A Sunday Trekking Expedition..

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Shivganga is a perfect spot for a Sunday trekking expedition. And that is exactly what on 27th of May 2007, I, Suppi, Sudhi and Guru did. Shivganga is a mammoth hillock, with a temple at the top and a natural water source sprouting along the path leading to the top.

Shivganga is situated at about 50 KMs from Bangalore towards tumkur. A 6 KM deviation from the Bangalore – Pune highway lands you at Shivganga. We started out journey at about 8:45 AM in the morning and reached Shivganga at about 10:30AM. The search for a decent breakfast landed us into a small hotel that supplied only THATTE IDLY with chutney and two bondas. After consuming the idlies and packing my backpack (the others did not carry any such load, the reason for which was revealed to me only during the ascent to the hill top) we set out on our trekking expedition. The start was a bit slow for it was days or months since we had actually taken such a journey and we made stops every few minutes to rest and proceed. It was then that the fellow trekkers and the people descending downhill started warning us about the monkey menace that was awaiting us towards the top of the hill. They even pointed out that animals were particularly showing an interest in the bags or backpacks that the trekkers carry. It was then I realized that I was the one carrying the backpack stuffed with the snacks and it was not my intention to be purred or attacked by the primates. I revealed the same sentiments to Sudhi who guaranteed me that he would take the security department into his hands, and he did pull out his waist belt and held it in his hands as the weapon against the danger. It was also the suggestion by the other trekkers that the monkey at Shivganga displayed more obedience at the sight of a waist belt rather than a stick. But being over cautious I did carry a stick, the one that I called my ‘Asthra’ in my hands. Meanwhile Suppi was busy showing his interest in photography by clicking the different views of the land below. Guru was slow and tired due to the rising heat and was sweating profusely. And we moved on.

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The first stop was at ‘OLAKAL THEETHA’ which was the point of origination of a water source. That is the place where we first got the feel of the monkey menace. They were everywhere, on the rooftop standing in front of us on the ground and hanging on the poles and ropes around the small shrine that is built to worship the water source. With a charge of Rs. 2/- we are allowed to go into the small cave dimply lit and heavily dampened and try our luck by getting the water from a small hole in the cave. I did get handful of water and used it to wash my face of sweat and dirt. After a very brief halt at that place we started out journey uphill. From then on the terrain is steep and with minimal steps and heavy rock surface with a great danger of slipping. On the way there was an ancient statue of Nandi and some ruins and we encountered a battle between two chameleons. It was an adventurous trek till a point from where the journey is straight upwards at almost 90 degrees with slippery steps carved on the rock. Before this we made a halt at a petty shop with Sudhi drowning a glass of Lime sherbet, a full cucumber and some CHURMURI. We reserved the ordeal for the downhill journey. And then after about some 20 minutes of literal rock climbing we reached the top of the hill. It took us around 3 hours to reach the top. There is a Nandi statue on top a small pedestal, a suicide point called as SHANTHALA DROP and a small temple. The Shanthala drop was a suicide point with a great view and the stories ranged from that of Shanthala being a court dancer of some king to being an actress in the cine field. There is a small shop at the top which among other stuff offers Buttermilk, which comes with a heavy price tag of Rs 5/- per glass. Though the buttermilk is more diluted and the price too high, due to the sun the shopkeeper did have a roaring business and we ourselves indulged in gulping two glasses each. One point that I made note of in the shops, both the CHURMURI one and this buttermilk one, is that they had the option of plastic disposables for the fluids apart from the conventional glass ones that is usually considered unhygienic. We did exercise the disposables option to be on the safer side. The Lime juice at the CHURMURI shop and the Buttermilk at the top were refreshing indeed. After spending few minutes at the top we started our downhill journey.

The downhill journey was quick, but a little bit dangerous due to the momentum and the slippery rocks. But we made it in about 90 minutes with just about 15 minutes if stop in the CHURMURI shop were, all of us had some cool lime sherbet and CHURMURI. And then it was almost a non-stop descent. This time we followed a different route till the OLAKAL THEETHA. Guru bought more THOTAPURI raw mangoes and we consumed them. Meanwhile I and Suppi did take some snaps of us and the view from the top. The first person to reach the ground level was Sudhi, followed by me and then Guru and Suppi came at last after clicking the last few snaps from Sudhi’s mobile. Then we left for Bangalore and reached Bangalore by about 3:45 PM.
This trip to Shivganga was a long planned one from Sudhi and it was getting postponed and cancelled due to various reasons, and he was a happy person to have at last made it to Shivganga. We all did miss our other close buddy Adu THE DOC on that day.
 

[View some of the pics of the trek at FLICKR]

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~ by Jayanthan Ravi on June 2, 2007.

One Response to “A Sunday Trekking Expedition..”

  1. Hi Jai, its indeed a wonderful job. You have rightly expressed all our experiences in the right way with the right words. You are a magician with words man. You have left out 2 things. 1- put that rare photo of the chameleon fight. 2- mention about the 5Rs butter milk that we had on the hill top. I am very thankfull for that butter milk vendor.

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