Rock Climbing Series 5: Bilikal Rangaswamy Betta
Overview: Bilikal Betta or 'white-rock hill' is situated off Kanakapura road near Maralwadi. We set off on our trek early morning to avoid the afternoon sun. As it was not too far, we set off on our bikes. On reaching Harohalli, we had to turn left towards Maralwadi through the countryside. It was a pleasure riding alongside agricultural fields and grasslands.
On reaching Maralwadi, we asked for directions to Bilikal Betta. We reached Bilikal betta in around 1.5 hours. It was fortunately a cloudy day and was very cool outside. We parked our vehicles in front of some villager's house and a couple of kids guided us till the base of the hill.
We started our way to the hill through bushes and tall trees. Initially the climb was not too tough but as we advanced, the climb got steeper and we were gasping and taking breaks every 10-15 mins. We stopped at a couple of places to click a few terrific view points.
We continued climbing and at one place we came across a bald rock where we relaxed our muscles a bit. One of our members decided to carry on and found that we are almost at the top of the hill. Without wasting a moment we followed him and in 10 mins we were at the summit. The climb requires a bit of physical exertion but in the end we are in for a treat. The winds blowing across our faces made us forget all the stress of climbing. There is a small temple on the top dedicated to Lord Ranganathaswamy. It is carved out of a huge rock which resembles the Nandi bull. Next to temple we rested on a boulder for sometime. We could view the entire range of hills surrounding this region. Opposite to the temple is a small tank or 'kalyani' next to which we could see white coloured rocks and probably the reason it is called 'Bilikal' betta.
After relaxing on the top for a while we started our descent. It was fairly easy to climb down the hill and it took around 45 mins to 1 hr to climb down. We left the place and on our way back we visited the crocodile lake which is near Sri Ravi Shankar ashram. It is a serene lake which is ideal for spending some time outside the city on a lazy weekend. We sat near the lake for sometime and started back towards Bangalore.
How to reach: Car/Bike: Head on NH209 towards Kanakapura. At Harohalli, turn left towards Maralwadi. At Maralwadi, ask for directions for Bilikal Betta. Alternately, there is a mud road which leads all the way to the top of the hill.
Food/Accommodation: Not many options available for food on the way. Its advisable to carry eatables like fruits and biscuits to avoid exhaustion.
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