There was a time in my life, during my Bangalore days, where I went on regular bike trips, almost every day of the weekend for many years. I had a list of places on my bucket list and I wanted to see them all. My friends and I rode our bikes to near by places to explore and see each one of them. Shivagange betta was one of them and I visited it as part of one of my bike trips.
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Where is Shivagange Temple?
Shivagange betta is a mountain peak, situated in Dobbaspete that has a Hindu temple on the peak. It is a quick one day getaway from Bangalore. The mountain is in the shape of a Shivalinga and a spring flows close to the mountain which is called Ganga locally. It is also famously known as ‘Dakshina Kashi‘. The height of the mountain is 805 metres.
The temple is home to Sri Honnammadevi and Sri Gavi Gangadhareshwara temples. These temples are inside a cave. Also, it is claimed that Holy Ganga water comes from a rock at the top of the hill.
The most famous attraction of Shivagange betta is the Olakal Theertha. It is believed that if a person is lucky then the person would get the Holy Ganga water when she/he inserts their hand in the grinding stone that is right behind the temple in the cave. I have been to Shivagange betta many a times and I have got the water only two to three times.
Olakal refers to the grinding stone and theertha refers to the Holy water.
There is a huge Nandi statue at the top of the mountain. The path to the Nandi statue from Olakal theertha is narrow and steep. There are railings that are provided but one definitely needs to be very cautious while attempting to climb till the Nandi statue.
The views from the peak are very pretty and breathtakingly beautiful.
Every year during Sankranthi (harvesting festival) month, a cattle fair is held and is a place for bullocks. The festival happens in the month of January.
During the Sankranthi festival, the marriage function of Sri Honnammadevi and Sri Gavi Gangadhareshwara is conducted.
How to reach Shivagange Betta?
- Driving – The best way to reach Shivagange is by road. The distance between Shivagange and Bangalore is about 50 kilometres (1 hour). The nearest town is Tumkur which is 19 kilometres from Shivagange.
- Public transport – The nearest train station is Dabaspete which is about 8 kilometres from the Shivgange betta. One can catch a train from Bangalore Majestic and reach Dabaspete. Since it is such a short journey, one can buy the train ticket at the railway station.
- For up-to-date information on timings and route, refer IRCTC website.
- There are also buses between Bangalore and Dabaspete which takes aroud 1.5 to 2 hours.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit Shivagange is between the months of October and March when it is not too hot. And the best time of the day to hike is in the morning. Try to be at the base of the mountain by at least 9 AM.
Do not attempt the trek during the rainy season as the steps and the path are very slippery and can be very dangerous.
And the summer season is too hot.
Timings and Important Information
- The temple on the top opens at around 8:30 AM and closes by 6 PM.
- There are stalls at the base of the hill, so one can buy snacks and water bottles if required.
- Beware of monkeys. There are lots of them.
- Carry sufficient water.
- Please do not litter and carry your trash with you.
- Do not write anything on the monuments. Respect the temples.
- Wear appropriate clothing as it is the place of worship.
- You can wear footwear to the top. So ensure to wear sturdy and comfortable shoes.
- Trek light and carry only things that are needed during the trek.
- There are no toilets or water filling stations during the trek.
- Ideal trekking destination for beginners and family with small kids. However, it can be difficult after the Olakalu Theertha till Nandi statue.
Trekking logistics of Shivagange Betta peak
The temple is a popular trekking site among the trekkers. The trail to the peak is well marked and has man-made steps. The path is suitable for beginners as it is an easy trail of 2.3 kilometres one way to the peak.
Note: The trail does become narrow and steep near the peak, and there are safety railings to hold onto. Also, be careful from the monkeys that exist near the summit.
- Distance: 2.3 kilometres one way till the peak.
- Grade: Moderate (Easy till Olakalu Theertha and Moderate till Nandi statue).
- Number of steps: 150 steps till Olakalu Theertha. Narrow and steep path after Olakalu Theertha to Nandi statue.
- Time taken to the peak: 30 minutes till Olakalu Theertha + 30 to 45 minutes to the peak.
- Path: Base of Shivagange betta – Olakalu Theertha – Nandi. The climb to the Nandi statue after Olakalu Theertha is very tiring.
Safety for solo female travelers
The mountain and the temples are absolutely safe for solo female travelers. However, the path to get to the base of the mountain can be a bit risky and isolated. So I would suggest visiting this mountain with at least one other person as a trekking buddy. Also, because there are too many monkeys on the mountain it is better to have more people while trekking.
Note: I am not aware of any reputed trekking agencies that take people to Shivagange betta yet.
The Shivagange betta is definitely worth visiting as a one day trip from Bangalore. I have loved going here over and over again to see the spectacular temples. I would recommend visiting this place for sure.