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Trek up Gudibanda Fort

Gudibanda Fort, a multi level fort Byre Gowda in early 17th century, so almost 400 years old.  One of the many forts in karnataka ; is a site for many visitors from Bangalore and makes for a good weekend drive / ride. A shiva temple is located at the top, so lot of folks from the nearby village make regular visits, so it is quite safe as well. However on weekdays, you get find yourself in a isolated location. So Choose your day wisely. 🙂

We (it was just me and a friend) started off from bangalore city at about 8 a.m in the morning on my trustee bike. Since the fort is only about 100 Kms from the city centre and the road to Gudibande is a National Highway (NH7) , it makes for a very pleasant driving / biking experience.

My Trustee Bike
Gudibande_Leepakshi-21

Trip Itinerary
T
he idea was to cover two sites, Gudibande fort and Lepakshi in a single day and back to bangalore by sundown. Accomplished!!

Leave BLR – 8am  –>  Reach Gudibande 10 am
Trek (Up + down) – 12 pm (2 hours)
Leave for Lepakshi post lunch – 12.30 pm –> Reach Lepakshi – 1.30 pm
Cover Lepakshi (2 hours)
Leave Lepakshi – 3.30 pm –> Reach Bangalore – 5.30 pm

Reaching Gudibanda Fort
P
lug in gundibande fort into a Navigation platform (Google Maps). On NH7 is is straight ride / drive for almost 50 Kms and the route is quite scenic with fields, orchards and hills lining the sides of the road.
Take a diversion from Nh7 and travel for another 10kms or so to reach gudibande village. The right turn to reach the start of the stairs to take you to the fort is rather obscure and is very narrow. Ask the townsfolk and they should be able to help out. By the way, the term for hill in local kannada dialect is “betta”. Finally we reached Gudibande by 10.30 am.

At Gudibande Fort
A
view of long winding stair of steps going up a hill and reaching the fort greet you at the base.

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As you climb up, the remnants of 400 year old fort become more visible. One can move off the steps and explore the hill at some select locations, mostly wild plants and flowers exist. Not exotic enough to be called a photographers paradise but still better than being in a city I guess.A particular variety that was common all along the way during our visit was a yellow variant.  These also line both sides of the steps at select locations.

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At many locations, the staircase goes from under the rocks. I wonder how this was done, the rock is perching right on top of the steps. The steps here are jagged and uneven at many locations , so take care not to slip & fall.

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As you make your way up, you see potential locations from where the fort would have been defended. The enemy is essentially left open to whatever form of long range attack the soldier up the fort intend to employ. The steps are carved out of the rock itself.

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On the way to the top, there are locations where one can rest , especially if it is sunny. The actual reason why these were constructed here (from a military fortification perspective) are unknown to me.

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After about half hour of continuous trek, you reach the top. Phew
Gudibande_Leepakshi-54

There is shiva temple at the top of the hill which is believed to be one of the 108 Jyotirlingas. A sculpted pillar is present at the entrance. On the day of our visit , unfortunately, it was closed but from the looks of it, people visit the temple quite often.

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Go around the temple, to get a panoramic view of gudibande which is quite breathtaking.

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Overall, the trek should take about half hour only and is therefore suitable even for the inexperienced trekkers / beginners. Do take water, sunblock and some eatables along.

 

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One response

  1. Pingback: A visit to Lepakshi | travellers guide to the planet

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