Day Hiking to Shivagange - 22 February, 2014

"We are going to Shivagange", Santosh replied instantly when I inquired about his plans for the weekend. I Goggled about the place. The place didn't seem to be a trekker's paradise or adventure house. It was a Hindu-pilgrimage, whose terrain is good for general hiking. I accepted the offer. Since, I haven't traveled for a while, anything which could take me away from monotonous routine was fine for me. I didn't want to waste another weekend sitting on couch reading posts on Quora or watching movies.
We and the height of Shivagange
I started at 6:30 am from my home on Saturday morning and reached city railway station by 7:30am. There I met, Santosh and Ashay (I bet, you will pronounce his wrong first time). Then, we hopped into a train to Dobbaspet. The train stopped on every station on the way to Dobbaspet which is only 45KM away from Bangalore. It took around 1+½ hour to reach Dobbaspet. The great part is that the time you spend on train or before the trek with the fellow trekkers is for establishing a bond with them.
Finally, we reached Dobbaspet at around 9:15am. The station was a very small one. We moved fast to get into a shared auto, but alas, they were full. So, we walked around 1.5Km to reach the town. There we had 'Thatte Idli' with chutney. Then, after filling up our stomachs, we took the auto and hurried to Shivagange. Finally, we reached the foot of the Hill. An individual warned us about the terror of monkeys on the path and asked us to carry a stick, but we couldn't find any and moved without one.
Start of the trek from the temple at hill foot
In the beginning, we climbed few stairs, it was same as any other Hindu temple. But once we came out in the open, we saw steep rocks. So, rather than taking the usual path we started ascending from the rocks. But later, we moved to the usual path as the direction as the rocks started getting steeper and we were not sure about the direction. We started climbing and the monkeys started coming on our way. I was scared of monkeys. We formed a line in which I took the middle position and continued climbing. There were many times in between when we preferred climbing rocks over walking on the usual terrain.
Railing to move forward Nandi on the top of Shivagange
Near top, the rocks become very steep and one can find very narrow steps engraved on the rock. Many a times, one has to hold the railing to move forward. After reaching the top, we rested in shade for around 2 hours meanwhile we ate some food (Sattu with sugar free/Dates/Candies). Then, we explored the top which we found was good. A huge boulder supported by just two stones, A huge deck shaped rock etc were few of the peculiar/mesmerizing things we found on top.
The rock look like deck of ship Descending the steep rock
Then, we started descending. This time, we found a completely different path through the rocks which was very quite and clean as it was free from pilgrims. After some time we halted for a group photo that time I noticed the beauty of the rocks on top. Near the foot of the hill, we found a place which was serving free food (Payasam, Rice and Sambhar). Although, we waited around 30 mins for the food, but it was worth waiting. After food, it was hardly some 100-200 steps that we had to descend to reach the road. We hopped into an auto and reached Bus stand. On our way back, we encountered a huge traffic jam and the bus took 2 hours to reach the Bangalore.

Summary: The terrain is not very difficult but it is good and adventurous, especially if you take the alternative path through the rocks. The place is nearby Bangalore and one can go there and come back in 8-9 hours. The expenses also were very less, overall it was around 125 INR per person. So, if you want to break your inertia and spend your day on the mountains at a fairly reasonable price then, this is the place for you.

How to reach

Public Transportation: From Bangalore take bus or train up to Dobbaspet. From Dobbaspet railway station or bus stand you will get plenty of auto rickshaw for Shivagange.
Bike/Car: From Bangalore drive straight on Tumkur road, reach Dobbaspet and take left turn under the flyover and drive another 5.5Kms.

Written by: Ankit Jain
Event date: 22 February, 2014
Place: Shivagange, Karnataka
No. of hikers: 03 (03 M, 00 F)
Event Organizer: Santosh Kumar Gupta
Photos of the event: Check here