Skandagiri, also known as Kalavara Durga, is a mountain fortress located approximately 70 km from the city of Bangalore. Known for its thrilling night treks, breathtaking sunrise views, and the enchanting cloud-covered summit, Skandagiri is a paradise for trekking enthusiasts and nature lovers.

The Trek

The Skandagiri Hills trek is a moderately challenging one, spanning around 8 km, and can be completed in 4-5 hours depending on one’s pace. The trail begins at the Papagni Temple at the foothills, and guides trekkers through a variety of terrain including rugged paths, dense shrubs, and steep rocky surfaces.

The trail is well-marked and leads to six concentric fortification walls that once guarded this ancient hill fortress. Each fortification wall marks a significant checkpoint on the trek, with the last checkpoint being the summit.

Night Trek

The Skandagiri night trek is one of the most popular activities in the area. Trekkers usually start their ascent in the early hours of the morning, around 2-3 AM, to reach the summit in time for sunrise. Navigating the trail under the star-lit sky with the aid of torchlights offers a unique and thrilling experience.

The Sunrise

The summit of Skandagiri offers an unforgettable sunrise. As the first rays of the sun pierce the morning sky, the entire landscape is painted in hues of orange and gold. Trekkers often spend some time at the summit, soaking in the beauty and tranquility of the scenery before making the descent.

The Ruins of Skandagiri

Skandagiri also holds historical significance with its ancient ruins dating back to the period of Tipu Sultan. Once a thriving fortress, it now lies in ruins, offering a glimpse into its glorious past. The ruins of the fortress, along with the views of the surrounding landscape from the summit, add a unique charm to the trek.


The trekking trail is also home to a variety of flora and fauna. From diverse species of birds to vibrant wildflowers, the trek offers a chance to witness the region’s biodiversity.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to undertake the Skandagiri Hills trek is during the winter months, from November to February. The weather during this period is pleasant, making the trek more enjoyable.

How to Reach

The starting point of the Skandagiri trek, Papagni Temple, is well connected by road from Bangalore. You can reach the base by car or by hiring a cab.

Final Thoughts

With a perfect blend of adventure, natural beauty, and history, the Skandagiri Hills trek is a must-try experience for every outdoor enthusiast. It not only challenges your physical strength but also rewards you with one of the most beautiful sunrise views that you could witness in Karnataka. Always remember to respect the environment during your trek and leave no traces behind.