Shivagange is a mountain peak and a Hindu pilgrimage center located in Bangalore Rural district of Karnataka. The trail to the peak is marked with multiple small temples, tirthas and amazing views. The trail is well marked and is about 1.6 km length and raises to a max elevation of 1,280 meters.
The trail starts with a small gopuram and well laid steps with rails and a covering over your head. The first temple you will notice is the Harake Ganapathi Temple which has a huge Gangapati statue engraved on the rock.
Next in the trail is the Honnadevi temple. The sanctum sanctorum is within a cave like structure. The temple also hosts the statue of Magadi Kempegowda, the founder of Bangalore. It is believed he used the temple and the fort surrounding it as his treasury. The fort is currently in a dilapidated state.
Next is line is the Gangadhareshwara temple, followed by Shri Gavi Gangadheeshwar Temple which is also a cave temple. Next is the Olakal Theertha which has water collected because of rain and has an entrance like structure built underneath the ground level and has steps leading to it.
The next stop would be in Shiva Parvathi Jyotirling Darshan Statue, which looks more like a photo ops point. It would be better to stop here for average people. The climb till here is not so steep and is the easiest part of the climb. The climb after this temple is quite steep.
Next stop is the Shri Basavanna Statue which is a nandi installed in a small peek. The climb is marked with steps and has rails to help one climb. Still it is a tricky one. At the top there is very less place around the nandi and some of it is supported with manmade structure adding to the thrill. When its crowded its better to wait for people who has gone to the top to come down and then continue after them.
After this is the Shantala Drop which is a huge monolith which is almost plain. This is the peak of the mountain and one can get a nice view from here. This place is named after the Hoysala queen who is believed to have attempted suicide from here. There are two pillars placed here. One was probably used as a light pillar. There were few guys there trying to land coins at the top of the pillar.
The trail is also filled with monkeys. In this mountain the monkeys are more skilled, they attack humans for food and they do that mostly in the toughest part of the trails and they also have learned to open the bags and look for food. On our way down we witnessed one lady being attacked and the flowers in her head was taken away. I had never noticed that monkeys eat flowers too.
At some places, the steps are very small that it’s not enough to place your foot steadily. I wonder how the trail would be when it’s raining and the rocks are slippery. The climb looked scary and was hoping an easy descend. But the descend looked even more scary. The rails are rusted in most of the places and one might end up with cuts because of this. So one has to be careful while holding the rails.
The peak gets very nice breeze and its a place one can sit and relax for sometime before one starts descending.
The pace had only two hotels in the start of the trail, so plan accordingly. Water and other snacks are available in stalls all across the trails almost till the end of the trail. The price here is more than the MRP, but I think it’s agreeable since the shopkeepers had to carry it all the way up here.