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Ballalarayana Durga Fort (70 km from Chikmagalur)

Published Date: 10-May-2024

When the only way to reach a lonely, ancient, and mysterious hilltop (1509m) fort is by trekking, the excitement is almost palpable. And there lies the allure of Ballalarayana Durga Fort, which is usually shrouded in mist and bears testimony to the Hoysala Empire. It will take you about 4 hours to trek through the dense forests that grow on the slopes of the Western Ghats, to reach the unique fort which is also one of the most exciting places to visit in Chikmagalur in 1 day. The once-gorgeous structure, built as per the Karnata Dravida architectural style, is now completely dilapidated. However, you can cherish the panoramic views of Sunkasaale town from here. The peace, quiet and lush greenery around the fort make for amazing pictures. If you can, try and watch the sun go down from here and camp for a night.

  • Best time to visit: Mid-November to May
  • Ideal duration: 6 – 8 hours
  • How to reach:
    • By Air: First fly to Mangalore Airport, then take a taxi to reach Sunkasaale, from where the trek starts.
    • By Train: After you reach Kadur Junction, hire a taxi to reach Sunkasaale.
    • By Road: You can board a state or private bus from Mangalore or Bangalore to reach Chikmagalur. Then get a taxi to reach Sunkasaale.
  • Best for: For trekkers, it is among the best places to visit in Chikmagalur.
  • Tip: As the fort stands on isolated grounds, it is advisable to carry enough food and drinks.
  • Nearby Attractions: Mullayanagiri Trek, Kudremukh Trek, Kemmangundi Trek, Sakleshpur Camping, Bhagavathi Nature Camp
  • Google rating and reviews: 4.7 rating and 990 reviews

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