Located a few hundred metres from the Bangalore-Tumkur highway, Nijagal Betta is a hillock of ruined temples, forts, caves and striking rock formations. However, much of all this, save for a portion of the fort wall, is not visible from the road. It’s believed that Hyder Ali and Peshwa Madhav Rao fought a war here. Though the hill is accessible from a nearby village, the nearest path is from the highway. The climb is tough initially because of the loose gravel. But the path becomes rocky as you climb, thus giving a better foothold.Halfway up the hill, the two outer layers of the fort come into view. The fort is believed to have been built by Chikkadevaraya Wadiyar in the mid-17th century. Once the first outer wall is crossed, it’s easier to navigate the path. It’s a little tricky towards the end as the path hugs a large boulder and only a flimsy rail provides some muchneeded support.This path finally leads to a set of adjacent caves that nestle a small Shiva shrine and dargah, which are popular among local villagers. The final part of the hill rises above these shrines. It’s a steep outcrop, but rough hewn steps provide enough grip leading to a set of rock-cut shelters and caves.The peak provides an unobstructed view of the countryside, the snaking NH4, neighbouring hills and even Shivagange. The trek is fairly easy and it takes about 90 minutes to two hours to reach the top at leisure.There are plenty of abandoned structures worth exploring. The path has many sculptors from the Hoysala period and also has rock etchings that appear to be pre-historic, but this hasn’t been authenticated. Image Credits - http://ophiophagus.assamonnet.org/2012/10/07/day-on-hills-basadi-betta-and-nijagal-betta/ Credits for the Plan - http://theloapers.blogspot.in/2013/05/71-nijagal-trek-2012013.html