1) Trek Destination : Makalidurga
2) Difficulty: Moderate to High
3) Trek Distance/Time taken: One way takes about 2 hours
4) Time to Visit: The cooler months of September to February are the best time to trek in Makalidurga. It can get very hot in summers, and should be avoided. The rainy months make the granite rocks very slippery and dangerous.
5) How to Reach: The best way to reach Makalidurga from Bangalore is to take the train from Yesvantpur Junction, which leaves at 08:00 hours. Makalidurga has a very small station and the train passing through the hills is an enchanting sight indeed.However, if you are not too comfortable taking the short train journey, you could always take a bus or drive to the destination yourself. You have to reach Doddaballapur from Bangalore, which is about 35 km away, and then ask directions to Makalidurga from the locals out there. Makalidurga is situated at about 15 km from Doddaballapur, and it should take about half an hour to reach the destination.
6) Other Options: But for those willing, there is night trekking too
7) About: Makalidurga is a hill fort situated at the village by the same name. It is 60km from Bangalore and 10 km after Doddaballapura. It offers various options to visitors like bird watching, Trekking, Rappelling and allied activities.The fort at the summit has an old temple of Shiva with Nandi and it is believed that Markandeya Rishi performed penance here. It is a moderately difficult trek, and with some effort, you can easily climb the barren rocks and boulders. There are some directions written too on the boulders itself which you would do well to follow. The top of the hill gets you face to face with the ruins of a fort, which is spread across quite an area. The view you get here of the lake which is located just a few km away from the destination is fascinating. And while at the top, don’t miss out on catching a sight of the train meandering through the hills at the bottom of the hill. The sight is definitely worthy of being caught in your camera. As you reach Makalidurga, you are stunned by the stillness of the place. There are hardly any people around, which is a partly eerie and a partly exciting experience. You can get to hear birds chirping. There are hardly any shops or hawkers around either. That’s why, you are best advised to carry loads of food and water while coming for a day outing in Makalidurga.
8) Suggestion: While getting down from the hill, take the path you followed to climb up. Don’t follow any other trail.
9) Our Journey Starts: Me and my friend Niloy Das decided to go for a trek to Makalidurga all of a sudden. Gathered all information from net and we are all set now for an adventurous trip.
10) Packed my bag with –
- 2 litres of water (Mandatory)
- Raincoat/Poncho (during monsoon)
- High energy food & drinks like Snickers, glucose, cakes etc. (Mandatory)
- Torch (optional)
- Camera (optional)
- Shoe with good grip (Mandatory)
- Sunscreen Lotion (Optional)
- Tissue papers (Avoid carrying plastic)
We boarded the train (Yesvantpur- Vijaywada Passenger #56503) from Yesvantpur at 8AM. Train was supposed to reach Makalidurga after 6 stops at 9.20AM. However, the train was late and reached at 10AM. At the Makalidurga station, we enquired the Station Master about the path leading to Makalidurga.He was quite helpful though irritated with traveler like us who unnecessarily bugs him. According to his direction, we went straight through the railway treks for approximately 2km. You can find number of trains passing through the tracks. It’s an awesome Rail trek experience . There was a prominent path going left. There were few houses also.We didn’t notice this before and went straight. Then again had to come back. Asked the villagers about the trail. They didn’t understand our language as we can’t speak Kannada, but they understood our common intention and showed the trail to climb the hill.They asked for few money for this, but we didn’t entertain. We moved ahead along the trail.
Once you move a little, few marking on rock pilings will show you direction. Based on the directions, we started to trek through the hill The initial stretch was pretty easy. The terrain has lots of grass and boulders. It gradually becomes difficult as you go up. The view of the lake from such height is magnificent. We took rest in between under some nice shady trees. After 2 hours we climbed the top where we found fort ruins and a small Shiva temple. The view is nice from the top. The gusty wind will simply make you crazy and wash away all the difficulty you faced while climbing the hill. We spent a nice 1 hour there and decided to come back now. We met a family also at the top. They instructed us to go down from the other side as this path is comparatively easy. Following their instruction, both of us started to come down from the other side of the hill. We faced lot of challenges there. It was a dense forest with big boulders. Still we moved on. After a certain time, we found there is no way to go down as the rocks are steep and deadly. We decided to climb back to the top to take the way we used to climb earlier. Me and my friend was totally exhausted and worried also as it’s getting dark. Both of us showed great character and climbed up successfully. We took some rest there, and again started our journey of coming down from the path we actually climbed the hill.Coming down was also not easy unlike other treks.
Finally we reached base safely and feeling quite happy as after so many struggles, we finally made it. Niloy praised the lord by clasping his hands for showing the right path at the end. We didn’t had anything in lunch except snickers and cake. As it was an extended journey for us, we were out of water too. So we decided to go to the nearest town Doddabalapur to have some food. It was 5.30PM then. We took bus from there to reach Doddabalapur. You can find direct busses from Makalidurga Bus stop to Bangalore. Also you can come to Doddabalapur and get bus for Bangalore (Majestic) which goes via Hebbal. At Doddabalapur, we had good egg fried rice and chicken kabab. We also gulped 3 litres of water there.
11) Finally: We took bus from Doddabalapur for Bangalore. It took an hour to reach Hebbal. We got down at Hebbal. Had a sigh of relief. Also feeling the excitement of a great adventure or a great trek cum exploration at Makalidurga. Enjoyed every bit of Rail Trek, Jungle Trek and also the Hill Trek. It’s a nice place to trek. Never miss it !!!