Sunday, May 12, 2024

201) Bhairavadurga Fort Trek: (11/5/2024)


Place: Bhairavadurga trek

Distance: 60kms x 2 = 120kms

Directions: Bangalore > Nelamangala > Solur > Bhairavadurga

Krew: Dilip (Koof) > Karthik (Sp)

Bikes: Pulsar                                                                                                   

Previous Visit: Huthridurga trek

Budget: Rs 250/head  

IN LESS THAN 50 WORDS:

Wow, this was a fantastic trek to the craziest of Navadurgas – Bhairavadurga. The climb is steep and challenging, A few stretches are very risky but without risk, it’s not fun either, right? So yeah, this was one kickass trek which we enjoyed a lot!

INTRO & PLAN:

It had been a week since my return from Nashik. And was ready, we had narrowed down the plan to some hillock towards Madhugiri. But then Koof had a hectic week and wanted to go someplace close. Hence late night on the previous day we decided it would be the hillock that would send shivers down one’s spine – Bhairavadurga.

TIME: 22:00 (10/5/2024)


ASSEMBLE & LEAVE:

Yeah, I was awake by 3 am. Stretched out a little, sipped some coffee was all set to go. I left my place at 5:30 am and picked up Koof.  We had seen this roadside idly and dose stall near DVG petrol bunk since last two time. We decided to finish off breakfast in Bangalore itself.  The shop opens at 3:30 am and closes at 6:30 am and the food was decent but yeah it will be crowded. We spent about 20 mins at this place and left Bangalore.

TIME: 06:30


RIDE 1: (Bangalore – Nelamangala – Solur - Bhairavadurga)

This was about a 60 km easy ride. As we left from Bangalore it was easy cruising until just before Nelamangala. We ran into a massive traffic jam, which extended to a few kilometers, but thankfully it was slowly moving. The reason was a bad road patch which had given away due to rains. Post this jam, we cruised well and took a deviation after Solur, and without any assistance from Google Maps enquiring with people we reached the base of the hillock.  We requested some locals to look after the bikes and helmets as we began the trek.

TIME: 08:00

BHAIRAVADURGA TREK:

This is one of the most challenging and beautiful treks. We did not want to get stranded as monsoons had started. We took about 60 mins to climb with sufficient breaks. So here I have divided the trek into three phases, so keep up with me here!

a.      i. Initial forest

b.      ii. Steep climb

c.       iii. Final ascent



Initial Forest:

This is the tricky part considering one can get lost easily. Once we spotted the hillock, we knew which phase of the rock to climb. Keeping that as an anchor we wandered on the peripheries of the forest and then decided to enter it once we felt comfortable and watching signs of water flow from the hilltop.

As we entered the forest, there was dead silence with only insects chirping and peacocks cawing. The dried grass was strong, and it took some effort to wade through them. Locking our sights on the initial rock phase, we made it through the forest in about. 15 mins.

TIME: 08:15

  

Steep Ascent:

Okay, this phase requires skill and is challenging but at the same time most enjoyable. As we started, the rock phase offered good grip but was very steep. Carefully reading for cracks we played each step cautiously and proceeded inch by inch to reach what we call as the “crazy ascent”, here trust me, it gets almost vertical, and the grip also falters. Hence one has to be doubly careful. Koof went ahead, and I stayed back, and we pushed through this phase to reach the fort wall.

TIME: 09:00


Final Ascent:

The final ascent is an easy one. We rested at the fort wall for some time and then pushed step by step. This phase is also challenging but not as risky as the previous one. It took us about 15 minutes to complete this phase and reach the top.

TIME: 09:15


TOP:

We spend about 45 minutes at the top. We searched for a nice spot and laid down. It was windy and uplifting. Watching the clouds hovering in the sky, we dozed off for about 30 minutes. Then once we got up, had some water and chocolates. We stretched out a little and decided to head back down. The residual feeling of the trek up was still lingering. The more challenging the climb, the more is the feel.

TIME: 10:15


DESCENSION:

The trek back was easy and took 30-45 minutes to reach the bottom. We made it to the fort wall and this time finding the route back to the forest was not difficult as most of the grass was burnt out. Once into the forest, it was an easy descent. The pathway was clear and Koof was wondering, how he repeatedly fell here during our last visit.  Reaching down was not the problem now, finding back the route that led to the place where we had parked our bikes. We plucked a few mangos and kept them in the bag before finding the path that eventually led to the bike.

TIME: 10:45

  

RIDE 2: ( Kuddur – Solur – Nelamangala – Bangalore)

The ride back was simple. Off late after each trek, having a “sting” has become mandatory. Good rush it gives. Madhu said he could join in for a sitting if it was in RR Nagar. So RR Nagar it was, we crashed in at a local bar before heading home.

TIME: 12:15


Sunday, April 28, 2024

200) Huthridurga trek: (27/4/2024)


Place: Huthridurga trek

Distance: 75kms x 2 = 150kms

Directions: Bangalore > Magadi > Huthridurga > Ramnagara > Bangalore

Krew: Dileep (Koof) > Karthik (Sippy)

Bikes:  Pulsar                                                                                                 

Previous Visit: Channarayanadurga trek

Budget: Rs 250/head

IN LESS THAN 50 WORDS:

This was a sweet and small trek to this now very famous trekking destination. Famous for the great escape in 1758 by Bairstow, this trek had elements of surprises and exploration. But due to the commercializing of the place, now had lost all its glamour. Nevertheless, we had a decent trek on Saturday. And yeah 200 is just a Number. 

INTRO & PLAN:

Ok, April 2024 had been too good. Three trips had been completed and to sweeten the pot, we decided to hit a 4th one. Koof was the only one on the confirmed list. Channarayanadurga was a good start and now it was time to have the momentum going.

TIME: 20:00 (26/4/2024)


ASSEMBLE & LEAVE:

Yeah, I was up at 4 am, stretched did a few push-ups and pull-ups, and was all set to leave. Woke up Koof by 5 am and left towards KR road. Once Koof joined we left Bangalore. We decided to take the Magadi Road as it was the shortest route and I faintly remember the ride back in 2018 was good.

TIME: 06:00

 

RIDE 1: (Bangalore – Magadi - Huthridurga)

This was about a 75km shaky ride. The roads were a mix of very good and muddy roads. That made the ride painful on an early Saturday morning. With the sun rising behind us, we kept pushing and cautiously riding. As it was a 2-lane road, rushing lorries and busses from opposite sides were something to watch for! Just before entering Magadi, we pulled over for some yummy breakfast.

TIME: 07:00

From Magadi, Huthridurga is about 20-25km. And all of a sudden, the roads turned very good. So, we cruised along at a decent pace, making up for the time to reach the town. We were surprised to see a tempo full of uncles and aunties returning after the trek.  We parked our bikes in what was now a proper parking space, last time we had just ridden into farmlands and taken off. (Hutridurga - 2018; Hutridurga - 2013)

TIME: 07:45


HUTRIDURGA TREK:

The trek to the top of the hillock took us 45 minutes with enough breaks in between. To start the trek, we were a little disappointed to find steps to the top. I understand tourism and all other shit, but the taking away true essence of the place at the cost of promoting tourism is something I do not get.

The initial climb was easy, and we wanted to get this part done quickly. Post which the gateways began. Moving through the gateways is fun and adventurous. As we reached the 2nd fort wall, I remember during our 1st visit to the place, we had searched so much for the entrance to the 3rd tier. But now, there were clear steps leading to the hidden spot.  

 

People had thinned down by then and the sun was up and bright. Koof said he wanted to sleep for some time :P Haha! I said, it would be better if pushed until top and then rested on top as there were more places of shade.


I made sure we kept pushing without big breaks and I kept playing around the steep slopes as I had a fair idea in mind where the next treks were coming up. We reached the top and then crashed at the temple.

TIME: 08:20


TOP:

Cool winds greeted us on top and we could see the entire town of Hutri. It was a beautiful view. Savandurga was shrouded in mist and hence we couldn’t spot it even though it was close by. After taking some photographs, Koof decided that it was time for a good crash. We spent about an hour on the top. Koof fast asleep and I tried to take in the view and immersed myself in the silence and the natural orchestra at the top.  It was trippy and nice. Once Koof was awake, we decided to do a quick touch-down on the cave viewpoint and then head back down.

TIME: 09:15

 

CLIMB DOWN:

The climb down was a smooth one. We hardly took any breaks and thus could complete it in about 30 minutes only. We continuously climbed down until the 1st tier; the sun was blazing full force hence we decided to have a couple of glasses of buttermilk. Reaching back to the base we decided one thing clearly, “we are not heading back on Magadi road again”. Haha! Yeah, the roads were bad.  We pulled over at a bakery and had some cold water and sting. Yeah, off late we are kind of having this thing after each trek.

TIME: 10:00


RIDE 2: (Huthridurga – Ramnagara - Bangalore)

Yeah, taking the Ramnagara route turned out to be a very good decision. The roads are in excellent condition, and we enjoyed this stretch very much. Cruising at a decent pace we reached back the Bangalore-Mysore highway. Not exactly the old enjoyable ride, but the roads were too wide, and we could cruise at a faster pace to reach back Blue Wings to meet other boys as well! :)

TIME: 12:00

Stayed at BW for 4hours speaking about college, politics, Naruto, and marriage lives – yes, BW is fun. Reached back home safe \m/.

And yes, 200 is just a number. So we did not celebrate and all, as we do that every weekend!

TIME: 16:00


Monday, April 22, 2024

199) Channarayanadurga Trek: (20/4/2024)

 

Place: Channarayanadurga trek.

Distance: 100 x 2 = 200kms.

Directions: Bangalore > Dobbaspete > Koratgere > Channarayanadurga

Krew: Dileep (Koof) > Karthik (Sippy).

Bikes: Pulsar.                                                                                 

Previous Visit: Rayakottai trek.

Budget: Rs 400/head

IN LESS THAN 50 WORDS:

After the two treks (Kabbaladurga and Rayakottai) in 2024, things stabilized now and it was time to hit some classics. And it was time for Channarayandurga. The good old lost and ancient hillock. Have you guys watch “Bangarada Jinke”? It was shot at this place. The trek was smooth as butter. Missed all these last 2 years. Let’s go!



INTRO & PLAN:

Ok, the plan was crystal clear. My mind was locked on Channarayanadurga and no jitters.  The plan was to leave early, Bangalore was seeing the worst of summers. It was like a freaking hot oven in March and April 2024. The previous day did the usual workout of 50 pull-ups, 100 push-ups, and 100 squats in 15 minutes. This workout is working like a charm and keeping me fit like crazy! Do try it out.

TIME: 21:00 (19/4/2024)

ASSEMBLE & LEAVE:

Oh yeah, woke up at 3:30 am, stretched out a little, and was ready. Started calling up Koof (yeah, I am a literal nightmare to my friends!!) Finally, Koof replied at 5:15 am and said he was ready. I left my home, rode to KR road, and was surprised to find Koof sitting outside ready to head out. And the Blue Wings boys headed out of town!

TIME: 05:30

RIDE 1: (Bangalore – Dobbaspete - Channarayandurga)

The ride to Channarayanadurga is 100kms pretty much butter-smooth stuff. The ride was dark and cold to begin with, as we neared Nelamangala we felt a cold shock, we knew the sun was about to rise. But surprisingly the skies were cloudy. The transition from from dark to light or vice versa is a beautiful zone to be in. We continued to ride on non-stop until Dobbaspete and then we pulled over for a tea. Post tea, as we continued we spotted an old couple selling breakfast, we pulled over to have one of the yummiest idly vadas.

TIME: 07:00



We had a light breakfast, as we had the trek ahead of us. Thanking the old couple for serving us a super breakfast we rode on. We had about 50km to cover yet and we covered it comfortably in about 45 minutes to reach the base of the hillock.

TIME: 07:45


ASCENSION:

Channarayanadurga is one of those hillocks where time should not be taken into consideration. There is so much to explore on this hillock, just getting lost in the beauty is something one must aim at. We took about 90 minutes to reach the top.

Anyway, I have divided the ascension into the following stages. So, keep up with here! :

i) Initial Stretch

ii) Lost Paradise

iii) Layouts

iv) Last Strech

We parked our bikes near the central tree (for flagging purposes) and requested bakery people to hold on to our helmets, with the astral goat's spirit wide awake, we were ready for the trek.

TIME: 07:45

i) Initial stretch:

The initial stretch unlike other hillocks is the toughest in this one. And it is the steepest. So told Koof to take his sweet own time. We took about 20-25mins to finish this part. We took sufficient breaks but just enough for breath to normalize. Upon reaching the first fort wall the initial stretch was completed.

TIME: 08:00

 

ii) Lost Paradise:

Once through the first fort wall, the real beauty of this fort hillock opened up. We found the beautiful lake in the first tier. The water level was lower but nevertheless looked beautiful. Taking a small breather and absorbing the view, we decided to move on from this tier


iii) Layouts:

The transition from 1st to 2nd tier could turn out to be trickier. We have goofed up once, oh wait, no twice actually. But making mistakes, especially costly ones helps us in remembering routes better. This time we took the right route to enter the 2nd tier, here one can find a lot of ruined granaries and other storage structures.

  

iii) Last Stretch:

Once we passed through the 2nd gateway, we entered the last stretch. This was hardly 5-minute run. We took a detour to get the best view of the place. So yes, we sat here and declared that as the top (even though the top was hardly 2 minutes away)

TIME: 09:00


TOP:

Sitting at the top seeing a very wide panoramic view with Madhugiri taking a central position, we could hear an amalgam of insect sounds. It was freaking trippy. And the place has vertical drops all around. So, yeah not for the faint-hearted eh!

Told koof, I would run up and make a touch top at the actual top of the hillock. As I reached the top, found a dog, which instantly smiled at me and followed me wherever I went. Realised the poor guy, was thirsty, so poured some water and helped him out. And an instant trust was developed. As I made my way back, found Koof sitting peacefully. Joined him and both of us tripped on the natural orchestra that was being played for us.  After about 30 minutes at the top and then we decided to make our way down.

TIME: 09:30

 

TREK BACK:

It took us about 45 minutes to reach back to the base. And we also did it without a break. As we started the trek back down, we decided to head down directly. So Koof, I, and the friendly dog decided to join us. The trek back was straightforward. Knees are something to take care of during the descent. We went back to the bakery, thanked the people for looking after the helmets, bought some water bottles and juice, gulped it down, and left the town.

TIME: 10:15


RIDE 2: (Channarayandurga – Whitty Dhaba – Bangalore)

Okay, this was a breeze ride back. After the trek, feels so good to be on a bike. The feel you get is different from that of a car. The ride back was straightforward. We pulled over at Dobbaspete and decided we crash in at Whity’s for some food and drink. Very much deserved for the trek we pulled off.  We reached Whity at about 11:45 only and the dhaba was yet just about to open.

So we chilled down with some beers, post which we had a decent lunch. Trust me the food of this place is mind blowing. Post which we rode back to Bangalore as we entered the city, we the clouds welcomed us with some drizzle. Dropping Koof back at his place, I rode and actually stood at a place just to enjoy the rain and headed back home happy!

TIME: 15:00

Until next time Ta-ta Cia \m/


Sunday, April 14, 2024

198) Rayakottai Fort Trek: (13/4/2024)



Place: Rayakottai Fort Trek

Distance: 100kms x 2 = 200kms

Directions: Bangalore > Hosur > Shoolagiri > Rayakottai > Denkankottai > Bangalore

Krew: Ramakrishna > Karthik (Sippy)

Bikes: Pulsar                                                                                                   

Previous Visit: Kabblu Hillock trek.

Budget: Rs 225/head

IN LESS THAN 50 WORDS:

Rayakottai is the southernmost outpost of Tippu Sultan. The 360-degree view that you get from this place is superb. One can few for kilometers afar standing atop this hillock. Hence the perfect outpost. This trip reminded me and cemented what breathing fresh air feels like!  

INTRO & PLAN:

It was hardly 3 days since the insane mind-bending trek to Kabblu. The travel bug had bit right. And the fact that none of my legs were paining made me restless. It was time for another trek. During the post-lunch walk, Rama and I decided to head out to TN – Rayakottai.

TIME: 13:00 (11/4/2024)


ASSEMBLE & LEAVE:

Woke up at 4 am, did some stretches got ready, and headed out at 5 am through the city. Reached Attibele by 5:45 and waited for Rama. Once Rama joined, we headed out of the city. Come to think of it, Rama lived at the halfway point between my place at Rayakottai. Haha!

TIME: 06:15

RIDE 1: (Bangalore – Hosur – Shoolagiri - Rayakottai)

So, this was neat and sweet left over 40km. My place to Attibele was about 40km and then the remainder was only 40-50km. We decided to take the highway until Shoolagiri and then decided to deviate towards Rayakottai. The first 20km or so went like a woof on the huge highway. Then the beautiful country roads began. The ride through which was wonderful and pretty good!! We pulled over a small house + tiffin center for some awesome breakfast.

TIME: 07:15

 

After breakfast, it was a 5-minute ride. Surprisingly memory was strong, and without much assistance, we directly reached the base of the hillock. Requested a shopkeeper to keep our helmets and take care of our bikes. With the mountain goat awake within us, it was time to climb!

TIME: 08:00


RAYAKOTTAI FORT TREK:

The trek up to the top took us only 45 minutes. It was a nice and peaceful trek to the top. Even though the trek is easy and short, the view it offers from the top is mind-blowing. So, it was indeed a trek much needed then.

The route is quite clear and a lot of steps. On the way to the top, you can find a lot of gateways and checkpoints meant for resisting an enemy attack. As you begin to reach the top, you can find a lot of granaries and other storage bunkers. Now inside most of it, bats reside peacefully.

TIME: 08:45


TOP:

It was Saturday, but nobody was at the top. We sipped water and relaxed on top enjoying the view. We spent about 30-45 mins at the top discussing many things. It had been a while since our epic Mari Betta trek. Damn, that was one epic climb! The blog will be published on that one soon. Had written it back then, but never published it. After a good rest at the top, we decided to head back down.

TIME: 09:30

 

DESCENSION:

The descension took about 30 mins. Now with the sunup and burning bright, it was a sapping climb down. On the way down we stopped at the temple in between and paid respects to the deity. Reaching back to the base, we thanked the shopkeeper for looking after our helmets and bikes and left Rayakottai.

TIME: 10:00


RIDE 2: (Rayakottai – Denkankottai – Attibele - Bangalore)

We decided to take the Denkankottai route to Hosur. Why? We had nothing better to do on a Saturday. So, exploration was something we were both open to. So, asking for directions and with all that road's memory getting kick-started again, we were finding ways in between small, beautiful towns until we hit the other main highway. The roads were fresh, bigger, and with almost zero traffic.  Cruised along at a decent pace to reach Attibele. Dropped Rama off thanked him for joining and headed back and reached home.

TIME: 12:00

CONCLUSION:

This was such a stabilizing trip, reminding us of what fresh air feels like. The person I can trust and one of the best climbers around, a decent challenge to get things going. A good roadside breakfast, challenging climb, relaxation on top, sharing chocolates, safe ride back home – elements of a good trip!”

Until next time, Cia \m/

(Oh, by the way, no pain again after this trek, looks like we hit the road soon again!)