Madhugiri Fort-A trek  

Posted by Praveen in ,

I was suddenly bitten by the travel bug again last week while watching a superb travel documentary. After watching that, there was no way I could've stayed back home last weekend. But, I ran out of ideas thinking of places to set sail to. Thats when I stumbled upon a blog , describing about a place called Madhugiri. After the mood killer of a world cup match on saturday, we had a perfect sunday thanks to Madhugiri.

Madhugiri is in Tumkur district, about 110 kms from Bangalore. The metro rail construction can slow down your progress out of Bangalore city, if you don't get out quite early in the morning. Then its smooth sailing until the place called Dobbaspete, about 60km from Bangalore. After that, the road is bad at certain stretches and you will find yourself tossed up inside your vehicle. As you near Madhugiri, you can see a huge rock overlooking the road from the distance. Yes, thats the one you are supposed to scale.
the structure near the entrance to Madhugiri fort

A fort was built by Vijayanagar dynasty on Madhugiri hills, which is the largest monolith in Asia and second largest in the world(courtesy-wikipedia). You could see some of the fort gateways from the bottom itself. A not so pompous gate welcomes you to the palace. The climb starts soon. For a good part, there are steps carved out of the rock. At rest of the places, you just need to lean forward and walk up the rock. The climb gets steep at some places and its better to be careful not to slip or tumble down. As you walk up, you can catch a glimpse of the Madhugiri town, with its closely packed houses, a temple, bus stand, fields and few small lakes. The aerial view is a treat.

A special feature of this hill is that you will never truely realise how high it is or how much more you've to trek until you reach the very end. We were fooled into thinking that the trek will end at the next gateway atleast 4 times. And when we reach the said gateway and take a peep through it, we will see the sight of the hill towering over you with more gateways to conquer. A sad thing we saw at Madhugiri was that most of the walls were disfigured by 'modern stone carvings'. Yes, I meant those love signs, lover's names and classic exercises in narcissism, which are a bane at most of our historical monuments. Most of them have taken the pain to carve deeply into the walls and rocks. Guess these are those 'brave' souls who have a fear of professing their love in the open. So, they travel great distances and carve their love laden messages in stones in obscure places in the faint hope that their lovers will see it when they visit the same obscure places many years down the line!

And, so after a 3 hour trek uphill(with ample rest time-drinking water, eating glucose,chocolates), we reached the top. There are ruins of a temple at the top. Cool breeze, shining sun and endless blue skies welcomed us at the top. After spending some time at the top, we had a quick downhill trek which took barely an hour. It was a day well spent...
a view of Madhugiri town

There are stairs at some places

The structure at the top

The team...downhill journey

another view of Madhugiri town

Modern stone carvings
not an inch of space left

Travel directions-
Go straight for about 60kms on Tumkur road, until you reach Dobbaspete. From there, take right turn. A ride of about 40 Kms will take you to Madhugiri. Make sure you take a lot of water. We exhuasted our supply before we could reach the top.

your crusader Praveen

Two incidents  

Posted by Praveen in ,

This post is not meant to defame any religion. These are just word by word account of 2 real life incidents.

Incident No-1
It was a saturday, some weeks back. I met my old schoolmate after a gap of almost 5 years. We went around the city in my bike and was coming back home in the evening. Somewhere near majestic, we were stopped by a traffic policeman who jumped out of nowhere to the middle of the road. Over the years, I've developed this technique of avoiding the morons in khaki and white by speeding or going through the right side of a bus at places where they usually stand. This time, it was a new road and I was caught. Now, it was time to open my usual bag of tricks, which I use when I get caught. Fat policeman with big round belly asks for license, rc book etc which I promptly hand over. Then he sees my 'Kerala registration' number plate. Seeing this, he demanded money. I narrated my 3 yeard old (fake) story of being a newbie in Bangalore who came hunting for job from Kerala. He asks me to show him my wallet. The sight of 100 rupees lights up his eyes. I refuse to part with it saying its the only money we have for our dinner. Then he hurled a load of abuses. More pleadings later...

Traffic policeman-What is your name?
T policeman- HINDU?

10 seconds of shock, hatred, anger later, I nodded my head in the affirmative. I stopped myself from talking back thinking about the royal screw up that these guys are capable of dishing out.

And then surprisingly, at that very minute, he asked me to leave. Without paying any fine. Yes, that happened in Bangalore, capital of 'beef banned' Karnataka. And, my friend who was with me and who was watching all this conversation, happened to be a muslim. While we were riding back, I matter of factly told him, 'Imagine, if he had asked you that question'. And, then he told me about some incidents in Mangalore, where he's pursuing a career in medicine.

Incident No-2
Three of his classmates(A muslim couple and their common Hindu friend) went out on a Friday morning. After having a jolly good time at a mall there, the muslim boy went to the mosque leaving his beloved with their friend. As these two friends were walking on the streets, a group of men came rushing and asked both of their religions.They told the truth. And, the thrashings followed, both to the boy and the girl. The men belonged to the notorious 'Sri Ram sene'. Apparently, these men are against people of these religions mixing together, especially if its a male and female. The two of them sustained a lot of injuries. And this was not one isolated incident. My friend narrated to me quite a few.

I leave it at that. Judging on these two incidents, I leave it to you.

Unrelated PS- I was 'born' a Hindu. I eat beef. And I've ways of getting it here in Bangalore eventhough some bigots are hell bent on preventing us from eating it.

your crusader Praveen