Met Karthik while going home after office on Friday. Surprisingly, both of us didn't have any plans for the weekend. Our visit to Shadakshari's house in Tumkur (Singapore friend) was long due, more so after he was promoted to Fatherhood. We couldn't meet him when he was here on a vacation. Nor could we go during his daughter's naming ceremony. Thought of meeting his daughter. The plan was formulated instantly.
Left Bangalore at 8:30am on my suki. I was planning all along to somehow include a small trek today. Passing by Dobbspet, I noticed the Nijagallu betta just opposite the Kamat Upachar. Thought this could be a nice candidate on our way back. But, destiny had some other plans.
Still my bike was in its break-in period. Not allowed to go more than 60kmph... It was nearly 10:30 when we reached tumkur. Shadki's brother Himanna, came immediately with a wide smile to receive us near the SIT. It took no time for him to recognize the trekkers in us. He promised to take us to a nearby hill, once we get refreshed and hes done with his work in a couple of hours.
Next couple of hours was for the curricular activities. Played with Shadki's daughter, talked about the good old days in Singapore with Uncle and Manju akka, had a feast of jamuns and chapatis. By then, Himanna came in, and it was time for the extra-curricular activities now. The hill he took us to was Ramedevarabetta. It's just behind the Siddhaganga mutt. The access point was through Madanayakana halli. The hill was the highest in the surrounding area giving good panaromic view of Tumkur city.
The climb was steep in a few places. Recollecting all the food we had in the morning, we took not more than 1-1.5 hr to reach the peak. The peak has a small temple, again in ruins. Its said that Lord Rama had stayed at this place during his Vanavasa. There is a beautiful pond full of lotuses within the fort wall. Of the history whatever remains on the hill is the temple and the remnants of fortification by madanayaka. Another interesting thing we noticed was something like the 'seeteya seragu' near Hampi. The mineral deposit or difference in rock formation had led to a strip which was running through the rocks for more than 100mts.
The hill and the surrounding scrub forest seems to be inhabited by wild boars, rabbits and many species of birds; which was evident by their faeces. We could also see the forest burnt down in many places by miscreants. I hope they at-least had a faint sense of the damage they are causing. Nature takes centuries to build an ecosystem; which can be brought down to ashes by one spark from a fool's brain. Same goes with civilization; the uncivilized have always won over the civilized. While it takes centuries to build a civilization; one barbaric invader can bring it down in days. Atleast in case of well known protected forests, if fires broke out, it would be a news. There would atleast be some efforts to put off the fires. But, sadly people dont' consider these scrub forests as forests; encroachments, quarrying, hunting, forest fires are rampant. The apt word for this is 'ಅರಣ್ಯರೋದನ'.
Himanna seemed to be knowing each corner of the hill and the ruined fort. With his stories about how the thieves would rapple down the steep cliffs stealing sheep to the stories of quarrying, time flew rapidly. Munching over the 'ಕಡಲೆ ಪುರಿ' we descended and headed towards the siddhaganga mutt. Since it was 3pm already, ದಾಸೋಹ (prasad) time was over. We visited the main temple and headed towards the tatte idli hotel on the Highway.
Just then, I got a call from my cousin who knew that we were in Tumkur to see Shadki's daughter. He enquired us about the angels' name. Name??........ Myself and Karthik were staring at each other. hahaa... I love this carelessness that comes with being single. We had spent almost one full day over there; and I thought since we couldn't make it to the naming ceremony, we were there today.
I'm glad that we still had that carelessness carried forward from our college days. Even during my recent konkan trip, our boys demonstrated that in many places. All were present at the railway station in time with their bikes, but while paying for the ticket, each one scratched through his pockets saying " I thought you would've got the money". At times, such carelessness might seem irritating, but you'll love it. It shows that you are still not fully affected by the radioactive hazards of "Ageing". And it means, you still feel the whole world is your home :) I still can't stop laughing when I recollect this incidence. And, BTW, the angel is named "Khushi". :) Enquired about it later on :)