Tuesday, July 4, 2017

149) Bhairavadurga Fort Trek: (2/7/2017)


Place: Bhairavadurga trek/Byravadurga trek
Distance: 60kms x 2 = 120kms
Directions: Bangalore > Nelamangala > Dobbaspete > Kuddur > Solur > Bangalore
Krew: Deepak (Deefu) > Karthik (Sp)
Bikes: Enfield > Pulsar                                                                   
Previous Visit: Kabbaladurga Trek
Budget: Rs 400/head

IN LESS THAN 50 WORDS:
Alright, this was not doubt one of the most challenging hikes done till date. Our hike turned out to be more of a free style rock climbing. Our shoulders and fingers ended up pretty busted rather than the thigh and calf muscles for a change. Bhairavadurga is one of the Navadurgas around Bangalore. Other 8 are Savandurga, Nandidurga, Makalidurga, Devarayanadurga, Kabbaladurga, Huthridurga, Channarayanadurga & Hulliyurdurga.

INTRO & PLAN:
As far as the planning goes, had planned for Channarayanadurga initially. Deefu insisted to visit a new place for a trek. After some digging, narrowed it down to Bhairavadurga. This had to be executed a week earlier but as Madhu was leaving to Germany for a month, we were caught at Laxmi’s.  This time only Deefu confirmed also in half, as he was running with fever.
TIME: 22:00 (2/7/2017)




ASSEMBLE & LEAVE:
Yeah I was up at 04:30, did a few push ups & situps, had a cup of coffee and sat back listening to some Thin Lizzy. After which called Deefu after an hour and asked his call, I was 75% sure that the plan wouldn’t materialize. But Deefu said, “Lets go!” Charged me up completely and I took off from my home cruising on the ORR made it Malleswaram where Deefu joined. After which we departed Bangalore.
TIME: 07:30

RIDE 1: (Bangalore – Nelamangala - Dobbaspete - Kuddur)
This was a 70kms ride more or less very smooth. As we left Bangalore it took us some time to get synched to each other’s pace in middle of the heavy traffic. But in 30mins or so, we pulled over at our regular hotel for some tasty breakfast.
TIME: 08:00

After the breakfast, we walked out for some light tea and discussed what the plans for the 150th trip and also about the recent happenings in each other’s life. After which we rode non-stop to Dobbaspete taking a left turn we proceeded towards Shivagange. Enquiring with the locals about the directions to Kuddur we proceeded to the actual place of Shivagange. We could see a lot kids and even aunties wearing tracks and all set to climb. Waving them all a very good bye we proceeded to reach Kuddur.
TIME:09:15

I spotted Bhairavadurga few kilometres back. Asking the locals again for direction we found the right deviation, proceeding on narrow roads we reached the base of the hill. Parking the bikes and awakening the lizard king within, we were all set for the hike.
TIME: 09:30

BHAIRAVADURGA TREK:
This had to be one of the most challenging treks done till date. It is very misleading trek if you don’t space your day properly. You have to take the route through the forest in order to avoid the steep rock phases. Please keep in mind the way to the temple is not the way up.
It took us only 30mins to ascend the hillock. But the route we took was insane and not advisable for non-regulars. A strict word of advice, ask the locals for proper directions and then proceed. This had to be one of the craziest climbs done till date considering the risks taken. It was a very good thing that only Deefu & I were on board!

  

HIKE UP:
We parked our hikes at the base of the hill and read a sign board “Welcome to Kuddur Forest” we asked a few people around and they pointed towards a step which lead up. We began climbing the step and within 5-10mins we reached a temple.
After which we were confused as there wasn’t any way further. We both looked at each other and began climbing the rock face. Unlike other hillocks the rock faces were pretty dangerous considering the fact that we had already ascended quite some elevation. We found ourselves pretty stranded and each step was becoming a puzzle. Finally after cautiously making it to a flat land I saw a rock face which ran straight to the top and had pretty good  number of ridges and bunkers to rest. Both of us had a good look at and decided that was the best way up.


Like they say, don’t ever be sure of a rock face until you rub noses with her. This was the case, even though it looked promising, it proved to be one insanely tough cookie. As  I began scaling up the rock face, I realized it was steeper than anticipated and cracks to hold on to, were scarce. But there was no going back now, I made it up a few feet and settled into a nice dug out and gave Deefu a thumbs up. Deefu too made it up cautiously. We tightened up our shoe laces as we knew the next phase would be insane.

  

We decided to head diagonally as it would be less tiring and would give a better sense of balance. But we got stuck in a spot where we couldn’t finding a proper footing nor a proper crack to pull ourselves up. Deefu made it up and then was watching me, I almost slipped but pushed myself and grabbed a bunch of grass and pulled myself up. Whew! Then again we found ourselves stuck with in between trees and bushes. We decided to explore the perimeters. Pulling ourselves ontop of a fort wall we made it to the final tier. Even the last bit offered us a steepness, it was we who were scaling up the wrong side of the mighty hillock. Lastly, we decided to climb up this one using what we coined “controlled momentum” it was more 4 legged crawl.  Finally we climbed up the final fort wall to reach the top.  A cool breeze greeted us! We could see Shivagange afar, we waved back her too!
TIME: 10:00

TOP:
Once we reached the top, we actually wanted to explore the place and find the actual route. But holding onto our horses we found a nice shade and collapsed. Sipping a bit of water and having some chocolates we discussed about future trips. We rested for sometime and then decided to head back down.  We scoured the place and found the actual pathway.
TIME: 11:00




DESCENSION:
The climb down proved to be trickier than we anticipated. It took us nearly 1.5hrs to get back to our bikes. We took the actual route to start things off with. The trail ran into the forest and to our surprise it continued through shrubs and bushes narrowing itself down. It was simply amazing and putting ourselves in the shoes of the soldiers back then we marched on further.
Soon, we found out that a lot trails began to meet the main one. It was not long before we took a wrong turn and ended up deeper into the forest. We realised that we were lost and also figured out there was no point in tracing back. So we decided to keep heading down until we hit flat ground and then begin the search for our bikes.
This forest is well known for its wild bears, so yes, took my knife and put across my waist just in case. The forest came with this deadly silence, even though it was peaceful it was spooky at the same time.

  

Both us had pretty much grown accustomed to getting lost in forests and hills, so there was no panic and it was hardly noon. Figuring out ways, switching leads and enjoying the challenge we finally made it out of the forest and into somebody’s farmland.
Then we looked back at the hillock. Good thing we had taken a look when we parked our bikes. We started going around the hillock though various houses and farmlands until we locked onto the picture which we thought was familiar. We asked the locals some water and enquired about the direction to the temple. Another 1+km we walked to find the route and then we continued further to reach our bikes. Taking a deep breath, very satisfied with the trek we left the premises.
TIME:12:30

RIDE 2: ( Kuddur – Solur – Nelamangala – Bangalore)
The ride back was simple and was through a different route. We joined back the Hassan highway in 10-15mins and then rode the next 30kms or so to reach Nelamangala. After which we cruised along smoothly to crash into Chandu dhaba was some light lunch and drink.
TIME:13:00
After the lunch, we pulled over at the NICE road junction and we thanked each for making it for the day and headed back to our respective homes.
TIME:15:45

CONCLUSION:
"Overall i must say it was a fantastic hike. It turned out to be pretty crazy and merciless! And the it gave us pretty worn out hands and feet, the pain we kinda enjoy... No shit!"

Until next time Cia \m/




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Friday, June 23, 2017

148) Kabbaldurga trek – Hollow streak: (11/6/2017)


Place: Kabbaladurga trek
Distance: 100kms x 2 = 200kms
Directions: Bangalore > Bidadi > Channpatna > Kabbaladurga > Kanakpura > Bangalore
Krew: Karthik (Sp)
Bikes: Pulsar                                                                                  
Previous Visit: Gummanayaka Fort Trek
Budget: Rs 400/head

IN LESS THAN 50 WORDS:
Alright, after 2 years I returned to her all alone - Kabbaldurga -Stone Monkey (on my birthday as well! Hehe). Yes, Kabbaladurga Solo trek, is one such hikes I do annually to have cleansing experience. It is like hitting that reset button and restoring yourself to default setting. The mighty silence and the nature (if sensitive enough) will be totally overwhelming and totally flush out you system!

INTRO & PLAN:
As far as the planning goes, had planned for Kabbaladurg and Kabbaldurga it was, plain and simple. But on the previous day eve Arun and myself went for a 16km walk and I wasn’t very sure about the hike uphill the next day as my legs were pretty strained out. Night as I laid down wasn’t sure what would happen the next day! (Bday was always there!)
TIME: 22:00 (10/6/2017)


ASSEMBLE & LEAVE:
Yeah I was up at 04:30, did a few push ups & situps, had a cup of coffee and sat back listening to some Blue Oyster Cult. The oscillation of thoughts began, whether to stay back and go the next day, should I go at all? (No wonder a small sip, is always the key!). Anyway, no point of procrastination I thought and headed out for some self-draining!
TIME: 06:00

RIDE 1: (Bangalore– Ramngara – Channpatna - Kabbaldurga)
This was a 100kms ride on the butter smooth SH-17. Yes, as left Bangalore, I wasn’t surprised by the high density of traffic as it was a Sunday. Cruised along smoothly with just a feeling of blankness flooding all over my mind and body. Pulled over at the regular hotel to munch down on the usual breakfast!
TIME: 06:30


After the breakfast, I rode ahead cruising past Ramnagara and Channpatna. At Channpatna I took a left deviation and headed into the country roads. Here the traffic reduced, but I wan in no hurry either helping people out with directions, waving at kids and smiling at pretty girls I rode along to get the first glimpse of the mighty hillock.
The first view of the hillock as always sent a cold chill down my spine. But smiling back, I pulled over for a couple of mins to take a breather. After which I rode into the town, parking my bike, awoke the mountain goat’s spirit within and was ready for the climb!
TIME: 07:45


KABBALDURGA TREK:
Well it took me only 45min this time to ascend the hillock. It was pretty hard test on my stamina, was glad I pulled it off. Did struggle a bit in between though. The breaks were taken were short and calculative. As before I have divided the trek into the following sections:
i) Initial stretch
ii) 3 point stretch
iii) Viper stretch
iv) Final Stretch
Ready? Alright, this time it only the silence that accompanied me one this one, wait okay my super duper knife too. Alright here goes nothin!

i) Initial stretch:
This is straight forward and plain stretch. But always throws me off-track a little bit. This time was no different. Lost my way initially, found myself scratching my head in the middle of thorny bushes. Few tried to prick me, told them to wait as I was busy looking out for the way :D After jumping around here and there I was on the mud route and proceeding full speed I made it to my favourite stretch.

ii) 3 point stretch:
Ah, I could see my favourite stretch waiting for me. Few college kids were making their way down via the normal route. I stood there gazing at the steepness of this beautiful stretch. After which triggered the lizard king within and started scaling up the rock face. After running out of breath I pulled myself towards a cactus and rested for 2mins almost sitting vertically. After reaching the 2nd fort wall, the walk to the third wall proved to a little exhausting. But pushing on through i reached the grassy area and collapsed for a short deep nap.

iii) Viper stretch:
Woke up, let out a big yawn and began my ascent of the viper stretch. It was nice and cool the boulders felt friendly and the footings I got were pretty solid and neat. I found myself on staring down at the final stretch.


iv) Final stretch:
The final stretch had a lot of railings and support. Kind of took me back to the 2010 solo climb I had done at this place. It was damn scary without any of these. But now yes, but nevertheless drains out a lot of energy. Pushing my legs hard I reached the summit.
TIME: 08:30


TOP:
The cool breeze greeted me on top. I could feel my body re-gain all the lost energy. But as it was a Sunday, we people were there on top. I quickly paid respects at the main temple and proceeded towards the ruined buildings on the other side to get some quiet time. Dwelling in silence for about 20-30mins I decided I head back home.
TIME: 09:00

CLIMB DOWN:
The climb down was a smooth one. It took me about 30-45mins to reach back down. Breathing in a few long breaths I began my descent like the lizard king. Hovering from boulder to boulder I made my way down the last two stretches. After which the 3-point stretch was pretty scary initially but once I felt the rock face with my hands I feel it would be a walk in the park.
As I began to descent down this steep face, a new fresh me rushed within me. I made it down this steep stretch and met a few people making their way up. “Ayyio this way ah?” they asked, I smiled and said “mam, please take the normal route” Haha!
TIME: 09:30

RIDE 2: (Kabbaldurga – Channpatna – Bidadi-Bangalore)
After reaching back the temple premises, I took out my bike and rode out towards Kanakpura Road. I pulled over after 5mins and got down from my bike. Had one last look at the hillock, promising her a return I joined Kanakpura road at Sathnur. Even though it was a noon ride back to home, the traffic was dense and it took me some time to reach back home. But was just in time for some yummy birthday lunch.
TIME: 11:15

CONCLUSION:
"Kind of weird way to spend a bday one might say. But it is just the thing needed for getting my centre right!"

Until next time Cia \m/


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Thursday, June 1, 2017

147) Gummanayaka Fort Trek: (27/5/2017)


Place: Gummanayaka Fort Trek
Distance: 135kms x 2 = 270kms
Directions: Bangalore > Devanahalli > Chikballapura >Bagepalli > Gummanayaka Fort
Krew: Deepak (Deefu) > Madhu (Messi) > Karthik (Sp)
Bikes: Enfield > Pulsar                                                                   
Previous Visit: Tadiandamol Trek
Budget: Rs 400/head (+Rs 300/-)

IN LESS THAN 50 WORDS:
Another amazing trek to this unknown hillock towards Chikbalapur. This hillock is situated almost at the border of Andhra and Karnataka just like Bhasmangi. Had a great time exploring this ruined fort. The hillock is just 200-300feet high and getting lost sometimes is needed.

INTRO & PLAN:
As far as the planning goes, 2017 had been going great. And May had started off with the big Tadiandmol trek. Had eased off on the krew and we’ve been chilling out on weekends. But as the end of the month approached I wanted to get this hillock under the belt. A week back we had a night out and had met with a fatal accident (car almost toppling into a 20feet ditch – off the record stories!) So on this trip it was just Deefu and Madhu who gave a go ahead!
TIME: 22:30 (26/5/2017)


ASSEMBLE & LEAVE:
Oh yeah woke up at 04:30, it had rained pretty heavily last night. Had a sip of coffee, did a few push ups and sit ups and was all set to go. The meet up was initially scheduled at 08:00 as I knew the place wouldn’t be crowded. I picked up Madhu from his place and met Deefu on the Outer Ring road and we took off from Bangalore.
TIME: 08:30

RIDE 1: (Bangalore – Devanahalli – Chikkbalapura – Bagepalli – GN palya)
This was a solid 135kms ride mostly on the highway and then on the interior roads. The first 100kms to Bagepalli was smooth and we didn’t face any difficulty. We had one stop in between for breakfast at the same hotel we always pull over on this road – Hotel Pranav.
TIME: 10:00


After a yummy breakfast, we decided to hit non-stop to Bagepali. Once we reached Bagepalli we asked the locals for directions and proceeded to find ourselves slowly drifting off from civilization. Vast open lands with lot of boulders gave that typical Andhra feel.
We could spot the hillock few kilometres away, but we pulled over at a ruined old Kalyani and took a look around. We fooled around this place as it was pretty strange and spooky. Asking another local for the directions to the hillock we made it to the base of the hill.
TIME: 12:15

  

GUMMANAYAKA FORT:
As said earlier, this hillock ain’t that big. Hardly 300feet and if one takes the right route the top could be reached in a matter of 20-30mins. But as usual we messed up and got lost and trust me, I felt happy that we did (like always!). This fort dates back to 1300’s and legend has it people found this young kid lying in the sun and the hood of the cobra provided him shade. People thought he would be special and rule the region. The kids name was Vasantha Nayaka and Gummanayaka was his descendant.

  

Alright, coming back to the fort. The fort looked totally crumbly to be frank. It looked as though it could collapse at any point of time. But this gave a strange and beautiful aura. The initial stretch consisted of a lot of ruined buildings and easy walk way. As we continued we found the path split into a Y junction (take right). We saw a beautiful tree straight up ahead and continued towards it to find a lot of hoodoo rituals performed at the place.
TIME: 12:30


From here on, we were pretty much lost. We crawled this narrow opening in the boulder to reach a steep face on top of which was the final fort wall. We cautiously made our way to top praising Gummu for his incredible deceitfulness in the pathways. But as we reached we hit dead end and could not find a way to get past the fort wall.
And trust me it was unusually windy. I had a hard time just standing up. We were confused and taken aback. Then Deefu went ahead a little further and told we would have to go back and re-traverse our path and I went ahead and decided to explore this route.
This turned out to be a little tricky but lead us to a place where the fort wall had been breached. Climbing up on what seemed to be crumbly boulders we made it to the top.
TIME: 13:00


TOP:
The wind speeds were off the charts. It was very unusual for a hillock this size to have speeds like that. We explored the fort and found the actual entrance to the top a few meters ahead. Few buildings laid in ruins on the top of the hillock. Finally we crashed under the shade of the tree. Oh yes, we had forgot to get water bottle haha! Resting for about 30mins on top we decided to leave as we were parched.
TIME: 13:30

  

TREK BACK:
The trek down was smooth and kind of boring as neat steps lead us straight down and to the deviation point where we had goofed up a turn. But this route took us to a temple, pretty much in ruins as well. We paid respects to the place and danced our way down to the base, where another shocker awaited us!
TIME: 14:00


RIDE 2: (GN Palya – Bagepalli – Chikbalapur – Devenahalli – Bangalore)
As we approached our bikes, we found my bike’s tyre punctured. Damn! I thought, had replaced the tube recently and BAM this happens! Then I looked at Madhu and he looked at me and we started fighting (as usual) I was blaming his weight to be the only reason :P
Then I sat on the petrol tank and rode for about 4kms trying to smile at every villager who thought I was crazy or didn’t know how to ride a bike. Then finding a compressor, we filled in the required pressure and continued for another 3-4kms to find a puncture shop. Getting the tyre fixed we felt revitalized.  Then on we ride non-stop to Chikbalapur to the same hotel for some light lunch (as we had other plans!).
TIME:  16:00


After munching down on some light lunch (exception Madhu who belted a full meal!) we called momz, Dattu to White horse. And the ride back was a decent one the traffic was thin until the Hebbal junction. After which it became dense and horrible. I asked Madhu if he really wanted to crash at WH as I didn’t want to get caught in rain and he said (confidently!) it wouldn’t rain. So taking the interior route we ended up at WH for some light drinks.
TIME: 17:30

  

After about 1.5h of nice talks we left WH when a big droplet of rain fell right on my head. No I didn’t look down, nope I didn’t look up, (hoped it was not bird shit for a moment though:P) looked straight at Madhu’s face. Madhu "hey common am i a rain god? or what?". I thought damn, this would be one interesting ride back and sat back on the bike. As we left Malleswaram, down came the rains pretty mercilessly. The roads were flooded about 65 trees fell for the day. It was dangerous ride back, but we didn’t want to get caught up in the after rain ride, when people ride like maniacs. I felt it was better to ride in the rain slowly, its much safer. Dropped Madhu to his home and reached mine dripping wet.
TIME: 21:00

CONCLUSION:
An awesome new find, 2017 well… 9 chapters and 8 new places pretty much tells you how my year is going. Pretty solid and sweet! It was nice to mix the school and college spheres with common motto to have fun ”
Until next time, Cia \m/


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