Skandagiri is part of the five prominent hills found in Chikkaballapura district, Karnataka that is frequented by tourists for the excellent trekking prospects it offers. From the top of the hill, the stunning views of the neighbouring hills and the landscape make the journey worthwhile. It is also a site of historical significance, as on top of the Skandagiri Hill, you will come across the ruins of an 18th-century fort, which was used by Tipu Sultan as a base to fight against the British. This attraction is also known as Kalavara Durga and is located at a distance of about 60 km from Bangalore. So, whether you are a trekker, nature lover, or history buff, plan a trip to Skandagiri next time you are in the city.

Here is some information to help you plan a trip to Skandagiri.

Skandagiri, Bangalore: Information

Type

 Trekking destination

Location

Kalavara Halli, Chikkaballapura, Karnataka

Elevation

1350 metres

Best Time to Visit

November to March

Trekking: Difficulty Level

Easy to moderate

Trekking Distance

Approximately 4 km (one way)

Trekking Time

2-3 hours (one way)

Distance from Bangalore

60 km via Bellary Road and NH 44

63 km via SH 9

79 km via SH 104

Distance from Bangalore Airport

38 km

Nearest Railway Station

Chikkaballapur

 Skandagiri, Bangalore: History

This attraction has a glorious past; it hosts the ruins of a fort, which has a special place in Karnataka’s history. The great Tipu Sultan made use of this fort for a battle against the British. However, the ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore lost the revolt against the British who conquered and dismantled the fort in 1791 AC.

Skandagiri, Bangalore: Today

Skandagiri is now quite popular for both day and night treks. The Tipu Sultan fort suffered immense damage over the years and is in a ruined condition now. However, some walls still stand tall and remind about the historic event. The hills have two temples – one at the bottom and the other one at the top. The temple on the foothills is known as Papagni Matt and is among the oldest matts in the state of Karnataka. There are two caves and both lead to the temple at the top. As per locals, the temples are somewhat in good condition, but everything else lies in rubble.

Trekking at Skandagiri, Bangalore

Skandagiri Hill offers one of the most wonderful and enthralling trekking experiences in the region. The trek begins from Papagni Matt located at Kalwara village. You can start the trek as early as four in the morning to reach the top before sunrise. The fantastic view of the rising sun lighting up the neighbouring Nandi Hills and Muddenahalli makes for a remarkable sight. The trail is a mix of mud, boulders, rocks, gravel and thick vegetation, which can be slippery in some areas. This is an easy trek, but for someone who is not physically active may have to do some preparation before planning a visit.  

About the trek: The trek is 4 km long and it takes about 2-3 hours before you reach the hilltop situated at a height of 4430 feet above sea level. The terrain is a bit rugged, so you have to be careful while traversing the path. It is covered with dense grass and bushes and can be extremely slippery at night. The route has six ruined fortresses and also some small Samadhi caves where trekkers can relax for a bit.

Trek timings: If you register with Ecotrails, a division of Karnataka’s Forest Division, then the trek timings start from 4 am to 5 pm. You need to report for the trek between 4 am to 9:30 am.

Useful information about Skandagiri treks:

  • Trekkers have to take permission from Ecotrails either online – https://myecotrip.com/trailDetail/3/SkandagiriWhat or at the starting point.
  • The entry fee for treks is INR 250 per person.
  • Carry the essentials with you, such as clothes, hiking shoes, dry food, water, toiletries, power bank, rain protector, backpack and a torch.

Places to see at Skandagiri, Bangalore

Apart from trekking adventures, Skandagiri has some wonderful places for tourists. The popular ones are:

  1. Papagni Matt: This temple of Goddess Parvati and many local deities is one of the most wonderful attractions in Skandagiri. It has a strong and captivating aura that leaves everyone mesmerised. Devotees can feel strong spiritual vibrations as soon as they enter the temple. It is the starting point for treks and almost all trekkers pay their respects and seek blessings at the temple before commencing the climb.
  2. Shiva Temple: The ancient temple is situated at the top of the Skandagiri Hill and is known for its rustic design. After reaching the hilltop, devotees flock to the temple and seek blessings of Lord Shiva.
  3. Tipu Sultan Fort: The fort was used as a stronghold by Tipu Sultan in his revolt against the British rule. Although a major part of the fort is damaged, the beauty of its ruins attracts many tourists. Some walls still stand strong and give an idea about the fort’s structure. It has two caves, the first one at the bottom, and the second one in the middle. There is a stone house structure at the top where the trekkers can relax.

Attractions near Skandagiri, Bangalore

Skandagiri also has many wonderful attractions nearby for travel enthusiasts. Some popular ones are:

  • Bhoga Nandishwara Temple (5 km)
  • Extreme Karts & Adventures (15.5 km)
  • Grover Zampa Vineyards (20.2 km)
  • Nandi Hills (21.8 km)
  • Yoga Nandeeshwara Temple (22 km)
  • Devanahalli Fort (23.3 km)
  • Shri Ghati Subrahmanya Temple (24.1 km)
  • Nrityagram (45 km)

Trekking, exploring the valley, and places in Skandagiri all guarantee a wonderful experience for adventure-seeking tourists from Bangalore. Although the trekking trail has a rugged and strenuous terrain, the mesmerising views from the hilltop make the climb worthwhile. The many attractions in and around Skandagiri are perfect to lift your spirits and rejuvenate your mind and body.