It is double delight, for trekkers, heading to NIJAGAL. The two hillocks of Nijagal, that stand side by side, offer a rare challenge to trekkers. If someone wants to trek the barren rocks, they can head to the new Nijagal Fort, and those who want to trek through bushes and shrubs can choose the old Nijagal.
Located near Dobbspet on the Bengaluru-Tumakuru Highway, Nijagal can be a ideal destination, but only for strict trekkers who prefer to go with safety gear and an experienced guide.
The fortifications of the new Nijagal Fort has interested historians from a long time. Even the great litterateur —— Ta Ra Su had talked about this fort in one of his novels. —— DURGASTAMANA. He has mentioned how difficult it was to conquer the fort. Legend goes that Peshwa Madhava Rao couldn’t conquer this fort, as this was under the command of Hyder Ali’s commander Sardar Khan. The Maratha army tried to attack the fort and couldn’t win and was unsuccessful. As Hyder Ali and Madakari Nayak of Chitradurga were rivals, the Peshwa asked Madakari if he could capture the fort.
However, it was a tough job even for Madakari who had to devise a new plan. It is said that he threw meat into the trench around the fort which was filled with crocodiles. As the crocodiles were having the feast, Madakari’s men crossed the trench and occupied the fort.
As there are no proper footsteps to scale the new Najagal, one needs to explore on foot in order to reach the top where you can find the ruins of a fort. As it is the peak of summer, it is suggested to trek the hillock in the early morning, as walking on the rocks in the heat can be very difficult.
On the other hand, Nijagal Fort, popularly known as Uddanayyanabetta, has a temple dedicated to Veerabhadra and Shikara Basavanna. The hill is also a source of two springs —— AKKA TANGIYARA DONNE and SIDDARA DONNE. If you are planning to go to old Nijagal, there is asmall pathway leading to Shikara Basavanna (a small temple on the hillock).
You can enjoy the cool breeze at this serene place which has green cover. However, it is a tough trek to go beyond it, as the entire pathway is covered with bushes and shrubs. So, do take the help of localites.
—– Sridhar Vivan.