The Bandajje - Ballalarayanadurga trek is a challenging three-day sojourn that can be undertaken for getting a lifetime experience. The trek is dotted with waterfalls, rainforests and endless grasslands for a wholesome experience. You can even see a fort at a height of 1,509 meters at Ballalarayanadurga. The best part in all of it is that the trek is only eight hours away from Bangalore.
Here, in this write up we have written an exclusive itinerary for this trek.
Route: Bangalore - Hassan - Sakleshpura - Dharmasthala - Bandajje falls - Ballalarayana Durga
Mode of transport – Different modes of transport can be used but I preferred taking the KSRTC bus which is pretty convenient.
Day 1 - Start from Bangalore in the evening so that you can reach Dharmasthala by midnight. Lodge yourself at Dharmasthala or Ujire for the night.
Day 2 - If you are in Dharmasthala, you need to travel about 11 kilometers to reach Ujire. From Ujire, you need to go to Gowdra Mane Base Camp and then through the village into the jungle. The rainforest starts slowly and gradually envelops the area. Once you cross a stream after about 45 minutes, the walk gets steeper. Before reaching Bandajje falls, you would come across a clear stream from where you can store your water needs if needed. You can also cool off for some time as there is ample shade all around.
When you start your walk from here, it may take about an hour to reach the end of the forest and the ascent may become steeper. Then, the grasslands begin and after a few hundred steps, you can see the mesmeric Bandajje Falls where water flows from a height of about 200 feet. The Kurinjal Peak is on the right of it and the sight of it is out of this world.
The waterfall may appear to be close but that is not so as you may not find it immediately. Just keep moving towards the northwest till you get an elevation. Keep moving to the left until the forest starts and after crossing the meadows an entrance to the valley starts from here. The markings are made there for easy access. Walk slowly and cautiously from here as the valley can be quite steep and deep with loose soil. Once you descend this valley, Bandajje Falls is right there for you! The best part of the trek is you get to camp right on the waterfalls.
There is ample space up there to put up tents for the night and you can easily spend the night there. You can also observe the sunset from this place as it looks quite charming.
Day 3 - You can now move to Ballalarayana Durga. These parts of the trek is easy but just remember to carry some water with you as there are no water bodies beyond it. For some time from here on, you may have to make a gentle climb after which there can be rolling grassland that can extend for about an hour. This part of the trek can be very enjoyable due to the easy walk along with the all-round scenic view. The fort will be there at duration of about two hours and you can locate it from a distance itself. However, the last 15 minutes of the trail can be a little steep but not like the one before it.
Once you reach the fort, you will enjoy the panoramic view from there and can easily gather your breath and enjoy the moment. You can stay satisfied that the descent is easy except for a small section where there are some steep rocks on the way. It can be amazing to note that you can practically cover the downward journey from the fort in about an hour or so to the nearest motorable place, Durgadahalli. Anyway, if you are opting for public transport, you may have to travel 3 to 4 kilometers more to Sunksale from where you can get easy conveyance to everywhere.