Skandagiri - On cloud 9
One of the most appealing treks around Bengaluru. Hills amidst the clouds and trails between the forest.
Ever wondered what would is it like to be amidst the hills, clouds, and beautiful forest but you would not be able to spend your entire weekend traveling?
Situated just 60kms from Bengaluru city, Skandagiri is one such destination.
It is close to the Chikkaballapur district and is one of the neighboring hills to the very well known 'Nandi Hills'.
The spectacular view of sunrise from the hilltop is mystical. The only closest trek around Bengaluru where night-trek is legal (other than Kunti betta).
The drive usually takes around 2-2.30hrs from Bengaluru.
So we plan to start late night, so that we take sufficient breaks on our way to Kalwara and plan to reach a bit early so that we get the parking space too.
The gates usually open at 3.30am, and takes a bit of time before our permits gets validated.
There are washroom facilities available close to the newly built temple, but they are sometimes not open early in the morning (hopefully things would have changed by now)
This is a perfect time to start a night trek, the paths are pitch dark, the only natural lights to guide you are the million stars. So its absolutely recommended and necessary that you get your head-lamps or the torches. The cold winds blown by the beautiful skandagiri forest rejuvenates our energy as we make the steep climb up the Skandagiri hills (or also know as Kalwarbetta).
The terrain of Kalwarbetta is quite diverse, loose soil on certain trails which sometimes is the reason for your downfall and the rocky terrain on certain trail paths which is quite dangerous during the wet season.
The post-monsoon season is the aptest condition for this trek, where the trails are quite clear and slightly wet at few places and the cloudy sky adds to the beauty of the sunrise.
Pre-monsoon season would be the second best option, as the sky would be more clearer and the terrian would be dry, keeping the risk minimal but the trek down would be cumbersome considering the scorching heat of the sun.
During the summers, the forest is usually closed for travelers as the risk of forest fires is high.
The trek up, usually take around 2hrs, depending on the overall group size and average pace. So by the time we reach the summit, it would be a perfect time to settle down peacefully and enjoy the majestic view from the top. The Bengaluru city which would have always known for its traffic seems less chaotic and insignificant from this point
Though by now I believe any spot at the summit would be heavily crowded, but that shouldn't stop you from making the most beautiful memory of this trek, the sunrise itself. The soothing first set of sun rays flushes out all your worries and fatigue from your body.
Once we have the beautiful glimpse of this view, its usually time for our return journey. Cause as the saying goes, all great journey must come to an end, for then it lives in our memories.
And the return journies are always painful, not just on our bodies but also on our hearts, as we prepare to leave the place and the moments of joy and bonds we created during our journey and the hopes of returning for a next adventure.