Sunday, October 07, 2007

Skandagiri: The long awaited trek

I was tempted to go to skandagiri when I first saw a set of pics being forwarded on mails but something or other, the plan never matured. It was one fine day when Ladha and Piyush saw these pics and we decided to hit it coming sunday.

Saturday night no electricity => Plan almost dropped due to lack of sleep and internet. Internet? yeah we needed to check where exactly this place is located. Finally power came back at midnight and I checked the route in some blogs. A sleep of 2 hours for few of us including me and night out for others and we were ready by 3 AM to hit the roads. 2 water bottles, 2 bags to keep jackets while climbing and 6 of us on 3 bikes headed towards outer ring road. Myself with Piyush as pillion on my Bajaj Avenger, Dotty with Mahe as pillion on his Bajaj Avenger and Nair with Ladha as pillion on HH Passion.

To reach Skandagiri, one has to take the Devenahalli road, yeah the new airport is coming up at Devenahalli. Total tide was 70 km. Straight till Chikaballapur from Bangalore and then a left turn from there leads to Papagni Mutt which is the base of the hill. Road is a four laner till the Nandi Hills left turn and a two laner bumpy one after that. It was still dark when we parked the bikes near Papagni Mutt. We were quite surprised seeing sizeable number of two wheelers parked there. So, we were not alone :).

Whole idea to start so early was to reach the top by sunrise. We refused to take a guide and started moving towards a faint trail. It was dificult to say if we were on the right track. Some plastic bottles lying here and there kept us going in the belief that people do come here :).

We were half way (or we thought so) when horizon started turning red. Ah the sunrise ! The surroundings were clearer now but the peak was nowhere in visual range due to slight mist. As we climbed up, the mist turned to fog and then to thick clouds. We could hardly see anything farther than 3 ft and yes we lost our way!! We had to cross some seriously steep rocks and Piyush almost lost it there. He was like what the hell are we doing here and how are we supposed to come back! Luckily we found the trail after sometime. I guess it tool close to 2 hours to reach the top with some 3-4 breaks in between.

The winds were amazing at the top but no view because of thick fog. We were quite surprised to see so many people on the top. Had some chilli bajji, omlettes and tea. After some 20 mins, fog started clearing and we could see some breathtaking views. And at this point, we realized that we have gained much more height than we thought :)

Descent was much quicker with trail very clear thanks to no fog :). Soon we were at the foothills and this time we could see the peak too. Everyone had that content smile saying yes, we did it :). Most of the people were first timers in trekking and it was a wonderful experience.

On return, we took a different route. We took a right turn from Papagni Mutt towards Nandi hills and then the usual Nandi Hills - Bangalore route. We did not stop anywhere on our way back and were back at home for lunch. Finally trip accomplished with so many lazy bums :)


12 August' 2007

Bangalore - Yelahanka - Devenahalli - Chikaballapur - Papagni Mutt

70 km one way

More pics can be seen here.


touseef said...

do u have orkut account if s plz reply m waiting

Karthik said...

Haaa brings back memories ....

we had gone without torches , without bottles, without bag, totally unprepared... it was a Killer Epic trip :D

Karthik said...

It was Pitch black + Fog made it worst.... started at 2 am...
Dunno how we all are still alive Haha!!!!