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/