Trek to Muthurayana Betta

  • Location: MuthurayanaBetta, Kanakpura Road, Near Bangalore
    Date: Apr 12th 2008
    To get there: [Click here for Google Map]. Go on Kanakapura Road from Bangalore. After Kaglipura or Kaggalipura, you will get Somanahalli. Less than a kilometer later you will hit Ravgodlu junction. There is just a bus stop platform here and a large arch across the Road. Turn left onto a tar road right before the arch. Drive for about 2km, passing a village (Ravgodlu?) on the way, until you see a dirt road turning right towards the hills. The hill on the right is Muthurayana Betta. There is a huge tree here under which you can park the car and walk the rest of the way or you can drive your vehicle on the dirt track along the hedge, all the way to the foothill.
    Distance: Ravgodlu turn off on Kanakpura Road is about 30km from Basavanagudi. From there the hill is about 2km.
    Trail type: There is no real proper trail, just paths made by the local folks. It is about 1km to 1.5km to the top. Elevation gain should be about 1000ft is my guess.
    Facilities: Nothing much close to the "trail head" near the main road. There was a village about a kilometer before where there may be small shops. Other than that its shops along Kanakapura road before the Ravgodlu turnoff for last minute purchases. No rest room facilities either...

    We had decided on this trek based on very little information in the Internet. However, the kids had done this with Woody Adventures, so at least we knew there was a hill and it was climbable by 6 yr olds! Based on just this much information, we left Basavanagudi around 7.30am in 2 cars with 5 adults and 6 kids from 3 yrs to 11yrs and lots of food! Along the way there was a partially dried up lake, few kms after NICE interchange, with several Painted Storks. A good start to our trip!

    Reached the turn off to the hill around 8.30am and decided to park under the tree and walk the dirt track. Turned out to be a good decision as we saw Indian Robins, Bulbuls, Green Bee-eater, Pond heron, Night heron, Egrets and a White breasted Kingfisher! Everybody now got into bird watching mode and were able to enjoy the energetic morning activity of these birds. Kids enjoyed watching several frogs in a muddy pond, which chose to stare at us for a while and then disappear into the muddy depths. After maybe a kilometer of walking, we were at the foothill and decided to energize ourselves before tackling the climb. Soon, all were munching on biscuits, buns and sandwiches.

    Stomach filled, we enquired with a local person as to any paths to the top. He suggested a way and was confident that all of us will be able to do it quite easily. With the new found knowledge we started our climb and were soon scrambling up boulders etc. Soon we were half way up in a saddle like area with great views. But we had run out of time as it was now nearly half past 10. Goal was to get back to Bangalore by noon, so reluctantly decided to spend some time at this "base camp" and then head down.

    On the way down, we were able to enjoy the flight of an Egyptian Vulture which hovered for quite sometime over us. Once back to the foothill area, we helped ourselves to some refreshing Rose milk and grapes to counter the hot summer sun.

    Cars were fine where we had parked. Kids still had some energy left to play word games all the way back to Bangalore which we reached by 11.45 or so. Overall a great trip. During summer its probably advisable to get there earlier say around 6.30am to be able to climb all the way comfortably and get back before the heat gets too much.

    Remember if you do plan on doing this, enjoy the nature but ensure that you leave the place as it was before you graced it. Yes, I mean no littering or disturbing the wild life.

    More pictures from the trek can be found on Picasa.

Turahalli Trek

Location: Turahalli, South Bangalore.
Date: Mar 29, 2008
To get there: On Kanakpura road, go past the Khoday's brewery and take the road on the right opposite the first petrol bunk sighted. Go past Gubbalala village towards Turahalli village. Look for the hill with boulders on it. The road will head towards the main gate of a complex. Turn right there to reach the foothill and the start of the Trail.
Distance: Turahalli gudda is around eight km. from the Banashankari temple and around two-and-a-half km. from the Kanakpura main road.
Trail type: It is about 0.75km to maybe 1km at most. I would say elevation gain would be around 500ft. It has some loose rocks which one has to be careful of. Overall a very nice easy family friendly trail if you have kids younger than 5.
Facilities: Did not find any eating place or shop close to this place. It is best to pack a picnic basket with enough water for the trip. There are shops on kanakpura road for last minute purchases. Only rest room is the wide open natural space. :)

For some time now, we had been trying to find a nice family trekking trail close enough to do it in half a day. Veena suggested Turahalli which had been recommended by her friend. We decided to check it out.

Plan was to leave at 7am, Saturday morning. We all managed to squeeze into Sridhars Innova and were out of the gate by 7.30am. All the kids, Rohit, Tejas, Nithila, Siddharth and Swarup were in good spirits and looking forward to the adventure. After a short ride and going around in circles asking for Turahalli, we finally managed to find the foothill of the hillock where the trail starts.

As soon as we got out of the car, we saw the energetic flight of a Bee Eater looking for its breakfast. Elected to leave the hot coffee to be had on the return and took the food bags along with us.

The trail is up a small hillock to the temple on top. There are lots of boulders, trees and bushes. Nithila, Tejas and Rohit was out front with sridhar quickly and before long disappeared around a bend. Veena with siddharth were next followed by Sangavi with Swarup and me with my camera. We could see Egrets, Herons and a Red wattled Lapwing in the fields below though we couldn't spot any water body. While crossing a rocky outcrop we disturbed couple of Raptors but did not see anything much other than a flutter of wings and something big flying by us into a copse of trees. There were several black kites hovering above us. One looked different and we soon realized that it was indeed a Oriental Honey-buzzard. Couple of the kites didn't seem to like him or her and they kept chasing it until all disappeared from our sight. Further up we noticed a little brown dove (laughing dove) on a boulder. It had what looked like a cut in its neck but later (after asking for some expert opinion) were told that's was just the feathers being ruffled.

We reached the top in about 30 minutes. Both our 3 yr olds made it without a single complaint! At the top there is a temple and a big tree surrounded by a concrete platform which one can use to picnic. By the time I got there, rest of the group were exploring the top as well as munching on the food. Kids were soon scrambling up the rock behind the tree and getting comfortable on the tree limbs. We explored the area for about an hour. Lots of boulders to try rock climbing skills and great views.

The climb down was quick and soon all were sipping a nice cup of hot coffee which Veena had kept in a flask. I lagged behind the group to get some images of a Green Bee eater. A serene looking goatherd was sportive enough to pose for me also albeit unknowingly. He did like his snap though when I showed it!

Soon we were heading back home and planning on when we will make it back there, maybe this time for lunch as well!

More pictures of the trip can be found on Picasa.

If you do visit, please remember: Take only pictures and leave only footprints!