A 6-lane highway, then some village roads, some steep travel through rocky slopes and bushes, and finally the exhilarating feeling of reaching the top, looking all around and savouring the cool breeze and breathtaking beauty. That aptly sums up the trekking trip that we had on saturday. We heard about this hill called 'kalavarahalli [skandagiri]' from a forward mail that we got some days back. What attracted us to this are the snaps which showed the hill with its head majestically floating over the clouds. And so we set forth from Banglore on saturday morning in a qualis. Our only info about the place was that its 70km from Banglore near the new airport at Devanahalli. The ride along the new 6-lane highway was exhilarating. As we passed Devanahalli, we enquired about this hills to some people we saw on the wayside. But nobody seems to even have heard about it. Anyway, we rode on until we reached a village and got to the foot of the hills after asking atleast 10 people.
After taking the permission from the forest officer, we set forth on our journey. For a group of 6, we only had 2 packets of biscuit and 2 bottles of mineral water for the whole trekking. One old man led us to the path that started from the foot of the mountain. A dog was following us and it was too close for my comfort. We started the climb and we saw one group leaving the place after the night trekking. Other than that, we didn't meet a single soul on our way to the top. The dog closely followed us all through the rocky path. We took rest at regular intervals and this time was spent in taking snaps. The biscuit pack was getting thinner by the minute what with the dog also getting a share whenever we ate. The interesting part was that the dog stopped whenever we stopped and waited for us all to start walking so that it could follow. It wudn't start even if one person is lagging behind. And, so after almost 3 hours of walking through some treacherous as well as beautiful paths, we reached the top. Nothing prepared us for what we saw there. Our jaws dropped as we feasted our eyes on the limitless beauty that was lying all around us. The only thing missing were the clouds kissing the hilltop, that we saw in the snaps. Later, the forest inspector told that we should be there at sunrise to witness that scene and for that we have to take night trekking, preferably on a full moon day. We sat there for a long time enjoying it all.
Then we started the downhill journey which took us another 2 hours. The dog was still following us like a faithful servant. Along the way down, we saw a young guy, about 14 years old, walking uphill to sell buttermilk. Mind you, this is not a place where many people visit. The fact that we didn't meet a single soul during the whole 6 hours that we spent in trekking will tell you how popular this place is. After a sip of butter milk, we continued our walk downhill. As we reached the foot of the hill, the sun was already fading. We took a glance back at the hill. There was that unexplainable feeling of satisfaction in my mind then.
To top this heady saturday, there was a rocky sunday at palace grounds, banglore as part of rock ethos. 13 Indian bands performed all day through and as expected Motherjane topped them all with an earth shattering performance in which one of their new songs 'fields of sound' was also played. Other bands which I liked were 'Bhoomi' and 'Kryptos'. It will need another full post to describe the full fest, which was notable in that it was exclusively for promoting original Indian rock music.
So that was my great weekend for u.....wish every week was like this
NB-The snaps that we took there couldn't be put here because its still inside the cam. USB access is blocked here in office. So I have to wait till I get to work on some computer outside office. The pics displayed here are the ones that I got from the forward.
Info to reach Skandagiri- Proceed along the new banglore airport road to devanahalli. From there, go to Chikballapur. Then to Kalavarahalli[skandagiri]. Its almost 80km from Banglore. And do remember to carry something to munch on and drink.
your crusader Praveen
your crusader Praveen