WHERE IS IT?
Avalabetta hill is located in the Chikballapur district of Karnataka about 100 km North of Bengaluru. This hill is a better choice if you prefer some solitude as compared to Nandi Hills that can get quite crowded. Gudibande Fort also lies in the Chikballapur district 25km away from Avalabetta.
HOW TO GET THERE?
Although you can take a bus till Chikballapur , there is no public transport to these places from there. Ideally, travel here by your own vehicle as you can reach and leave at your convenience. We went here on bikes of our own. With the help of GPS, we had no problems getting to both places.
According to folklore, the hill is supposedly blessed by a holy cow from heaven and the marks of its hooves can still be seen on one of the rocks. On a clear day, you can see the surroundings up-to several kilometers mostly of smaller hillocks covered in thick shrubs and bushes. There is a road leading up-to the hill which ends near a government guesthouse, which is probably not in use. There is a temple of Lakshmi Narasimha on the other side. Behind the temple, there is a cliff, which makes a great place for photography. No food is available on the hilltop so carry some snacks and liquids with you. Beware of monkeys and the occasional snake in the bushes.
Built by a local chieftain in the 17th century, Gudibande for still stands strong without any maintenance. There was no one aside from us at the fort barring the few goats. The deserted place gave us the chills as we climbed the steps cautiously to the top. It was a hot day and the sun was taking a toll on us. We were exhausted by the time we reached the top. There is an abandoned temple at the top dedicated to Lord Shiva. Numerous ponds are present at different levels of the fort. The view from the top is no doubt stunning and you can also spot the Gudibande lake from there. The place seems unsafe, so leave before nightfall.
Away from the other crowded tourist spots, these two places provide stunning views from the top. Food is a concern so carry some with you. In all, both the places are wonderful sights and can be covered as part of a day outing from Bengaluru.