Makkalidurga: Trek for the views

First views of the formidable Makalidurga hill
Location: Makalidurga or Makkalidurga, Doddaballapura, Near Bangalore
Date: Dec 27th, 2015
To get there: [Click here for Google Map]. Go on Hebbal Road and take the exit to Doddaballapura a few kms after Hebbal Lake. Go through Doddaballapura towards Makalidurga. Trail head is  few kms after the Makallidurga Railway Station. You need to take a left on a dirt road just before a village(Gunjur) and go on that for about a km. Parking is next to the railway tracks.
Distance: 60km from Bangalore
Trail type: Rocky. Few places may need a bit of scrambling for the inexperienced trekkers.  Trail is marked with a white arrow painted on rocks in few places. At the top, there is a temple and fort which one can explore. We had kids aged 10 who did the trek quite easily. Still I would suggest to be careful as it was quite slippery in many spots due to small mountain streams. Also, younger kids can find it a bit strenuous.
Facilities: Doddaballapura is close by. Shops selling drinks and snacks are there on the main road near the trail head.

It had been a while since we had gone on any family trek close by. When a few friends also expressed interest to just go out and get relief from the City's chaos for a day at least, it seemed like our trek drought will end. After some internet research, we settled on Makalidurga near Doddaballapura even though it is on the other side of the city, as most reviews seemed to suggest that it a nice 1/2 day trek which is what we wanted.

Breakfast with a view!
Parking near the railway line
So, bright and early on the last Sunday of year 2015, 27th December, 4 adults, 2 kids and one teen set out in 2 cars northwards. We had packed sandwiches, fruits and snacks for our breakfast on the trek, some of which disappeared during the drive! Reached the trail head around 9, a bit late but not too bad. The Makalidurga hill towers over the railway line and the trail curves around a temple and them upwards. We met a few brave souls who had camped out at the top in the night.
White arrows to guide you in tricky places
Slippery slopes had to be maneuvered carefully

Truly scenic trails
View of the fort as we approached the top
Shortly after we started and as soon as we found a nice spot with some view, we settled down for a relaxed and pleasant breakfast. The trail from here goes around the hill and steadily up. It is clearly marked in few places with a white arrow. However, it is a bit of a scramble at some points and care should be taken to avoid an incident. I would suggest ensuring you have shoes with good soles to make it easier.
Fort walls

Fort ruins
At the top there are ruins of a fort and a small temple. Many paths and trails exist but no clear signs on where one should go or information boards about the fort. One can just explore the area as they see fit. We did one walk around and settled down on a boulder which gave a wide vista of the plains including the railway line near where we had parked our cars.

Black-shouldered Kite hovering over our lunch spot looking for its own lunch!
While relaxing there, we were treated to close up views of the hovering ability of the Black-shouldered Kite.There were also numerous Barn Swallows and Swifts putting on a nice aerobic display.

We finished up the rest of our food and started back. The trail back was somewhat easier. Or so we thought. By the time we reached our car though it was close to 2 pm and lunch was on everyone's minds. So, we stopped in Yelahanka on the way which had some good eateries. By evening we were back in our house after the much needed break from city pollution!

Hope to do the next one without such a long break!

If you do get to visit this or similar place around Bangalore, please ensure that you do not litter *anything* there to keep the place as pristine as possible for others.

Spotted a Common Kestrel as we were climbing down.
Trudging through some tall grass

Rose-ringed Parakeets

View of the railway line