Place: Sidarabetta Trek.
Distance: 100 x 2 = 200kms.
Directions: Bengaluru – Dobbaspete – Koratgere - Sidarabetta
Particiapants: Deepak (Deefu) > Datta (Dattu) > Karthik (Sp).
Bikes: Zeus > Pulsar.
Previous visit: Skandagiri –The Lost Tales
IN LESS THAN 50 WORDS:
This chapter was one of the spookiest, scariest chapters we have done till date. Exploring the caves in darkness, sliding down small crevasses into the dark oblivion, finally encountering an aghori after several layers were some of the highlights of this trek.
INTRO & PLAN:
As far as the planning goes, it had been more than a month since our trek to Skandagiri. This time the crew were almost similar but Ashok couldn’t make it. Siddarabetta was on our bucket list since a few years. But could never strike it out. Once Dattu & Deefu were ready to take leave, we decided to conquer it on a Friday itself.
TIME: 22:00 (26/2/2015)
ASSEMBLE & LEAVE:Yeah I was up at 05:00, did a few push ups & situps, had a cup of coffee and was all set to go. The meet up was scheduled at the ORR near Mahalakshmi layout. Left my home at about 06:15, Once Dattu & Deefu arrived we greeted each other and departed from Bangalore.
RIDE 1: (Bangalore– Nelamangala – Dobbaspete – Koratgere - Siddarabetta)
This was a 100kms ride, with a breakfast stop in between. As we headed out of Bangalore, Dattu was riding my bike in full flow. We cruised past Nelamangala, and as we approached Dobbaspete, with Shivagange in sight we pulled over at our regular hotel for some tasty breakfast.
Having done with breakfast, we continued further taking a right at Dobbaspete and heading towards Madhugiri. The roads were under construction and hence slowed our progress. Once we reached Kortagere, it was really nice to spot Madhugiri, Channarayandrurga & Siddarabetta. We looked at each other incase the plan were to be changed. We reached Siddarabetta premises, we parked our bikes and were all set to get into the caves.
The trek started with a lengthy stretch of staircase. It pretty much drained the energy out of our knees. After which the canopy on top opened up and stone stairs became somewhat broken up. So jumping here and there between boulders we pushed on ahead under the hot sun. And yes, as far as Dattu, he was doing moonwalks, cartwheel and what not… dancing his way to the top. We started wondering as to where the caves were?
After about 30-45mins of climbing in the hot sun, we reached the temple. Removing our shoes we entered the premises. The people poured two extremely cold water on us to cool us down and gave some of it to drink as well. We enquired about the caves and they pointed at a small gap under a boulder which was hardly 2 feet in height and asked us to crawl through that.
Holding the phone in our mouth one after the other, bare-footed crawled through this small opening to open our eyes into a new world itself. It was dark, and filled with boulders, and roots of trees penetrated from the top giving it a spooky feeling. Few streams of light made it through from the top and hit the ground revealing the dust particles dancing around in it’s path.
As we started going deeper & deeper into the caves, it became so much more scary. The silence which accompanied was literally killing us. We did play around on the roots and jump from boulder to boulder. As we were bare-footed we had to be extra careful about the sharp edges on the rock surfaces.
Few instances we were just crawling down holes in which only one could squeeze through. We had to remember all this path and small crevasses as we returned huh, don’t forget that. Finally after several layers deeper we started hearing water flow and some kind of light being emitted from a corner behind the rocks. As we approached the sound, what we saw next locked our breath and widened our eyes.
An Aghori, or what seemed like one (people who worship the dead and feed of them) was seated pouring water from a “Shanka” onto a mud formation in the ground. Deefu & me signalled Dattu to stay back. Deefu asked him as to what he was doing. The look he gave after that was something I can never get out of my head. It was scary, but he asked us to leave through his actions. Without disturbing his peace we left.
After a few layer off the Aghori, we found a neat place to settle down and relax. Here the silence trust me was overwhelming, and a few deep breaths taking in the silence could get a person f’n high. We rested for about 30mins and then decided to head back.
As we started back, it was good that we recognized some of the rocks and the trees that we had talked about. Once we almost missed a turn, imagine that ending up in a totally different layer. Finally after about 30mins we made it back to the temple. Yes, again crawling through the narrow passages. Took another bucket of super cool water on the head. Then we started walking down to the base. Here the trek had turned so well, Dattu began his dance of joy, side walking, moon walking and what not! Grabbing some Bhel puri we made it to the base of the hill in about 30mins.
RIDE 2: (Siddarabetta – Koratgere – Tumkur- Dobbaspete – Bangalore):
This was simple 100kms ride back. As we left Siddarabetta, we waved back at Channarayandurga too and left towards Koratgere. Once we reached the town of Koratgere we continued further to reach Tumkur. After which our tummies began to growl. So Riding in full swing we cruised past Dobbaspete & Nelmangala to pull over at our regular dhaba of tumkur road – “Chandu Dhaba”