HANDI GUNDI BETTA TREK
The advantage of being in Karnataka ‘One state many worlds’, is that we get to see everything we wish for. Bangalore has the added advantage of so many Bettas or hillocks within the range of 60-80 km. These hillocks are perfect weekend getaways or day treks for beginners, photography and wildlife enthusiasts. Handi Gundi Betta is one of such beautiful trails.
Before you get the first glimpse of Handi Gundi Betta you will cross through the rough trails. You will see vegetation and farmlands on either side of the trails, shepherds herding their flocks, local women dressed in a traditional saree and jewellery picking up sticks for the fire. The chirping of birds, the sound of the wind, and the forest’s silence are what I always crave whenever I go for a trek. Handi Gundi Betta trek is a calm and quiet hike.
Just about 50 km away from Bangalore towards Mysore in Ramanagara, Handi Gundi Betta is an easy and doable trek for beginners. The panoramic views of other bettas (hillocks) like Ramadevera Betta, Kabbaladurga and some others will leave you in awe.
The Handi Gundi Betta Trek Route
The trekking route starts at the point where you will notice a signboard saying’ Trekking without permission is a punishable offence’ by the Forest Department. The trek route is mostly muddy trails with some elevation of rocks, vegetation and farmlands, ponds and an aerial view of villages. The tricky and slippery rocky hills start after some point. One needs to be careful especially during rains. The granite becomes slippery with the moss.
The trek route is very clear and simple but the views are amazing. It can be done without a guide but it is always advisable to take a local person along with you.
After crossing the muddy trails covered with shrubs on both sides you will find the rocky hills. The sight from the base looks like you will be walking on the ridge but it is not so. The hills are steep and you need good core strength to climb. But in trekking there is no race, climb slowly and enjoy the nature, mesmerising surrounding views and the beautiful sky. Even on a sunny day, the sky appears like a canvas and you can draw anything of your imagination. On every trek we go, we spend time on the top, lying down watching the sky or meditating. Sitting at the edge, absorbing the vibes and immersing ourselves in nature is something to feel. It cannot be described in words. The feelings are different for each person.
We took a break at the mid-point where the rocks were a little flat and has a perfect view. We had our breakfast which we carried from Ramanagara. The sumptuous breakfast on the hills, we couldn’t have asked for more. But we had to eat carefully as we had just begun to climb.
There are few water bodies on the way, don’t miss them. There is a point where you see an exact reflection of Handi Gundi Betta in water. This was my favourite point. We took many pictures here.
There are a couple of other hills which can be hiked based on your fitness level. Handi Gundi Betta can be finished in 2- 3 hours. Start your trek early morning to get a glimpse of sunrise. Also, the sun becomes very harsh as the day progresses.
The descend was quick and easy as we took the other route. Within 45 minutes we reached the base and another 15 minutes to reach our car park. We parked our car near the village. Make sure you pin your car park on the maps app if you are not confident of the route. It will help you to reach back at the same point without any hassle.
The other hills are famous for Sholay spot, yes the Bollywood blockbuster of yesteryears. Do not miss the twin hill which is named Ram- Lakshman.
Handi Gundi Betta is an easy trek and ideal for beginners.
You must obtain permission before the trek. As the trail comes under Ramanagara jurisdiction, permission can be obtained from the Deputy Conservator of Forests, Ramanagara. Ph: 080 2971 0004( please check the number )
There is nothing available at the base or on the trek. Carry lots of drinking water and enough food, energy bars and fresh fruits.
Wear proper trekking/sports shoes, caps, sunglasses and sunscreen lotion.
There are no trail markings and likely a chance to get lost in the jungle.
Pin and save your parking location on google maps so that you reach back at the same place.
Do not litter. ( The basic rule of trekking).