One day trip from Bangalore - Trekking Ramadevarabetta or Sholay's Ramgarh

“Let’s go somewhere this weekend. What about Ramanagara?”

My husband was talking about trekking Ramadevarabetta (the mountain of God Rama) - A famous granite rock mountain near Ramanagara in Karnataka. I wasn’t very enthusiastic about a trekking. I am an archaeology person whose taste lies centuries behind. However, I was quite curious to see the place where the legendary movie Sholay was shot, especially after it was featured in this Google advertisement. 


one day trekking near Bangalore - Ramadevarabetta



Ramanagara is just 70 kilometers from Bangalore, which makes it an ideal destination for a short one day trip from Bangalore. I have passed through Ramanagara many times during my trip to home town. I have only seen those majestic granite rock mountains from a distance.

one day trekking near Bangalore - View from  Ramadevarabetta

We started from Bangalore a little late; around 9:30am (I know the trekkers would say “very late”). Through the NICE road we entered into Mysore road. Here you can see the route map that we followed. The road was fine except for the slow moving trucks in NICE road. On the way before reaching Ramanagara, there are many restaurants to grab a quick bite. We reached Ramanagara around 11:30am.

One needs to take a sharp right turn just before entering the Ramanagara town towards a small side road. The foot of Ramadevarabetta is located 3 kilometer interior from the main road.  It is a bit difficult to locate this right turn without the help of a map. However I saw that they are constructing a huge Hanuman statue right at the entrance of this road so that in future it will be easier to spot. There was a bumpy 3 kilometer ride through narrow village roads before we reached the foot of the mountain. If I did not have the map, I would have seriously doubted where we were going.

one day trekking near Bangalore - entrance of  Ramadevarabetta - Sholay hills


There were not many travelers, just 5 or 6 people at the entrance. There is no entrance fee to the mountains, however the parking fee is 40 rupees. There is sufficient parking space at the starting point of trekking. Right at the foot of the hill there is a huge gateway and a small Ganesha idol as we enter into it. I saw some people removing their shoes at that point; however it is unnecessary and would be painful if you plan to trek to the top. There was a priest standing next to the gateway, he signaled that we don’t need to remove the shoes.

one day trekking near Bangalore -  Ramadevarabetta - Sholay hills


We entered through the gateway and prayed for few minutes in front of Ganesha idol. I couldn’t help but laugh when I noticed that the priest has safely locked his bag also along with the idol inside. From that point there is a flight of steps leading uphill. It was a moderate climb.

one day trekking near Bangalore -  Ramadevarabetta - Sholay hills


 Even though there were around 350 steps it did not seem hard as the surroundings were green, clean and calm. Even the waste bins were organic and were attached to the trees.

one day trekking near Bangalore -  Ramadevarabetta - Sholay hills

The steps end at a small plane area where there is a huge temple dedicated to Rama. The temple seems to be quite ancient and has connections with Epic Ramayana. The temple is worth visiting if you are interested. The flight of steps ends here.

one day trekking near Bangalore -  top of Ramadevarabetta - Sholay hills


 The way forward is through rocky terrain; however it is not so steep. We started walking towards the top. In some places the granite is quite slippery as it has become smooth due to wear and tear.

one day trekking near Bangalore -  top of Ramadevarabetta - Sholay hills


As we went forward, there were not many people around; only the mighty granite mountains all round! There are a couple of beautiful view points on the way up. When you are there, spend a few minutes to enjoy the breathtaking view all around. I have heard that the entire Deccan plateau - of which Karnataka is a part- formed from volcanic activities millions of years back. The Rocky Mountains all around reminded me of the same.

one day trekking near Bangalore -  Rocks of Ramadevarabetta - Sholay hills


If you are lucky enough, then you will get a spectacular view of train passing through the valley. We got the view of a glorious full length train, which looked like a toy train from the top!

view from Sholay's Ramgarh - Ramadevarabetta near Bangalore

Also in distance I saw a few mountains with huge cavities in them. They are the natural habitat of the long-billed vultures and Egyptian vulture – species that are on the brick of extinction.  This area was declared as Ramadevarabetta Vulture Sanctuary some time back. We were not lucky enough to spot any vultures. However bird watching enthusiast can inquire more about the vulture sanctuary and I am sure vulture spotting trips would be arranged by a few organizations.

view from Sholay's Ramgarh - Ramadevarabetta near Bangalore


The most difficult part of the climb is the last stretch of around 30 steps. The rock cut stairs are pretty shallow and raw. However there is a railing on either side of the stairs which makes one feel safe. The climb is difficult, especially those who are intimidated by heights. We did not venture up.
We started descending around 1:00pm. The way back looked quite easier. We visited the Rama temple on our way back.

Sholay's Ramgarh - Ramadevarabetta near Bangalore


There were a group of travelers around age group 50-55. They were busy discussing the scenes of Sholay and wondering how Hema Malini would have climbed to the top. Some suggested that a helicopter would have dropped her right on the pinnacle and everyone seemed to agree to it and having a good laugh!

view from Sholay's Ramgarh - Ramadevarabetta near Bangalore


I think their generation is the one which attached to Sholay the most. When it was first released in 1975, all these guys would have been in their beaming 20s. Later I came to know that majority of the 1984 movie; “A Passage to India” was also shot in Ramangara.

As we climbed down to the parking area, more vehicles had come and almost filled the parking area. I think it is better to start the climbing as early as possible in the morning. Three hours of trekking had started then hunger pangs. We started our way back to the Ramangara in search of food and new adventures!

Points to note in Ramadevarabetta trekking

  • --Ramadevarabetta is located near Ramanagara, at a distance of 70km from Bangalore.
  • --Use the Google maps as it is very easy to miss the right turn towards the Ramadevarabetta. Map here:
  • --Try to reach the trekking spot at least around 10am. At this time plenty of parking lots will be available.
  • --Carry water with you and if you prefer food. However kindly don’t litter. Ramadevarabetta is a very clean and beautiful place, let’s help to stat same.
  • --Don’t remove your shoes at the entrance. It is not necessary.
  • --To my great relief, I did not spot any monkeys during the entire trekking.
  • --There are no restaurants next to the foot of the hill. You will have to come to main road (3km) to get anything to eat or drink.
  • --The toilet facility at the top of the hill is nonfunctional.


1 comment:

  1. Super explanation! I was searching for these minor details like how to go, what are the things there, is there a proper way to reach the hill once we reach Ramanagara? etc. All answered perfectly.

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