Sunday, January 5, 2014

84) Narayanagiri Trek - Jalamangala: (22/9/2013)

Place: Narayanagiri Trek (Jalamangala)

Distance: 65 x 2 = 130kms.
Directions: Bengaluru – Bidadi – Ramnagara - Jalamangala
Participants:  Aditya (Adi) > Deepak  (Deefu) > Datta (Magu) > Karthik (Sp).
Bikes: Pulsar > Pulsar.
Previous visit: Balmuri Falls.

Another place, another hike and yes this was a fantastic trek to this new place called Jalamangala. This trek was one of the craziest done so far if the steepness is taken into consideration. But yes, it had a good balance of Nordic type of walking as well.

So, there I was just browsing through and travelling my way across Karnataka on Google maps, even though I knew it was not the actual thing. Putting the maps on terrain mode I came across this bump on the surface of earth near Kanva. Even though we had been to Kanva so many times it was surprising that we had not come across this hillock. The only way to find out was to go out there and check it out ourselves. Adi, Deefu & Dattu were on the confirmed list.
TIME: 22:00 (21/9/2013)

Yeah I was up at around 06:00hrs, had some coffee, did a few push ups and sit ups. Adi first came to my place& then we were joined by the other two. After a formal greeting we decided to leave Bangalore.
TIME: 07:45

RIDE 1: (Bangalore – Bidadi – Ramnagar – Jalamangala)
This was a 60 to 65kms stretch, with one stop in between. We left Bangalore on two bikes and the weather was pretty cool. The traffic was not that heavy as we had left pretty late. We rode at a slow pace on our home ground SH-17 non-stop for 30kms to reach our regular breakfast stop at Bidadi.
TIME: 08:30

After munching down a couple of Tatte Idly’s, we were all set to go. We continued the good cruising momentum until Ramnagar and took a right deviation at signal. After which I wasn’t very sure whether the people would know about this place, but we decided to give it a shot. We asked people for directions to Jalamangala and we were surprised when we got good response. 


As we continued the roads turned superb and the surroundings began to grow greener. We were much delighted when we spotted a sign stone saying Jalamangala was 5kms away. We got the glimpse of the hillock at the outskirts of the village itself. After reaching the place, it was little hard to find the exact start point of the trek, but at the end we parked our bikes amidst some fields and with the astral goat’s spirit awakened within us we were set for a hike.
TIME: 09:45


The ascension took about 45mins. But trust me these 45mins were filled with everything, normal walking to clinging to the rock surface steepness. I have divided the trek into the following stretches:
i) Forest walk
ii) Lizard Walk
iii) Last walk

First Walk:
This was the first stretch of the trek. This stretch took about 15-20mins. And this was I felt only part we left we were on flat ground, even though the ground wasn’t absolutely flat. The trees were green and we did thoroughly enjoy this walk. We even sat on boulders in between just to take all the freshness we can before heading back to the polluted city unfortunately where we had to live.
This part also consisted of a walk through head tall grasses which I felt was really wonderful. We had to make sure were making noise during this part as we didn’t want to surprise any snakes lying below.
TIME: 10:00


Lizard Walk:
After we walked amidst the tall grasses we ended up in front of a huge steep rock face. We ascended this steep rock face with the help of the bushes that grew at the sides. It was pretty risky as we had to put our complete trust in the bushes that we held onto. After this the most thrilling part of the trek unveiled. It was again another stretch of dangerous steepness and we realized there were no bushes around to hang on to as well. Dattu who is ever energetic started exploring for new easy routes. But unfortunately there was only one way up that was straight up.


Deefu & I felt, Adi who was coming with us for the first time, should fall in between us both. And as far as Dattu, we were sure that he had enough energy to keep circling around us always searching for something new.
This stretch took us about 15mins, but trust me, the things we underwent during this stretch are beyond words. After having hiked this stretch like lizards that walk on your wall we reached the final stretch. (I felt like the lizard king and yes I could do anything :P)
TIME: 10:15

Final Stretch:
As we were done with Lizard walking, we looked back and wondered how were going to go back down on that one. But Deefu & I knew that it was easier to climb down steep faces than ascend them. So anyway we decided not to waste time about thinking what was to come. Continuing further we reached a few steps. At this point I could see the feeling of safeness and the high grasses welcomed us to plain rock stretch. The view from this part was superb, the wind speeds were of the charts. Oh yeah, we could spot Savandurga from here, we smiled and waved back. The cool winds made us feel so very good that we forgot about reaching the top and started enjoying the winds fooling around amidst the tall grasses.
TIME: 10:30


On top of the hillock there was a temple, which was locked down. We sat down below a tree, on top of the fresh grass and started having some chocolates and some water. The winds had turned pleasant and hit our faces gently to cool us down. We sat and spoke all kinds of shit, as how we keep this up even after having been separated after high-school etc., actually I was surprised in answering all those questions how we actually had kept up and I had never thought about it, so I decided to let go and not to again think about such things.


After about 45mins of enjoying the cool breeze and watching the grass sway to the soft winds we decided to explore the top a little bit more. As we explored the top we reached a place where the winds were off limit and standing was a challenge (atleast for me:P) the joyful Magu, Dattu was just playing around with the wind. It was a very fun lit atmosphere and it felt good. After spending some quality time we decided to head back. Before we left we looked back at Savandurga and said ta-ta!
TIME: 12:00

The descension of the hillock was done on a completely different route. It was even steeper than the route we took to climb up. It took us 45mins to descend the hillock to reach back our bikes.

So as we began, we started looking for an alternate route to trek down. Since we couldn’t find any from the top, we decided to climb down the same way. Once we were done with the “final walk” part, Deefu & Dattu said they had found a new route. And trust me it was one of the steepest, but not impossible. I was in a fix, Adi who was new to all this, I didn’t want him to be put through this intense endurance test.
But Deefu was insistent we take a different route. We all knew that after we start there was no turning back as the steepness was maddening. So we decided that Dattu was to lead, next would come Deefu and Adi had to stay in between Deefu and me.


And so the cautious and yet fun hike down began. We stuck close and inch by inch we down the steep rock face to reach the forest area below. Again this stretch iswhere i went through an inner turmoil between crew’s desires and their own safety. Something beyond words, again.


After reaching the forest we had to find our way back. There lot of trees and thick filled bushes all around us. A few of them had thorns, so we had to put them down so that others could pass through. At one point I picked up a bad cut on my left back hand when a branch snapped back. After some constant walking in a particular direction guided by our bearings we reached the initial stretch from where we walked down further below to reach our bikes.
TIME: 12:45                    

RIDE 2: (Jalamangala – Bidadi - Bangalore)
This was roughly a 35kms ride. As we left Jalamangala we decided to crash at one of our regular Dhaba’s at Bidadi for lunch. The ride from Jalamangala to Ramnagara was a pleasant one as it was though fields and country side. As we reached Ramnagara we hit the highway for the next 10-15kms to reach the Dhaba.
At the Dhaba we had a pretty heavy lunch (atleast the others :P) to pacify our tummies which had begun to growl.
TIME: 13:45


After having a heavy lunch we left the dhaba. All we had to do was stay awake as the sun was blazing away in all its glory. After about 30mins we reached my place from where others split to their respective homes.
TIME: 15:00

“This chapter, had to be one of the craziest ones and the craziness had come when we expected the least. I had thought it was just another small hillock, which it was, but the steepness it offered was something out of our books. And feeling the fear within seeing one of the crew in fear and diffusing both of it was something I learnt anew from this chapter Tch-Tch, Cheers!!”

Until Next time Cia \m/




  1. Nice travelogue. Would love to visit Jalamangala sometime....

  2. Thanks for blog. This is very helpful.
    May I know what is the trekking distance in kms and average time to reach to the top and down to the base ?

  3. Good find I would say...and great clear as a user's manual. Jalamangala, here I come.

  4. what was the name of the dhabha pls reply?

    1. Dhaba is opposite to that distillery on Mysore road. Just before Bidadi.

  5. Name & location of the dhaba please?

    1. I dont recollect the name. It is opposite to a brewery :D

      Its been quite some years since i ate at this place.

  6. Hey, Great documentation.

    Wanted to know if there was any trail or was it a "Find-out-yourself" path?

    1. Its mostly figuring it out. But u can get a sense of direction quite easily.