Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Makalidurga is a village in Doddaballapura Taluq, around 60 kms from Bangalore. The place is well known for the granite hillock (1350 m above sea level) with the ruins of the ancient fort/temple on its top & shimmering lakes stretching on either side serenely below them.

Makalidurga is very well connected by both road and train. Train is the cheapest and the fastest available mode. You won’t believe you can plan your cheapest day out if you plan by train to Makalidurga. The train fare would be 4 Rs from Bangalore (Yashwanthpura Rly Station) & the return journey would cost you 9 Rs per head. So shell out 13 Rs from your pocket: your up & down transportation is taken care.

Well, let me come back to the point; I had been to this place twice, once with Ravi on 2nd May 09 and second time with my colleagues on 5th Sept 09. I felt September was a much better time to enjoy the serene beauty of the place. It’s very hot during the month of May.

Makalidurga has a small railway station. The passenger train would stop here. The railway station is right in front of the small hillocks and close to the main hill. Get down here and continue to walk for 1.5 kms on track to reach the Makalidurga Hill base. Here you find a small temple and a small house (an old man & old lady live here). During my first visit we had asked the old lady of the house to prepare some food for afternoon. When we were back, she served us with big plateful of Kharabat. The qty was so much that we could not even eat 50% of that. That day after lunch we had spent some time enjoying, distributing the cakes and biscuits to the monkeys in that place.

Walk ahead of this place to climb the hill. There is a trekking path marked with arrows to facilitate and to make the trekking more comfortable. No rule that we have to follow only this path. You could climb the hill or get down from any side. Except for one or two places it is not very risky to do that on this hill. In fact when I went there for the first time I climbed down opposite to the trekking path and during the second time we climbed 90° to the left side (from lake side) of trekking path.

Need to be little careful while walking through the abundantly available lemon grass grown all over (There could be danger from snakes). During my visit in September we could see some rabbits. It took almost 90 min for us to reach the top. In the beginning, need to pass through the little dense area of small plants planted by the forest department and after that at some places have to do little negotiation with boulders on the way. One or two places on the path seems to be little difficult otherwise the trekking is not very difficult. While climbing the hill the serene beauty of the lake below looks more and more pleasing. The panoramic view of the mountains around Makalidurga hill is very pleasing and a very good visual treat to the eyes. The ruined fort starts to reveal out clearly as we reached half the way. As we climbed further we were just getting near to the obscure history, won’t get much to read in books also.

As far as the history of Makalidurga is considered, it can be tracked back to Vijayanagara Empire where they used to conduct army exercises in this place. The place was later captured by Shahaji (father of Shivaji) after Vijayanagara Empire and then was ruled by Kempegowda after he captured that from Shahaji.

After reaching the fort on the top, one could do their own research study on the fort and the structures inside it. Looking at the ruined structures I have tried to identify and find out which could be the security guards house, Kings Room, ministers room how many would have stayed here and all other nonsense thoughts that came to my mind. At least I have not understood the design of this fort and I wondered where they were doing army exercise. The place on the hill top seems to be very small for an army exercise and it’s a small fort too, spend 15 min; you could go one round around the fort.

There is a small Shiva temple. This god is worshiped by the local village people only on some of the important occasions. Other wise the god won’t see any poojas done for him.
If you want to see what damage could be done to our history and ancient beauty because of the human greed and wild desires, The broken Shiva Linga, broken Basava idol & the broken Garuda Gamba in front of the temple are very good examples. Not just these three, the whole of the fort area is dug and ruined by people from all over for the search of the treasure which they have heard in stories and from their elders. It is very pathetic that for not so sure & unknown treasure we have spoilt our priceless treasures of culture and art.

Not just that, the neatness of the place is also spoiled by lots of paper waste (wrappers of chocolates, biscuits, plastic cover etc...) and the glass pieces. I personally think we have no rights to spoil our nature like this. I generally dictate to people with me not to throw away anything around and if possible to collect any of the paper, plastic or glass waste that they find. At least that way we could contribute a little to keep the place better for other visitors.

From the hill top it’s very beautiful to see the lakes on either side, curvy roads and the railway track below this hill. The glimpse of the train from here is very exciting. The views of the other mountains are also very pleasing to eyes. September/October could be the better time to enjoy all these as there will be more greenery around.

During my first visit I had a small siesta at this place. That was just wonderful.

We could choose the same path to get down or if willing to take risk, we could choose our own way down (like I and Ravi did). But execution of atmost care and vigilance is necessary.

During my second visit, only few of us went on trekking, rest all my colleagues were settled near lake. We had carried the cooking utensils and material to cook food in the afternoon.
By the time we reached the spot, the lunch was ready for us. The Vangibath, Rasam & Rice, Curds rice and the Apple halva all tasted tastier after the trek.

On that day evening we played lots of cricket on the lake bed, few games were organized by some of the colleagues and there was a dance program also to entertain us. It was just wonderful.

Before closing down I would just say that Makalidurga is a wonderful place to enjoy and could be planned for a one day trek/trip (outing). But we have to see that we are not causing any harm to the remains of our lost history & culture when we visit places with historical importance.

Bangalore--> Doddaballapura --> Makalidurga (on Gowribidanur road)

Train name:
Guntur Passenger
@ Yashwanthpur: Departure: 8.15 AM
@ Makalidurga: Departure: 3.30 PM

Near by Places: Ghati Subramanya


Anonymous said...

Stumbled upon your blog by accident. Lovely photos and interesting descriptions. You should consider pressuring some cultural group to preserve this site for future.

Anonymous said...

Too many sites like this to preserve in Karnataka, Thanks to the Hoysala kings, queens and palegars...also too few cultural groups that one can approach. So, the pressuring needs to be done on a crazy individual like me.