A Droog List
'Droog' is the English corruption of the Indian word durg or durga which means fort or fortification (related in turn, to the name of the inaccessible, invincible Goddess, Durga). Droogs, enormous monolithic rock formations widely seen across southern Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, are striking features of the landscape, soaring several hundreds of feet above the surrounding plains. Their sheer walls and the presence of freshwater springs made them, at one time, ideally suited for use as fortifications for armies and for the protection of important sections of the population in times of strife and war. These giant monoliths of igneous rock were formed through volcanic activity in the Mesozoic era (250 to 66 million years ago) when dinosaurs wandered the landscape.
Many of these old and well camouflaged fortifications, planned ingeniously and built through dint of enormous human effort and inventiveness stand in ruins, as often inflicted by the last attack that breached them, as by disuse, and the only 'in use' portions are small shrines where worship and patronage continues from nearby villages and communities. Besides temples, the durgs, with their innumerable natural niches and caves, have served as refuges for spiritual wanderers seeking quiet. Many of these hills in Karnataka are known locally as 'siddarabetta' after the 'siddas' (those of, or seeking, spiritual accomplishment) who might have inhabited them from time to time. The durgs provide refuge to a great diversity of bird, reptile and small mammal life, besides an occasional surviving panther, and make inviting destinations for day hikes.
The Great Trigonometrical Survey of India led by Col. William Lambton in the 19th century made use of the tops of 'conveniently' located droogs and temple towers (gopurams) that dotted the landscape as they triangulated their way painstakingly, first across the Deccan for their base line, and then northward from Bangalore for the longitudinal line. This remarkable endeavor resulted in determining the height of the highest mountain that was named after George Everest who took over the GTS after Lambton died in central India in 1823.
Ramadevarabetta, Kyatasandra, Tumkur District
Distance from Bangalore: Approx. 70 kilometers
Route: Bangalore - NH4 - Nelamangala - Dabaspet - Kyatasandra - right turn towards Siddaganga Kshetra
Distance from Bangalore: Approx. 100 kilometers
Route: Bangalore - NH4 - Dabaspet - Koratagere - Tumbadi New Tank - Left turn - then a right turn
Siddarabetta, Koratagere, Tumkur District
Distance from Bangalore: Approx. 104 kilometers
Route: Bangalore - NH4 - Dabaspet - Koratagere - Tumbadi New Tank - Left turn - then another left turn
Distance from Bangalore: Approx. 65 kilometers
Route: Bangalore - Magadi - Harohalli - South on Kunigal Maddur road
Distance from Bangalore: Approx. 80 kilometers
Route: Bangalore - Magadi - South on Kunigal Maddur road
Other popular droogs
Devarayanadurga, Makalidurga, Nandidurga, Ramagiri (Ramanagara), Savanadurga, Sivagange