Night view from the mountains, and the sparkling sky, show promising dreams!
Does the idea of venturing in the silence of night entice you?
Skandagiri is a trek touted as the ultimate heaven for night trekkers.
The trek allures you with the thrill of night trekking and the beauty of an early sunrise.
It is an ideal single-day weekend getaway that takes you to the summit of Skandagiri.
Skandagiri mountain is also called the fortress hill or Kalavara Durga.
Historically, Skandagiri is also called Kalwar betta.
The ruins of the Kalavara Durga impart a haunted ambience.
About Skandagiri Hills Trek
Skandagiri hill lies 70 km north of Bangalore.
The Skandagiri trekking trail combines an uphill ascent and downward slope of 8 km (cumulative).
The trail necessitates careful manoeuvres due to the existence of loose spots.
Quick facts about Skandagiri Hills
• Region- Bangalore, Karnataka
• District- Chikballapur
• Altitude- 4,757 feet
• Distance- 8 km (both ways)
• Trek Time- 7 hours
• Duration- 1 day
• Start Point- At Papagni Mutt in Bangalore (base camp)
• End point- Papagni Mutt, Bangalore
• Difficulty Level- Moderate to tough
• Water Availability- N/A. (Carry own Water)
• Phone Connectivity- Connectivity is limited till the base camp.
• ATM – Carrying enough cash with you before embarking on the trek is better.
How to reach
• By Road
Bangalore is well-connected by road, rail, or air.
It would be best if you reached Bangalore and headed to Papagni Mutt, the base camp for the trek.
Arriving in Bangalore by train and then the Skandagiri base camp (Papagni Mutt) by road.
• By Air
Bangalore airport is well connected to every part of India and the world.
After reaching Bangalore, get a cab or a bus or drive down to the Skandagiri base camp.
Some highlights Skandagiri trek
Night Trekking Experience-
Skandagiri is one of the few night treks here.
If you are a travel enthusiast with some grit for adventure, then Skandagiri should be top of your list.
It is indeed a memorable experience!
The trek traverses along with the mountain fortress, which holds historical significance.
Even though dilapidated now, the fort still beckons tourists to revel in its beauty.
The ancient hills of Skandagiri are indeed a spectacular beauty.
Skandagiri Sunrise View Point-
It is the key attraction of the trek.
Many trekking agencies start the trek near dawn (3 Am-4 AM) to witness the most beautiful sunrise in the region.
For this reason, it is a.k.a. the sunrise trek to Skandagiri.
It is this picture-postcard scene that the trek is so famous for!
Skandagiri trek also has spiritual essence to it.
At the summit of Skandagiri lies an ancient Shiva temple where trekkers can rest and savor the beautiful landscape.
Also, you are treated to a beautiful sculpture of the Nandi enroute.
Then there is the Skandagiri temple, a.k.a. Kukke Subramanya Temple.
According to the belief of the local populace, Vasuki, a divine serpent, and various other snakes took refuge here after being threatened by Garuda.
Best time to visit Skandagiri
This trek can be undertaken throughout the year. The landscape is lush green, and the hills look picturesque in the dawn of the winter season.
One can also embark on this trek during summer. As this trek is primarily done in the nighttime, you can get respite from the daytime summer heat.
Avoid trekking during monsoon as the trails get muddy and slippery.
Weather and Temperature at Skandagiri
The temperature ranges from 23 to 17 degrees between November and February.
The summer months of March to May show a temperature variation between 33 and 26 degrees.
In the monsoon months of June to August, temperatures range from 28 degrees to 22 degrees.
The temperature ranges from 28 to 19 degrees between September and October.
There may be sporadic rains during September.
Itinerary of Skandagiri Trek
Trek to the summit and return to Bangalore
• Altitude- 4,757 feet
• Distance- 8 km
• Duration- 7 hours
You reach the Skandagiri base and get a briefing of the day before starting your trek.
The trek is 5 km on the way up.
A sharp right turn leads you to the top of the Skandagiri summit.
After a tiring trek, you will be welcomed by Nandi, the vehicle (vahana) of Lord Shiva.
The sculpture of the revered Nandi is such a relaxing grace after the trek.
There is an old Shiva Temple at the top of the hill where you can offer a silent prayer.
The view from the top is gratifying.
It takes around 1.5 hours to get down from the top.
Once at the base, you can return to Bangalore on the same day.
Note: Downhill trek is not easy as the route has uneven and loose gravel that requires careful negotiation.
It is advised to start the downhill trek latest by 9 AM.
Otherwise, the sun becomes too unrelenting.
The difficulty level of Skandagiri Trek
The trek is short, but unlike the general opinion, it is not an easy one; instead, it can be said to be moderately dangerous.
Skandagiri trek starts with a gradual incline and is sporadically interspersed with muddy patches and steep rocky ascents.
To be able to undertake it without much difficulty, one does require some prior trekking experience.
Moreover, night trekking requires agility and alertness.
The fitness level of Skandagiri Trek
Like any hiking activity, the Skandagiri trek requires excellent physical and mental endurance.