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2 Durgs of Bangalore - Channaraya Durga & Devarayana Durga

We will be entering Monsoon season soon. But until few more weeks to go, summer is still at its peak. It is a 60 degree incline and at some places we need to climb using 4 hands. Hope it is understood what I mean by 4 hands!!.  But trek like this test our endurance, especially when we are hiking in summer. Channarayana Durga is a fort build on a huge hillock about 5 kms from the ground, to defend and protect against the enemies in olden days. Durga, means Fort in Kannada.

What now remains is the fort and ruins surrounding it. It is wonderful to imagine how this was built at that time when there was no technology to carry hard bricks up till there. Till today the fort itself is in good shape. Many must have lost their lives while building this beautiful fort.
C –Durga, as I would call it, is around 120 Kms from Bangalore, towards Tumkur and has very little connectivity by bus. There is a small village at the base of this hill. Basically it is a peaceful village engaged in agriculture. 

Well to talk about the BTC trek which we had planned on 17th of May 2014, our pick-up point was Shanthala Silk house, Near Majestic KSRTC bust stand. We,16 of us were there by around 6:30 AM and as soon as the TT arrived, we started off from Bangalore. On the way, we had our breakfast and packed our noon lunch as well.  As usual we all had our introduction, while the lunch was being packed. It was good to know 16 new faces, from various parts of the country and profession. We reached there between 09:30-10:00 AM and started to trek till the fort. What was thought of as easy going started to become bit difficult to climb, first it was peak summer and second the climb at some point was becoming steep, hence we had to operationalize 4 hands. Few were able to climb, while others required help to pull up. Chaitanya was leading the trek and also lending his helping hand. Virander ensured no one is left behind and that he stays with them until they reach the point and give necessary support.
While hiking up, one of our team members started vomiting (I will not reveal the name for privacy) and I ensured that he is comfortable, fit and fine to hike further. It was understandable as sun was raising. We had few more meters to go and were able to do so. Already couple of our team mates who has hiked first, were cooling themselves by resting on the hillock, drinking water. I will call it as level 1, as till this point (Entrance of the fort), it is a 60 degree incline.
Once we enter the fort through the entrance, there are two ways, left and right. I will call this wrong and right ways. Taking left will only lead us till the base of the fort, May be this was done to confuse enemy soldiers in the olden days so that they are targeted moment they land right at the base of the fort.
Taking right will lead us at the top of the fort. There is a small pond inside this fort. Further from here, a bit of hike and there are steps. We climbed up the fort using these steps. It was around 12:15 PM when all 16 trekkers from BTC reached top of the fort.  The top view was beautiful and we grabbed few snaps, rested there for about 30-40 mts, had our lunch (Lemon rice) which we had packed on our way, cracked few jokes and Chaitanya was always keeping an eagle’s eye to ensure that none throw garbage around. After we had our lunch, we started to descend and which was equally challenging at some point with steep hillock, we took couple of group and individual snaps during this trek, in about 20 -25 minutes we were at the base of the hillock. Once we are at the base, we had our last photo session with the hill and fort overlooking us. 
We still had time and decided to hike another important pilgrimage place called Devarayana Durga. As name suggested it is a fort which has famous Yoga Narasimha Temple, a beautiful temple dedicated to Lord Narasimha. This also has temples dedicated to Lord Human, Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesh. 

It is simply not enough to explain the nature’s beauty surrounding this temple. This place is surrounded by forest and has a very good nature, especially from the top.  One must visit this place in rainy and winter season, it will be very amazing at that time, considering that during summer itself the nature was excellent. There are steps right from base of the fort until the temple. Else transport is available till a certain point and after that we have to take around 75 steps until the temple.
The time was around 02:45-03:00 PM We reached there, parked our TT and took steps until the temple. The best part is to hike till the Mantapam at the top of the hill and journey to this place is quire amazing. I had the darshan of Lord Narasimha. As usual Virander was waiting outside the temple to ensure that I am not left out.
We started to hike until the mantapam and as I have mentioned before this is a quite amazing journey. We felt as if we are passing through a thick forest, caves and huge hillock. At some point we had to literally bend down on our foot and pass through, since it was covered by tree branches, lying very low, hence no chance of moving straight. We helped each other as we move forward, reached the top. We were told by the temple guard to return by 04:30 PM. We spend some time on the hill. As I have suggested it is covered by nature and has hair pin curves while driving, thus makes this one of the most beautiful retreat from busy city life.
From top of the hill it is amazing view of the nature, surroundings, temple Gopuram, its complex and especially hair pin curves. Couple of us had individual snaps in different position. Virander and 2 others (Sorry I do not remember the names), were busy at astronomy, counting stars at the day time, relaxing on the hillock. After spending some time, we started to descend down as it was time. Once we reached near the temple, relaxed, some bathed their head in the water nearby and started ascending down through steps towards our TT.

In D-Durga (As I call it), we will be greeted by our ancestors, near the temple , be careful not to tease them, hide everything in the bag or best part is to  keep our belongings in the TT /Cab. They are not very furious, but they expect something.

We reached Bangalore at sharp 06: 00 PM, it was raining by then. We enjoyed in the TT on our way back, which was quite entertaining. Thanks to all the Participants who made this a success and also ensured that it was a good team work. Timing, planning and coordination was perfect. Our plan was to hike C-durga, but we hiked d-durga as well, thanks to Chaitanya and Virander for organizing and planning this well.

Over all it was a well-planned trek which tested our fitness level. Channarayana Durga, can be reached by road, on own transport. Road repair is going-on and will delay the time to reach Channarayana Durga. Nearest town is Devarayana Durga, again D-Gurga can be reached by bus or hiring own transport.

Good point about BTC is individual feedback is taken at the end of every trek to constantly improve upon. It is good to know that there are 3k members in BTC as of today and still growing. As I end this blog, I wish BTC all the success.

Written By       : Vishwanath M Joshi
Organized By   : Chaitanya Kumar Adusumilli
Date of event   : 17th May 2014
Members Count: 16 (14 M, 2 F)
Place               : Dobbspet
Pictures           : BTC Webpage 

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