Post monsoon is the best time for bike rides. The woods would be greener and climate would be a bliss to ride. It’s the time to be over the hills and far away from the chaos of the city. Upon a suggestion this weekend, we decided we would plan for SRS hills trek Ramanagara. The place is just 65 km and 2 hours away from Bangalore along the Mysore road. It appeared as the short one-day bike ride and an excursion away from the city.
Brief about SRS hills
Sri Revanna Siddeshwara (SRS) Betta(hills) is 65 km from Bangalore and is a height of about 3000 feet above sea level. It is an abode of Sri Revanna Siddeshwara – a form of Shiva and is sacred among Shaiva followers. The hills houses 3 temples – Sri Revanna Siddeshwara temple at the peak, the Bheemeshwara and the Renukamba temple at the base. The sacred cave temple is located on a massive monolithic stone hill surrounded by some of the best scenic hills in South India.
Adjacent to the hills, a huge lake – Devrakere looks beautiful from the hills. The SRS hills is popular among the trekkers and rock climbers. With well-defined steps, the trek is honestly easy. Even a first timer can scale the hill and reach the peak without much physical strength. Watching sunrise and sunset at the peak would be a great moment.
The Start of the Journey
Hurray, the plan was all set for the weekend. Early morning, at 6:30 am the weather was welcoming and we started the ride from Bangalore along the Mysore road. In 1.5 hours, we had almost reached near Wonderla – as I noticed the giant wheel of Wonderla. At 8 pm, we stopped by Malgudi Vattika Veg restaurant for the breakfast. This was the first time I visited this restaurant and I fell in love with the ambience. We ordered Idli Vada and a cup of filter coffee – The food was great. Many happy families had checked in here for the breakfast. We spent an hour here including breakfast and exploring the surroundings. Check out my Zomato review and more pictures on Malgudi Vattika.
The Bliss of farms
At 9 pm, we resumed our journey and it was 40 mins ride from here to SRS hills. In 20 mins, We took a left turn to Kanakapura Ramanagara Road, near Tree park Ramanagara. We entered the countryside from the highway. The road is great and well maintained. The lush green paddy fields and small lakes here and there added beauty to the journey. The tall coconut trees were swaying along the roadsides as we rode. The whole stretch covers several hills, most of them could be hiked – Would explore them next time. It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. This journey would show the countryside life of Karnataka. The best part of this village is the cleanliness they have maintained. I could not find a plastic/paper thrown on the roadside. I completely loved the journey.
A Peep into countryside lifestyle
Further to the right, we noticed an arch – Welcome to Sri Revanna Siddeshwara temple mentioned in Kannada. We took a right here and entered a rural area with decent roads. On the way, homes with wooden poles and veranda depicted the country life. Sericulture might also be an occupation of the people in this area as I noticed the silk spools slanted beside the walls. At 10 pm, We were almost there, and we observed the first sight of SRS hills from the road. The Gopura and the trail were visible.
The base of SRS hills
In few minutes, we noticed the Renukamba temple at the base. We sought the blessings and continued. In few minutes, we reached a wide road and a monolithic boulder/rock at a distance. The boulder looked really huge and provided homes to beehives. Few stalls along the roadside were selling puja items and snacks. We observed an entrance gate near the boulder. We started from the narrow road through the entrance. It was great to drive this stretch and we reached the end of the road. A huge banyan tree standing strong and a temple adjacent to it welcomed us. We parked the vehicle for Rs.10 and started walking towards the temple. The view of the village from here looked wonderful. With clicked some snaps here and proceeded further to the cave temple.
The cave temple at the base is dedicated to Lord Bheemeshwara – a form of Shivalinga. The temple atmosphere stood calm and authorities have maintained well. There is another small temple on the premises dedicated to Renukacharya – who preached the bhakti of Shiva to the earth. This temple doesn’t discriminate the visitors based on religion/caste. Anybody is free to visit this temple – A good change 🙂 Good Drinking water is available here to quench the thirst and to refill the water bottles.
The trek to the SRS hills
As we came out of the temple, to the left there was a signboard – Way to SRS hills in Kannada, which lead to series of steps. We started following the well-defined steps. The steps are carved out from the rocks and the supporting rails helped us ascend with ease. The best part is the roof shelter till the peak. It protects the ascenders from scorching sunlight and prevents tiredness while ascending. We noticed that all age people – from children to old age people were scaling this hill steadily due to facilities provided by temple authorities. Thanks to them.
Furthermore, the huge lake – Devrakere to the right surrounded by small hills and greenery looked outstanding. This happened to be the excellent panoramic view of the day. We rested here for a while gazing at the lake view and enjoying the cool breeze. This happened to be a favourite spot for all and everyone stopped here for a while to take a glimpse of nature. As we resumed the ascend, we passed by idols along the way, we just bowed and moved ahead. At some places, the steps were steeper, almost an inclination of 60 to 70 degrees. Be careful on these places otherwise, the climb is comfortable. There were a lot of monkeys, so make sure you don’t carry any eatables/puja items in the hand.
The Peak conquered
Finally, within 45 mins, I could see the end of the steps and we reached the peak. The view from here was mesmerizing. A series of hills in the background, the lake and the farms looked great. There were two Gopuras on either side – Rudra Muneshwara and Siddarameshwara mantapa and a bell in the centre. Just ring the bell and have a look at these towers and chill at the peak.
The cave temple of Sri Revanna Siddeshwara
On the other side, we need descend few steps to reach the cave temple of Sri Revanna Siddeshwara – the main deity of SRS hills. There is a small pond and clean drinking water facility here. We quenched our thirst and splashed water on the face. It was cool and drove away all the tiredness. We applied the Vibuthi and waited for the darshan of Sri Revanna Siddeshwara. Between 10 am to 11 am every day, Rudrabhisheka is performed to the deity. So, we could witness the deity well decorated with flowers and a special form of pooja. We bowed and sought the blessings.
From here, we could view the huge monolithic boulder we saw at the entrance and the road we travelled. A magnificent composition indeed. We came back to the peak and reclined here for a while enjoying the serene air and chirping birds.
Back to base
The sun was high in the sky, It was 12 pm. We still had half a day to explore more. We started descending the hills. Descending the hills was little difficult at steep inclinations otherwise it was fun. We reached the base in 30 minutes. Many stalls here were selling refreshments and snacks. We ordered the spicy churmuri, buttermilk and got the cucumber as complimentary (as churmuri was very spicy) 😛 The authorities are also planning to provide lift facilities for disabled and aged people to reach the peak. This work is still in progress. Capturing the view again, we departed from the temple at around 12:30 pm.
The beautiful Devrakere lake
We considered visiting the lake Devrakere which looked beautiful from the peak. We drove towards the lake via Campfire circle – Adventure Circle. Few travellers here were performing rock climbing / rappeling. It looked adventurous 🙂 . The lake road is kaccha road but the view was worth it. The lake was full and vast due to post-monsoon. The view of SRS hills from the lake is magical. We did not attempt to get into it as it could be dangerous and was used by villagers for washing cattle.
After few minutes we left SRS hills and started driving towards Heritage Wine tour. That’s coming in my next blog post. Stay tuned!
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Read other travelogues near Bangalore:
1. Siddara Betta – Trekking the hill of Saints
2. Melukote, Thonnur lake and Ranganathittu – A memorable day outing
3. Vishwa Shanti Ashram visit – Glimpse of Mahabharatha
4. Biligiri | BR Hills and Himavad hills
5. Devarayanadurga – Exploring rocks and hills
6. Namada Chilume – Spring of Tilaka
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3. Tannirbhavi beach – Pine trees, beach huts and a glimpse of fishing
4. Kateel temple – A True feel of divinity
5. Maravanthe beach – Bond of sea and river
6. Agumbe – Drive through the Deadly Western Ghats
7. Kere Basadi – Bliss of Varanga Jain temples [ Udupi trip Part-2 ]
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- Where? – SRS hills is just 65 km and 2 hours away from Bangalore along the Mysore road. It’s an ideal one-day bike ride/day outing from Bangalore.
- Difficulty level? – Pretty easy. Well defined steps, supporting rails and shelter helps anybody to scale the hill within 1 hour.
- How to reach? – The road conditions are good – Mysore road and inside. Travelling via bike or car would be great. You can also go by bus and get down in Ramanagara to find an auto.
- Route guide?
- Drive on Mysore Road & cross Ramanagara town (50kms).
- Drive left after SRS Signboard. Then, 10kms straight in Kanakapura Road.
- You will have Arch on the right side. Go inside Arch & drive 2kms for SRS Betta
- Best time to visit? – The SRS hills can be visited throughout the year. The best season would be post monsoon to see the lake in full glory. The morning/evening is the best time for beautiful sunrise/sunset and fantastic silhouettes.
- SRS hills timings? – 9am to 2pm and 2:30pm to 5pm. Rudrabhisheka – 10 am to 11 am. Mahamangalarathi – 11:15 am.
- Facilities? – Parking available for Rs.10 by locals only. Drinking water available at base and peak. Some food stalls are found at the entrance. Please don’t litter on the premises. It is one of the cleanest places I have visited.
- Nearby places? – Heritage Wine tour and Ramadevarabetta are nearby places to visit from here.