Monday, October 29, 2012

62) Kabbaladurga trek & Kanva reservoir: (26/9/2012)

Place: Kabbalaurga trek & Kanva dam.
Distance: 100 x 2 = 200kms.
Directions: Bengaluru – Chenpatna – Kabblu – Kanva - Bengaluru.
Particiapants: Karthik (Sp).
Bikes: Pulsar.
Previous visit: Savandurgatrek & Manchinbele.
Budget: Rs250/head (My head)

Well, call me crazy but this one hillock which I prefer to trek alone. Standing at about 3500feet this hillock offers a much better challenge than Savandurga. And yeah coming face to face with a huge wild monitor lizard is something I’ll remember for a long time. Last but not least it was because of this place I still wear a shoe lace on my right hand for the past 2 years.

This was another unplanned trip; I wanted to go back to this hillock since it had been quite some time. I’m not that religious, but the respect for the place is something that overpowers my beliefs. And yeah all the sit-ups I had been doing for some weeks now, it was time to check whether all that perseverance had paid off!!

I was up at 05:00, it was just another regular day, did a few push-ups & sit-ups, finished my breakfast. Then I guess the restlessness within got the better of me. So picked up a few essentials like knife, lighter, water bottle, good length of rope & last but not least a bottle opener around my neck. It was scorching hot outside but decided to head out.
TIME: 11:30

RIDE 1: (Bengaluru - ?)
As I left my house, I had no clue where to end up at. Had a few places in mind, but the hot favourites were Nelliguddekere, Manchinbele, Kanva & Maddur. As I cruised along at snail’s pace on SH-17, one thing I didn’t do is wear my ear phones & listen to music like the other kids out there, I’d rather listen to wind & my engine.

So…I reached RRDC  in sometime, I was in two-minds whether to visit NG lake or head further towards Kanva.  I chose the latter & continued further. As I reached Kanva, again the same thing happened, but I wanted something substantial for the main course & kanva for desert. So with the destination set to Maddur I zoomed ahead. As I reached Sathnur, I remembered Kabblu trek, even though it was a very bad time for a trek I took a left turn & the final place was set crystal clear in my mind.

I got the first glimpse of this mighty hillock many kilometres away, and trust me it always sends chills down my spine. But continued further parked my bike in the town & was all set to trek.
TIME: 13:30

I took about 45mins to ascend this hillock. Trust me with others I would have taken not less than 90mins, that’s because I never stop talking :P. With nobody to talk to, this time shit was serious.
The village people warned not to trek as the sun was directly up. But like always I wouldn’t like to have second thoughts & be late for my date with death ;)

i) initial stretch;
ii) 3 point stretch;
iii) viper stretch.

i) Initial stretch:


As I left the village, I tied a white cloth around my head. I had to walk through fields & open lands, before I found a trail unlike last time. The trail took me through lots of bushes & trees, until I came across a place where the trail itself was blocked by thorny shrubs & no alternate path available. I tried chopping down a few, then just rushed through it. Left a few bruises on my left arm.

ii) 3 point stretch:
Alright I was out of the shade & into the furnace. Steep rock scorching faces & the sun directly on top meant it was business time. There were two routes one going round about using broken railings as support OR climbing straight up the hill. Yeah I chose the obvious one!!

But this meant I had to be extra cautious, had to maintain 3 point of contact all the time. With the surface of the rock scorching, this was no easy task. I had to switch my hands in quick succession & take rest until I could breathe at a normal pace. Finally found a huge boulder, I crept in the shade & had a good 5mins deep nap.
TIME: 14:05

iii) Viper stretch:
Yeah I call this the viper stretch because it is a curvy path & either sides of the bath are filled with bushes. It resembles a snake crawling in the grass. Last time this stretch was torched completely. After finishing the curve, there were a few well carved steps with new railings provided. I knew after these steps awaited the danger zone. 


But I was surprised to find new railings, so it was a walk in the park. Last time this was the death zone, trust me! In a matter of minutes I got the first glimpse of the fort wall. But I rested for a few minutes and then reached the top :)
TIME: 14:30

Well I was pretty happy that all the sit-ups had paid off well ha-ha. As I was on my way to the Kabbalamma temple, I heard the rustling of the dried up leaves fallen on the ground. I thought it must have been a snake & tried spotting it. But then carried on to the temple, removed my shoes & showed my respect to the place. 


Prayed for everybody I knew and then walked from Kabblamma temple to Nandi temple bare-footed on the hot rocks. Put down my bag, drank a sip of water & crashed for a good 10mins nap. There are other abandoned buildings but I had seen it last time & the burning hot weather wasn’t ideal to loaf around.
TIME: 15:00

The decent was a quick one; it took me only 30mins to reach back flat land. So as I left the Nandi temple, I heard the rustling again this time I was determined to find out what was behind it. As I looked for it, I spotted something on the fort wall that shook me to the core.


It was a huge monitor lizard (ooda in kannada). It was my first time spotting a wild one. I had heard stories about its super sharp claws & how warriors back in the days used to climb fort walls using this reptile. Also how it's blood is mixed with rum & it's meat is believed to give great strength.

I slowly reached out for my knife and was ready in case it attacked. But that poor creature took off with the wind and ran like crazy & there I was puzzled scratching my head with the knife:P. I couldn't capture a picture of the reptile but yeah I took one from Google.


As I continued further down I met a guy from Mysore, gave him some water wished him a safe climb. I finished off the viper stretch pretty fast and then I came across an old lady, she thought I was a north Indian and spoke to me in Hindi. Trust me I couldn’t understand a word, I’m that bad in at hindi. Then once I told her I was also from Bangalore sat together for a few minutes, she told me a lot about the history of the place.

Back at the 3 point stretch, I leaned back, placed my foot side ways and descended at a rapid pace to reach back the town.
TIME: 15: 30

RIDE 2: (Kabblu – Kanva)
Like the last time, I decided to head to Kanva. I rode for a good 15-20mins, then pulled over looked back at the hill & promised her a return :). Continuing further I stopped again at a water tank, washed my face & filled up my water bottle. There were a lot of potential firewood around, so picked them up & tied them to my bike. As I reached SH-17, I cruised along till Ramnagar outskirts, grabbed something to drink and reached Kanva.
TIME: 17:00

Well you could call it our clubhouse ha-ha. I’ve been here so many times but never get tired of these waters. With the bike beside me & firewood tied to it, I finished my drink & decided to leave.
TIME: 17:30

RIDE 3: (Kanva – Baengaluru)
This 60kms stretch was just formality. Even though the traffic increased I could sneak through to reach Bangalore. But yeah had a lot of clarification to do with the other drivers about the firewood all along the way.
TIME: 18:30 

“last time I had trekked, I was scared as shit. I thought I would never climb again. It was the 28th chapter, after 34 more chapters I had returned, totally a different person. Climbed the hill and finished it without breaking much of a sweat. Well that’s what travelling does to a person, Cheers!!”

Until next time Cia \m/



Tuesday, October 9, 2012

61) Savandurga trek & Manchanabele(Manchinbele): (30/8/2012)

Place: Savandurga trek & Manchinbele(Manchanbele)dam.
Distance: 45 x 2 = 90kms.
Directions: Bengaluru – RRDC – Big Banyan tree – Manchinbele - Savandurga.
Particiapants: Deepak (Deepu) > Datta (Dattu) > Ashok(K-350) > Karthik (Sp).
Bikes: Zeus > Pulsar.
Previous visit: Muthathi & Kanva.
Budget: Rs 110/head. 

This has to one of the best scenic & well-known trek around Bangalore. With Manchinbele & T.G reservoirs nearby, ascending the hill is a sheer pleasure. As this monolith is very close to the city it is one of the most frequently visited hillock.

Savandurga (4022 ft) is the largest monolith in Asia, next being Madhugiri (3930 ft) [Top 2 largest monoliths of Asia are in Karnataka, had to be a great state]. We had trekked Madhugiri a few weeks before this. Savandurga is such a prominent monolith, it can seen from a distance of 50-55kms. The below photographs were taken form Agara(25kms away) & Ittamadu(55kms away). This hillock can also be seen from Kanva.


As far as the planning goes, till date I watch the sun set on this monolith from my terrace. It had been about 3 years since our visit to his place, and last time we couldn’t climb as a couple had committed suicide and there were police all over the place. So it was time to conquer it this time. With Dattu, Deepu & Ashok on the confirmed list we were all set to go.

Yeah I was up at around 06:00, had a cup of coffee, did a few push-ups & was all set to head out. The others arrived about 07:30, after a formal greeting we left Bengaluru.
TIME: 07:45 hrs

RIDE 1: (Bengaluru – RRDC – Manchinbele)
This was about 30-35kms stretch. As it was a weekday, the signals were jammed, but we made it out of the city is short time. As we joined Mysore road(SH-17), it was pure sailing till RRDC where we took a right deviation & continued till Big banyan tree. As we had seen this place 10+times, we decided to skip it. So we continued to reach Manchinbele.
TIME: 08:45 hrs


It had been quite sometime since we visited this beautiful place. Trust me the first glimpse you get of this place is simply superb. Savandurga can be easily spotted from here. The weather was perfect, neither too hot, nor too cold. We pulled over for a few minutes & continued further.

RIDE 2: (Manchinbele – Savandurga)
This was about a 10kms stretch, with patchy roads. As we left Manchinbele, we continued till the next village where we took a right deviation to enter forest kinda stretch. During our last stretch the entire forest was on fire due to a forest-fire. Riding on the road with the both sides of the road in high flames is something we had done last time. So we continued further to reach Savandurga.
TIME: 09: 30 hrs


We took about 1.5 hrs to ascend the hill with sufficient breaks. The whole climb is on the rock face which offers a pretty good grip. There is no necessity of guides as there are clear yellow arrow marks, which leads you till the top. I've divided the climb into 3 stages: i) first fort wall; ii) second fort wall; iii) Puddles stretch.

i) First fort wall:

The ascent to the first fort wall is the initial stretch. It takes about 10-15mins to cover this stretch, but the terrain is pretty steep. As clouds had covered up the sun, it was cool & we ascended quickly to reach the first fort wall.
TIME: 09:45 hrs


ii) Second fort wall:

The second stretch is a little less steep when compared to the previous stretch. But as we started from the first fort wall, the clouds cleared up & sun came directly above us. So we went into a canopy shade for a 10-15mins rest.
As the heat died down we decided to continue again. And as we did the real beauty of this trek began to show up. We could see both Manchinbele & T.G reservoir afar amidst the lush green terrain. We have been to both of these waters, but never have we seen it from this angle. After 15-20mins we reached the second fort wall.
TIME: 10:15 hrs


iii) Puddles stretch:

After resting for sometime at the 2nd fort wall we continued along it. This stretch is the least steep stretch, which made our progress so much better. We spotted a lot of puddles on top. We did make a lot of stories about them, which kept us well entertained. But the highlight of this was Dattu's dialogue “hey what if somebody drowns in this, what people will say?? He climbed & Savandurga & drowned on top? :P”
Damn all his jokes kept the spirits up as we continued further to reach the ruins of storage places from where the Nandi statue which marks the top can be spotted. We continued further, squeezing through the bushes & boulders we made it to the top.
TIME: 11:00 hrs



The wind speeds here were way off the charts. Just standing up straight became a challenge. We removed our shoes and bags, put one dive in front of the Nandi & then took a quick nap. We started throwing stones in front and guess what; it would actually hit the person behind us. Such were the wind speeds. After about an hour at the top we wore back our shoes & got ready for the descent.
TIME: 11:45 hrs


The descent was much quicker as no breaks were taken. We took about 30-40mins to reach the foot of the hills. As we left the top, we reached the storage building in a matter of minutes. After that it was literally walking down speaking to each other & cracking jokes. With Deepu leading the way we reached the 2nd fort wall in a short time.


From here we decided to take a short cut just, instead of following the arrows, we decided to head straight down the steep terrain. This cut short a lot of time & ground as we made it to the 1st fort wall to find our new friend.

A dog was sitting in the shade waiting for some company to take him down. So accompanied with a good guide leading the way, we reached the foothills. As we were just about to leave, we gave him some biscuits for taking us downhill.
TIME: 12:30 hrs


RIDE 3: (Savandurga – Manchinbele – Bangaluru)
This was a 40-45kms non-stop stretch. We did this with a few stops as we spotted chameleons, mongooses & lots of birds in the forest stretch. As we reached Manchinbele, we had one last look at this beauty. Promising her a return we continued to reach Mysore road. From then on it was pure sailing to reach Bengaluru. We went to our regular adda “Hoskerehalli Donne Biryani” for some heavy lunch.
TIME: 14:30 hrs


Until next time Cia \m/