Nijagal Betta

I had been planning a trek with my friends from French class for almost an year. It had never happened until we all decided that this time there would be no procrastination. The planning itself had lots of changes though, until the very last moment. Place got changed from Channarayana Durga to Nijagal Betta. Mir joined and Aman dropped. So finally at around 6AM on a Saturday morning (May 2nd 2015), Dipali, Mir, Manohar and I, left Bangalore and headed towards Dabaspet on Tumkur road - towards Nijagal betta.

Soon after Dabaspet, you shall find Kamat hotel on your left. A few meter away from here, on your left, you will see a mud leading towards the railway track. Exactly opposite this road is another Kamat restaurant on your right and a Reliance petrol bunk. Anyways, Nijagal Betta is also visible from the main road. If you are on a car, park it just before crossing the railway track, as the road conditions are pathetic. It is not a long walk from there. Bikes can go all the way to the foot of the hill. 

We had our breakfast at this not so good Kamat restaurant and parked our car under a tree off Tumkur road and walked to the foot of Nijagal Betta. There is a proper route upto the summit which follows the electric poles. 

Nijagal Betta is nothing like what it seems from the main road. As you get past the deceiving rock that covers the front, you find a whole new world that this place hides. Built by Chikkadevaraja Wodeyar back in the 17th century, the Nijagal fort gives way to a tricky trail, beyond which are the cave temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. There is also a Dargah up here. The history of Nijagal Betta involves the epic battle between Hyder Ali and Peshwa Madhavrao.

You climb a fleet of stairs and you shall end up at a beautiful cave temple. Behind which is a muslim worship place. 

Here it might get a little tricky. Just adjacent to a small pond you have to climb a rock to reach the Nijagal Betta summit. The rock has few markings to aid the climb. Once you have climbed the top it takes you to a beautiful summit filled with gigantic rocks forming several shelters. 

All along, we noticed lot of clothes lying around. We suspected that this place would easily be a crime spot. Being the only ones at the summit we worried of safety here. But when a guard came by later, he told us that this is a place of worship and after taking bath in the sacred pond, the devotees leave their old clothes back. That revelation was a relief to our suspicious minds which had already recreated a crime scene from what was witnessed. 

We spent a good amount of time at the summit. A lot of monkeys were busy playing. But they did not bother us.

A kite was busy untangling a piece of cloth tied an electric pole. 

We found a good spot beneath big boulders that formed a shelter. We sat there for a while chatting about life and dreams. It was a very interesting conversation that we had and the view from the summit of Nijagal Betta complemented the emotion and mood. 

At around 11:30 AM, we decided to head back. We took a short detour to explore the temples in ruin. 

By the time we reached the base it was half past noon. We freshened up at the Kamat hotel opposite the hill and then headed back to Bangalore. At Nalapaka, near Rajajinagar a tasty North Karnataka meal awaited us. Bangalore had turned cloudy by then and we witnessed a ferocious hail storm while driving back. 

Nijagal Betta is an unexplored place. The quietness and serenity that you find here cannot be matched with any other place located close to Bangalore. This place has so much to offer that a short half day trek would be a refreshing experience. When are you heading to Nijagal Betta?


  1. A very interesting place, the pictures speak a volume about the history and beauty of Nijagal betta


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