Nijagal betta / Siddara betta – Exploring ancient temples 13/12/2014

Place: Nijagal betta / Siddara betta, Tumkur
Distance: 62 x 2 =  kms
Route: Vijaynagar -> Nelamangala -> Dabaspete -> HaleNijagal Betta -> Shivagange
Crew: Santosh and Sagar
Bikes: Bajaj Discover 150
Budget: 250/Head

This trekking would have never been possible without Santosh. After canceling trekking to this place for around 3-4 times had thought I will never be able to conquer the Nijagal Peak, fortunately Santosh joined this adventure.

To make things simple I have divided a single day journey to two posts,

1 – Nijagal betta / Siddara betta – Exploring ancient temples  (One you are reading right now)

Brief about the place: Nijagal betta is a rocky hill lying close to Dobbaspet town in Karnataka. The hill lies very near to the Bangalore Pune National highway (NH4) and is also called as Siddarabetta. Nijagalbetta has ruins of ancient temples and fort built by Chickadevaraya Wodeyar. The hill has excellent rock formations. There is a carved idol of Hindu deity Lord Hanuman near to the fort entrance where people come and feed the monkeys as a sign of worship. There is a Muslim Dargah inside the fort. There are some ponds inside the fort formed by water trapped between the gaps of rocks. There are many unexplored archaeological ruins near Nijagalbetta.

The peak
Saturday morning: Started from my home at 6 am. Santosh hopped on my bike at Navaranga, we headed on towards Tumkur. Took just 45 mins to reach Dabaspete on the silky smooth NH4. After having tea we switched on google navigation to Nijagal betta but unfortunately, maps were showing the wrong route so we asked the local people and found there are two hills on either side of the NH one is Hale Nijagal to the left (the one we wanted to go) and another one is new Nijagal city to the right. After 3 km from the Dabaspete underpass there is a reliance petrol bunk to the right side, opposite to this petrol bunk there is a small underpass which leads to the hill. We didn’t feel safe to leave the bike alone at that place since it looked isolated so we parked it near Cafe Coffee Day which is just before this underpass to the left. After parking the bike at CCD, we walked towards our destination. After crossing the underpass, need to walk straight for 100 meters, there is a footpath to the right which leads to the way to the Hill.
The underpass to the left of NH which leads to the hill base
First glimpse of Nijagal Betta
The Trek: We started the uphill trek with full josh, it was early in the morning so there was no one else on the hill except us. We encountered an open place from which we had a good look at the ancient temple, a dargah, and the hill. We skipped the dargah and ancient temple for later. There was a scary tree that had eaten the rocks from the bottom and you could see roots rising almost 6 ft from the bottom. You can see the below photo. 
Carved idol Lord Hanuman near to the entrance
The scary tree
First gimps of the hill and ruined temple

The Peak: We next encountered the Carvings on the rocks. There is a pretty amazing thing we can see here, there is a Hindu Siddartha temple at one side and on the other side, there is Muslim Darga. Nice to see two greatest gods at the same place. Because of the temple, the place is littered. There are rock caves on the top, took a couple of photos, after spending a couple of minutes we left the place. On the way back visited that ancient ruined temple. We started down on the same route. Saw a couple of people in opposite direction. Had a nice breakfast at Kamat hotel on the other side of NH opposite to the underpass. Santosh insisted we will have one more trek to the great Shivagange Hill so I agreed and we left for our next trek to Shivagange. I have written Shivagange trek on the other post.

Santosh taking selfie 😛
A look from the peak
Ruined Hindu temple
Darga on the hill


1. The local people easily get confused when you ask for direction to Nijagal so better you explain using words – Nijagal Betta, Siddara Betta. It’s on the left side of the NH.
2. After crossing the Dabaspete underpass keep looking for the Reliance petrol bunk (comes after 2 km – 3km). Just opposite to the petrol bunk there is a small underpass, you have to take this route.
3. You can take bike only till the base of the hill where it is risky to keep so better park on the highway side in front of some shops as we did.

You can check out these Google sphere photos if you are more interested in the place:
Open with maps whenever possible

1. First look at the hill
2. Ruined ancient Temple
3. Halfway to the Hill
4. The caves of Nijagal
5. The peak

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