Brief About Makalidurga Trek
Makalidurga Trek is one of the amazing treks near Bangalore for trekking enthusiasts! It’s unique because the trek starts from a railway station and leads up to a temple devoted to Muthurayaswamy. The trek itself is about three and half kilometers and quite thrilling.
The place has a rich history and is full of legends. It’s named after a woody climber called Makali Beru, which is used to prepare health drinks and medicines. The fort on top of the hill has changed hands many times, and was even used by the Vijaynagara Empire to train their army.
One of the highlights of the trek is the view of the Gundamagere Lake from the top, which looks like the shape of South America. The temple of Makali Malleshwara, Shiva and Nandi, surrounded by fort walls, is also a must-see. Spend some time there and you’ll see ruins of Garuda Gamb, Basava and Shiva Linga idols. It’s a perfect weekend getaway destination and suitable for both beginners and experienced trekkers.
Key details of the Makalidurga Trek:
- Ideal Number of Days for the Visit: 1 day
- Trek Distance: 3.8 km one way
- Trek Altitude Range: 3664 feet
- Starting Point: Doddaballapura
- Nearest Railway Station: Bangalore City Railway Station (60 km)
- Nearest Airport: Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru (46 km)
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Best Places to Visit near Makalidurga Trek
We found three nearby places worth exploring. The first is Dodda Alada Mara, a 400-year-old Banyan Tree with aerial prop roots that have matured into thick trunks, covering an area of 3 hectares.
The second is Manchanabele Dam, which supplies water to the town of Magadi and offers breathtaking views of the backwaters of the Arkavathi river. Visitors can enjoy activities like boating and kayaking on the beautiful lake formed by the dam.
Finally, Thippagondanahalli Reservoir, also known as Chamarajasagar, is a popular recreational spot frequented by nature and bird lovers. It’s an ideal place for bird watching, where you can spot various species of avian fauna.
For those interested in visiting nearby places after the Makalidurga trek:
- Ghati Subrahmanya Temple is just 5 kilometers away from the base of the trek. It is a popular destination among devotees and tourists alike.
- Another offbeat trek, Halu Chilume Gange, is also close to Makalidurga. It takes less than three hours to complete this trek and visit the temple at the summit.
What is the best time to visit Makalidurga Trek
Makalidurga offers a rare opportunity to walk alongside railway tracks to reach the base of the trek.
On the way, you will see the Gundamagere Lake, which resembles the shape of the South American continent.
At the summit of the hill, there is an ancient ruined fort and a temple of Makali Malleshwara surrounded by fort walls. The temple is still worshipped by devotees, making it a rare sight for a fort in ruins.
How to reach the starting point of the trek?
To reach Makalidurga, you can either use your own vehicle or public transportation from Bangalore.
If you choose to drive, take National Highway 44 towards the Bengaluru International Airport, then turn left onto State Highway 9 and continue for 41 km until you reach a dirt trail with a billboard for Makalidurga. Follow the trail to the parking area.
If you prefer to take public transportation, you can catch a BMTC bus from Majestic Bus Station in Bangalore to Doddaballapur, and then take a private bus towards Gaurbidanur, getting off at Makalidurga Railway Station. Buses from Doddaballapur to Bangalore run frequently, and the same applies to buses from Bangalore to Doddaballapur.
Availability of accommodations and food near the trek
While there are restaurants on the highway that cater to your food needs before and after your trek to Makalidurga, it is advised to carry light snacks to the summit. It is also essential to bring at least two litres of water and enough food to last for four hours of activity, as there are no sources of food or water at the base of the trek.
As it is a one-day trek, there is no need to stay near the base. You can book good hotels in Bangalore or in the nearby village and travel from there.
The Difficulty level of the Makalidurga Trek
Makalidurga Trek is a moderately difficult trek that requires caution while traversing the continuously uphill trail with some rising and falling segments. The trail comprises of muddy and gravel terrain with a few rock patches and boulders to cross. Trekkers should watch out for slippery trails during monsoons and carry appropriate footwear and check weather charts to avoid days with anticipated heavy rains.
Additionally, trekkers should exercise caution while navigating sections with rocks and stones, as slipping or falling from a boulder can lead to serious injury. The Fort situated atop the massive granite hill is the main attraction in Makalidurga, with the path leading to the fort comprising of rocky and uneven trails which are often traversed by trekkers from various regions.