Friday, June 23, 2017

148) Kabbaldurga trek – Hollow streak: (11/6/2017)

Place: Kabbaladurga trek
Distance: 100kms x 2 = 200kms
Directions: Bangalore > Bidadi > Channpatna > Kabbaladurga > Kanakpura > Bangalore
Krew: Karthik (Sp)
Bikes: Pulsar                                                                                  
Previous Visit: Gummanayaka Fort Trek
Budget: Rs 400/head

Alright, after 2 years I returned to her all alone - Kabbaldurga -Stone Monkey (on my birthday as well! Hehe). Yes, Kabbaladurga Solo trek, is one such hikes I do annually to have cleansing experience. It is like hitting that reset button and restoring yourself to default setting. The mighty silence and the nature (if sensitive enough) will be totally overwhelming and totally flush out you system!

As far as the planning goes, had planned for Kabbaladurg and Kabbaldurga it was, plain and simple. But on the previous day eve Arun and myself went for a 16km walk and I wasn’t very sure about the hike uphill the next day as my legs were pretty strained out. Night as I laid down wasn’t sure what would happen the next day! (Bday was always there!)
TIME: 22:00 (10/6/2017)

Yeah I was up at 04:30, did a few push ups & situps, had a cup of coffee and sat back listening to some Blue Oyster Cult. The oscillation of thoughts began, whether to stay back and go the next day, should I go at all? (No wonder a small sip, is always the key!). Anyway, no point of procrastination I thought and headed out for some self-draining!
TIME: 06:00

RIDE 1: (Bangalore– Ramngara – Channpatna - Kabbaldurga)
This was a 100kms ride on the butter smooth SH-17. Yes, as left Bangalore, I wasn’t surprised by the high density of traffic as it was a Sunday. Cruised along smoothly with just a feeling of blankness flooding all over my mind and body. Pulled over at the regular hotel to munch down on the usual breakfast!
TIME: 06:30

After the breakfast, I rode ahead cruising past Ramnagara and Channpatna. At Channpatna I took a left deviation and headed into the country roads. Here the traffic reduced, but I wan in no hurry either helping people out with directions, waving at kids and smiling at pretty girls I rode along to get the first glimpse of the mighty hillock.
The first view of the hillock as always sent a cold chill down my spine. But smiling back, I pulled over for a couple of mins to take a breather. After which I rode into the town, parking my bike, awoke the mountain goat’s spirit within and was ready for the climb!
TIME: 07:45

Well it took me only 45min this time to ascend the hillock. It was pretty hard test on my stamina, was glad I pulled it off. Did struggle a bit in between though. The breaks were taken were short and calculative. As before I have divided the trek into the following sections:
i) Initial stretch
ii) 3 point stretch
iii) Viper stretch
iv) Final Stretch
Ready? Alright, this time it only the silence that accompanied me one this one, wait okay my super duper knife too. Alright here goes nothin!

i) Initial stretch:
This is straight forward and plain stretch. But always throws me off-track a little bit. This time was no different. Lost my way initially, found myself scratching my head in the middle of thorny bushes. Few tried to prick me, told them to wait as I was busy looking out for the way :D After jumping around here and there I was on the mud route and proceeding full speed I made it to my favourite stretch.

ii) 3 point stretch:
Ah, I could see my favourite stretch waiting for me. Few college kids were making their way down via the normal route. I stood there gazing at the steepness of this beautiful stretch. After which triggered the lizard king within and started scaling up the rock face. After running out of breath I pulled myself towards a cactus and rested for 2mins almost sitting vertically. After reaching the 2nd fort wall, the walk to the third wall proved to a little exhausting. But pushing on through i reached the grassy area and collapsed for a short deep nap.

iii) Viper stretch:
Woke up, let out a big yawn and began my ascent of the viper stretch. It was nice and cool the boulders felt friendly and the footings I got were pretty solid and neat. I found myself on staring down at the final stretch.

iv) Final stretch:
The final stretch had a lot of railings and support. Kind of took me back to the 2010 solo climb I had done at this place. It was damn scary without any of these. But now yes, but nevertheless drains out a lot of energy. Pushing my legs hard I reached the summit.
TIME: 08:30

The cool breeze greeted me on top. I could feel my body re-gain all the lost energy. But as it was a Sunday, we people were there on top. I quickly paid respects at the main temple and proceeded towards the ruined buildings on the other side to get some quiet time. Dwelling in silence for about 20-30mins I decided I head back home.
TIME: 09:00

The climb down was a smooth one. It took me about 30-45mins to reach back down. Breathing in a few long breaths I began my descent like the lizard king. Hovering from boulder to boulder I made my way down the last two stretches. After which the 3-point stretch was pretty scary initially but once I felt the rock face with my hands I feel it would be a walk in the park.
As I began to descent down this steep face, a new fresh me rushed within me. I made it down this steep stretch and met a few people making their way up. “Ayyio this way ah?” they asked, I smiled and said “mam, please take the normal route” Haha!
TIME: 09:30

RIDE 2: (Kabbaldurga – Channpatna – Bidadi-Bangalore)
After reaching back the temple premises, I took out my bike and rode out towards Kanakpura Road. I pulled over after 5mins and got down from my bike. Had one last look at the hillock, promising her a return I joined Kanakpura road at Sathnur. Even though it was a noon ride back to home, the traffic was dense and it took me some time to reach back home. But was just in time for some yummy birthday lunch.
TIME: 11:15

"Kind of weird way to spend a bday one might say. But it is just the thing needed for getting my centre right!"

Until next time Cia \m/



Thursday, June 1, 2017

147) Gummanayaka Fort Trek: (27/5/2017)

Place: Gummanayaka Fort Trek
Distance: 135kms x 2 = 270kms
Directions: Bangalore > Devanahalli > Chikballapura >Bagepalli > Gummanayaka Fort
Krew: Deepak (Deefu) > Madhu (Messi) > Karthik (Sp)
Bikes: Enfield > Pulsar                                                                   
Previous Visit: Tadiandamol Trek
Budget: Rs 400/head (+Rs 300/-)

Another amazing trek to this unknown hillock towards Chikbalapur. This hillock is situated almost at the border of Andhra and Karnataka just like Bhasmangi. Had a great time exploring this ruined fort. The hillock is just 200-300feet high and getting lost sometimes is needed.

As far as the planning goes, 2017 had been going great. And May had started off with the big Tadiandmol trek. Had eased off on the krew and we’ve been chilling out on weekends. But as the end of the month approached I wanted to get this hillock under the belt. A week back we had a night out and had met with a fatal accident (car almost toppling into a 20feet ditch – off the record stories!) So on this trip it was just Deefu and Madhu who gave a go ahead!
TIME: 22:30 (26/5/2017)

Oh yeah woke up at 04:30, it had rained pretty heavily last night. Had a sip of coffee, did a few push ups and sit ups and was all set to go. The meet up was initially scheduled at 08:00 as I knew the place wouldn’t be crowded. I picked up Madhu from his place and met Deefu on the Outer Ring road and we took off from Bangalore.
TIME: 08:30

RIDE 1: (Bangalore – Devanahalli – Chikkbalapura – Bagepalli – GN palya)
This was a solid 135kms ride mostly on the highway and then on the interior roads. The first 100kms to Bagepalli was smooth and we didn’t face any difficulty. We had one stop in between for breakfast at the same hotel we always pull over on this road – Hotel Pranav.
TIME: 10:00

After a yummy breakfast, we decided to hit non-stop to Bagepali. Once we reached Bagepalli we asked the locals for directions and proceeded to find ourselves slowly drifting off from civilization. Vast open lands with lot of boulders gave that typical Andhra feel.
We could spot the hillock few kilometres away, but we pulled over at a ruined old Kalyani and took a look around. We fooled around this place as it was pretty strange and spooky. Asking another local for the directions to the hillock we made it to the base of the hill.
TIME: 12:15


As said earlier, this hillock ain’t that big. Hardly 300feet and if one takes the right route the top could be reached in a matter of 20-30mins. But as usual we messed up and got lost and trust me, I felt happy that we did (like always!). This fort dates back to 1300’s and legend has it people found this young kid lying in the sun and the hood of the cobra provided him shade. People thought he would be special and rule the region. The kids name was Vasantha Nayaka and Gummanayaka was his descendant.


Alright, coming back to the fort. The fort looked totally crumbly to be frank. It looked as though it could collapse at any point of time. But this gave a strange and beautiful aura. The initial stretch consisted of a lot of ruined buildings and easy walk way. As we continued we found the path split into a Y junction (take right). We saw a beautiful tree straight up ahead and continued towards it to find a lot of hoodoo rituals performed at the place.
TIME: 12:30

From here on, we were pretty much lost. We crawled this narrow opening in the boulder to reach a steep face on top of which was the final fort wall. We cautiously made our way to top praising Gummu for his incredible deceitfulness in the pathways. But as we reached we hit dead end and could not find a way to get past the fort wall.
And trust me it was unusually windy. I had a hard time just standing up. We were confused and taken aback. Then Deefu went ahead a little further and told we would have to go back and re-traverse our path and I went ahead and decided to explore this route.
This turned out to be a little tricky but lead us to a place where the fort wall had been breached. Climbing up on what seemed to be crumbly boulders we made it to the top.
TIME: 13:00

The wind speeds were off the charts. It was very unusual for a hillock this size to have speeds like that. We explored the fort and found the actual entrance to the top a few meters ahead. Few buildings laid in ruins on the top of the hillock. Finally we crashed under the shade of the tree. Oh yes, we had forgot to get water bottle haha! Resting for about 30mins on top we decided to leave as we were parched.
TIME: 13:30


The trek down was smooth and kind of boring as neat steps lead us straight down and to the deviation point where we had goofed up a turn. But this route took us to a temple, pretty much in ruins as well. We paid respects to the place and danced our way down to the base, where another shocker awaited us!
TIME: 14:00

RIDE 2: (GN Palya – Bagepalli – Chikbalapur – Devenahalli – Bangalore)
As we approached our bikes, we found my bike’s tyre punctured. Damn! I thought, had replaced the tube recently and BAM this happens! Then I looked at Madhu and he looked at me and we started fighting (as usual) I was blaming his weight to be the only reason :P
Then I sat on the petrol tank and rode for about 4kms trying to smile at every villager who thought I was crazy or didn’t know how to ride a bike. Then finding a compressor, we filled in the required pressure and continued for another 3-4kms to find a puncture shop. Getting the tyre fixed we felt revitalized.  Then on we ride non-stop to Chikbalapur to the same hotel for some light lunch (as we had other plans!).
TIME:  16:00

After munching down on some light lunch (exception Madhu who belted a full meal!) we called momz, Dattu to White horse. And the ride back was a decent one the traffic was thin until the Hebbal junction. After which it became dense and horrible. I asked Madhu if he really wanted to crash at WH as I didn’t want to get caught in rain and he said (confidently!) it wouldn’t rain. So taking the interior route we ended up at WH for some light drinks.
TIME: 17:30


After about 1.5h of nice talks we left WH when a big droplet of rain fell right on my head. No I didn’t look down, nope I didn’t look up, (hoped it was not bird shit for a moment though:P) looked straight at Madhu’s face. Madhu "hey common am i a rain god? or what?". I thought damn, this would be one interesting ride back and sat back on the bike. As we left Malleswaram, down came the rains pretty mercilessly. The roads were flooded about 65 trees fell for the day. It was dangerous ride back, but we didn’t want to get caught up in the after rain ride, when people ride like maniacs. I felt it was better to ride in the rain slowly, its much safer. Dropped Madhu to his home and reached mine dripping wet.
TIME: 21:00

An awesome new find, 2017 well… 9 chapters and 8 new places pretty much tells you how my year is going. Pretty solid and sweet! It was nice to mix the school and college spheres with common motto to have fun ”
Until next time, Cia \m/



Sunday, May 14, 2017

146) Tadiandamol trek, Dolmen Circle & Chiklihole Dam: (29,30/4 & 1/5/2017)

Place: Tadiandmol Trek, Dolmen Circles & Chiklihole Dam (Shiva Temple)
Distance: Round Trip of 750kms.
Directions: Bangalore > Kunigal > Arkalgud > Dolmen Circle > Somwarpet > Chiklihole Dam > Virajpete
Krew: Ashok (Momz) > Pavan (Pavi) > Deepak (Deefu)> Datta (Dattu) > Karthik (Sp)
Bikes: Enfield > FZ > Pulsar                                                           
Previous Visit: Hosaholalu Temple.
Budget: Rs 5000/head (Last minute home stay booking! Should come around Rs 2000-3000/-)

It’s actually difficult to sum up these kind of chapters in 50words (Crap, just wasted few of them as well). Okay an awesome awesome 3 day trip this was. Tadiandmol, well was the big fish of the trip. But the hoodoo place of Dolmen was spooky and scary. And well the brilliant Shiva temple which had risen out of the reservoir after 33 years felt like icing on the cake. Moreover the home stay and the hospitality offered (no phone connectivity for 3 days) was just the thing needed.

As far as the planning goes, it was Deefu who initiated the plan. Then when we both froze upon Tadiandmol as the main destination. I told him about Dolmen’s Circles as well. On my way to office  a junior was reading newspaper and something caught my eye. An ancient Shiva temple in water has revealed itself after 33 years. And BaM! we had another place, looked like a substantial fit for the 3 day trip instored. Dattu, Pavi & Ashok made the perfect list for the chapter planned.

But one thing we struggled here is searching for homestay in prior. All the homestays were booked finally Deefu through his contacts booked a new homestay (we inaugurated the place I guess :P) with no name. But the homestay, to its name turned to be more like a home.
TIME: 20:00 (27/4/2017)
Have divided the article into 3 segments (day-wise) hope you enjoy reading it, Cheers!

DAY-1: (Initial struggle always bears sweeter fruits!)
The three day plan was for Saturday, Sunday and Monday. But I had taken leave on Friday as well, just to set myself up mentally and physically. On the reckoning day I was up at 04:30 did a few push-ups and sit-ups and was all set to go. The meet up was scheduled at Dattu’s place and I had thought the departure would be at around 07:00. But to my surprise everybody arrived on time and we departed Bangalore.
TIME: 06:15


RIDE 1: (Bangalore – Kunigal – CR Patna – Arkalgud – Somwarpete - Virajpete)
This was a long ride, but a fun one too! The plan was clear and simple, start off on Hassan road to avoid Mysore road traffic (long weekend) plus cover off Dolmen and Chiklihole on day 1 as the tension would ease out as the trips progresses.  Day 1 we rode almost 350kms from Bangalore to Virajpete.
As we left Bangalore, we fuelled up as we were sure we wouldn’t be stopping much in between until CR Patna.  We rode non-stop until the Hassan road deviation near Nelamangala. Once on the Hassan road we even though the traffic existed it was not evident as the roads are pretty freaking wide. We pulled over at our regular hotel for some yummy breakfast.
TIME: 07:30

Ashok (Momz) was full on god mode at the hotel. Munched down Idly vada, Dosa Vada, Kesari bath, and wait even I lost track now! After finishing a light tea outside we departed and cruised full on as the traffic got thinner. The “Ola game” we went on playing all throughout and it was not long before we pulled into CR Patna.
TIME: 10:00
Proceeding towards Holenarsipura we realised we had taken a good decision of coming via this route. The roads were damn good and the surroundings were peaceful and flooded with coconut trees. It was a very scenic route and we could also cover good amount of ground. Then we began “Dirty word” game and yeah we were laughing our asses off for much of the journey before we lost track of the road hehe. Asking the locals for direction we re-routed ourselves and finally ended up at the Doddmalathe road.
TIME: 12:30

Dolmen is basically a pre-historic rock formation dating back to 3000-4000BC. Also, people say they are places to summon the super natural spirits. In Karnataka, this is the only place discovered with these formations. Trust me, it was f’n spooky!
We asked the locals, for the directions, but unfortunately they were also as lost as we were. Finally getting a little guidance we got into an estate, from then on we explored the estate and finally we found the place.


A serene silence dwelled all throughout the place and the clouds had covered. A light drizzle began to shower down as we explored the place. There were all kinds of rock formation and small shelters spread across a good amount of land. About 50 dolmens exist at this place.
Trying the prince of Persia – running on walls thing to actual summoning of spirits we spent about an hour at this place before our tummies began to grumble. Also, we had to cover still around 100kms for the day. We pulled over at a hotel in Somwarpete for some yummy lunch.
TIME: 14:00

After a heavy lunch asking locals for directions we proceeded towards Kushalnagar. The roads were curvy and ran through the jungle. It was a sheer pleasure riding this stretch. But as we approached Haranagi Dam, a bridge was under construction and we were asked to take a detour. This route ran right beside the canal and the glittering waters were something that soothed our eyes. Finally joining back the highway we reached the Chiklihole dam premises.
TIME: 15:45

No doubt it was the place, but we were not able to find a way to the waters. Then as we rode further into the town, I kind off got a sneak peak of the temple afar. Immediately we pulled over and asked a guy if we could go through his house to the reservoir, he gladly obliged. The reservoir did have good amount of water, but the claim was the Shiva temple has unveiled because of the lack of water. We ran towards the temple and it was really astonishing. There was this old well, which also was submerged earlier. Here there was some water left and what took us back was a statue of a sage present within the well. It was actually pretty spooky.


We explored the place and then crashed in front of the temple. After turning into Shivas ourselves we decided to play Frisbee (which dattu had got).  Ashok and myself decided to get a bottle of water as our throats began to feel parched. The walk was never ending and finally we realised we were going in the wrong direction hehe. Grabbing some chocolates and a bottle of icy cold water we returned back to the site to find others inside the temple. The place was great and after having spent about 1.5hours we decided to head out further as we wanted to crash into the homestay before sunset.
TIME: 17:00

As we approached Virajpete, black clouds covered the sky and down came the ruthless Kodagu rain. We pulled over at a juice shop and loaded our bags. The rain never looked like it would subside; hence we decided to ride in the rain itself as searching for the homestay after sunset would be really difficult.  We called up the home owner and requested him to come to a bakery and following him deep within the estate we reached the homestay.
TIME: 19:15

It was a damn good home stay and we were all dripping wet.  As it was already dark, we decided not to explore in the night. The rains had died down and the campfire and snacks were ready by the time we got freshened up. We sat beside the campfire munching on the snacks and discussed the plan for the next day. As were all tired and worn out we decided to crash early.
TIME: 00:30
So, that was Day-1. We did well to tick off two places off the list. Only one remaining was the big fish – Tadiandamol Trek. You set? I am!


DAY-2: (Hold of the Big fishes!)
I was up by 04:00 (Insomnia!) Took a bottle outside and sat outside as it was cold and nice. After about 2hours Deefu & Ashok joined me outside and were already afloat. We dried out socks over the dying the campfire which surprisingly lasted overnight. The breakfast and coffee arrived at about 08:00 and after belting some 5-6 dosas we decided to freshen up and head out to conquer the mighty peak.
TIME: 10:00
Tadiandmol was about 30kms from our homestay. The roads were super curvy and nice to ride upon. The last part of the stretch was bumpy. We parked our bikes a little before the actual entrance and decided to walk. Registering ourselves at the entrance we began the trek. (Slightly gui gui)
TIME: 11:00

We took about 2hours to climb up. It was calm and pleasant trek of easy difficulty. A straight trail runs right to the top with viewpoints here and there. It was more of a walk, but a very long one. Hence carrying sufficient water is of high importance. The trek can be segmented distinctly into the following sections:
i)                   Initial walk
ii)                  First Base
iii)                 Forest Zone
iv)                 Final Leap
Alright those were the 4 section, try to keep up with me here!

i) Initial walk:
After the registration of the names we entered the trail. A peak far away we could see right from the start. This trail runs through trees and shade, so one can actually cover this stretch pretty fast. After which the canopy the trees opened up leaving us at the mercy of the burning sun. Here Ashok and I had a race. We dashed away on the muddy path. This was done for another reason – to get away from one of the crowds who kept blabbering, it was kind of irritating.
TIME: 11:30

ii) First base:
This was the major part of the trek. I would say it was around 50-60%. It was this semi-steep easy stretch which offered breath taking views all along. The terrain was similar to that of Skandagiri. It would be harsh on the hiker if it was monsoon, but nevertheless the slippery gravel made us loose our footings a couple of times as well. We did rest a couple of times during this stretch to catch our breath.
TIME: 12:15

iii) Forest Zone:
Another shade was like bliss. We were short of water and as we entered this zone, the temperatures dropped and we could feel it clear cut. It was very pleasant under the trees and we rested again here sipping on the water we had. Dattu and myself decided to head further earlier to give heads up.
TIME: 12:30

iv) Final Leap:
This was the last stretch. It is steep compared to the other stretches. Carefully manoeuvring we raced away to almost the top then sat back and waited for the others to join us. Once the others joined us we ascended the top.
TIME: 13:00

At the top there are a lot of breath taking viewpoints. We crashed in one of those and rested to restore our energy levels. As the sun was burning away in all its glory we slept for sometime and decided to head down after about 30-45mins at the top.
TIME: 14:00


The trek back to the base was a quick one. It took us about 1h and 20mins with two rest stops in between. We made it down the Final leap cautiously. After which it was just hopping from stone to stone dancing our way all the way into the forest zone. After a quick rest here, we proceeded seamlessly down balancing from rock to rock taking one step at a time. The long stretch was covered in a matter of 20-30mins. The last stretch was actually kind of like a time wrap. We kept walking thinking the end was near but it was never turning up hehe. Finally we reached the checkpost, drank about half a litre of butter milk each and proceeded to reach our bikes.
TIME: 15:30

The ride back was a pleasant one. Kept asking others “Guys, this route only we came haa, u sure?” :P We finished out lunch in one of the towns on our way back. After which we purchased the necessities in the next town and reached back our homestay.
Bodies were slightly busted, so had a good hot water bath and slept for an hour. We came out of the homestay, sipping on some good coffee we began to play cards sitting on the grass. Dattu introduced to a new game and BAM it took off as it involved beating the crap out of each other if somebody loses :P


Once the campfire was underway for the second night, the kababs and the pakoda arrived and then the card game intensified. We got into a good argument about crazy shits but the highlight as usual was Momz’s tailor made jokes. Once the food arrived we had and again got back to the campfire. Finally after a long session we decided to crash as there was no pressure for the next day.
TIME: 01:30

DAY-3: (Trickster ride back!)
I was up at 04:00 again and sat back with some juice until 06:00. By then Ashok had awoken. We were in a dilemma to take Mysore or Hassan route. But we chose Mysore route as we would be ending up in the noon, hoping the traffic to be thin. The fog was pretty dense so holding a cup of coffee we wandered into the estates into a small lake (fish breeding). Once the breakfast arrived, we gulped it down and then packed up and were all set to go.  We thanked the hosts whole heartedly and decided the bid adieu to the wonderful place unwillingly.
TIME: 09:30

RIDE 2: ( Virajpete – Gonikoppa – Hunsur – Mysore – Bangalore)
This was the final ride back to Bangalore. It stretched for about 300kms on a mixture of forest roads, country roads and highways. I knew the route via Gonikoppa was an awesome one as we had travelled on this route on our Mahe trip a few month earlier. But this time the traffic was pretty dense and it eased out as we approached Mysore. From Mysore we rode non-stop and reached our regular dhaba near Mandya for some lunch.
TIME: 14:30


After the lunch, we could see the dark clouds making its way into the sky. So, we decided to head back early as we didn’t want to be caught in both traffic and rain. The ride back was smooth and well-orchestrated.  We took exactly two stops and made back to NICE road junction. From here we split our ways to reach back our homes respectively.
TIME: 17:15

This was one awesome trip. 3 days without phone and with school friends felt really nice. Moreover the trip events fell into right slots as and when it progressed. Perfect synch and acceptance of each other’s abilities was the true factor which made us execute in a butter smooth manner”
Until next time, Cia \m/