Place: Medigeshi Fort Trek.
Distance: 125 x 2 = 250kms.
Directions: Bengaluru – Dobbaspete – Madhugiri - Medigeshi.
Particiapants: Manoj(Manju) >Karthik (Sp).
Previous visit: Heseghatta Grasslands.
IN LESS THAN 50 WORDS:
This chapter was the perfect start for the year 2014, owing to the fact that the place less heard off & the crowd non-existent. Oh yeah, this chapter saw some intense moments like a 90⁰ fort wall climb and also getting caught amidst a fire. (It was fire on the mountains alright, but we didn’t run :P)
INTRO & PLAN:
Okay, Medigeshi is the hometown of a good friend Aditya and this place had been on our trek list since long. It had turned hot on the to-do list since Oct 2013, but we ended up finishing BR hills & Mahadevpura instead. Finally after having taken a break I returned back to Bangalore and this place was locked down. Manju was the only one on the confirmed list.
ASSEMBLE & LEAVE:
Yeah, I was up by 05:00, had a sip of coffee, did a few push-ups & sit-ups and was all set to go. The meet up was scheduled at bakery. Once Manju arrived, we had had our good old bakery. Asked Manju if he had any other place in mind (our plans are so unpredictable and predicting the unplanned ones are equally hard :P)
Anyway with “No” being the answer we stuck to the original choice and headed towards Tumkur road.
RIDE 1: (Bengaluru – Dobbaspete – Madhugiri - Medigeshi)
This was about 120-130kms stretch of variant terrains. It started off smooth for the first 50kms or so on the NH-4 until Dobbaspete. At Dobbaspete, we pulled over at our regular hotel to munch down on some fantastic breakfast.
After our tummies satisfied we took the deviation towards Madhugiri. The roads turned worst, actually there were no roads at all. As the re-laying was being carried out, we had a bumpy ride on mud, stones and patched roads. After a couple of hours we spotted the isolated Channrayanadurga standing in all her glory.
We pulled over sad some water waving at Channrayandurga, promising her a return in the coming months we moved along. A few kilometres ahead we entered the town of Madhugiri.
Well this hillock kinda turns off my meter every time (it looks crazy scary at the same time elegant!) We took the inner roads of the town to get out of it. After which we rode another 20-25kms stopping frequently to enquire with the locals. It was not long before we caught the first glimpse of Medigeshi.
To be frank, it turned out to be bigger than I expected. This only meant one thing, better kick at the end of the trek, ah-ha! (if everythin went well i.e,) We pulled over; the sun had already started blazing. We had a sip of water then proceeded to enter the town. With the lizard’s spirit wide awake, we were ready for the hike.
Alright, the ascension took about an hour flat. Yes, but it saw some intense stretches. Manju, being new to hikes, put an extra ordinary effort to cover the terrain alongside in an hour. I’ve divided the climb into 4 sections. Alright here they are:
i) Initial Gates
ii) Nordic Walk
iii) Steep Stretch
iv) Flat Lands
Okay, this constitutes the relatively easier part of the climb. The terrain is similar to Skandagiri, muddy, a path which runs like a snaky amidst the tall green grass, boulders and many gates. This stretch was completed without breaking much of a sweat. At the end of this stretch, we picked up a stick and was ready for the next one!
The second stretch was through tall dried up grass. The walk with the stick we picked up, made us feel like Nordic walkers. The route from this point started getting trickier. Although we keep the rule always simple – keep walking up until you have only sky above your head. Remember it doesn’t work all the time ah! We also commented what if all the grass on which we were standing were alit. (Should have been careful, prior wishin!)
Anyway, after a good walk, we stood before a rocky terrain. This I must say was pretty steep and finally loosened up my shoulders and started twisting my ankles and wrists. (Yeah it was the wake-up call for the lizard king) Manju’s shoes with a flat worn-out sole were an area of concern. But with some new techniques we managed to get past the rocky terrain to find ourselves in front of a 10-12feet fort wall with no way to go around it. Finally, decided to climb up the fort wall, without looking back obviously. After having climbed pulled up Manju and we were set for the last stretch.
Okay, the last stretch too was pretty steep. But, it had steps, which pretty much took a toll on our knees. Draining out every nerve in our legs we finished the climb, to find ourselves on a flat land with dried up grass and coconut trees, The wind speed picked up and it felt real good when it hit our faces. We fooled around this pleasant landscape for some time and decided to put our foot on the top.
We spent about 1.5hrs at the top. Once we reached the top we explored the peripherals first. After having got a sense of the boundaries, we kept walking and exploring the place. We spotted old Oil storage bins, Ruined buildings which seemed like granaries. Oh yeah we also spotted a tree which looked very similar to the one in 6-5=2 movie. Then we found a few boulders and decided that would be the place crash. We had a few biscuits and drank water. After this we spoke for some time and then began drifting into the tranquillity of the place.
The trek back took us about 45mins. The steep stretches were covered in quick time. After reaching the 2nd stretch which consisted of tall dried up grass, we smelt smoke. Then the sight in front of shook us slightly, even though it got us excited in equal manner. It was a wild fire (the 2nd one we’ve encountered after Savandurga in 2010) . We waded through the burning grass keeping the direction of the wind in mind. (Although the easier and advisable solution was to climb back and wait for the fire to die with the wind)
Anyway we reached back the gates (unburnt!) explored the temple below. After speaking to the locals for quite sometime we decided to head back.
RIDE 2: (Medigeshi - Dobbaspete – Bangalore)
This was a 120-130kms ride back, with a lunch stop in between. It was a no non-sense ride from Medigeshi to Dobbaspete, with a few stops for coconut water. After reaching Dobbaspete we pulled over at the same hotel where we had eaten breakfast.
After a superb lunch, we rode back to Bangalore to reach back our respective places.
“This chapter, I must say was the perfect start for the year 2014. After I dunno, some 30 days of isolation it felt good to hit the roads. 2014 would be different, I knew. Cheers !!"