Adventure group: Bangalore ASCENDers (BASC) – Website link: www.bangaloreascenders.org
Event date: 6th January 2013
Team size: 13 ASCENDers
Trek distance: Around 8 Kms. (Up and Down)
- Ascending: Hill base to cave temple – 3 Kms. then Cave temple to hill top – 1 Kms.
- Descending: Hill top to cave temple – 1 Kms. then Cave temple to hill base – 3 Kms.
Difficulty level: Easy to Moderate
Nearest town is Korategere Taluku (Tumkur district)
Distance from Bangalore: Around 102 Kms.
How to reach the place: Go straight on Bangalore – Pune Highway(NH4) –> After 50 Kms. of drive on NH4, we will reach Dobaspet flyover –> Take righ turn under flyover –> Another 52 Kms. of drive will take us to base of Siddara Betta.
About the place:
Siddara Betta, as the name implies, “Hill of Saints” (in Kannada) is renowned for numerous the Hindu sadhus and their meditations. Thus the name but currently there are very few of the sadhus/saints left in the hill. Siddara Betta fulfills the likes of different genre of people and hence quite famous among a variety of people.
The rocky mountain of Siddara Betta has rare species of herbal plants. It is said that many hermits used to perform meditation in its caves. Hence the name “Siddara Betta” in Kannada means the mountain of seers.
Situated in Korategere Taluk, Siddara Betta is approximately 102 Kms away from Bangalore.
Main attractions at Siddara Betta:
- Pilgrimage to the Temple of Lord Siddalingeshwara(Shiva) inside a cave.
- Cave exploration for adventure seekers.
- Trek to the top of the hill with a visit to the Sadhu Dhyana Sthana for Trekking Enthusiasts and photographers.
Day in brief:
It was Sunday morning and lazy feelings for me as usual. With 13 ASCENDers from BASC, we all started our journey from Shantala silk house- Majestic (common assembling point of BASC) to Siddara Betta at sharp 7:00 AM. On the way, we had small “self-introduction part” in TT. TT moved towards Bangalore – Pune Highway(NH4) on Tumkur Road. As per our plan, we decided to have breakfast at Dobaspet. It was around 8:20 AM, we reached Dobaspet and had nice breakfast at Pooja darshini sasyahaari hotel (Our menu is Tatte Idli and Palava).
At 8:45 AM, Started towards Siddara Betta. This one is second half of the journey while first one is till Dobaspet which was around 50 Kms. From Dobaspet still 52 Kms need to be accomplished to reach the base of Siddara Betta. Around 10:00 AM, TT reached the base of Siddara Betta. As usual our cooking expert Niranjan prepared Nimbu Paani(his favourite)…:).
It was around 10:20 AM, we started ascending Siddara Betta. After couple of breaks in between, reached the cave temple at 11:20 AM. Ascending is easiest one, it depends on fitness level of individual.
Before having darshana of Siddalingeshwara swamy, we had option of taking bath in the holy medicinal water which will relax our body and removes all the body pain. There is a ticket counter for taking bath. We have to collect ticket of Rs 2/- (Head – 3 rounds of tub) and Rs 10/- (Body- 3 rounds of tub).
After taking bath, we all had darshana of Siddalingeshwara swamy and started cave exploration at 12:15 PM.
Till 2:15 PM, we all explored the cave and reached back to cave temple entrance at top. Had our lunch (Lemon Rice) and stated ascending towards top of the hill (Around 1 Km) at 2:30 PM.
Reached top of the hill at 3:00 PM. While ascending, we can witness beautiful hillocks which is amazing scenic to our eyes…:)
Niranjan bought kalle puri, Myself and Tulasi (Lady Tarzan…:)) bought Knife, Deepak HK bought 1/2 kg congress peanuts, 1/2 kg mixture, 1/4kg kara boondi. Then we prepared to kalle puri here. Relaxed for 1 and half hours. Took plenty of group photos.
Left top of the hill at 4:45 PM. As usual descending is easiest one. We took few more group photos while descending and had 2 to 3 breaks in between(had fruits also) so it took us 1 hour 15 minutes to reach the base.
Finally, we reached the base at 6:00 PM and started towards Bangalore in TT.
Initially, we thought we will cover 2 more places while going back to Bangalore but we dropped it from our plan since it is already 6:00 PM and takes minimum 2 hours to get back to Bangalore.
While getting back to Bangalore we had lots of fun in TT. As usual Niranjan events having feedback part in TT so each and everyone shared their feed back. Every one is gaga over “Cave exploration”, why not it is the best part of the event. Then we decided to play Anthakshari. Made 2 groups and started singing songs…:). Everyone cooperated brilliantly and all of us sang according to their capabilities and memory. Anthakshari went for around 45 minutes. One could imagine how much we enjoyed…:) :).
Then we decided to have dinner on the way so we stopped at Pravaasi restaurant (Tumkur road) around 7:45 PM (In between Dobaspet and Nelamangala).
Had our Dinner and left for Bangalore at 9:00 PM. Reached Bangalore by 10:00 PM.
Cave Exploration at Siddara Betta
Cave exploration at Siddara Betta is my best part of the trek when i visited the place on 6th January 2013.
I would like to share my cave exploration experience below:
After having darshana of Siddalingeshwara swamy inside the cave temple, we all started cave exploration around 12:00-12:15 Noon. According to Niranjan’s plan, we all thought it might be 30 – 45 minutes of cave exploration but surprise awaited for us. Wow!!! it went for around 2 hours.
Before starting, hire a guide from temple since it’s highly difficult to determine route inside caves.
Cave starting point is just opposite to the Siddalingeshwara swamy temple and from there starts crawling. It was crawling inside caves which makes you more adventurous.
Cave formation in Siddara Betta is nothing but crevices formed between big rock & boulders. Inside the cave entire route twists through a dark maze of rocks, boulders, between cracks, and enters holes that sometimes will allow just one person to crawl through, all of which made an unforgettable experience for all of us. It is advised to carry only necessary stuff inside, leave unnecessary stuff outside and lighten your backpack.
Also one can see places where saints were meditating before. A torch in-hand can be a good companion.
After a few crawling, jumping, slipping and falling you will see lights coming from gap that lead towards a huge hollow place inside boulders and creepy trees. It’s a view that one would have never imagined beyond.
We all took plenty of group photos and enjoyed a lot. Passing the torch, camera and helping each other to complete the exploration truly it is team work.
Cave exploration is best example for “Team work truly works”.
We all completed cave exploration and reached entrance of the cave temple at 2:15 PM.
Difficulty Level: Moderate/Difficult
Things to carry:
- Torch is mandatory it was Very Dark inside.
- Try to avoid backpack.
Finally, Cave exploration at Siddara Betta is most challenging and memorable one for me.
In this event, we had father and daughter duo, One married couple, Few aged guys, One recently engaged couple and off course youngsters. This group is a mixture of different aged people as Niranjan said…:)
- Thanks to Ashutosh, Balaji and Raghunandan for clicking amazing photos….you people made this event more memorable…:).
- I want to thank each and everyone who are all part of this event for making this one memorable.
- Finally, BIG thanks to Niranjan for organizing this trekking come cave exploration event to Siddara Betta. For me, this event is the best and most enjoyed one day event till date with BASC. Also group we had is simply AWESOME!!!