Nestled in the town of Pandavapura between two hills, Kunti Betta is a hillock located at an elevation of 2,882 feet above sea level, famous for trekking. With its splendid natural beauty, surrounded by sugarcane and paddy fields, and coconut trees, it’s a magical place to unwind in and cherish some quality and peaceful time with loved ones. You can trek up the hills and witness a sunrise that will renew and refresh you. The best time to visit Kunti Betta is between October and May.
Trekking is a beautiful recreational activity that gives a taste of living in the wild. And Kunti Betta offers some exceptional trekking experience. With our travel guide, you will be well equipped to help plan each aspect of your trek.
How To Reach Kunti Betta
Kunti Betta from Bangalore (Bengaluru) is about 125 kms. It is 25 kms from Mandya and about 16 kms from Srirangapatna. And Kunti Betta to Mysore (Mysuru) is about 33 kms. Being well-connected by several means of transport, Kunti Betta is easily accessible.
The airport closest is Mysore Airport, 39 kms away. Visitors can hire cabs or taxis to reach Kunti Betta from Mysore airport.
The Pandavapura Railway Station lies about 8 kms from Kunti Betta. Visitors can take taxis or auto rickshaws from the railway station to reach Kunti Betta.
There are several buses that ply from Bangalore to Srirangapatna or Mandya. Visitors can reach Pandavapura from these places using local transport. Afterwards, they can hire auto rickshaws to reach Kunti Betta. The roads are free of potholes and so you can also enjoy a smooth road trip in your own car, enjoying scenic views.
History Of Kunti Betta
Kunti Betta is a place of great historical significance. It is believed that the five Pandava brothers and their mother Kunti stayed in the caves of this hillock during their 12 years of vanavasa (exile). The hillock was Kunti’s favourite spot as she spent a lot of her time here; hence the hills are named Kunti Betta. At the top of the hill is a utensil shaped rock and a rock pestle, where it is said she used to cook and grind food, hence this hill is also known as Onake Betta (onake means pestle in Kannada). These hills were previously called ‘French Rocks’ as the French army who had helped Tipu Sultan in his war against the British used this place as their camping ground.
Kunti Betta Trek Details
Kunti Betta is ideal for both domestic and international trekkers, nature lovers, and backpackers. Night treks are particularly special, when you get to camp under starry nights with fireflies as additional light.
Essentially, the trekking trail here consists of two rocky hills formed mainly of granite rocks. The total distance is about 2 kms and it takes around 45 minutes to an hour to reach the peak. It is an easy to moderate level trek which includes steep ascents and descents. The only way to reach the hilltop is to climb the rocks that are usually inclined at an angle of 60 degrees. Giant footprint-like formations are also found here, which are called Bheemana Pada, as it is believed they’re Bheema’s from the epic ‘Mahabharat’. You can also find a ‘crocodile faced’ rock which provides a bird’s eye view of the whole place.
Additionally, trekkers can also indulge in a night trek in Kunti Betta. The overnight journey is very exciting, making it the perfect destination for trekking around Bangalore and Mysore. Trekkers carry tents or sleeping bags and spend the night on the hilltop until dawn to witness the beautiful sunrise. There are no shops nearby, and you will need to carry your own food and water. It is also absolutely safe for women to go on a trek here.
Do You Need A Trekking Guide?
Going trekking in Kunti Betta with a guide or not depends on the amount of experience you have as a trekker, and what you want from the hike. If your goal is to have a peaceful time alone, then you’ll need to do your research. If you’re keen on meeting people, a guide might be ideal for you. Trekking with a guide is reassuring, and often you will not need to carry food or camping equipment. If you have a good guide, you will also learn about the place. If you have no experience trekking then going by yourself is not recommended.
Things to Carry
To go on a Kunti Betta day trek, you will have to keep your fitness level high, as the climb can be tough, given the topographical nature of the hillocks. The path is rocky with a lot of loose soil, so you will need good quality shoes. Carry enough water, for the journey will tire you and make you thirsty. You may be subject to strong sunlight, so bring a cap, sunglasses and high SPF sunscreen. If you’re going on a night trek, you will need to pack an extra pair of clothes, a light jacket, food, basic first-aid and sanitary kits, a sleeping bag and/or tent, and a torch with extra batteries. Do not go on a Kunti Betta trek without a camera, because the magnificent sights during the journey will compel you to take photographs.
Places To Visit In Kunti Betta
1. Sri MallikarjunaTemple
Kunti Betta has 100 stone steps that end at Sri Mallikarjuna temple. This pristine temple is a prime example of Dravidian architecture, and an important pilgrimage site. A figure of Ganesh is painted on a stone beside the temple. There is a kalyana mantapa (marriage hall) behind the temple to perform wedding ceremonies. Next to the temple, you will find a small rock depression or kalyani called Kunti Kola.
2. Kunti Kund
Kunti Kund is a small lake at the foot of the Kunti Betta hills, filled with clear blue water. You can sit along its edges and dip your feet in while enjoying a bit of solitude.
3. Parikrama Point
Parikrama Point provides panoramic views of the whole place. Just standing here gives you a bird’s eye view of the whole place. The variegated hills, lush green trees, and mist that envelops Kunti Betta make the views from here phenomenal.
4. Thonnur Lake
Located 10 km away from Kunti Betta, Thonnur Lake is the perfect place to spend some quiet and peaceful time. Surrounded by a plethora of lush green trees, it is a serene lake filled with cold water. The surroundings are also resplendent with beautiful green trees. A few moments spent here will make you feel close to nature.
Adventure Activities To Enjoy At Kunti Betta
Kunti Betta is an offbeat destination that offers a lot of excitement to adventure seekers. Here are the top six adventure activities you can enjoy here.
Indulging in trekking at Kunti Betta will pump up your adrenaline and add an element of thrill. If it’s your first time trekking, you may need anchored ropes to help reach the top. The trek offers splendid views of the surrounding area. It’s a great destination for those who want to enjoy a nocturnal adventure, as night trekking is allowed here.
2. Rock Climbing
A perfect place for rock climbing, the steep rocky hills of Kunti Betta offer a challenge for adventure seekers. It can be enjoyed by both beginners and professional climbers.
The summit of Kunti Betta has a height of 950 metres making it ideal to enjoy rappelling. The ascent and descent are both steep, providing an ideal challenge for adventure seekers. Its difficult reserves it mainly for seasoned rappelling enthusiasts.
Kunti Betta is the perfect place to spend a night out, sitting near a campfire under the moonlit sky. The hilltop presents an amazing view of the valley and the lake below. Spending the night in a tent only adds to the excitement.
With a steady water supply from the backwaters of the KRS dam, adventure seekers can enjoy a refreshing swim in the cool waters of Thonnur Lake. The lake is full throughout the year, making it an ideal spot for swimmers.
Boating is another popular activity here, where the boats here are referred to as a dinghy. These boat rides are open to visitors of all ages.
What Does It Mean To Be A Responsible Trekker?
A responsible trekker is caring towards their trek mates as well as the environment. A good trekker, therefore, should consciously reduce or watch the waste they generate.
Trekking at Kunti Betta might sound like fun and adventure, but if proper precautions are not taken it can be dangerous. Here are a few tips to keep you well-prepared.
- 1. Fill your backpack with munchies and a bottle of water.
- 2. Travel light and be organised.
- 3. Wear comfortable trekking gear, shoes and carry a cap and sunscreen.
- 4. Carry a hiking pole for stability and support.
- 5. Avoid blaring music on your speakers as you will scare away birds and animals and cause a disruption.
Why Should You Go Trekking On Kunti Betta?
Trekking in Kunti Betta is not just a physical conquest but a journey for your mind, body, and spirit. It brings you closer to nature and helps clear your mind from the daily monotony of life. Travelling to unfamiliar territory also provides you with an excellent way to experience unique cultural traditions first-hand. If you’re facing a significant life decision, a trip here might help zero in on your solution. You may even meet a few new friends on your trek, that may even last a lifetime.