Saturday, May 16, 2015

Nijagal Betta

With friends from the French Class, I have been planning a trek 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. 

Soon after Dabaspet, you shall find Kamat hotel on your left. A few meter away from here, you shall see a mud road go left and down beneath a railway track. Exactly opposite to this road is another Kamat restaurant on your right and a Reliance petrol bunk. Anyways, the hill 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. Bike 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 the hill. There is a proper route upto the summit which follows along the electric poles. 

The hill 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 fort gives way to a tricky trail beyond which are the cave temples, one dedicated to Lord Shiva and the other, a dargah. Also, Nijagal Betta is where the epic battle between Hyder Ali and Peshwa Madhavrao took place.

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 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 on the summit we worried of safety here. But when a guard came, he told us that this was a place of worship and after taking bath in the sacred pond, the devotees throw their old clothes there. 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 seemed to be playing here. But they did not bother us at all because we did not bother them. 

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 and lay there for a while chatting about life and dreams. It was a very interesting conversation that we had and the view complemented the emotion and mood. 

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

By the time we reached the base it was half past noon. We freshen up at the Kamat hotel opposite the hill and then headed back to Bangalore. At Nalapaka, near Rajajaijngagr a tasty North karnantka meal waited for us. 

Bangalore had turned cloudy by then and we witnessed a ferocious hail storm while driving back. 

Nijagal betta is an unexplored place and the quietness and serenity there I can not be matched to any other place that close to Bangalore. This place has so much to offer that a short half day trek would turn out to be a great journey to the past.


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


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