Sunday, April 14, 2024

167) 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!)

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

197) Kabbaldurga trek: (9/4/2024)

 


Place: Kabbaladurga trek

Distance: 100kms x 2 = 200kms

Directions: Bangalore > Bidadi > Channpatna > Kabbaladurga > Kanakpura > Bangalore

Krew: Karthik (Sp)

Bikes: Pulsar                                                                                  

Previous Visit: Mentok Kangri (2022)

Budget: Rs 500.

IN LESS THAN 50 WORDS:

After 2.5-3yrs return back to road felt great. After all the corona shit, had cocooned in and never hit the road. Every time I climb this mountain, it shows a different face of it. This time I saw miracles, Lets go!

INTRO & PLAN:

Bike had not been condition so gave it for servicing. It took over 2 days, but once it was alright. Could hear the growl nice and clear. It was time to hit the roads after long. Initial plan was to head to Maddur have breakfast and return. Simple and clean. But the Call of the Kabblu was stronger. At about 9pm went out for a ride and got the fuel in.

TIME: 21:00 (8/4/2024)

ASSEMBLE & LEAVE:

Yeah, was up by 4am, stretched out. Felt calm inside, it was time. Had breakfast at home a very light one and headed out. Didn’t feel any different, but the very fact that I was on the road was enriching.

TIME: 05:00

RIDE 1: (Bangalore– Ramngara – Channpatna - Kabbaldurga)

As I headed out onto Mysore Road, so much had changed. It didn’t feel the same, but it was new and nice. Cruised along at a decent pace to cross over Bidadi and Ramnagar. As the temperature dropped got goosebumps on my skin. I knew the sun was right behind me, overlooking. It was time for the sun to rise.

TIME: 06:30

But the new modified roads are so confusing, SH-17 was not the same at all. I missed a turn and rode about 15km ahead of Channpatna. Then took back some interior roads and re-connected to the old Mysore road. And that felt gold. Wow, the old roads felt really good. After which the mountain just drew me near and I floated along effortlessly.

TIME: 07:00

KABBALDURGA TREK:

To be honest I thought it would take about 2hrs considering the long break. But everyday physical training and paid off and it took me 45mins to reach the top. And best part is, did it with zero breaks. And I had a companion. It was like the universe trying to instigate the whole process of trekking once again, hehe!

i) Initial stretch

ii) 3 point stretch ?? – wait what!

iii) Viper stretch

iv) Final Stretch

So ready? Here goes nothing!

i) Initial stretch:

Ok, every time I come to this place I would get lost. But this time the internal bearing was very strong.  And moreover, as I was just about to begin the trek, a dog saw at me with its innocent face and I looked back and continued to walk. I could hear the footsteps behind me. And THAT IS IT, I had a companion for the trek.

ii) 3 point stretch:

The 3 point stretch was not there anymore. I mean it was, but a neat steps has been laid out with railings to hold on to. Without being too judgemental, I started climbing the stairs. But it was no fun, so got out of the railings and did the climbing the old school way. Now that was fun. The dog was totally confused but appreciated the effort i put.


  

iii) Viper stretch:

This stretch really hits your core hard and kind off shakes you up. But this time it was different. I had a friendly companion. This was straightforward walk, with sweat just pouring down, I was loosing water and the dog seemed worried about me. Whatever water I had, poured it in my hand  and made the dog drink  

iv) Final stretch:

By the time we reached this point, I was literally conversing with the dog full time. Calling it “Appi come here, not that way da.. this way we should go” , “ what did u find there, let me see” it was a pure conversation and it was something out of this world. Loved every second of it.

TIME: 07:45


TOP:

As I reached the top, made the dog drink some water again. I decided to go without water for the trip as preference was the dog, who surprisingly accompanied me throughout. Upon reaching the top, as legend goes you will feel a sense calmness and serenity within. As I made my way to the temple of the original deity I came across two people. They told me they had started at 3am itself. I was puzzled. Then I realised it was a father-son duo and the father was completely blind.

This completely blew my mind. A completely blind person had climbed the hillock taking help of his son. Now, people what is your excuse? They asked me whether I had travelled alone, I said me and appi had climbed. They were looking for who I was referring then after realising I was referring to the dog. All four of us sat down and had a hearty discussion. Then went to the 2nd deity temple then I promised them, we would help them reach down safely.  

TIME: 08:45

TREK DOWN:

Trek down took about 2hrs. But yeah, it was such a different experience. Helping this nice father-son duo. How both were both like buddies pulling each other’s legs throughout the journey. Hearing them was a pure joy. And as far as the dog goes, it was not confused. It understood somebody needed extra help and slowed down, played all along the way. The father said something that resonated with me for a long time even after the completion of the trek. 

He said “ u have returned back after long, to guide you, the dog was sent as a companion and maybe the deity wanted you to be here for long and that is why I was sent to keep you grounded

I didn’t react at that point of time, as in treks I am jovial outward, but totally cold blooded within. But that hit me so different.  Reaching back the town near our bikes, we hugged each other. They invited me over to their home for lunch, I said some other time. And it was hardest to say good-bye to the dog. It will always have a special place in my heart :)

TIME: 10:30

RIDE 2: (Kabbaldurga – Channpatna – Bidadi-Bangalore)

This was 100kms ride back, decided to take back the Mysore road. As I reached the town of kabblu had picked up a 2litre water bottle thrown somewhere in the mountain. Decided to fill some water in the water tank of the town.  The ride was smooth and really nice. The old mysore road felt emptier than usual and enjoyed all the way back home.

TIME: 12:30


CONCLUSION:

Next day, actually I was disappointed that legs, back all were fine. Nothing was hurting. Everyday working out had actually had pretty good conditioning on my body. Guess we hit back the roads shortly cheers!!

Oh yeah, the gap between last trip 180th trip and 196th trip will be slowly filled up. Some crazy stuff went down here and there. Since this was fresh decided to jot this one down!

Cheers all \m/



Sunday, January 12, 2020

180) Channarayanadurga Trek: (7/10/2019)



Place: Channarayanadurga Trek
Distance: 100kms x 2 = 200kms
Directions: Bangalore > Dobbaspete > Kortgere > Channarayandurga
Krew: Deepak (Deefu) > Datta (Dattu) > Ashok (Momz) >  Karthik (Sp)
Bikes: Enfield > Pulsar                                                                                  
Previous VisitBhairavadurga Trek
Budget: Rs 400/head


IN LESS THAN 50 WORDS:
Once we had finished Kabblu and Huliyar, we were tempted to finish off the spooky Channarayanadurga as well. But the light drizzle made the ascent quite tricky and gave us a few close calls.

INTRO & PLAN:
As the Ibex of our Group, Deefu was in town, we decided to catch up and ask him about his Vizag life. He had moved to Vizag since 2 months. With the core trek team consisting of Dattu and Momz we formulated a plan to the evergreen Channarayanadurga as it had been quite some while since our visit to this place.
TIME: 22:00 (6/10/2019)


ASSEMBLE & LEAVE:
Oh yeah woke up at 05:00, did a few push-ups & sit-ups, had a sip of coffee, woke up others & was all set to go! The meet up was scheduled at Kamadhenu Hotel near Dobbaspete as we had figured out it was a good way to put things into motion.
Once I reached Dattu’s home, I looked around for the cops who usually end up catching me always, once the coast was clear, called up Dattu and we departed from Bangalore. The ride was smooth and as we reached the hotel, Momz and Deefu arrived as usual swearing at each other for delay by 10min. After a formal greeting, we were ready to belt some yummy breakfast.
TIME: 08:00

RIDE 1: (Bangalore – Dobbaspete - Channarayandurga)
After munching on some yummy Idly & Vada, we took off from the hotel and cruised along until Dobbaspete. From here we took a right deviation and entered the snake way towards, Koratgere. The roads were in excellent condition and we glided along like butter on a hot pan. Once we reached Koratgere we took the bypass road and it was not long before we could spot the mighty Channarayanadurga.
Parking our bikes at the central tree, we looked up at the skies as it had begun to drizzle. We bought some waterbottles and were all set for the trek.
TIME: 10:15



ASCENSION:
Channarayanadurga is one of those fort hillocks, where you should actually spend some time and energy to get lost, yes get lost. Only then you will explore all corners of this beautiful fort and appreciate the deceptiveness.
Like always, I have divided the ascension into the following stages, we were able to ascend in about 45mins and we did so fooling around, but with the drizzle it was not so easy as well:
i) Initial Stretch
ii) Lost Paradise
iii) Layouts
iv) Last Strech

So, keep up with here! And oh yeah by the way, we made the ever forgetful Momz as our guide and Dattu, Deefu and myself behaved as tourists and we would have to rate our local guide Momz.  (At Skandagiri, we had climbed up the hillock and while returning back down, momz had asked the name of the hillock we were all at, so yeah :P )


i) Initial stretch:
This stretch is the most draining part of the entire trek, it truly tests the climber. And boy oh boy did it test us this time. I mean we were all used to the hike, but with the light drizzle it made the rock face so slippery and we were struggling to get a good footing. It took us about 15min to reach the first gate and Momz pointed us in the right direction, we were all very impressed with our guide.
TIME: 11:15


ii) Lost Paradise:
The initial stretch opens up onto a beautiful lake, we decided to rest at the mystic lake on our way down. This stretch was a true tester to Momz. This stretch consists of lots of twists and turns. And the right path to the top, lies hidden amidst the mystifying fort walls. But Momz hit the bull’s eye with this one too and we were all in awe. In fact he went ahead and said that this is common techniques used in most of the fort hills and there was nothing great about it. Deefu and myself looked at each other and felt we had wasted 9-10 years.
TIME: 11:45


iii) Layouts:
Ah, the Layouts. Just before reaching the top, we were flooded with lot of structures and layouts. This is beautiful place to explore. But beware there are many alternate routes which lead to dead ends or death drops. And the “End of the World” spot, which is the first picture of this blog is taken there. And guess what Momz didn’t take us to this place and first negative points were recorded.


iii) Last Stretch:
At the top, there are two pathways to reach the end. One is a by-pass and the main one goes through shrubs and thorns. As the thorns and shrubs had grown thick we could go through it and we went around it and reached. We insisted our guide to go through the shrubs, but he refused and this led to some negative impression :P
TIME: 11:00


TOP:
As we reached the top, we crashed down into the soft grass. No chocolates, but I had taken a few apples. Munching down on the apples we spoke about all sorts of things and then slowly we began immersing in the silence and dozed off for a short nap. Waking up, we decided to trek back down incase the rain intensifies.
TIME: 12:00


TREK BACK:
It took us only about an hour to get back to base. But yes, we had fun all throughout. While climbing back down we took an alternate route and decided to sit at the lake for some time. After which we made it down the steep initial stretch and we were surprised to find two hot chicks sitting on Momz bike. He was all excited and came running down and found literally two chickens sitting peacefully on his bike :P next up Witty dhaba \m/
TIME: 13:00

RIDE 2: (Channarayandurga – Chandu Dhaba – Bangalore)
Okay this was the 100kms ride back to Bangalore. As we left Channarayanadurga, the cool breeze felt good on our face. As we were pretty hungry, we speeded up and zoomed in through Koratgere by-pass and cruise we did at a decent pace to Dobbaspete. After Dobbaspete, as Chandu dhaba was closed we ended up at the excellent Witty dhaba for some heavy lunch.
TIME: 14:30
We spent a good 1.5hour or so at the dhaba munching & drinking after which we rode back to reach our respective homes.
TIME: 17:30

CONCLUSION:
People usually say, we have been to that place already, let’s try something new. But different seasons, different people, and different mind-sets make the place seem new all the time. Last time we visited this place it was the same crew, yet this trip felt so different!  
Until next time Ta-ta Cia \m/



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Thursday, December 26, 2019

179) Bhairavadurga Fort Trek: (15/9/2019)


Place: Bhairavadurga trek
Distance: 60kms x 2 = 120kms
Directions: Bangalore > Nelamangala > Solur > Bhairavadurga
Krew: Avinash (Buddha) > Karthik (Sp)
Bikes: Pulsar                                                                                  
Previous Visit: Gundal Dam
Budget: Rs 425/head

IN LESS THAN 50 WORDS:
Alright, Bhairavadurga is the craziest among the Navadurgas. (Kabbaladurga, Makalidurga, Savandurga, Huthridurga, Huliyardurga, Nandidurga, Devarayanadurga, Channarayanadurga) We have visited this hillock twice and considering climbing up and down, all the 4 times the routes taken were different. And the tradition of this place is you gotta carry some scars back on your body. Bhairavadurga is just 10-15km from Shivagange.

INTRO & PLAN:
As far as planning goes, had to catch up with Avi as it had been few months since we both met. Hence I thought a trek followed by a nice lunch at some dhaba would be ideal scenario. First we thought of riding to Chitradurga and then returning to a dhaba on Tumkur road. But then finally we decided to go Bhairavadurga as it was close by and also we could spend a lot more time at the dhaba.
TIME: 22:00 (14/9/2019)


ASSEMBLE & LEAVE:
Yeah I was up at 04:30, did a few push ups & situps, had a cup of coffee and sat back for some time trying think whether Bhairavadurga was the right choice. Before too many thoughts could creep into my head, took the bike keys and left my home at about 5:30AM. Picked up Avi from BTM and we left Bangalore via Tumkur road.
TIME: 07:30

RIDE 1: (Bangalore – Nelamangala – Solur - Bhairavadurga)
This was  60km easy ride to Bhairavadurga as most of it was on highways. As we left Bangalore, we cruised along at a decent pace amidst the traffic filled roads of Sunday. Lot of super bikes were zooming in full flow and we just stuck to our lanes and kept chatting all along the way. Heading into the Hassan road we pulled over at Annaporneshwari hotel just after Solur for some good breakfast.
TIME: 07:15


The weather was giving us mixed vibes, as it seemed it could pour at any moment. Bhairavadurga is not one such places to be stranded incase of a downpour. Once the dosas, vade and rice bath arrived we dived right into it forgetting about the weather.
After I must say an unusually heavy breakfast we hopped onto our bikes and proceeded. Asking the locals for directions, we took the right, right turn from the main road and we could spot the mighty hillock afar.


Bhairavadurga looks quite menacing from afar due to its steep ridges. Last time the climb up was one of the riskiest done till date, so I wanted to take the forest route and then proceed to climb from the opposite side of the hillock.
We pulled over another few times and finally we parked our bikes at home and requested them to take care of the bike and with the goat’s spirit awake, we were set for the hike.
TIME:08:30


BHAIRAVADURGA TREK:
The trek as such was another jewel as we got lost both while climbing up and way back down. This hillock I tell you, is so confusing and it makes sure you are left with scars on your body. But truly a magnificent trek and have to prepare for steep ascents on a good gripping stone surface.

HIKE UP:
We entered the trek trail via the forest route, which I was sure was the easier one. But as it was the rainy season, the grass had grown to a good height and it was quite difficult to find the actual pathway. Making our way through the vegetation with difficulty we got onto the rock. And I puzzled to find it equally steep as the other side.

    

But Avi was a natural at climbing and we were making good progress even though the ascent was getting steeper. Carefully reading the cracks and resting in between when needed we made it to a point where we could spot the top. Here we rested for a good 10-15mins just looking at Shivagange and finally proceeded to reach the top.
TIME: 10:00


TOP:
We spent about 1.5hours on the top. Once we reached the top, we explored the place, showed Avi the route we had taken last time. And once we settled down, we had some JD and then put on some Bob Marley songs and started jumping around. Then once it began to get real cloudy we decided to head back down.
TIME: 11:30


DESCENSION:
The trek back down was equally crazy. As we began the descent, I wanted to take us back through the forest route which was both exciting and a bit less steep. But any guesses what happened? The entry point was sealed off by a huge shrub, and finding itself was only difficult. But once we found, we were in another world completely.

    

Dark, narrow passage with thorny shrubs all around you, and did I mention Kuddur forests are known for bears. Yeah! With thorny bushes all around a lot of deep bruises started developing on our hands, blood oozing out of hands and arms is never a good sign during a trek. And we said screw it and just sat and finished off the rest of the juice and once a sense of calmness flooded our heads we proceeded easy, step by step and made it out of forest and we reached flat land. We found the correct path back to the home where we had parked our bikes, thanking the dwellers we took off with a very satisfied feeling and a very hungry belly.
TIME: 13:00


RIDE 2: ( Kuddur – Solur – Nelamangala – Bangalore)
The ride back was simple, we both were hungry and Chandu dhaba was closed. But the golden find during the Shivagange trip – Whitty dhaba was on the cards. Cruising along the highway at a decent pace we made to Whitty dhaba for some awesome lunch.
TIME: 13:45
After the lunch, we took from the dhaba took the NICE road and proceeded towards to BTM to drop Avi. After dropping Avi back, reached back home in one piece.
TIME: 16:45


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