Bilikal Ranganatha Swamy Betta
Bilikal Ranganatha Swamy Betta is a hill near Kanakapura, Bangalore located 70 km south of city. In Kannada 'bili' means White and 'Kal' means rock or stone. Atop the hill is a temple dedicated to Lord Ranganatha Swamy. The temple and an adjacent quarters is housed underneath a huge granite rock. The hill is also known by the name Billikal Betta due to the whitish rocks near the summit that is visible from a long distance. The peak is at a height of 3780 feet (1152 m). Bilikal Rangaswamy Betta belongs to the Eastern Ghats and is filled with shrub forest.
Bilikal Rangaswamy Betta belongs to the Forest Reserve and is filled with shrub forest. Elephants and other medium sized wild-life animals can be spotted in these forest.The vegetation of the hill is typical of high hills. The vegetation is quite thick especially in post monsoon season. The adjoining forests are known to harbor elephants and other wildlife endemic to the area. The view from the top is incredible as one can see the hillocks from the surrounding Kanakapura. There is an annual festival held once a year on Jan 14th on the top of this place to herald the glory of the Gods of the temples situated at these place.
This is one of the paramount hill ranges ideal for trekking as the route of trek is pretty strendious with path that is leading to peak takes you into the forest range giving you the chance to spot some of the wildlife like the bears and Elephants or even some of other mammals in and around the peak. These animals are common fluctuates crossing the boundaries from this area and into Cauvery wildlife sanctuary towards Bheemeshwari. As of August 2015, it has been reported that hiking up to the top has been stopped by the Forest Department, and interested parties need to seek permission from the forest office in Bannerghatta.
Bilikal Ranganatha swamy Hills can accessed by two routes one from the Bangalore-Kanakpur Road near Maralvadi and other from Bangalore Mysore road on which one must take left diversion at Chanapatna towards Kanakpur and reach the base of Bilikal. Hotels are Available at Harohalli (15km away). Shops selling tea and snacks are available at Dodda Maralawadi. No shops are available at Koonala Doddi and afterwards, so going with packed food and water is essential.
BMTC Bus to Bilikal Ranganatha Swamy Betta
BMTC and private buses are available to Kanakapura from KR Market which passess through Harohalli. From Harohalli BMTC and private buses are available to Dodda Maralawadi. From Dodda Maralawadi very few BMTC buses are available to Koonala Doddi. The trek path starts from Koonala Doddi. Private cabs are available Harohalli. Apart from the Trek route from Koonala Doddi, there is jeep track till the peak from Kanakapura.