Shivalinga Betta – A thrilling hike to the tranquil hillock

Where there is a beauty, there is a risk. This aphorism is applicable to Shivalinga betta. This is an ideal place for nature lovers and adventure seekers to hike and admire the beauty. However, the hikers should be careful as the trail offers both prettiness and hazardous together.  Sneaking through the rocky boulders and deep slits while stepping on to the top of the final rocky boulder is bit dangerous. However, the thriller while hiking and the beautiful views on top of the hill is everlasting.

Shivalinga Betta – A thrilling hike to the tranquil hillock

About Shivalinga Betta - Shivalinga betta, was in my bucket list for a long time. Somehow, I couldn’t get the right companion and opportunity to hike earlier. As the hill resembles lord Shiva’s Linga, the locals also named as Shivalinga betta. On a separate note, the word linga means “the form - ellipsoid.” When creation began to happen, the first form that it took was that of an ellipsoid before formation of many things. The locals call this hillock with different names such as Dodda Gundu and Aarati betta. In Kannada language, Dodda means Big and Gundu means Rock and hence also named as Dodda Gundu betta.

Explore on Own - This hillock is unheard and unexplored. On one fine day, in the month of July, I have decided to explore on my own. My intention was just to enquire about this place and get some local contacts. Recalling the direction, with the help of localities, I reached a small village around 12 PM. I have enquired about the hillock with a mid-age farmer who showed the path up to the tiny temple which is the starting point for the hike. I have asked him to accompany me, but he refused as he was in mid of farming work. He warned me to be careful as I was going alone. The hill is visible from the far. One must negotiate the boulders and bushes all along. As it was a monsoon, thick vegetation was around all over. The bushes were grown, and difficult to judge the depth of the ground.  Best thing was the surrounding terrain was full of greenery supplemented by the bluish sky. I found plenty of birds and butterflies all around. The entire vicinity is silent except the chirping of birds and cool breeze.

The Shivalinga attracts anyone with the first sight.  Negotiating the boulders, I reached the base of the Shivalinga. It’s an amazing giant rock standing with a height of approximately 150 feet. The front view depicts a huge rock which split in between.

Although it was bit risky, I have decided to traverse all sides. Carefully crossing the boulders, I went to the other side of the big rock. This view is amazing. The beauty is that in every angle, Shivalinga offers unique view and moreover splendid. In fact, one side of the rock reckons Yana.

I made complete round of the Shivalinga. I was wondering how to climb the top of the rock. I didn’t want to take any risk to venture further. After resting sometime, I started descending the hill to reach the base point.

As soon as I reached the village, I found a shepherd. I started chatting with her. She revealed that there is a way to reach the top of the Shivalinga, but it’s risky and one would easily lose the way unless accompanied by the locals. She asked me to enquire some locals.  I moved along to find someone visible to take assistance. As soon as I reached the crossroad of the village, I found a teenager walking towards the fields. This is how I met Rakesh. He is kind enough to take me to the top of the Shivalinga. As it was already late, Rakesh insisted me to venture tomorrow morning around 10AM.

Next Day I have excited to meet Rakesh. After breakfast and packing snacks, started driving towards the village to meet Rakesh who was waiting for me. I have met Darshan, his friend, who was also willing to accompany us. Both are high school students and as it was Sunday, they were happy to hike with me. As usual we reached the tiny temple which is the starting point for hiking. Rest of the way is to hike under the guidance of the duo. Rakesh took a slightly different route than the one which I took on previous day.  Darshan is too talkative and fond of taking snaps all along.

Doddamma Devi temple – We reached temple ‘Doddamma Devi’ which is situated in between the 2 rocky boulders. Spending some time, we started traversing further. After 15-20 minutes we reached another small temple in the hillock where lord Ganesha was engraved. We did ascend further to reach the bottom of the Dodda Betta.

Thriller to hike to the top from the base – Rakesh and Darshan were experts and had been to the top many times. Rakesh showed the side of the rock that’s the starting point to climb. The boulders are formed in a such a way that one can use those boulders as steps, climber, and sneak through. We found the bones of sheep where Darshan mentioned probably the livestock had become the victim for the bears there...!

Narrow passage to sneak through - The main obstacle to reach the top is the small narrow passage formed by the boulders where in hikers need to pass through. Only slim trekkers can sneak through, if someone is fatty or mid-sized, then it would not be possible.

Rakesh passing through the narrow Passage:

Darshan sneaked through first. I bit struggled but succeeded to pass through and to go further.

We proceeded further to reach the last boulder. Darshan helped to climb further to finally negotiate the big boulder to step on the top of the Shivalinga.

Amazing views from the top – A cool breeze along with the beautiful views of the surrounding fields, villages and other hills thrilled me. Darshan was busy clicking snaps. I felt privileged to be there.

Descending from the top – Again, we carefully crossed the main challenger – the narrow passage formed by the boulders to sneak through. One must be careful in this stretch. Sliding here and there we reached the wide rock to rest. Had snacks and relaxed for some time. It’s started drizzling. We decided to quickly descend and reach the village. Overall, it’s really a thriller to climb to the top of the hill and every bit of effort is worth it.

My gratitude Without Rakesh and Darshan it could have been incomplete hike of Shivalinga. In fact, I would have missed the thriller to reach the top and witness the beautiful surroundings.

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Let the appealing glory and beauty of this unexplored hillock be prestine forever...