One of the most picturesque hikes I have been to, around Bangalore, is the Bilikal Rangaswamy betta. The mountain is made up of forests and has green views throughout the hike. A few years ago, as part of my work outing we all visited the Bilikal Rangaswamy betta.
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About Bilikal Rangaswamy betta
Bilikal Rangaswamy betta is a hill near Kanakpura in Karnataka state of India. The name Bilikal Rangaswamy is derived based on two things, one because of the temple dedicated to Lord Ranganatha Swamy that is on the peak and two Bilikal in Kannada language means white rocks.
The hiking in the Bilikal Rangaswamy betta and the temple at the top is open only on the weekends between 9 AM and 3 PM. One needs permission to hike in the area as it is guarded by forest department and has wild animals especially elephants. Usually the cost is around INR 100 per person. The peak can also be reached on bikes so be prepared to meet crowd.
The best time to hike in the Bilikal Rangaswamy betta is during the winter season (between the months of October and February) and in the mornings. It is advisable to avoid hiking in the area during the rainy season as the trails can become slippery.
How to get to base of Bilikal Rangaswamy betta?
The base of the hill is around 76 kilometres from Bangalore city and it takes about 2 hours 15 minutes by road. The route is towards Kanakpura and has toll roads. There are many free parking spaces at the base.
The best way to reach the base of the hill is by taking a bus to Kanakpura bus stop, which is around 16 kilometres from Bangalore. There are regular and frequent local buses from Majestic in Bangalore to Kanakpura. One can take an auto rickshaw or taxis (Uber or Ola) to reach the base. However, keep in mind that the taxis may not be available easily for the return.
The hike to the peak is very beautiful and has patches of dense forest. Also, you get to meet some cute locals when you visit the temple at the top.
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The hike is not hard but I did find it a bit difficult when I visited it as I was very unfit during that time. But I think it would be an easy hike for avid hikers.
- Starting and finishing point: Koonala Doddi in Kanakpura.
- Total distance: Around 4 to 5 kilometres.
- Time taken: 2 to 2.5 hours.
- Grade: Easy to Moderate. Moderate because there are a few sections that are steep.
- Type of hike: Return.
- Make sure to go with someone who knows the area. Unfortunately, there are no hiking agencies that take hikers on this hike.
- Ensure to take permission from the forest department at the check point.
- Wear comfortable and sturdy shoes.
- Respect the nature and do not throw garbage.
- Stay away from the wild animals and do not go close to them if you see them.
- Carry a small backpack.
- Take sufficient water and take light lunch.
- Try to be back to the base before it gets dark. Staying overnight is not allowed on the hill.
- There are no shops on the hill.
- There are no toilet facilities on the way or on the peak.
Safety for solo female travelers
It is not advisable to hike alone in the Bilikal Rangaswamy betta. There are wild animals and it can become very dangerous. I would definitely not recommend going here alone does not matter if you are a female or a male. I highly advise going with a person who understands and knows the area well.
Bilikal Rangaswamy betta is a very pretty hike, close to Bangalore. It can easily be done as a one day hike and the trail is green and covered in forest. I would love to go hike the Bilikal Rangaswamy betta again.
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