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WOW Trek to Shivagange

"Heights" of Monkeying around ;) at Shivagange!

I thought this post would take even longer to come out (considering the hell lot of tasks@hand I currently have!). But then 2 things post my return from the trek kept urging me to write..

       No. 1: Couldn’t stop feeling happy for another ‘rocking’ day I’d just spent
       No. 2: Monkeys started haunting my daydreams!

Tough to relate to no. 1 & 2? Don’t worry..u’ll soon get the point!

Trek to Shivagange:

2nd trek with the WOW gang. The 14 shortlisted girls for the trek had assembled at the Bangalore KSRTC bus-stand. Again, a bunch of all new ppl [with just the trek admin group familiar :P]. 

Plan was: to reach Dobaspet (the nearest bus-stand to reach Shivagange) and hire autos to the destination [a standard format for tourists visiting Shivagange on public transport].

The journey begins….

Bus is half-full:

After a couple of enquiries, we reached the platform where buses to Pavagadh enroute Dobaspet stood. Here, we find 2 buses: One empty and one half-full. Temptations drive us towards the empty bus, but then we learnt that this was starting only after an hour or so! Quickly, few of the girls who had rushed inside, got out of the bus; and the ones standing in Q took an about turn in sync (in that narrow lane between the two buses) and ran towards the half-full bus..thankfully.. just-in-time!

Luckily, we managed to grab seats here-and-there for our counterparts, and were spread all over the bus [including the balcony seat – next to the driver’s deck ;)]

BTC promotions - on the drive!

Bus to Dobaspet started. There was this techie sitting beside me (who had, OBVIOUSLY noticed the hungama that that we had created in trying to locate seats just a while ago – and by now had a fair idea that we were some sort of a ‘women-oriented-group’ going on an outing).

He started enquiring about the group and surprisingly was aware about BTC (though a little vaguely). Took a chance, and started promoting BTC; and in turn learnt about a couple of other places to explore around Tumkur (which he proudly spoke about, as this place was native):D

Dobaspet to Shivgange:

Reached Dobaspet. Had breakfast and finished a small photo session. Hired 2 autos to Shivagange (had absolute fun trying to pose for pics in running autos ;) ). The auto-walas also sensed the fun that we girls were upto; and were equally co-operative! The route itself offered views of scenic beauty and we were all set to take on the adventure. Pretty cloudy morning, though it seemed very fresh and pleasant.

The ‘names-byhearting’ ceremony had already begun (much before the formal round of introduction!)


Reach Shivagange – the Dakshina Kashi (you can find out more about the place in Wiki / google..apart from the history, pls don’t miss out on finding about the ‘monkey businesses’ here! You need to be careful of your luggages, not isolate yourself at any spot and stick to your groups, and do not hold any dang thing in your hand!)

now back to WOW 14 story :P..

After climbing the first few steps of the temple premises, the WOW 14 gathered in a circle at a place for a formal round of introduction. So, our captain Ajju, just starts to talk something..and oh..what’s that..look around..a whole bunch of monkeys..forming groups all around us! One of the Bio students in our group felt it safe to disperse from that place (sensing a potential attack on our bagpacks), and we all were obedient enough to follow instructions (wisely). We climbed a little more upwards and assembled at a place that felt relatively safer. With quick introduction and division of the group into 3 teams, WOW 14 began the trek with full swing!

The ‘names-byhearting’ ceremony still continued..[I heard my name a couple of times from the other teams in the group. turned back, and got a response 'nothing'!]

All about the Trek, Nature, Fun……and monkeys (of course)!

Soon enough, we reached the Gangadhareshwara shrine [famous for the belief of abhishekam ghee, turning into butter!]. We offered our prayers here and continued the journey further.

The Shivagange hill, being more like a ‘Shivalinga’ shape, is a bit steep for a climb. And because of the steepness, the place started offering panoramic views after crossing the initial levels itself. What followed post this, were just treat for the eyes!  Despite the earlier wear-n-tear that we felt (due to lofty climbing), the captivating view around us, gave us that motivation to get going. 
The steep stretch
Monkey-burglary started, when we came outta the cave temple (Olakala teertha). We had this lady from our group (I would call her the ‘King-kong lady’..not a personal remark, but you’ll know why), who had opened her bag and was digging into it with full concentration (without noticing a monkey sitting right opposite to her, helping her keep the bag open, and peeping into it with equal concentration as she did!). One of us noticed it, and managed to quickly shoo it away; and keep our things and people safe (this is why you need to stick around in groups). 

Monkeys ganging-up!
With a roar of laughter and a cheer over this, we ascended further the hill. Most part of the hill has uneven steps along with the railings. What makes this an interesting trek is the uneven-ness, narrowness of the steps itself! You cannot climb these parts without the railing support. Moreover, you cannot stick to one side of the railing, and have to keep changing sides depending upon the width of the steps and the direction of the trek. Also, at many places you need to maintain a side-walk along the railings (because the steps are too narrow, even for kids to climb them straight!).

View from the top

By then, we had got accustomed to the monkeys. Many a times, we dint bother them walk past us, but we still were with our groups for safer side. Moreover, it was the mesmerizing scenery that captured our attention more than the little creatures. The weather was little dull and windy, and the entire stretch looked covered with blankets of clouds.

The trek became more of a ‘halt-and-proceed’ journey as the hill got steeper. And our lady (whom I call the king-kong lady) tried to open her bag again, probably for taking out the water bottle, only to find monkeys jumping towards her (bag)! We decide to share our water bottles and open our bags for as less times as possible.

We had covered almost 3/4th of the hill, when we found a ‘live inspiration’ who blowed our minds off! An Ajji [no. not our Captain Ajju ;) ;) !] – a skinny old granny descending down the hill, bare-foot! Even the other folks who were trekking along with us were quite astonished! [we had just covered that distance and knew the challenges the path had!]. Here we were - carrying all the necessary first aids and back-ups, and there she was descending gracefully down the hill, with nothing in her hand, and chanting the name of Lord shiva after taking each step! A live-wire…felt her worth of worshipping (literally bowed down to her). What more – she asks us ‘makkaLu (kids)’ to stay careful and safe! This was indeed a WOW moment during the trek. We continued marching forward. 

[the ‘name-byhearting’ ceremony was still on! I still heard my name being called out a couple of times:P ]

Reached a juncture, where the direction of the trekking-path, takes a sharp 90 degree turn to the left. This is almost towards the peak. Here, we found a small stall, where we stopped over for some energy drinks. Trust me! The butter-milk at this stall was too good and refreshing. After a small photo session here, we continued our journey to meet the peak.

With all that new energy, Captain Jo and I started to whistle aloud – only to find the folks (even the other families) surrounding us howl with equal enthu (ain’t an over-statement)! The excitement and joy of reaching the peak had just build up inside all of us, with all this energy. It felt awesome!

The monolithic Nandi statue!

Within no time, we reached the monolithic Nandi statue and then the peak of the hill, thrilled by the enchanting Nature and the breezy climate..

The peak and weather!

Reached the peak..all triumphant..Luckily, there were no monkeys at that point of time and we managed to almost-complete our lunch. But then the animals found their way and succeeded in invading the spot that we had located [(rather, claiming the rights to their adda; that wehumans had just invaded!). We stopped our meals and gave away the open food packets to them. And this time again! A monkey approaches right towards our ‘king-kong lady’ just when she is about to open her bag! She realizes this pattern now, and shouts ‘why am only I targetted!’ – and this is when I remembered the movie King-Kong [the only difference being, the ‘king-kongs’ here were of much smaller size. Were they attracted to her bag or to her – honestly, now I don’t know! :D]

Jokes apart, the view at the peak was just too brilliant! The weather got too cloudy by then. A mix of the gloomy weather and the 360 degree view, made us feel lost in some other world. We were literally in the midst of clouds and it all made the entire atmosphere – Beautiful!

The blanket of clouds! when we reached the peak!
Of course, we did get a little wary of the challenges a heavy downpour would put-forth during our descend. But you call it a miracle – pure luck – or loopholes in weather forecasting;), there was no heavy rains, but just a misty weather throughout. The clouds did meet n greet us..gave us nice rains and breeze..but that was just a ‘flying visit’; when we were at the peak (probably to congratulate our determination:P )..and they gracefuly bade us a goodbye while we started to descend [ I remember – with a very heavy downpour that had occurred just the previous evening – news had showed predictions of equally heavy rains in the next 48 hours (nothing of which had happened :P)].

With this, the descend looked safer than expected, and we had a smooth travel back to the base, though equally challenging. As always, the descend was a little quicker than the ascend. It was just during the descend that the Sun-god finally broke open! The rains and the Sunlight just made everything around us look as bright and fresh as a New morning itself!

Sun giving a freshness, late in the afternoon (after a slight downpour)
We did have our pit-stops for refreshments, during the descend. And again! Our ‘king-kong lady’ was approached by her favourite heroes, eyeing her bag (or her?). Finally, she decided not to even attempt opening her bag :D Reached the base, with a victory feeling; and waited for the rest of the group to reach. 

And again! heard my name being called out by someone in the group! I turn back and again get a reply ‘nothing’. Understood! [I guess we took each other’s names more than the deity himself, during the entire trek :P !].

Finally, the entire group reached the base – safe, sound and feeling accomplished. We congratulated each other; and headed off to Dobaspet bus-stand, in autos.

Bus is half-full..again!

Coming to an end, with a full circle - A perfect climax, for a perfect beginning! 

At the end of the adventure, we reached the Dobaspet bus stand. And again, on enquiries we found that we were just-in-time for a bus to arrive. And oh, not 1..but 2 buses to Bangalore arrive..Once again! One empty, and one half-full..Once again! Temptations drive us toward the empty bus (and then we learn that this was not going to the main Majestic bus stand)..and Once again! We take a U-turn in sync and rush towards the half-full bus that was just about to leave! <>. And once again! typical women mentality --> though we all were confused, atleast we all were on the same page :P


The way to Bangalore from Dobaspet was equal fun. Got to know more about each other during the journey. I was the first one to bid everyone a good-bye as I was supposed to alight at the much earlier Stopping point in Bangalore.

After all of this fun, adventure and hungama throughout the day; walking back home felt a drag for 2 reasons:
  • The nice, smooth tar road seemed unusual (Of course, we were on a 'high' the entire day:P)
  • I missed the monkeys! (suddenly it felt too isolated!)
Mom couldnot control her laugh, when I mindlessly explained her this….!

 A final thanks:

Thanks to the Organizing team &; Ajju once again, for taking all the risks of planning this trek and brilliantly pulling it off! Thanks to all my fellow trekkers. It was a wonderful day with equally wonderful people! :)

Note: Mention of the 'name-byhearting' ceremony throughout the post is not an exaggeration! :P


Written By          : Swathi Iyer
Original Blog      : In resonance with life
Organized By      : Ajita Madan
Members Count  : 14
Date of event      : 17th Aug, 2013
Place                    : Shivagange
Pictures               : KirubaRituAjita

Shiv Gange Trek - Can't Stop Saying WOW

Kahte hain  dil se chaho to khuda be milta hai. To yahan to bas aas pass dekhne ki jaroorat thi. I was looking for like minded people who live life to fullest and know how to make best out of life. And see I got it, Yes WOW!!  And there came WOW Trek group with Shiv Gange Trek. I registered immediately for the event. With little doubt and more excitement to join totally unknown group I reached meeting point at 6.40 AM, Majestic. We started our journey with 7 o clock bus toDabbaspet . Had breakfast and tea after reaching there. Thanks to Ajita and Kiruba for getting nice lunch packed for us. And took auto to cover more 8 km by auto to final reach our destination, base of Shiv Ganga Hills. So trip started with a formal introduction within the group. But girls are girls :) They already got introduced to everyone in bus, at breakfast table and in auto :P 

Ye dil maange more :P God knows kya maang rahe hain :P

This temple is at base of the hill. After Darshan here we all started our trek, with determination to conquer.
So we divided ourselves in 3 groups, experienced trekkers as leading ones, first timers in middle and organizers at end.

We started our trek taking pictures jumping here and there, climbing rocks and yes how can I forget toughest part , stairs :) You need to be sideways for climbing as there is not much space to walk straight.

Don't worry, railings beside them keep the trek safe :D . 

Well said by Shree, best part about trekking in India is you will find lot of temples on the way.

This trek has number of temples of shiva and nandi statues. People were actually going at hill top to take blessing of Nandi and Shiva bare foot. Hats off to them. 

We reached at top by 1 PM enjoying beautiful nature , as you go up it becomes more steep but you can feel the cool breeze taking away all tiredness and making you feel so fresh. At last amazing 360 degree view from the top. It started drizzling and we felt like we are surrounded by cloud. That feeling is not easy to pen down :)

And also there is a Nandi statue at top, with very little space to stand. But forgetting all that is just one feeling, Yes did it :) and you feel top of world.

Finally feeling satisfied enjoying nature and following religion ofcourse all in one package we found nice place to have lunch. But now fun begins, just had few bites and monkeys came over and we all started and stuffing food inside our bags. Even monkeys like Junk food. Instead of rice, the monkey was interested in Kurkure. I guess monkeys also learnt that they should change themselves according to world. Yup, Shiv Gange trip can't be complete without monkeys. So lesson learnt is just gulp down your food as soon as you take it out from your bag, or else be ready to sacrifice it to monkeys. Yes, they snatch anything they like, mobile phones, cap etc.

Then we started descending at 2PM. Descending was easier and quicker. It just took around one and half hour for us to reach back at hill base. So we rested for a while and started back. Had tea with cookies and chit chat at bus top. Took the bus, slept in bus while standing with open eyes :) and reached Majestic at exactly 6.30 PM. Wow , what a time manegement. So we departed to our homes bidding good bye to new friends and promise to join next WOW trek as well.

Thanks to WOW, BTC, Ajita, Organizers and my fellow trekkers for making this a memorable trip for me. Looking forward for more such trips.

Written By          : Yogeeta Yadav
Original Blog     : Exploringmennature
Organized By     : Ajita Madan
Members Count : 14
Date of event     : 17th Aug, 2013
Place                  : Shivagange
Pictures             : KirubaRituAjita

1 comment:

  1. Nice pics. But haven't anybody located a big rock of the shape of a human face, looking up at the sky? It can be seen after crossing the Shiva, while climbing up.


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