Location: Near Dabaspet, Bangalore Rural district, Karnataka
Distance: Around 60 km from Bangalore
How to reach there: Best by private vehicle. Four wheelers will go only till the railway under bridge. However, with 2 wheelers you can reach the base of the hill. Public vehicle is available upto Dabaspet and from there you can hire an auto. Also, you can try speaking to conductor of any bus going to Tumkur to you drop in front of Reliance petrol bunk after Dabaspet.
Route: Bangalore – Tumkur road (NH4) – Nelamangala – Dabaspet – look for Reliance petrol pump on the right hand side – Nijagal betta is located just opposite to Reliance petrol pump. Here you will have to get off the road on the right hand side and go through a railway under bridge and drive for half km or so to reach the base of Nijagal betta(hill).
At the base park you vehicle.
Where to have food: Reliance A1 and Kamat Lokaruchi
Where to stay: Not available. It is basically a one day trip. So no need to stay.
To reach Nijagal betta we started riding around 8.30 am. On the way rode on the Tumkur road expressway. It is an amazing flyover with over 4 km length. Most of the road upto Dabaspet have been access controlled with multiple flyovers for faster movement. It was very windy in the morning through out the drive. Sometimes it was even shaking off the balance. We asked for directions at Dabaspet. We reached near Reliance petrol bunk little after 11 am. There is a small shop from where one have to get off the road. We had cold drinks and took little rest. Then did little photography under the railway under bridge. After riding little further on the sand road reached the base of Nijagal Betta. I suggest you go little up the base and park your vehicle on the little platform on the right hand side. From here one need to take the route on the left hand side to climb.
Now the trek to the top started. 4 trekkers on the trail to conquer Nijagal Betta. Slowly the sandy soil gave way to stones and more stones. As we climbed higher we could see the could see the country side further and mode vividly. On way there is mild vegetation on both sides. Little further was the first door of the fort made of stones. The door leads to a passage bounded by tall wall on both sides leading to the second door. Here you will find a idol of Lord Hanuman curved out on the hill. As we moved we reached a little sort of plateau. Two series of wall of the 16th century or older fort could be seen from here. Also, temple like structures are seen.
From here the climb is only on stone curved stairs and is little steep. After reaching the summit of Nijagal betta, the view got even better. We could see other series of stony hills and the vast country side. From the summit we saw pond which indicates rainwater harvesting in those days. Here the temple Lord Siddeshwara (Shiva) is located inside a naturally formed open air stone cave. Just behind the temple is a dargah of Muslims. Most probably the dargah was created during the time of Hyder Ali of Mysore.
The left side of the temple is very good for photography and do sit there for sometime to enjoy the cool breeze.
Besides the dargah there is a huge stone which you will have to climb carefully to reach the peak of Nijagal betta. From here one could see the NH4 far wide as well the almost parallel railway track. Sitting here and watching the vehicles on the highway and the sparsely plying train could be fun. The peak of Nijagal betta gives an incredible wide ranging view of the surrounding. No wonder it has been a strong fortress of many rulers. One of the fiercest battle for Nijagal was fought between the Marathas under Madhava Rao I and Hyder Ali.
Nijagal betta is a good place to see a lot of local wildlife. We saw a colorful Chameleon, 2 types of Lizard, Golden Eagle and many monkeys.
The descend from Nijagal betta is not that hard but be careful for slippery rock and sand soil at places. After reaching the base we went to Reliance A1 to have lunch. These days they serve non veg as well. It is a good place to halt and have food. They have clean toilets, wash room and ample free parking space. After food we left for Manne.
For the complete set of pictures visit TravelingBeats Photo Gallery.