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