Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Cycling to Makalidurga (13-08-2005)
Cycling has always been a passion to me. I own an 18 geared Hero Swing. I had bought this one, after selling my old Hercules MTB.
Gautam(my fellow Infoscion) had also bought a new bicycle and wanted to test it(or rather....test himself). Since I had been to Ramanagar by cycle recently, he asked me to organize a cycle trip to a nice place nearby. Even Manoj(my PESIT batchmate) showed interest. So, we decided to cycle to Makalidurga( about 65 kms from Bangalore) on 13-08-2005.
Manoj and I started on that saturday at about 5:30am. We met Gautam near IISc(at around 6:15am), had our breakfast at Yelahanka and cycled on the Bellary Road towards Doddaballapur. The journey was bumpy, but pleasant. Our only fear factors were the speeding buses and lorries. They always made sure to get us off the road whenever they approached. Bullies on the road!!!
All along the road, we could see the green farms and fields(thanks to the recent rainfall).
When we reached Doddaballapur, it was around 9:30. In order to make sure that we were on the right route, Manoj(popularly known as topi Manoja, as he is always seen with a cap) enquired a passerby, the route to Gowribidanur.
Manoj: Gowribidanurge ide daari naa?
Passerby: Howdu... hege hogtiraa?
Manoj: Cycle nalli.
Passerby : Saar... swalpa topi tegedu yochane maadi... cycle nalli hogokke aagattaaa?
Manoj: Saar... naavu bengaloorinda cycle nalle bandiddivi....
The passerby went away without uttering a single word.
The last 10kms of our journey was through winding roads. By this time, all the soft materials in our bags(spare T-shirt, towels), were on our seats... to soothe our aching base.
At the 17km, we took a left(mud road) which goes to the Makalidurga railway station. The railway station is very small, but very beautiful and clean(without any human remains). Beside the railway station is a small hanuman temple. We parked our vehicles near the temple and set out to ascend. As usual, we decided not to follow the regular path.. and make our own path. We started climbing straight. Within few minutes, we were in front of indomitable(seemingly) rocks. Myself and Gautam, decided not to step back. But, Manoj found it difficult to climb the rock(... wall). So, he promised to reach the top by the regular way and meet us there.
With great difficulty, we climbed a certain portion only to find that we are trapped. Now, we couldn't climb up, nor descend. Somehow clinging to the roots of a tree(which ran down all through the rock), we crossed the rocky(most difficult) part. In this fight, my sandals were dropped. The rest of my trek was with a single chappal to my left leg. The hill was rocky and my foot got good accupuncture treatment.
Surprisingly, lemon grass and turmeric plants were found in abundance all over the hill.
Scrambling through the rocky slopes, when we reached the fort, the view was amazing. Shimmering Gundammanakere on one side and the majestic railway track on the other. Cool breeze to add. It was a feast for the eyes. Green clad Nandi hills on the distant edge, added to the charm.
The fort on top was completely in ruins. Only the Shiva temple in the heart of the fort was somewhat in shape. But, it was closed. We learnt that it would be open only on Mondays.
We took a nap near the temple, only to be waken up by a herd of goats. We also had a chat with the shepherd boys. No sight of Manoj yet. We waited for some time, later guessed that he must have stayed back at the temple as he was very much tired. The shepherd boys showed us every nook and corner of the fort. Since it was not a popular tourist spot, majorly there were no inscriptions on the fort walls, except for the act of some students of Dr.AIT college, about which I had mentioned in my previous post. The fort is spread over a large area. It has a lot of water points inside. After roaming around the fort, we reached the temple below at about 2:30. On our way down, we tried to search my slipper... but couldn't find it. As we expected, Manoj was waiting for us at the temple. At the temple, a lady offered us Ginnu. Ginnu is a sweet prepared from fresh milk just after the cow gives birth to a calf. The lady also said that, it is a custom in the nearby villages to offer this sweet to the temple whenever a calf is born.
We left the place at around 3:15 pm. Fully tired, our return journey seemed to be very tough. And moreover, I was barefoot. So, I bought a pair of Hawai slippers on the way. Adding to the troubles, my tyre also got punctured. Nowadays, it is easier to get your bike repaired, but if there is any problem with your bicycle, may GOD help you. This is the case even in villages. The FACE OF CHANGING INDIA.
With all this, by the time we reached yelahanka, it was about 7pm. Gautam had gone ahead of us. Myself and Manoj decided to take some light refreshments at a hotel nearby. Our condition was so bad that the hotel owner taking pity on us, offered a stay in his hotel for the night.
With aching legs and bums, by the time we reached home, it was 8:30pm.
A nice cycle expedition ended, but our limits were extended. Our body was aching, but our mind was thinking.... where to go next???
Click here for more photos.