Sunday, May 7, 2017

144) Pavagada Fort Trek : (29/3/2017)

Place: Pavagada Fort trek
Distance: 175 x 2 = 350kms.
Directions: Bangalore > Dobbaspete > Koratgere > Madhugiri > Madakasira > Pavagada
Krew: Pavan > Datta (Dattu) > Deepak (Deefu) > Karthik (Sippy)
Bikes: Enfield > FZ                                                                         
Previous Visit: Wayanad - Tranquil retreat.
Budget: Rs 750/head

This was unexpectedly super trek. Yes, I had under-estimated this fort hills thinking it was a famous commercial town and had assumed it would be dirty with litter etc., but to by surprise it was actually better than most of the other fort hills we had visited. Nicely preserved buildings and a lot of them too! It was a hot gruelling trek no doubt but a worthwhile one. Pavagada fort is 600 years old and has 7 levels of fortification.

As far as the planning goes, summer was in full swing and the temperatures were soaring high. Had been to Wayanad 2 weeks back and was still recovering in terms of money. Then Sunday when all the school friends assembled at Dhaba, the thought of riding out on the Ugadi (festival) was born. And Deefu, Dattu and Pavan were the ones on the confirmed list.
TIME: 20:00 (28/3/2017)


Alright I was up by 04:30, my usual time of awakening (ok wait before that 11PM, 1AM, 3AM too!) had a sip of coffee, did a few push ups and sit ups and was all set go.  I called up Dattu and he confirmed he was up. When I called up Deefu, which I had done the previous night too an aunty had picked up and I soon used to cut the call. But on this morning I called him at 5AM, 5:15AM and 5:45AM to realise I was dialling the wrong number. The aunty was infuriated as I woke her early on a holiday:P. Anyways, we gathered at Dattu’s place and left Bangalore on two bikes.

RIDE 1: (Bangalore – Dobbaspete – Madhugiri - Pavagada)
This was plain 150-175kms ride on good roads, but yeah after Dabbaspete a lot of speed breakers. As we took off from Bangalore, with Deefu & Pavan riding it was cruising at high speeds drifting through the traffic with style. We got out of Bangalore in a matter of minutes and cruised our way through the next 50kms to reach our regular hotel for some tasty breakfast.
TIME: 07:00

After munching down we had some light coffee and took off towards Dobabspete. On reaching the town, we took a right deviation and proceeded towards Madhugiri. This road is good no doubt, but has a lot of speed breakers. With Deefu’s Enfield this offered no resistance. However we did witness a fatal accident just happened then, a person was lying on the road with blood flowing out of ears, nose, and all over face. He was dead and trust me it was a disturbing scene. On our way to Madhugiri, we did say hi to other hillocks such as Mandharagiri, Siddarabetta & Channarayandurga. On reaching Madhugiri, we proceeded towards Pavagada. Thankfully this route had few speed breakers but the very fact of getting closer to Andhra could be felt. Barren but beautiful landscape the dry hot winds blowing onto our faces were clearly evident.


Waving a big hi to Medegishi & Madakasira we got the first glimpse of the mighty Pavagada Fort. It was bigger than I expected and with the heat I knew it would not be easy. We asked the locals for directions and parked our bikes near a home, requested them to take care of our helmets and with the mountain goat’s spirit wide awake we were ready to conquer the hillock.
TIME: 10:00

This was pretty straightforward trek. It took us about an hour or so to reach the top owing to the soaring temperatures. But since there is a clear pathway and on a cool day should be possible within an hour without much hassles.  

The trek is very similar to that of Madakasira. There are about 7 levels of fortifications to reach the top. As we began the trek, we could find a lot of temples initially and then the twisty turns began. These turns ran through some thick thorny bushes. To better understand the fort we usually put ourselves in the invading soldier’s shoes. This way you know when your ass gets kicked around haha! But trust me this works huh.


With Dattu around the jokes was something we were never short of.  This fort offers a good mix between ascension and exploration. Let of alternate paths exists (to confuse the invaders). Since the sun was soaring at his best, we were being drained of water pretty fast. We took sufficient breaks just to catch our breaths. Summer trek in Andhra, well, not the best but what has to be done, has to be done.

Anyway once we began reaching the top, wind speeds began picking up and it began to turn pleasant.  On top we could find a lot of outposts overlooking various directions. But a small granary or what seemed like a dungeon was our favorite spot.
TIME: 11:30

After resting on the top for a while, we were surprised to find another tier of the fort which was unexplored. So, we found our way to the various buildings and to my surprise they were pretty well preserved.  After loafing around here and there, exploring various section of this tier we began the descent.
TIME: 12:15
The descent was a quick one and took us about 30mins. Feeling totally de-hydrated, we let our legs take us down and all along the way we cracked jokes and imitated people back from school and college days. Once we reached back the town, we grabbed our helmets and went straight and had 2-3 glasses of buttermilk to re-hydrate.
TIME: 13:00


RIDE-2: (Pavagada – Lake – Madhugiri – Koratagere – Bangalore)
This was a 175kms ride back to Bangalore, with one chill out, no wait, actually two long pit stops. As we left Pavagada and we needed more hydrants, so we rode back non-stop until Medigeshi where we pulled over to buy some juice and I told others I knew a lake near-by where we could just sit and relax amidst the grazing animals and birds.
We reached the lake parked our bikes and sat on the lake shore amidst the buffalos, cows, goats and cranes and drifted away. After a nice session for about 1-1.5hour we left afloat and it felt good considering the soaring heat. We rode though Madhugiri asking directions if we could find good “Mudhe Oota” (Ragi balls). But as it was already past lunch time it we could not. We rode to Koratgere to have some good lunch.
TIME: 16:15

After Kortagere we pulled over again at a nice lake to find a mother cow and its baby tied to a pole in garden. We spend next 10-15mins trying to earn its trust. Then we sat beside the lake for a few more minutes and decided to head back as we wanted to get out of SH-3 before darkness.
The ride back to Dobbaspete was a smooth one. Once we reached Dobbaspete we rode back to the same breakfast hotel for some watermelon juice (totally de-hydrated!) After which it took us less than an hour to reach Dattu’s home. Again after having a jug of cold water, we thanked each other for their presence for the trek and split out to reach our respective homes.
TIME: 19:00


Yeah, it was summer and it was frikkin hot and not an ideal day for a trek. But hey, we pulled one off and more importantly we got back Dattu on track after his knee surgery. Expedition of Forts going well I see :D ”
Until next time, Cia \m/




  1. Makes me wanna go there right now! Can only imagine how much fun you guys might have had..