|@the top of Makalidurga|
On a Tiring thursday Umakanth was messaging me asking if was free on weekend and interested to join trekking to Makalidurga.I immediately said, "Yes, I'm in". When i was wondering about this never heard place Uma replied with the BASC registration link to register for the trekking event and said i should register there as it is an event being conducted by a trekking organization known as Bangalore Ascenders. I did not knew about the organization either and went through the registration details. There I was surprised to see options like whether i can volunteer in photography, penning down the trip experience, taking care of account etc and as you might guessed already, i have registered choosing my favorite hobbies :-) After 1 hour, i thought why i should go alone and not take my other colleagues. So, forwarded the same registration link to my colleagues. But they responded saying that registration is closed ! Was not sure whether i am selected or not..Fingers crossed for next set of events.
Where is Makalidurga and how to reach there ?
|View of Makalidurga hill from the bottom|
Makalidurga is a hill with a Fort built by Local Ruler at a height of 1,117 Mts. It is 60 KM from Bengaluru and 10 KM from Doddaballapura. There are direct trains from Bengaluru to Hindupur which pass by this station and KSRTC buses going from Bengaluru to Hindupur stop at this station for dinner or some other break.
Coming back to the story...:
Next news was on 5:14 PM of Friday when i got a confirmation mail from Shamanth from Ascenders that i was selected for the trek. Mine was the 18th entry out of 19 people to be selected !
When i was looking at the things to be carried for trekking, realized that i don't have torch, sleeping bags. Although i had been to several trekking before, did not need them as they were day trekking and had to used the rented ones when we had to stay on top of KP overnight. Saturday morning went in shopping them and was looking forward for train journey till Makalidurga station that eve.
Train to Catch
We had to catch Train from Majestic(SBC) to fr Makalidurga(MKL). It was Bangalore- Hindupur passenger(56523) scheduled to depart at 5:45 PM.
We(Me, Umakanth, Vinod met Shamanth and other Trekkers Tushar, Sharath, Sridhar, Ahmad, Arvind,Swheta, Prabhav, Agni over the station and train left in the scheduled time just to realize that Amrutha and Nisha could also manage to catch the train and would be joining our coach in some time :-)
|Infront of the hotel @Makalidurga|
We reached Makalidurga on expected time of 7:30 and could see a small railway station welcoming us.After introuding ourselves to each other we started towards the hotel(Udupi Garden/Food court) which is at the back of Railway stations(towards exit). We could find good Idly, fried rice and buttermilk for that night and continued our journey further on the road towards Hindupur after light dinner. After crossing a bridge and walking for about 600m, we could see a muddy road taking left and there was a small rocky sign board showing way to Makalidurga. We had almost missed that sign board. But could go in that road , thanks to the guys who came there before and leading us towards the hill :-)
|Pathways like this are there throught in Makalidurga helping the trekker|
Trekking at Makalidurga:
We started around 8:30 and reached the peak around 11. The path is well marked and moderately difficult to trek. But as we had the co-trekkers who came there before and had the torches and ample amount of water, could manage to reach the top as per the plan with few water and photography
breaks :-) Cheries brought by Amruta, Bendu battas by me were one of the
few things to sweeten the trekking memories ;-)
|Silhoutettes created by Moon @ Makalidurga Night trek|
|@One of the water breaks :-)|
Trekking Makalidurga was a nice experience enjoying the beauty of River taking a turn around the hills and the view of lights from the nearby villages. It is even nicer to enjoy the beauty of reflection in the water and the silhoutes created by the moon in the surrounding hills and trees on the way to the top.The temple of Sri Makali Malleshwara which would be open throught was welcoming us at the top. Walls of the forts and remains of arches, doors remained me of some old forts like Chitradurga although this is not so good in shape.We continued to a plain next to the temple which would have been a watch tower
|one of the photo breaks :-)|
|Pathways helping to ascend|
It was fun filled cooking without fire experience in Makalidurga. Some giving KTs, shortcuts of how to cut Carrots, Tomatoes easily and others to follow it :-) Amrutha, Nisha and Vinod emerged champion choppers by cutting Onions, Mangoes, Cucumbers as well in less time. Shamanth, Shweta were helping in preparing bhel puri(puffed rice) with above ingredients while Me, Prabhav, Anirudh were helping here and there and capturing the moments with photos. Capturing the moments was a tough job though as i had to use high ISO(12800) with flash and still pics were not coming well as you could see next :-)
|Some cooking pics :-)|
Tushar's Haldiram and sugestions by Ahmed,Agni,Umakanth,Sharath, Sridhar made the Bhel puri more delicious. Discovery of the day was Curd Bhel puri.
|bhel puri preparation on the way|
Initially i thought it was not a great idea to carry sleeping bag of around 1 KG on a summer day as it was not so cold at the top. But yeah, it provided some comfort from the tiny stones there and some relief when the
temperatures decreased a bit in the late night.
When i was trying to catch some sleep, another group of trekkers arrived and they were shouting like anything. They set up camp fire near the temple, ran here and there and creating noise for almost 20 minutes. The people who could catch some sleep as well woke up by this nuisance.Their sounds decreased when they went to some other place. But one more group arrived ! They were trying to sit on top of temple and set up one more camp fire ! Time was almost 2 PM that time and thought of lying there as it is for next 2 hours at least to give some rest to our eyes even though we were not getting sleep. Noises used to echo here and there and some battery lights disturbing as well till 4:15 AM.
Sleeping guys were woke up by then as our plan was to start descending at 4:30 AM. We started packing the things off and ensured that none of the plastic,paper wastes are left there. Although during previous night cooking, we made sure not to through any plastic or paper, just made sure that the place was clean as it was a day before we packed our sleeping bags. Had a group photo there and one more near the temple. Had a chance of visiting the temple this time.
|Infront of Makali Malleshwara temple|
Makali Malleshwara temple:
In Kannada "Male" means hill. Malleshwara meaning , Ishwara, the god of the hills.So, as the name suggests,It is a Shiva temple with Linga at the center and Nandi in the chamber next to to Garbhagraha.next is a Kind of placeholder for Navaranga where the worships like dance used to be carried out during the rule of kings and where common people sit and prey the god now. It has Nandishwara, Bringeshwara welcoming guarding the doors of Garbhagriha, the common Dwarapalakas in any shiva temple. Temple is a small
one and does not have seperate Pradakshina patha. After ringing the bells there and praying for safe journey, we started descending down the hill.
|Inner view of Makali Malleshwara temple|
We started downhill journey around 4:30 AM.Downhill journey was even more beautiful as we could see the surrounding river making a shape of south America or south India or whatever other things which one could think of :-) The moments of Arunodaya and Prathyusha(hours before sunrise) were increasing the beauty of the nature as the visibility was increasing gradually. Around 5:15, we realized that We have lost the way in which we ascended somehow !
But could guess and find other way by remembering the direction of river and railway tracks which we had seen while ascending previous night. Around 5:45 we were releived to see some more people descending at a point and could also see the pathways which we had seen previous night. We were back on track ! :-)
We realized that we had slight deviation from the path which we had taken previous night. But the new path was also OK and probably one of the less used other ways to descend , if not for reaching the top.We reached the normal muddy path at around 6:00 AM. Sun was about to rise and was time for
some more clear photographs :-) We reached the bottom where railway track separated the villages and the other side around 6:20 AM. After some more pics on railway track, we started walking on railway track.
There was one train around 6:40AM where we had to step down from railway track and stand on the path next to it.We reached Makalidurga station around 7 AM. Train was late by 15 minutes that day and we had time to relieve ourselves :-) Railway station staff were nice enough to give the keys of the rest room in the railway station so that some trekkers could freshen there and others could find the hotel at the back of railway station.
After getting freshen up and a session of Mangoes, Buttermilk/Tea, Bread we were set for our journey back to Bengaluru. While returning train was full unlike the less populated one while coming from Bengaluru where everybody got a seat. Few had to wait till Doddaballapur to get a seat to sit :-) Reached bangalore station around 9:45 as per the plan and had to head towards our respective locations with cherishing memories of the trip.
Some comments about cost Before concluding:
Trip is the cheapest trip i have been so far with cost of 60 Rs including the to and fro train tickets ! . It included the ingredients brought for previous night bhel puri and common food items like bread, mangoes ! Only extra items like individual items like 10 Rs per buttermilk and 20 for Idly previous night. So, the overall trip expenditure of 100 Rs for me was lesser than the bus, cab fare i had to pay for reaching Majestic and coming back from there !! As i did not had torche, sleeping bag had to spend for that as well. But that would be used for other trips as well, so would not make a difference. It was a very well planned and executed trip indeed and should thank Shamanth, Shwetha , BASC and all co trekkers mentioned above for the wonderful memories :-) Hoping to meet them all in one more trek soon :-)