ADVENTURE IS WORTHWHILE.~Aesop
It damn true is! You’ll realize why this is true when you go on adventures that will engulf you & make you feel alive. Savandurga trek, my recent escapade to the largest monolith of Asia was one such adventure.
View of the huge monolithic rock from the base
The mighty rock of Savandurga stands at a height of 1227 metres above sea level. Situated in Magadi taluk of Ramanagara district, this hill is around 60 km away from Bangalore.
I had visited Savandurga a few years back with a group of friends, but had not completed the trek because of the heavy rains that day & my wimpy knees which started shivering as soon as we gained some altitude. But this time, it was going to be different. I was a more seasoned trekker with the experience of doing numerous treks around Bangalore & in the western ghats.
I along with a friend set off from Bangalore at around 5.00 AM on a bike. Being early February, the cold wind rushed past against us making the journey a little inexpedient. However, we had made up our minds to climb the hill before dawn so that we could witness the captivating sunrise from the peak & we sped along the meandering roads braving the chilly wind. Alas, we should have started sooner if we were to be at the peak by dawn. It was already almost 7.00 AM by the time we reached the base of the hill & the sun was rising up in the far horizon.
Regardless, we quickly asked for instructions from a guy at the small restaurant opposite Lakshmi Narasimhaswamy temple at the base, parked our bike, asked him about availability of breakfast on our return & started our ascend. He told us to just follow the arrow marks painted on the rock & keep moving along the electric poles to reach the peak.
Though we had missed the chance to see the sunrise from the peak, we were expecting to at least catch a glimpse of it once we climb up to a certain altitude. Oh boy! We did get a sight of it & how beautiful it was!
Sunrise at Savandurga
After spending sometime at a view point clicking lots of photos of the sunrise & river Arkavathi, we moved ahead on the trek path. There was still a long way ahead of us & we wanted to reach the peak before the sun started shining bright.
Ruins of fort wall at Savandurga
We could see the ruined fort walls spread out throughout the trek trail & it made us wonder about the hardships people who built the fort on a steep hill like this must have been through. After crossing the last fort wall the path was not very steep. The slope was gradual & we could climb it with much ease. There was a stone structure known as ‘Kallu Chappara’ which serves as an important milestone on the trek trail.
Kallu Chappara at Savandurga
After crossing it, we had to climb down & go through a cave like structure before climbing up again. Once we climbed up we could actual see the ‘Nandi Mantapa’ which marked the summit. With renewed vigour after seeing our summit point, we walked towards it swiftly.
Scenes a little while before reaching the peak of Savandurga
Once we reached the Nandi Mantapa at the peak, we sat down & rested our feet for a while. We were the only two trekkers on Savandurga on that day as it was a weekday. The silence & calm that we experienced was magical. To be on the top of Asia’s largest monolith was something special & an adventure to remember indeed, though we did not realise it then. We took some photos, had some fruits to satiate our stomachs which were by now growling with hunger & decided to start back.
Nandi Mantapa at the peak of Savandurga
We started our descend at around 9.15 AM & reached back to the base by 10.00 AM. We devoured ‘thatte idlis’ & ‘chitranna’ (lemon rice) at the restaurant near the base of the hill & started our return journey to Bangalore.
Other places of interest near Savandurga-
- Savandi Veerabhadreshwara temple (at the base of the hill)
- Shri Lakshmi Narasimhaswamy temple (at the base of the hill)
- Manchanabele dam ( 13.2 km away from Savandurga)