Nijagal Betta Trek

Post Hampta pass, I have been busy with a lot of things. I began teaching at the University over the weekend and that took away a lot of my time and energy. Morever, during the third week of December, I was filling in for another teacher at School and therefore I was taking classes for Grade 5 to 8 as well (Normally I teach Grade 9 and 10). The kids are simply amazing. Their energy level is so high that you can hardly match up to it. Their enthusiasm is infectious and their love, genuine. Though I enjoyed every bit of it, I was also drained out of energy every time I finished a class with the little ones. So, as weekend approached, I set aside all the work and decided to go for a trek. I needed a break form work, that had suddenly become so hectic. 

My friends Mir and Haseeb joined me. Haseeb is from Afghanistan and is studying in India since few years on a scholarship program offered by Indian Government. We left Bangalore at around 7AM on the 16th of December 2022. 

Nijagal Betta is located at around 60km from Bangalore. It will take you little over an hour to reach there. It is situated at around 4km from Dobbaspet. Mir and I had already done this trek back in 2015. Read about that experience here - Nijagal Betta 2015

As you drive on NH48 from Bangalore, after Dobbaspet, you will find two kamath restaurants on either side of the highway. There is also a reliance petrol bunk on the right. Exactly opposite to the petrol bunk, there is an underpass for railway track. You need to park your car there. If you are on bike, then you can ride up to the base of the hill which is visible from the main road. 

If you park your car in front of the underpass by the highway, then walk up to the railway track and cross it. From there on, there is a clear trail till the summit. This hill is nothing like what it appears from the highway. Though an easy trek, it hides a lot of treasures within- Siddara cave temple, two dargahs, ancient temples in ruins, ponds, caves and much more. 

The fort was built in 17th century and is known for the battle that happened between the Marathas and Hyder Ali. 

The initial stretch is easy on a fairly wider path. The trail gets narrower as you climb up. The route is pretty straight forward. At the Anajanya temple in the first level fo the fort, stop to view the magnificence of this place. 

Climb up the final stairs to reach the cave temple and the Dargah next to it.

Behind the cave temple there is a rock. Climb the rock to reach the summit. The summit is covered with boulders balancing on each other. The whole setup resembles an open air theatre. 

Cross this arena and you will reach the ruins of the fort structure. A tree has grown over this structure and people have inserted two rupee coins in them for some reason. 

Cross this tree and you will reach the other side of the hill where you will find a cave overlooking the Shivagange hill at a distance. 

The cave is a great place to relax. There were a few devotees from both faiths visiting on that day. But on the summit, it was just the three of us. 

Back at the base, we had some tea and left to Tumkur where I had to visit a local mill from where I buy coconut oil. Pure coconut oil, fresh out of the mill, is sold only for Rs 180 here. 

I then dropped Mir and Haseeb at the Mosque for their Friday prayer and took a walk on MG road, Tumkur. After the prayer, we had a tasty meal at a restaurant next to the mosque. It was time to head back to Bangalore. Nijagal Betta was an easy and simple trek but a much needed break for all of us. 

Video on this Trek: