B'luru, ideal for friction climbing, say mountaineers

B'luru, ideal for friction climbing, say mountaineers
Bengaluru and its outskirts, including the hills of Ramanagar, Savanadurga and Turahalli, have become popular hot spots for rock climbers from across the globe and country, especially in the recent years.

According to professional rock climbers, there are more than 170 rock climbing routes in the hills surrounding the City, making it a hub for climbers. Ramanagar and Savanadurga near Magadi, top the list for the best rock climbing routes.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Sohan Pavaluru, a rock climber from Bangalore Climbing Group, said that Savanadurga has around 8 to 9 pitches that are approximately 1,200 feet high, making it one among the most unique mountaineering spots in south India. “ It is an ideal place for friction climbing just like in New Jersey and Spain,” he said.

Each year, over 500 climbers from across the globe visit these destinations. Many climbers set out to explore the hills on weekends too. Aby Iyer, an electrical engineer and climber from Briston, England, who is  in the City for the first time to experience rock climbing, says that she has been climbing since years and has covered France, Spain and the UK. “I attended a three-month summer training programme before coming here. I will be climbing the hills of Mahadevapura, Turahalli (off Kanakapura Road) and Savanadurga during the Christmas weekend and during New Year, I will be going bouldering in Hampi and sport climbing in Badami,” she said.

New routes
After the State government declared 346.14 hectares in Ramanagar as Ramadevarabetta Vulture Sanctuary, around 40 rock climbing routes were closed down. 

This has not deterred the spirit of climbers groups, who have identified and added 156 new routes in the last few years. Savanadurga is popular for sand stone climbing and Ramanagar is known for its unique granite rocks. The rocks of Badami are also popular for their lime stone rocks.

HS Venkatesh, Director, Thimayya National Academy of Adventure, run by the Department of Youth Services and Sports, said that rock climbing and water sports are becoming very popular in Karnataka and the department is encouraging many youngsters to take part in such activities.

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