Savandurga is a hill 60 km west of Bengaluru (Karnataka, India) off the Magadi road, in India. The hill is considered to be among the largest monolith hills in Asia. The hill rises to 1226 m above mean sea level and forms a part of the Deccan plateau. It consists of peninsular gneiss, granites, basic dykes and laterites. The Arkavathi river passes nearby through the Thippagondanahalli reservoir and on towards Manchanabele dam.
Hills And Forts
Savandurga is formed by two hills known locally as Karigudda (black hill) and Biligudda (white hill). Karigudda and Biligudda rise to a height of 1226 metres above the Deccan Plateau. Made of huge rocks, granite and laterite, the hills are a tough climb. The crevices and folds make the trip to the top a tiring one, but for enthusiasts, the climb will be worth the effort. The ruins of an old fort crown the top of the hills.
The earliest record of the name of the hill is from 1340 AD by Hoysala Ballala III from Madabalu where it is called Savandi. Another view is that the name is originated from Samantadurga attributed to a Samantharaya, a governor under Ahchutaraya at Magadi, although there is no inscription confirming this. This was the secondary capital of the Magadi rulers such as Kempegowda. From 1638 to 1728, Mysore took over this place and Dalavayi Devaraja occupied this place with the palace at Nelapattana. In 1791 Lord Cornwallis captured it from Tipu Sultan’s forces during the Third Anglo-Mysore War. Robert Home in his Select views in Mysore (1794) shows distant views of the hill from Bangalore. He called it Savinadurga or the fort of death. There were no steps to reach the hill top and it was covered by bamboos and other trees forming a barricade. Megalithic burial urns have been found in the area.
Tourist Places In Savandurga
Those not too keen on rock climbing or trekking can explore the Veerabhadreshwara Swamy and the Narasimha Swamy Temple. The temples are located at the foothills. The scenery around is also stunning and a nature walk could be rewarding with sightings of several rare trees as well as the yellow-throated bulbul. The area has several megalithic burial urns that will interest history buffs.
How To Reach Savandurga
There are several buses that run from Bangalore to Magadi, close to Savandurga. The travel time would be close to two hours. Local buses and autos will take you from Magadi to Savandurga.