Monday, August 17, 2009
Skandagiri (Kalavara Durga)
Come Independence Day I look forward for a holiday to run to nature and this time was no exception august 15th turned out to be a Saturday and had two days of holidays. I had planned to visit Waynad to see Meenmutti falls and an alternate plan of going to Chunchunkatte falls unfortunately both did not work as planned but that did not deter my spirits.Finally I contact my friend & she planed a night trek to Skandagiri.
Skandagiri is a place near Chickbalapura in Bangalore and is one of a kind where night trek is done its higher than Nandi hills and after the recent rains it was all green and beautiful so we decide to start from Bangalore on Saturday night around ten after a nice hot dinner we left Bangalore by ten.
My friend and a colleague from her office and me we three left in a car, drive was very smooth on the national high way but once we reached Chickbalapura we realized that to state of our country it's only the high way to an extent is good but be it village or inside city it's simply horrible, after an hour's drive on a deadly road with huge craters bigger than on the moon hundreds of poth holes we reached the Papagni temple and eleven thirty in the night we could hardly make out any thing of that place there were many guides who were eager to offer their services at an abnormal price finally after haggling about the price we agreed to pay 400rs to guide us to the peak.
Trek started with great vigor though we couldn’t make out a thing in the dark with stars and the guides torch light it was a different kind of feeling climbing a mountain like predators who prowl around in the dark, taking a few breaks enjoying the night vision listening to crickets and looking at city lights far away we scrambled groping in the dark
finally making it to the top at around two in the morning, chill wind had already started on the way but by the time we reached on top it was howling it was so very cold we were shivering, there were many people already all were huddled sitting scattered it looked like a lost world almost reminding us of remote African villages but civilization had found it's way till the top we could get hot tea along with Maggie that was quiet amazing we had hot tea to still our stomach from trembling in that cold.
We found some kind of shelter in a very old ruined temple made of stone and we could shield ourselves from the chilling wind outside ,a tattered mat which could be found in any trash in city had found it's way up and the tea stall owner charged fifty rupees for that mat so even rags can make you a rich man on top of a mountain where humans are desperate to protect themselves from nature,
we were the first to settle in that old temple later we found fifty and more people in that place all trying to find a place inside from that chill wind after three hours of waiting talking about past trek and adventures listening to others speak about life and funny ways of handling it was time for sunrise which we were waiting for, though sun did rise all we could see was mist and more mist and shiver.
Finally we started our way back coming down was quiet quick we could reach in one and half hour on the way back we could see how beautiful the surrounding was full green and mist all around it was a very wonderful experience trekking in the night.
History of Skandagiri -During the time of Tippu Sultan, Skandagiri was under the command of a powerful PaLeyagara (name not known) who’d very effectively defended his fort and thwarted Tippu’s invasion attempts. This local ruler, along with his trusted men had built such a fortified and defensive cover around the fort that even seasoned commanders of Tippu’s army couldn’t find a way to break-in. Finally Tippu’s men managed to bribe some inside persons & took control of this place, but remains of the fort live on.