Skandagiri Trekking: A Complete Guide 

Skandagiri, also known as Kalavara Durga, is an enthralling hill fortress about 70 kilometres from Bangalore, Karnataka. This trekking destination, well-known for its mesmerising sunrise views, provides adventure seekers with an exhilarating experience amidst lush greenery and rocky terrain. The journey to Skandagiri is a picturesque one that passes through thick forests, strenuous climbs, and historic ruins before reaching the summit and offering a fantastic view. With the ruins of an 18th-century fort nearby, Skandagiri, at 1,443 metres above sea level, offers visitors not only a physical adventure but also a spiritual and historical exploration. For those looking for a rejuvenating experience in nature and a window into the future, the Skandagiri trek is an excellent choice for both novice and experienced hikers.

Places to visit near Skandagiri Hills

Lepakshi Temple

Trekkers may come upon the historic Lepakshi Temple, a hidden treasure tucked away in the surrounding scenery, as they ascend the Skandagiri hills. The temple, formally called the Veerabhadra Temple, is a representation of the area's rich cultural and historical fabric. Situated in close proximity to Skandagiri, the temple is widely recognised for its exquisite Vijayanagar architectural design and elaborate sculptures that portray mythological stories. The Lepakshi Temple, devoted to Lord Veerabhadra, a manifestation of Lord Shiva, provides hikers with spiritual peace during their strenuous expedition. A cultural and historical highlight of the thrilling Skandagiri trekking experience is the visit to the temple, which is defined by its elaborate pillars, mural paintings, and massive Nandi statue at the entrance.

Nandi Hills

While Skandagiri and Nandi Hills are separate trekking destinations near Bangalore, they are frequently mentioned together due to their proximity and the ability to combine visits. About 60 kilometres from Bangalore, Nandi Hills is a well-known hill station and destination for trekking. It has historical significance, lovely weather, and stunning views. While easier than Skandagiri, the walk to Nandi Hills is still delightful. Ascending the Nandi Hills allows hikers to see historic buildings like the Nandi Temple, which honours the sacred bull Nandi, and the Summer Palace of Tipu Sultan.

Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple 

The Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple is a noteworthy historical and cultural site that is near Skandagiri, adding to the attraction of the trekking experience in the area. This historic temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is located at the base of the Nandi Hills and offers a spiritual and historical touch to the Skandagiri trekking route.

During or after their Skandagiri trek, hikers frequently visit the Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple. A blend of architectural styles from different eras, such as the Chola, Hoysala, and Vijayanagar dynasties, can be seen in the temple complex's numerous shrines and buildings. Trekkers can take a peaceful break in the temple's serene atmosphere, which is surrounded by lush greenery and the soothing sounds of nature. 

Tipu Sultan Fort

The Summer Palace of Tipu Sultan is situated close to Nandi Hills, which is in the general vicinity of Skandagiri. The palace is a historical treasure that reflects Tipu Sultan's architectural brilliance as the ruler of Mysore. Known as the Tashk-e-Jannat, or "Envy of Heaven," the Summer Palace of Tipu Sultan is located at the foot of the Nandi Hills. Tipu Sultan used this building as a retreat in the scorching summer months. The palace showcases the Indo-Islamic architectural style with its elaborate arches, pillars, and stunning frescoes. Trekkers can gain insights into the region's rich cultural and historical heritage by exploring this historical site.

Skandagiri Hills Entry Fee and Permission

Trekkers need to obtain permission from the local forest department authorities, which costs around 250 INR. Additionally, the entry fee for Skandagiri Hills is 450 INR per person, with an additional 50 INR for specific parking charges. If you wish to pursue night trekking, the charges are an additional 800-1200 INR, depending on the season and other factors. 

It is best to check with local authorities and official websites for accurate and up-to-date information regarding the fees and permits for the trek. Online forums or local tourism offices can also be excellent places to get information from other hikers who may have recently completed the trek.

Best Time To Do Skandagiri Trekking

Skandagiri trekking is most pleasant in the winter and post-monsoon season, which runs roughly from September to March. The seasons are broken down as follows:

  • Post-monsoon (September to November): This is regarded as one of the best seasons in Skandagiri for trekking. The terrain is usually verdant after the monsoon rains have subsided. Because of the comparatively cool weather, the walk is enjoyable without being uncomfortable from the intense heat.
  • Winter (December to February): Trekking the Skandagiri is also advantageous during the winter months. The daytime temperatures are comfortable, and the weather is cool. It can get chilly in the mornings and evenings, so hikers should pack layers. Wintertime clear skies offer superb visibility and make for some of the most beautiful sunrise views from the summit. 
  • Pre-Monsoon (March to May): Trekking is still possible during these months, but be prepared for rising temperatures and possibly dry weather. It's best to begin the walk early in the morning to beat the heat of the day.

Steer clear of the monsoon season (June to August) as there is a higher chance of landslides and slippery trails. Furthermore, there's a chance of decreased visibility. It's always a good idea to check local weather forecasts and trail conditions before making travel plans for the most up-to-date information. It is important to stay informed for a safe and enjoyable trekking experience, as conditions and recommendations are subject to change.

Things to Carry for Skandagiri Trek

To ensure a safe and enjoyable experience, it is imperative to prepare sufficiently for the Skandagiri trek. The following is a list of things to consider carrying:

  • Comfortable Clothing
  • Trekking Shoes
  • Water and Snacks 
  • Weather Protection (jackets and extra clothing)
  • Identification Cards 
  • Power Bank 
  • Emergency Whistle and Flashlight
  • Camera
  • Trash Bags


  • First Aid Kit
  • Prescribed Medications 
  • Sunscreen 
  • Mosquito Repellent 

How to reach Skandagiri Hills?

Skandagiri Hills are located approximately 70 kilometres from Bangalore and Karnataka, and reaching the trek's base requires a road trip. The following is a general route map to Skandagiri:

From Bangalore: Set out from Bangalore in the direction of Chikkaballapura.Then, head towards Kalavara village, the starting point of the Skandagiri trekking route from Chikkaballapura.

Using Public Transportation: From Bangalore, you can take a bus to Chikkaballapura, from where you can take local transportation or hire a private car or taxi to Kalavara village.

Via Private Vehicle: Use GPS navigation or follow directions to Chikkaballapura and Kalavara village if you're driving or have hired a private vehicle. 

Description of the Hiking Trail 

The Skandagiri trekking trail is renowned for its moderate difficulty and scenic beauty. Usually, the trek includes the following:

  1. First Ascent: Beginning at the village of Kalavara is the trek. The first section leads to a forested area and travels through comparatively easy terrain.

  1. The Forest Trail: The trail progresses steadily at first, then passes through thick forests with both gentle and steep grades. Here, the trek's most crucial portion is the wooded area, which is renowned for its tranquil atmosphere.

  1. Rocky terrain: As the trail gets closer to the summit, it becomes more rocky, and hikers must negotiate rocky outcrops and boulders. It is imperative to wear appropriate hiking boots with adequate grip.

  1. The Last Ascent to the Summit: There is a steep climb in the final stretch until you reach the summit. 

The Skandagiri trek is moderately complex, requiring a reasonable level of fitness for a fun and safe experience. The trail passes through a variety of landscapes, such as rocky sections, steep ascents to the summit, and paths through forests. Trekkers should be reasonably fit, and it's advised that they practise walking or hiking frequently in order to navigate the trail comfortably. It's essential to wear appropriate trekking shoes with good grip because the rocky sections require surefootedness. Standing at about 1,443 metres is not an extremely high altitude, but some people may have mild effects from the altitude, which emphasises the significance of staying hydrated. The length of the trek can vary, but participants should plan on climbing and descending for several hours. In general, a moderate level of fitness combined with zeal and preparedness for uneven terrain will result in a fun-filled experience.


To sum up, the Skandagiri trek is an enthralling journey that seamlessly blends the splendour of nature, historical fascination, and a moderately complex trail. The trek begins in the charming village of Kalavara. It takes hikers through a variety of environments, including peaceful forests and rocky terrain, before ending with a strenuous climb to the summit. The fantastic view from Skandagiri's peak, especially at sunrise, is the trekker's reward for all of their hard work. The historical ruins along the route enhance the entire experience by adding a cultural dimension to the travel. Although the trek requires a moderate level of physical fitness and agility, hikers of all experience levels are welcome to experience its wonders. Trekkers not only take in the area's breathtaking natural beauty as they travel along the path but also encounter a holistic and memorable experience. 


1. How long does it take to climb Skandagiri?

The trek can approximately take 2-3 hours to climb one-way. 

2. Can beginners do Skandagiri Trek?

Yes, it is a great trek for beginners to climb up to. 

3. Can we trek Skandagiri Without Booking?

No, since this trek is very popular amongst hikers, it is usually fully booked. It is advisable to book it a few months prior to a seamless trekking experience. 

4. Is Skandagiri A Difficult Trek?

Skandagiri is a moderately difficult trek which is enjoyed by beginners and experienced hikers.

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