OT Travel Itinerary: All You Need To Know About The Channagiri Trek

This easy 3 km trek to the top of Channagiri Hills has enchanting views of the Nandi Hills landscape
Sunrise over the Nandi Hills in Karnataka
Sunrise over the Nandi Hills in KarnatakaPREJU SURESH/Shutterstock.com

Channagiri is one of the hills which makes up the renowned Nandi Hills area of Karnataka. It is situated approximately 1,350m above sea level and the 3km hike to its summit takes between two to three hours. The trek is an opportunity to enjoy the panoramic view of the area and get up close and personal with its terrain. The mists of winter make the whole area sparkle. You will encounter Skandagiri, Brahmagiri and a few other hills during your trek.

The best time to do the hike is after the monsoon (September to February) as the area becomes densely covered with shrubs and thorny bushes. The hill is quite steep with some points at an angle of 70° but the trek overall is an easy one.

Here’s what to expect from the Channagiri Trek.

Hiking The Trail

Storm clouds gather on Channagiri Hill
Storm clouds gather on Channagiri HillAniruddha Gupte/Shutterstock.com

The starting point is near the Kanive Basaveshwara Swamy Temple. For an easier route, the southern side of the hill is best but seasoned trekkers looking for a challenge can opt for the western side.

Upon starting the trek you will notice the wild shrubbery of the area, which in the winter months is dry and full of thorns. The Channagiri Hill rises on your left during this stretch.

The trek starts from the Kanive Basaveshwara Swamy Temple
The trek starts from the Kanive Basaveshwara Swamy Templekarnatakatourism.org/Website

Take in the view of the landscape as you make your way and savour being out in the living world. You will notice farmlands with occasional urban structures dotting the scenery. The trail ascends gradually and switches between rocks and steps.

Around 25 minutes into the trail you will enter a flat open area. This is the first clearing. On the right, Skandagiri will appear as a triangular mound. Turn left. Channagiri, which was on your left so far, is now on your right.

The view from the Channagiri summit
The view from the Channagiri summitkarnatakatourism.org/Website

Your next landmark will be a large rock on the left. Continue upwards. Stone steps mark the trail so there is little chance of getting lost. Take a water break and rest for a while when you encounter a set of large boulders.

When you start walking again you will notice some huge granite rocks. The terrain will also change to a flat grassy area. The trail winds into a deciduous forest on the right. Take the stairway. The land beneath you will alternate between tall grass and small canopies of trees.

Views of the Nandi Hills
Views of the Nandi Hillskarnatakatourism.org/Website

At the end of this staircase, the top of the hill will open up before you. There’s a temple structure with a state flag above it. The summit is a vast flat area with a 360° view of the surrounding hills.

Handy Tips

1. Start the trek in the early morning so that you can descend well before twilight.

2. There is space to park a vehicle at the base of the trek.

Puliyogare rice can be one of the snacks you carry with you on the trek
Puliyogare rice can be one of the snacks you carry with you on the trekkishore kumar n/Shutterstock.com

3. Carry snacks like puliyogare rice, sandwiches, dates and chikkis. Bring your own water bottle too as there is no food or drinking sources available on the trek.

4. Do not litter the area and carry trash bags to take back with you. Travel light.

The Nilgiri wood pigeon
The Nilgiri wood pigeonkingsley_david/Shutterstock

5. If you are lucky you will be able to spot peregrine falcons, the Nilgiri wood pigeon and the shaheen falcon. You may see a snake or a chameleon from time to time.

6. There are no washrooms or public toilets on the trek.

Frogs swim in a pond at the Nandi Hills
Frogs swim in a pond at the Nandi Hillsrakesh kp/Shutterstock.com

7. Wear a cap if you are going in the summers and a sweatshirt in the winters. Avoid the main monsoon season as the rocks can be slippery and you could injure yourself. Shoes must have a good grip.

Getting There

The Nandi Hills are around 60km from Bengaluru. Take a bus or taxi from the city to cover the distance.

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