Kalwara Betta – It all started with an Email from Kallesh who had forwarded some photos of the Betta which his friend had taken during his visit. Amazing photos. Just couldn’t believe that such a place exist so close to Bangalore
Where is it? None of us had heard of Kalawara Betta. All we could gather was that this was in the Nandi hills range, closer to Chikballapur. We had no idea. Enquires were made to our friends. All I got was a mail from Ravee to check the blog of Pradeep Jayaraman. It wasn’t sufficient. They had not reached the top. We decided to give it a try.
Our plan was to be there before the sunrise to have a good view. Kallesh, Deepak, Nagaraj and me planned to meet near the petro bunk after getting down the Hebbal flyover. I was there at the meeting point at 4.00am. No sign of others. It was very chill and visibility was very poor.
At 4.30 am we all assembled and started our move to the hills. We decided to take the nandi hills, ask for the route and then proceed. But that didn’t happen. On widening the roads the nandi statue at the entrance of the cross was missing. We had crossed over and had reached Chikballapur. It was 5.30 am. We found one much wanted tea shop. Stopped for tea and made enquiries at the shop. In a hurry to reach the place I had forgotten to take my camera. Later I was cursing myself for not taking my camera. It requires another visit.
The routeThere are 2 routes to kalawara betta. One is take a turn towards Nandi Hills and go further tokalawaraVillagecrossing Muddenahalli. This is shorter route than the one from Chikaballapur. Second one is to go to chikaballapur and then to kalawara Village. FromKalawara Village ask for Omkara Jyoti Ashrama / Papagni Mutt which is 2000 years old. There is a shiva temple and vehicles can be parked. This is at the base of the Hills.
Nandi to Kalawara to Papagni Mutt is 6 kms
Chikaballapur to papagni Mutt is 3 kms.
The tea shop owner guided us the route towards muddenahalli and asked us to enquire from there. We were 5 kms before Chikkaballapur. Initially we were on the tar road up to Muddenahalli and then we took a detour to a muddy track. Enquiries were made with every person on sight. Finally we were guided to the starting point of the trek. We parked our vehicles and started trekking. We had no idea!!! We headed towards south on the boulders and dense shrub. Our plans of seeing sunrise didn’t happen. It was a cloudy day. Nagaraj and I took a different route and Kallesh and Deepak were ahead of us. I was using my mobile camera to take some snaps. After 1 hr Deepak called me over phone and said they have found a mantapa. We joined them and had much needed rest. The route up to the mantapa is not very clear. Further ahead there is a clear steps cut on the rocks till the top. Here sleep took us away from the actual route and we went towards north west direction. After half an hour of trekking in dense shrubs I decided to go back to the mantapa and look for the route. We returned to the mantapa again. Clouds had cleared and there was a clear blue sky. Wow!!! What an amazing sight!!! The ridges on the north were awesome. Again and again I was cursing myself for not bringing my camera. My mobile camera was not sufficient, but anyway I couldn’t stop myself from clicking.
Once on to the path the trek became easy. We were on the top of the hill in about 1 hr. There are remains of the fort wall and a temple / mantapa on top. We couldn’t find any info about the fort. From the top of the hill we could see Nandi Hill on the south and Papagni Mutt on the east. In between Nandi Hills and Kalawara there is another hill, the name of which is not clear to me. Road cut across each hills. May be if we camp there for 2 days we can try reaching Nandi from Kalawara Betta criss crossing the roads in between.
We stayed there on the top for nearly 1 hour going around the hill discussing the possible routes that can be taken. It easily is a one day outing. But the best way is to reach the top before sunset, camp there for the night to watch both sunset and sunrise. Our route for the next moonlit trek was planned. We decided to visit the Mutt and make enquiries for the moonlit trek.
The Papagni Mutt is 1 km from the base of the hill. We met the priest Gangadarachar and told him about our moonlit trek. He assured to help us in providing a guide for us and also to prepare food for us.
Having noted all the details about the place we headed towards Chikkaballapur. It was 12.30 when we reached Chikkaballapur. We were very hungry. We had not taken anything for breakfast. After Lunch at chikkaballapur we went into a Grapes field. Purchased 2 kgs of grapes each and happily left for Bangalore.
Waiting for the moonlit trek to happen in March, but this time with my camera without fail.