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Champakadhama Temple Trek & Zoo Visit

Yet again I trouble BTC organizers with my last minute decision to join them :-P Well this time the victim was Anthony to experience my insanity !! My fault that I thought Friday was the last day to register for the Champakadhama temple trek. I check my mail Friday noon and I was all shattered to see that the names of the members are already shortlisted :'( 
My last resort was to call Anthony and see if I can join. He was too kind to say yes you are most welcome, (As there were few drop outs) Well before he did that he asked if I knew the trek plan and he was giving me the details about it but my mind was only screaming "Dude! First tell me if I can join, only then ill care to listen to the trip plans" I had to interrupt him midway and ask him is it yes or no (sorry for that!) and after getting a yes from him I smiled,  anticipating for one more day of BTC fun.

Saturday morning: I leave home by 6.00, by the time I reach Banergatta via Majestic it took me solid 2.15hrs.. So I was late by half an hr. I was just praying that they haven't forgotten me and started the trek. So just to remind, I call up Anthony and was relieved to know that he was still at the bus stand taking breakfast parcel for all of us.

I reached Banergatta bus stop and met Anthony there. I was so tempted to ask him if he's "Anthony Gonsalves", since I was late I didn't risk :)

As a punishment for being late I had to carry parcel with him till the temple foot hills where everybody were waiting. Five mins of walk and we reached. I was glad to see my first trek friends - Gautham, Uday, Prakash, Satish, Rithvik and ofcourse Chaitanya! and more new members to the club. We hadn't even stepped into the Banergatta National Park, we were welcomed by monkeys and more monkeys of all sizes!
Couple of them paid visit to the temple before we started the trek while others waited till they were back. After formal round of introduction, we took a route which was beside the main temple, it started with about 50 steps on the boulders which led us to the top in a slender spiral fashion. It was our breakfast spot! It was just 9.30. This trek was different from other treks, for the reasons that,  any pre-planned events can get delay to any extent but this was one of its kind wherein we had reached our first stop an hr before we had planned to (10.00-10.30 was our breakfast plan) and We had taken breakfast parcel (idly) and not lunch.

The view from this point was a combination of city with beautiful blue church, tiny houses of the village for short sighted people and greens of all the shades stretched all around with scattered white clouds for long sighted people :-P After breakfast we progressed. We followed the mud trails which led us into the jungles of Banerghatta. As we walked in, the jungle got thicker. We were totally locked between various bushy shrubs, bamboos and trees on either sides. It was like literally being between the greens!
It seemed like the Sun was angry with us and it didn't show its face to us at any point of the day. (Good for we girls that we didn't have to bother about Sun tan or Sun screens:-P) From being locked we now were released into a wide open space. It had a weird maze made of stones, and at the middle of it a huge tower like structure. It reminded me off the maze in Harry Potter! Goblet of Fire. I took off my shoes and with a feel of being a "Hogwart"ite I went to explore the small maze. Fortunately it wasn't any kind of "You know who" (Lord Voldemort)'s trap :-P. I easily could get out of the maze with a smile of victory.

Another interesting sight around there was hundreds of small and big heaps of arranged stones in different structures. Apparently its a belief that doing this would bring you good luck and you would own such a house in real life ;-) That's the beauty of Indian culture I believe, we see goodness and God in small things around us. So now everybody are busy making 1bhk, 2bhk and bungalows! I myself made a structure which I called it a pent house :-P
After everybody were satisfied constructing their miniature houses we continued into the jungle. We then reached the Suvarna Mukhi Kalyani. There was a temple there. Surprisingly it was only us there and no other visitors. The entire trek was as easy as a nature walk. For hardcore trekkers it must have been a letdown however for beginners this was a good one to start with. We sat on the steps and under the peepal tree chatted for some time and then walked further inside to explore the jungle. We landed on some rocks. This spot was awesome coz we could get the good view of the Samba dears inside the Banergatta national park without even paying for the safari (Cost of safari- Rs.500/per head!!) we could also see the huge boundary walls of the park which tempted us to reach till there and say hi to other animals! But we had to restrain ourselves from doing that as we were scared that we may get shot by the security, they taking us for poachers! It was time for small games. It was similar to tug of war but this was in a circle. The second game i name it as "Air Lifelifters"! as this trek wasn't about climbing more elevation, couple of us were given a feel of zero gravity up in the sky by the members with great zeal! 

We then decided to return to the foothill. We were busy chatting and then almost reached down. I was named lemon grass Deepthy but the irony was I hardly found any lemon grass plants during this trek :'( (Missed Santosh who would have helped me to find some)
We reached temple foothills by noon and decided to tour the National park as we were just a km away. All of us who wanted to go to the park had a quick meal at one of the fastfood and planned to go to the park by bikes rather than walking to conserve time so that we spend more time in the park. Myself and Ganesh were the first one to head, after about five mins of ride we realised that we have come a long distance, then checked with few pedestrians about the location of the park. We had taken a wrong road and had to ride back. So we came back and met the others who were waiting for us. Reached the park in five mins. We bought tickets for the Zoo and some opted for Safari. The place looked different from what I had seen last (that was 10 yrs back!).

I remember then, at the entrance there was a cage sort of thing titled " World's dangerous animal" which had a mirror, but I didn't find that this time. The first thing that catches your attention as you walk in is the elegant white peacocks, truely white equals the beauty of all the colors. One by one we checked all the animals and birds. Parrots, Alladin's macaws, owls (looked so much like Potter's Hedwig), turtles, intimidating snakes, leopards ramp walking within the cage, lazy bears sleeping their way to the glory. I simply run out of adjectives to describe the beauty of each creature that resided here. Everybody kept peeping into the cage like lil kids with curiosity! So true that everyone is still a child inside. Monkeys tried so hard to get limelight jumping here and there but sadly they failed. We also checked out the Wildlife museum. It was almost 5 by then. The prideful magnificent peacocks raised its long beautifully painted blue/green tails and waved us bye when we were just above to exit. Our park tour seemed complete with it! Altogether it was a nice simple day. We then left the Zoo by capturing nice pictures on our camera and minds!

Thanks BTC organizers and all the members for another nice day :)

Written By     : Deepthy Jagadish
Organized By : Anthony George
Date of event : 7th Sept, 2013
Place             : Bannerghatta
Pictures         : Chaitanya, Satish

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