Savandurga, a hill situated in the state of Karnataka, India, is often considered one of the largest monoliths in Asia. Nestled about 60 kilometers west of Bangalore, the state capital, Savandurga is a paradise for trekking enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.
The name ‘Savandurga’ comes from the Kannada words ‘Savana’ and ‘Durga,’ which translate to ‘Fort of Death.’ The name pays homage to its historical significance as a fortress during the Hoysala Empire and later, under the rule of Kempegowda II and Tipu Sultan.
This hill, standing tall at about 1,226 meters above sea level, is actually comprised of two hills: the ‘white hill’ (Biligudda) and the ‘black hill’ (Karigudda), separated by a deep valley. The white hill got its name from the lighter color of the rock, while the black hill is darker due to the growth of shrubs and vegetation.
Savandurga offers a moderately challenging trek, with trails leading up both hills. Biligudda is the more frequented of the two, with a well-marked trail, ruins of the fort at the top, and breathtaking panoramic views of the surroundings. Karigudda, on the other hand, is a more difficult trek and requires permission from the Forest Department due to the dense vegetation and wildlife.
The trek to the top of Savandurga is incredibly rewarding, providing a spectacular view of the forest below and the Manchanabele Dam off in the distance. The tranquillity and serenity of the area make it an excellent spot for meditation and reflection.
The area surrounding Savandurga is a treasure trove of biodiversity. The deciduous forests around the hill are rich in flora and fauna, with several species of birds, insects, and animals making it their home. Spotting wildlife like elephants, leopards, and various bird species is not uncommon in these forests, making it a hotspot for wildlife enthusiasts and bird watchers.
Savandurga’s appeal is not just limited to adventure and nature. The Arkavathi River, which flows nearby, and the Savandi Veerabhadreshwara Swamy and Narasimha Swamy temple at the foothills, add to its religious and cultural significance.
In conclusion, Savandurga is a jewel in Karnataka’s crown, offering a combination of adventure, natural beauty, and historical and cultural significance. Whether you are a trekking enthusiast, wildlife photographer, history buff, or spiritual seeker, Savandurga Hill provides a rich and diverse experience for all visitors. A trip to this majestic monolith is sure to leave you with unforgettable memories and a deep appreciation of nature’s beauty.