A Fort of  Annihilation 

Overview

Not many know about the Navadurgas or 9 Forts around Bangalore. These Hills Forts which served as Sentinels from Invasions are today abandoned. History of these hills forts or Navadurgas ( Nine Forts ) surprisingly is limited along with the ambiguity about the nine forts and the basis of them being called as Navadurgas. The eight forts out of the nine are namely  Savanadurga,  Kabbaladurga,  Huthridurga, Devarayanadurga, Makalidurga, Channarayanadurga, Nandidurga, and Huliyurdurga. Not much of history of this place is known except that it was built by Kempe Gowda II and later was conquered by Tippu Sultan and the British. Bhairava is a wandering form of Shiva associated with annihilation who guards the cardinal points. Bhairavadurga is toughest of all the climbs. Not much of fort or ramparts to see at the top, but the actual trail leads the hiker through the forests and open lands. Not much of history of this place is known except that it was built by Kempe Gowda II and later was conquered by Tippu Sultan and the British. Bhairava Durga, located at a distance of 60 km from Bengaluru has the legendary Byraveshwara temple dedicated to lord himself and a fort built by Kempegowda. This is a spine-chilling place for trekkers and a view atop of the hill is simply magnificent. The view of Devarakere, Shivagange peak resembling a lingam, Kengal Betta, Greenfields is a feast to eyes! 

On the Ridge

Overview

Tavoor Hills Traverse is one of the lesser known Picturesque treks in Bhagamandala range, Coorg of Karnataka which makes this place one of the perfect weekend trekking destinations from Bangalore. From the summit here offers the best of the scenic views of Coorg. The trail in the Tavoor Hills is also known as Dumachi Gudde by the locals. The trail offers everything that a trekking enthusiasts expectation. On one side during the traverse, it has deep dense forests and streams and on the other there’s a beautiful ridge walk towards the peak. Standing tall on the Tavoor Hill Peak, one can also see the beautiful Kopatty Hill Range. As the legends say, Lord Vishnu, Brahman and Shiva surveyed Talacauvery Hill and Tavooru Hill to decide the origin of the river Cauvery which would then nurture and nourish the surrounding forests and the lives of so many living beings. Bagamandala being the holy Place, trimurthis decided and thus originated here.

A peek into heritage and nature

Overview

In ancient times, forts were considered as an ideal defence system. Forts that have survived today are representative of the engineering talent and strategic defence of ancient India.Today it is one of the wonders of the bygone era. Scholar Kautilya, popularly known as Chanakya the renowned author of his Sanskrit Arthsastra ancient Indian treatise on statecraft and Military strategy has classified forts into following types - Giridurga ( Hill fort ) , Jaladurga ( water fort ) , Shiladurga ( Rock fort ) and Vanadurga ( Forest fort ). Among the hill forts, Jamalabad is a hilltop Giridurga fortification in Jamalabad Village near Belthangady in Dakshina Kannada ( DK ) District of Karnataka. It is located in the Kudremukh range of hills. The fort lies at an altitude of 1700 ft.


The fort was formerly called Narasimha Ghada, which refers to the granite hill on which the fort is built. It is also referred locally as Jamalagadda or Gadayikallu. Originally a mud fort existed on the hilltop. The fort was reconstructed over the ruins of an older structure by Tippu Sultan in 1794 and named after his beloved mother, Jamal Bee. Tippu Sultan kept the fort in his possession for over 50 years.Though a local chieftain called Thimmappa Nayaka took possession of fort for a short period. The fort was captured by the British in 1799 during the 4th Mysore War. As per legend, those who are not favorable to Tippu were hurled down this fort to their death.The fort is inaccessible other than via a narrow path, with around 1876 steps to the fort that are cut out of the granite hill and lead all the way to the top with the help of french engineers.This strategy would mean that through a narrow passage small but well-armed group could indefinitely block a much larger force from entering the fort. Inside the fort, there is only one tank to store water. Remains of a single cannon lie at the top

The fort is accessible via a narrow path with about 1800 steps cut out of the granite hill. Inside the fort, there is a tank to store rain water. Remains of a single cannon lie at the top. Nothing much of the fortifications remain but hints of the fort wall with parapets are visible. This hillock fort has one room at the top. There is also an unmanned microwave repeater station on top of the hill.The Summit afford superb views of the surrounding landscape with paddy fields ,temples plantations , water bodies and the Kudremukh range of western ghats.

Note : Since it is a Heritage Protected Monument under ASI , one is not allowed to venture into fort without permission. And stay inside atop is prohibited.

Surmounting the Ox​

Overview

  Situated, near the of village of Byrapura in Mudigere taluk is one of the significant peaks of Charmadi range dominating the landscape towering height 2600 m and there are three approaches to this peak. The name yethinabhuja is a Synonymous of two words: Yethu - Ox and Bhuja - Shoulder . Ethinabhuja has a huge monolith at the top which appears like a giant turtle and 3 huge stones which give an appearance of a stove. This peak is surrounded by many other important peaks of Western Ghats. Yethinabhuja is considered to be one of the challenging trek in Karnataka and is a two day trek if one wants to make it to the peak comfortably. Shishila is a small village near Dharmastala.The starting point is Shishila village where from the trail starts. The initial trail is through a fairly dense forest, but the trail itself was pretty wide. Then the forest cover disappears slowly and grassland starts to appear which continues almost till you get on it.. The monolithic peak is almost 90-degrees, one needs to go around in a spiral to reach the peak and this part of the trek is through a very very dense vegetation and narrow trail which probably becomes waterfall during monsoon. Post-monsoon, one would need to clear vegetation using knife to make way.

 

Overview

  The scenic hilly regions of western ghats have trails suitable for hikes with velvet green rolling hills , shola forest and perrineal streams flowing through them. Kudremukh known for its exotic beauty and flora - fauna has variety of trekking options inside the National Park. The beautiful part of ​ ​Baamikonda and Kaltikki Trek is trekking on the outer fringes of Kudremukh national park is a less known getaway for those seeking less trodden trails. Surrounded by hilly ranges and enjoying the view of the ​adjoining​ peaks one can savor the beauty of Nature.Breathtaking view of Thirumaleguppe , Hirimaleguppe, Durgada betta , Gaumukha and Kudremukh Also, a beautiful ridge walk towards the peak makes it more than just a trekking experience to cherish for a life time.

   

Peak of View

Overview

Among the rolling hills in Kodagu , Nishane motte is a relatively less known peak in the Talacauvery / Bramhmagiri range of coorg. It lies to the south of Bhagamandala - The confluence of Kaveri, Sujyothi and Kannika rivers in a range which extends from Talacauvery in the north to Somamale ( Means hill in local dialect ) in the south in one contiguous stretch without any break, going through peaks like Nishani motte, Tumba male, and Tadiyandamol ( Highest peak in Coorg ). This stretch forms the border between Kannur / Kasargod districts in Kerala and Kodagu district in Karnataka.

Coorg with its misty mountains and dense forests, is often referred to as Scotland of India. They left behind a legacy, which is still an important source of national wealth. The well-laid coffee plantations in Coorg account for almost half of Karnataka's coffee production. And Karnataka continues to be India's largest producer of coffee. Other reminders of the colonial past are the spacious estate bungalows, many of which still have British names and the meandering roads that wind through the district.

Across the Valley’s

Overview

   

Among the prominent peaks around Horse Face Kudremukh peak Gangadi Kallu 4773 ft Altitude ranks the best for its magnificient views.The magnificient cone shaped rock face cliff derives its name from Kurinji flower Strobilanthes kunthiana. Neelakurinji.The shrub that is found in the shola forests of the Western Ghats in South India. The purplish blue flowers of Neelakurinji blossoms gregariously only once in 12 years.
Located about 20 kms from Kudremukh sharing border with Dakshina Kannada district. The point where you start is about 9kms from kudremukh colony.The trail meanders through open grasslands and under canopy from village called "MaLa". where the former route takes you in a jeepable track the later is through thickets of the jungle typical to Western Ghats.
There is an old abandoned UHF receiver station here at the top, but the water is available at 1km distance downhill.The place is abundant with variety of fauna and flora. The Kudremukh National park houses variety of wildlife such as tiger, leopard, wild dog, Malabar giant squirrel, common langur, sloth bear, gaur, porcupine, sambar, spotted deer, barking deer, jackal, giant flying squirrel and the mongoose.

The park also has about 195 species of birds which are Malabar trogon,Lion tailed Macaque, Malabar whistling thrush, great pied hornbill and the imperial pigeon.Reptiles like Snakes and tortoises are also found here.

 

Floral Heaven

Overview

   

Among the prominent peaks around Kudremukh Horse Face peak Kurinji kallu 3802 ft Altitude ranks the best for its magnificient views.The magnificient cone shaped rock face cliff derives its name from Kurinji flower Strobilanthes kunthiana. Neelakurinji.The shrub that is found in the shola forests of the Western Ghats in South India. The purplish blue flowers of Neelakurinji blossoms gregariously only once in 12 years.
Located about 20 kms from Kudremukh sharing border with Dakshina Kannada district. The point where you start is about 9kms from kudremukh colony.The trail meanders through open grasslands and under canopy from village called "MaLa". where the former route takes you in a jeepable track the later is through thickets of the jungle typical to Western Ghats.
There is an old abandoned structure station here at the top, but the water is available at 1km distance downhill.The place is abundant with variety of fauna and flora. The Kudremukh National park houses variety of wildlife such as tiger, leopard, wild dog, Malabar giant squirrel, common langur, sloth bear, gaur, porcupine, sambar, spotted deer, barking deer, jackal, giant flying squirrel and the mongoose.

The park also has about 195 species of birds which are Malabar trogon,Lion tailed Macaque, Malabar whistling thrush, great pied hornbill and the imperial pigeon.Reptiles like Snakes and tortoises are also found here.

 

Thirumaleguppe

Overview

   

Thirumaleguppe Alt 4900 ft or Heap in local dialect is spread partly over the thick hilly forests near the coastal plains on the shola vegetation on the Western Ghats uplands,adjoining Kudremukh National  Park bordering parts of 3 districts, viz., Chickmagalur, Udupi and bordering Dakshina Kannada.

Heap is  made of steep hills,grasslands and valleys. The hills, which bear the brunt of the severe monsoon wind,  give no chance to any tree growth as a result the landscape is covered with grass. The valleys which are  tucked in, give commendable protection from wind and a deep soil profile, as a result of which stunted  evergreen forests exist creating an unique microclimate, rich with mosses, orchids, etc. The whole  scenery of grassland interspersed with narrow strips of forests provide a fantastic picture postcard views  for a trekker.

The Lungfull of fresh air and the climb up and down, invigorates the body and soothes the soul.The view of surrounding Irimaleguppe and Horse mane - Kudremukh beckon the adventurous..!.The vertical Monolithic rock face is Impregnable from the East face. During the trek, one can spot and study  several wildlife species of plants, birds,orchids, reptiles, amphibians, butterflies, insects, etc.

 

The Mysterious Hump Beckons

Overview

     Bandallidurga is a hill fort situated at an altitude of 4700ft above sea level near a hamlet called Bandalli in Kanakapura taluk – making it an ideal short getaway from Bangalore. The mysterious humped shape makes it an intriguing object of interest. Not much is known about the history of this fort. Today, the fort is more or less in ruins. The fort is protected by three levels of wall and it seems impregnable. The top of the hill is not visible from the base of the hill. After a steep climb 3 hrs, one reaches the ruins of the fort. There is also a perennial well built by the Palegars (the locals). The trek passes through Lantana bushes, bamboo forest and green meadows. From the top of the hill one can see a panoramic view of M M Hills, B R Hills and other nearby hill ranges. The place is haven for birdwatchers. Birds like Hoope, Bushchat, Woodpeckers, Coppersmith Barbet, Jungle fowl, Green Barbets and Wagtail are found in large numbers.

Bandalli Durga is an ideal short getaway for history lovers, birdwatchers and the Bangalore escapist!


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