Gadaikallu, located in Belthangady taluk is one of the admired trekking locations in the district as it not only provides the trekker a wonderful climbing experience onto the hill but also exposes one to the nature’s boundless beauty.
Gadaikallu is located 8 km away from Belthangady town, close by a place called Manjotti and is situated 1,788 feet above the sea level.
The best feature of this trekking spot is that it has the steps to climb unlike most of the trekking places where the trekkers have to blend all their energy to climb the intricate mountain path.
A brief history
As per the historical documents, this fort was originally called as Narasimhagada, drawing its name from a Jain ruler Narasimha Jain who had initially worked for the construction of this fort. But it was Mysore ruler Tippu Sultan who reshaped Jamalabad fort in 1794 on his way back to Sriranga Pattana after the end of Mangalore war.
It was named as Jamalabad after his mother Jamalabee. It has been assumed that the hill steps were constructed by French engineers according to the guidelines of Tippu. The fort then was captured by the British in 1799 during the fourth Mysore war.
Inside the fort, there are two sweet water tanks and small springs along with many ruins of walls to recall the age old history of the fort. A small construction atop the hill is the only place to have shelter once we reach our destination. Though the journey on to the top is tiresome, the spellbound beauty of the nature compels us to forget the tedium. A magnificent view of Kuduremukh and landscapes of coastal region along the way is a treat to trekkers’ eyes.
Tips to trekkers
While trekking to Gadaikallu, it is always better to carry water and eateries as the journey badly demands it. The best season to trek is from December to May and one can trek anytime between 6 am to 6 pm. An early morning trek is always preferable as one has to bear the scorching sun as the time passes.
An overnight stay in Gadaikallu is strictly prohibited keeping in mind the safety of the trekkers. Pay a nominal fee of Rs 40 to the forest check post and carry on with the trekking that reaches you to one of the most amazing destination around.
How to reach?
Catch a bus from Mangalore to Belthangady town which is 65 km from the city. From there, board on to the bus that goes to Manjotti, get down in the stop and walk for 1 and a half kilometer where you end up finding the foot of the hill. From there, start your journey atop the hills!