Bananthimari Trek

Bananthimari Betta, also locally known as Karadibetta, stands as a hidden gem for trekking enthusiasts. Situated just 60 kilometers south of Bangalore, near Kanakpura. It lies within the Bananthi Mari reserve forest.

This peak is a relatively undiscovered trekking destination, known mainly to the locals. The journey to the summit takes you through a landscape filled with ancient lakes, colossal boulders dating back millions of years, and lush forests.

The beauty of Bananthimari Betta lies not only in its ambiance but also in the panoramic views it offers from the top. As you ascend, you are treated to breathtaking views of the surrounding rocky outcrops and pristine lakes, creating a setting that rewards the trekker.

The path leading to the base of the hill crosses through beautiful villages that seem to have sprung from the sets of a movie. These small settlements are nestled amidst the lush greenery of vegetable farms, creating scenic views that capture the essence of rural beauty.

As you traverse this trail, you are greeted by a variety of bird species, turning the journey into a delightful bird-watching experience. The skies come alive with the graceful presence of birds, ranging from the majestic Brahminy kite to the vibrant hues of the common kingfisher as it flits about in pursuit of its aquatic prey.

The harmony of the villages, fields, and diverse avian inhabitants transforms the road to the hill's base into an immersive adventure.

The trek offers a nice adventure for beginners as well as seasoned trekkers. The path is filled with natural wonders, making the journey not just a physical feat but an exploration of nature's wonders. This lesser-explored trek promises an enriching experience, where the beauty of the Bananthi Mari reserve forest is a backdrop to the physical and visual delights that unfold along the way.

➤Table of Contents:

  • What to watch out for
  • Trail Information
  • The best season to do Bananthimari Betta trek
  • How to reach Bananthimari Trek
  • Permission on the Bananthimari Betta
  • Timings on the Bananthimari Betta
  • Food and Water Sources on the Bananthimari Betta Trek
  • Emergency contacts for Bananthimari Betta Trek
  • ATMs and Network on the trek
  • Places to visit after the Bananthimari Betta

➤What to watch out for

Views of surrounding rocky outcrops and villages

Standing at a height of 3440 feet, the view from the peak is stunning to witness. The rocky outcrops, of various shapes and sizes, are a sight to behold. These formations are from the times when the Indian subcontinent was not a part of Asia and are millions of years old. These rocks, which are volcanic in origin, come in all shapes and sizes. The peak itself is a huge monolith with 360-degree views on all sides. The surrounding hillocks of south Bengaluru stretch as far as the eye can see. From the top, you can also see all the lakes you crossed while making your way up to the mountain.

The views from up there are not just about rocks and lakes. Look around, and you'll see villages tucked in between the hills, surrounded by farms filled with all sorts of vegetables. Imagine looking down and seeing people going about their day, working in the fields, and living in those villages. It's a peaceful scene, with the colors of the farms blending into the natural beauty of the landscape. Just another reason why the view from this peak is something truly special. During the monsoon season, the area comes to life with greenery all around.

Rocky outcrops, Bananthimari Betta, Kanakapura treks, Treks around Bangalore

Rocky Outcrops. Picture by Akshay Kevin

The Flora and Fauna Surrounding the peak.

Bananthimari Reserve Forest is an experience, offering a glimpse into the diverse and thriving ecosystem within. The various lakes that grace the landscape not only enhance the scenic beauty but also play a crucial role in supplying water to the neighboring farms, sustaining life in the region.

The primary lake serves as a vital source of food for numerous birds and animals that call this forest home. Among the avian residents are the common kingfisher, the majestic Brahminy kite, and the cormorants. These birds find nourishment and sanctuary around the lake, creating a harmonious balance in the ecosystem.

As you traverse the trail, it's essential to keep a keen eye on your surroundings. The forest floor may reveal the presence of snakes gracefully slithering through the undergrowth. While many snakes are harmless, it's always wise to observe them from a safe distance and respect their natural habitat.

The forest is filled with life, not only in the form of larger animals but also in the intricate world of insects and spiders. Take a moment to appreciate the various patterns of spider webs adorning the trees. These delicate creations showcase the engineering of the resident spiders, each web a unique design finely woven into the fabric of the forest.

Be mindful of your steps, for the forest floor may be home to an array of insects, each playing a crucial role in the delicate balance of the ecosystem. From ants to colorful butterflies, the forest is filled with life waiting to be discovered.

In this environment, the interconnectedness of all living beings becomes evident. As you immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of the Bananthimari reserve forest, remember to leave minimal impact, ensuring the continued flourishing of this untouched natural haven.

➤Trail Information

Bananthimari Trek can be divided into three sections.

  1. Walk from Bananthimari Temple to First view point
  2. A gentle ascent from the first view point to the second view point.
  3. Trek from the second-view point to the peak.

Section I: Bananthimari Temple to First view Point.

Trek Distance: 1 km

Trek Duration: 20 min

The Bananthimari Amma Temple, located at the base of the hill, serves as the starting point for the trek. This temple is dedicated to Bananthimari Amma, a local goddess believed to bestow fertility. You might come across some locals performing pooja, or aarthi, at the temple.

Upon arriving at the temple, you can park your vehicle and commence your trek. The trail is well laid out with mostly eucaliptus and bamboo trees.

Another alternate start of the trek would be from Bananthimari Lake, which is located 300 meters before the temple, just beside the road. The lake, surrounded by rocky outcrops and eucalyptus trees, is itself a sight to behold. Once you start the trek, continue along the road to the temple. Watch out for various species of birds that flock to the lake for their feed.

After walking approximately 200 meters from the temple, you'll come across a pond on your right. Watch out for the reflection of the surrounding hillocks on the water.

Bananthi Mari Betta -Lake, Bananthi Mari Betta, Kanakapura treks, Treks around Bangalore

The pond . Picture by Akshay Kevin.

Continue for another 70 meters, and you'll notice a path to your left. Opt for the left path. The path will lead you to a bunch of huge rocks and boulders. A few of these boulders look like caves. The whole section is filled with bamboo trees. We dont get such sections on other treks around Bangalore. Trekking on this path does not feel like a regular trek around Bangalore. The path is well laid out, with a few arrow marks to guide you.

Bananthi Mari Betta - Diversion, Bananthi Mari Betta, Kanakapura treks, Treks around Bangalore

Take the route to the left (Arrow mark for representation only)

After a steep ascent through the forest filled with boulders for about 10 minutes, you'll arrive at the first viewpoint. The place is a small clearing with views of the surrounding lakes. Watch out for various patterns on the rocks formed by millions of years of erosion and weathering.

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The boulder section after the diversion. Picture By Akshay Kevin

Bananthi Mari betta Trek, treks around Bangalore, treks near kanakapura

View from the forest section before the first view point. Picture by Tilak

Bananthi Mari Betta, Kanakapura treks, Treks around Bangalore, First view point

First View Point. Picture by Akshay Kevin

Section 2: First View Point to Second View Point

Trek Distance: 1 km

Trek Duration: 20 minutes

Take a brief pause and then proceed along the trail until you arrive at the boulder section from the forest section. You'll need to maneuver your way through the boulders for about 10 minutes, which will lead you to the second viewpoint. The view point is filled with fallen rocks and cairns This vantage point provides a stunning perspective where you can view the nearby lakes and the rocky formations in the surroundings. The climb on the boulder can get tricky during the rainy season.

second View Point, Bananthimari Betta, Kanakapura treks, Treks around Bangalore

2nd view point . Picture by Akshay Kevin.

Section 3: Second View Point to the Peak

Trek Distance: 150m

Trek Duration: 5 min

An ascent of 150 meters will lead you to flat land. It's worth noting that the clearing isn't a small, typical viewpoint; instead, it's a relatively spacious area. Take the time to explore the place, and in the far corner, you'll come across a rocky outcrop that marks the highest point.

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Bananthimari Betta peak seen through the bamboo trail. Picture by Tilak

Continue your walk along the clearing to the highest point. After walking for 5 minutes and a short descent of 10 meters, you will reach a small bamboo trail where you can take a break. Observe the silence, except for the occasional crawling of lizards or insects on the dry leaves scattered on the forest floor. Cross the section to reach a second boulder section with a short but steep ascent.

During the climb, you will feel like you have reached the summit. But once you reach the top, you will realize that the actual summit is another 50 meters away. Once you reach the peak, you will see a structure made of rocks.

From this elevated position, you'll have a panoramic view of tiny villages to your right, while to your left, you can admire the Bananthimari Reserve Forest. The surrounding peaks of Kabbala Durga and Bheemana Kindi are also visible.

View from the peak, Bananthimari Betta, Kanakapura treks, Treks around Bangalore

Bananthimari Betta Peak. Picture by Akshay Kevin

➤The best season to do the Bananthimari Betta Trek 

Bananthimari Betta trek can be done throughout the year except during the monsoons when the rocks are slippery.

Post monsoon, you will witness the lush greenery of the region in its full glory. The trek can be extended until the pre-summer season, when most of the trek has a mix of brown and green. You will have much clearer views compared to the monsoon season. Post monsoon or winter are the best seasons to do the Bananthimari Betta Trek.

➤How to reach Bananthimari Trek

The Bananthimari trek starts at a small village temple called Bananthi Mari Temple, which is located at the base of the peak.

This is about 6 km from Kanakpura, a major town in Ramanagaram district.

Reaching Bananthimari Betta by your own vehicle

If you're planning to reach the Bananthimari Trek using your own vehicle from Bangalore, here are the directions: Start by driving to Kanakapura town, and from there, navigate your way to Bananthimari Temple. You'll find a dirt trail that leads from the main road to the temple. The temple has a designated parking area for both two-wheelers and cars. It's worth noting that this temple is quite well-known among the local residents.

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Banathimari Betta parking area. Picture by Akshay Kevin

Reaching Bananthimari Betta by Public Transport System

The starting point for the Bananthimari Betta trek is the Bananthimari Temple, located approximately 10 kilometers away from Kanakapura. To reach this temple, you can avail of convenient transportation options. KSRTC buses departing from KBS Majestic run at regular 15-minute intervals. You can board one of these buses to reach Kanakapura. Upon reaching Kanakapura, you can easily find shared auto-rickshaws that will take you to the base of the temple. Share Auto Rickshaws take around Rs 30 oneway

Nearest Airport

Kempegowda international airport - 110 km

➤Permission and Camping on the Banathimari Betta Trek

Permission is not required to climb Bananthimari Betta. Just go to the temple and start with the trek.

➤Timings on the Bananthimari Betta Trek

While there are no specific set timings for the trek, it is advisable to plan your hike with the intention of returning to the base before sunset. The reason for this precaution is that the area is known to be inhabited by wild animals, including bears. Ensuring you complete your trek and head back before nightfall is a safety measure to minimize potential encounters with these wildlife species, which are more active during the evening and nighttime hours. It's always better to prioritize safety and wildlife conservation by avoiding the trek during the dark hours.

➤Food and Water sources on the Bananthimari Betta Trek

There are no food or water sources along the Bananthimari Betta trek, so it's essential to be well-prepared. Make sure to carry a minimum of 2 liters of water with you, and pack a lunch or some snacks before you commence the trek. While packing lunch, please ensure to avoid plastic packaging and take it in your own steel dabbas. This will reduce the consumption of single-use plastic.

➤Emergency contacts for Bananthimari Betta Trek

 

Hospital:  Kanakpura General Hospital.

 

Police Station: Kanakpura Police Station. (9480802861)

ERSS: For any kind of emergency help, you can contact the Pan-India Emergency Response Support System (ERSS) number- 112

➤ATMs and Network on the trek

ATMs: Kanakpura is the town with the nearest ATMs. It is better to carry cash with you than rely on any ATMs on the way. Carry cash either from Bangalore or at a reliable town en route if you are driving to the base.

Mobile Networks: You get good coverage of all major data providers.
 

➤Places to visit after the Bananthimari Betta Trek

Savandurga trek- Savandurga trek follows a trail to the top of Asia’s largest monolith hill.Located 60 km away from Bengaluru in the Savandurga state forest, this trail is famous for its challenging climb and amazing views of Magadi, Manchabele and Thippagondanahalli reservoirs and Arkavathi river.

Prani the pet sanctuary

 

➤Trek Contribution

Trek DocumentedBy: Indiahikes Team comprising of Gautam Singh, Akshay Kevin, Amoga Vigram P

Picture Contribution: Akshay Kevin

Trek Penned Down by: Amoga Vigram P

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