“In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” – John Muir
Altitude: 1500 ft
Duration: Approx.3 hours
Distance: Approx.4.3 km
Difficulty level: Easy
Distance from Bangalore: 55 km
Best time to visit: November to February is usually a good time.
Suggestions: Full-sleeved T-shirt is advisable as the trail has thorny shrubbery. Be watchful! Make sure you pack light and carry the essentials along with at least 2 litres of water per person. There are chances of spotting snakes (Black Cobras).
Our lifestyle today, sometimes overloaded with work, family, complicated love issues and tons of other worries, a break from this routine life, away from the noise of the city is much needed. Walking comes easy to me and walking up the hills not only relaxes my mind but is a great stress buster. After my first trek to Chennarayana Durga, I was tempted to trek more often but finding folks who would agree to accompany is difficult to find. One fine day, I booked a day trek to Chennagiri with the Bangalore Mountaineering Club yet again. I had none of my friends accompanying me this time but I couldn’t help go as my mind was screaming out loud to give it a break!
On my last trek with BMC, I had noticed a handful of people who came alone and that really didn’t make much of a difference. I was pretty confident that I would pass. The decision of traveling with a group of strangers turned out to be rather rewarding on many levels. I ended up meeting such amazing folks and it was fun sharing stories and listening to their experiences. Trekking has been a huge boost to my confidence and the joy of accomplishment was immense. There are so many people out there who share similar interests and who are equally enthusiasts. It’s all about taking that one step towards what you love to do.
I went for this trek in the month of July when the weather was at its best. It turned out to be one of those pleasant days in monsoons.
We followed the regular routine of team BMC. I was picked up from the New Shanti Sagar hotel, Domlur by 6:30 AM in the morning. They have fixed pick up points, you could browse their website for further details. Once we were out of the city, we stopped for breakfast, packed our lunch and headed towards Chennagiri which is located towards the North-West of the Nandi hill range. It is also a less traveled trail in Chikkaballapura. Usually, Nandi Hills is quite popular among the people who visit Bangalore.
We reached the foot of the hills of Chennagiri. There were two trails to reach to the top of the hill. The first trail on the southern side of the peak was steep, requires a lot of stamina, a good pair of shoes and can get strenuous for beginners. The second trail on the western side was through densely covered shrubs and was comparatively a longer route. I am glad we chose the second route as this time I wanted to explore the forest trail. Our trek started from an ancient temple as a landmark in Sultanpet. The trail was quite interesting as what started with wild shrubs full of thorns further made way through a dense forest, huge boulders and finally to the top of the hill with a breathtaking 360-degree view. You can easily spot the chain of Nandi Hills. i.e Nandi hills, Skandagiri, Brahmagiri, and Kaurava kunda. It took us about two hours to reach to the pinnacle. I would let the pictures do the talking of how beautiful everything looked from the hilltop.
We had our lunch together with the team and made sure there was no litter or garbage left behind. The descent took about an hour post which we headed back to the city carrying tons of memories with us.
Some quick tips for beginners:
- Choose your first trek destination wisely
- Choose the trekking agency carefully. Do your research well!
- Travel with an experienced companion or group
- Keep closed ones informed
- Carry appropriate gear
- A pair of decent shoes, avoid wearing new shoes
- Always wear comfortable clothes
- Travel light
- Do not litter
Trekking is a responsible outdoor recreational activity for nature enthusiasts. The demand for trek tourism has increased over the years. Tourism has definitely helped in generating wealth for the locals in many developing countries but at the same time has had adverse effects on the environment. Growing garbage pile is becoming a threat to mountain ecosystem. There are strict regulations which are incorporated by the Government and there are also solutions to sound waste management in mountain regions. However, it is for us to adhere to it. More likely, trekking might just be banned in the near future in most regions if the current situation is not stabilised. Hence, it is important for us, travelers to stay grounded, be aware, educate and avoid any form of environmental degradation. It is essential that we abide by the rules. It is not just about exploring, leaving it to die and getting back souvenirs, it is more about preserving the resources. I would encourage travelers to make a conscious effort towards a positive contribution and be more environmentally sensitive.
You could join hands with the local communities or educate them about the environmental damages.
Let’s work together in making our planet a better place!