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Savandurga from the northern side
Map of the Savandurga area

Savandurga is a hill 60 km west of Bengaluru (Karnataka, India) off the Magadi road 12°55′11″N 77°17′34″E / 12.919654°N 77.292881°E / 12.919654; 77.292881, in India. The hill is considered to be among the largest monolith hills in Asia.[1] The hill rises to 1227 m above mean sea level and forms a part of the Deccan plateau. It consists of peninsular gneiss, granites, basic dykes and laterites. The Arkavathi river passes nearby through the Thippagondanahalli reservoir and on towards Manchanabele dam.


Savandurga is formed by two hills known locally as Karigudda (black hill) and Biligudda (white hill). The earliest record of the name of the hill is from 1340 AD by Hoysala Ballala III from Madabalu where it is called Savandi. Another view is that the name is originated from Samantadurga attributed to a Samantharaya, a governor under Ahchutaraya at Magadi, although there is no inscription confirming this. This was the secondary capital of the Magadi rulers such as Kempegowda. From 1638 to 1728, Mysore took over this place and Dalavayi Devaraja occupied this place with the palace at Nelapattana. In 1791 Lord Cornwallis captured it from Tipu Sultan's forces during the Third Anglo-Mysore War.[2][3] Robert Home in his Select views in Mysore (1794) shows distant views of the hill from Bangalore.[4] He called it Savinadurga or the fort of death. There were no steps to reach the hill top and it was covered by bamboos and other trees forming a barricade.


The hills are home to the endangered yellow-throated bulbuls and were once home to long-billed vultures and white-backed vultures. Other wildlife include sloth bear and leopard.

Golden Angle-Savan Durga-Bangalore Rural .jpg Common Three Ring-SavanDurga Bangalore rural.jpg Small Cupid-Savan Durga-Bangalore Rural.jpg Grass jewel-Savan Durga.jpg Pointed Cileate Blue and Brigh Babul Blue-Savan Durga .jpg Common Lineblue Savandurga.jpg
Caprona ransonnetii Ypthima asterope Chilades contracta Grass jewel Pointed ciliate blue (left)
and bright babul blue (right)
Common lineblue


Surrounding the area is a state forest with scrub and dry deciduous forest covering 27 km2. The degraded forest, which is considered as shrub and tree savanna of the AnogeissusChloroxylonAcacia series is highly diverse, recording over 59 tree and 119 shrub species. Some of the plant species recorded here include:[5]


  1. ^ "Savandurga".
  2. ^ Wilks, Mark. Historical Sketches of the South of India in an Attempt to Trace the History of Mysoor: from the origin of the Hindoo government of that state, to the extinction of the Mohammedan dynasty in 1799. Edited with notes by Murray Hammick. Mysore: Government Branch Press, 1930-1932.
  3. ^ Anon. (1908). The Imperial Gazetteer of India. Volume 22. Oxford. p. 150.
  4. ^ Home, Robert. Select Views in Mysore: the country of Tippoo Sultan from drawings taken on the spot by Mr. Home with historical descriptions. First publ. London: Bower, 1794.
  5. ^ K. S. Murali, A. Kavitha, and R. P. Harish (2003) Spatial patterns of tree and shrub species diversity in Savanadurga State Forest, Karnataka. Current Science, 84(6):808-813

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