Minimum Suggested Level: Intermediate Suggested Duration: Single day Savandurga-Manchanbele area has lots of forest land that is filled with trails for somebody on a mountain bike to enjoy. One of the most fun trails in this area is the loop around the monolithic hill.
Thorny shrubs and deciduous trees are everywhere along the root- and rock-strewn forest trail. Beautiful boulders in the midst of the forest, tree sized Cacti, dried lake beds, farm land at the edge of the forest, mango groves, and beautiful vistas of the valley around add up to it. And of course the Savandurga/Savandi hillock in the background, it is rough terrain and back-country as much as it could get 50 km away from Bangalore.
Objective dangers, other than what a trail entails, include broken stalks that could spear you if you fall onto them, and ability to get disoriented. But this is not so much of a backcountry, because the civilization is all around, just a few kilometers away in every direction.
Start point is either at the turnoff towards Savandurga off Ramanagaram-Magadi road, or after you take the turn towards Savandurga, lookout for a trail to the left after half a km after the turnoff (see the exact marking point on the map).
The trails run all around the hillock, so use the hillock as your reference point.
One confusing point is around 3-4 km from the starting point, where you come across a taken down barbed wire that is supposed to be the fence for the protected monument area. You need to stick to the right here to keep going around the hill, going left would take you back towards Magadi Road. It is possible to join the main trail back, but it is not exactly straightforward.
The total distance of the loop is ~20 km.
Essential Tools & Gear
1.Ideally run self sealing tubes on the bike, this place has thorns everywhere. And/otherwise, carry spare tubes and a good puncture kit.
2. 2-3 litres of water is recommended, there is not much shade and the place gets kinda hot, except for maybe Dec-Jan months when it would be a little better.
And the usual stuff to eat like bananas, chocolates etc.
When to go
How to reach
If you are heading out from Bangalore, then you can turn right from Ramanagram on the Magadi-Ramanagram road and go till the right turn for Savandurga hill.
Or you can turn right just after Rajarajeshwari Dental college and take some of the inner roads to go past Manchanbele and hit the same Magadi-Ramanagram road couple of kms before the Savandurga turn-off.