The lush green trails, rocky hills, beautiful weather, dark clouds all over, view of a lake and other hills, ruins of a fort and a temple, the whole view is just so so mesmerising. I am here at Makali Durga Trek, a perfect weekend getaway from Bangalore for trekkers, nature lovers, adventure seekers and those who are always behind the camera, suckers for amazing captures and memories. It is one of the most sought Trek from Bangalore.
After 5 months of lockdown, I was restless and was craving to go out for my trek even if it was a day trek. The best advantage of living in Bangalore is that we have an umpteen number of small and beautiful hills for trekking within 100 km radius. These are day treks and can be done on any day of the week.
About Makali Durga Hills
Just 60 km away from Bangalore, Makali Durga is one of the most fascinating treks I have done recently. It was a pleasantly cloudy day with a little nip in the air after rains in the previous week. Makali Durga Hill stands about 4430 feet above the sea level with a temple and some ruins on the top. For me, any trek is like meditation or rejuvenation for mind, body and soul, but this trek is beyond words. There are many stories attached to the Makali Durga Hills and the temple which can be searched if required. I am sharing my experience here which made this trek as one of my most memorable ones.
How to reach
As I mentioned, it is just 60 km away from Bangalore so we drove. One can also reach by train or state-run buses to reach Makali Durga railway station or Doddaballapur Bus stop. From there its just about 15 km. The railway station is called Makali Durga which is just at the foot of the hills. There are 2 lines of which one is not active. The car park is at the foothills right next to the inactive railway track.
Being in Karnataka, I feel so blessed to have so many eco trails within our reach. Makali Durga Trek is also managed by Eco-Tourism, Department of Karnataka Forest. There is a nominal fee of Rs 250 which each visitor has to pay. You can also Trek through department organised trek trips and book online at https://myecotrip.com/.
About the Trek
Magnificient views all through the trek, rocky trails and boulders, highs and lows green tracks, varieties of wildflowers, an ancient temple on the top, view of a lake which looks like a map of South America and much more is what you can expect at Makali Durga Trek.
The trek starts at the barren railway line from where you can not only see the Makali Hills but also some of the beautiful surrounding hills. The view from that point is just indescribable especially after it had rained. The lush green rain-soaked plants, muddy trail, new buds and flowers with dewdrops make an experience. The trek is a little challenging as you have to climb lots of uneven rocks. Though it is mentioned it is a difficult trek listen to your gut feeling. There is nothing called as difficult once you have made up your mind. We had two girls of age 7 and 9 with us who enjoyed their trek so much and finished without any difficulty.
It took about 2 hours for us to reach on the top as we were not in a hurry and wanted to enjoy the greenery and scenic views all around. At every 10-15 steps, we wanted to take photographs. A huge hillock and an old temple on the top makes Makali Durga Trek an exciting one. You can view 360 degrees, the city, surrounding hills, railway track, lake and the highway. It is like a perfect Drone shot. The weather was so awesome and we relaxed on the top and ate breakfast which we carried with us.
Not getting deeper into the history, the ruins/ walls of the Fort are still present and are good photo ops. Almost in all my treks, I have seen an old temple on the top of the hill but never understood why and how someone built it. The temple also has some significance as local people believe in it.
The descend is equally challenging as you have to cross those big boulders which are easy to climb up but it is fun. I always keep challenging myself with these treks.
The trail is marked with lots of direction arrows and there is less likely a chance to get lost in the forest.
Best time to visit
Well, for any adventurist, trekker or nature lover all seasons are good. However, you can avoid peak summers and monsoon as it becomes hot in summers and slippery in the rainy season. I am a sucker for greenery, so went just after the rains. Winters are good too.
Makali Durga is a day trek and can be finished in 5-6 hours all together.
The treks come under Eco Trips managed by Department of Forest, Karnataka Government, hence one has to take permission for the trek and there is a charge of Rs.250 per person.
The trek difficulty level is moderate and can be done easily barring some big boulders which one has to climb. It is exciting.
Carry your food and water as nothing is available on the top or in between.
There are no washrooms or public toilets.
Beware of monkeys.
Look for tiny wildflowers on the sides of the trail. They are beautiful.
Carry a cap if you are going in summers, a rain cheater during monsoon and a sweatshirt in winters.
Wear comfortable clothing and footwear( shoes with good grips).
Do not litter.