Tired of Bangalore’s pothole-filled roads, we decided it’s time for us to get that beautiful feel of the boulevard. Our aim was to drive, drive long, drive safe. With a bit of Google Maps’ help, we zeroed in on a less-visited fort in Gudibande, an hour’s drive after crossing the Bangalore Airport.
We wanted to start early morning to beat the afternoon heat and more importantly the airport road traffic. As planned, we started around 5 in the morning. With chill in the air, we managed to cross the airport with minimum fuss and zipped past Devanahalli and Chikkaballapura. After another 25 KM highway drive, we took a left towards Gudibande. Roads are largely smooth after deviation from the highway and another 12 KM took us to the base of the hill where the fort stands. On the way, we spent some time catching a glimpse of swans flying and resting on the lake just before Gudibande.
With this day being a Saturday, we expected quite a few people in the fort. And to our surprise, we were the only ones. Maybe it was early morning or cold weather that put people off. With the perfect weather for the company, we started climbing expecting it to be a tough one. We felt a bit heavier after the first few steps, although it was just our lazy bodies getting used to climbing. Once we started getting higher up the hill, the mesmerizing view of the surrounding hills took away our heavy breaths and tiredness.
The view only got better the higher we went. On the way to the top, we promised ourselves, to get a container to empty the plastic waste littered around. The route to the top was a mix of uneven steps and small patches of rocks. We found stagnant water in a few places on the way and suspected that they might be built as water ponds. Right at the top of the hill, we found a temple, Shiva temple and a mandap, which was calling for proper maintenance.
We were treated to a beautiful 360 view of mountain ranges surrounding the fort which made our early more hike worthwhile. There are lots of places where you could spend some time if you are a photography buff.
After capturing our presence on the fort, we started our downhill climb. Trust me, when I say, it’s difficult to climb down than to climb up when you have un-even steps like the ones in this fort. Once we got down, we realized we haven’t had breakfast yet. Now that was a surprise when both of our motto is ‘live to eat’. However, there were not any good food options nearby other than the Nandini milk parlor in the village where we could get some milk and snacks.
Satisfied with our early morning work, we set forward to our next stop, Avalabetta, which is around an hour’s drive from Gudibande. On the way, we found a place that was serving a decent breakfast. After refueling ourselves & asking for directions, we set off.
At the base of Avalabetta, we found a neat parking place for cars and two-wheelers. A little inquiry later we found no vehicles are allowed to drive to the top unless you are visiting for pooja or with toddlers and elderly.
We were put off by the height of the hill initially, partially due to tiredness from the previous climb or the heavy breakfast. Not giving in to the temptation of returning, we continued towards the peak. Here is a nice concrete road leading to the top. We found a staircase that we choose to climb instead, which saved us half the distance, but only after navigating un-even steps and a few insects on the way. After a bit of huffing and puffing, we made it to the top.
It was nearing noon and the air was colder as we went up. We sat down on one of the big boulders to breathe in the cool breeze. There is a nice little temple atop the hill and we had a lot of monkeys for company.
Due to the recent events of irresponsible travelers at the place, we found a couple of police personnel present to restrict entry to a few of the scenic spots, as they were not entirely safe. After a quick chat with them, we started our journey down.
Once in the parking lot, there was absolutely no competition to drive the car as both of us wanted a bit of rest. With the help of locals for a better route, we drove back to Chikkaballapura. We always make it a point to check with the locals for the condition of the road than blindly trusting Google maps.
On the way back to Bangalore, we gave a quick visit to Bhoganandishwara temple in Nandi, a couple of KM deviation from the highway and a stop at Punjabi Dhaba for lunch.
With the perfect support from the Weather Gods, it was indeed a Saturday well spent.
Bangalore – Hyderabad highway.
70Kms from KIAB (Bangalore airport). A 12 km drive after deviation from the highway.
- Avalabetta: 1-hour drive from Gudibande. If you are planning to visit this place just to pose on a selfie cliff, then do not waste your time. The cliff is closed and secured by police due to recent events of irresponsible travelers.
- Bhoganandishwara temple: beautiful Shiva temple opens at 7 am. A nice calm place to relax and click a few pics.
- Nandi hills: a very famous and familiar place for Bangaloreans. A place for hiking, cycling, driving and scenery.
- Skandagiri: a famous night trekking place with a temple at the peak.
- Sir MV museum: Sir M Visvesvaraya House converted to a museum in the village he was born. It is a base camp for Skandagiri trekkers. Timings are from 9 am to 5 pm
No entry fees. Limited hotels nearby. But once you reach the highway, there are lots of veg and non-veg hotels and dhaba.
~Best time to visit~
All throughout the year. Early morning visits will get you a good view and also strain less.
Keep the place clean. If possible please carry a trash bag and collect plastics while walking.