Location - Bilikal Rangaswamy betta is one of the first hills that anyone close to Bangalore would attempt climbing. However, it has astoundingly little info available on the www. Bilikal betta (not to be confused with Biligiri Rangaswamy betta!!) is located close to Kanakpura (about 50 kms from Bangalore).
There are two access routes to the top of the hill. The first route is a jeep track that is accessible from Kanakpura. After the Kanakpura bus stop, there is a small circle before the one which goes to Mekedatu. At the former circle, a left turn and further enquires would take you to the top. However, i wouldnt recommend it for trekking - it might be a good experience biking on this.
The hiking trail has a different approach route. At Harohalli on Kanakpura Road (about 30 kms from Banashankari), take the road adjacent to the bus stand towards Maralawadi/Doddamaralawadi (11 kms) and continue past Devarahalli to Onaaladoddi (another 5 kms) where you can dump your modes of transport and start trekking.
The trek - The difficult part might be finding the beginning of the trail. But then, its no big deal as you know what hill u are climbing!! After fighting through some shrubs, you will eventually reach the well-laid out trail to the top by devotees of Lord Rangaswamy whose shrine is at the top.
The blah - Having decided to spend new yearz with the Chapparrs, this weekend was with Moch and Varsha. Hasan joined in and we set off towards Kanakpura with little idea about where to start the trek!! A late midnight call to Sashi of YHAI introduced me to Maralawadi and that was the only lead I had.
Kanakpura road is pretty good till Harohalli and I thought I was driving safely at 70 kmph till Mochz speedometer touched the 100 kmph mark when he was right on my tail. So, apparently I wasnt at 70 .... What the hell ... am a safe driver anyway :-p
I didnt expect a good road from Harohalli to Maralawadi. However, I was very pleasantly surprised :). It was an amazing road - not only for the quality of the asphalt, but for the plethora of birds that I sighted on either side of the road ...... not to mention some nests as well.
We reached Onaaladoddi and started with a huge bunch of overenthusiastic kids accompanying us with the hopes of goodies in their eyes. It took a lot of convincing from my part that we weren't gonna give them anything b4 they decided to make better use of their saturday. One persistant kid, however, tailed us till the stream and told us that the way to the peak is along the river. But, just to get rid of him, we pretended to know a way across the river and crossed it!!! Hasan made the crossing worth it!!!
It was after this that we made our own way till we reached the trail and trekked for about an hour and a half to reach the top. A temple at the top of the hill, few workers there and the hills around to give us company. That wasn't enuf for me! I pulled out my pocket radio to listen to FM and my cellphone to listen to mp3z!!!
Nothing eventful during the descent too .... Nobody got lost .... Nobody found them .... Less than an hour to get to the bottom and we were back in Bangalore at 1630 hrs!!! Now thats something!!
US - Varsha, Hasan, Moch and myself
Date - December 24, 2005