Tuesday, April 4, 2017

141) Madakasira Fort Trek : (26/1/2017)

Place: Madakasira Fort Trek
Distance: 150kms x 2 = 300kms
Directions: Bangalore > Dobbaspete > Madhugiri > Madakasira
Krew: Gowrish (Gori) > Karthik (Sp)
Bikes: Pulsar                                                                                  
Previous Visit: Ratnagiri Fort Trek.
Budget: Rs 500/head

An amazing fort trek to this ancient and pretty well heard of place amongst people of previous generation. Today’s trekkies hardly know this place. It was an unexpected fun filled exploring kinda trek. The fort is well preserved and belongs to the Vijayanagara dynasty. This fort is situated in Andhra Pradesh. This was the third trip for the month of January 2017 and all new places. Felt just great!

It was 4 days since our wonderful visit to RatnagiriFort & Medigeshi. I knew January was the time we began conquering Andhra. So as 26th of Jan was a holiday on account of republic day, I decided to get Madakasira in the bag as well. Gowrish was the only on the confirmed list.
TIME: 13:00 (25/1/2017)

Oh yeah woke up at 04:00, did a few push-ups & sit-ups, had a sip of coffee & was all set to go! Woke up Gorisha and asked him to leave a little early as we wanted to avoid the morning traffic. Gow reached my place at 6:30 on his new beast Desert Storm. But it would be advisable if we left his bike back at my place and went to Madakasira on my bike.  
TIME: 07:00

RIDE 1: (Bangalore – Dobbaspete – Madhugiri – Madakasira Fort)
This was 150kms ride on good road but with lot of speed breakers. As we departed Bangalore we could see a lot of geared up bikers (serial sets on body kind off ;P) all set to ride out as well. We cracked up within and continued at a good pace. The air was real cold and surprisingly none of the hillocks was visible due to the fog. We pulled over at our regular hotel for some tasty breakfast.
TIME: 07:30


After some yummy breakfast, we rode into Dobbaspete and took the road towards Madhugiri. The roads were freshly laid but the amount of speed breakers was little too much. But nevertheless we had enough topics to chat about, so chatting away our time enjoying the cool morning breeze we reached Koratgere in about 30mins. After which we proceeded further I could spot Channarayanadurga but Madhugiri was covered in a veil of mist and only her outline was visible. This made her look even more scary and dark. Once we were out of Madhugiri we pulled over for our first break with Madakasira just 35kms away.

We stretched out a little had some chocolates and carried on further. Once we spotted Medegishi we knew Madakasira was just around the corner. We crossed the Karnataka-AP border and as we proceeded towards Madakasira we spotted the hillock and it was bigger than I expected.  Asking the locals in Telugu we rode through narrow lanes in between houses and found the starting of the trial. We parked our bikes and requested an old lady to keep our helmets until we trek back down from the hill.
TIME: 10:30

It took us about an hour to ascend the fort. The weather was pleasant and light drizzle made it peaceful but scary as well in few situations. The whole could be divided into three stages
i)    Initial Climb
ii)  The Brown Fortress
iii) The Bell Stretch

So, try keeping up with me on this one. Here goes:


i)  Initial Climb:
The initial climb in on stairs and this took a pretty good toll on our knees (hate stairs). But the stairs alongside a fort wall and made us feel like the invading soldiers. There were lots of trees and shrubs which made the climb peaceful. As we ascended we found lots of gateways and the real beauty of the fort climb began to reveal. There were 2-3 gateways through which we had to walk and as we ascended the town below began to move farther away.  Finally after crossing the initial climb we had entered the curvy fort on top.

ii) The Brown Fortress:
This I must say is pretty much the core of the trek. For a fort on top of a hill it is pretty huge per se. And it is pretty well preserved. We enjoyed the exploration the fort offered us. There were so many misleading directions and alternate path ways.  There is a temple in the middle of the fort otherwise it was more or less like a maze designed to confuse the invading enemies. Trust me it did a pretty good number on us as well. We also got a view of the end point of the trek from the fort wall and it was at some distance.

iii) The Bell Stretch:
This was the last stretch of the climb up Madakasira. As we left he fort hill what stood before was another hillock pretty crude compared to the previous two stages. We knew it would be tricky to get to the top. We began to ascend the crude part of the climb. The steps had begun to fade and I felt better and more comfortable. But the dark clouds hovering the skies and told us clear that it would shower any moment. This stretch has two places where it gets pretty tricky and we found it joyful to use some of our rock climbing stuff finally hehe. After getting past the two nice spots we reached what seemed like a dark cave and as we made it past the cave we could see the final end of the trek.
TIME: 12:00


We rang the bell loud thrice and sat in the Mantapa enjoying the cool drizzle flooded breeze. It was just an awe experience. And as we sat in calmness and stillness we realised that the light drizzle had converted into a shower wetting the rocks. We relaxed on top of the hill for a good 45mins munching on some chocolates and sipping on some water.
TIME: 12:45

Well, the trek down took us only 30mins but it had few intense moments. As we left the showers had picked up pace and the surface felt slippery. Few kids were making their way uphill yelling at the top of their voices to drive their fellow friends. The first of the tricky spots we got down with ease the second one was pretty steep and I volunteered to go first. And as I began, I slipped down and slid down but could hold my feet firm and hands pushed against the rock. Then Gow followed the same fate but I was down to prevent him from falling off. After this we took a breather and continued down in full pace taking few pits stops now and then to relax. 


It was not long before we began to wonder if we could get back to the same lane where we had parked our bike hehe. (We also had plan of action in case we missed out. Gow covers every lane of the town from left to right and I would come from the opposite side hehe!) Anyway we straightaway found our bike and took back our helmets from the old lady thanking her for looking after it. It was finally time to say Sayanora to Madakasira.
TIME: 13:00

RIDE 2: (Madakasira – Kottu Stop – Madhugiri – Dobbaspete – Chandu Dhaba – Bangalore)
This was a 150kms ride back home. So, to start things off we cruised at a slow pace looking out for any juice shops on road side. We had spotted one on our way to Madakasira itself (pro-active approach always better than reactive approach :P) and we pulled over at that very same place and purchased the needed. After which we came across this beautiful lake and we decided it was a good place to chill out on the boulders beside the lake. We sat for about an hour drifting in the drizzle and enjoying the magnificent lake that stood before us.
TIME: 14:00

After a good 1 hour sitting we decided to have lunch at Chandu Dhaba. As we left the lake it was a pleasant ride till Madhugiri. After which the drizzle turned into showers and the roads turned wet. We enjoyed the rain ride and reminded us both of the Melukote trip in 2015. As we reached Doabbaspete we turned up the throttle and cruised into Chandu Dhaba at Nelamangala for some second round and yummy lunch.
TIME: 15:30

We spent about an hour belting some good lunch at the dhaba. Once we were done we had some pan and left the place. We took the NICE road from Tumkur road and cruised peacefully on the butter smooth link to reach back my home. Gow took out his Desert Storm and headed back towards his home.
TIME: 17:30

Amazing Amazing trek and to be frank we were a little overwhelmed as our expectations were little less. Getting Gow back on track and exploring this new fort hill felt f’n awesome!! It was a ruthless beginning to 2017. Three new places to start off., Hell F'n Yeah \m/”
Until next time, Cia \m/



Sunday, April 2, 2017

140) Ratnagiri Fort Trek : (21/1/2017)

Place: Ratnagiri Fort Trek
Distance: 150kms x 2 = 300kms
Directions: Bangalore > Dobbaspete > Madhugiri > Ratnagiri Fort
Krew: Aditya (Adi) > Deepak (Deefu) > Karthik (Sp)
Bikes: Classic 350 > Pulsar                                                            
Previous Visit: Penukonda Fort Ride.
Budget: Rs 350/head

This was the second trip for the month of January 2017 and boy it felt good to be back in town. Ratnagiri is a 7 tier fort and offers a good explorative climb. Our trek was as usual fun filled and more of fooling around. Ratnagiri is situated right at the border of Karnataka & Andhra Pradesh and was the power centre of Cholas & Pandyas. Ending the trek at Adi’s hometown of Medigeshi was just the cream to top this chapter off!

It was 5 days since our epic fort ride in Penukonda. So I wanted to hit some new place as the feeling of getting a fresh place kind of gets me a little high :P hehe! So, once Deefu confirmed his coming on the trip it was a trek no doubt as he is one of the pioneers in establishing the trek segment in our club. And when Adi also confirmed Ratnagiri was something that popped into my head as it was close to Adi’s home town Medigeshi.
TIME: 20:00 (20/1/2017)

Oh yeah woke up at 04:00, did a few push-ups & sit-ups, had a sip of coffee & was all set to go! Called up Deefu & Adi woke them up as well. Went near Adi’s home picked him up and we both headed on the ORR towards Deefu’s place. Deefu joined us on ORR at the Mahalakshmi layout junction on his “Blue Blizzard” his new enfield. It looked like a perfect bike for him.
TIME: 07:00

RIDE 1: (Bangalore – Dobbaspete – Madhugiri – Ratnagiri Fort)
This was 135kms ride on good road but with lot of speed breakers. As we departed Bangalore, we cruised along at 80’s on the Tumkur road wading our way in between the vehicles which were looking for their own spot’s as well. The ride was smooth and soon we were cruising beside each other comfortably on the main highway. We pulled over at our regular hotel for some tasty breakfast.
TIME: 07:30


After some yummy breakfast, we rode into Dobbaspete and took the road towards Madhugiri. The roads were freshly laid but the amount of speed breakers was little too much. We continued to maintain good pace to reach Koratgere.  Deefu & me were reminded of the “muddhe oota” & “goli soda” we had had at the bus stop 5 years back returning from Channarayanadurga. We continued towards Madhugiri. We could spot the might Channarayanadurga standing in all her glory waving at us. it was not long before we could spot the mighty Madhugiri, the very sight of this hillock sends chills down my spine.
TIME: 09:45

Asking the locals for directions we proceeded towards Pavagada. Then as we proceeded about 10kms towards Pavagada, one guy almost blindly came crashing into, I shouted at him then smiled and asked for directions. He was totally confused as it was totally a new way of asking direction :P. Finally once we took a deviation of the main road the roads tuned narrow and flooded with lush greenery. It was a pleasure to ride and soon we could spot Ratnagiri. Ratnagiri is very small town hardly 4.5km perimeter. We parked our bike near a home and requested the lady at the house to keep an eye on our bike. We handed over our helmets and enquired further about the place. Then, with the goat’s spirit awakened within us, we were all set to conquer this hillock.
TIME: 10:30

It took us about an hour to ascend the fort. The weather was pleasant and the trek was quite explorative. Like said earlier it is 6-7 tier trek so a lot of ruined buildings could be found all along the way up. Surprisingly we hardly took any breaks and went straight up exploring our way throughout. About this trek it is actually pretty hard to differentiate/segregate the climb up into segments as one would lead to another without any significant change. Even then I have divided it into 3 segments:
i)   Way to the Door.
ii)  Amazing Mid-Riff.
iii)  Last Stairs.

So, try keeping up with me on this one. Here goes:


i)  Way to the Door:
As we left the bikes we had to pass through ancient doorways and abandoned wells. We tried hard spotting the entry point into the fort but couldn’t find any. After climbing up a outpost we could see what seemed like a bike doorway on a fort wall, that seemed like the entry to us. But getting there took some time. We had to wade our way through the fields and tried cutting down the time to reach the door as we weren’t sure whether it was the right one. With lots of thorny bushes around what seemed like a simple task proved not so easy. Finally when the door seemed real the lizard spirit took over me & deefu and we started ascending this steep rock face towards the door. Adi waited patiently as felt it was risky and eventually he found a simpler route. He called out to us and informed us. We both were stuck on a steep face of a rock not completely up or down, hehe.. it was slightly scary. but we made it down to base and re-routed the path and found ourselves at the entry of the first gateway.
TIME: 10:45


ii) Amazing Mid-Riff:
This part of the trek I must say was the core of the entire climb. It constituted the major chunk of the climb as well. As we entered this stage the real beauty of the fort began to unveil. There were 6-7 such layers all offered false path ways to misguide the invading soldiers and all had soft spots where the defending soldiers could fire. This was truly an amazing experience. Also there were some narrow pathways through bushes and trees but it was clear enough to be spotted. There were consistent outposts to overlook the tiers below. The fort seemed to get more incredible as we ascended tier by tier up!  The gate ways were all dug up by people searching for treasures, but these offered a nice pit stop for us to rest. Finally we reached a flat land after about 4-5 tiers to find a lot of ruined buildings. We explored each and every one of them and finally spotted the stair way that led to the top of the hillock.
TIME: 11:30

iii) Last Stairs:
This was the last stretch of this awesome trek. As we ascended these stairs energy began to drain out of our knees (hate stairs!). The wind speeds had picked up and it was soothing. We took a final breather and entered the last tier.
TIME: 11:45

There were lots of buildings on top. Buildings which seemed like resting places and few like granaries. There were also small ponds on top which was pleasant to see. We split and explored the fort top and then decided to find a nice place and crash down. We found a small cave like opening which was cool and perfect for a rest.


We three knew each other since 15 years, so yeah hell lot of things in common and more importantly we knew each other boundaries pretty well (and respected that pretty well!) But all we ended up speaking was about or college stories as we had did our engineering in different colleges. Adi asked us if we wanted to have lunch at his home at Medigeshi, we agreed upon that wonderful idea. We spent about 45-60mins relaxing on top and then finally decided to head back.
TIME: 13:00

Well, the trek down was a smooth one. We enjoyed and Deefu was almost playing around holding the structures and swinging from one corner to another. Without much breaks we descended the last stairs and mid-riff in very short time and then we could find a few goatherds with their herd. We caught few of the young ones and played around with it. Then we kind of got out of the main front door and then lost way. We could see the paths which lead back to the few houses clearly, but the thorny bushes all over the place made maneuvering difficult. After few tricky jumps we made back on flat land, then we realized we had missed out on a ruined temple which was on the other side. So we visited the temple and went back to house where we had left our helmets and bike.
We requested for some water and the lady offered us to stay back and have lunch as well (such kindness!) Then we said we had to go to Medigeshi as we had already requested for lunch over there. Thanking the wonderful lady again, we departed Ratnagiri :)
TIME: 13:30


RIDE 2: (Ratnagiri Fort – Medigeshi)
This was a 150kms ride back first to Adi’s hometown Medigeshi and then back to Bangalore. First enquiring the interior route to Medegeshi we rode through fields and greenery and finally could spot the mighty Medigeshi. I had climbed this hill a couple of years back, it was a nice trek as well. Finally we reached Adi’s home for some, trust me on this one, good good home made food.
TIME: 14:00

By the time I finished lunch, I could hardly move and had trouble standing straight hehe! We thanked his grandma for the wonderful lunch. Then we roamed the streets of the peaceful town bare-footed and visited the temples Adi and his uncle. It was very kind of his uncle to show us all the temples and significant buildings and the new well that was bored which acted as a source of water to the town. After which he also showed a few good hillocks which offered a good climb. He insisted we stayed overnight and left in the morning as we could spot a few peacocks early in the morning.


Then we rode to his farm and collected few fresh lemons. Then we pulled down a few coconuts after having a couple each, that’s it I was a goner. I felt like a sumo champion and sat in fields saying I couldn’t move hehe! We rested in the fields for some more time and then headed back to his home.
We were offered some peanuts and coffee again. And as the sun had begun making his way back home, we decided so must we. Thanking his uncle and grandma for the hospitality and showering us with so much care and love we departed the peaceful town.
TIME: 16:45

RIDE 3: (Medigeshi - Madhugiri - Dobbaspete - Bangalore)
As we rode towards Madhugiri the clouds showered us with some rain. But we continued to ride, but at a slower pace. We had a small pitstop, then we decided to reach Dobbaspete before the darkness could set in. So we rode non-stop to Dobbaspete, I thought Deefu had stopped at Dobbasepete and stopped just outside the town but couldn’t spot him anywhere.
When we tried calling up, his phone was switched off. Then we waited for 15-20mins and then continued at a slow pace for another 10-15km and pulled over again for sometime. After which we decided to head further when Adi told he wanted to have some tea. Making sure the bike is parked visibly to road we ordered some tea, just then Deefu pulled over hehe!. It was good tea re-union and the darkness with dense traffic had set in.


After the tea, we had a good 50kms to go. I knew I would only hold Deefu back, I told him if was getting late he could carry, but he told he would ride behind me and all three of us would travel back to together (for me, this meant a lot!) After that I didn’t go much slow either :P we cruised along at a decent pace through the dense traffic to reach the Yeshwanthpur junction where Deefu went his way. Adi and me got on the ORR and cruised back to our respective homes as well.
TIME: 19:45

Such a different chapter this was! It was humbling experience visiting such a peaceful town. The hospitality and love shown towards visitors was wonderful. Moreover riding back all the way to close the chapter even though we split made this chapter a superb one. And oh yeah, the trek was amazing too :P Hehe”
Until next time, Cia \m/