The Halu Chilume Ganga Temple, or Thorn trek as we call it at Indiahikes, is an adventurous trail right outside Bangalore. It has rocky patches, boulder sections and forest trails, all packed into a short 5 km.
There’s also an interesting temple at the top, with bells on a rock. For the more adventurous trekker, there is an option to explore around on unmarked trails or the caves on the hill/
The initial trail is pretty easy. You get stony steps and a nice trek through the jungle. A stone ruin can be used as shelter in case of heavy rains.
- Altitude: 2,700 ft to 3,310 ft
- Time taken: 5 hours
- Trek gradient: Continuous ascent till you reach the top. Descent on the way back
- Trail type: Ascent and descent on stone steps, boulders and a forest trail
- Water sources: None. Carry at least two litres of water
The initial ascent from the base is on a trail surrounded with lemongrass.
In around 20 mins of the climb, you will come across the first clearing on the trail. You will hear the sounds of peacocks singing in the nearby fields. Keep your eyes open for birds, stick insects and other creatures moving around you. If you get lucky, there are chances of spotting snakes as well. Do not disturb the animals. The best way is to let them go away from you. They are more scared of us than we are of them.
The trail then takes you through a combination of stone steps and mud trails for 15 mins. You will later start the forest section.
Depending on the time of the year, you can either expect lush green or dry brown bushes and trees. In another 15 minutes, you will reach the Stone Ruins. You will find a lot of waste here, left behind by trekkers and locals.
In about 5 minutes, you will come to the shrine of Gange temple. The bells are attached to the boulder surface. You will see two sets of bells.
You can either descend down the same trail or follow the yellow arrow marks on boulders. Follow these arrow marks to reach the second clearing.
Climb up the boulder to get the view of the entire surrounding. You need to use a bit of technique to get on top of this rock face if its slippery. Go on all fours while descending back this rock.
You get to see the surrounding hillocks standing stall in the horizon. The banana plantations/fields of the neighbouring villages look pretty. The Gundamagere Lake is visible to the right side.
Optional – If you are into exploration, then start going ahead and try to ascend from here. There are no trails from now onwards. You will come across many tricky sections. Without proper trails you can get lost very easily, especially if you do not have a GPS Tracker. You need to crawl under thorny bushes, climb over boulders using some holds that you see and push yourself against the small openings.
You can actually get to the big boulders of this area. There are some really cool caves above and a third clearing which will be the last stop. There is no path after this on all three sides of left, right and up.
Start your descent by 1 pm. Descent is very tricky with trails looking very similar. Keep yourself to the left and descend down. The right side is a cliff down and extremely dangerous to find a proper trail.
Note – Carry headlamps, GPS tracker and a power bank if you are exploring this area.
Interesting fact – The temple priest comes from the village of Ujjani everyday. This is about 3.5 km from the base of the trek.
A special Puja happens every Monday. The pilgrims who trek to the temple believe in good fortune after this. Locals from the nearby villages come to the temple.
Landmarks on the way:
- First clearing
- Stone Ruin
- Shrine and bells
This trek has been explored and documented by Arjun Majumdar and Suhas Saya.
Take the SH9 Highway, Doddaballapur to Gauribidanur road.
Take the left before the Indian Oil Petrol station which takes you to Green Valley Resorts. Continue on this road and reach Hosahalli.
Take the left after Hosahalli police station. The road starts to be more narrow and also filled with potholes.
You will see a government school to your left. You can either take this mud road or the next one which is the actual marked route for the trek.
The distance from Hebbal to the base of the trek will be 70 km. It takes one and half hour if you are travelling in your own vehicle.