Asia’s Largest Monolith Hill - Savandurga

Savandurga in Karnataka is the largest monilth hill in Asia and is one of the most favourite trekking destination.

Photo Credit: Jeevan Lobo

Bangalore (now called Bengaluru) is famous for being the Silicon Valley of India. Being the capital city of Karnataka is well-known for the operation of many worldwide IT organizations and is the IT hub. Asia’s largest monolith hill is located at a small distance from this ever-happening city. Savandurga forest is located about 60km west of Bengaluru, off the Magadi road, and within this forest lies the gigantic granite hill. This hill is a part of the Deccan plateau and rises about 1226 meters above sea level. The union of “Karigudda” (Black hill) and “Biligudda” (White hill) makes Savandurga Hill.

This hill lures every adventure-loving person with its gigantic hills, lush vegetation, and spectacular landscapes. The hike to this hill is well-known for its challenging climb and amazing views of Magadi, Manchanabele and Thippagondanahalli reservoirs and the Arkavathi river. It is said that the trek is given up by many, but if completed, one can see the most beautiful view.

Savandurga Fort was the second capital of the Magadi rulers such as Kempegowda. Looking at its history, Savandurga has its earliest record during the Hoysala Dynasty. From 1638 to 1728, it was occupied by Dalavayi Devaraja of Mysore. It was also called 'Savinadurga' or the Fort of Death, by Robert Home, a British portrait painter, because of the steep incline and no steps to ascend. At the base of this hill are two temples dating back to 1340 AD: Savandi Veerabhadraswamy temple and Sri Lakshmi Narasimhaswamy temple. The main deity of the place is Sri Savandi Veerabhadraswamy Virabhadra. These temples are believed to have been built by the Hoysala Rulers.

The Savandurga trek can be completed by following two separate trails - “Karigudda'' (Black hill) and “Biligudda” (White hill). The only accessible trail to the general public is the Biligudda trail since the Forest Department has prohibited the Karigudda trail. The Biligudda trail originates near the Sri Lakshmi Narasimhaswamy temple, which is approximately 60 km from Bengaluru. The path towards the summit begins behind the temple and in the South-East direction. The complete hike trail is a mixture of flat areas, muddy roads, greenery and steep rock. There are indentations in the rock which were probably carved in from the time of Dalavayi Devaraja. These help in climbing up the steep rock and also in descending it.

Savandurga hill is off Magadi road and is easily accessible via buses, cars or two-wheelers. During the summer, the rocks radiate a lot of heat which becomes unbearable on the trail. The slippery stones in monsoons make it challenging to grip the surface, which becomes dangerous on the steep sections and demands an excellent grip. Savandurga is an ideal all-weather trek near Bangalore. But the best suitable time or season is between the end of September to February.

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