Channarayanadurga- A Long Drive & Trek Up the Hill Fort

Tripoto
3rd Jun 2018
Photo of Channarayanadurga- A Long Drive & Trek Up the Hill Fort by TrailblazerVinay

ChannarayanaDurga is a Must Visit Place around Bangalore which is at a distance of around 100kms from the City.

Its a Fort on top of a Hillock located in Koratgere Taluk, Tumkur District. It has an elevation of about 3,734 ft. and the Trekking level here is moderate.

Its an Ideal Trekking destination from Bangalore.

Distance: 100 x 2 = 200Kms.

Car: Ford Aspire

Route: Bangalore - Dobaspete - Uridgere - Koratgere - Channarayanadurga

Map: https://goo.gl/maps/tshVD16zuDT2

Cost: 800-900Rs

Bangalore - Dobaspete - Uridgere - Koratgere - Channarayanadurga

Photo of Dabaspete, Karnataka, India by TrailblazerVinay

ChannarayanaDurga is one of the Navadurgas, the Garland of 9 Hills forts surrounding Bangalore. The popular ones being Nandi durga or Nandi Hills, DevarayanaDurga and Savanadurga which is the largest monolith in Asia. All these hill forts are within a distance of 100kms radius from the Bangalore City.

The Garland of 9 Hill Forts

Photo of Channarayanadurga- A Long Drive & Trek Up the Hill Fort by TrailblazerVinay

NavaDurgas- The 9 Hill Forts around Bangalore

Photo of Channarayanadurga- A Long Drive & Trek Up the Hill Fort by TrailblazerVinay

Channarayanadurga falls in the same vicinity as Madhugiri and SiddaraBetta. In fact after Koratagere, from the main road, you have to take the same left turn towards SiddaraBetta and then take a right turn towards Channarayanadurga.

This fort was built in 17th Century by the ruler of Madhugiri called Chikkappa Gowda which later fell into the hands of Marathas. There were many battles fought for the possession of this fort. The Mysore Wodeyars and the Marathas continuously fought with each other for this place. The control of the fort changed several times between Marathas and Mysore Wodeyars. The British took over the fort during the third Mysore war and within a short span of time, they abandoned it.

The trail begins at a small village that’s located at the foot of the hill. You can park your bikes or car at this village beneath the shade of a peepal tree. There's a small shop here where you can have cold drinks as refreshment. Mineral water is not available. Though you can fill up your water bottles with drinking water for free on request at this small shop. The trek will definitely be quite tiring so one needs to carry ample amount of water and snacks.

Starting Point of the Trek at the base of the Hill

Photo of Channarayanadurga- A Long Drive & Trek Up the Hill Fort by TrailblazerVinay
Photo of Channarayanadurga- A Long Drive & Trek Up the Hill Fort by TrailblazerVinay

My Friend looking like a Terrorist. It was damn Sunny out there. So he covered up his face with the Towel to prevent Sun Burns. Smart Terrrorist!!

Photo of Channarayanadurga- A Long Drive & Trek Up the Hill Fort by TrailblazerVinay

There are three stages of the fort.

Photo of Channarayanadurga- A Long Drive & Trek Up the Hill Fort by TrailblazerVinay

Part 1 of the Hike :

You can ask the villagers for direction to the starting point.

The initial stretch is very steep and covered with rocks. There are some markings of some letters in yellow to indicate the right path but there are no arrows or other signs.

This initially stretch was very tiring, specially after a long drive and more so since I was carrying a bag with 2.5 ltrs of water, DSLR etc. We were soon gasping for breath. The sun right up on our heads and this initial climb was indeed tough as I had read in some blogs. There was a small mantap on the left and my friend was the first to get in there.

During the monsoons, this initial trek would be difficult as the smooth rock would become slippery.

There is a certain level of mystery surrounding the place because unlike other forts, there is no well defined path to reach the top. There are numerous routes, right and wrong and the left over ruins of the fort makes the place more interesting and intriguing.

You'll get this View after just a few mins of Trek which goes to show the steep climb at the Start.

Photo of Channarayanadurga- A Long Drive & Trek Up the Hill Fort by TrailblazerVinay
Photo of Channarayanadurga- A Long Drive & Trek Up the Hill Fort by TrailblazerVinay
Photo of Channarayanadurga- A Long Drive & Trek Up the Hill Fort by TrailblazerVinay

The Mantap. The only place which offered some shade.

Photo of Channarayanadurga- A Long Drive & Trek Up the Hill Fort by TrailblazerVinay

The Initial climb left us sweating and gasping for breath.

Photo of Channarayanadurga- A Long Drive & Trek Up the Hill Fort by TrailblazerVinay

Several attempts have been made by the locals as well as treasure hunters to hunt down any treasure left over at this place. In their search for treasure, they have dug up, damaged and destroyed various structures within the fort.

After you climb the initial stretch, keep looking for the fort walls and the door opening/entrance in the stone walls. Keep going towards the right. Because if you go towards the left you'll be on the other side of the fort and there is no way to get inside the fort. The elevation would be higher on that side and you might get stuck.

This is where some people get stuck and return back or get frustrated. Whenever you get stuck like that and do not find an easy way, just be determined, do not take any risks of climbing any steep rocks unnecessarily. Instead, just trace back and look for an alternate route.

Glimpse of the First Fort Wall.

Photo of Channarayanadurga- A Long Drive & Trek Up the Hill Fort by TrailblazerVinay

Part 2 of the Hike :

Once you reach the first fort walls and the stone structures, the trek becomes easy. By the time we reached here, it was already 12pm and it was damn hot and we were sweating a lot. But beneath the stone structures(roof), it was like A/c. So damn cool. Took a break there and it relieved us of all the strain. Also since we had had our breakfast and were carrying enough water, it was not very tiresome.

You go through many fort walls and door openings(stone structures). The upper part consists of some vegetation and a pond filled with water. This pond would have served as water source for the people in the fort. There is a small temple/mantap next to the pond.

From the Pond, there are two ways to climb higher. One which goes towards the right and one towards the left.

The second stage of the fort is severely damaged by the treasure hunters. There were few structures which were probably used for the storage of ammunition or food grains.

The view gets better and better as you climb higher. And surprisingly the colors become more vibrant as in the green vegetation, brown fields, the lakes everything appear clear from the top. The altitude is not much as compared to some other Hills. But the surroundings are such that, right from the start of the climb, you can clearly see the surrounding hillocks(like Madhugiri), the lakes etc. This is because there are no large buildings/trees or forests in the surroundings, So you get a clear, uninterrupted view.

View after entering the First Fort Walls

Photo of Channarayanadurga- A Long Drive & Trek Up the Hill Fort by TrailblazerVinay

We took lots of pics at this Place

Photo of Channarayanadurga- A Long Drive & Trek Up the Hill Fort by TrailblazerVinay

Ideal Place for a PhotoShoot :p

Photo of Channarayanadurga- A Long Drive & Trek Up the Hill Fort by TrailblazerVinay
Photo of Channarayanadurga- A Long Drive & Trek Up the Hill Fort by TrailblazerVinay
Photo of Channarayanadurga- A Long Drive & Trek Up the Hill Fort by TrailblazerVinay

The Road which leads to this Hill.

Photo of Channarayanadurga- A Long Drive & Trek Up the Hill Fort by TrailblazerVinay

The Two guys we met. We were the only people on the Hill even on a Sunday morning.

Photo of Channarayanadurga- A Long Drive & Trek Up the Hill Fort by TrailblazerVinay
Photo of Channarayanadurga- A Long Drive & Trek Up the Hill Fort by TrailblazerVinay
Photo of Channarayanadurga- A Long Drive & Trek Up the Hill Fort by TrailblazerVinay

The Pond. Pictures don't do justice to the beauty of this place.

Photo of Channarayanadurga- A Long Drive & Trek Up the Hill Fort by TrailblazerVinay

The Pond picture was taken from here.

Photo of Channarayanadurga- A Long Drive & Trek Up the Hill Fort by TrailblazerVinay

The Ruins. Must have been the Storage area for food/ammunition

Photo of Channarayanadurga- A Long Drive & Trek Up the Hill Fort by TrailblazerVinay

Part 3 of the Hike:

Since we were chatting and climbing together with those two guys, we did not feel the strain though it was quite hot. We soon reached the top of the fort and we took a walk around those fort walls. The view from here was Amazing. I climbed up the wall at one place to take a video and it came out really well. This is the shot you see at the start of the video.

The Descent:

We started descending down together and soon reached down to the other side of the pond. This was not the way that we had gone up. So we were not sure if there was a route to go down and we were thinking of going back. But I thought there must be some route for sure and there indeed was a route behind the bushes (around the pond). After crossing the pond, the actual descent started and we had to watch our steps.

At one point, we lost track of the route and got stuck at a place where we could not get down further. So, had to climb back up and then trace back. Finally we found a route. But the descent was steep. So we had to be really patient and carefully climb down the rocky surface. It was a good leg workout. Quads, Hamstrings, Calves, Heels, Toes everything :D

Finally, we reached down and walked back to the parking.

The Drive back: Channarayanadurga->Dobbaspet->Bangalore-->Bytu Coffee->Home

There was another car and a TT(Tempo Traveller) parked beneath the peepal tree. We again had maaza in the same shop in front of the parking. Our 2 water bottles were totally empty. But to our surprise mineral water was not available at the shop. I asked if we can get some drinking water. The shop keeper obliged. Got the water filled in our bottles. We did not have to spend a penny for drinking water in this trip.

We thought of having lunch somewhere in Dobaspet. We both were literally tired after the trek. Also it was quite hot, So I drove slowly till we reached the Koratgere main road. Midway my car's mirror's cap flew off :p It was loose. I quickly noticed and got it fixed back. We took a break here and washed our face. It was somewhat refreshing.

Photo of Channarayanadurga- A Long Drive & Trek Up the Hill Fort by TrailblazerVinay
Photo of Channarayanadurga- A Long Drive & Trek Up the Hill Fort by TrailblazerVinay

All through the drive, we were chatting and I was driving carefully at a slower speed than normal.

As we reached Dobaspet, we were looking for some Hotels but did not find any good ones. So we thought we'll carry on and have something on the Highway. My friend said he'll sleep for sometime and asked me to Drive carefully. As soon as he said that he was Snoring :p Once on the Tumkur highway(NH48), the traffic built up. I got the company of many cars and the speeds increased. Although I was careful while overtaking.

Soon, we crossed the tolls and entered the city. Harsha also woke up. Did not find any place to stop on the highway. Neither did we want any break. We thought lets go to Bytu Coffee in Hampinagar, we'll get nice dosa, Olge(Obbattu) and all. That sounded like a great idea. It was already around 4pm then. We had yummy Olge(carrot olge, coconut olge), masale dose, filter coffee. Dropped my friend at his place and bid goodbye.

All in all it was a great day!! A good long drive plus a good trek. Ticked off yet another place from the Bucket list. But as we always say- "One's destination is never a place but a new way of Seeing things. Its not the destination that matters, but the journey".

Part2 of the Video will be up Soon. Subscribe: https://goo.gl/7B4JS4

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