Thursday, April 16, 2009

Moonlight Trek to Skandagiri

See the pics here
A long lived dream came true a week ago!! Yes...finally i reached the top of skandagiri!!!
I had seen enough mails and googled enough about this hill and heard a lot about this from my bro..And i had a burning desire to capture this peak one night..
And had planned for this many a times but it got cancelled all the times!!!
But finally it was deepak (my colleague) who called me one afternoon and fixed a team outing on 12th april midnight and my immediate answer was YES!!!
I'm with others...if nobody comes we both shall reach the top.
This was actually not the right time to visit skandagiri(Kalavara betta, as it is called after the village located at the foothills of skandagiri) and the best time is during winter . The sunrise is awesome and the clouds are below you if it is winter (Oct-Feb). And now it was just a visit..just an attempt to know how to reach the top...
All of us (Me ,Deepak, Arun Shankar, Narayan,Yathish Deepak's friend and Narayan's friend ) planned to meet at Ashram circle McDonald's at 10PM and have a burger or two and leave for Skandagiri. It is about 75Km from mainland Bangalore towards Devanahalli Airport. Go towards the famous Nandi Hills and take a right. There u find muddenahalli and from muddenahalli to kalavara halli and there u find an ashram and that is the foothill of Kalavara betta...
And coming to our story, We left Ashram at 10:45 pm and started our journey. Reached Airport after a 10 minute ride @ 60kmph u'll find a small tea stall where u can ask the way to kalavara betta (as we did) and trust me he'll show u the better way of reaching that place...And then take a left after devanahalli. It is a four lane expressway so be careful....u wont find the tiny 40 ft road towards your left and might end up reaching Hyderabad!!!
Then after a few minutes' ride we reached the nandi hills where ,at 12:15am, we could see shops and many bikes and bikers!! So it is a hit spot for night trek!!That was a good decision by us ,i thought..
Then came the real hurdle...thereafter it's all sunshaan galli and bhoukte kutte and few huts!!! But fortunately we could find a drunk security officer whom we asked and he directed us inspite of his high spirits!!!
But at 12:30 am we ended up nowhere..a dead end and 2 dogs behind us and a person sleeping in a hut..We had no other option than to wake him up and he made us realise that we had actually come 7Km ahead....And then we took a U-turn to ride back to muddenahalli!!!
And as per his instructions we had to take a right turn at a circle..So we looked for a circle in muddenahalli and hoila!!! We reached the place which we had never thought of visiting..Actually sir.M.Visweshwaraiah's Samadhi is in that small village of muddenahalli And once u reach that place u cannot even say u r in a small village..
The garden so well maintained and there lies the best of brains in india..The legend behind KRS, Dandeli paper mills and Bhakra and nangal project..
There lies the man who made India proud by his engineering expertise....We clicked some snaps there and left for finding the actual destiny...And after a minute's ride there came another circle..This time a lil bigger corcle!! and i was really jumping with joy as i saw the handwritten board which read "KALAVARA BETTA" in kannada and the very next moment our speedometers read 80!!!
Another 5 minute ride we reached a place where there was nothing..A small field and smaller road (kaaludaari as said in Kannada)..We were so pissed of that we took our bikes into the field and then reached a small village (i donno the name) and parked our bikes there. An elderly person greeted us and it took a minute for us to discover that the hill right in front of us was KALAVARA BETTA... And the time was 1:15...
So we started it..finally!!!
And it was in the morning we realised that the route taken by us was the toughest one..The hill was full of steep rocks and we had to climb it. It took 2 hours to reach the top and to find about a 100 people already having omletts and singing aloud around a campfire!!! Then we realised there is an easier way which takes less than 45 minutes to climb and we were like WTF!!! But later consoled ourselves saying we took the toughest way and we have reached the top!! So we are far better than the remaining 100....It was time to have omlet and a bottle of water costs there 30 bucks!!! Cost for man labour to carry everything till top...And then we slept for an hour..The temperature is about 3 degrees and no blanket can save u...The only saviour is Lord Ganesha!!! There is a temple and the garbhagudi is the best place to sleep!! And my team had to actually come and kick me to wake me up!! Then it was time to watch the sunrise which never happened!!! I mean to say in the usual expected way!! Later on we started climbing down and this time using the normal and easier way.. It took us 45 minutes to reach the bottom and another hour and a half to reach inox.. Where after all the exhaustion and sleeplessness, Vin Diesel was waiting with his vrooming car with four of my friends!!! and one final note
Fast and the furious is bull shit....So i thought i could have slept at home and would have enjoyed a sound sleep after so much of exhaustion!!!
And Skandagiri is a moderate trek and even gals can try it!! i'm telling this coz i could see about a dozen chicks there on the top!!!
so guys and gals Skandagiri is waiting for u!!!

Basic Info:
Wiki is always helpful so go through this before u try her!!!
Altitude: about 1350m above sea level
Distance: 70 km from Bangalore
Nearest Town/Medical Help: Chikkaballapura, 5 km
Nearest Airport/ Railway station: Devanahalli(Bangalore International Airport)
Co-ordinates: 13°25′3″N 77°40′58″E