Skandagiri aka Kalavara Betta

Skandagiri or Kalavara betta is located at a distance of 65 km from Bangalore, in Chhikkaballapura district of Karnataka. My childhood buddy Sowmya and I had been planning a trek together for a long time but it never materialized. Finally on the 30th of December 2023, we decided to do this trek. 

That morning, I took an auto rickshaw to ETA mall bus stop near Hebbal. I reached the location at around 6AM. Sowmya and her husband Prithvi picked me up there. In the vehicle, I met her daughter Tavishi, her nephew Shreyas and Tavishi’s friend Rishi. Their friend Bhavani and his son Ved were to join us at the base of the hill. With three kids on this trek, I expected a great time. 

We stopped for breakfast near Yelahanka. By the time we reached the base of the trek, it was 7:30AM. For location type “Skandagiri Trek start point” on google maps. 

We met Bhavani and his son Ved there. We parked the vehicle near Sri Veerabrahmendra Swami Matta and began our walk towards the Forest check post located behind the temple. To trek here, you need to book the slot in advance. For a sunrise trek that most people prefer doing, you need to book a 4AM slot. Since there were kids, we had decided to trek after sunrise. We showed our booking details at the check post and began the walk. Just before you enter the fenced Checkpost, there are two or three shops that sell tender coconut and some basic food. You can also buy water there. 

Many were already returning back as we made our way up. They were there for sunrise, to view the beautiful cloud formations that this place is popular for. 

The trek is relatively easy and with the kids around, it was fun too. We took enough breaks and made our way up. It will normally take you about 1.5-2 hours to reach the top. 

The summit was covered in mist when we arrived. We sat there, had packed theplas, chikkis and Sandwiches. We sat there for more than an hour and enjoyed the view. 

The most interesting thing about trekking with kids is that they are always living in the moment. They do not carry any baggage of thoughts. That energy helps us easily slip into the moment as well. We therefore learn to take life less seriously or over-analyse things. 

On our way back, we stopped for lunch at Acres. The ambiance and food were great.  

Video of The Trek: