Thursday, April 28, 2011

28) Kabbaladurga Trek ( Kabbalu Hill) :26/1/2011

Place: Kabbalu Hill & Kanva.
Distance: (90+10) x 2 = 200 kms
1) Bangalore > Ramnagar > Chenpatna > Left Turn > Kabbalu.
2) Banglaore > Kanakpura > Sathanur > Right Turn > Kabbalu.
Participants: Manu > Sp.
Bikes: GS > Pulsar.
Previous Visit: Chamundi Hills & Balmuri Falls.
Budget: Rs250/h.
My second visit to this place: 62-Kabbaladurga trek.

Before I start writing this article, this was the trip which almost took me away and left me with great memories to look back. Solo-trek at this insane place under the hot sun without water or anything else, rained the guts out of me.

Okay a few days before 26th I came to know that Kabbalu was not only a dam but a hill which could be trekked. So the plan was trek the hill, then cool down in the waters. After a lot of discussion it was only Manohar & me who were ready to hit the road next day. So Crashed early without having the slightest clue what was instored for the next 15 hours.
TIME: 22:00 hrs

RIDE I : ( Bangalore to Kabbalu)
Morning 04:00hrs I was up & ready, just before leaving my house Alexi ( my pet ) was pulling me back into the house, all these signs made sense after 6-7 hours ha-ha!!! 6:30 am Manu arrived at my place and we left towards Chenpatna via Mysore road(SH-17) . We Chose SH-17 over Kanakpura road because it was still dark and there was a lot of Fog we didn’t want to experience a death ride again like that of Ride to BR hills .

SH-17 a good 4-lane road offered no problems for us .Though it was still foggy we witnessed a great sunrise, we cruised through Bidadi & Ramnagar to reach Chenpatna. A left deviation through this town would lead to the town of kabbalu.

RIDE II: (Chenpatna – Kabbalu)
From Chenpatna Kabbalu is about 20-25kms, it comes before Sathanur. And the roads were pretty good, both the sides thick trees, forest kind of roads. It was a real nice riding through this stretch. Finally after a good 15-20 mins ride we got the glimpse of the hill “Kabbalu”. On top we could see a small white dot – tat was top of the hill, which also marked the end point of the trek.
Kabblau ispretty high when altitude comes into the picture, 3300 feet (1000m). But much steeper faces compared to other hillocks so so much more better for a good trek. 
We entered the town of kabbalu parked our bikes near the temple (for safety)& walked about 1.5- 2kms then about 500 meters to reach the foot of the hill.
TIME : 08:00hrs.

TREK I: (Going gets tough with additional Load on my back)
We started to trek up the hill, we didn’t know the proper route so started climbing where ever we could find a path. We met two aged people who were trying to climb as well. They requested me to carry their 2-litre bottle and pooja items for them to the top as I was carrying a bag. This made the trek even more challenging a 2 litre bottle & other items added a lot of weight on my shoulder and I was carrying my helmet too.

The terrain changed to something similar to that of Savandurga , pure rocky terrain , it started to become difficult but fun. The steepness was maddening & the load on my back resulted in me losing lot of energy... And every time I lifted me hand my bag was pulling me back. It was only the beginning of what was in stored for me that day .
TIME: 08:30hrs

About 20-30 minutes of the trek, Manu felt uneasy & said he was giving up this trek. I thought a good 15-20 mins break would set him back on track, but he was pretty serious. And he’s that kind of person who is always ready for challenges. So I was put in a dilemma:
1) Whether to continue & deliver the goods to the top or
2) stay back and take him to safety.

The first option was associated with a lot of risks anything could happen and there was only person to blame “myself”. And also I wasn’t sure where I was heading... but it would also mean breaking a promise to the aged persons who had trusted me..So I asked Manu about the decision to make… he gave me a “thumbs up” … so I took a promise tat he would find shade or go back to the town and find food and shade.
So I continued further in search of the temple on top, along with other old ruined buildings hoping that the terrain would become less steeper.
TIME: 09:00hrs

TREK II: (Test of WILL v/s Facing Death)
After manu’s exit on the trek, it became that much harder for me to climb. The terrain became worse 70-80 degree inclined rock, not to forget the scorching heat of the sun on my head.

The rays of the sun falling directly over my head made me feel Dizzy at times, but one slip would END it all ha-ha!!! (Damn those moments). Every 10-15 steps I took uphill I sat down thinking the madness I had got myself into. Looking back down at the insanely steep terrain made me a little worried about climbing back down.

As it was an odd season to visit, the place was totally burnt out, which didn’t help to keep my spirits up. It looked like a burnt fort awaiting my arrival ha-ha!!! (Yeah I was hallucinating)

TREK III: (Last Test off will)
The temperature kept rising, was feeling dizzy somewhere on top of the mountain with no people around, crazy situation it was. Well the white spot which marked the end of the trek was totally out of my mind, I just wanted to stand on flat ground. And the most annoying part was I had a full 2litre heavy bottle but couldn’t open it as I thought it was kept for some sacred ritual on top.

Thought the steepness would reduce as I went further up , but unfortunately the steepness became insane , at certain places it was one shot one go , else slip to death kind of situations. Scary moments but worth living those. This stretch is something I’ll remember for a long time. Check out snaps of the inclination and the surroundings Ha-ha!! They showed no mercy.

Finally after a lot of balancing, I found myself at the bottom of a few uneven half broken rock foot steps which I thought would lead to the temple on top. And finally something went correct for me that day ha-ha!!!
There’s lot much to say about this stretch , the thoughts that ran into my mind… but it was all part of the experience , It’s very hard to express the fear I felt of not returning home , people i would miss etc . So anyway I was on the top of the world after reaching the top: D
TIME: 10:00hrs

Once I reached the top I was shocked to see the entire top burnt , but the cool breeze was blowing on my face , Whew that was a relief !! I wasn’t sure whether I took the right route but can assure u I took the hard one ha-ha!!

At the top I explored a little, found old abandoned buildings, and then spotted the first of the temples. Here the Nandi originates from the rock itself. But the main destination was still not to be found. The breeze was so strong standing became a tough task.

I put the pooja items inside the temple and found my bag had tore...Well that was a bummer, added to that my shoe lace also gave up… had to tie knots and manage. It was one of those days where everything went wrong and being on top of some cliff hanging on by a thread made things worse. I found a brick and wrote my name on top of some stone knew it wouldn’t remain forever but yea I was proud of myself ha-ha!! I had this scary feeling only once before during the Epic Skandagiri Trip.

Finally after 30minutes found the Gopura, which was seen as a small dot from the road which was far far away like a small streak. Sat in front of the temple looking at the town of kabbalu with heavy thoughts running through my mind. It was so windy I was scared to go the edge of the cliff. After 15-20 minutes at the main destination I wore back my shoes with modifications to my lace tying and decided to head back.
TIME: 11:15hrs

TREK IV: (Climb Down)
As I started to climb down I met a few more people who were just about to reach the top and believe me they were begging for water, so gave off the bottle of water to them and continued.
The climb down was a scary one, as every step required more balance and grip and yea I’m scared of heights too ha-ha!!! Then I sat down and climbing down cautiously keeping my hand on the burning hot rock surface. Bruises started showing up but had to continue as I didn’t have much of a choice. Ankles & knees were literally shivering .crying out in pain.

After 60 minutes of trekking and yea running down the hill reached the place where me and Manu had split off earlier, but as I couldn’t find him realized that he would be in the town. Finally found a better route and ran down even though knees & ankles were shattered, completed the last 10% of the hill in no time and reached the road which would lead to the town. Then I took one final look at the maddening & Scary trek I had been for the past 4-5 hours.
TIME: 12:45pm

As I reached of kabbalu people were staring at me as if they has seen a ghost. The shock on my face still prevailed. I was totally in sweat limping across the town with bruises on my hands. I reached the place where we had parked our bikes but Manu was no where to be seen and the wait began…

The sun was up & directly above my head but leaving that place meant that manu wouldn’t spot me so bought two coconuts and sat on my bike keeping the heat down. After 80-90 minutes off dizzy wait manu showed up whew it was about time. When enquired about his health he said he was okay and was ready to head back.

RIDE III: (Kabbalu – Dhaba – Kanva)
The ride back was a steady one… again riding through the forest kind off road was fun. We stopped for a few moments and we decided to go to Kanva .But before that our tummy’s were crying for food… it was only the previous day we had eaten so headed further to reach SH-17.
20kms form the chenpatna we reached the kanva Dhaba and had a good meal and headed towards kanva.
TIME: 14:15hrs

Seeing the waters of this magnificent place was a huge relief. Parked our bikes and took a dip into the water. Knees ankles wrists hands everything cooled down.. Felt great. After 30 minutes in the chilly waters of kanva we came out of the water and had a good nap on the banks. After that we decided to head back to Bangalore.
TIME:15:30 hrs

RIDE IV: (Kanva-Bangalore)
Well the last 60kms were left and it was just formality completing this stretch. The lunch & the dip in Kanva was really refreshing and we did this stretch in about an hour to reach Bangalore and we headed home.
TIME:16:30 hrs

I would like to end this article by saying the following
this was one of my hardest treks till date, considering the season & the risks I took. I might have not taken the right route but defiantly took the tougher one and came out alive ,one slip would have finished it all & I wasn't sure I would be returning back home that day but yeah \m/ here I am alive and kicking ha-ha!!
PS: And yeah don't be scared to visit the place after reading this , the trek is pretty simple if u take the right route.
Until next time Ciao \m/ (Scroll up and see the snaps of this maddening route i took)



Saturday, April 9, 2011

27) Chamundi Hills (Mysore) & Balmuri Falls : (5/1/11)

Place: Chamundi Hills & Balmuri Falls.
Distance: 350kms in total.
Directions: Bengaluru > Maddur > Srirangpatna > Straight – Mysore
> Right – Balmuri Falls.
Participants: Manohar(Manu) > Arun(Slowpoke) > Karthik(Sp).
Bikes: GS > Unicorn > Pulsar.
Previous visit: BR hills – Coldest ride from Bangalore since 117 years.
Basic Description: Balmuri falls in < 5 minutes.

4th January , Arun & myself were walking on the college cricket ground, when Arun suggested the wonderful idea to visit Airport at morning 4 am .. After a few minutes of discussion the destination was changed to Balmuri falls & Srirangapatna as we had skipped it on Melkote trip.
So called up others to ask their call on the trip& it was only Manu who was ready to hit the road like always \m/. So Arun and me had dinner near college went back to our respective houses to get some sleep as we had to hit the road at 04:00hrs.
TIME: 20:30hrs

RIDE I: ( Bangalore – Maddur CCD)
Morning 2:30 am I was up and got ready. It was a New Year... And the biggest shocker already took place... Arun arrived at my place at 4 am sharp…ha-ha!!! After a few minutes Manu also joined us & we departed at 4:30am on 3 bikes.
As it was dark we started of at 40kmphr and went at this place for about 20kms to get used to the conditions then. After a while we were cruising at 70-80kmphr and reached Maddur CCD.
TIME: 05:30hrs


Well I have been to CCD only once before this, and Arun wanted have coffee at this place from a long time so it was something special for all of us. Manu & me ordered hot coffee... Arun unique as always ordered cold coffee even though it was cold outside. We spent a hour at the CCD and left towards Balmuri.
TIME: 06:30hrs

RIDE II : (Maddur CCD – SriRangapatna)
The Sun was up & shining ,Balmuri falls is about 60kms from maddur , good SH-17 roads offered very less resistance. When we reached Srirangapatna , a right deviation would lead us to Balmuri falls.. but just then we spotted a board “ Chamundi Hills “ .
Manu wanted to go to this magnificent hills, and so we kept Balmuri ON HOLD again as in melkote trip and proceeded towards Mysore.
TIME: 07:00hrs

RIDE III: (Srirangapatna – Chamundi hills)

4 lane road made our job simple… kept a decent pace of 60’s to reach The Heritage city – Mysore … Zooming through the lanes of Mysore in a matter of minutes we were out of the town and on chamundi hills road.
Chamundi hills didn’t offer any difficult uphill climb, but it was a pleasure to ride on those roads, 3 bikes going uphill at a time when most of the people are still asleep is something awesome. After cruising uphill we reached the temple and very happy to see that it was not at all crowded.


It was Arun’s and his family’s sacred place ,so he was overjoyed in visiting the same. We got a very good pooja done and spent a good 30minutes on top of the hill. When we were just about to leave we spotted a Rolls Royce- Ghost, Manu – a car freak, went crazy and wanted to stay there till it left… ha-ha!! So we captured snaps of the car & the famous Maheeshasura Demon … Staying there for some more time we left the place...
TIME: 08:45hrs

RIDE IV: (Chamundi-Giant Nandi)

From the temple its hardly a ten minutes ride, but we stopped at many places to get the wonderful aerial view of the Mysore. When we reached the giant Nandi we spent 10 minutes got the pooja done and left the place.
TIME: 09:00hrs

RIDE V: (Giant Nandi – Balmuri Falls)
Balmuri falls is 30kms from Chamundi hills, so we ode downhill at a decent pace , negotiating the curves cautiously . Manu & Arun lead the way to Mysore to reach SH-17. We reached Srirangpatna in a very short time. From here it was 15kms , and the roads turned to worst… It was horrible road and we had to slow down to 30-40kmphr. We came across canals carrying water to the falls. After a some slow riding avoiding pot holes and patches we reached Balmuri falls.
TIME: 10:00hrs


Believe me we were shocked to the core because every time I picture this falls in my head , it would always be associated with about 10-20 taxis , few private cars , families , few bikes … basically lot of crowd.
But nothing of such was there, only we 3 with our bikes were at the place. We got a great chance to have the place for ourselves.
The falls was at its very best, great force, clear water, it looked marvelous. Please have a look at the snaps it always expresses way better.

We walked to the other side of the falls, we also observed the unique way the edges were at this place which made the falling water have a unique grain like pattern. It was beautiful but was packing a lot of force.
Balmuri is not a big falls in terms of ‘head’ ( Ha-ha turbo-machines) i.e. the height through which the water falls. But it is a very wide water fall. We washed our faces and walked on the bund lifting our legs up for every step we took.

We spent an hour or so at his wonderful place enjoying the tranquility listening to the water fall and cooling ourselves down. Finally we left towards Bengaluru… we realized that this trip was so good we had forgotten about food, so Maddur Tifany`s stop was confirmed.
TIME: 11:30hrs

RIDE V: (Balmuri – Maddur Tiffany’s)
The ride back to Mysore road (SH-17) was a slow one again; my bike’s fuel was almost empty I was only hoping it could pull it till the main road so that I could re-fuel. We reached SH-17 and cruised on it to reach Maddur in no time, fuel was totally empty. We had excellent Masala Dosa & coffee and came out and took rest on the swing. Gave our bikes sufficient time to rest as it had rode 270 kms and still 80km to go. We went to the petrol bunk and re-fueled our tanks and were ready to hit the road again.

RIDE VI: (Maddur Tiffany’s- Bengaluru)
Next 80 kilometers was just formality, Mysore road good 4-lane road, all we had to do was "stay awake" ha-ha!! Rode at a pretty decent pace to reach Bangalore .
TIME: 14:30hrs
Overall it was a Classic trip, never had expected Balmuri to be so empty when it was flowing at its best and well 3 people on 3 bikes – Heaven !!

Before ending this article, here are some of our best runs (Or what we think are the best out of the first 50 runs) Hope you enjoy reading them :
[1] Maddur – The Origin.
[3] Mekedatu – Destination danger.
[4] Nandi Hills – Quick Return Mechanism.
[17] Skandagiri night trek – Misty death trek.
[18] Kanva Resevoir – Mechanix ride.
[21] Pearl Valley – Jungle walk.
[22] Talakadu – Come one, come all. (11bikes, 21 participants)
[26] BR hills – Foggy forest cruise. (Coldest ride since 117 years)
[27]Chamundi Hills & Balmuri falls – Classic Flawless ride.
[28] Kabbaladurga Trek – Hello death!! (NDE – Near death experience)
[29] Himvadgopalswamy Betta – Hot oven ride.
[37] Chitradurga fort & Vani Vilas Dam – Time travel into ancient heaven.
[38] MM hills, BR hills, Gaganchukki,Barachukki – Twin hills and falls ride.( 600kms one day)
[40] Markonahalli dam, Melukote, TonnurKere – Old School fun ride.
[44] Mahadevpura – Explore that sanctuary.
[45] Hogenekkal – Blood filled memories on road. (Must read)
[47] Mekedatu & Sangama – Adventure on!! (15kms forest walk)
[48] Coorg(Madikeri) – Big finish to ‘11.
[49] Yercaud – back on the streets. (580kms 1-day ride)
[50] Panchapalli dam – 50th chapter complete :)
Until next time – Ciao \m/