Ballarayana Durga Fort Trek
Adventure / Trekking
At a distance of 6 km from Durgadahalli, 10 km from Sunkasale, 27 km from Kottigehara, 43 km from Mudigere, and 72 km from Chikmagalur, Ballarayana Durga Fort is an ancient fort situated near Durgadahalli village in Karnataka. It is one of the few forts that can be found in the Western Ghats, and among the major places to visit as part of Chikmagalur Packages.
Ballalarayana Durga Fort lies on the top of a hill amidst the dense forest of Karnataka. The fort was constructed by the wife of Veera Ballala l, the king of the Hoysala Empire in the 12th century. The fort has lost its glory and stands as a distant reminder of its beautiful past. However, one can find a few periphery walls, arches, entrances overrun with vegetation.
Perched at an altitude of 1509 m, the fort offers some of the best panoramic vistas and picturesque views in the region. The engulfing greenery charms visitors at all times of the year. Besides, the fort is ideal for watching amazing sunsets when the whole place comes alive with colors of different hues. Another best thing about this place is that there is no network connectivity, making this place a serene spot to relax and enjoy nature.
Cosily tucked up in the Western Ghats, Ballarayana Durga Fort can only be reached by trekking through the dense vegetation that grows on the slopes. Although the hill fort is currently in ruins, it is a major destination for trekking in Karnataka, and also an ideal campsite. The trail starts from Kalabhairaveshwara Temple at Durgadahalli, which is around 41 km from Mudigere. The route from the temple to the initial forest section (from where the actual trek starts) is on a moderately steep mud road. Jeeps and other SUVs can go all the way up to the start point covering a distance of 1 km else just park your vehicle at the temple and start trekking from there. The fort is about 3 km from the temple. The trek to the fort is a difficult one and takes about one and a half-hour.
The most suitable time to visit the fort is between November and May. It is not advisable to visit the fort during the rainy season as not only do the rocky surface gets slippery but one can also face a lot of leeches and other insects as well. The trek becomes all the more difficult and the streams are also hard to cross. It is advisable to carry enough food and drinks as there are no shops in the far vicinity.
Timings: 6 AM - 6 PM