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.
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...
Modern stone carvings
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