Place: Skandagiri Trek.
Distance: 75 x 2 = 150kms.
Directions: Bengaluru –Hebbal – Devanahalli - Skandagiri
Particiapants: Deepak (Deefu) > Ashok (Momz) > Datta (Dattu) > Karthik (Sp).
Bikes: Enfield > Zeus > Pulsar.
Previous visit: Mysore –The Farewell
IN LESS THAN 50 WORDS:
Alright, the first chapter of the year 2015. And it was a pretty good one too. This chapter was filled with fun, laughter and oh yes, some very intense moments. Taking the wrong turn during the climb up took its toll on us. But nevertheless we ended the day smiling.
INTRO & PLAN:
As far as the planning goes, we had visited Skandagiri way back in 2010 (Night Trek) and after that we had never set foot again. With Deefu suggesting the place for a morn trek, we all agreed. Dattu, & Ashok were the others on the confirmed list. By the way, the last time’s trek is definitely worth the read, here is the link – Skandagiri Night trek.
TIME: 22:00 (14/1/2015)
ASSEMBLE & LEAVE:
Yeah I was up at 05:00, did a few push ups & situps, had a cup of coffee and was all set to go. The meet up was scheduled at the ORR near Mahalakshmi layout. Left my home at about 06:00, Once Dattu & Deefu arrived, we travelled towards Hebbal and went to Ashok’s place to pick him up. With all 4 us checked in we left town..
RIDE 1: (Bangalore– Hebbal – Devanahalli – Nandi TJunc – Skandagiri)
This was a about 75-80kms ride on the airport road. Initially we jibed here and there in between vehicles as we cruised on the Ring road. Finally having made to Hebbal, the traffic eased a little, which made riding comfortable. We searched for decent hotels on this road. And there were many, but we missed them all and went straight till Devanahalli and pulled over at a small hotel for some light breakfast.
Continuing further in about 20mins time, we could spot the first glimpse of the hill. And well, last time we had the slightest clue where were heading, but this time it was better. After asking for direction in the town nearby we went and parked our bikes at the base. With the goat’s spirit awakened within us, we were ready to conquer the hill.
As far as the trek goes, I will not be dividing into phases as we had no clue how we ascended the hill. And more importantly how we got back home in one piece. After we parked our bikes, we travelled to the temple nearby and behind the temple was the route to the hillock. As we walked on the pathway, we say the hillock right beside us ( the actual route, we had to go a little more further and then start, but no, we took the shortcut, more of a wrong turn)
And then began the struggle, long tall grasses, flooded with thorns offered a lot of resistance for a smooth climb. After sometime we found ourselves in a forest kind of region, all we said to ourselves as to continue heading up until we reach flat land.
Then came the boulder stretch, my god, this pretty much brought down all the pride and put on a new test to our climbing skills. Steep faces of rocks stood staring at us and we had to work together to overcome some of them. It was challenging, yes we enjoyed it, but at the same time it was pretty scary too! Some of the steep faces had gravels and loose mud on them, which made some of us climb us and hold onto to the other person’s hand and pull them up.
One point came, as in the previous trip, where we had to walk sticking onto a wall on a narrow path sideways. The other side was fall to bottom. This was the scariest of them all. After all the struggle we found ourselves finally on grass but on a steep face. There was loose mud all along, but we pushed on through sitting here & there and well lost totally. Now we weren’t even sure where we would end up by the end of the day. (Ashok kept calm throughout, or atleast he looked calm, or wait, was he even aware that we were lost? :P)
Haha I don’t think he knew. But as climbed on the steep grass surface we finally hit a muddy path, and guess what it was the actual path up. Holy mother of cow, we began to dance one after and jump up and down in pure joy. Then came Ashok, “Oh momz, so we were on the wrong route all along then ah?” we all burst into laughter and rested on the muddy path for some time.
We had done almost 75% of the climb, the last 25% on the pathway was sweat. We walked along smoothly with a few jumps here & there and finally made it to the top.
Well as we spotted the granaries/outposts on the top were shocked firstly to see them. As we couldn’t see anything last time due the thick curtains of fog. We went around to check the perimeter and finally found a nice ruined building to crash into. We went on chatting about school memories and college ones. Then finally we dozed off for 15-20mins. Once we were up, we took what would be one the most difficult group pics taken till date. (The 1st photo of this article)
With others standing on top of the granary, I positioned the camera and set 10seconds on the timer(max) then I had to run to the granary, then hop on the fallen pillar(see pic), run up the pillar and finally pose for a photo. Haha, all that in 10secs. It was totally worth it. We decided it was time to head down, more importantly in the normal pathway hehe.
Hold, Hold, Hold. The climb down was pretty decent one as it was on the pathway. It was slippery due to the mud & gravels but not hard. After about 20mins of quick descension, Ashok came up with a major, I mean major question. The conversion went something like this:
Ashok – “Momz, I’ll ask 1 question, please don’t feel bad”
We – “ Shoot!”
Ashok – “ Momz, what is the name of this hill that we are climbing? Well you see, I need to tell home I went somewhere alteast”:P
Deefu started searching for a stick, Me a stone, And Dattu was already beating him up. Hehe. That’s Ashok alright! Our moods were so lifted up after that incident. Shit, felt good to have such company. Slowly climbing down, asking atleast another 10times so that the name sank into his head. We made it to the last 25%. Here we encountered lots of muddy terrain. Taking each step cautiously, slipping here and there we made it to an arrow.
This arrow my friends, was the deviation we had to take from the main path when we first started the trek. The last bit of stretch we decided to have a 1km dash, running one next to each other we took off at full speed and reached back the temple premises. Then we got onto our bikes and took off a were starving.
RIDE 2: (Skandagiri – Devanahali – Bangalore)
Riding with the wind felt real good. Trying to remember the turns taken we reached back the T-Junction of Nandi-Skandagiri split. After which we rode further ahead to pull over at a dhaba for some lunch.
After an hour or two of belting rice, discussed about the chapter. Asked others to rate the chapter on 10. After loafing around a bit, we left the dhaba afloat. The ride back was a smooth one as it was on the airport road. It took us only 30mins. Deefu & Dattu carried forward towards their respective homes. I dropped Ashok to his place and then reached my home.