Nestled approximately 70 kilometers from Bangalore, Skandagiri, also known as Kalavara Durga, is a mountain fortress that stands tall at an altitude of about 1350 meters. The Skandagiri sunrise trek is renowned among adventurers and nature lovers for its mesmerizing sunrise views and the surreal experience of trekking amidst the clouds.
The trek is approximately 5 kilometers, making the round trip about 10 kilometers. It’s a moderately challenging trek, suitable for both beginners and seasoned trekkers, though the terrain can be quite rugged and steep at places.
The journey generally begins late at night or in the early hours of the morning, aiming to reach the summit before sunrise.
- Start Point: The trek begins at the Papagni Temple at the foothills of Skandagiri.
- Trek Duration: It takes approximately 2-3 hours to reach the summit, depending on the trekker’s pace.
- Sunrise View: Witness the awe-inspiring sunrise at the top. The first rays of the sun piercing through the blanket of clouds present a spectacle of unparalleled beauty.
- Descent: After spending some time at the top and exploring the ruins of Tipu Sultan’s fort, start descending, which typically takes about 1.5-2 hours.
Key Points to Remember:
- Preparation: While the trek is not too strenuous, basic physical fitness helps. Also, wear comfortable trekking shoes and carry a good flashlight, as the initial part of the trek is in darkness.
- Weather: The best time to do the Skandagiri sunrise trek is during the winter months when the weather is pleasant and the chances of seeing the hill covered in mist are higher.
- Guidance: It’s recommended to hire a guide or go with an experienced group, especially if you’re a novice trekker. Night trekking can be challenging, and a guide can ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.
- Permit: As per the forest department regulations, you need to acquire a permit for the Skandagiri trek. Make sure to check the latest guidelines and follow them.
- Carry Essentials: Carry enough water, snacks, a first aid kit, and a jacket to protect against the early morning chill.
- Responsible Trekking: Ensure to follow a ‘leave no trace’ policy – carry back all your trash, do not harm the flora and fauna, and respect the sanctity of the place.
The Skandagiri sunrise trek promises an unforgettable experience – a mix of adventure, tranquility, and a close encounter with nature’s dramatic play. Whether you’re an avid trekker or a nature enthusiast, the breathtaking views, the ruins of the fort, and the blanket of clouds beneath you make the Skandagiri trek a bucket-list-worthy adventure.