After a lot of planning, cancelling and re-planning, I finally did the Uttari betta trek over a weekend. Uttari betta is an easily accessible hill and hence can be done as a one day trip from Bangalore city. It is now one of the popular trekking destinations around Bangalore city.
Did you know that Bangalore is surrounded by many hills (betta in Kannada language) and they all make up as perfect one day treks? To name a few are Nandi Hill, Skandagiri, Shivgange betta, Bilikal Rangaswamy betta, Channarayana Durga Fort, Bheema Bakasura betta, Hulukadi betta and Kaurava Kunda.
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About Uttari betta
Also known as Hutridurga, Uttari betta is a fortified hill in Kunigal taluk of Karnataka state. At an elevation of 1130 metres, Uttari betta is famous among trekkers and over the weekends, it is very crowded.
In India, a hike is also called as a trek. And hence, I am referring to the Uttari betta hike as trek so to use the local language. It is just one day and it is a hike technically.
Hutridurga was built by Kempegowda in the 16th century. There is a ruined fort at the peak of Uttari betta. The Uttari betta fort or the Hurtidurga fort was was the military bastion of Tipu Sultan which was conquered by the British in 1791. It has a small temple, Shankareshwara temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva.
There is also a Nandi statue with another temple dedicated to Lord Anjaneya. The hill fort has eight main gateways from the base to the summit along with several other outer gates.
The best time to hike the Uttari betta is during the winter season. It is extremely hot during the summer season and it is best to avoid during the heat. Also, it is slippery when it is raining so be careful which the ascend and descend. When I was at the peak, there was a huge cloud burst and it poured for sometime. Unfortunately, there is no shelter on the peak.
Uttari betta trek
The Uttari betta trek is one of those hills that provide green shade while trekking. The hills around Bangalore are usually barren and dry but Uttari betta trek is different as it provides that green patch.
- Starting and finishing point: Base of the hill at Santhepete (or Huthridurga).
- Total distance: 5 kilometres return.
- Time taken: 2 hours.
- Grade: Easy. There are well built steps and railings to climb.
- Type of trek: Return.
- Carry a strong day pack. The day pack must contain a first aid kit, sunscreen, poncho, sweater or a jacket, torch, personal medication and sun glasses.
- Wear sturdy and comfortable shoes.
- Always carry an extra pair of socks so you are prepared for blisters.
- Take sufficient drinking water. At least take 2 litres of water for the day.
- Carry your lunch and snacks with you to have it at the peak.
- Do not throw garbage. Take your rubbish with you and dispose them only at dedicated bins.
- There are no shops on the hill. Buy your lunch and snacks at the fast food joint or darshini that you visit along the way.
- Even though this trek can be done by yourself, it is still best to go with a trekking agency so the entire day is planned along with the transportation.
- There are no toilet facilities on the hill or at the peak.
- Be careful of the monkeys as they usually grab your bags or food.
How to get to the starting point?
The starting point of the trek is in Santhepete (also called Huthridurga) in Kunigal taluk of Tumkur district.
Santhepete is around 80 kilometres from Bangalore city and it takes about 2 to 3 hours to reach by road. The route is towards Nelmangala and has toll roads.
There are frequent buses between Bangalore city and Kunigal. The best way would be to take a local bus to Kunigal and then taking an auto rickshaw or a taxi to Hutridurga.
Note: This mode could cause a problem as you may not get auto rickshaws or taxis while coming back after the trek.
One day itinerary
Uttari betta trek is a one day trip from Bangalore. Start early morning for Uttari betta. The road journey takes around 2 to 3 hours. On the way, ensure to have your breakfast. There are many fast food joints or darshinis. Pack your lunch too.
After reaching the base of the hill, start your trek. The trek takes only about one hour. At the peak, enjoy the spectacular views of the other mountains and villages. Have your lunch at the peak.
Start your descend and reach the base of the hill. The descend takes less than one hour. Once descended, start for Bangalore. The road journey again takes about 2 hours if there is no traffic.
Bangalore has many trekking agencies that organise guided treks to near by hills around Bangalore. I have heard most of them are good even though I have not tried too many of them. One trekking agency that I have tried is the Bangalore Mountaineering Club (BMC). They are the oldest trekking agency in Bangalore and are very well established. I have been to many trekking agencies with them and have always had a good time. The trek leads are young and have good leadership skills and the treks are on time.
- Trekking agency: BMC.
- Cost: INR 1259 per person including the GST.
- Booking: The booking process is easy and can be done on their website.
- After booking, make sure to call them to confirm the trek. All these treks require minimum number of participants and if the agency does not get the participants, then they usually cancel the treks.
Safety for solo female travelers
I would not recommend hiking alone, be it male or female. The hill does get isolated very quickly and it is always best to go with at least one more person. As a general rule, trekking or hiking is advised to be done with a trekking buddy so you are prepared for any unforeseen situations.
Uttari betta is surely one of the most amazing one day treks around Bangalore. The views from the peak are picturesque and stunning. Have you been to Uttari betta trek? Did you like it? Let me know in the comments below.
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