Place: Madhugiri Fort & Nandi hills.
Directions: Bengaluru – Dobbaspete – Madhugiri – Guribidnur – Nandi hills - Bengaluru.
Particiapants: Deepak (Deepu) > Karthik (Sp).
Previous visit: MakalidurgaRailway trek.
IN LESS THAN 50 WORDS:
This was one terrific trek till date. Madhugiri (3930ft) being the second largest monolith in
offered a good challenge to climb. And yeah visit to Nandi is something we
planned sitting on top of Madhugiri. Nandi hills shall & will be at the
bottom of the ‘to-visit’ places.
INTRO & PLAN:
Madhugiri (3930ft) is the the second largest monolith in
Asia after the mighty
Savandurga (4022ft). People have referred Madhugiri as the vertical limit,
daring trek etc. There are about 10 gates that we have to ascend. The height of
each of the fort wall is such that it blocks the view of the next climb. So
everytime you ascend a stretch you will feel it is the last one, only to find
another hillock waiting just for you. This is something we observed while
climbing; our ancestors surely kicked some mighty A. Deepu being a trek freak
was the only one on the confirmed list.
Yeah I was up at 05:00 hrs, did a few push-ups, had some coffee and left home. We did carry a water bottle this time, as we didn’t wanted to end up dehydrated like the Makalidurga trek. Left my house at about 06:15hrs & cruised on the Outer ring road (ORR) at a very slow pace & reached Malleswaram. Picked up Deepu and departed Bengaluru.
TIME: 07:15 hrs
RIDE 1: (Bengaluru – Dobbaspete – Madhugiri)
This was a good 110-120kms stretch, with sufficient breaks taken. First we got out of the city & cruised on Tumkur road (NH-4) at a decent pace. After about 45mins of riding we pulled over for a light breakfast, after which we rode till Dobbaspet. At Dobbaspet we took a right deviation & from then on it was smooth sailing 60kms ride to reach Madhugiri.
TIME: 10:00 hrs
: FORT TREK
Well, we had got the first glimpse of this huge monolith kilometres away. And to be frank, we got a little scared. We reached the town, parked our bike & with the mountain goat’s spirits wide awake within us we were ready to conquer this fort.
We took about 1.5 hours to ascend with a lot of breaks & exploration. And thankfully we both were the only ones trekking as it was a weekday. As said earlier, there are about 10 gateways to pass. And at each of these, the height of the fort wall is such that it blocks the view of the next stretch. So I have divided the climb into 5 stretches namely; “initial, mid, danger, pre-last & final”.
The trek started off with a pretty easy stretch, with lot of steps. As we proceeded we realised climbing steps takes more energy out of your knees than climbing a plain rock.The initial stretch consists of a lot of doors of Mugal architecture.
After passing through a few doors we reached a huge tank, which was a used as storage of rain-water in ancient days. Also we spotted an outpost on which we climbed up and took our first break. As we sat on the out-post, we stared at the huge hillock that stood before us wondering how long it would take us to reach the top.
TIME: 10:20 hrs
After some rest, we proceeded to spot a lot of temples near the out-post. And oh yeah he famous “whale shaped” rock as well. The second stretch was quite tiring as it had steep steps. The doors which were present here, laid mostly in ruins.
TIME: 10:45 hrs
Yes this is the most talked about stretch of Madhugiri and something we both were waiting since the start. We had to walk horizontally across a steeply inclined rock. But the railings made our job very easy and we crossed it without much difficulty to pass the 5th(/6th)gate.
Once we passed the gate we were shocked to see what stood before us. It was a another stretch of the hillock which seemed to reach the sky, making us feel that we had just started the trek all over again.
This stretch is very similar to Savandurga, but much steeper. With Deepu’s experience leading the way we ascended to find a lot of boulders & cactus plants. After few minutes we spotted another gate, after crossing which we were left with another hilly stretch in front of us. Ha-ha now I wasn’t sure myself as to how many gates there were.
TIME: 11:00 hrs
We started walking up the not so steep terrain which I must say offered pretty good grip. After about 15-20mins, with a few breaks we were at the top :)
TIME: 11:20 hrs
: FORT TOP
As we reached the top, first thing we did is looked around wondering whether there was another hillock hiding from us ha-ha!! Yep after we confirmed only the sky was above us we put down our energy levels down and began exploring.
At the top, we spotted two dome shaped oil/ghee storage & a lot of other sit-out places. After crossing these places, we passed through a passage where we could feel the wind speeds pick up in a instant. After coming out of the passage we found a open area with lots of small buildings. The wind speeds were so high, standing up straight was a challenge.
As we entered the buildings we were kinda scared, trust we it was a haunted, lonely feeling inside. With darkness everywhere & bright powerful beam of light hitting the floor sent chills down our spines. After a few mins of exploration we climbed upon the buildings & took about 20mins rest, drinking some water. Then the plan of visiting Nandi hills came up. After the rest we got up & were all set to descend as we had another hill to cover.
TIME: 12:00 hrs
The descent was a quick one, we took about 40mins to climb down the hill thanks to the shortcut. We finished off the final & pre-final stretch in a matter of minutes. After reaching the “danger stretch”, Deepu looked at me said instead of walking horizontal across the plane, we better go down the plane :P
I was taken aback at first, but then was game for some crazy shit all the time. So the “dangerous stretch” didn’t look that dangerous as we began descending the steep plane discussing various methods of treeking. We took sufficient breaks and skiiping all the gates down we directly reached the foothills :)
TIME: 12:40 hrs
RIDE 2: (Madhugiri – Gauribidnur –Chikbalapur – Devanhalli – Nandi hills)
This was a 40+30+20+20 kms stretch. As we left Madhugiri, the roads to Chikbalapur was still under construction, so we had to ride at a slow pace. After covering 40kms we reached Gauribidnur. We had an excellent & proper Oota(lunch) & left.
As we continued towards Chikballapur, the roads turned curvy & the surroundings became simply brilliant. We were enjoying the surroundings so much that we forgot to take a deviation at chikballapur and went off till Devanahalli :P. From there we continued another 20kms to reach the foot of Nandi hills.
Nandi hills is definitely not one of our favourite places, due to the visitors & modernization. But fortunately it was a weekday & odd-time the crowd was less. The ride up the hills was a smooth one.
Once we reached the top, we visited the Arkavati river origin, Tippu drop & the Nandi temple. It was really sad to see the tree houses & other structures being constructed spoiling the natural look of the place. So we searched for a good view point and sat down sipping water & having some snacks. It was not long before we made new friends, a couple of dogs kept us good company. We shared our snacks & sat with them for some more time before we departed.
TIME: 17:00 hrs
RIDE 3: (Nandi hills – Bengaluru)
This was good 60-70kms stretch. The descension of the entire hill was done with the engine switched off. Once we reached the foot of the hills, we cruised at a decent pace to reach Malleswaram for some egg-rice.
After having egg-rice, loafed around Mallewswaram for sometime, dropped Deepu to his place and rode back to reach home.
TIME: 20:30 hrs
Until next time Cia \m/