The monsoon rains knocked Bangalore on Friday evening and a forecast of a beautiful weekend landed on my mind. Sagar had planned a team outing - Siddara betta trek Tumkur, with his colleagues and invited me. Meeting new people is one of my resolutions of 2017. So upon checking my calendar, I said him I would be coming to the outing. 25 odd strangers, completely new to me and I was pretty nervous, how would I mingle with them. To my surprise, it turned out to be one of the memorable trips of recent times.
Brief on the place
Siddara Betta is located in Madhugiri Taluk of Tumkur, 100 km from Bangalore. The hill has an elevation of 1700feet from ground level. The trekking distance of Siddara betta is around 6kms uphill and downhill. The place is suitable for a weekend trip of trekking and cave exploration.
Siddara Betta has centuries of history with it. As the name "Siddara betta" refers to "Hill of Saints" in Kannada. Many years ago, the hills were the home of several saints for deep meditation to attain enlightenment. The cave temple at the summit is worshipped and often visited by Shaiva followers.
The whole group started from Indiranagar by 6 am, picking up individuals on the way. I boarded the bus from 8th mile at 7:15 am. I expected everyone would be taking their weekend nap. To my surprise, music was striking hard in the bus and the crowd was full of energy, dancing and having fun already. I just greeted everyone, few were shocked, few were smiling, few waved at me with mixed expressions :D The first words were like "Come on, dance" :D. Soon everyone started dancing and DJs took their chances to entertain the group. I was baffled by the energy of the group and I hoped that we reserve some of it for the trek :P
We stopped by at Vrindavan restaurant along Tumkur road for the morning breakfast. Here, I got a chance to interact with many people, sharing casual talks. The journey continued with more fun. Make sure to take right on Koratagere highway and thereafter left to Chikkathotlukere Main Rd to reach the destination. Around 10 am, we reached the base of Siddara betta, the starting point of the trek.
[caption id="attachment_5073" align="alignnone" width="724"] Base of the hill: Starting point of trek[/caption]
The trekking starts
The weather was cloudy in the morning but as we started trekking, the sun lightly harsh on us. The entrance "Shri Siddareshwara Swamy kshetra" greeted us. The place is under the control of Karnataka Forest department. There was a small temple of Ganapati to the left, we bowed and headed towards the steps.
[caption id="attachment_5082" align="alignnone" width="1086"] The entrance to the hill[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_5101" align="alignnone" width="2048"] Ganapathi temple at the base[/caption]
The steps were rocky and steep requires a bit of stamina to ascend. As we ascended, everybody was looking for the peak, if it would be visible, no clue except the never ending steps :D There were few resting hut structures to rebreathe ourselves. After an hour of actual steps, we reached a trail of steps which were carved out on the hills with iron bars to support climbing. This was more adventurous and we climbed and many groups were here as it was a weekend.
[caption id="attachment_5104" align="alignnone" width="2048"] Steps.. Steps.. Steps :D[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_5077" align="alignnone" width="1086"] Resting spots to breathe :P[/caption]
The cave temple
After an hour of actual steps, we reached a trail of steps which were carved out on the hills with iron bars to support climbing. This was more adventurous and we climbed via this up to the cave temple.
[caption id="attachment_5076" align="alignnone" width="1086"] Just a few more minutes - The other half of the trail[/caption]
Finally, we reached the sacred dark cave which is surrounded by a huge group of rocks. As we entered, we could feel the coolness embracing us. The place looked like a miracle, because of the refreshing atmosphere hid inside the caves against the harsh sun rays outside.
[caption id="attachment_5078" align="alignnone" width="1086"] Entrance of the cave temple[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_5084" align="alignnone" width="1086"] Bells echoing[/caption]
There is a natural water here in small Kalyani, around 5 feet depth is visible, the source of the water is believed to be unknown. The priests splashed the cool water of on our heads. The tiredness of climbing the hill just disappeared and soothed our body. They applied huge Vibuthi on our forehead, as the practice of Shiva followers. We bowed to the Lord Siddeshwara with devotion. The idol is small and crowned by a 5 hooded snake. There were small idols of Basava, Ganapati and many more of Shaiva cult.
[caption id="attachment_5106" align="alignnone" width="2048"] Lord Siddeshwara and other idols[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_5103" align="alignnone" width="2048"] A glimpse of devotion[/caption]
Meaningful quotes were painted on the walls of temple hills which were worth reading. On the other hand, there were a lot of monkeys watching our hands, so be careful with them.
The Siddara Betta Summit
Many people just reach the cave temple and go back. Actually, if we manage to walk behind the temple, it will lead us to the peak of the hill. As we moved out of the cave temple, towards the right of the trail, we continued the trekking towards the peak.
[caption id="attachment_5085" align="alignnone" width="1086"] Way to the peak[/caption]
This part of the trek was more challenging as it was an exploration of the rocks, bushes, undefined trails and steep hilly edges. The group was tired, but the enthusiasm to reach the summit drove us to reach the peak. The beautiful mountain views and landscapes accompanied us throughout the trek.
[caption id="attachment_5099" align="alignnone" width="2048"] The paths that lead us[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_5075" align="alignnone" width="1086"] Landscapes that accompanied us[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_5098" align="alignnone" width="1086"] First sight of the peak[/caption]
Within, 30 to 40mins first sight of the peak was revealed. A sense of satisfaction and a joy of accomplishment made us smile. We just turned all around to capture the beautiful views. The peak looked spectacular and huge area full flat. The blue skies and many lofty mountains in a series. The changing shadows cast by the clouds on the mountains was sublime to watch.
[caption id="attachment_5081" align="alignnone" width="1086"] Huge Flat area with fort structures[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_5087" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Series of surrounding hills[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_5088" align="alignnone" width="1379"] Curdy white clouds <3[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_5089" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Old temple ruined at the peak[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_5092" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Fort structures at the peak[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_5093" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Huge rocks resting at the peak[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_5096" align="alignnone" width="1508"] The Breathtaking Panorama[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_5097" align="alignnone" width="1086"] The Group photo check !![/caption]
We relaxed here capturing the sights of the view. There were fort structures and temples which appeared to be ruined now. The place is a bliss to stay and take a breath away from all worries. Many group photos to follow and portraits and posing. It was all fun and spend a great time with the group.
At 2:30 pm, we realised we were all hungry and need to have lunch. We started descending down. Descending down the steep rocks and steps appeared far more difficult than ascending with the trembling legs. In an hour or so we reached the base and boarded the bus. All were tired and hungry, the soothing songs helped to take a power nap. Unfortunately, we could not find any good restaurants on the Tumkur road after Dhabaspet.
We travelled a long way in search of a restaurant and finally to stop by a Pravasi restaurant for the North Indian meals. The food was good, after all, it always feels great when we are damn hungry :D. We resumed the journey, the group was refilled with energy and started singing songs. Sooner, I had to get down and depart from the group. I totally enjoyed their company and experience of new people turned out to be memorable. I bid them Goodbye and hope to see them again on a new venture.
Siddara betta is a moderate level of the trek, a group of people can easily march. So, If you are planning or have already been to this place, then share your thoughts in the comments. If you like what you read, please like and share this post.
Complete Vlog of the Siddara betta trek has been shot by Sakre Cubes.
Trek to Siddara Betta - Getaway from Bangalore | Sakre Vlogs
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- How to reach Siddara betta: The place is 100kms from Majestic, Bangalore.
- By bus: One can take buses towards Koratagere and there are local buses operating from here to Siddara betta (12kms from Koratagere)
- By private vehicles: Start driving on Tumkur road, make sure to take right on Koratagere highway and thereafter left to Chikkathotlukere Main Rd to reach the base of the Siddara betta.
- The trek is a moderate level of 6kms uphill and downhill. It took us around 5 hours altogether for the whole trek.
- What to carry for the trek :
- The trek trail would be rock bedded and requires a good pair sports shoes.
- People would be trekking bare footed. However, shoes are preferred.
- A lot of water and fruits to boost up energy as and when required.
- The sun was harsh so a hat/umbrella /sunglasses would be handy.
- A towel or a pair of cloth if you take a dip in the cool water.
- Plan and start the trek early by 6 to 7 am. The trek would be little difficult on rainy days as the rocks will be slippery.
- Make sure to carry your own food, as there are no hotels available near the hills.
- Guides available to lead you to through caves and to the top of the hill. If you are a small group of people, you can ask them to accompany you.
- Monkeys are a trouble here. Be careful of your two wheelers. You can ask the shopkeepers to keep an eye on the vehicle for a small fee. Avoid holding bottles and eatables.
- Please don't litter plastics and maintain silence inside the cave temple.
Other places to explore
Omkar hills – An abode of peace
Mullayanagiri – Highest Peak of Karnataka!
Devarayanadurga – Exploring rocks and hills
Dudh Sagar – Trains, Tunnels and the Sea of Milk!
Biligiri | BR Hills and Himavad hills