Thursday, June 9, 2016

116) Bananthimari Betta Trek: (26/7/2015)

Place: Bananthimari Betta Trek.
Distance: 65 x 2 = 130kms.
Directions: Bengaluru – Kanakpura – Bananthimari Betta
Particiapants: Deepak (Deefu) > Ashok (Momz) > Karthik (Sp).
Bikes:  Zeus > Pulsar
Previous visit: MelukoteTrek – Welcoming the Rains

This was a crazy trek to this less known hill of Bananthimari near Kanakpura. We always had the twin hills locked in since long, but could never get the job done. Setting up a crew consisting of only the core members we decided to get one of the hillocks under our belt. Bilikal Rangaswamy betta, the twin of Bananthimari Betta is in close proximity of this hillock as well.

Had been over a month since our trip to Melukote. Was in Ranchi for about a month and returned on 24th July 2015, after I returned immediately called Deefu and asked him about a trek. Once he gave a go, I called up Ashok as well and he was on board too. Dattu could not make it as we was already tied up.

TIME: 22:00 (25/7/2015)

Yeah I was up at 05:00, did a few push ups & situps, had a cup of coffee. As the meet up was scheduled at my place I sat back listening to music and waiting for others to arrive. Once they arrived, they had stories about how they had been caught by the police right in the morning . After having a good laugh, we departed Bangalore.
TIME: 07:30
RIDE 1: (Bangalore– Kagalipura – Kanakpura – Bananthimari  Betta)
This was about 65kms ride. We took the NICE road to reach Kanakpura road. As we proceeded towards kanakpura, we pulled over at Kagalipura for some tasty breakfast.
TIME: 08:15

As we munched down the breakfast, it was a nice time to catch up with the old school friends. After the breakfast we had some hot tea and decided to carry on. Since the place was new, we rode at a decent pace until Kanakpura road. After which we asked the locals for directions and based on their inputs we took an interior route which ran through markets and crowded parts of the town. Finally we ended up on some other highway, confused and wondering what to do next. Again we were advised by some to go ahead and some told us to go back. 


We felt annoyed, but keeping calm we approached a tractor guy and asked him. He gave the most simplest directions and also told us about  the twin hill – “Bilikal Betta” which we eventually covered latter. Travelling back, we reached back the town of Kanakpura all that loafing had cost us about an hour. Then heading about 2-3kms from Kanakpura towards Malavalli we found the huge tree the tractor guy had told, here we took a right turn. Continuing further asking locals for directions, we entered into the final muddy tracks which lead us to the base of hill.

TIME: 10:45 

The actual ascension takes about only 30mins. But it has pretty steep faces which a hiker any day loves. But our ascension took nearly 3hours (Why?) because we got lost and walked about 2-3kms into the forest before we could start the actual climb itself. Alright, here goes the story, read on!

i) Forest Exploration:
As we parked our bikes and started walking into the thick forest, we were stopped by a couple of men claiming to be forest guards and told the premises was not allowed to visitors. We asked them to display their ID’s so that we could put an effort to obey them. Immediately they said we could carried on :P After which the temperatures dropped considerably as the greenery deepened. We found trees with lot of rituals carried out on them (man & his symbols, a big face palm). 


We found a very nice lake to rest, but trust me we were beginning to get worried by now. The forest had got pretty dense and the sounds of only insects and animals were beginning to creep us out. We were making extra sure not to step on a snake or surprise any bear or any other wild animals. It eventually got darker and quieter. There were huge anthills all around the place and few places we had crawl through the thorny shrubs and bushes to get across.

As we walked, all we could hear was the dried up leaves below our feet getting crushed. We kept our silence throughout the walk. But then as the canopy above us began to clear letting us see the sky, we could see the mountain and guess what? we were moving away from it. 

Then came a point where we had almost reached the nearest town walking about 2-3kms inside the forest. Then we realised we had come in the wrong route. To top all that we also spotted an arrow which pointed exactly in the opposite direction in which we were heading. So, yes, we were lost and more importantly tired and dehydrated.

We started dragging back our feet keeping our guards on high alert. Now we were able to spot a lot of arrow marks on many trees and boulders. We felt like goofs now. But we walked all the way almost till our bikes to spot another arrow which showed the actual path to the hillock.

TIME: 12:30


ii) The Actual Hike:
We looked at each other, like always up for crazy things, we decided to hike up the hill as well, no matter how long it would take. But as we began the ascension, we were faced with plenty of inclined faces of pure hard rock. One of us used to go on top and pull the others or support the others through. The black clouds in the sky started worrying us a little bit as well. Sweat began flowing out in litres (see one of the pictures) and our knees were pretty much done.

TIME: 13:00

After about 30mins of climbing we made it to the top. Unlike other hillocks, it had no buildings or granaries on top. But the breeze was nice and kept us cool. We spent about 30mins at the top as it would be risky, with the rains around the corner. So, we began the climb down. This was tricky as it had a lot tall grasses and steep faces and right behind us were the dark clouds grinning right at us.

At one point, I remember, at a steep face, I slipped and went on slipping down the rock face. But finally was able to get back the grip and ended hard on my bum. In about 20mins we made it to the base of the hillock. We were dead tired and damn hungry. So without any delay we had one last look at the hillock and took off.

TIME: 14:30

RIDE 2: (Bananthimari Betta – Kanakpura – Bangalore)
The ride back we kept the equation very simple. Reached back the highway way, rode till Kanakpura. After which we rode back towards Bangalore searching for a dhaba to crash into. About 5-10kms from Kanakpura we found a nice dhaba to crash.

TIME: 15:00


After having a well-deserved yummy lunch, we left the dhaba pretty afloat. As we rode forward, it began to drizzle and this made riding a pure bliss. But not for long, as the clouds burst completely open and down came the roaring rain. I being still afloat was enjoying and riding. Then Deefu & Ashok came beside me and asked whether to pull over or ride. We decided to ride slow but keep riding in the blissful rain. And ride we did, enjoying each and every moment. We entered through the NICE road and reached back our bakery near college. After some hot tea, we split to reach our respective homes.

TIME: 17:30



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