Sunday, March 29, 2015

Conquering Makalidurga betta!

Treks are a reminder to yourself that it is important to workout regularly. The last full trek I did was to Madhugiri in September 2014 and it was again time to test my fitness (went to Madhugiri again early this month but couldnt complete since a supporting rail was broken in the middle). After a lot of discussion and spamming of whatsapp groups the location was decided as Makalidurga near Doddaballapur, 70kms from Bangalore. 7 people in 1 car and 3 bikes - it was going to be a road trip :D


The plan was simple, meetup at Hebbal by 5:30am. Reach the foot of Makalidurga hill by 730am. Climb the hill by 9am and back to the foot of the hill by 12 noon. All this to avoid getting baked/fried/tanned. If things worked as per plan (lol when does anything work as per plan) we would be back in Bangalore by 2pm. It was 6:30am when we left Hebbal. The sun was not up yet so the weather was cool and I felt so glad that I decided to ride the bike (the feeling was exactly the opposite on my way back).

Every trip has one fundamental requirement which most people ignore as trivial - Breakfast. We had crossed Yelahanka and the rats started running in our stomach, where do we eat? There were no places to eat on the entire stretch. We were going on the main road and didn't enter any village en route because we were already 1 hr late and the sun was literally laughing at us. We finally found a place 10kms after Makalidurga (we missed a hotel en-route and ended up going way ahead of our destination - things we do for food)

We were not exactly sure about how to go to the foot of the hill, so after asking people, we parked our vehicles near the Makalidurga railway station and decided to walk by the track.

Earlier people said if you get lost just search for the pole star and you will find a direction. We did something similar. Walked and walked by looking at the hill at the distance. 

Its roughly 2km walk which later turned out to be a waste as there was parking near the foot of the hill (but it was too late). We started our climb at 9:45am (So much for saying lets reach the top by 9am). Its a rocky climb up so you would want to have shoes with good grip. Bare foot climbing is also fine but careful of the dry stems and small stones. 

The below pics describe the kind of climb it was.


There are directions painted on the rocks. So keep following them. The climb is easier than it looks in the pics.

At this point, you deserve to know what exactly you are climbing this hill for? Is it worth the effort? Well, all you have to do at this point is turn back and enjoy the view with the cool breeze.

I think this is enough motivation to continue the climb :) This would probably be the half way mark. There is more to climb to reach the small fort on the top.

Once you reach the top, you will find a small temple where you could stretch your legs and rest. You can offer your prayers here but there is no priest. There were a bunch of kids here who were doing a pooja and offered us a coconut piece as prasadam :) 
We had the light food that we had brought with us and rested here for about an hour. Oh, and the view from the top is good too :) 
Then it was time to return to the base. It was not going to be as painful as the climb. Only one problem though (next pic says it all)
As you climb down, you will find a place where there is a water stream. The water here tastes like the water kept in the mud pot. But when you are thirsty, you hardly care. After an hour and multiple photo sessions, we finally reached to the bottom of the hill. It is worth mentioning that there were a bunch of school kids who assisted us with the route on our way down. We looked like a bunch of oldies in comparison to their energy levels. Looking back, it was glad to see that we had managed to conquer yet another hill. 
1) Standard trekking rules apply - Proper shoes, enough water and light food
2) There are ksrtc buses to this place. Also there are passenger trains but I am not sure of the timings
3) There were a bunch of people who climbed this on the previous evening and camped on the top. Seems like a really good idea if you can carry enough water and food :)

Thanks to the lovely gang that planned and executed the trip: (twitter handles are subject to change and deactivation based on the moods of these people)

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