May 2018

Kabbaldurga Trek

Kabbal Durga

A small, yet captivating hillock near a rustic hamlet called Sathnuru, the Kabbaladurga (3,600ft) is the home to the Goddess Kabbalamma; this is where the hillock got its name from. Situated at a distance of 70km from Bangalore and 20km from Kanakpura, this hummock makes for a fascinating night trekking near Bangalore.
With a historic fort at the top, trekking in Kabbaladurga (night trek around Bangalore) gets even more enticing and appealing. Also, since it is surrounded by scenic villages and smaller settlements, it offers delightful views of the country life across the vicinity.

Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta

himavad-gopalaswamy Betta

Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta is the highest peak in Bandipur National Park. It attracts a large number of trekkers, pilgrims and nature lovers throughout the year. The hill is about 75 Km from Mysore and is located in Chamarajnagar district. Gopalaswamy Betta (betta is a hill in Kannada) located inside the forest is a popular trekking spot. Atop the hill is a temple of Lord Venugopala Swamy built seven centuries ago and a travelers’ bungalow which remains locked now and belonged to the Ruler of Mysore. The temple was built in Chola regime and there are 25 tirthas called the chakra tirtha. The area is also frequented by herds of wild elephants. The sobriquet Himavad (fog/mist in Kannada) is because most of the year, there is a veil of mist covering the whole area, and winds blowing through the trees are like a song in praise of the lord.
History of Himavad Gopalaswamy BettaThe temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna (Venugopalswamy) was built by King Chola Ballala of Terakanambi during 1315 AD. It is located at about 1,454 mts above sea level. This is one of the highest peaks in the Bandipur National Park region. This peak is covered with mist almost all around the year. Thus the name Himada Gopalaswamy Betta, meaning a “Hill dedicated to Gopalaswamy which is covered with mist” in Kannada.

BR Hills

BR Hills

BR Hills is famous for BRT Wildlife Sanctuary (Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary). The sanctuary is situated at an altitude of 5091 feet and is spread across an area of 540 km. It was declared a tiger reserve in 2010 by the Karnataka State Government. The highest peak within the sanctuary is the Kattari Betta. The wildlife sanctuary is inhabited by a number of animals including elephants, sloth bears, bison, deer, porcupines and a number of other wild animals. It is said that the sanctuary has more than 250 species of birds like the Paradise Flycatcher, Racquet Trailed Drongo, and the Crested Hawk Eagle, etc.Another attraction of the BR Hills is the 500 years old famous Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple which is situated on the highest peak of the hill range, on the white cliff (biligiri) which gives the hill its name. The temple premises offer wonderful views of the valleys of BR Hills. During February-March, a car festival is celebrated which attracts thousands of devotees from the whole of South India.
There is also a 600 years old Big Michelia champaka, known as Dodda Sampige, which is holiest for the soliga tribes and other local people. The Dodda Sampige has been the God of the soliga tribe’s, who perform the fire dance surrounding the tree on the eve of Maha Shivarathri festival.BR Hills provides ample scope for adventure activities like trekking, Jeep Safari, and Elephant Safari. The Cauvery and Kapila Rivers that flow through these hills also offer opportunities for rafting, angling, fishing, and coracle boat riding.There are Jungle Lodges Resort situated in the middle of the forest at Kyathadevara Gudi (K. Gudi) where tourists can stay. Tourists can also stay at Forest Guest House and the PWD Guest House by taking permission.Main

Vanivilas Sagar Dam

Vanivilas Sagar Dam

Vani Vilas Sagar Dam is the oldest dam that has been constructed in the state of Karnataka. Vani Vilas Sagar is also referred by the name Mari Kanive. The dam is well-known for its marveled engineering and elegant architecture. The dam is surely worth admiring because of its construction done when the technology was not so advanced. Its water resources provide supplies to many towns and cities especially Hiriyur and Chitradurga. The initiation work is worth adulation by the then Queen and widow of Maharaja Chamaraja Wodeyar. The name of the dam has been given after the alias of the youngest daughter of the Maharaja of Mysore.
The construction of the dam was done before the independence years by the Maharaja of Mysore. Its construction was done across the river Vedavathi. A formidable team of skilled workers and engineers led by Sir M Visvesvaraya and Tara Chand Dalal were chosen by the maharaja of Mysore Sri Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV. The dam is also considered to be the oldest and the biggest in Asia with 162 feet in length and 1300 feet in height. Its engineering has been done in such a way that it also provides two huge pavilions for tourists. These pavilions can be visited for sightseeing or for picnic.

Penukonda Fort

Penukonda Fort

Penukonda was once served as the 2nd capital of Vijayanagar Kingdom after the fall of Hampi and was earlier called as Ghanagiri or Ghanadri. According to the inscriptions, the Penukonda state was gifted by the King Bukka-I to his son Virupanna. This fort was one of the best defenses of the Vijayanagara kingdom. With the decline of the Vijayanagara kingdom, the Sultan of Golconda captured this fort. Later the Mysore Kingdom captured this fort briefly until British overtook after the fall of Tipu Sultan. Built on a gigantic hill, the huge and imposing fort offers a spectacular view of the town below. The basement of the walls, bastions, and gateways in the fort was made of stone, mortar, and lime. The first inner section of the fort residential building designed amenities for royal family members. The central hall of the fort follows Hindu and Muslim architecture. Dome of this hall has been designed in Hindu style of construction, whereas the floor has the signature style construction of Islamic architecture.
The fort bounds with natural fortification of surrounding hills and moats dug up around the outer wall. There are seven citadels within the fortification. The entrance of the fort is marked by a huge gate called Yerramanchi Gate. Here one can see a tall idol of Lord Hanuman which is about 11 feet high. The two famous attractions here are the Gagan Mahal Palace and Babayya Darga. Gagan Mahal was constructed in 1575 AD and it throws light on the lifestyle Vijayanagara Dynasty. Gagan Mahal got few additions during the Muslim rule of the region.
Another important place is Babayya Darga within the fort. Penukonda has several temples, famous ones being the temples of Lord Hanuman, Yoga Narasimhaswamy, Kashi Vishwanatha, and Lord Yogarama. Most of the temples are currently in a ruined state. The most important mosque is the Sher Khan Mosque, which has on the pavement of its courtyard a Telugu inscription of Sadashiva, dated 1564.

Madakasira Fort Trek

Madakasira Fort

Madakasira is mostly called as Shivalaya by the people and was constructed during the 8th Century during the Vijayanagara period. At the fort hills stands Lord Shiva Temple which is why Madakasira is called as Shivalaya, and this place come to life during the festive days especially during Maha Shivaratri, almost 500 people gathered at the fort hill during the night and pooja will take place at regular intervals all over the day. In other days it is visited by few people mostly by villagers and tourists and it remains as a least visited national importance.