A Round of Siddara Betta

It is my fourth visit to Tumkur. Everytime I traveled through the National Highway No. 4 (Bangalore-Pune NH) road, I always used to wonder about rocky mountains on either side of the road. Being a nature lover, I always wanted to visit each and every rock personally. But practically speaking it is not possible. So I have chosen some of the famous Rocks of Tumkur. My aim is to treck some of the rocks of Tumkur.

There are lot of such rockiest places in Tumkur district. To name some of them, Devarayanadurag, Shivagange, Madhugiri, Chennarayana Durga.. and many unknown ones. In this post, I share my experience of Siddara Betta. One of the famous rocks of Tumkur district.

It has been said that many hermits had performed the meditation in the caves of Siddara Betta. Siddara Betta is rich in natural beauty. It is paradise for nature lovers. It has rare species of herbal plants.

Situated in Koratagere taluk, Siddara Betta is approximately 97 Kms away from Benagaluru. It is ideal place for cave exploration and trecking. The KSRTC provides bus services till Koratagere. From there private buses will take you to the Siddara Betta.

Information

Total Distance From Bengaluru 97 Kms
Koratagere (Nearest point) from Bengauru 75 Kms
From Koratagere to Siddara Betta 18 Kms
Nearest Food point Koratagere (Udupi Hotel)
From Tumkur to Siddra Betta 35 Kms (aprox)
Cellular Service AirTel, CellOne and Reliance

The journey began from Bangalore. I and my friend started from Majestic. It was totally an unplanned journey. After we reached the KSRTC bus depo, we planned to visit Tumkur first, and from there to Siddra Betta. But, luckily we could catch a bus which goes to Korategere. The journey was quite ok. We collected as many information as possible from the passengers and the bus conductor about the place. After two and half hours of journey, we reached the Koratagere taluk.

Koratagere is a small village. As soon as we reached there, we decided to have a break-fast. We saw one Udupi Hotel and we broke our past at around 12 noon. While having the break-fast, I collected as many information as possible from the owner of the hotel. He recognized me as Mangalorian by listening to my Kannada. According to the hotel owner, in every hour there wil be a private bus which goes to Tumkur via Siddara Betta.

We caught one private bus and spent 45 minutes with the bus standing idle. I hate private buses (but there was no choice). Last time when I went to Shivagange, I traveled in a “Noicy Box” (In Bangalore every private bus is equipped with a small ‘Bus Theatre System’ and they usually play some movie with a high volume). It was one of my worst private bus journeys ever.

Finally, the bus started to move. We have enjoyed the scenic beauty of the nature while traveling. We also got a chance to see the Chennarayana Durga. The weather was awesome. It was drizzling frequently and the a mild fog covered most of the rocks. As we were leading towards the top place, we could sense the drop in the temperature. When we reached the destination the rain also increased its intensity. The whole Siddara Betta view was covered by the clouds and fog.

We had hardly two hours of time to treck the Rock. We decided to treck till cave template. We started off quickly towards the Rock. We had to walk a distance of half kilometre to get the foot of the Siddara Betta. It was raining as we reached the foot of the Siddara Betta. We were in dilemma as to treck or not. Finally we decided to treck as much as possible. (Because trecking is risky during the rain, the chance of slipping is more). It was hard for me to treck the initial 25 steps. The wind blowing was so cold that I felt it is difficult to breath the chilled air. Very quickly, I adjusted to the atmospheric condition.

As we were moving further, the weather became more violent. The whole Siddara Betta was covered by thick fog. It was very difficult to watch ahead. I am sure that the scenery from the Betta is beautiful but the cover of thick fog did not allowed us to enjoy the awesome view. It was very difficult for us to treck. As we climbed up, the temperature stated to drop. We were not prepared at all to face this situation. We didn’t have proper accessories to deal with this kind of weather. But still we managed to move ahead.

There are stairs which will take you to the cave temple. In the middle, the stairs are not carved properly. So we had to take double precaution while treckking.(doubble, because of rain). It was disastrous to treck with chappals or with the plain shoes. Either we need to have special treck shoes or we have to walk bare footed.

Even though the atmosphere was rough, it was wonderful. It was a memorable experience to treck in this situation. We successfully captured some of the glimpses of the nature. Siddara Betta is filled with variety of vegetation. The natural spring on the hillock is known for its medicinal value. A wide variety of medicinal plants are grown in this rock. The fresh air of this betta is natural remedy for respiratory related problems such as astma, bronchitics etc. It also has mythological significance. It was the same betta where Lord Hanuman had collected sanjeevani to save Lakshmana during Ramyan war in Treta Yuga. The betta is filled with the nature wonders. Various species of birds can be seen in this region and it is the natural habitat of the yellow throated Bulbul bird.

After trecking for about 45- 50 minutes, we managed to reach the cave temple. Here Shiva is called by the name Siddeshwara Swami. We did not plan to go into the cave and explore it. We just visited the temple. Here the temple was not built; but it is a natural cave temple. It is dark inside; there are lights, but as usual, no power. There is a theerth (water source) inside the temple. It has been said that, the theerth has got medicinal values. As we headed out of the cave, we started to ask the localite about the cave. According to the localite, the cave is wast and confusing, the chances of getting lost inside is high. The cave has connecting route between Shivagange and Bangalore (it will join the Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple of Bengaluru). The cave temple is situated in the middle of the hill. We were interested to treck further, but the time and the weather didn’t allow us. So we decided to start our journey back.

Every expedition will emerge as an experience. It was an memorable experience for us. We enjoyed every moment of the time that we spent in Siddara Betta. At the end of the day the journey was incomplete, we didn’t experience the top, nor the thrilling dark caves of Siddara Betta, but still we enjoyed ‘the day’ in our life.

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