Makalidurga Hills Trek – With Decathlon Anubhava 28/01/2018

Place: Makalidurga betta / Makalidurga Hills, Doddaballapur, Karnataka

Distance: 64 km from Bangalore
Type: Trekking
Ideal for: Friends
Trek Difficulty: Easy
Trek Length: 3 kilometres one way
Trek Duration: 1 hour one way

My friend Smitha, a talented blogger invited me for the trek to Makalidurga on Sunday. The trek was sponsored by Decathlon – Anubhava hence the trek cost was just Rs. 100. I immediately confirmed my participation and also invited few of my colleagues.  My colleague Vijay registered for the event along with his 2 friends. I had been to Makalidurga hills twice before, one was a night trek and other was a day trek. The main intention to join this time was to vlog, I have uploaded a video to YouTube. Don’t forget to watch the vlog at the end of this post. The meeting point was Decathlon Anubhava located on Airport road at 5 am.

Best of the beast: View of Gundamagere Lake

Sunday morning: I got up at 4 in the morning, got ready and left the home by 4.30. I picked up Smitha on the way and headed to the meetup point. Riding on Airport road early in the morning always reminds me of my countless trips to Nandi hills. We reached Decathlon Anubhava at 5.15 am. Most of the participants had arrived, Vijay and his friends were waiting for us. 

Buses arranged by Decathlon Anubhava

We exchanged greetings with Vijay’s friends with a short intro. It’s very unlikely that I go on trips arranged by some event organization with strangers, but I do want to try it out. After few instructions, we registered our attendance and boarded the bus at 5.45 am. The bus stopped in between to load the food and refreshments. It delayed the journey by 45 minutes within which we could have reached the Makalidurga hills. I took a power nap until we reached the base of the hills.

Sunrise as we were moving towards Makalidurga

The base of the hills: Idli-vada, energy drink and water bottles were distributed by Decathlon organisers. After the breakfast, the organisers gave us a short introduction and instructions for the hike. The headcount was 90. Maintaining such huge crowd wasn’t easy. Kudos to the Decathlon team who managed to handle it quite well. 

Idli-vada for breakfast

Brief up about the trek by organizers

We started the trek at 8.30 in the morning, the climate was cool and soothing. The trail is marked by the arrow marks till the peak though the initial starting point may be confusing. After crossing the railway track you need to continue behind the temple. After 100 meters a right diversion leads the way to the start of the trail. Finding this path shouldn’t be much tougher as there are arrow marks everywhere to guide the trekkers. 

Makalidurga hills and the railway track

Railway track is the starting point of the trek

Ascend: There are three routes to scale this hill the one we took was the easiest and the most recommended. Other two trails require rock climbing skills and demands hiking instruments which can be done only by the experts or with the help of certified trainers.

Around 90 people trekking together

The trail is marked by such arrows till the summit

Sun was already up and shining
Hiking Shoes a must for any trekker

We were accompanied by junior trekkers as well

Our group was very huge (90 people to be precise) hence it resulted in congestion at the beginning but after some time the crowd was distributed across the trail. After 15 minutes of the climb, we could see the Gundamagere lake. It looked wonderful. The view was getting better with every step we took towards the peak. There were few stretches which are difficult but can be crossed with a little bit of effort. Without taking any break we climbed till the summit.  

This was the most difficult part of the trail. Don’t believe me?

Now? You believe its the toughest part right?

First view of the lake. Every step offers a better view of the lake

Almost there

Fort walls mark the end of the trek

Summit: The summit was overcrowded by our group. We found a perfect place to crash with the best view of the lake. We sipped the energy drinks and did a small photo shoot. This is the only place to find the shade other than the temple. So we spent more time here relaxing here and enjoying the lake view.

The summit and ruins of the fort

Watchtower and resting place.

My gang. Selfie at the peak. 

Gundamagere lake view

After an hour the organizers asked everyone to start descending that’s when we realized we had not seen anything so we all rushed and visited the temple on the peak. It’s a Shiva temple which is beautiful in its own way. Surrounding the temple, there are few trees to provide shade and relax. The trails on the summit were mostly dry due to the onset of summer. The old ruins of the fort still stand strong and surround the entire Makalidurga hills.

Ruins of the fort. Walking towards the temple

Temple on the right

Shiva linga inside the Makalidurga temple

Makalidurga temple atop

Hanuman flag at the corner of the peak

Gunjur lake on the other side of the hill

One of the organizers of Decathlon team

After trekking the perimeter of the fort we started descending. The descend was quicker and easier. We reached the base in 30 minutes. At few places, the descend was little difficult but manageable. We hydrated ourselves with coconut water and boarded the bus. That was so refreshing after the trek.

We reached Decathlon Anubhava by 2 pm. After having lunch at Itihaas restaurant we bid goodbye to all and headed back to our respective home.

Reached Decathlon Anubhava at 2 pm.

Full batting at Itihaas restaurant

Itihaas restaurant just beside Decathlon

A group photo before we dispersed.

Don’t forget to read Smitha’s blog which is very precise and written in detail.

Also, read my previous visit to Makalidurga

Watch my vlog of this trek:

Important points:
1. Makalidurga trail is part of the Govt’s Eco trails which means that we have to pay Rs. 450/person for the trek. But we didn’t say any such amount neither other trekkers paid the amount. So I am still unsure if it attracts any trek charges.
2. You can also visit this place on Train which would include a nice trek along with the train track. Check Traveller hoots blog for the detailed train timings and other public transportation.
3. Makalidurga is also very famous for night trekking. So if you looking for night trekking then this place is a very good destination for you.
4. I got many queries regarding trek difficulty in my previous post. It’s a very easy trek which can be done even with aged but fit people as well.
5. There are no public toilets available near the hill.

Recommended read
Makalidurga Trek by Travellerhoots
My previous visit to Makalidurga Betta 

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