Place: Rayakottai Fort Trek
Distance: 100kms x 2 = 200kms
Directions: Bangalore > Hosur > Shoolagiri > Rayakottai
Krew: Gowrish (Gorisha) > Karthik (Sp)
Previous Visit: Kabbaladurga - Breaking In
Budget: Rs 200/head
IN LESS THAN 50 WORDS:
Rayakottai is one of the Tippu’s forts towards the southern region of his kingdom. The fort is situated on a hillock which offers a brilliant 360 degree view from the top. This fort hill trek after being cancelled for umm, I guess 5-6 times finally was conquered in July 2016. So, basically this trek was done to unbundle the mental and physical locks of Gow and to get him back on track.
INTRO & PLAN:
It had been 3 weeks since our slow ride to Kabbaladurga. So was excited and wanted to get another two chapters in the bag for the month. Once I realised my stamina is pretty good on the previous trek, another trek was for sure. Rayakottai had been on our to-conquer list since a few years but could never get the job done. Finally after flopping about 5-6 times, I told Gow that even if nobody accompanies us we both would head out.
TIME: 22:00 (20/7/2016)
ASSEMBLE & LEAVE:
Oh yeah woke up at 05:00, did a few push-ups & sit-ups, had a sip of coffee & was all set to go! I had to pick up Gow from Bommnahalli, so took off from my home at about 05:45. For a change I rode through the city towards silk board (it had become my regular office route for a few months) Cruising past JP nagar and BTM looking at the tall builidngs with amazement finally touched Silkboard and went towards Gow home to pick him up. Gow, by the way had met with a fatal car accident right after the day we had gone to Melukote in June 2015. So it was time for some unbundling.
RIDE 1: (Bangalore – Hosur – Shoolagiri - Rayakottai)
So, this was a straightforward 100kms ride to Rayakottai. Even though there was a shorter route via Attibele and Hosur we chose the Shoolagiri route as it was simple and straightforward and primarily on highway. As we left Bangalore, it was quite some days since we had rode this early, the morning air felt amazing. Riding in the cold air, we reached Attibele Industrial Area, waving a “hi” to our office we continued further to cross the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border. We decided to search for a breakfast place a little ahead of Hosur. Having no luck we ended up in Shoolagiri.
Here we pulled over near a local and with great difficulty asked for the directions to Rayakottai in Tamil. After receiving the directions we thanked the person and our eyes fell on a big green road which showed the way to Rayakottai. I looked at Gow and he said “Yeah, I knew it was there, but wanted to see how well you can manage Tamil”
Anyway, the roads after Shoolagiri turned into country roads and Rayakottai is about 17kms from the deviation. The roads nevertheless were brilliant and the surroundings were pristine. It reminded me of all the wonderful trips we had on this route (Hogenekkal, Panchapalli, Yercaud)
Finally after waving hi to 3 demon like gods beside the road and asking locals for directions we fast approached Rayakottai. The first glimpse of the fort hill made me kind of nervous. This is because I had read that it was an easy trek and I could see only steep faces. Also I was expecting it to be like Mandharagiri trek(small short trek). Anyway, we parked the bikes near the foothills and with the lizard king’s spirit wide awake we were ready to conquer another hillock.
RAYAKOTTAI FORT TREK:
Alright, we had forgotten to eat breakfast, we had not packed any refreshments or water and we were set! So, how did this trek go?
The trek actually turned out pretty decent. The ascension took 1.25hrs, but it can be easily covered within 30-45mins. But the ascension was of a totally different experience. It was like more of a walk through thick forest and fallen fort walls. We were constantly alert as we were the only two on the hill. The view begins to grow better and better with small steps. A lot of exploration goes along with the fort climb and Gowrish recovering from the accident was made forcefully to take not only sufficient breaks but also to take is the pureness of the nature around him.
At few instance, I felt we were lost even though there is a clear pathway to the top. Also was worried if Gow could pull through. But I made sure that the spirits were high with some entertaining false theories as to why Tippu built the fort at this place.
Just before the top one can find a lot of granaries, battalion resting houses and other buildings which lay in ruins. We took ample of rest making sure that we don’t over exert ourselves. As we approached the top the wind speeds picked up and our tiredness faded away.
Even though it was a Saturday, we were little early and had the place to ourselves. I told Gow that I would be sleeping for a while and requested him not to wander away :P Finding a soft grassy bed on top I crashed into a peaceful nap. After 20mins or so of dozing got up, yawned, and then realised I was in TN atop some hill fort. After speaking for a while, we decided to head back home as our tummies were growling as we had skipped breakfast.
We took about 30mins to descend this fort hill as we stopped only once in between. The descent was fast and at the same time fun as well. As we began the descent we could the see the sun slowly started to blaze. We felt it was a good thing that we started the trek early. As we reached back the base, I was glad that my bike was still there :P Hehe. Got onto my bike and began the ride back towards Bangalore.
RIDE 2: (Rayakottai – Shoolagiri – Hosur - Bangalore )
Okay, this was a 100kms ride back to home. Before we left we called up Sukesh, he said that he was at office. So we decided to meet him and then head towards home. As we left, the ride unitl Shoolagiri was pleasant and calm after which the roads widened into a national highway and it became quite boring. (my bike’s engine was re-bored, umm, so max 4500rpm) After passing through Shoolagiri, we pulled over at a decent hotel to have our breakfast.
After a nice breakfast we continued further to reach Hosur. Then we decided to head back home directly as we didn’t want to disturb Sukesh. Wading away from cops as we didn’t have an extra helmet we made to Gowrish’s house. After which I rode back through city again swearing at all the vehicles which tried to slow me down. Reached back home safely for a well-deserved nap.
“This was an amazing trip. It might be short and easy, but it was great joy to witness the Gow back into action after a yearlong rest after a major accident. It served as a great release both mentally & physically. So, guys, a must visit place if you are looking for an easy trek with a great, great view you know where to head…!”
Until next time, Cia \m/