At a distance of merely 54 km lies this beautiful place which could actually serve you for a weekend trip way better than the regular get-away of the old and gold Nandi Hills.
Obviously the first question which comes to mind is how can it be better than the mighty Nandi. Well I can list out a few of the reasons which might attract you to this place.
As you continue going on NH-75 leading to NH-48, you'll be greeted by a small pond when you reach Shiv Gange. Just a few meters ahead is a temple from where the hike begins. The hike is barely 2.5 km but the steep gradient is not going to make it look any less than a 5 km hike.
As you enter the temple you'll see a well laid out staircase to guide you till the point where the trail starts. After climbing some 200 stairs you'll see the stairs vanishing off to just a slight hint and the railing to be the sole support for the rock climb which follows.
After crossing this rock there will be a well laid out trail which will take you for your next checkpoint. On the way to the peak you'll come across a lot of side shops offering lemonade/water. But it's always preferable to carry water on your own.
After walking on the trail for another 30 min you'll come across a temple from where the actual hike starts. You have to take a small door on the left which will lead you to the steep hike ahead. There is a small lemonade shop too under a shed from where you can stock your body to keep it hydrated. After crossing you'll be seeing something like this.
The hike from here is a little steep. The gradient varies from 30-60 degrees and there are places where you just have to grab hold of the railing and pull yourself up. You can easily see the gradient in the picture. All you have to do is follow the railing.
Also one thing you have to be extremely careful of is the monkey menace. There are a lot of monkeys in the area and they will jump and pounce on your bags the very first chance they get.
Hike for another hour and you'll finally reach the peak of Shiv Gange. here you'll be greeted by the panoramic views of the city and nearby areas.
If you thought hiking up was easy, this rock is going to prove to you otherwise. Going down you have to be extremely careful of the decline and be as cautious as you were on the way up. We were lucky to have the company of a local dog who followed us from the peak all the way back to our bikes.
Best time to visit:
Although you can visit this place all year round but it's preferable to go during winter months as you won't have to suffer under the scorching heat.
If going from Bangalore, prefer starting by 4-5am so that you can enjoy the sunrise at the peak.