Hutridurga is a small hillock situated about 65 km from Bangalore in Kunigal taluk. It is 3,600 meters above sea level with plantations and forest reserve surrounding the area. One can even witness the village fair or village market day on a Sunday. A deviation from the Kunigal highway towards Santhepete will give you the glimpse of Hutridurga whose silhouette is breathtaking. It is a hill with rich history playing a prominent role during the British Raj and even before. The fort starts mid way from the hill and tarmac roads help in getting to the base of the fort much faster. There are handful of houses at the base and a provisional store. It is better to carry food, water, refreshments before reaching the spot.
raving A few years ago we had a mud road leading to the boulders where the fifth layer of the fort starts. Now there are stones which are laid to navigate much easily. There are 7 layers to the fort where two have been destroyed and only the ruins remain where as the other 5 stand majestically braving the seasons. The trail is about 2.5 kms with stone stairs and railings covering almost half the way of the trek. This trail end on the top of the hill leading to an old Shiva temple, where people visit and paying homage to their deity.
There is small pond in front of the temple. It is believed to be consecrated in the 16th century and later a temple was built around the area. The visitors can have a mesmerizing view of Kunigal taluk and tiny surrounding villages. Many of the trekkers end their quest here but if you want to push yourself a bit more then Hutridurga has much more to offer. If one will continue the trail even beyond the temple on a mud path eventually leading to boulders, we come across a less traversed path. Descending a boulder will lead into a stairway which goes further down and then to a flat area with mud and grass. Not many are aware of this. If we continue to trek another 700 meters two humongous boulders stand tall. One boulder gives the view of the other side of Kunigal and the other boulder holds a secret door way to less accessed side of Hutri. We can experience a sort of cave exploration at Hutridurga. The opening of the cave is small and one has to squeeze through and push themselves vertically up, leaning against the rocks, navigating through the dark to see the light of the day. This makes Hutridurga more dearer to many. This last part of the small cave exploration adds more thrill and lives up to the spirit of true adventure. Once we make it out the cave then we can stretch our legs out and soak up every ounce of energy that is available. It is indeed a sight to behold, which remains in the trekkers memory for a very long time.
Difficulty level of the trek - Moderate.
Ways to reach:
Google map - https://goo.gl/maps/fK23jxfd5ADjGJXw9
Hutridurga is easily accessible via road. Mangalore Kunigal highway has the best tarmac and makes it a pleasure drive. There are two ways to reach Hutridurga.
Bangalore -------- Kunigal highway (Left deviation) --------- Hutridurga
Bangalore --------- Magadi Road ------------ Hutridurga
Things to carry:
Few cookies, chocolates or citric fruits.
Instant pain relieve spray (to be on the safer end)
For complete list of essentials you can read our blog
Facilities available at Hutridurga:
Hotels - There are no hotels in the vicinity and hence better to finish breakfast along the highway and pack lite lunch.
Toilets - We do not have the public toilet facility. But when requested to the locals they let trekkers use their washroom.
Parking - At the base there is paid parking facility. They charge approx. Rs. 50/-
Best time to visit -
The hill is accessible throughout the year and no restrictions are imposed. But the best time to visit is June to October. There are greener pastures and pleasant weather. Summers can be harsh and rainy season makes the boulders slippery and caution is advised.
Until next adventure...