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On untouched, unexplored ground

The Avathi Betta trek on the outskirts of Bengaluru has not just hillocks to climb but also a temple, lake and water stream to let time pass by unnoticed, writes Meenakshi Gupta
Last Updated : 16 October 2021, 19:15 IST
Last Updated : 16 October 2021, 19:15 IST

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Avathi Betta. PHOTOS BY AUTHOR
Avathi Betta. PHOTOS BY AUTHOR
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Life is slowly coming back to normalcy with a majority of the population getting vaccinated. But still, the government is taking all the necessary precautions so that there is no crowding in public places or at tourist locations. Even the hills around Bengaluru are closed on weekends for trekking and hiking. But trekkers, adventurists and nature enthusiasts are always looking for some getaway. The Avathi Betta trek offers all this and more.

If you are looking for an extraordinarily beautiful location that has not one but many hillocks, a lake and yet not crowded, head to Avathi Lake. Just 50 km away from Bengaluru, at the foothills of Nandi Hills, is an unexplored serenity that is an ideal destination for families, solo trekkers, bikers, nature enthusiasts and women travellers. A very safe location, it is a photographer’s paradise.

Sri Lakshmi Timmaraya
Swamy Temple

About 500 years old, this temple is dedicated to Goutama Maharishi who meditated here in a cave formation between large boulders in the area. There are about 200 plus steps to the temple from the other side of the road. This beautiful temple offers you magnificent views of Nandi Hills, Horagina Betta, Savandurga and Channagiri Hills. We spent some time there meditating peacefully overlooking the agricultural lands of local villagers.

Avathi lake

The road downhill from the temple was looking arduous but as we walked around the lake, we saw a stream merging with the lake. This stretch has a lot of green moss and chances of slipping are high here. One needs to be careful about the stones and pebbles around too.

Surrounded by a muddy but walkable trail, Avathi Lake is so serene to just be there and spend time watching the landscapes. We walked and ran on the trail. There are tiny natural Naga temples (as the local villagers believe). Explore the area on foot. The lake has splendid views of neighbouring hills. There is no way you can soak your feet in the water but you can surely enjoy the views.

The hike

There are no marked trails at Avathi Betta because there haven’t been many visitors since the pandemic. However, it’s a very small and easy hike. A hill with beautiful boulders and rocks takes you up to the point from where you can enjoy the lush green landscapes consisting of the lake, muddy trails, a stream, beautiful sky and the neighbouring hills. Relax and spend some time on the rocks for that cool breeze and views. It’s a very doable and kid-friendly hike. But make sure you carry your food, water and sun protection as nothing is available there. It is more like a day out with family and friends.

Although there is no need to seek admission from any authority, make sure you follow all the safety norms. There is a lot of walking so wear comfortable clothes and shoes.

As a responsible traveller do not litter, bring your trash back with you, carry a mask and sanitiser and respect the locals and the temple atmosphere.

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Published 16 October 2021, 18:42 IST

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