Skandagiri, also known as Kalavara Durga, is a majestic mountain fortress located approximately 62 kilometers from Bangalore, India. It’s a much-loved trekking destination for both local and international adventurers, thanks to its stunning natural beauty, ancient ruins, and the exhilarating challenge of the climb itself. The trek, approximately 8 kilometers in length, is filled with panoramic vistas, rocky terrains, and verdant vegetation. But every thrilling journey has a starting point, and for the Skandagiri trek, that commencement is the village of Kalwara.
Kalwara Village, the foothill of the Skandagiri hill, is easily accessible by road from Bangalore. Nestled amidst lush green landscapes, this small village serves as the beginning of an exhilarating journey that tests trekkers’ strength, endurance, and resilience.
Upon reaching Kalwara, you will be greeted by the sight of the Papagni Temple, a significant local landmark and the actual starting point of the trek. The temple is dedicated to the Hindu goddess Parvati and holds immense religious importance for the locals.
From the Papagni Temple, the path spirals upwards, carving a route through a combination of dense shrubs and rocky outcrops. The initial stretch of the trek is moderately difficult with a well-defined trail leading towards the hill.
At the foothills, a forest checkpoint is established, where trekking permits are verified. It’s essential to have a permit for the trek, which can be acquired online or on the spot, ensuring compliance with local rules and regulations. The checkpoint also serves as a hub for local guides who can assist trekkers, especially those unfamiliar with the terrain.
The ascent from Kalwara village is a blend of steep and gradual inclines, each providing a unique view of the surrounding landscape. Trekking usually begins early morning, for an opportunity to witness the surreal sunrise from the peak. However, for those who enjoy an extra thrill, the night treks to Skandagiri offer an enchanting experience under the stars, with the city lights of Bangalore shimmering in the distance.
The Skandagiri trek, beginning from the quaint Kalwara village, is not just a physical journey but also an exploration into the heart of nature and a glimpse into ancient history. The ruins of an old fortress at the peak and the mesmerizing views make the rigorous trek worthwhile.
So, lace up your trekking boots and set off from Kalwara on an adventure that will awaken your senses and etch unforgettable memories on the canvas of your mind. As you set foot on the trail from the Papagni temple, remember, every step you take is a step towards the spectacle that is Skandagiri.