Sunday, September 2, 2012

59) Madhugiri trek & Nandi hills: (20/7/2012)



Place: Madhugiri Fort & Nandi hills.
Distance: 350kms.
Directions: Bengaluru – Dobbaspete – Madhugiri – Guribidnur – Nandi hills - Bengaluru.
Particiapants: Deepak (Deepu) > Karthik (Sp).
Bikes: Pulsar.
Previous visit: MakalidurgaRailway trek.
Budget: Rs300/h.

IN LESS THAN 50 WORDS:
This was one terrific trek till date. Madhugiri (3930ft) being the second largest monolith in Asia 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.

 

ASSEMBLE:
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

 

MADHUGIRI 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.


Ascension:
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”.

 

Initial stretch:
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


Mid stretch:
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

 

Danger stretch:
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.

Pre-last stretch:
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

 

Final stretch:
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

MADHUGIRI 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


DESCENT:
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.
TIME: 15:30hrs

 

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/

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7 comments:

  1. You should have combined madhugiri-nandi hills with Jayamangali Blackbuck reserve. (Some 30 kms from Gauribidanur).
    Super Place.

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    Replies
    1. Hey there, thanks a lot for letting me know about this place.il surely visit this place sometime soon :)

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    2. Just do a google image search to see pics of maidanahalli aka jayamangali blackbuck reserve.

      One advice. Try going there the week or a day after bangalore gets rainfall. The grasslands will be green. Better to see the grasslands when they are green than brown -)

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    3. Other places around the same area. Lepakshi Temple, Penukonda Fort.

      Also another suuuper cool place is Belum Caves(check out google pics). It is 100 kms from anantapur near tadipatri.

      Maidanahalli/lepakshi/penukonda/belum can be done in a 2 day trip i think.

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    4. Yeah i did.Belum caves is pretty famous,but as you said more than a days trip:)
      About the black buck reserve,superb place,will keep your advice in my mind:)

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    5. http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2004-03-27/hyderabad/28347776_1_sand-dunes-desert-anantapur

      I read this article long back about a desert west of anantapur. Yes a DESERT, near beluguppa,rayadurg,kanekal region. Guess one needs to go there to find out if there really is a desert. Since the region receives less than 40 cm of rainfall/year there could be a decent probability of a desert being there.

      When I went to jayamangali I busted my tube, but since Madhugiri was just 20 kms away I managed to make it. But if one is roaming around anantapur I guess one has to carry the whole puncture kit(Hand pump, extra tube, stickers, levers, spanner, etc). It'll be Good Game if one is stranded in the 'Rakta Charitra' Land. :D

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    6. Well,will have to check it out then :)

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