Thursday, July 7, 2016

A day trek to Kabbaladurga, Muttatti and Mekedatu

View of Kabbaladurga hill. You can see the way to trek as well in the pic
How it all started :
What to do when you get a public holiday on a Wednesday ? Wish that the  holiday would have been on Monday or Friday so that it would have been a  long weekend or alteast tuesday or thursday which could yield further long weekend by applying one day leave !. But wednesday being mid of the week, could not do much . Not a time to sit idle in home and take rest as only two days have passed in the week ! So, a plan of going out somewhere initiated on the tuesday morning team chats and got a solid shape by tuesday eve. By Tuesday night we had a group of 8 people for the trek to Kabbaladurga and booked a tavera for that and an additional 2 places to  cover for the next day  !

Where is Kabbaladurga and how to reach it ? 
Kabbaladurga is one of the hills in the village of kabbalu which is 6 km  from Satanur. We could reach satanur Either from Channapatna or Kanakapura. Satanur is 20 km from Kanakapura and Kanakapura is 62  km from Bangalore. So, using kanakapura route which is having "no-tolls" and in good shape, one side distance for Kabbaladurga frm Bangalore is around 90 kms. 

How to reach there:
There are direct buses from Bangalore till Kanakapura and you can find  buses from Kanakapura to Satanur. All  buses going from Kanakapura to Kollegala or Malavalli would pass along Satanur. From Satanur to Kabbalu there are direct buses as well, but less in frequncy, You could also find autos from Satanur to Kabbalu for the 6 km distance. If you come by your transport, it is even better as you could reach till the base of the hill  :-)
Our team at the base of Kabbaladurga

Things to carry:
1. Waterbottle/s 1 or 2 liters(must)
2. Trekking/Sports shoes with good grip
3. Glucose/Energy bars or Biscuits as the first timers might get tired on  the way and need soem energy refillers to move further
4. Volini or any other sprays in case you twist your legs in the trek
5. Food for the afternoon --> optional. But don't make it heavy as carrying  them would be difficult
6. Torches. Mandatory for the night trek. Optional in case for morning . But needed in case you want to explore inside the arm store or closed door of temples
7. Sleeping bag/tent. Needed for night trek
9. Rain coat. Optional if you want to protect yourself from rain. But avoid carrying umbrellas instead of raincoats as it would be too difficult to hold an umbreall and balance yoruself while climbing down in case of rains.
10. Clothes: Wear comfortable clothing. Not the tight fitting clothes

Wonderfull Wednesday Morning :
Was awake by 5:00 as we need to start from Graphite india signal at 6:00 AM  and had to catch the guys on the way to Kanakapura.By the time i was getting ready, there was wake up call by Murali as well who was the first  pick-up. Tavera was delayed by 15 mins and it reached CMR around 6:20. Me, Sumit, Bharatesh were ready to pick up Suvarchala next and Riya afterwards.Last were Hari and Hegde. by the time we left JP nagar, it was around 7:15.

Way to the top

Although holiday was postponed to Thursday for schools and govt offices we had less traffic and could reach Kanakapura around 8.out of the multiple restaurants there only few were open and  the ones which were open were filled up. So, we moved ahead and entered into the Restaurant at the Govt bus stop of Satanur. Nice Tatte Idlis, Pooris, Set Dosa & Masala Dosas, Bhajjis for a set of 9 people costed us 250 Rupess which was a pleasant surprise for many in the trip and good start of the day. Although the restrooms in the Govt bus stop were not in great condition, were in OK condition for a suburb bus stop. after the breakfast we travelled to Kabbalu village in a road which was in good shape except for a strech of around 300 meter which was dug for repair. On the way to Kabbaladurga, we saw a big hill to our left and wondering how to climb it and thinking thought our driver is joking when he expected that to be Kabbaladurga !

Beginning of Trekking @ Kotilingeshwara temple:

Kotilingeshwara temple at the base of the hill

inside view of Kotilingeshwara temple

One entering the village we got to know from villagers that what we have seen before was Kabbaladurga indeed and there is a way to reach till its base. We had an option of visiting the Kabbalamma temple in the village first and enter the hill later. But we decided to visit the hill to avoid trekking in a hot sun which turned out to be wise decision later !  We Went inside a seen one shamiyana for a function and moved ahead to find a way into the hills. A villager confirmed that it was the way to the hill indeed. It was around 9:50 AM when we got down from Tavera and found the way uphill by observing the people who were already on the hill and fort walls which were leading to that spot. Villagers had also suggested us to follow the electric polls which was a wise advice indeed. On the way,We  found Kotilingeshwara temple from where we should start the trek. The name of the temple says "Modala pooje taalabetta, Kotilingeshwara temple" which indicates that First pooja before the start of trek should be made there. There are water bottles, buttermilk, Mandakki were being sold there. So, it is a must place for the trekkers anyhow :-)

Kabbaladurga uphill journey:
Kabbaladurga uphill journey
Kabbaladurga uphill journey looked easy and safe as the routes were well marked with Red arrows on the rocks. There were Red arrows on the top of white paints as well which would help the night trekkers who are visiting this place ! In fact, there are more night trek blogs about this compared to day trek ! There are metal railing all along the way where the steps are steepy and dangerously inclined at the edge of the hill. As long as it is cloudy/sunny and it does not rain, all look great. With the majestic view of the nature, surrounding hills and tiny streams formed by the previous days rain, we proceeded slowly to the top. With few pit stops whenever the first timers in the trek were tired we met another group of school kids From South  school from JP nagar 5th phase. Seeing those kids from 4th and fifth standards trekking energetically our guys and gals got a power boost to trek further. In places where people were so tired and afraid how to get down and planning to stop and take rest there itself, photo sessions would lighten the mood and water bottles would recharge with stamina to get up and move further.

One more pitstop
Steps getting steeper and eaiser !

Places to see at the top of Kabbaladurga:
We reached the top around 11:20 and overwhelmed to see the remains of a
house kind of thing where the soldiers used to rest during the Tippu rule. Some even believe that to be a prison. The shelter of it is gone long time back and the whole structure is in a shape which requires protection. If you are a butterfly lover, it is must visit place as it has multiple species of zizbells, tigers and multiple other species of butterflies which i am yet to know the ID of :-) After photosession at the ruins of military house/prison, we wanted to see the other side of the hill and found a little water body filled with rain water next to it. It might be the water collected in the sides of the rocks for a long time or a tiny stream as we could find japanese umbrella and other waterplants next to it.

At the top of Kabbaladurga
Other side of the prison

Photo sesison at the top

Towards Bheemalingeshwara temple:
After crossing that we found another structure with pyramid shaped dome. After entering that we realized that it would have been a place where the arms/ammunition were stored during by the military.If you take few steps further, there is a cliff of the fort from where you can have a view of all the hills surrounding and a view of the bottom can be quite scary ! but the air and environment over there makes you to forget all the tiredness of the trek and refreshes your mood for sure. We went to the Bheemalingeshwara temple from there. As the name indicates it has a big shivalinga along with the Nandi and one more linga at the back. The temple was closed by the time we reached. But there were fresh flowers indicating the poojas to be done recently. But there is opening at the top of the door which allows one to have the darshana of the god all the times, even though the door is locked. This temple looks pretty old.

Towards Bheemalingeshwara temple

View of Ammunition store

View of Bheemalingeshwara temple, Kabbaladurga

strange offering on the hill: 
On the hill you could see the stones piled on top of each other or bangles tied to the trees to fulfill their wishes . People not having houses pray to the lord and believe that if they pile the stones here successfully, they would be able to construct the houses. One stone for one floor ! Similarly bangles are tied for kids, wealth or other wishes.
Strange offerings over Kabbaladurga temple
Stone offerings

View of Kabbalamma temple on top:
It was almost 12 and there were clouds gathering all the way. We realized that it is time to descend now as there was a slight drizzle which welcomed us to the top and had to reach the bottom before it starts raining heavily.So, after few photoshoots,we went to the Kabbalamma temple at the top and spotted few more set of butterfly species over there.but Kabbalamma temple is closed as well and statue of the goddess was covered with a screen.  There is a dried lake as well next to it. We came back to the places where we reached the top of the hill and started descending.

View of Kabbalamma temple at kabbaladurga

Downtime begins:
I thought of naming this section as Downhill journey. but had to name downtime the reason for which you would realize soon :-) Journey was fast because of the good weather and the fact that we knew the way downhill.Some places we had to sit and descend and genious like Hari had to crawl ;-) We knew that the major challenge is to cross the place with steps across the edge of the hill and the place where the railings are lost ! We have started there carefully and all of the sudden it started drizzling. Three of the 8 have crossed that phase already and i was the fourth one leading the way. By intuition i thought of sitting and crossing that path as the rainwater started accumulating on the rock steps and our foot might slip ! First step did not slip. Second as well. Riya, hegde, Hari at the back were cautioned as well to follow slowly and with much care.

View of the temple when it started raining

Rain increased and started like a downpour ! Even with the shoe,third step started slipping as mine was a normal sport shoe and not a trekking shoe. The rubber base , although having slight grip compared to other flat bottomed shoes, started to slip against the water collected on rocks and need to be more and more careful as a single wrong step can take you to the down of the hill ! Railings were not continuous and had to balance ourselves sitting on the back pressed against the hill and supporting one of the leg against the available railing and the slight hand grip made of the rock gaps here and there.  Riya was praying all gods for safe journey downhill . Its actually like you are in a critical downtime and about to complete the task and struck with an issue at the very last moment ! We had five more steps to cross like that and crossed with much care. Hari and Hegde were at the back and had even more difficulties to cross it. First of all it was slippery. Second thing was both were wearing slippers. Third thing was it being the first trek for Hari and his feet was shivering all the way down because of height already. Had to wait, wait and wait until Hari could finally cross those fifteen odd steps and reach the next phase successfully. Downpour was so heavy that streams, waterfalls started farming all over the hill out of nowhere and whole journey seemed something like journey inside a forest towards few waterfalls !
Because of Rain you can see waterfalls being formed.

Pic which almost costed my mobile :-) View of the foggy kabbaladurga from the bottom

Journey back to Kotilingeshwara:
Had to take chances of opening my camera against the canopy of trees or shade of Riya's dupatta to take snaps of waterfalls. but they were futile. Tied to take my mobile out of the plastic cover in camera bag and click few pics in the rain. but that was futile too. Rain was falling all the way on mobile screen and i tried to open the mobile cam. But it was not opening after multiple clicks. Probably it was not recognizing the multiple touches caused by raindrops and me ! Somehow managed to take few snaps though and place it inside the plastic casing to avoid any further damages if not caused already to the mobile:-) But the view of the surrounding was majestic. Foggy mountains all the ways, greenery, water is flowing against you as if directing you towards the bottom ! we tried to avoid the rocky paths and tried  to balance our footsteps against the weeds grown between the rocks. Although  the journey was slow, we managed to reach the Kotilingeshwara temple around 1:20 without injuring anyone of us. The Rain had changed the whole environment and had given a entirely different feel.
View of other hills from Kabbaladurga

Further twist to the tale:
Rain was about to  stop when we reached the bottom and made us think that
whether it was a scripted by Rain god to thrill our journey ! Friends were feeling hungry after the trek and wanted to enjoy the Mandakki and water and entered into the premises of Kotilingeshwara temple where they were kept. There were couple of villagers already inside the temple and invited us to enter as well as rain had increased again and we could get some shelter until we eat Mandakkis. Removed the wet shoes and entered inside. As the friends were ordering Mandakki, there was a tension caused by the call made by bharatesh as Suvarchala was not with them! She was not with us as well or nowhere near that temple !

Missing story:
Suvarchala was with Sumit and Bharat and they had to run towards as the Tavera once rain started. But she was left behind when they last saw her and thought she would come with us. But We were left far behind due to the downpour and circus of Hari. by the time we reached there was almost 20 minutes delay and Bharatesh had called by instinct to ask where we were.

First question from me was whether all 3 of them are there near tavera when i learnt that he is there. But 2 were there and she was missing ! We thought of calling her. but her mobile was in Riya's bag! We asked in temple whether they have seen any girl that way. They said they saw 3 boys. Then we said that the lady was not wearing any salwar or saree. She was wearing a jeans itself. So, it was a girl and two boys, not 3 boys ! but one of them confirmed that one of the boys was wearing spects. Then we ruled out the possibility of her passing that way as none of us were wearing any spects Hari and he was with us only ! Bharatesh also came in the meantime our search operation begin. We spread into group of 2 and started shouting her name and searching in the ways leading from that temple. As there was only 1 way from temple to the hill and we came in that, there was no possibility of her going back in that way. Terrifying moments were when we were shouting her names and some boy's voice was replying back ! After some time, we decided to split ourselves into 2 groups and one group to take the way we came in and reach tavera. Other group to take the other seen path towards the tar road and reach the tavera from main road as there were possibilities of her taking that way. When we were about to split and  depart, we got a call from unknown number to Murali's mobile. It was the driver calling from other number to inform that Suvarchala is in the tavera safely. Thank god !

Other side/s of the story:
She was shouting Sumit's name when it had starting raining and saw him running for a shelter. But He could not hear her. Bharatesh at his back thought saw her under a tree when she was shouting and thought that she would stay back and come with us as she can't run in their pace. Rest 5 of us were struck in the hill in the dangerous steps against rain and were late by around 15-20 minutes. So, she thought of taking the way back to Tavera all alone. but instead of going in the way we came , she had taken the straight road towards main road which connected to the shamiyana which we have seen in the morning and could not find the tavera anywhere although she could see multiple other vehicles.As she had taken the other way, she was not spotted by the people inside the temple ! She Could not ask any of the farmers over shamiyana place or on the way there as she did not know the local language.She could not call anyone of us as she does not remember any of our numbers. She was trying to call her mobile. but that was not ringing when we have checked her cell multiple times ! Finally she could fine someone who could talk in English and ask them to see for a tavera in a bit distance. One of them were kind enough to travel around 200meters to find tavera on other side of the road(not visible from shamiyana place) and inform that driver about her. Sumit was there as well and he had gone with them to pick her up and call us.he was trying to call me when Riya was trying to call him. I had tried calling Bharatesh in the meanwhile and his number was busy as well . Sumit tried to call second time whe she found her and we could not listen to that ring due to the downpour which had started again. Finally driver's call relieved us and we were back again to Tavera. What to say.. As we found her, we were finally relieved and rain was also stopping to our surprise. But tried to open the cam. but lens was covered with water and did not have any warm peace of clothing to wipe it off. Had to manage to wipe it somehow and take few pics. Mobile was helpful this time as cleaning the water off the mobile lens was easier :-) Finally we reached the tavera and headed back  towards our next destination Muttatti. Had to skip the Makalamma temple as it was 1:45 already and was time for the temple to close. Also it did not look good to enter a temple with wet set of clothing and spoil that atmosphere with water dripping from our clothes..Huh. what a twist and tale  to the trip. but one thing was for sure. ALL IS WELL WHICH ENDS WELL !!!

Pic after the downhill journey :-)

@ one of the waterfalls formed by Rain !

Next part: Muttatti memories


  1. wow a good trip indeed ,good experience nicely written . happy to read it prashasti prabhakar. .